Businesses must continually balance customer requirements with the need to monitor the activities of employees. This is a difficult challenge.
Fortunately, the advent of labor management systems (LMS) has enabled businesses to better use labor resources, maintain profit margins and gain a competitive edge.
Today, labor management has evolved to become the next logical step in the search for efficiencies.
Here are five business reasons to consider implementing an LMS.
1. Your workforc is underperforming.
It's likely that employees aren't reaching their full productivity potential. Worse, you don’t know by how much they’re missing their goals. The ability to identify and increase performance levels is a key benefit of an LMS. By determining how much productivity you stand to gain, you’ll discover how much money you’ve been losing.
These systems focus on using the same workforce you currently employ—or even a smaller one—to complete work activities quickly and efficiently. They help you work smarter and reduce waste.
So, how is productivity gained? Through the implementation of engineered standards and preferred methods. An LMS may help you objectively measure employee performance and identify those whose performance consistently exceeds the standard, as well as employees who need assistance.
2. Unproductive activity is eating away at your budget.
It’s important to allow scheduled breaks. However, time-consuming meetings, idle chatter and avoidable work delays can add up. Chances are, these activities are costing you more than you realize.
An LMS can help you identify “indirect labor”— unproductive time not directly related to assigned tasks. And, that should help improve workforce utilization and make money-saving changes.
3. You’re spending too much time babysitting.
Do you find yourself monitoring the clock-in and clock-out times of your employees? Do you have to manage break and meal schedules? Worrying about the details of how employees spend their time distracts you from accomplishing the more strategic, value-added work necessary to keep overall operations on schedule and customers satisfied.
As objective measurement tools, LMSs foster selfdirected workforce environments. The key is communicating the level of productivity expected of each employee and then being clear about exactly how to achieve those goals.
4. You must meet corporate objectives for cost reduction.
Continually finding new ways to reduce costs is one of the most important challenges businesses face today. Many material handling professionals are constrained by corporate objectives to cut operating budgets to meet strategic goals.
Warehouse management software, automation and outsourcing often head the list of efforts to keep operations moving swiftly within budgetary guidelines. Yet there is still room for improvement, and it can come from optimizing labor with an LMS.
5. You need to improve your competitive position.
The competitive landscape is always getting tougher. Key competitors are encroaching on your business, and customers can be fickle.
That’s why flawless distribution can be a competitive weapon in today’s business environment.
It’s your job to make sure you meet shipment dates and customer expectations every time. Having a strong workforce and the right tools at your disposal makes this possible. You don’t want to achieve parity with your competitors; you want systems and processes that differentiate your business.
Efficient operations lead to on-time, complete shipments. LMSs can help focus your efforts on maintaining and improving service levels so even your most discerning customer is pleased.
This article is drawn from a white paper authored by HighJump Software Inc. In addition to more detailed information on labor management systems, it includes a discussion on how to select a vendor. To learn more, visit the Web site: www.highjump.com.