How does the new normal affect your warehouse, transportation and offices?

Tips Boltrics social distancing

How does the new normal affect your warehouse, transportation and offices?

The worldwide pandemic of the coronavirus is still influencing most of our lives, luckily there are also positive trends in the numbers of people that are contaminated by the virus. Therefore, governments are already thinking about how we have to adjust our way of living in the next year, in order to prevent the coronavirus from quickly spreading again. One of the most significant changes we will have to live with is to hold on to social distancing. The rules on social distancing are likely to influence our personal and working life over the next year. This calls for creativity and innovation in almost every branch. The logistic branch is no exception.

What does this mean for the employees in your warehouse? In what way have you solved certain issues until now? And how do you prevent transportation from coming to a standstill? These are just a small amount of questions that you have to ask yourself when we have to adjust to the new kind of society. Adjust to the new normal. In this blog, we share best practices and we give you tips on how you can prepare your work environment to the new normal in society.

A call to creativity in your warehouse

In this new normal, your regular (work) habits will need to change. Besides the focus on hygiene and staff, your business will have to focus on efficiency: gaining the best possible results with at least as possible people together. Your WMS can help with this.

Optimize warehouse movements
One of the things your WMS can help you with is monitoring the performance of resources with the help of Power BI. Furthermore, with warehouse strategies, you can determine the best place to store goods. To keep the distance between employees, you can also start order picking per zone. In this way, you can make sure order pickers aren’t collecting orders in the same zones as their co-workers while speeding up your process as well.

In a time of social distancing, you want to be able to adjust the number of activities in a certain area in your warehouse. With the help of the module WMS Advanced X/Y coordinates, you can determine the route your warehouse employees take to collect orders. In this way, you prevent crowds close to each other.

Prevent jams in front of your docks.
It may be busy on and around your docks. Prevent employees from drowning in the amount of deliveries or from drivers waiting in a traffic jam in front of the docks. Remove pressure from your office staff and give your customers the ability to reserve a specific timeslot based on your warehouse capacity using Boltrics’ Timeslot Management. Using this tool, waiting trucks and traffic jams in front of your warehouse are unthinkable and you will become your customers’ favorite.

Automatize actions with workflows
By automizing more processes with workflows, the speed of the workflow is raised. Your employees will have to do fewer manual actions while you don’t have to give in on incomes.

Work priority based
Many companies already process orders based on priorities. However, with the advised amount of distance it is even more important to check the order of collecting the articles. Enabling you to prevent employees from working to close to each other because of being in a hurry.

Use data and anticipate on future orders.
Use the data from your WMS and make an estimation of orders you are expecting in the nearby future. Doing so, it is often quite simple to get valuable insights. For example, you know exactly how many articles are stored, you know the average lead time and you are aware of the trends in called orders. Insights that can help you divide your work stock and inform your customers at the same time.

Social distancing in transport

During the current corona crises, the transport branch is in heavy waters. Although some businesses are working overtime to supply supermarkets, hospitals and pharmacies, others run into problems because of delays caused by closed international borders, negative corona experience of drivers or pressure on time window in cities.

Besides, there are a lot of companies that see the numbers of orders decrease. Because transportation is marked as being crucial, your employed drivers may still be driving “normally”. However, other parts of your organization may have much less work. Do you have to sit still in this period? Not if you don’t want to. Be creative in your solutions. When you still want to do something useful, try helping out the flower deliverers to health practices or elderly homes. Your knowledge will be valued there.

Though the consequences, the logistic branch is holding on to the measures as washing your hands and social distancing as is needed. In the near future this doesn’t seem to change. More and more companies are coming up with creative solutions to the earlier mentioned problems. For example, diners and truck stops have started to bring food to the drivers’ cabin and obligated rest periods are widened.

These measures also have to be followed in your processes. So be creative with the solutions and think innovatively. For example, considering social distancing, make your drivers or customers digitally sign the POD using the App Platform.

Prepare your office for the new normal

Besides changes on the floor and on the road, you also need to take measures in your office to ensure the hygiene. This can be done with small, practical changes. For example, place cleaning equipment on every desk. Then, your employees are able to clean their workstation when they are done working.

Furthermore, different companies have already separated the workspaces in the same by a transparent screen, like in the supermarket. This also lowers the chance of contamination among your employees.

Create awareness, also in the hallway
Keeping distance is not important to the employees in your warehouse or transport only. It is also of significant importance that colleagues in the office keep the appropriate distance between them. By practical and visual adjustments to the workspaces, you can stimulate your colleagues to do so. For example, you can create routes in normally crowded hallways or you can add visual separations around workplaces. This can be done by creating a circle around the workspace with a radius of 1.5 meter. These visual tools help your employees to be aware of the distance that should be kept.

Don’t bring your co-workers coffee
This may feel less social, but in reality, you allow your colleague to go for a walk himself. So, it is a win-win. In addition, give everyone their own cup with their own name or a quote that fits perfectly to your co-worker. This way your colleague won’t drink up your coffee by accident.

Work in shifts
The most colleagues are in the office between 8 am and 6 pm. Try to discuss how you can decrease the occupation of the offices. For example, divide working hours in different timeslots.

Remind your colleagues
Keeping distance, thoroughly wash your hands; it sounds so simple. However, in the daily chaos people might forget the agreements. Luckily, there are a lot of simple ways to remind your colleagues. Place a funny poster on the coffee machine, a text on the toilet or a sticker on the floor of your warehouse.   

Mike Oerlemans
Posted by
Mike Oerlemans