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Ways to Measure Productivity Without a Labor Management System (LMS)

Tuesday, June 11, 2019   (0 Comments)

Not an empty chair was in sight in the peer-2-peer discussion, “Ways to Measure Productivity Without a Labor Management System (LMS),” guided by Steve Hopper, Founder & Principal at Inviscid Consulting. Perhaps that was because the 90% of participants acknowledged by a show of hands that they currently do not have an LMS within their operations.

Hopper framed the discussion by first gaining consensus on what an LMS does: tracks and collects data about labor’s performance in a given function, both on an individual and an aggregate basis. Those functions might include metrics about inventory accuracy, safety, shipping discrepancies, picks or putaways per hour, overtime percentages and dock-to-stock time among others. The LMS provides analysis capabilities that can be adjusted to measure productivity over a period of time (day-to-day, weekly, monthly, by shift, etc.).

Some of the methodologies utilized by session attendees to measure productivity without an LMS included:

  • Operations that have a warehouse management system (WMS) can pull some labor-related statistics from it, noted one participant who added that it was not ideal for attaining real-time information.

  • One attendee described how his facility has added a time-stamp kiosk for employees to check in and out of by scanning their ID badge when they enter and exit a pick module or other process area. What that system does not capture, he pointed out, is travel time and dwell time.

  • A third participant explained how his operation utilized process engineers to determine reasonable expectation standards for how long the average employee takes to perform a function.

  • Utilizing data from metrics captured automatically by a forklift tracking system was how another attendee’s operation captures some of their labor performance data, specifically around safety, travel time and lifting time.

  • Error tracking, documented in post-picking/pre-packing quality control process, was suggested as another way to measure employee performance.


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