The pandemic has changed the way businesses must operate, and hiring rates have taken a nose-dive as unemployed citizens reconsider their job prospects and account for their safety. A healthy and loyal workforce ensures minimal disruption and is critical to sustaining operational excellence and continuity. Here are three tips for dealing with warehouse labor shortages for you to consider.

Retaining Your Workforce

Despite the distribution of vaccines, most people still count their safety and health as their primary concern—and likely will even when the pandemic has finally ended. Prioritize employee awareness of all precautions you are taking to ensure employee safety, health, and wellness, on and off-site. Well-placed access to information helps everyone stay updated on current events and policies.

Furthermore, the pandemic has been a period of reflection for many. Typical workforce pools are reconsidering their options when returning to work. They are asking themselves if they should return to their old job or consider something new, more flexible with higher pay, or more benefits. Retaining and attracting employees will require understanding the new expectations of the workforce available to you.

Process Improvements

Our quickly recovering post-pandemic economy is pushing current staffing levels to the brink. Doing the same or more with fewer resources will require an overall review of current processes and workflows.

Quick time studies for repetitive tasks or travel times for retrieval and storage of inventory can provide valuable information and insights into where improvements can be made with little investment. Rearranging inventory, providing distinct and clear inventory labeling, and conducting other organizational improvements will ensure you are getting the maximum productivity from your labor force. These process insights will also provide the basic information you need to investigate variations of possible warehouse automation.

Implement Automation

Automation has long been considered inevitable, and now is a great time to consider where partial and full automation may work for your warehouse. Start with identifying repetitive or simple tasks, material flow processes, or heavy equipment and material to understand where automation makes the most sense and provides the quickest ROI. Typical entry into the automation realm can begin with isolated processes like box erectors, pallet wrappers or gravity conveyors. There is likely opportunity throughout your warehouse to leverage automation technology and human/machine interaction in a safe environment that improves your overall productivity. Whether you engage in automation in part or in full, there is a solution that makes sense with an acceptable ROI. Your solution should allow your most valuable human resource to focus on those specific value-added tasks that are at the core of your competitive advantage.

To find the perfect solution for your warehouse productivity and optimization challenges, call the material flow experts at RMH Systems. Our industrial warehouse solutions can help you deal with warehouse labor shortages in the way that’s best for your business.