Commentary | Viewpoint

The Perfect Order Has Evolved—Has Your Workforce Management Strategy?

Tags: Labor Management, Logistics

Malysa O’Connor is Director at Kronos for Logistics, 800-225-1561

If you’re like most shippers, maximizing customer satisfaction and loyalty is at the top of your list of business goals. To accomplish these objectives, your organization must be dedicated to the pursuit of the “perfect order.”

The question remains: What really is a perfect order? The perception of the perfect order continues to evolve and can even vary by industry, company, and individual. And as you’ve accomplished the perfect order for your customer, is it still perfect for your organization? Was it delivered at maximum efficiency for maximum profitability?

Hitting a Moving Target

Compounding the challenge, attempting to deliver the perfect order can feel like hitting a moving target because of factors such as changing customer expectations and the reality that driving profitability is more difficult than ever before.

For example, the concept of the perfect order is attempting to deliver a perfect experience, where customers not only expect the end result to meet (or exceed) their expectations, but they also demand greater visibility and flexibility along the way. Not only does this mean you have to deliver a perfect order for your customers, but now you must provide this same experience for your partners and vendors.

Additionally, companies face more margin pressures than ever before. Capacity constraints, competitive pressures, and rising operational costs all require more focus on achieving and maintaining efficiency. Many companies are attempting to differentiate by providing additional value-added services (such as accelerated delivery, kitting, or custom packaging), but this adds cost and complexity to the order process.

Focus on the Workforce

As companies look to strike this balance, many tend to overlook one area for improvement—their workforce. Today, workforce management represents a significant business opportunity.

With such a significant impact on operational performance and profitability, the frontline workforce is perhaps the biggest component to delivering perfect orders. Touching almost every step in the order process—from order capture, shipping, transport, delivery, support, and the reverse logistics cycle—people matter.

Additionally, workforce management solutions help you uncover hidden capacity and costs in your operations:

  • Uncover hidden capacity. Now you can use detailed labor performance data to identify areas of poor performance and take corrective action. Finding untapped pockets of productivity can help you achieve greater capacity and higher efficiency—critical for taking on new business or providing more value-added services.
  • Identify and allocate labor costs. Your organization needs to identify and allocate every labor activity to every payroll dollar. Identifying lost time might help you increase throughput by putting that time to more effective use or eliminating it altogether to reduce overall labor expense. And more accurate labor costing can lead to more competitive and profitable bids for new and existing business.

By uncovering hidden constraints and managing labor costs, workforce management can help you make sure you’re hitting your perfect order targets—both for your customers and your bottom line.

The Perfect Solution for the Perfect Order

The concept of the perfect order has changed, but have your workforce management strategies evolved to keep pace? As customer expectations continue to rise and evolve, innovative logistics providers and shippers must continue to find proven ways to increase productivity while controlling costs. By helping uncover hidden capacity and costs, workforce management is the “perfect solution” for delivering on the potential of the perfect order—helping today’s companies compete and win in the 21st-century marketplace.






Visit Our Sponsors