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Insight into Warehouse Labour Management Through WMS

With digitalization making an impact in every industry, logistics organizations have not been left behind. In the present day, logistics service providers (LSP) must invest in advanced technologies to meet the rising consumer expectations. Among the industry segments in Logistics, Warehousing has seen a continuous growth and demand in the past year. According to the data furnished by Logistics Managers Index in US the vacancy rate in Warehouses have gone to a minimum of 4%. With such demand in warehousing the next obvious challenge for Warehousing organizations will be to manage the labour in Warehouses.

While warehouses work on tight service level agreements with their end customer on fulfillment having an accurate labour or workforce planning is necessary. Warehouses depend on Warehouse Management Systems to track both inbound and outbound orders along with inventory planning. While we have had good progress in technologies/equipment's that are implemented in a warehouse, we have not spoken much on how the entire workforce is handled in a warehouse.

With little exception, daily happenings in distribution and production are not consistent. For example – the same number of trucks do not arrive every hour for unloading. The same number of products do not get produced, packaged, or shipped every hour in a day, every day. There are peak hours for unloading or loading trucks, hot loads that might need immediate processing, and downtime when there not much work to do. With the standard shift work, there are hours when there is not enough labor for getting everything done, and other times when there is more staff than needed.

Imagine a condition when an LSP is working on fulfilling his orders on a peak festival season and if they do not have adequate workforce in order, they are bound to miss their SLA metrics. So beyond robotics, and advanced picking systems, Warehouse Management Systems need to have an Integrated Rostering system for an efficient workforce management. Even today, most operators build weekly schedules manually on the basis of 12-hour or 8-hour shifts, focusing on consistent work schedules and not essentially aligning to warehouse activities.

Leveraging Warehouse Data

Increasingly, companies have systems in place which optimize inventories, for example, based on sales forecast. This is data’s treasure trove that is highly interesting for workforce control and planning. Nobody needs to stand next to employees for knowing whether they have a little or lot to do. The crucial data is handy – a lucrative as well as a potential source of efficiency gains in double-digit percentage range. 

Benefits That Can Be Achieved with a Robust Warehouse Management System

Warehouse management system helps the businesses align their labour resources to the operational requirements for driving down costs while improving the associate engagement. It uses automation, integrations and optimization which helps in generating weekly schedules tightly aligned with the required staff levels. All the federal and local regulations and laws are preconfigured into the calculation, so that there is no risk of labour violations. Ideally, schedules are based on shift preferences and associate visibility, helping reduce absenteeism and call-outs. The system optimizes the fixed schedules for the full-time workers so that the ones who prefer flexibility as well as consistency can get what they want.

The warehouse management system even provides insights into the future labour needs in order to get ahead of the potential gaps before they occur. The system analyzes business strategy, demand trends and the budget to create a labour forecast. This identifies recruitment and cross training opportunities and facilitates strategic workforce planning, balancing the individual labour plans across the companies. Thus, ensuring every site reaches its highest potential without underutilizing or over-burdening its workforce.

Moreover, it is not a secret to anyone that in the present day the supply chains are strained and most of the industries are being directly impacted by the supply shortages. It was measured by The Institute for Supply Management that factory employment is at a six-month low with around 50% companies facing difficulty in hiring new workers. One way to attract as well as retain the quality employees is – empowering them with mobile self-service tools and flexible scheduling.

An integrated and high-performing warehouse management system proves to be the best option for the logistics service providers for managing warehouse operations. This is because it offers automation, mobility, ecosystem integrations including robotics, order management systems, shopping carts, and multi-industry compliance besides efficient management of workforce. In addition to these benefits, Ramco’s warehouse management systems provide supporting features like transportation management system, fleet management system, rating & billing, and hub management.

Therefore, if you are searching for one-stop solution for enhancing operational efficiency of your warehouse and related operations, look nothing beyond Ramco’s WMS. Get in touch with us today to know more about our services.