Labour Gains

Ireland based retailer Musgrave Retail Partners is seeing the value of an integrated labour management functionality after implementing the WCS Labour Management module as part of its WMS system supplied by WCS. Brendan Fitzgerald from Musgrave commented: “The labour management module within our WMS has delivered significant benefits for us and has allowed us to analyse productivity in a different way. Before our use of the labour management functionality, measurement of productivity was based on metrics such as cases per hour assembly and tasks per hour for fork activity. These metrics did give us some basic performance indicators but failed to account for factors such as hit rate, volume and required work effort. Workers could earn additional bonus payments when picking large orders or during periods of increased volume, without any increase in work effort.”

He continued: “The basis of any good productivity bonus scheme should be being able to reward extra effort – and the Labour Management module we integrated into our WMS system helps us to achieve this.”

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The company now no longer has to wait for premeasured standards to realise benefits from warehouse layout changes, for example. Previous standards had been based on averages and standards only changed when a remeasure occurred. Using the Labour Management functionality each assignment is now based on actual parameters such as distance travelled and where travel is decreased through better layout. The benefit is immediately realised through decreased standard times.

Fitzgerald concluded: “Labour management has assisted us in delivering significant productivity improvements and has provided us with more productivity data than was ever available to us previously. This means we have meaningful discussions with under performers as well as recognising and rewarding individuals who have demonstrated additional work effort and achieved high performance.”

Ultimately, the pace of change is creating innovation in technology that offers businesses across the industry an opportunity to manage performance, offer incentives to employees to motivate and critically improve productivity. As competition in the industry heats up, retailers need to utilise the technology available to them to continue to succeed and meet the increasing demands made by consumers.

This article was first published in Warehouse Magazine: