How Forklift Power Can Help You Knock Out Your Lean Six Sigma Goals

by Ryan Lynch | Thu, May 16, 2019

If you’re like most Lean Six Sigma belts, you’re always looking for your next project. And like most Lean Six Sigma belts, there’s one place you likely haven’t looked: forklift power.

But the fact is, a strategic and process-oriented approach to forklift power can have significant results for your bottom line. You might say that the approach allows you to turn your forklift into an ATM … metaphorically speaking, of course.

When it comes to forklift power, Concentric uses a strategic process that aligns perfectly with the Lean Six Sigma steps. If you’re looking for your next Lean Six Sigma project, consider forklift power: utilizing Concentric's process not only helps you meet your goals, but also takes advantage of an often overlooked area for efficiency and savings. 

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The Six Sigma process consists of five basic phases: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. Here, we’ll look at how Concentric's process aligns with each of these phases.

Lean Six Sigma Steps 1-3: Define, Measure, Analyze

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At the Define phase, Concentric conducts a Material Handling Operational and Power Assessment, which typically lasts about one month. This study evaluates your current system and anticipates your future needs. The purpose of the study is to identify ways that your business can increase the productivity of its forklift fleet while lowering overall operating costs. Remember: while your power partner is an expert, they know that you have the inside knowledge about how your operation works, and they will work hand-in-hand with you to discover, define, and meet your specific power needs—based on your current and future operational requirements.


The material handling assessment continues through the Measure phase, this time incorporating time studies and safety analyses, taking a look at full equipment inventory, examining truck hour usage history, inspecting equipment and understanding costs.  And that’s just the beginning. This phase of the material handling operational assessment focuses on quantifying your strengths and weaknesses so that you fully understand the solution that’s best for you.


In the Analyze phase, the material handling operational assessment focuses on delivering the mathematical and scientific equations that help determine power system size, battery sizes, etc, to deliver a higher uptime, lower cost solution.  During this phase, Concentric will also walk you through the results so that you understand, can challenge the findings, and collaborate to improve the final power system solution.  At the end of this phase, the collaborative effort between Concentric and you (along with the supporting data) will result in a solution unique to you and your facility—by application.

Lean Six Sigma Step 4: Improve

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In the Improve phase, Concentric focuses on creating and implementing an engineered solution.

To design the right system for every application, we must consider these four things:

  • Summary of your findings, including your business’ needs
  • Data to gauge size and scope of your power fleet including the number of assets needed (batteries, charger locations, etc.)
  • Proper maintenance and how it factors into the lifespan of your batteries
  • An ROI cost justification

All of this information is then used to design the customized, engineered solution that is right for you and your company. Concentric then provides a turnkey implementation with minimal disruption.

Lean Six Sigma Step 5: Control

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Finally, in the Control phase, Concentric concentrates on proactive maintenance, system optimization, and replacement strategy. The technicians executes a watering, PM and ongoing improvement program.  We backstop their hard work with a state-of-the-art monitoring system to catch any issues that arise and send out service alerts to our technicians so that service can occur before a problem ever even arrives. In this way, Concentric acts as a quality control advocate for all equipment and warranty issues. Next, our engineering team continuously monitors and improves your fleet’s power. While your company always has access to equipment data with annual system health reports, the idea is we save you time by delivering uptime at a fixed cost. And finally, we help you consider approaches to upgrading, sunsetting or extending your power system as appropriate.

Concentric allows you -- the manufacturer or distributor -- to focus on what you do best by eliminating the need to even think about power that ensures critical uptime for your forklifts. Our unique, customized power management programs guarantee uptime, mitigate risk, and permanently reduce your cost structure.


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