3 Ways LMS Takes Care of Workers and Customers
For distribution and fulfillment (D&F) operations, providing a safe and productive working environment has taken on new meaning in 2020. As e-commerce demands boomed, distribution center (DC) managers also inherited a variety of staffing challenges — the first of which was implementing new social distancing recommendations and related workplace safety protocols for employees. Among their next priorities included quickly getting new hires up to speed and managing order volume growth — while also maintaining accuracy and planning for the potential of rolling staff outages due to illness.
Simply put, the concept of “business as usual” in DC operations quickly became a thing of the past and was replaced by a shifting retail market landscape and an influx of operational uncertainties. In our latest On The Move webinar, I discussed how labor management software (LMS) provides the tools to help DC operators maintain productivity and employee confidence in spite of these new challenges.
How can LMS help?
Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, LMS platforms were valued for providing labor cost control optimization, enhancing visibility to worker performance, and delivering predictive planning models — all of which combine to improve engagement, lower attrition rates, lessen the time to fulfill orders, and ultimately reduce direct labor spend.
In today’s environment, an LMS has proven itself to be an essential tool for D&F operations looking for answers to escalating labor management challenges. Let’s look at three ways an LMS can help DC operations in more detail:
- Influencing employee behaviors — A modern LMS, such as Honeywell Intelligrated’s GoalPost®, is designed to drive individual employee performance and incentivize the behaviors that are most critical to your organization. This means you can potentially track and encourage performance among multiple variables, such as accuracy, productivity and even the ability to reinforce social distancing. An LMS can also help DC managers ensure that their workforce is cross-trained to support a variety of functional areas for expanded warehouse coverage.
- Tracking results — Because an LMS is based on engineered standards to set benchmarks for a variety of tasks — such as time to complete picking, number of workers required to meet targets and time to travel certain distances — it provides a continuous data stream that contributes to a comprehensive record of worker activities. This data can then be used for multiple business and labor management purposes:
- Tracking continuous improvement programs
- Giving Human Resources (HR) a log of employee interactions/coaching sessions
- Sharing performance metrics to create healthy employee competition
- Providing data for contact tracing
- Driving employee engagement — A confident, healthy and engaged workforce is the key to creating a positive culture that is resilient to today’s dynamic market conditions. An LMS can help DC operators establish a thriving culture by instilling safe workplace practices, driving employee engagement, and promoting continuous performance improvements with individual coaching and workplace incentives. In doing so, they can avoid potential labor disruptions and give employees the confidence to reach peak performance levels in an uncertain environment.
To learn more about how an LMS can help DC operations maintain productivity and create a healthy culture in which employees can thrive, view our webinar, It’s Essential — Taking Care of Workers and Customers With Labor Management Software (LMS).