Lencrow Forklifts Logo

Lencrow Forklifts Blog

The latest tips and advice on forklifts, materials handling and industry efficiency.

Blog Header
Ross GrassickWarehouse Management

Holiday Season Checklist: Materials Handling & Inventory Management

Tis’ the season to be jolly… Or if you are in warehousing and distribution it’s the season where everything picks up and now is the time to prepare. We have provided you with a monthly checklist to help prepare for the coming months.

Planning is key to a successful and profitable season.

Retail, produce and online warehouse holiday season preparedness checklist. How does your plan match up so far?


  • This is the time when you should be completing a thorough stock take of inventory. Utilise the quieter months to prepare for the “holiday season”.
  • Do you have a Warehouse Management System? Automation makes you more efficient. Invest in detailed reporting on inventory movements in your warehouse over the holiday season – use this data in the new year to plan for the future and review your workflow.
  • If you have materials handling equipment in your warehouse ensure your services are up to date. Review your Fleet Management System KPI’s to confirm that each unit is performing to a high standard. If you are unsure, schedule a service now to avoid downtime during seasonal handling peak time.
  • October:

  • Review your warehouse space. If you will be managing an overflow of large items ensure you have a managed 3PL system in place.
  • Review the workflow of your goods (see our recent article on how to manage goods in your warehouse here). What has been working throughout the year may not be suitable for seasonal purchases. Analyse your data and ensure you are prepared to efficiently manage a change in distribution.
  • Do you have enough warehouse equipment to maintain a profitable workflow of goods? If your operation could use some extra handling help – investigate casual hire options from an equipment hire company. Availability of materials handling equipment becomes exhausted during the season.
  • Take the time to remind your employees and operators on the importance of workplace safety. When we are busy our focus can shift – it’s a good time to remind everyone to remain vigilant around the warehouse.
  • Managing your warehouse well can significantly increase sales and save you money. The key to achieving this is a well managed floor plan.


  • Check your consumer purchases regularly – are there fast moving items that will need replenishing? Ensure you allow extra time for your suppliers to fulfill your purchase orders, everyone will be experiencing higher demand than usual and lead times take longer.
  • Alert your customers about Christmas delivery periods. Over the holiday season transport, postal and courier services become inundated managing the extra demand. Be aware of delays and communicate this with your consumers to avoid disappointment. Ensure they know to place orders before the last minute rush.
  • In the warmer months ensure your engine cooling components are serviced and performing to suit the warmer conditions. Temperature plays a big role in performance, this is true in warmer and cooler months. This month be sure your fleet is prepared for the heat.
  • If you are running battery electric forklifts and warehouse equipment you will need to allow for a more time after charging before they can be used. As the mercury rises your battery will retain heat for longer so make sure you leave enough time to allow it to cool down.
  • This is the period that most field service technicians are at max demand. During the warmer and busier handling months, there are naturally more call outs due to breakdowns and urgent repairs. Don’t leave it too late to service your forklift fleet.
  • Will you continue operating through December? If so, if your forklift fleet relies on fuel supply you will need to ensure your supplier will be fulfilling orders during holiday shut down period. Arrange extra in advance if necessary.
  • December:

    Rest assured you’re almost there! There’re approximately 24 days until the finish line and it will quieten down for a few weeks.

    Use the typical shutdown period over Christmas to book in major services with your forklift service supplier. Utilise the holiday season to look after your fleet and get ready for the new year. Why not give your equipment a facelift? With a lick of paint, it’ll look near new for next year – start fresh!

    This month we are offering free forklift and warehouse equipment service health checks. Unsure if your fleet can handle the heat this holiday season? Don’t worry, we are here to help. Contact us today to book a free inspection with one of our technical service advisors. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Take advantage of this offer to have an experienced technician review your fleet before the holiday period begins.

    Blog Header
    Ross GrassickWarehouse Management

    How to Improve the Efficiency and Productivity of Your Warehouse

    Having an efficient warehouse is crucial to business success, and is the key to a productive logistics operation. In this guide, we’ll show you some key areas that must be looked at to achieve the levels of productivity and safety needed in today’s high-speed storage and distribution facilities.

    Take stock of warehouse equipment

    The first thing you need to know is what equipment you’ll be using and where it will be used in your warehouse space. Having an understanding of the layout of your warehouse and its access areas will play a key role in boosting productivity.

    Ask yourself questions. Is all the equipment suitable to work in aisles, or do you need to zone units into areas? (As not doing so might slow operations down and in some cases bottleneck goods handling). Also don’t use existing equipment in a new layout if it doesn’t suit the racking design. While equipment is expensive, the inefficiency caused by mismatched equipment can diminish productivity and cause damage to racks or stock.

