Understaffing In Warehouse Industry

Staffing in the industrial business requires a fine balance; the gap between understaffing and overstaffing can very often be narrow and carries heavy consequences for whichever way it falls.

Avoid understaffing to maintain happy workers and customers

Looking at one of the main problems of understaffing, we can establish a clear link between staff wellbeing and customer satisfaction. Thus, this link is a very crucial matter that will affect your business as a whole and can be a deal-breaker for your sales and profitability.

According to a survey by the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE), it is estimated that approximately half-million individuals believe they have been exposed to occupational stressors at a level that caused them to become ill. Ultimately, stress, anxiety and other physical manifesting illnesses (which may be caused by stress) are hard to identify because they are reliant on subjective self-reported symptoms. With that in mind, it highlights that companies must set preparation frameworks in place for preventing jeopardising the wellbeing of workers, rather than finding ‘quick-fix cures’ for an organisational disaster.

However, looking at the stress level that a business will go through in the peak season is merely looking at the problem from a partial-approach. If, as previously discussed, this busy forecast is not treated with structure for prevention of understaffing— this initial stress can further cause organisational chaos and potentially cause workers to become severely injured. This is particularly true for the industrial sector where workers are often required to work with lifting heavy products, driving vehicles and packing products. Multiple physical illnesses and injuries have been ascribed to occupational stressors and making arrangements through temp workers has been proven to be a cost-effective way to handle the understaffing issue.

Positive reviews earn the UK market up to £2bn per year

As previously reported, understaffing comes with many consequences. Failure to successfully map out your peak-season staff rota effectively, your company will be in high risk of loss of profitability and sales. Times are changing and with the implementation and demand of e-commerce, customers have significantly increased expectations to businesses keeping on top of reliable and timely service or product delivery. We could take a walk down memory lane to the Blockbuster vs Netflix historic story. Quite simply put, not responding to expectations of customers will cost you business. Study shows higher transaction rate takes place when businesses have optimal level of staffing.

Further, good reviews contribute to £2 billion spending in the UK per year. Customers are more likely to publicly post about their negative experiences on social media and other review pages. According to a 2015 report run on 1,000 UK business, it was revealed that negative reviews (whether justified or simply maliciously intended), cost business up to £30,000 per year. This is also a result of new customers becoming uninterested due to lack of trust or active customers who decide to turn to competitors for a better service.

There is no such thing as bad weather, but only staffing badly for the weather

Booking temp workers can resolve the problems that come with being understaffed, without committing to new permanent staff. As temp staff can be hired with short notice, you can make quick arrangements, while keeping your permanent staff solution cost-effective.

This is not limited to the Christmas factor, but in the industrial sector, businesses should be looking at deeper logistical problems caused by weather circumstances. It has been estimated by a study by telecoms provider Daisy Group, that up to a third of the UK workforce cannot get to work during the heaviest winter weather, costing the UK economy up to £350 million a day in lost productivity. Local temp workers can solve some of the forecasted weather-related issues related to logistics.