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The global pandemic has changed the way we do business from just about every standpoint. We’ve all had to make adjustments this year, and many of them have been to our benefit. If nothing else, we have learned to adapt to changing circumstances and meet the pressures of higher demand. And as the landscape continues to change, there are even more variables to consider.
How To Scale Your Warehouse Ops In A Post-Pandemic World
Agility is critical to ongoing success, but is scale within your capabilities right now? The answer is, absolutely. As with any initiative, good planning and a realistic approach will win the day.
1. Assess your labor situation. If you lost employees this year, take stock of current staffing conditions. Your remaining employees have likely taken on more responsibilities, so you’ll need to dive into job descriptions to identify roles and gaps in the current structure.
2. Evaluate the regulatory framework. Safety standards have changed considerably, so take the time to understand today’s rules and expectations so you can provide a safe and compliant working environment. Don’t wait until there is a problem before you act.
3. Keep the lines of communication open. Leadership is critical in these uncertain times. Growth generally indicates management changes, so you need to be transparent with employees about what’s going on. Ensure they feel like they are a valued part of the team and that you are right there with them every step of the way.
4. Develop a hiring plan. Knowing how many new hires you need and when to bring them on is a delicate balance. Be sure you understand the trigger points for temp and seasonal hiring.
How To Pandemic-Proof Your Supply Chain
5. Review your suppliers. With all the changes afoot, it’s guaranteed your suppliers are feeling the crunch too. If you’re having trouble keeping stock of packing supplies, trailers, containers, or general supplies, speak to your suppliers to be sure they can meet your needs going forward. Ascertain lead times, so you don’t get caught short.
6. Reprioritize operations. Look at your main sources of workload, expenses, and income as it relates to operations. Allocate resources accordingly to be sure you are taking care of the most important things first. Whether it’s picking and packing, receiving, or inventory control, knowing the costs and the time involved for each task will help you improve efficiency and profitability.
7. Improve fulfillment accuracy. As you grow, maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction is critical to success. You can improve accuracy by looking closely at your systems and eliminating any variables causing delays or added expense. Automation is a great help in this area as it delivers value that resonates through every process.
8. Invest in technology. Cloud-based warehouse management systems (WMS) help you improve efficiency, assure accuracy, and increase productivity, giving you the bandwidth to go after more business and facilitate scale.
Lastly, keep your vision front-and-center. When you’re able to tie all business decisions back to the mission, everything else flows from there. Take a page from the playbook of the world’s most successful companies: celebrate every win, value your employees, and prioritize a strong internal culture, and you’ll always have room to grow.