The Amazon Jungle: How 3PLs Can Improve Scheduling to Stay Competitive

 
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Amazon is yet again setting a new delivery standard.

Just when competitors have gotten accustomed to meeting the two-day challenge, Amazon used their first-quarter earnings call last month to unveil their latest disruption: free Prime shipping will transition from two days to one day over the next year.

For the third-party logistics providers (3PLs) that support Amazon (and every other retailer trying to compete), this means that you need to be fulfilling and delivering orders faster than ever before. Having the right person, in the right place, at the right time will help you keep up with the shorter timelines that consumers expect.

Here are 3 ways our automated scheduling and leave management solution can help 3PLs make the most of their workforce—without sacrificing employee satisfaction.

Follow Compliance Rules Consistently

Automated scheduling saves your schedulers from having to rely on time-consuming paper processes. With automation, you can generate a schedule in minutes that keeps up with your warehouse’s complex demand needs—but that is only half the battle.

Putting the right person in the job is the other half. Failure to comply to regulatory requirements on certifications can create a compliance nightmare; not to mention, it can put your employees at risk. With 3PLs relying heavily on their workers performing physically intensive labor—from operating heavy machinery at the warehouse to spending long periods of time driving trucks on busy interstates—keeping up with skills certifications (and expirations) is crucial.

With Indeavor’s solution, you get a Qualification Management System (QMS) integrated right at the point of scheduling. It highlights the best workers for each job, meaning you avoid costly compliance penalties and employee downtime by ensuring that everyone is eligible to perform the tasks they are assigned. After all, QMS systems, and skills matrixes that live in spreadsheets, exist for scheduling.

So why would a QMS live in another system? Qualifications and skills are put in place to make sure people are safe and able to do the jobs they are assigned. The natural progression is to have this information live in the scheduling process, automatically.

Another layer of complexity is the fatigue management piece, and with good reason. According to the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS), 13% of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers involved in a crash were considered to have been fatigued at the time.

If your warehouse or distribution center is still relying on paper-based scheduling, it’s easy to accidentally assign an employee too many hours or to schedule a person’s shifts too close together due to lack of oversight and analytics. With software that automatically tracks employee hours for you—and doesn’t allow you to schedule anyone that would be in violation of your pre-set compliance rules—you can more easily comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s guidelines for CMV drivers.

Integrate Your Temp Workers

You probably rely on contingent staffing during the holiday season to keep up with demand.

Your temp workers should be subjected to the same cultural norms that full-time employees adhere to, especially since there are safety hazards to consider when employees are receiving disjointed training. Temporary employees should be integrated fully into your scheduling and skills evaluation process.

Contingent employees are still employees, and their information should be hosted in the same place as everyone else’s. Our product keeps all employee information centralized.

Mitigate Overtime Overages

Another thing you’re probably doing, or considering, to keep up with the tighter than ever deadlines is hiring new workers. To stay competitive, sometimes you need to spend money to make money—and there’s no better way than investing in the lifeblood of your organization: your employees.

To offset the extra wages, you can reduce labor spend elsewhere. Overtime management is a great opportunity to reduce unnecessary costs.

To be able to do that, however, you need better insight into how much unnecessary overtime you’re distributing. Paper processes make this nearly impossible, since there is no real-time visibility into employee hours and how that matches with current demand need. So, managers are tracking OT hours, but they’re not really leveraging that information strategically beforehand or scrutinizing why the hours are being assigned in the first place.

They may not even be choosing the most fiscally responsible option! They are just scheduling someone who is able to work without taking into account that there may be another employee who is both qualified for the job and has a lower hourly rate.

Automation can drive overtime costs down by 19%. This is because with our automated solution, an employee will only clock in overtime to fit an actual need your facility has. Your weekly schedules will always sync up with production demand, and company restrictions are based on your specific business needs to prevent unnecessary overtime. Each employee is then assessed by these rules as the schedule generates automatically.

No manual entry here, meaning less room for error!

The Indeavor Solution

If you’re looking to compete with Amazon’s logistics prowess, you need to make sure you have the right employee, in the right place, at the right time. Indeavor can help you do just that.

Workloud is our workforce management SaaS solution which offers clients an end-to-end, cloud-based employee scheduling, time & attendance, and absence management system. Workloud integrates with your human capital management and enterprise resource planning systems to create a robust platform that provides you with real-time employee data.

Click here to request a demo.