How to Improve Warehouse Operations Ahead of Peak Season
3 Sep, 2021

The festive season is just around the corner, which for several warehouses and distribution centres means that the holiday shopper wave is coming – and it’s coming fast. Early planning is often key to streamlining these operations, minimising stress and increasing profits as markets near the final, and usually most successful, month of the year.

While several business owners commence with warehouse planning processes for December as early as June or July to avoid being knee-deep (and sinking) in work, there is still time to ready one’s business for the 2021 holiday period. For some, that means ramping up workforces to include seasonal employees. After all, without people, nothing gets done. It is not uncommon for businesses to recruit seasonal assistance to help keep shelves stocked, meet input/output schedules, manage inventory, mitigate safety risks in environments, and ensure warehouse operations running smoothly. However, like permanent staff, temporary staff are required to perform at the highest level, often with little-to-no understanding of a business, they’ve just entered.

To deliver on expectations and help a business meet its goals while generating ROI from seasonal hires, these temps must be brought up to speed with all significant processes, deliverables and behaviours. This will ensure that they fulfil complex tasks correctly, speedily and meet the increase in inventory demand. It all starts with official and certified training.

Providing official training to seasonal employees is important for five critical reasons:

  • Helps to Understand Trigger Points for Efficiency

Knowledge is indeed powerful – granting one the power to perform. Being new to the job means being devoid of skills and knowledge that may be familiar to the internal team. Training enlightens workers on how and why things are done, and allows temps to feel more confident when approaching tasks, which greatly reduces inefficiencies that render delays in operations or their failure to meet pressing seasonal deadlines.

  • Eliminates Gaps in Peer-to-Peer Knowledge Sharing

The buddy system is still a go-to in peer assistance and knowledge transference during the seasonal onboarding process. Yet this format in itself presents challenges, particularly when communication breaks down and knowledge sharing is incomprehensive. It can be very easy for “older” employees who are informally training temporary recruits to leave out or gloss over important information that is already embedded into their brains, which the new recruit is yet to learn. Human error is also inevitable, and having incorrect knowledge imparted can unintentionally affect hinder business performance.

  • More Effective Time and Resource Management

When employees are properly trained, they rarely require hand-holding on the job, which eliminates the need for ongoing supervision – human resources that can be used more economically elsewhere, resulting in fewer productivity delays. Further to this, less time is spent fixing errors, as new employees are empowered to hit the ground running, armed with all the tools needed to excel and meet warehouse deadlines on time.

  • Helps to Prevent Workplace Injury

Without proper training, it’s easy for injuries to occur in the warehouse, where sharp objects or chemicals may be used. Seasonal employees may not understand how to identify risk, and at times, may create the risk themselves due to incomplete or incorrect understanding of processes, equipment and the way forward. E.g. an untrained employee may operate power tools to transport boxes of products without understanding how those tools work, causing harm to themselves, or unintentionally inflicting harm on others.

  • Successful Onboarding for Permanent Roles
    The end of year, while lucrative, is no stranger to high employee turnovers. It is not uncommon for staff to seek employment elsewhere or chase new personal ventures in the New Year. Training helps to identify the best workers among one’s temporary hires, those who may be ideal for filling roles that have been vacated and need to be filled within the New Year. As such, there is no need for long and arduous hiring processes as the talent will already be among your team.

As shown, the value of training cannot be under-emphasized, especially when end-of-year margins are at stake. Calling in an extra set of hands to help is the smart way to go, which comes in the form of SafetyCloud short course programmes. Our warehousing and logistics training aims to assist in decreasing risk within the working environment and add to the cost-effectiveness of operations across a range of supply chain activities.

Courses are diverse and can help to get warehouses and warehouse staff ready, improve efficiencies, fill holes in skillsets, upskill and reskill, understand regulations around racking, health and safety concerns, and much more. Click here to view the full list of SafetyCloud Warehouse and Logistics Training Courses to ready your warehouse and staff for the festive season before it arrives.

 

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