The driving force of any supply chain is people – the crux of efficiency, scalability, and customer experience. Whether they are company employees or those of a logistics partner, ensuring you maintain a fully staffed facility with experienced, engaged people can be the difference in a successful, profitable supply chain.
While finding and retaining employees can be a difficult task in its own right, battling market conditions like labor shortages and high demand amplify the pressure. Perhaps now more than ever it is crucial to lean out of the status quo solutions and reimagine them. Here are three ways to change the game and maximize productivity and performance with your labor pool.
Aligning with Agility
While you’re working to design an agile supply chain that can scale up and down with the volume of demand, workers are wanting to do the same in their lives – scaling their workload up and down to better balance work and home.
A rigid shift schedule that locks employees into hourly requirements results in higher callouts, lower chances of hitting productivity goals and increased turnover. While meshing flexibility into a strict operational model can seem chaotic, there are programs that prove it can work.
At Kenco, we confronted the issue head-on, implementing a shift-swapping program for our employees at several sites across the country. Workers can scale their own schedules up or down by putting shifts up for other employees to take, allowing for personal time to maintain a manageable work/life balance.
Almost immediately, we saw a spike in attendance – jumping over 96%. Along with that, improved planning and productivity. The feedback from all associates was positive and has led to longer-term employment.
Retaining the Best & Brightest
To optimize your network of facilities, you’ve likely centrally located each space, perhaps near major markets, transportation, or your customers… along with many other similar businesses with similar labor pools.
As you compete for a workforce, the details of your retainment plan become more important.
How are you creating a work environment focused on successful onboarding, and continually engaging your employees to ensure a long-term relationship?
In our experience, it takes more than culture to retain good employees. We’ve taken steps to formalize and standardize our process, ensuring each new Kenco employee receives a foundation of positive experiences as they start at Kenco.
Kenco’s proprietary program, First Year Experience, serves to welcome new employees, empowering them with education on the facility, partnering them with colleagues to assist with needs, and providing consistent team-building efforts.
After implementing First Year Experience, Kenco’s facilities saw an average of a 59% reduction in turnover from employees who had gone through the program. One facility saved over $250,000 annually.
Augmenting with Automation
Automation does not replace people, but it does amplify their efforts. Maximizing the productivity of the best and brightest in your workforce improves productivity and performance. It also allows you to scale operations up and down without placing the burden on manpower.
Research also shows that employees enjoy working with automation tools – items like pick-to-light, order-picking robots, or telematics empower them to do their jobs better and safer.
In our facilities, we use automation to do just that. Our order-picking bots reduce the amount of traveling around a facility, while our unloading solutions reduce the risk of injury from lifting heavy boxes on and off trucks. Employees are excited to utilize the tools and see the benefit of increased productivity.
A Better Supply Chain Starts with People
Highly engaged, knowledgeable associates are well-positioned to provide reliable, agile service that delivers consistent results no matter what circumstances arise. Developing that level of engagement and tenure among a logistics workforce requires innovative solutions from a partner that recognizes the importance of the associate experience.
Interested in learning more? Contact Us.