Infor SCM software reduces labor costs up to 30 percent

Infor SCM Labor Management is a new, integrated warehouse and labor management solution that provides real-time workforce performance feedback to help improve warehouse operations and reduce labor costs.

July 16, 2009

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Infor SCM Labor Management is a new, integrated warehouse and labor management solution that provides real-time workforce performance feedback to help improve warehouse operations and reduce labor costs, Infor says. Labor Management extends the capabilities of Infor SCM Warehouse Management to manage all aspects of labor in the warehouse, from planning to tracking and reporting.

Labor costs are typically the largest expense in the warehouse, and in many operations, such as third party logistics providers, it can account for up to 50 percent of a warehouse’s total operating costs. Many companies plan for and track workforce schedules and actuals through spreadsheets, a manual process prone to errors. This process does not generate an accurate, real-time view of tasks in the warehouse or allow management to identify inefficiencies. Labor Management, integrated with a company’s warehouse management system, can reduce these costs up to 30 percent by identifying areas of high performance as well as the comparable inefficiencies. With the fully integrated Labor Management, operations can now pinpoint unproductive time, such as idle time between tasks, meetings, repair work, etc. Direct activities are also tracked, in which all users can be measured against expected standards, and each other, to prove and showcase good performance, while also identifying areas for improvement and corrective action.

"You cannot improve what you cannot measure ," said Mark Humphlett, director supply chain, global solutions marketing, Infor. "The warehouse has traditionally been an area of high costs and companies have not had visibility into the labor productivity that drives warehouse operations. Infor SCM Labor Management provides a simple, graphical way to direct, track, measure, and report employee productivity. This gives you a better understanding where labor time is being used, where productivity could be improved, and places control of warehouse labor in the hands of the company."

Labor Management provides real-time monitoring of performance feedback against established labor standards. One way to capture this information is via a user’s radio frequency (RF) device on a task-by-task basis. For example, the solution identifies the time required for an employee to perform a task, or tasks, associated with a pick, putaway or other operation, and compares that to the company’s established standard. Labor Management will report to the user’s RF device in real time how they are performing their tasks throughout the day. Previously, this information was only available during shift changes or breaks. Now, management can make changes in real time and can implement performance improvements dynamically.

The new Labor Management solution’s flexibility reduces deployment time and in-use complexity, Infor explains. Companies have the option of deploying discrete engineered labor standards or the option to use reasonable expectancies if one wants to reduce the time and investment required to establish engineered standards. Deployment time is also reduced by leveraging the visualization of the solution to get a picture of the warehouse, the locations, the equipment and flows associated with specific labor tasks.

Deployment time is further reduced by leveraging the Labor Management visual data validation tools, company says. An interactive warehouse viewer renders a two-dimensional drawing of the warehouse locations based upon the xyz location coordinates. Users are able to interactively select origin and destination locations from the visual warehouse map, and specify a labor task type and an equipment type. Based upon these selections, the warehouse viewer then visually renders the travel path and travel distance based upon the warehouse and labor management configuration. This visual representation of the labor task allows the user to easily validate the configuration data, saving time during the initial data setup phase. An additional benefit is ensuring the accuracy of the data. Accurate data setup prevents potentially costly mistakes in warehouse operations where employees are compensated based upon their performance against established labor standards.

With the labor scheduling functionality of Labor Management, managers are able to develop and execute tactical labor plans that balance labor needs across the facility based upon actual labor demand. Labor scheduling takes into account expected workload, operational throughput standards, user details, and work schedules; and provides managers with a graphical schedule tool to finalize schedules down to the specific user, role and work zone level.

"Businesses are looking for ways to maintain a competitive advantage, maintain profit margins, and specifically better utilize labor resources, added Humphlett." Infor’s Labor Management can help drive these initiatives on a consistent basis across your warehouse enterprise."

See other labor management announcements and software coverage from MBT .

Infor announce announced general availability on July 13.

– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, electronic products editor, MBT