Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas are just around the corner and with it the busiest time of the year for most companies. A shrinking pool of qualified labor has made finding and hiring employees a challenge, particularly during peak season. Even if you managed to hire enough qualified associates and temp workers, you need to train them, which binds existing resources and can decrease productivity. Also, you cannot be sure all new hires will show up for work. Shift plans are bound to need several adjustments. So, labor planning for peak season is a science unto itself. How can you make sure you maximize productivity during peak season? We have some tips for you.  

For most DCs, the biggest expenses are warehouse worker salaries and investing in the training and tools to attract and retain the best candidates. For peak season, DCs do not only need to hire additional associates to fulfill the expected strong surge in demand, but they also need to train them. So, to keep costs under control and still meet customer demands on days like Black Friday, efficient labor planning for peak season is critical. Innovative tools support logistics operations and make the task a lot easier.

Structured recruiting & training for peak season ramp-ups

When recruiting labor for peak season, several points need to be considered: the number of people required, their training level, the required training time per process and thus, their entry date. Trainings also bind existing resources and not all people can be trained at the same time. So, idle times will increase, and productivity dwindles.

redPILOT’s peak time recruitment feature automatically calculates the number of people and the onboarding dates for new associates based on the predicted demand, the complexity of process steps and training requirements. The system provides a recruitment plan which can be shared with an agency and is the basis for an effective training plan. This way, associates are hired at the right time to minimize idle times and receive appropriate training, which helps to keep costs for the ramp-up at a minimum level.

Decreased scheduling time & effort

Additionally, to maximize labor capacity, extra shifts per day or longer shifts may be required. So, labor planning should be flexible and easy to maintain.

As soon as the new associates are online the redPILOT PLANNER takes them into account for shift planning. With the click of a button, shift plans can be created, and the best suited associates are automatically allocated to each process step. To improve employee retention and well-being, not only competence-levels are considered, but also employees’ preferences, job rotation, car pooling and much more. Shifts and associates can be manually adjusted after the automatic allocation.

App for increased flexibility in staffing

The integration of the teamAPP with the redPILOT PLANNER allows shift planners to find additional associates for a shift easily, should the need arise. This gives operations a more flexible staffing model for unpredictable no-shows and peak seasons. If shifts are not fully staffed, shift leaders can push a notification to teamAPP and associates or temp workers can pick up these shifts. This makes calling employees or agencies for available open spots obsolete and the whole planning process becomes much more efficient.

Increase visibility of real-time performance

The Performance Dashboard gives real-time insights into performances on different levels. The data gives a complete picture into performance of departments, teams and even individuals, if permitted by local regulations. Managers can make live operational adjustments: If the performance of a process step is low, responsible managers can react in real time and reschedule associates.

The Cockpit notifies managers if there are bottlenecks or overcapacities and even shows action alternatives. These tools help to ensure that the overall performance of the operation stays at an optimum level, even during peak season.

Struggle less during peak times

The innovative redPILOT tools makes labor management for peak season a lot easier. Logistics managers will have enough to worry about during these days anyway. So let redPILOT take some of the struggle away. Give us a call if you are interested in making your next peak period a bit more relaxed.


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