The workload of shift workers in the warehouse. Do you know what it's like?
The warehouse and production are places where employee work can be efficiently monitored and managed. Adjusting the number of workers and types of work to short-term peaks, seasonal fluctuations, and current needs. Planning and adapting everything according to defined priorities. Ideally, dynamically and in real-time based on current data. This is precisely what the Dynamic Worker Management module does. It can be applied to any industry, but it is best explained using the example of a warehouse.
Warehouse worker job responsibilities
Warehouse workers perform many tasks. In addition to receiving and issuing goods, they organize them within the warehouse, pick, pack, and send/dispatch them. Depending on the size of the warehouse, the number of employees, and the established processes, there are many ways to perform the actual execution. For example, the process of fulfilling a single order for multiple pieces of diverse goods may be the responsibility of a single worker or several workers depending on their location within the warehouse and the operation being performed.
If we go back to our initial question of the workload of specific workers in the warehouse, it is apparent that we can only answer it in the context of a specific warehouse by continuously monitoring the work and related processes of each worker over time.
It's all based on data
...especially in digital form. Paper sheets are outdated within internal warehouse processes, taking up time, energy, and money. They generate errors and waste material.
Paperless logistics is a sensible trend. With modern equipment, there can be continuous connectivity between data in the Warehouse Management System (WMS) and real-time activities in the warehouse. Employees can access current information and instructions for their work through online electronic devices (such as phones, tablets, watches, PCs...), while managers have a detailed overview of the flow of goods and the work of subordinates.
These data can be worked with using various models and functions as needed by the specific warehouse. If the WMS being used does not offer one of the required functions, it can be delivered through a third-party application that can read operational data from the WMS API interface, use it in the model, and respond to it with the desired output.
Benefits of the workforce management module
First and foremost, the workforce management module from Vrealmatic is not a product with fixed functionality. Thanks to agile development and customization capabilities, it is tailored to the specific warehouse's needs. And, thanks to the shared engine, it is also affordable. In short, the module without compromises.
What does the module address?
There are various WMS systems with different functionalities available on the market, and you likely use one of them. When selecting a system, you had specific requirements that have evolved with the growth of your demands and business, making it challenging to switch to a different WMS. One solution is the module from Vrealmatic, which expands the functionality of your current WMS with features focused on workforce management that may be missing from your WMS.
How does it work?
The module works with real-time data about processed orders/tasks by individual workers and their location. The tracking itself is done automatically - information about the operations performed is taken from the WMS, worker location is obtained either from chips placed in the devices they work with (tablet, handling equipment, chip in uniform), or from real-time evaluation of camera records. Thanks to this interconnected data, it is possible to calculate, plan and model anything in real-time.
In the case of the module for monitoring and managing workers in a warehouse environment, this data can be used for the following:
Overview of Employee Work
No more timesheets and tracking work done. The module for monitoring employee activities accurately tracks all operations performed in real-time. Records for selected time periods are also available.
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) can be defined along with bonus rewards tied to them. Employees should spend time on productive work, not paperwork.
Automatic Work Assignment
Sticking with the example of a warehouse, orders can be automatically assigned to workers based on any rules. If all orders can be fulfilled by the end of a shift with fewer workers, the surplus can be temporarily reassigned to other tasks (rearranging goods within the warehouse, inventory, maintenance, cleaning, etc.).
Guiding Employees Through the Picking Process
In the case of multi-item orders, the system should sort items for workers in the optimal route for picking (minimizing unnecessary steps).
This assignment (or selection from a list) and navigation usually takes place through a wearable device that the worker carries and can access data in the WMS (checking and updating statuses). Workers should not have to think about selecting a specific order, planning the route for picking individual items, and possibly searching for them in the warehouse - technology can handle all of this for them.
Part of monitoring employee activities can also include a control system, where indirect metrics (demonstrated weight on handling equipment / visual inspection through image recognition of camera footage, etc. in a specific warehouse workstation) prompt workers to check their just-completed activity for a specific item if the amount does not match.
From this data, the workload of individual workers can be determined not only historically but also based on the work plan in the near future. For example, the module can calculate in real-time based on the number of orders to be processed and the remaining time, how many workers are needed and automatically regulate this number of workers (according to set priorities and rules) through SMS notifications, which call or recall individual workers to a particular job. In this way, selected workers can dedicate themselves to other tasks, such as partial inventory of warehouse stocks, during times of lower workload. The result is better utilization of existing employee time, gaining agility and subsequently coping with fewer permanent workers.
Another added feature of this data is knowledge of the cost component of individual tasks, based on which decisions can be made about automating selected warehouse operations, territories or units.
Where is the data available?
That depends on you. The easiest method is our VStation platform. Another option is cloud infrastructure such as Azure or AWS. Hosting solutions that allow Node.js infrastructure to run, as well as a local Ubuntu server, may also be possible.
In all cases, all data can be encrypted. In all cases, data is available through a web browser in a responsive format for any device. Data can also be integrated into other systems through APIs. We will help you with everything and take care of everything.