Alternative Strategies to Combat Labor Force Shortages
Companies worldwide last year experienced a mass exodus of employees quitting their jobs – be it for greener pastures, better pay, and incentives, greater flexibility, or a new set of priorities driven by the pandemic.
In fact, in its multiyear Future of Work: The Global Talent Crunch series, Korn Ferry said to expect a talent shortage of more than 85 million people globally by 2030. If something isn’t done to stem the proverbial bleeding, this lack of manpower could amount to $8.5 billion in unrealized annual revenues.
Amidst the labor shortage challenges resulting from The Great Resignation, recent research found 73% of third-party logistics providers (3PLs) view acquiring new customers as their biggest priority in 2022. Without the staff, however, doing so will be tough.
So, how can third-party logistics providers (3PLs) overcome these hiring challenges? Here are three alternatives being implemented by leading 3PLs.
Consider Consolidating Warehouses
For years, companies have maintained separate fulfillment channels for retail and e-commerce. But with the rapid growth of e-commerce in recent years, many are finding that these disparate warehouses, combined with supply chain difficulties, are leading to duplicated inventory, and in turn, elevated costs.
By consolidating warehouses and networks, the savvier 3PLs are improving fulfillment by gaining more streamlined visibility into their inventory and reducing costs, both in duplicated inventory and physical space. Consolidation also reduces staffing requirements and retention challenges.
Put Your People First
Employees have the upper hand in today’s tight labor market. Higher pay, a wider range of benefits, and better work-life balance are table stakes in the best-run companies. Randstad Employer Brand Research found 62% of global workers rank salary and benefits as the top motivator for changing jobs, followed by work-life balance at 58%.
As record turnover continues, especially among roles that involve in-person work like shipping, factories, and distribution centers, 3PLs should not only look at providing more competitive wages but also ways to improve employee well-being in the workplace. A job in fulfillment has never held so much potential and the dramatic change in how work is conducted by using autonomous mobile robots and intralogistics smart robots offers candidates a very different future than in today’s aging infrastructure.
Increase Automation in the Factory or Distribution Center
It’s tough meeting modern fulfillment demand with legacy technology and systems, a challenge made even more difficult when good help is progressively harder to find. To meet increased demand, highly fluctuating e-commerce volume, global staffing changes, and rising labor costs, the use of automation is crucial.
Including technology in response to this fast-moving environment can prepare your fulfillment centers to meet today’s rising consumer demands. In addition to bringing modern approaches to your processes and workforce, these technologies ensure your workers are equipped to tackle the peaks and throughs of fulfillment with equal calm. Such technologies increase employee productivity by allowing them to process higher volumes with greater accuracy and at lower risk.
Consider GreyOrange for your 3PL needs
Technology helps to improve worker productivity, this is particularly important when employees are not only hard to find but hard to retain. 3PLs can increase efficiencies and reduce costs by leveraging both hardware and software-based robotic technologies.
GreyOrange provides state-of-the-art robotic orchestration capabilities through its intelligent decision-making platform – called GreyMatter. GreyMatter learns continuously and as data flows into the system it makes immediate decisions to optimize order fulfillment by directly managing your robotic fleet and providing advanced information to your human workforce.
The platform continuously examines the data moving across the business to optimize workstreams for all workers across the distribution network, maximizing efficiency continuously, in real-time. The cloud-based platform integrates with all leading robotic fleets and software systems, offering high levels of integration capability.
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Crushing the 3PL Challenge
The labor shortage struggle is real – and won’t be going away anytime soon. Combine that with surges in business volume. Add a spike in the level of returns or seasonal peaks, and it can be challenging for even the most experienced logistics operation to meet KPIs.
And with the exponential growth in e-commerce across the world, innovative capabilities for fulfillment, last-mile delivery, and return logistics have become critical. That’s why retailers are looking to partner with 3PLs and leverage their innovations to tackle demand-driven fulfillment challenges.
Challenges Faced by 3PLs
Speed of Delivery
Ready to Meet Rising Expectations?
Labor shortages, speed of delivery, inventory visibility, and operational efficiency are but a few of the challenges 3PLs are currently facing. Today, real flexibility to grow and contract with demand means always being able to utilize cutting-edge technology to ensure optimal outcomes for customers. To prepare for the future, 3PLs can use GreyOrange to do the following:
- Seize the automation advantage: Leading companies are enabling their warehouses and fulfillment networks, offering an exciting career path for new and experienced employees, and demolishing their toughest KPIs by integrating automation into their existing infrastructure.
- Improve margins: Implement instant automation – with AI-orchestrated software and smart robotic execution – to resolve warehouse inadequacies and streamline workflows in just weeks. Improve your current system, reducing cost of ownership while managing demand surges using modular, scalable robotic systems.
- Reduce Risk and Scale Up: GreyOrange advanced fulfillment solutions de-risk your first step into automation, allowing you to invest in what you need now – and giving you the flexibility to grow at your own pace. Variable costing and the low level of start-up investment means you can take care of your promises and improve your margins.
- Boost productivity by 5x: Optimize vertical space to magnify capacity by 3x and fulfill high-volume multi-tenant orders faster from the same space. Boost productivity with a leaner workforce that is efficient and engaged. All through the power of GreyMatter – a waveless real-time order fulfillment system that maximizes productivity while meeting express order SLAs.
- Empower your workforce: Create a safe, ergonomic work environment to beat the labor crunch. Equip your staff with the information and tools to do more with less.
Delivering Peace of Mind, Helping 3PLs Secure Long Term Contract from their customers
- Margin to Fulfill: 50% less labor requirement
- Scale to Fulfill: 2,500+ Robots working at a single site
- Power to Fulfill: Improve Productivity by 4x-6x
- Speed to Fulfill: Shipping (close to) 1 Million Units per week
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