Case Study

Yoder Lumber Improves Forklift Efficiency, Cuts Costs with LRS Butler XP and Forklift Staff Pagers

Industry: Manufacturing

Product: Staff Paging

“Instead of searching for a radio and flagging forklift drivers down, our plant employees can just push a button and the forklift driver arrives within seconds.”

- Tony Yoder Chief Production & Technology Officer, Yoder Lumber

Profile

Founded more than 70 years ago, Yoder Lumber is a third-generation, family-owned manufacturer of top-quality Appalachian hardwood products. Products are made in Yoder Lumber’s Ohio and West Virginia facilities and then distributed to warehouses, factories and stores nationwide and internationally. Yoder Lumber started using the LRS Forklift Staff pagers and Butler XP pagers in 2015 in their Hardwood Components Plant. 

Challenge

Improved Forklift Staff Efficiency

“An issue that kept coming up in our Hardwood Components plant was the wait time on the forklifts to move material in and out of machines,” said Tony Yoder, CPTO. “We were originally using radios to call on forklift drivers, but they just weren’t the right solution for that task.” The radios created excess chatter on the floor, and sometimes drivers couldn’t hear the call.”We decided to explore a paging system, and when we searched online LRS was the first to appear,” said Yoder. “The products were a natural fit.” Yoder Lumber installed the Butler XP, which when pressed, activates the Forklift pager for a specific driver, delivering them with customized instructions. 

Solution

Before installing LRS pagers, the wait time for a forklift was inconsistent, and radios weren’t a dependable fit. After installing the LRS paging system, plant employees could rely on forklift drivers to receive the notification and arrive as quickly as possible.

In addition, the paging system helped employees prioritize when they experience multiple calls at the same time. “We can see that the Butler XP and Forklift Staff pagers brought an improvement to the flow of the plant and are keeping our machines running,” says Yoder. “By saving 1-2 minutes per call, for us that’s an extra 15 minutes of production per day, or about 3 percent more production time.” 

Results

Better Communication, Saved Costs

Not only did the Forklift pagers improve communications, they also helped Yoder Lumber save costs. “With radios floating around the plant, we found that they had more of a tendency to get lost or damaged,” said Yoder. “We rely on radios in other areas of our business, but in this case the Forklift and Butler XP pagers have more durability and save us the cost of replacing radios.” 

Standardized Plant Operations

“By installing the pagers, we’ve actually created more standardization in the way we do things at the plant,” says Yoder. “The pagers are affixed to specific work centers, so our employees have ended up keeping materials in the same place and it has helped us to develop lanes for our floor plan. Standardizing traffic is always a good thing for safety.” Leadership at Yoder Lumber view LRS pagers as a part of their ongoing mission to refine and optimize plant processes. 

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