Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

How to Balance Labor Costs With Productivity Goals

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Dec 11, 2018 4:00:00 AM

Warehouse managers spend much of their time trying to minimize labor costs while increasing productivity. It can feel like a balancing act, but you don’t have to prioritize one over the other. WMS and labor management data can work together  to determine where your workforce is well-utilized and where it’s not. justice-423446_640

It’s as simple as determining where employees’ time is most often wasted and how to adjust job assignments to keep paid-hours to a minimum while supporting productivity goals.

When scheduling your operators, does skill level, efficiency, and their overall productivity impact your choices? Are tasks assigned quickly without determining if you are choosing the right worker for the job? If so, it’s time to balance labor with your productivity needs. Telematic monitoring technology can make that goal easy to achieve.

Begin by:

  1. Getting to know your employees’ job performance and skillset.

You should know which skills each operator has or excels at. Recognize what challenges each of your workers and what situations create the greatest potential for mishaps or delays. Ask yourself this: If time is of the essence, who always makes the most efficient use of time, getting a task done quickly and without compromising safety? Your telematic operator report card can help you stay familiar with these types of employee facts as well as any recent training and driving habits.

  1. Matching employee skill to job assignments.

Not all workers have the same level of skill or can tackle every assignment swiftly and safely. Look at driver behavior, advanced training, and operating habits, and note when certain drivers are better suited to certain tasks or routing challenges. Once more, telematic operator report cards can be used to determine which drivers need additional training or potential labor reallocation. It’s essential to know where to assign the most skilled operators to save time and increase efficiency.

  1. Prioritizing tasks.

Across the entire warehouse operation, daily processes must work in synergy. Telematics can give your WMS improved “big-picture” visibility, helping you identify what needs to be prioritized. Managers can learn real-time vehicle location with proximity to product so job assignments can be efficiently assigned. Snags in forklift traffic can also reduce your control over product flow within your facility, but telematic analysis determines better warehouse traffic patterns and facilitates more productive work schedules.

Product movement in your facility must be able to keep pace with customer demand, but that doesn’t necessarily mean increasing your staff or paid man-hours. Upgrades to your telematic monitoring software can help facilitate efficient use of employee skills and time, creating a balance between high productivity and well-controlled hourly labor costs.


Topics: driver behavior and productivity, job-tracking, warehousing, time management, value driven strategies, waste stream reduction, lean, telematic data