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Handling Case Study

through accidental damage is minimised. Reducing accidental damage improves vehicle availability and moves a focus to maintenance and service support to ensure maximum vehicle utilisation. Improved vehicle availability was one of the key performance indicators identified by Cat Logistics when its materials handling contract was due to be reviewed. Vehicle utilisation, the level of technical support, speed of response and cost where all factors that where considered before the contract was awarded to Impact Handling.


The possibility of disruption during the change-over phase from one sup- plier to another was a concern for Cat Logistics. Impact Handing was able to demonstrate its responsiveness and the strength of its own fleet by completing the transfer over a single weekend. The first step in the process to deliver better efficiency and fleet utilisation was

“Effective management and maintenance of the fleet is helping Cat Logistics

zoned the fleet into customer business units and families of vehicles, and introduced reporting by site and business unit.” In order to meet the key objective of better vehicle availability, a number of changes were implemented. The workshop was rewired, and remapped to improve workflow. Reporting and data manage- ment underwent a step-change, to improve frequency, quality and accuracy. Digipens, which use GPRS radio technology, im- mediately transmit job sheet information to the central server. The data, collected and collated on Excel spreadsheets, enables Impact to identify the ‘top-10’ problem trucks at any time, and to provide the customer with a clearer picture of how the fleet is performing and where it is costing money. The two parties can then determine strate- gies to boost availability and control costs.


improve its own high levels of efficiency.”

the initial in-depth site survey carried out by Impact Handling’s key accounts man- ager, Sean Tanner. The survey not only considered operational need and the vehicle types required to maximise fleet utilisation, but also the support structure Impact Handling would need to meet and exceed Cat Logistics’ very high standards. Based on the survey, a structured ac- tion plan was developed and, on handover, responsibility to implement this passed to Impact Handling’s con- tract manager, Geoff Newbery. Geoff explains the approach: “The first task was to replace the vehicles on short- term rental with new trucks from our large stock. Once this was completed, we then

“We are already achieving our target of 97% uptime,” said Newbery. “We use several KPIs to achieve that. The data enables us to monitor all the work we are doing on the fleet and to report costs – including damage – every month. We could see, for example, that some older vehicles were incurring high maintenance costs and profile those that needed to be replaced. The more time they spend off the road, the stronger the case is for replacement. “We have achieved fewer breakdowns and got the fleet availability level up and damage costs are down, too. We have been able to drive out the expensive older equipment, which had been kept as back-up stock, because our mainte- nance program is working effectively.” Impact has three people on site, but constantly reviews staff availability in order to provide the required cover and optimum service levels cost-efficiently. Its vehicle off road (VOR) reporting system aids both maintenance and staffing level planning. This free system that Impact Handling imple- ments details every call-out, breakdown and service. This management tool also shows response times, and total downtime of each and every truck on-site, and so helps with constant evaluation and improvement.

Left to right: John Davies (Impact Handling), Geoff Newbery (Impact Handling), Paul Morris (Cat Logistics), Sean Tanner (Impact Han- dling), Martin Penn (Cat Logistics), Graham Richards (Cat Logistics).

In a hurry: Better vehicle utilisation has been achieved. 85% FIRST-TIME FIX

The effectiveness of intervention – dealing with damage and breakdowns – is meas- ured by ‘first-time fix’; Impact is achieving 85% on that measure. Three services are scheduled each day, planned against vehicle usage, along with breakdown response. Effective maintenance programmes are reducing the incidence of breakdown allowing Impact Handling’s team to con- centrate on improving vehicle availability through effective maintenance activity. Effective management and maintenance of the fleet is helping Cat Logistics to improve its own high levels of efficiency. The FTC sys- tem, managed by Cat Logistics, plays its part in minimising fleet disruption so improved safety leads to better efficiency and also cre- ates the opportunity for further improvements. Cat Logistics’ Paul Morris is delighted with the improvements made since Impact Handling was appointed. “Impact Han- dling started by demonstrating fantastic responsiveness. They effectively manage and operate the fleet on-site and have been making continuous improvements. They have exceeded our expectations at every level. The service, from truck supply to keeping them running, from providing service and maintenance to data collection and reports, is better than ever. Working together we have made a great step forward.” n Storage Handling Distribution April 2012 37

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