    Assess warehouse floor & entry points

    The warehouse floor is another factor you need to consider, as the type of floor you have will determine the types of machines you can work with. If you have a rough floor, then you’re limited to machines with larger tyres that will wear quickly with use. This also will slow operations down and has the possibility of causing stock and equipment damage.

    If you have any slopes and ramps then you need to be mindful that the break over angle of your machine can cause it to get stuck or scrape when going over, resulting in damage to your machine. Ramps, in general, tend to slow operations down and, if possible, shouldn’t be a part of normal stock flow.

    Inspect the layout of your lighting fixtures

    From the bottom of the warehouse to the top, you need to consider your lighting, as poor lighting increases the chance of accidents and stock damage. If your warehouse already has skylights, then you’ll get all the natural sunlight that comes through at no extra cost. If you don’t have skylights, it’s worth considering state of the art LED lighting is low cost and provides clean light.

    Before installing lights, you need to consider the positioning of the lighting features and how it will affect the warehouse workflow. As a general rule, its best to install lighting over the aisles, since that’s where machines are operating most of the time. However, you may not be able to install lights where sensors are in use or if they are obstructing racks.

    Manage your warehouse traffic

    Traffic management can be overlooked, but it’s also something you need to consider when attempting to maximise your warehouse productivity. Drive through racking is a good idea as it can provide shorter routes for your equipment, cutting down on time. Having a plan and educating your employees on operation flows will allow everyone to exercise efficient movement of goods and reduce the likelihoods of accidents, ensuring the safety of everyone involved as well as improving operations.

    Have a maintenance plan in place

    Downtime in equipment use due to breakdowns means lost productivity and money down the drain. Considering this, you need a maintenance plan in place to ensure that all equipment has regular servicing done to prevent future breakdowns. Make sure that operators carry out pre-start checks, as prevention is better than repair from failure. You’ll also be keeping your workplace safe and productive by having working machines.

    Train your warehouse employees

    Employee training is imperative in running an efficient warehouse. The employees operating the equipment will know where they can operate to be most productive. If there are changes to the warehouse floor plan, then employees will have to be educated on what’s expected and who should give way. Refresher training is also important, especially when equipment is changed or upgraded.

    Upgrade your technology

    You may also want to consider upgrading or changing your equipment. With the rise of battery electric forklifts, performance is now faster, making materials handling more efficient. Battery electric forklifts cost less to run, especially when you compare them to fuel forklifts with the running costs over time. The electric option will not only be less expensive on fuel, but it will improve the warehouse working environment by reducing noise and exhaust pollution, as well as heat and dust. This makes your warehouse a safe and happy place to work, as well as keeping the stock cleaner.

    With the rise of technology, we’re able to speed up work and get tasks done more efficiently. Cameras are a great piece of technology that can be attached to your forklifts so operators can have a better view of their operation. There are wireless cameras available that can be attached to forklift carriages, so operators can also see down the line, making visibility more accurate and reliable. You can fit these cameras aftermarket to your existing warehouse equipment. They may seem costly initially, but they will save in the damage of stock, as well as increase productivity.

    Run your warehouse ahead of the game

    Never say “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it”. There are always ways to improve productivity and safety in your logistics operation. Lencrow Forklifts has been in operation for more than 40 years and our experienced staff are happy to discuss any of the points discussed in this article.

    Check us out today to discuss our workshop servicing.

    Blog Header
    Ross GrassickWarehouse Management

    Is Your Warehouse Manager Looking at Innovation?

    How long has it been since you reviewed your warehouse floor plan?

    The purpose and function of your warehouse may not have changed but it’s important to review your floor plan as your business grows. Efficiency is a crucial component to any business. Make a commitment to regularly review the workflow of your warehouse and actively improve processes where possible.

    Here are some points to offer your warehouse managers to observe and provide feedback to improve productivity, safety, efficiency and drive the bottom dollar.

    So what does it take to make a warehouse efficient and cost effective?

    We are seeing a growing number of third part warehousing situations in the current economy due to the rising cost of real-estate and labour.

    These are some points of innovation for warehouse managers to consider when reviewing the existing floor plan. It’s important to always look at how you handle your products because your equipment can be key to a more productive floor plan.


    Space in warehousing equals cost. To return a higher yield out of space you need to utilise the height of your building. When you start to store up the walls you are able to increase the number of pallets per square metre.

    If you need to increase racking in your warehouse, what is the minimum width you can take your aisle space to? If you can reduce the width between racking you can increase your product storage. There are many narrow aisle warehouse equipment options if you are considering reducing your aisle space.

    Your local materials handling equipment supplier will be able to provide proper directive on what solutions are available if you need to recreate your floor space to allow more products. The right forklift or warehouse equipment can change the way you are using space instantly.


