CognitOps Product

Warehouse Workforce by SLA Prioritization

CognitOps Product Update – May 2024

From the beginning, one of the main problems our customers faced was that they didn’t know how their workforce plan across their building stacked up against where the work would be. We started addressing that challenge with what we call “Pick Labor Moves.” In our latest update we add another layer of functionality with Pick Labor Moves by SLA.

Pick Labor Moves

In this straightforward view, we show where all the work is distributed throughout the warehouse and the number of workers (and the individual workers) currently working in each area. This allows a supervisor to immediately assess how the work and workers are balanced across the facility. 

warehouse workforce

Pick Labor Moves

This view highlights areas where there may be too many workers assigned relative to the amount of work, as well as areas where there may be too much work for the allocated workers. Essentially, it helps identify imbalances that could lead to lower productivity and utilization.

Our baseline approach treats all work equally, and our algorithm balances the workload across the workforce to ensure that all tasks in all areas are completed around the same time. This enables supervisors to think strategically about moving workers around to keep everyone busy during their shifts and to ensure all work gets done. Supervisors can also override the default settings to prioritize tasks or groups of work that need to be completed by a particular time. 

warehouse workforce

Pick Labor Moves by Priority

However, we know that not all work is not created equal. That leads into this month’s update: Pick Labor Moves by SLA.

Pick Labor Moves by SLA

Some industries and companies operate with specific shipment cutoffs throughout the day. For example, hospitals have unpredictable needs and may submit multiple orders to medical suppliers daily, unlike industries such as retail where demand is more predictable. Medical suppliers often have multiple cutoff times for orders that must be met for next-day delivery. Our customers with this shipment model have requested a much more precise method to manage their warehouse workforce to ensure priority work meets its required cutoff times.

With Align Pick Labor Moves by SLA, supervisors receive guidance on staffing each area to ensure that work is completed just in time – not too early and not too late. 

warehouse workforce

Pick Labor Moves by SLA

This guidance helps prevent overstaffing and understaffing while ensuring the teams meet the daily cutoff times. Align handles the calculation for supervisors, eliminating the need for Excel spreadsheets to manually analyze work drops against specific cutoff times or to rearrange staff, chasing work throughout the day as cutoff times sneak up and work suddenly needs to be done in the next hour.  

warehouse workforce

Pick Labor Moves by SLA Cutoff

Behind the scenes, Align assesses workload peaks and adjusts staffing to meet these peaks. This new method allows for better planning and prioritizing of staffing based on the work required by each cutoff time.

Coming Soon

When workers are on the clock, they often move between departments, handling tasks as needed. The Picking KPI Dashboard we introduced last month effectively measures utilization while an employee is in a single department. However, for customers with multiple modules, it doesn’t track performance when employees move across departments.

To address this, next month we’ll introduce the Facility Worker Performance view, which aggregates performance metrics for each worker across the entire facility.

CognitOps | The Team - Reas Macken

Author: Reas Macken Co-founder, COO & Head of Product

Get the latest news and updates. 

Contact us to discuss how this kind of labor visibility can keep you on track…