Every warehouse depends on a diverse workforce to manage a bevy of time-consuming tasks. While everyone is working towards the same goals, without an efficient work process, workers tend to waste time. As a result, you need to find ways to drive productivity and in turn, the success of your business. Here we look at strategies to optimize the efficiency of your skilled workforce, enabling them to work smarter, not harder.
Adopt Workforce Planning
To optimize performance, you need to adopt informed workforce planning designed to improve productivity and reduce labour costs. An integrated warehouse management system (WMS) provides historical data allowing you to accurately forecast demand to ensure you are always staffed sufficiently. Your WMS allows you to:
- Assess workload patterns to track trends
- Spot seasonal fluctuations to ensure you plan accordingly
- Identify market trends that impact warehouse order and inventory volumes
With these insights, you can create optimized shift schedules so you are never short-staffed or over-staffed. You also optimize full-time workers and can enhance teams using part-time or temporary workers during peak periods. As a result, you become more agile while controlling labour costs.
Cross Train Skilled Workers
Cross-training allows you to optimize individual skills so you can easily pivot to fill skills gaps. A skilled workforce means employees can step into varied roles with the knowledge to take on different tasks. It makes your workforce more flexible, so you can improve resource utilization and always be prepared to allocate labour resources where they are needed most.
Investing in skills development enhances productivity while also helping staff set and meet career goals to help retain top talent. More team members can perform tasks with increased efficiency by reducing errors related to skills gaps. You can use your WMS to identify operational deficiencies and error-prone tasks to understand where training is required, including:
- Operational processes
- Handling equipment
- Safety procedures
- Technology utilization
Improved skills keep your team knowledgeable so they can adapt to new technology, gain new skills, and build confidence when placed in stressful situations such as increased demand. You create a versatile workforce sharing a diverse skill set, so you always have people ready to step into varied warehouse roles.
Process optimization using automation streamlines workflows and reduces error-prone manual tasks. You eliminate low-value manual tasks allowing skilled workers to avoid non-skilled and non-value work. You can introduce an integrated WMS that automates processes throughout your warehouse functions, including order processing, inventory management, picking and packing, etc. so you can work with a leaner, smarter team that understands the importance of operational optimization.
You can track warehouse mapping and routing to reduce wasted time and find ways to minimize as many non-productive tasks as possible. Automation also improves morale by eliminating repetitive tasks that lead to burnout. You optimize fulfillment for improved customer satisfaction while reducing labour costs.
Measure and Improve
A WMS allows you to set and measure performance metrics to find opportunities to improve performance, such as:
- Order fulfillment rates
- Picking accuracy
- On-time deliveries
- Inventory accuracy
You can also use metrics to introduce performance-based incentives and recognition to help increase morale and motivate your workforce to further increase productivity while ensuring you meet your targets.
Improve Warehouse Layout
Poor warehouse layouts contribute to inefficiencies and increase workforce frustration. By optimizing your warehouse layout, you improve space management while creating strategic product allotment based on order patterns. As a result, you streamline operations with an organized layout that minimizes travel distances placing high-volume items where they can be picked and shipped quickly.
Using a WMS in hand with technology such as automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) reduces touchpoints and provides real-time inventory tracking for efficient end-to-end order processing.
Using a WMS for team collaboration allows you to:
- Communicate in real-time
- Deploy task allocation
- Utilize performance tracking
- Breakdown silos to facilitate collaboration
- Monitor task progress
You also gain visibility of all warehouse activities to look for opportunities to tweak allocations in real time. You eliminate communication gaps, streamline workflows, and improve accountability.
A WMS includes inventory management functionality to enable demand forecasting and improve workforce efficiency. You can ensure you meet customer demand and improve labor allocation to minimize holding and temporary labour costs.
By deploying a WMS, you can easily implement automation that allows your team to work smarter, not harder. You can optimize processes and workforce allocation and find opportunities for ongoing process improvements. You also free up more time to nurture training and skill development for a leaner, highly skilled workforce focused on productivity.
VeraCore is SaaS order and warehouse management software trusted by top fulfillment companies and 3PLs. Affordable, flexible, easy to use; VeraCore is everything you need to keep clients happy and run a lean operation.
With VeraCore, you can grow your business and handle any challenge with ease. Rules-based automation enables you to control all aspects of your warehouse operation and satisfy each of your clients’ unique requirements.
Hundreds of fulfillment service providers and 10,000+ fulfillment clients place VeraCore at the “core” of their business to get the job done right, for over 40 years.