Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Balancing Warehouse Labor Costs & a Labor Shortage

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Oct 29, 2019 4:00:00 AM

 clock-2883645_640The effects of a labor shortage is clearly being felt throughout the supply chain industry and warehouse and distributions centers are not impervious to its impact. Additional staff to manage periods of high demand is hard to find and it increases labor costs, so improving your training and staff utilization is a smart way to offset any labor shortage. 

How to ensure inventory is moving on schedule

If this is a concern, either seasonally or throughout the year, your enterprise probably needs to be more creative about how to improve utilization of its workforce. Here’s how.

1. Get to know your employees’ job performance and skillset.
You should know which skills each operator has or situations they excel at. Recognize what strengths and challenges each of your operators has and what situations create the greatest potential for mishaps or delays. Your telematic operator report card can help you see these facts as well as their training records and driving habits.

2. Know how to reduce wasted time.
Sometimes the shortest path is not the optimum one to take. Forklift routing patterns can either save time or it can cost you. Dealing with congested aisles or obstacles can increase driver frustration, careless mistakes and idle time spent waiting for a path to clear from other traffic.

Telematic monitoring allows everyone to work together to balance speed and accuracy. Managers can pinpoint the exact location of product, improve routing, and see real-time data on each order fulfillment, including where challenges are about to occur.

3. Monitor maintenance.
When you are short staffed, maintenance can take a backseat to deadlines, but this leads to unexpected and sometimes extended down-times. Telematic forklift monitoring can identify maintenance issues and inefficiencies. It can ensure forklift repairs are completed at the first sign of a problem, avoiding downtime.

4. Determine where employees’ time is most often wasted and how to adjust job assignments.
Your mission is to keep paid-hours to a minimum while meeting productivity goals. Across the entire warehouse operation, daily processes must work in synergy. Telematic monitoring delivers this “big-picture” visibility, helping you identify prioritized tasks. It provides real-time vehicle location with proximity to product so job assignments can be efficiently assigned.

Product flow in your facility must keep pace with customer demand – even during a labor shortage. Upgrades to your telematic monitoring software can help facilitate efficient use of employees’ time and skill-set, creating a much-needed balance between high productivity and better-controlled labor costs.

Topics: warehouse efficiencies, advanced location, job-tracking, fleet monitoring, hiring new forklift drvers, routing, time management, Routing checklists, teamwork, delegation of tasks, waste stream reduction

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