The Works, a UK retailer of books, crafts and gifts, is optimising labour productivity at its 24/7 Sutton Coldfield distribution centre using Workforce Management from RedPrairie. With annual revenues of €150 million and 2,500 employees, The Works stocks items from 500 suppliers and introduces around 100 new product lines each week at its 300 stores. The company implemented Workforce Management after achieving a 25 per cent increase in picking efficiency using RedPrairie’s Warehouse Management solution.
Diane Smith, supply chain manager at The Works, says, ‘Managers now benefit from dynamic workforce reporting functionality via a PC-based user interface that delivers accurate expectations for picking tasks, taking into account preferred work methods, such as travel distances, weight and environmental factors. In just five months, operator productivity has grown by 25 per cent while increased employee motivation has reduced staff turnover. In addition, new starters are trained faster and in best-practice operating methods that enable them to be productive from day one. The system has already paid for itself and there are further benefits expected.’
Real-time monitoring enables team-leaders to measure the up-to-the-minute performance of individuals or teams and alerts them to potential problems before they disrupt warehouse operations. Workforce Management’s job costing functionality ensures that labour costs are allocated correctly while its web-based reporting tools provide timely insight into irregularities.
The company is evaluating RedPrairie’s retail workforce solutions for its 300 retail outlets that are set to increase in number to 400 over the next few years.