Managing Warehouse Operations is akin to playing a symphony with people, systems, and processes. As long as these elements are balanced and in harmony, the operations go on smoothly and efficiently. People are very important assets of warehouse operations. Human resources can be the strongest and the weakest link to warehouse performance. Even in a highly automated and system controlled design, warehouse operations are heavily dependent upon people to run and manage operations. Normally in warehouse operations, the manpower resources structure is employed in a mix of, the company role jobs, on-contract and temporary or daily wages, and outsourced contract labor.
The categorization is based on the nature and skill set requirement of each job coupled with the criticality of the position and the local supply and availability of resources. Any warehouse operations need to have an optimum workforce budgeted based on clear-cut tasks and volumes of transactions. As all operations are time-bound activities having interrelated tasks and dependencies, estimation of work and work division clarity is essential to avoid overstaffing or understaffing.
Overstaffing can result in slackness in individual performance levels besides increasing the costs.
Warehouses source temporary labor and resources from local nearby areas to manage this sudden surge in demands. Any change in internal processes or business processes or improvement in systems and processes can lead to redundancies. Many times, they are having to face over-staffing problems and need to look at ways to reduce numbers or re-deploy resources into other activities. Therefore, warehouse operations are never in a stable state or status quo for a long time. Managing people dynamics holds key to managing operations effectively.