Five Fulfillment Fundamentals
• Clear height: For merchandise storage, a maximum clear ceiling height of 30 feet or more is ideal.
• Flooring: It should be level, smooth and sealed with a load capacity of 250 pounds per square foot.
• Lighting: Employees' eye strain, headaches and tension caused by poor lighting severely impact their productivity and work quality.
• Enough parking: Because direct commerce fulfillment operations tend to be labor-intensive, adequate staff parking is a critical factor in facility design. The ideal number of parking spaces depends on the availability of public transportation in your area. When public transit is limited, a parking space for each one to 1.25 employees is recommended, plus a limited number of spaces for visitors.
• Expansion capabilities, either by leasing contiguous space or by adding onto your existing facility.
3. Flexible Workforce
As you know, most catalog businesses experience peaks and valleys in sales and work volume. That's why a flexible workforce is one of the most important elements in maintaining service levels and controlling costs.
The most effective organizational setup features a three-tiered staffing strategy: a mixture of full- and flex-time permanent staff, supplemented by temporary, seasonal workers.
Typically, flex workers are guaranteed a minimum number of work hours per week in off-peak processing periods, with expanded hours required during peak seasons. The base staffing level of a particular function consists of full-time staffers and the contracted hours of flex workers. Meet your peak seasonal needs by expanding your flex staff and adding temporary workers.
Also, studies show that flex workers are at least as productive as full-timers, and that in many cases they're more cost-effective, because they can be sent home when work runs out.
Also, a flexible workforce constitutes a talent pool for full-time hires.
4. Engineered Systems and Processes