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Case Studies - Food & Beverage

HomeFreight and LTL

Case Study #2: This Defender’s for You: Micro Brewer Improves Safety and Accountability

Success and Growth

Without question one of Canada’s largest and most successful microbreweries, based out of Toronto, this brewer has been growing since 2002. With an enterprise that now expands the production of over 60 different organic brands, supply chain that supplies some of the best restaurants and pubs in Canada as well as the self-management of its own boutique restaurants managing growth was a challenge. Sticking to what you love to do is easy, but along the way to growth comes the management of safety, productivity and accountability primarily with regards to the operations of material handling. Positioning itself, as a premium brewer management knew that creating a best in class brand meant that the philosophy would need to permeate through all departments including operations and the usage of its forklifts.

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Safety and Accountability

As the need for distribution centers grew over the years and the introduction of management and lift truck operators also grew, so did the operational costs of vehicle usage and product damage. With many shifts needed to supply the growing markets served keeping track of people on shift and vehicle usage was consuming far too much effort and overall operator accountability was evasive. The company did its share and provided a commitment to lift truck training for its operators but with labor changes and temporary employees unaccounted for accidents were happening far to often without recourse. During a fleet meeting with their servicing dealer they approached their representative about a cost effective solution that would give them visibility on their fleet. Provide operator accountability to both proper usage of the vehicle and the ministry requirements of documenting safety.

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It all Begins with the Operator

The responsive dealer recommended IVDT and our Defender line of safety systems with access control and impact management. Through a number of meetings we were able to work with both the dealer, and management to team to determine the options that would satisfy their criteria for cost effective accountability and safety. The final unit installations would be the Defender IM3 with RFID proximity card access control, and MOL pre-shift safety check, and variable impact settings all with the ability to download a pre-formatted report through USB. The system installed in less than 2 hours with only 4 wires for the technician to account for as well as the mounting of the indicator. From there the management group programmed the same RFID pass cards assigned to each operator with their personal employee number.


Overall 35 operators took a total of 10 minutes to program 5 different lift trucks. With a 7am start the pre-shift safety check was keyed in to greet the first operator of each shift in 8-hour intervals. This process forced the operator to check the corresponding vehicle check point and times the process to ensure that the right effort corresponds with the necessary due diligence. Finally the impact sensitivity is set to the operating environment to clearly make the operator aware of the right speeds driving procedures required to safely and costly use the vehicle. The easiest part of all is that the system creates a report for management to download at any time and all events are time stamped with an operator ID assigned.

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