After a sharp increase in warehousing demand in 2021 that is only expected to continue, hiring and retaining employees is among the top priorities for warehouses. In addition to labor shortages, warehouses must contend with high turnover and as a result, reduced staff at times. Technology serves a role in supporting staff to not just achieve what they could with a full staff but to increase their work capacity with fewer employees and without added effort.
The right staffing approach starts with recognizing that companies must invest in their employees. A company can’t lower a high turnover rate if they aren’t listening to what their employees are saying. They can get clear direction as to what areas need their attention and improvement.
Onboarding and training are two areas to pay close attention to, especially when there are new hires frequently going through the process. This is where they start and build their views of the company.
Technology is an often-overlooked factor in reducing turnover. It’s not only an investment for improving operations; it’s also an investment in making employees’ experience better and attracting and retaining talent. Technology gives staff the tools they need to continue performing well, and it can shorten the time needed for onboarding and training.
Attrition, like turnover, means dealing with employees leaving, but unlike turnover, the decision is made not to refill the position. Instead, the company must find a way to make up the work, potentially by distributing the work to other employees. However, the problem with this is placing a burden on the rest of the staff, assuming they were already at full working capacity.
A better solution is relying on technology to make up the difference caused by fewer employees.
The role of technology
Technology in operations exists to support employees in their day-to-day tasks. It assists with time-consuming, repetitive, or error-prone work or work that requires specific knowledge. The result is an increase in productivity, efficiency, and accuracy. An employee can complete a task in less time, increasing the capacity to get more done. At the same time, technology reduces errors, saving time that might have been spent correcting mistakes.
This all comes down to staff that can contribute more than they were previously capable of. Where attrition reduces the combined capacity of employees, technology increases their potential. It can enable a greater output compared to hiring more employees.
While it isn’t a direct replacement for employees, technology means staff is more effectively utilized. The right solution helps alleviate pressure on operations due to attrition and cover gaps caused by turnover.
Enabling business growth
As the key to increasing operational efficiency, technology is irreplaceable in enabling businesses to grow and scale.
When Okuma Fishing, a wholesale supplier of fishing gear, faced warehouse attrition after the start of the pandemic, they upgraded to Pacejet’s shipping solution and increased their productivity without increasing their headcount. September 2021 saw monthly sales up almost 70% compared to September the previous year.
Chicago Music Exchange, a music and instrument brick-and-mortar and online storefront, leveraged Pacejet’s solution to save $68K annually, reduce their shipping errors by 82% in a year, and shave substantial time off each order on the shipping line. These improvements allow them to scale where they previously lacked options of streamlining operations.
Companies are discovering how technology fits into the picture of their staffing needs. When they use technology to support their warehouse, they can do more and grow faster without extra effort from their staff.
Find out what industry experts from UPS, PARCEL Industry, and Netstock have to say about tackling warehouse attrition by leveraging technology, preparing for peak season, and more by accessing our on-demand Smart Shippers 2022 virtual roundtable recording here.