A new delivery-centric economy means an inexperienced workforce

The Warehouse
June 18th, 2020 SHIPPING & LOGISTICS

There’s been a lot of speculation about what the consumer economy will look like after it recovers over the coming months and years. While nobody knows exactly what the world will look like by this time next year, consensus gives us a hint: local shopping will take years to recover, if it ever does, and ecommerce delivery will stay hot. It stands to reason that the labor market will reflect this reality. That means more and more new workers in the fulfillment and delivery space, and the challenges that an inexperienced workforce presents.

So what does this major shift look like in practice? For one thing, when companies can’t rely on tribal knowledge in the warehouse anymore, they’ll be forced to invest in technology to control their packing process. The risk of subpar packing is significant--as shipping rates fluctuate with temporary COVID-19 surcharges, it’s more important than ever to pack in a cost-efficient way. Luckily for retailers and suppliers, cartonization technology can automate packing decisions and provide comprehensive instructions to workers who are just getting started.

Lionel, the preeminent maker of model trains for over 100 years and more recently race cars, is quite familiar with the challenges of an inexperienced workforce. They double their warehouse staff every year with temporary workers to handle holiday demand. Now, as hobby shops are all but deserted, Lionel expects a surge of demand, with year-round levels normally reserved for the busy season. One benefit of smart cartonization is that when new workers come in, there isn’t any mystery about how multi-item orders need to be packed. According to Rick Gemereth, CIO at Lionel, “the packing instructions (provided by Paccurate) improved the flow through the shipping stations with temporary help.”

As businesses adjust to the new normal and grow their fulfillment staff, it’s essential they put controls around their packing process. If executed well, a proper cartonization engine can reduce costs and wasted materials, ensuring not only that their shipping spend is minimal but also that sustainability doesn’t fall by the wayside with new personnel.

With packing images returned in every request, Paccurate can help generate comprehensive instructions to supercharge new and seasonal workers. Try the API for free, or talk to us.

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