My clients often ask me – how can I improve my warehouse operations. While, there are many factors, I have to agree with the findings of a recent study conducted by DC Velocity and ARC Advisory Group (highlighted in the July 2017 edition).
The study measured warehouses based on how they ranked in efficiency in four categories: safety, productivity, customer service, and labor. What I found of interest was the significant amount of high turnover rates, especially with temp workers. This turnover obviously has an impact on productivity as it takes time to train new workers. This may be something to consider when evaluating new technologies that might be easier for new younger employees to learn such as implanting equipment incorporating touch screen and voice.
The article/study identified 9 key factors that can were common to higher performing warehouses. They are:
Maintaining a well-lit warehouse
Maintaining a clean warehouse
Paying at least 50 percent more than minimum wage
Offering non-financial remuneration (food, time off, etc.) for high performance
Using high-speed conveyors and sortation equipment
Having managers frequently monitor individuals as they do their jobs and provide on-the-spot positive reinforcement
Conducting "360-degree" reviews of managers, which include feedback from the manager's subordinates as well as from his/her peers and supervisor
Training managers in providing effective feedback
Monitoring workers at least once a month to make sure standard operating procedures and best practices are being followed
Each of these factors were all standard practice at the top one-sixth of warehouses that demonstrated excellence across the board. A number of these success factors are related to effective management and being on the floor answering questions, observing and encouraging workers. Workers being seen and acknowledged, especially young workers, can have a direct impact on the quality and output of a worker.
Check out more from the study at:
Happy to offer a complimentary conversation to see how we might help you improve you warehouse efficiency.