SYDNEY, March 17, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A leading Australian food industry supplier has achieved considerable efficiency gains with the support of Crown’s InfoLink operator and fleet management system and a variety of versatile Crown forklifts.
Vadals Ikon Group, a family-owned business that supplies a growing range of products to butchers, fruit-and-veg stores and supermarkets among other food industry customers, has operated since 1987. The company recently moved to a new, purpose-built facility in Richlands, south of Brisbane, that incorporates both warehouse space and a showroom.
Vadals has benefitted greatly from brand-new equipment, as well as a dedicated fit-out. At the time the new warehouse was established, Vadals took on Crown’s InfoLink system, which offers increased insight into fleet performance to help get the best out of each piece of material handling equipment.
"Through using InfoLink, we can now analyse how long a machine is used for each day, week, month – to make sure we’re getting the right productivity out of that machine. And whether we need to keep that machine or change for something that would be better used inside the warehouse," said Stephen Ireland, operations manager.
He explained, "[it helps in] being able to show the staff what level of work each individual [machine is doing] – how long it’s stationary for, how long it’s moving for – and it’s also good for its battery life. Are we charging it too early? Are we letting it run down too low? Those areas are excellent."
The InfoLink system offers support for safety initiatives with a sophisticated electronic inspection checklist, which Vadals also found to be beneficial in maintaining their lift trucks.
"Through the InfoLink system, there’s a pre start-up check that changes the questions so the guys can’t tick-and-flick, which you see in a lot of warehouses. They physically have to go through the process, which helps maintain the machines, which means we have less breakdowns and the Crown equipment lasts longer," said Mr Ireland.
"The staff now get a sense of ownership with the machine. They go ‘this is my machine, this is how it runs’ or ‘this is how I’m making sure it runs properly," he added.
Tailoring Vadals’ fast-paced warehouse to effortlessly handle local and imported products ranging from packaging, clothing, knives and saws to a multitude of glazes, marinades and condiments was simplified by looking at the space and planning its use effectively.
"Working with Crown gave us the right equipment that we needed," said Mr Ireland. "The information they gave us, how to better utilise our machines, how to set up our warehouse to get better productivity out of the machines."
The business is oriented to manual handling with products picked, stored and dispatched, and Vadals needed material handling equipment that would be the right fit for each application. With the help of Crown experts, they chose a variety of lift trucks, including RM Series reach trucks and PC Series rider pallet trucks. Having the right equipment in the new space helped contribute to a major boost in productivity.
"We moved into this warehouse 12 months ago using all-new Crown equipment…… In that time, we’ve picked up 33% in productivity through the Crown equipment and the set-up of the warehouse," said Mr Ireland. "The racking and our dock levellers are supplied by Crown. Even our sweeper that we use to sweep the floor was provided by Crown. We’ve found the machines to be reliable and excellent."
The Vadals team also chose to utilise Crown’s DT Series double pallet stackers, which provided an additional productivity boost.
"We thought we’d only want singles [but] with the information and the way Crown told us about them, we went with the doubles and found that because you can pick two pallets at one time, it’s almost like doing double the work. That’s where the productivity gain for us definitely came, as well as how well they move around the warehouse," said Mr Ireland.
The efficiency of Vadals’ Crown material handling equipment has also paid dividends for them in terms of reducing the overall cost of labour.
"Once we got here, we found we were getting the work done in the day so much quicker," said Mr Ireland. "Financially in savings, I would say would be at least $150,000 to $200,000 a year – and that’s through the productivity gains. We’ve increased in sales but have still been able to absorb that increase without putting any more staff on."
To learn more about how Vadals boosted their productivity through the use of Crown’s high-quality forklifts and innovative InfoLink system, visit the customer result on crown.com.
About Crown Equipment Corporation
Crown is one of the world’s largest material handling companies with a reputation for award-winning product design, advanced engineering and technology supported by superior after-sale service. Crown’s business philosophy utilises vertically integrated processes to design, manufacture and distribute forward-thinking, innovative solutions that improve customers’ productivity and operating efficiency. Crown develops, produces and sells a broad range of forklifts as well as automation and fleet management technologies.
The company’s global headquarters is located in New Bremen, Ohio, USA, with regional headquarters in Australia, China, Germany and Singapore. Its employees number more than 15,100 worldwide. Crown operates a service and distribution network that exceeds 500 retail locations in over 80 countries. To learn more about Crown’s ideas for helping customers advance the productivity of their operations, visit crown.com.
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