Despite improved lead times, better forward planning and increased stockholding capabilities, many supply chain businesses continue to experience surges in demand. This is especially true at this time with the COVID-19 crisis. At key times of the year, you can expect a higher than average demand on your materials handling resources and need to prepare accordingly.
By assessing what extra capacity you will need, you can be prepared and maximise efficiency. Furthermore, by making contingency plans for unexpected maintenance emergencies you can avoid costly equipment downtime.
The coronavirus crisis is not the time for niggling truck performance issues to start causing a real headache. Forklifts being out of action when you need your fleet to be at full strength will impact all too quickly on productivity. Fortunately, it’s never too late to review your operation and assess how best to cope with a spike in demand.
Make battery care a priority
When tasked with getting the most out of your forklifts and maintaining productivity during busy periods it’s vital to pay proper attention to batteries. Maintenance, correct charging procedures, actual truck use and frequency of use all have a bearing on battery life. Capacity can be reduced significantly by opportunity charging while a loss of capacity can affect performance and may even cause a forklift battery to malfunction, although it must be said that new technologies offer improved performance to meet the needs of modern warehouses.
We advise fleet managers to get to know what kind of work their trucks are doing and recommend that battery maintenance is a year-round priority. These days, service contracts can be cost-optimised to suit individual applications, so you can be confident of getting the best deal for your business based on the level of service support you need.
Customised service contracts
Typically, service contracts include battery watering – our engineers top up batteries to predetermined intervals so there are no issues with spillage and under- or over-watering – and cleaning twice a year based on normal usage, so you avoid loss of capacity from current leakage caused by dirty cell tops. As part of an inclusive annual inspection we carry out a thorough check and report on the state of each battery and charger. We will also carry out a safety check to ensure that batteries and chargers are safe and fit for purpose.
In the current economic climate logistics businesses are keen to control costs and maximise materials handling performance. If batteries need to be replaced, you can keep costs down by opting for refurbished products that have undergone a tune up using original spare parts. Alternatively, rather than buying new or refurbished batteries outright, one highly cost-effective solution is to buy power, not product.
Dedicated rental service
By renting lead acid, Fibre Nickel Cadmium (FNC) or Lithium-Ion batteries, and chargers, when you need them, a surge in demand can be covered at low cost. What’s more, with short-term contracts that range from just a couple of weeks, it’s never been easier to maintain truck uptime at a sensible price.
Depending on the type of application it may pay to rent batteries for, say, a couple of years, effectively extending the life of your trucks beyond the standard lease contract. It’s important to point out that the benefits can be achieved without any further capital outlay, since the monthly rental fees come out of your company’s revenue budget. Spreading the cost in this way is a win-win: businesses don’t have to commit to long-term investment and cash flow management is simplified.
We operate a dedicated rental service at our Staffordshire base and can supply batteries and chargers direct to customers within a couple of days. Rental agreements are tailored to suit specific business needs and all batteries that we supply for hire are supported by a maintenance contract, so you don’t need to worry about topping up and servicing.
Our highly trained and experienced team of engineers is on call around the clock to ensure maximum flexibility and a rapid response in the event of a breakdown. Working closely with customers to identify key challenges, they develop solutions with the aim of keeping any impact on productivity to a minimum.
Business as usual
Worldwide, Covid-19 is resulting in unprecedented challenges and is testing our resilience as businesses and as people. In the UK, we at Hoppecke are taking some important steps to ensure that our customers get as normal a service as possible. It's our priority to be with you all the way in helping you meet these surges in demand and keep you up and running.
To summarise, battery and charger rental is a proven, low-cost solution that promotes fleet uptime – especially during a crisis. For advice on how to get the best out of your forklifts, and maintain peak performance during the Covid-19 crisis, call us on 01782 667 306.