As you probably know, labor is typically the largest cost in warehouse operations.  In addition, many, if not most, warehouses in the United States have experienced ongoing challenges in recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining warehouse workers.   To keep labor costs under control, warehouse operators would benefit from leveraging labor management tools in warehouse management solutions.

Using a warehouse management system that incorporates labor management tools can make a significant difference in the visibility, control, and efficient execution of tasks in the warehouse.  This can increase the accuracy of operations and help you maximize your labor investment.

Traditional warehouse management systems often lack the ability to manage labor resources.  This can lead to warehouse worker inefficiency, dependence on human decision making, wasted time and disorganized operations.  Using a WMS that can enable task assignment and/or multi-task interleaving automates work assignments to warehouse workers or machines and streamlines task management, leading to more throughput and productivity.

In WMS, the task assignment feature automatically assigns specific tasks to either machines or human warehouse workers.  The WMS considers factors such as proximity, importance and the location of each specific task to optimize the workflow.

The automated task assignment feature tracks warehouse workers’ performance in real time to identify possible bottlenecks and areas in need of improvement.  The WMS collects data and provides insight into the task performance of labor resources and identify workers who may benefit from additional training.

Automated task management helps warehouse operators control costs and increase margins as well as improve their decision-making about issues regarding workforce staffing.  The WMS can also help by analyzing forecasting trends and help provide insight into operations

Task interleaving is functionality often found in more advanced warehouse management software and is designed to reduce “deadheading”.  This term refers to the instance in which a warehouse worker travels to one area to perform a task but does not perform any useful tasks along the way or on the way back to the original location.  For example, the task interleaving feature may direct a warehouse associate to pick specific products, bring them to a dock, then return to a picking area, after picking products along the route of return.  This ensures that a warehouse worker will execute multiple tasks within a single trip.

Task interleaving is a particular strategy used within the broader range of automated task assignment.  It involves combining two or more tasks on a single run through the warehouse, maximizing the efficiency of movements.

Productivity gains from implementing task interleaving can be substantial.  Here is how it works.  The WMS evaluates conditions, priorities, and available workforce resources by location in the warehouse.  It determines the next task based on the warehouse, task priority, and proximity of warehouse workers to the specific work area.  The system then selects the most efficient way to use each labor resource in an area of the warehouse, assigns the tasks and notifies each worker accordingly.

Want to know the impact of task interleaving and task assignment on your warehouse operation?  Measure it!

Using labor management tools can help with:

  • Inventory accuracy
  • Better demand forecasting
  • Decreased inventory carrying costs
  • Inventory turnover rate improvement
  • Improved space utilization
  • Enhanced workforce productivity
  • Streamlined, more efficient picking process
  • Improved resource allocation
  • Reduced waste
  • Enhanced operational efficiency

Data from the WMS can be used to set and monitor performance against goals as well as to motivate, inspire, and incentivize your workforce.  This can enhance your corporate culture and lead to improved workforce satisfaction.

Another Reason Why Datex Footprint WMS is Your ‘’YES” WMS

Footprint WMS has both robust task assignment and interleaving functionality.  In addition, our software includes rule-based automation to assign work based on defined algorithms.  Let us show you the difference using Footprint WMS can make to your bottom line.

Interested in learning more about these and other labor management tools?

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