It’s hard to believe what’s happening with warehouse wages. According to the results of a survey by GlobalTranz Enterprises, LLC, a leading technology-enabled third-party logistics solutions provider, nearly half (47%) of those surveyed said they would be paying higher salaries or wages to attract new talent and retain current employees before the end of the 2021 calendar year.
This fall, Amazon, Walmart, and UPS announced starting salaries for new hires at $18/hour or more.
Complaining about higher wages isn’t going to fix the problem. According to Evan Danner, CEO at TZA, “A labor shortage has been plaguing the industry for years. It’s a trend that is here to stay.” According to Danner, “The best move you can make right now is to focus on becoming the type of employer people want to work for. That may mean paying higher wages and providing more benefits. But more pay and more benefits mean it’s more important than ever before to make sure you are getting a reasonable level of performance from your hourly team.” A Labor Management Program is critical to ensuring that.
What do you need in a Labor Management Program?
The backbone of any good labor management program is a Labor Management System (LMS). And a critical feature of an LMS is Business Intelligence (BI) functionality. Having BI tools embedded in your LMS will enable you to analyze all the data you’re collecting in your warehouse and turn insights into action. With BI capabilities, you’ll cut waste, reduce serving costs, and create an engaged and productive workforce. But, buyers beware; not all Labor Management Systems offer actual BI functionality.
What Business Intelligence functionality does my LMS need?
The focus of an LMS is continually shifting from interpreting the past to predicting and managing the future. LMS requires BI capabilities that go way beyond the basics of reporting. An LMS with proper BI functionality will allow you to:
#1 Analyze what matters to you
TZA’s ProTrack offers Analytics that includes preconfigured dashboards that measure the metrics today’s warehouse operations are most concerned about. Dashboards provide specific insights for managers and executives and views into essential functions like coaching, hours analysis, and savings opportunities. If you want to view labor performance and metrics across facilities and compare and contrast the information – you can do that – right out the box without any additional configuration. And, if you want to dive deeper into why one facility is doing better than the other, you can do that too by drilling down into the data.
TZA’s dashboards offer much more than static reports. With three clicks, you can see the what, the why, and the performance cost.
But, TZA’s default dashboards are only a start. According to Danner, “Our preconfigured dashboards are just the beginning for many of our clients. They are a training tool to show them what is possible.” With ProTrack’s capabilities, you can connect to any system collecting operational data in the warehouse and create a drillable dashboard view of that data. Want to create a view of delays and what they are costing you by facility – you can do that. ProTrack gives you the flexibility to analyze what matters to you without the need for third-party tools or developer resources.
#2 Get real-time updates
Dashboards and reports are great for analyzing performance and planning improvements, but there’s something to be said about keeping your finger on the pulse of your operations in real-time. With ProTrack’s Pulse functionality, you can get a read on the data points that are most important to you with a click of a button. Let’s say you want to know if hour-wise you are ahead or behind – you can do that. Maybe you’re getting close to the end of shift, and you want to know how many open tasks remain – you can do that too. Pulse keeps you in the know.
Pulse can also be configured to send push notifications when user-defined thresholds are met. By using MI capabilities to review past values, the system will alert you when abnormalities occur. Alerts are sent via email, text, Slack, and other tools to ensure your team responds before setbacks occur.
#3 Answer the why – not just the what
The real magic of BI functionality is its ability to provide a clear picture of where you are, where you have been, and where you should go. If your LMS only delivers reporting, you’re lacking the insight you need to truly improve performance (and ensure you’re getting value from providing more pay and benefits). With ProTrack, you can create new data tracking metrics at any time and drill into that data to pinpoint the changes you need to make to improve performance. And in today’s environment, even minor improvements – like identifying and repositioning an item that is being replenished too frequently – can significantly impact performance.
Winning the labor market war
In 2022 and beyond, there will be winners, and there will be losers when it comes to hiring and retaining warehouse labor. Companies who use a Labor Management Program to flip the conversation around and focus more on employee engagement versus reporting on employee performance are sure to succeed. It’s all about using Labor Management and BI to become an employer of choice. See what ProTrack can do for you.
Reach out to us to learn more about our Labor Management Services that can help you assess performance, establish best practices, and manage performance standards.
Call TZA and speak to a representative to discuss your challenges. (800) 229-3450.
Have your checked out B.I. Series #1? – Turning Insights Into Action. Data Analytics Defined