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What Are People Analytics in Warehousing?

Analytics is the concept of using information to gain insights into operations and improve productivity in the revolutionary aspect of modern warehouse management. Analytics can be deployed for virtually any aspect of warehousing, including optimization, supplier management, inventory management, and even labor management. Analytics in the warehouse can also include insight into the behaviors of employees through data measurement, tracking, and analysis. Amazon is one of the major companies that have recently implemented the use of people analytics in warehousing, reports Heather Kelly of CNN, and as with everything that Amazon touches, supply chains must follow suit.

The Problem: People Analytics Get Overlooked in the Digital-Driven World

People analytics in warehousing may be overshadowed by the traditional analytics categories of descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive. Unfortunately, analytics may seem irrelevant, and the Warehouse Manager is unable to track information about employees. However, people analytics in warehousing can be accessed through numerous ways, such as wearable devices, feedback from employee-facing systems, and ongoing performance measurement tools. Every action an employee makes costs the company money, such as actions that are necessary during business like pickers filling orders. However, Warehouse Managers are overlooking opportunities when they fail to recognize the value of using people analytics in warehousing, says Josh Bersin via Forbes.

The Solution: People Analytics Give Warehouse Managers a Means to Manage Labor

People analytics give Warehouse Managers a means to manage labor data tracking. Obviously, there are some privacy concerns and constraints in tracking employee actions. Employees may not want to participate, or they may feel tracking personal data is an invasion of their privacy. However, the means to track employee actions, including biometric information such as heart rate, can be used to position a company as a caretaker, as well as an employer.

Employees that engage in analytics and contribute to the pool of data can improve not only their performance but potentially their health while at work. For example, if tracking biometric information, when an employee’s heart rate exceeds a given threshold, this could correlate to an increase in the risk of an accident or other health issue. Biometrics could also be leveraged to identify other issues such as exhaustion and improper body mechanics.

With today’s level of technology, simple devices such as wearables could be used to monitor employee health and performance while working. The solution to making use of such technology to employees in the warehouse lies in positioning the technology to improve safety and reduce risk to employee health.

The Reward: Using People Analytics Boosts Employee Productivity and Morale

People analytics include much more than just biometric factors, says Bersin. Employees can provide real-time feedback for order pick tickets accuracy, the location of bins, routes, and much more. This information can be analyzed by existing warehouse systems to determine if routes prescribed by the system are effective, and if not, the system can provide Warehouse Managers with the information necessary to better optimize the warehouse layout. As a result, employees can successfully take more orders and avoid the frustration that comes with problems.

Since employee information can be used to improve overall operations, the number of conflicts between Warehouse Managers and staff members should decrease. Less conflict has a direct relationship to lower staff turnover and boost employee morale. Unless your warehouse operates solely on robotics, the role of employees and maintaining and running a successful warehouse is a top priority.

Start Using People Analytics in Your Organization

People analytics in warehousing is an excellent tool to bridge the current divide between Warehouse Managers and the workforce. People analytics in warehousing may also be part of workforce analytics, but there is a difference. The difference lies in using information to improve employee productivity on a personal scale. As a result, increases in employee productivity on a personal scale will contribute to greater productivity in the workforce. It’s micro analytics for workforce analytics. More organizations are turning to the power of people analytics in warehousing to improve productivity and resolve disputes before they occur.

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