Never satisfied with the status quo when it comes to improving operations, Walmart began looking at wireless technology for another application: controlling and monitoring forklifts and industrial vehicles that move merchandise inside its distribution centers. More than 100 such vehicles are utilized in a typical Walmart distribution facility. Walmart developed a list of required and desired functions for the “ideal” industrial vehicle management system. For productivity management, Walmart wanted to implement new activity metrics to better analyze and optimize the utilization of vehicles and operators. Management also wished to achieve better asset visibility, including a more detailed understanding of time- motion history. In addition, Walmart wanted to enhance work assignment communication, especially in response to unexpected changes in task priorities.
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