Why WFM is a must for logistics service providers?

Why WFM is a must for logistics service providers?

With the rapid pace of logistics operations, managing a diverse workforce efficiently is challenging. With enterprise workforce management software, this task becomes much easier. Learn how WFM can help overcome the multiple challenges of logistic service providers.


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WFM voor Logistiek

WFM- Software can help in many ways

With the rapid pace of logistics operations, managing a diverse workforce efficiently is a challenge. Thanks to enterprise workforce management software, this laborious task is much easier. But what does it offer logistics companies specifically? What unique needs do they have and how does WFM software meet those needs?

Whether handling their own logistics operations or providing such services for external customers, WFM software helps organizations navigate the industry’s complexities. It offers so much more than attendance tracking, absence management and task management – and on top of that it helps reduce labor costs by up to 10%. Read on to find out how.

Logistic challenges and their solutions

Labor cost control

Rising labor costs make the need to optimize expenditure in this area more pressing than ever. A key driver behind managing these costs is that it plays a vital role in increasing profitability for many organizations.

Shortage of staff

Then there’s the shortage of heavy truck and lorry drivers. This is an issue in 18 European countries, of which 73% rated the shortage as severe.

The sector is facing difficulties in attracting and retaining workers, with many drivers approaching retirement or quitting in the pursuit of better compensation. In order to solve the problem – as well as attract younger workers – driver salaries have been increasing across Europe. The need to optimize labor costs has therefore increased in priority.

Hither operational costs

With increased energy costs around the world, operational costs for warehouses have been rising. Labor costs regarding warehouse workers are also seeing sharp increases, and worker shortages are a problem here as well.

How can the right WFM-software help to optimize labor costs?

WFM-software is proven to reduce labor costs by up to 10%. The solution offers reporting dashboards which provide detailed insights into labor costs and employee productivity metrics, helping identify areas of inefficiency, which enables targeted interventions to reduce unnecessary overtime and premium pay.

This is especially critical for companies handling logistics for external clients, as insights can be derived based on specific activities or customers. This is invaluable for assessing profitability and informing contract negotiations.

Juggling between diverse roles and contract types

The logistics sector is characterized by its diverse workforce, encompassing truck drivers, warehouse staff, and so on. There are also differences in contracts, shifts, and pay structures for each role.

With each role and type of contract having its own intricate set of rules and labor laws, there are many combinations of rule sets to manage. Another factor that complicates things is regional regulatory differences.  

There are many other complex arrangements. For example, consider a small warehouse connected to a store where workers pick orders, which are delivered by van. In this case, the workers’ CLAs may come under the store’s rules and not the same rules as for staff working in larger warehouses.

What’s more, logistics companies often rely on temporary or agency staff, and they come with their own unique needs.

How can WFM-software help to manage complexity?

A workforce management system like MANUS WFM, with its advanced time evaluation engine, automatically handles all of this complexity. It accurately tracks worked hours, overtime, and premiums, and ensures compliance with all CLAs, no matter what the employee’s role or which country they work in. 

For truck drivers, the system registers the time spent driving, and that data can be interfaced as worked hours to the WFM system.    

WFM software also simplifies the onboarding, scheduling, and payment processes for temporary and agency workers, integrating with external HR systems for streamlined workforce management.

Organizational structure transparency

For logistics firms serving multiple clients, MANUS FM can delineate organizational structures within the platform, tracking and reporting hours by client or project, thereby enhancing transparency and accountability.

Predicting staffing needs

Staffing needs vary based on seasonal fluctuations, manufacturing schedules, and changing sales volumes. The quantity and type of goods that need picking will affect which staff need to be scheduled; then there’s the quantity of goods affecting the number of warehouse staff required. Delivery schedules also need consideration.

How WFM-solutions can help to predict your staffing need

MANUS WFM provides insights into future demand. This enables the precise calculation of required labor hours, facilitating accurate shift planning and scheduling. It operates on a highly granular level, thanks to its activity-based costing features – in other words, it can calculate how many hours are needed for collecting, packing and so on.

