The importance of integrating Labor and Workforce Management Systems

As Omni-channel continues to blur the lines between Distribution Centers and Retail, forward-thinking companies are beginning to leverage labor and workforce technologies outside their ‘traditional’ environments.

Under intense pressure from eCom giants, customer expectations and demands, retail stores continue their evolution toward becoming fulfillment, distribution and return processing centers. Labor Management Systems (LMS), which were born in the Warehouse / DC environment, are now being utilized in stores to track the performance of these tasks while providing timely feedback and performance coaching opportunities.

At the same time, 3PLs, Wholesalers and Retail DCs continue to feel the crunch of a tight workforce. To ensure warehouses have the ideal staffing level, companies are turning to Workforce Management (WFM) solutions to forecast demand and schedule optimization. Traditionally used for the schedule volatility of retail stores, WFM and advanced forecasting is finding a new home in distribution centers.

For companies adopting these technologies across traditional channels, the benefits are clear:

• A holistic view of operations
• Scheduling, utilization and staff plan synchronicity
• Consistent performance accountability across all departments
• Clearer forecasting
• Increased customer satisfaction and service
• Financial improvement

In a recent conversation with Jeff Peretin, President of Connors Group, he added that “Connors has always led the charge with our clients and partners by helping them navigate the complexities of a quickly-changing retail / supply chain environment. One area where we’ve seen an increase, is the focus on maximizing the utilization of different software platforms to identify efficiencies across the enterprise, specifically when it comes to labor.”

As companies continue to compete on costs, proven technologies for workforce and labor management will be blended together across channels to provide a holistic solution for workforce optimization. And the companies that embrace this new reality, won’t just survive, they will also thrive.

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Jonathan Huesdash, industry thought-leader and Director at Connors Group, leverages his deep experience both in distribution and consulting to craft innovative workforce management and execution solutions for clients. He can be reached at [email protected]
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