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nGROUP Performance Blog

Improving Warehouse Labor Productivity: Work Smarter

Posted by David Hair on Aug 27, 2018 1:56:00 PM

If warehouse labor productivity is a question mark at your corporation, you could be losing money. It is paramount to stay on top of your warehouse’s performance measurements at all times, continually searching for inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement. Otherwise, productivity could be slipping through the cracks…as could your profits. Learn how to make your warehouse operations leaner through data-backed strategies with help from nGROUP.


 Use Technology to Your Advantage

ngroup blog technologyYour company’s per-unit costs of production directly correlates to your employee productivity. When you experience efficiency issues in the warehouse, it can cause a severe bottleneck effect in the rest of the process. It should be your goal to optimize warehouse labor productivity, thus minimizing per-unit costs of production.


One of the best tools available to warehouse managers and business owners is technology. nVISION technology from nGROUP allows a company to analyze how its workforce completes each process, step by step. Our proprietary software takes photos and videos of warehouse processes, then runs the data through a system to immediately determine where the establishment is wasting time or losing productivity. At this stage, it can create standardized processes and printable instructions for all warehouse workers to follow. With the data from nVISION technology, you can produce a performance-based incentive pay to increase productivity significantly.


Ask If Incentive Pay Is Right for Your Workforce

Incentive pay programs can transform your warehouse. At nGROUP, our clients have seen remarkable productivity improvements after implementing incentive pay programs in their warehouses and shipping departments. Incentive pay is ideal in a warehouse work environment where workers control how much they accomplish each day. That means they have the power to streamline their workdays, get more done, and qualify for incentive bonuses. There are two main types of incentive pay programs:


  1. Casual. Casual incentive pay involves rewards that don’t always come down to cash. Casual awards can range from a simple pat on the back to a gift card. Casual incentive programs are just that – casual. They may not have specific systems or performance measurements. Instead, it is up to the warehouse manager to provide casual rewards to deserving workers.
  2. Structured. A structured incentive pay program means that employees know exactly what they must do to receive the reward. Structured programs describe exactly what the reward will be at each phase, as well as what it takes to “win.” It keeps rewards monetary, making it easier for the establishment to reduce and control costs. Workers know that they can increase their wages if they accomplish a specific goal.

Improve Your Labor Management eBook

Issues can arise in a casual incentive setup if you don't have data to support why you rewarded an employee. Develop specific rules to structure your program for higher odds of success. A clear program, even if you keep it casual, can help prevent miscommunications. Incentive pay works great for employees in production-based positions. Although it is not always the best fit, when used correctly it can increase warehouse productivity and efficiency

Implement a Labor Management System

The way you manage your warehouse can significantly impact employee productivity, as can the management systems you implement. Opting for a proven labor management strategy has the power to reduce waste and maximize output at your workplace. Software-based labor management systems (LMSs) can help you manage your human resources. It makes the activities of your workforce more visible, providing a cost-effective way to analyze production and increase performance.


Click To Get Your Free Productivity Study


The right LMS can allow you to monitor things like the hours your staff works closely, the amount of downtime, the rate of production, and more. Implementing an LMS can increase your warehouse’s product velocity and help you enjoy an optimized workforce. Adoption can be comfortable with the right software from the right company. The systems we use at nGROUP have worked with many of our clients in the past and could do the same for you. 

Drive Productivity with the P in PUMP

If you haven’t heard of PUMP, it’s the handy acronym we use at nGROUP when performing warehouse productivity assessments. It stands for pace, utilization, method, and performance. The P in PUMP, pace, means monitoring your workforce’s unit production per hour. It also involves analyzing where you can improve systems and providing feedback for your employees to follow.


Calculating and improving pace in your warehouse requires an engineered standard that determines what you should be producing. Your engineered standard will stem from work measurement, data, and standardized systems in your workplace. You will develop your own engineered standard based on your company’s unique features. Then, you’ll put the standard to work as the template for the future. In other words, you’ll find the optimal pace for your warehouse based on data, and then train your employees to keep up.

Improve Warehouse Worker Training

Are your training procedures adequate when it comes to optimizing productivity? Working smarter involves enriching your training processes to give workers everything they need to perform their best. Improving your training processes might be what your firm is missing. Training can also go a long way toward improving your company culture. A better warehouse culture can ultimately translate into better productivity, as your employees will be happier and more inclined to work hard.

 ngroup blog - training


The way you train your workforce can make your expectations clear and prevent miscommunications and productivity problems in the future. Make your engineered standard clear, as well as how your warehouse eliminates wasted time. Prioritizing pace and productivity right from the start, during training, can maximize a warehouse’s efficiency and smooth over the on-boarding process – potentially avoiding employee turnover, which is a severe issue in warehouses today. 

Monitor Time Spent on a Task

Warehouse labor productivity comes down to one straightforward question: how much time are your employees spending on a task? nGROUP can monitor your workforce closely, analyzing things such as body movement, risk factors, and potential for errors. We use top technologies to compare different procedures and determine which is the fastest and safest for your team. Then, we’ll help you create newly engineered standards and adequately train your employees on how to use them. We’ll help you optimize warehouse labor productivity from start to finish. Contact our team today for personalized solutions. 

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Topics: nGROUP, warehouse efficiency, performance partners, employees, Human Logistics, Labor Management, Lean Manufacturing, risk, training, Business, Cost