Labor Shortage and the Rise of Real-Time Visibility


Maximizing Labor Efficiency with Supply Chain Visibility 

Over the past 20-22 months, we have experienced worldwide disruptions that have altered and influenced lifestyle changes. With COVID-19 inspired Global policies in place, day-to-day routines for industries on a global scale had to change how they operate within the supply chain sector. 

The Labor Shortage Effects on Supply Chain 

As the pandemic continued and Stay at Home Restrictions were established, many began to re-evaluate their careers and professional positions, which created an influx of individuals starting early retirement. With the current labor shortage, organizations are on a mass hiring spree but are facing challenges in finding, hiring, and retaining talent. Goldman Sachs researchers led by Jan Hatziusworf estimates that these trends will last well into the year (2022) as nearly 60% of the labor force will not be returning. 

Some factors to consider are that individuals of working age and capability are becoming much more selective in which career path they are willing to consider/pursue. Many are finding alternative ways to make an income and establish financial stability and are choosing to stop working the traditional 9-5’s altogether. These variables, coupled with the competition from other industries like technology (remote positions have gained immense popularity) or health care, manufacturing employment has decreased nearly 400,000 from pre-pandemic levels, creating the supply chain labor shortage we are experiencing today.  

Despite the Labor Shortage, Consumers Still Consume

We saw disruptions in delivering goods and merchandise worldwide, from delays like the Suez Canal obstruction, slowdowns in China, and unloading in Los Angeles. With these disruptions and the labor shortage, employers are finding that due to a lack of visibility, they are having a hard time effectively managing processes, and unloading imports, resulting in slow delivery times and shipping delays rippling across the entire supply chain. Thus, organizations have shifted to keep up with demands, leading them to restrategize and reframe how to maximize their efficiency with their existing labor force, like adding new processes like pay for performance. However, not all organizations have implemented new software, strategies, or procedures to help increase visibility to their supply chains and deliveries, contributing to a 6.2% surge in the consumer price index. 

Rise of Real-Time Visibility - A Step Towards an Intelligent Enterprise

Although organizations have solutions to manage their inventory, labor, and warehouse operations, they continue to face challenges with increased velocity, complexity, constraints, and declines in labor availability, visibility, and opportunities for efficiency gain. Other organizations look to automation and/or robotics as a solution, but these solutions are difficult to assess ROI. There are great technologies available today that help with manufacturing, but rarely do these solutions factor in inventory, labor, or storage constraints and are limited with their ability to integrate between all systems involved.  

Real-time visibility into operations is the first step towards an intelligent enterprise. With the ability to monitor all aspects of a distribution network, users gain the peace of mind that they will be alerted to a potential issue before it happens; organizations can then proactively shift their focus to their customers instead of reactively responding to emergencies. Real-time visibility provides updates within seconds of an action into the warehouse; this is critical for distribution teams who need access to make point-in-time decisions about their warehouse operations, labor management, and inventory.  

Real-Time Visibility into Your Operations

At the start of the pandemic, when COVID-19 news was rampant, the lack of real-time visibility into necessary items like household groceries, manufactured consumer goods, and medical equipment began to show faults in the structures of the supply chain sector.   

With the urgency to provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) across the country, one of the largest organizations in the world (the United Kingdom’s health care system) gained real-time visibility with Rebus. Rebus was implemented in three days and provided them with real-time visibility needed for the rapid and timely mass distribution of PPE.  

Rebus has helped various organizations gain control of their operations despite the constant worldwide disruptions. With Real-Time Visibility into your Warehouse, Labor, and Inventory, the Rebus Platform could be the solution you didn’t know you were looking for.  

By: Stephanie Alvarado


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