Industry Insights

What every business can learn from the biggest names in retail

In many ways, companies like Walmart and Amazon are the envy of the business world. These big-name companies stand out for their profitability, innovative strategies and logistics superiority. What can small- to mid-size warehousing and logistics companies learn from these retail giants?

A whole lot.

Both Walmart and Amazon demonstrate strengths that smaller companies can emulate. Walmart reigns supreme in the big-box landscape, and Amazon—the world’s largest e-commerce company—dominates the entire retail industry. Much of their success can be attributed to the efficiency and innovation driven through real-time data analysis.

Both companies have enormous labor pools, and workforce efficiency is critical to their success. In order to maximize productivity, both Amazon and Walmart took a data-driven approach to measuring workforce utilization. Using time-tracking statistics to measure the productivity of individual employees down to two-minute intervals, some distribution centers were able to cut or redistribute staff by 25% while gaining higher levels of productivity.

In other words, both Walmart and Amazon continually use their real-time workforce data to do more with less, maximizing both efficiency and productivity.

While it’s true that Walmart and Amazon have a large pool of in-house resources, your workforce solutions provider should offer you advanced data management and analysis capabilities that are just as effective as those available to major retailers.

Data insights provide you with real-time information to make quick decisions that have a direct impact on your bottom line. Your workforce provider should be able to say, “Here are your workforce statistics. Here are your inefficiencies. And here are the specific ways we can help your staff become more proactive and productive.”

Real-time data quickly pinpoints problem areas on the warehouse floor before they become major issues. It can suggest ways to tighten and optimize retail distribution. Real-time data may also indicate delays in order fulfillment or staffing, and can help reduce or eliminate shipping issues. Walmart and Amazon use real-time data to accomplish these goals every day—and with the right workforce solutions provider, your company can, too.

Top grading for high quality workers

Major warehousing organizations like Walmart and Amazon embrace top grading, a hiring and interviewing methodology that identifies ideal candidates for open positions. Top grading helps ensure that talent acquisition and management processes focus on identifying, hiring, promoting and retaining a high quality workforce.

Having access to qualified staff gives you a competitive advantage and allows your company to drive innovation, productivity and growth. Look for a workforce provider that top-grades candidates rather than responding to your staffing needs by sending over the first person who applies for the job.

Now that unemployment in many markets has dipped down to well under 5%, your workforce provider must be much more savvy with the hiring process. The best providers highlight full-time opportunities, benefits options and tangible advancement opportunities. They move beyond the traditional “want ad” mentality to use social media and other innovative hiring techniques. They filter top candidates from a wide pool of applicants to find the best fits for both your company and your open positions. With top-grade staffing, you get a qualified, satisfied workforce that’s more efficient and productive from day one.

When engaging with a workforce solutions provider, look for a data-driven leader in innovation, development and implementation of cutting edge workforce solutions. They can meet your unique needs and continually improve your workforce to make you just as productive, efficient and competitive as the titans of the retail world.

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