    One area often overlooked in warehouse design is traffic management. Without this, you have an interrupted cycle costing time and money. Traffic management may be as simple as having a drive through racking providing shorter routes for your equipment. Make a plan and educate your employees on operation flows so that everyone knows the most efficient movement of goods. This is also important for the overall safety of the warehouse because there’s a clear plan on how equipment and pedestrians can move within a space to reduce the likelihood of collisions and accidents.


    A tidy warehouse that is maintained provides structure to your workflow of goods. Powered equipment requires a path clear of obstructions like misplaced stock. Clear aisles coupled with organised movements of goods creates a safe and efficient warehouse.

    Engage all employees to participate in maintaining a tidy warehouse.


    The equipment you use in your warehouse needs regular servicing. Downtime costs your business money. Integrate a regular maintenance plan into your productivity forecast and plan to have equipment offline to be serviced. Keep your workplace safe and your equipment’s performance at a high standard.


    Have your operator’s undertaken training from a supervisor on a correct operation? Make sure your operators have completed inductions on each piece of equipment in your warehouse. Regardless of experience, everybody should be given an induction to every piece of equipment that will use.

    When this training is completed ensure the operator observes the correct areas in which machines can operate to avoid accidents or collisions. If the floor plan is updated or workflow changes make sure everyone in the warehouse is aware of the changes and most importantly understand it.


    Are you sure you’ve got the right equipment for your warehouse? The right piece of equipment can change your site overnight.


    Battery electric forklifts have come a long way over the past decade with the use of AC operation. Performance is now faster, which means handling performance can be more efficient over the length of a shift.

    It will cost you less to run battery electric materials handling equipment. If you were to add up the total cost of ownership between IC forklifts and battery powered units you would see the savings over a lifetime.

    In many instances when you first look at the cost of a battery electric forklift in comparison to an IC unit, you would probably choose the IC forklift. Challenge yourself to look beyond that purchase price and consider the total running costs over time. When you begin to do the maths, the battery electric could save your business lots!


    With everything, new technology allows us to continuously speed up the way that we manage everyday tasks.

    How high is your racking? Many narrow aisle forklifts today have a feature known as height selection. This takes the guess work out of moving pallets into racks. Provide your operators with the tools of certainty to reduce time spent handling each pallet.

    Cameras are another helpful feature to consider to improve your warehouse efficiency. There are 360 degree cameras that can be fitted giving the operator a birds eye view of it’s surroundings. You can also have cameras fitted to the fork carriage allowing an operator to see directly down the tyne. This is now a wireless operation making it more accurate and reliable.

    Consider fitting these items aftermarket if you are satisfied with your existing warehouse equipment. It may seem costly but think about the time your operators could save by taking the guess work out of moving product.

    If you are thinking of upgrading and these features would improve your productivity look at brands that offer these as factory fittings.


    If you are using fuel powered forklifts in you warehouse consider using a more fuel efficient forklift.

    Unicarriers manufacture forklifts that have electric fuel injected engines that reduce carbon emissions and increase fuel efficiency. There are considerable savings that can be made annually using a forklift with an EFI engine. You will also create a cleaner working environment for employees reducing the amount of harmful toxins in the area.


    Are you using pallet jacks? There are many pallet trucks on the market now that are power drive and power lift. These features give operators total control when moving full loads reducing the risk of RSI and accidents. According to SafeWork Australia pushing, pulling and lifting objects accounted for 29% of workplace injuries in 2009-10. 42% of those injuries happened to machinery operators.


    Never “set and forget” your warehouse floor plan. Make a schedule to regularly evaluate the workflow of goods in your warehouse. Ask for feedback from your employees and ask them to provide suggestions on ways to improve the warehouse.

    If there is a recurring issue that you aren’t sure how to solve – ask for help! There are services who can provide advice about alternative warehouse management systems. Start with the basics – is it a storage issue? Call a racking specialist. Is it your equipment? Call a warehouse equipment supplier. Any reputable service provider will happily offer solutions for you to consider before implementing changes to the floor plan.

    Is you warehouse manager looking at innovation? Here are the key points to consider next time you review your warehouse floor plan:

  • Space. Are you using your space to it’s most profitable and productive potential?
  • Traffic Management. Are you managing the movements in your warehouse in a clearly organised structure?
  • Tidy. Are your products properly stored and not interrupting the workflow?
  • Maintenance. Are you up to date of scheduled services with your warehouse equipment?
  • Training. Do your employees know the correct way to operate your equipment?
  • Are you sure you are using the right equipment to move your products? Is there are a better way?
  • Keep up to date with our latest offers & news: