Making the Job Easier

Labor management systems are key for warehouses looking to improve worker productivity.


 

Upgrades and enhancements

Manhattan Associates has been “pretty innovative when it comes to expanding the footprint of LMS,” notes Schnorbach. “We’ve added things like schedule optimization; the ability to collaborate using social networking tools; and things like tracking safety incidents and illnesses right within the LMS.”

As for other features users are asking for, the integration of social networking is one, says Schnorbach. “We recently introduced a tool that combines some social networking with our labor management application to allow for greater collaboration between employees and between employees and their supervisors.”

The other hot item is mobile. “Managers want mobile applications so that they’re not tied to a computer in their office. They want to work from an iPad or tablet or even a smartphone,” he says.

Recently, TZA announced upgrades to its cloud-based ProTrack Warehouse Labor Management System. The enhancements include Dynamic Alerting, which allows companies to configure the system to alert managers of any issues that need to be addressed. The alerts can be sent to any computer or mobile device, so supervisors can be out on the floor, actively managing associates. In addition, an Enhanced Reporting Engine is also part of the recent upgrade, so too are Interactive Kiosk touch screens, which have been redesigned to make it easier for managers and employees complete work-related tasks and record daily activities faster and more accurately.

“These enhancements are part of TZA’s ongoing vision to help operations teams proactively plan, monitor and manage their labor efficiently and run their operation at lower cost,” says Andy Recard, vice president, labor management practice at TZA. “We have implemented labor management technology and programs at more than 300 sites and continue to expand the functionality of ProTrack to deliver innovation and industry leadership to our manufacturing, distribution and retail clients.”

 

What Does LMS Measure?

According to HighJump Software, a labor management system (LMS) can help companies determine:

• How much time do employees spend doing unproductive work?

• Why does it take some employees much longer than others to do specific tasks?

• How long should it take to do a specific task?

• What is the true capacity of my workforce?

• Where do we need to focus our labor resources today?

 

Furthermore, an LMS takes into consideration:

• Travel time from one point to the next

• Equipment used: forklift, push cart, pallet jack, etc.

• Item attributes: volume, cube, weight, etc.

• Item location: floor, shelf

• Special handling time for valuable or fragile items

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