The U.S. economy recently hit a significant milestone: for the first time ever, there were more job openings than unemployed people. For logistics leaders, this wasn’t news— they have been dealing with a shortage of warehouse labor for some time. And this hyper-competitive labor market only gets worse during the last quarter of the year, peak season for most ecommerce and retail operations.
During peak (Nov. 22- Dec. 24), it’s common for warehouses to handle massive demand increases… and massive recruiting and training challenges. Daily volumes balloon anywhere from 3-10x average days. So HR departments scramble to hire up to 5x more staff than needed, and warehouse managers spend precious hours training new hires at the expense of the entire team’s productivity. And then the plot-twist: the new hires they spent weeks onboarding walk out the door with all that knowledge, ready to put it to work at another facility that might be paying them just a quarter more per hour.
Something’s got to give.
At 6 River Systems, we’ve designed a solution that helps warehouses handle the demands of their peaks. Our solution, made up of collaborative mobile robots we call “Chuck” and cloud-based software, is easy to use, scalable and establishes predictability around your peak labor and throughput.
- Easy to use. We’re the only mobile robotics system that uses a directed approach to accelerate training and increase operator rates. Our collaborative robot Chuck leads warehouse associates down the aisles through their work, guiding them to the right picks and replenishments. Chuck is very easy to use, and associates are trained on Chuck in only 15 minutes.
- Scalability. Because our solution doesn’t require any infrastructure, operators can quickly scale their fleets up or down on-demand, with robots live in 2-4 weeks. Our rental and capital buying options make us a more flexible type of warehouse automation than traditional systems.
- Predictability. This is a really important one for our operators as they’re trying to hit maximum throughput reliably day after day during peak. Operators see 2-3x increase in rates with Chuck, and gain greater visibility into their associates’ work and system utilization with our data analytics.
At 6 River Systems, we thoroughly prepare all of our customer sites for their peaks. The 6RS team is the most experienced and best equipped in the world at understanding the demands of peak season on operators and systems during their most stressful times of year. For more information on how we improve warehouse operations, visit our website at 6river.com.