Managing distributed labor and fleet challenges are complicated for the logistics industry. More than simple workforce management processes is required for this industry. That’s why logistic workforce management requires an integrated set of processes to optimize the productivity of its employees.
Effective logistic workforce management refers to strategically planning, coordinating, and optimizing workers within the logistics and supply chain industry for higher customer and employee satisfaction.
The workforce management processes in supply chain management are distributed among recruitment, deployment, and management of the workers. The prime objective is to ensure smooth operations within distribution centers, warehouses, and transportation networks.
You can benefit from the tips included in this pose for efficiently managing the logistics workforce. These tips can help businesses improve productivity while simultaneously reducing operational costs and in turn improve the overall supply chain performance.
Table of Contents
Ten tips to improve logistics workforce management
1. Hire the Right Staff
Irrespective of the industry, organizations cannot expect high productivity and efficiency if the right people are not hired. Hiring the right staff is one of the best ways to reduce turnover and improve productivity.
An essential step towards improving workforce logistics is creating a hiring process that identifies workers with the right skills, experience, and qualifications to take specific roles within logistics operations.
In the logistics industry, the skills are relatively easy to learn. This is why you must focus on hiring candidates for their attitude over their skills. Anyone can know how to operate a forklift or an RF gun with little training, but attitude and ambitions are qualities that can’t be easily nurtured.
To hire the right staff, you should have a well-designed recruitment process to hire employees well-suited for their tasks.
2. Invest rightly in DC managers & supervisors
Most companies think workforce management in supply chain management is about micromanaging the lowest-level staff. It’s a misplaced judgment because distribution center (DC) managers and supervisors disproportionately impact logistics workers’ satisfaction and retention.
HR managers hardly ever have a direct conversation with the logistic workforce; the mid-level managers represent your company for them. You must train these mid-level managers to empower them with informed decision-making and improve their interpersonal skills.
If DC managers and supervisors have strong leadership qualities, it will create a cohesive and motivated workforce.
3. Retain the workforce
A significant challenge of logistic workforce management is to retain qualified, dependable workers once you have hired them. On average, recruiting and training staff in the logistics supply chain costs thousands of dollars. The cost might vary depending on the role’s responsibilities, but you will lose big time if you fail to retain the workforce.
To reduce turnover, you must implement strategies that engage employees, recognize their hard work, and reward high performance. And remember to provide them with enough opportunities for career advancement. Evaluate the current salary and benefits package to ensure no dissatisfaction among workers because of compensation.
Also, miscalculated pay i.e. overpayment or underpayment due to mistracking of employee work hours can result in dissatisfaction among affected employees.
An accurate time tracking software that automatically clocks in and clocks out employee timings can help easily resolve such issues. Along with this, a positive work environment and clear growth paths encourage employees to stay committed to the organization.
4. Develop internal managers/supervisors
The most common approach to filling open positions in logistics companies is looking for outside talent. Unlike tech companies that prefer hiring within the organization to foster loyalty and a sense of security among workers, the logistic workforce does not enjoy the same approach.
Another way to improve WFM logistics is to develop internal talent. When you have invested so many resources into training staff, why not give opportunities to high-potential employees to move up in their careers?
Identify such talent, provide them with training and mentorship, and encourage them to take on leadership roles. Internal promotions also help maintain institutional knowledge and culture.
5. Hire temporary staff
Temporary staff logistics companies can be a valuable tool to hire full-time employees. Create opportunities for skilled and suitable candidates to shift from temporary workforce to full-time roles.
Managers within supply chain management actively assess the skills and work ethics of the temporary workforce, and if found culturally fit, they should be offered a transition to permanent positions. It will save time and resources on recruiting and training.
6. Use a labor management system
A labor management system (LMS) can be instrumental in automating various aspects of workforce management in logistics. It facilitates optimizing schedules, task assignments, and performance tracking.
Truein is a robust attendance and time-tracking software that can be a complete LMS. Due to its AI-powered algorithms and cloud infrastructure, it can be deployed to cover distributed supply chain workforce.
It provides real-time insights into workforce productivity through attendance, overtime, and location tracking. Insights provided by Truein can be instrumental in introducing timely adjustments for the logistics workforce.
7. Measure individual productivity
LMS is focused on improving teams’ productivity, but you should also focus on monitoring individual productivity. A significant challenge of workforce management in supply chain management is identifying and improving productivity gaps.
Train mid-level managers to set individual productivity goals for tasks. Then they should monitor workers’ performance, identify improvement areas, and fulfill training needs.
Share the performance metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) with workers so they know what they need to do to improve their efficiency, accuracy, and contribution to overall operational goals.
8. Develop relationships with staffing agencies
Logistics and supply chains are labor-intensive industries. You need strategies to maintain enough workforce to manage fluctuating order volumes economically. If you rush to hire staff every time there is high demand, you must pay higher wages.
Building partnerships with staffing agencies provides a flexible and scalable workforce solution. It allows you to keep the permanent staff to a minimum and have access to temporary staff. Staffing agencies manage a pool of pre-screened candidates you can hire during peak seasons or sudden demand spikes.
9. Invest in logistics training
You already have a training program implemented to onboard new hires, but how effective that program is in getting the logistics workforce to maximum productivity needs attention.
One way to improve workforce management software for the logistics industry is to provide regular training to enhance employee skills and adaptability. Develop training programs tailored to your logistics operations, such as safety protocols, inventory management, equipment operation, and customer service. A well-trained staff is efficient and more productive.
10. Outsource warehouse management
Warehouse management requires a large number of workers. Also, training staff for warehouse management can be expensive.
A better alternative can be outsourcing warehouse management to specialized providers. Such service providers have the expertise, technology, and experience to create optimized processes to alleviate the burden of managing daily operations.
Advantages of Logistics Workforce Management
Efficient logistics workforce management offers several benefits, such as streamlining business operations, better order fulfillment, improved customer satisfaction, reduced labor costs, and enhanced inventory management.
Workforce management in supply chains is critical for the smooth functioning of the whole supply chain. You can optimize your logistics workforce for improved efficiency with the tips shared here. It also offers a competitive edge over competitors in the dynamic logistics industry.
1. What is workforce management in Logistics?
Logistics workforce management is the strategic planning, allocation, and coordination of human resources within in supply chain to optimize operations.
2. What does workforce management do?
Workforce management ensures that the right person with the required skills and qualifications is hired and deployed efficiently. In the logistics industry, effective workforce management leads to improved productivity, cost savings, and overall operational excellence.
3. What are the four basic steps of WFM?
The four essential workforce management (WFM) strategy steps are forecasting labor requirements, staffing, managing employee time and attendance, and optimizing workforce performance.