For example, it will consider how many items are needed per type of goods per hour, and how much each employee can do. Based on that information, it calculates the number of hours required to complete the given tasks, and therefore, the number of shifts to assign. Employee schedules can then be created.

Competence based scheduling

Logistics operations often require specific certifications or skills.  Many roles require operating forklifts or other machinery to move and organize goods within a warehouse, while roles involving the transportation of goods may require a Commercial Driving License. There may also be technology-specific certifications relating to the systems in use, such as WMS or transport management systems.

How WFM-solutions can help with competence based scheduling

WFM systems can track these qualifications, ensuring that only appropriately trained staff are scheduled for certain tasks, thus maintaining operational standards and compliance. MANUS WFM ensures the right person is scheduled in the right place at the right time – and at the right cost – and this is another example of that principle in-action

Just-in-time deliveries

Optimizing delivery schedules is a must for any company that needs to make their resources go further (especially given the increase in fuel costs in recent years – combined with driver shortages). Other benefits include reduced vehicle wear and tear (and thus, maintenance costs) and the reduced need for overtime.

How can WFM-solutions help with Just-in-time deliveries?

WFM software collects comprehensive data on the time spent on specific routes. This helps to optimise schedules and reducing delivery times and fuel costs – bringing the added benefit of greater sustainability. (While MANUS WFM doesn’t analyze the data within the platform, it easily integrates with external analytics platforms.)

Taking this step ensures maximum utilization of a company’s vehicles and workforce, reducing idle times and increasing the number of deliveries per day. This agility also makes it easier to adapt to changes in volume, scaling up or down as needed without sacrificing efficiency or service quality.

What else is possible with the right WFM-software?

In this article we’ve looked at some challenges the logistics industry is facing and how the proper WFM solution can help solving them. But what else can workforce management offer logistics service providers?

Integrating with other systems

The best workforce management software integrates with many other external systems, for a streamlined human resources ecosystem. Here are some of the most crucial integrations MANUS WFM offers thourgh API:

WFM and WMS integrations

Integrating WFM with warehouse management systems allows for real-time visibility into both inventory and workforce data. As such, managers can align workforce schedules with current needs and priorities.

Again, this integration helps with activity-based costing, and it also makes it easier for employees to manage their time; by importing a line of items to be processed and linking it to the schedule, they can see when most of the work should be done.

Linking workforce performance data with specific warehouse activities gives companies maximum insight into productivity at an individual, team, or department level. This can highlight areas of high performance or identify opportunities for improvement, allowing for targeted training or process adjustments.

Integrating WMS and WFM systems can also streamline various warehouse operations, reducing the time and effort needed for coordination between different teams or departments. This can lead to faster processing times, reduced errors, and improved order fulfilment rates.

On the whole, integrated systems provide the agility needed to respond to changes in demand or operational conditions, allowing companies to scale up or down quickly. This is particularly important in the context of logistics, where demand can be highly variable.

Payroll Integrations

After MANUS WFM’s powerful time evaluation engine has performed its calculations, all the data needed for payroll processing is passed to your HR or payroll system. Automating this step is essential for ensuring the accurate and timely pay of all employees, no matter how complex the situation.

As for agency workers, agencies can download or import files with the payroll data they need in order to pay workers at their end.

Do you want to learn how MANUS WFM can help with these challenges?

Workforce management software offers transformative benefits for logistics operations, addressing a range of challenges from labor cost control to compliance. It easily manages the diverse contract types and CLAs that the logistics workforce bring, streamlines operations, ensures accurate and timely pay, and helps organizations to adapt to changes in demand.

To discover how MANUS WFM can manage your WFM needs while reducing labor costs by up to 10%, contact us today to request a demo.  

Workforce management software offers transformative benefits for logistics operations, addressing a range of challenges from labor cost control to compliance. In this article, we reviewed the biggest WFM challenges for logistics and touched on how WFM software can help.

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