2020 Insight into Optimizing Labor

January 23, 2020 By: Louis J. Cerny | Topics: IT Solutions, Productivity & Labor

Co-written with Dave Cerny, Senior Consultant

With the seasonal peak in the rearview mirror, it is time to reflect on the season past and look forward to the year ahead with a clear goal of addressing the challenges from 2019 and developing a strategic plan for the future.

If your company had no issues with obtaining labor, retaining good workers, reducing labor costs or declining productivity, then you are in an unusual situation and should feel good that you are in a very select group!

In a labor market where unemployment is at record lows and the demand for improved customer service is pressuring fulfillment operations, obtaining and retaining high-performing workers is critical to the success of every organization.

Regardless of how much is invested in mechanization and automation, there is still the need for associates to perform many functions in the fulfillment facility.

People are the most important—and one of the most costly—parts of your fulfillment operation. These resources need to be treated with the respect they deserve and be recognized for the invaluable service they provide.

Without the ability to capture accurate performance data, businesses fall into the trap of “not being able to manage what they can’t measure.”

It may seem unrealistic to reduce labor costs 10-15% and improve productivity and customer service while minimizing turnover and fostering a positive work environment. But these things are definitely achievable with today’s technology and systems. The magic elixir is the Labor Management System (LMS), and the results it produces are being enjoyed by many organizations.

Like many technologies, not every implementation has been successful in achieving the expected results, but they all can be successful if properly planned and executed. Keys to the success of an LMS implementation start with executive buy-in, a clear change management process that provides ongoing communication with all stakeholders (most importantly the associates directly impacted by the new system), and a realistic schedule and budget.

This post is the first in a series on labor management that Sedlak will publish over the next several weeks. Click here to read the second installment: The Crucial Benefits of Labor Management Systems (LMS).

For more information, read the other posts in our labor management blog series including:

Considering an LMS to optimize your business? Contact Lou Cerny at for more information.

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