Effectively Managing Distribution Centers and Warehouses With a Frontline-Worker Platform: Part 2

Jul 20, 2023 7:30:20 AM . Julia Walsh

In the last post in this series, we looked at how retaining frontline workers and attracting new talent in DC and warehouse businesses can be related to the quality and efficacy of the IT applications that an operation deploys. Furthermore, we explored how a Frontline Workforce platform like Webalo uses orchestration and time management to help distribution centers make larger profits.

Today, we will take a deep dive into how a platform like Webalo can help a DC or warehouse manage incoming vehicles, manage their yard, and manage audits and internal operations related to loading, unloading, and placement or retrieval of goods. Most importantly, we will give a very clear idea of the cost savings this platform may provide for a company with multiple warehouses or DCs.

What Does Effective DC Management Look Like?


Figure 1- Source: Webalo Inc.

The above illustration depicts what happens when a DC operation is managed with a single application. Everything from gate entry to gate-out is well orchestrated and scheduled, and every transaction is captured. Entries are automated and made contactless through RFID or another kind of wireless transaction, and as soon as a vehicle enters the CD, all information pertaining to the vehicle is uploaded instantly and in real time across the Webalo Apps. What happens next is remarkable: the vehicle receives automated instructions about the unloading bay.

The driver simply moves to the designated bay, where frontline workers who are already aware of the incoming vehicle and its cargo perform mandatory inspections and proceed with unloading. At this juncture, the vehicle may be assigned to a yard position to load a fresh haul or move on to another task. The goods unloaded from said vehicle will have already been designated a spot on the racks, shelves, or bays within the DC, and the forklift operator’s job is simply to place the goods at the requisite spot.

The system confirms when the goods reach their spot, and DC stock is updated in real time, giving workers and supervisors updates about every placement and retrieval transaction happening on the DC floor.  With each vehicle, yard spot, storage bay, audit, and exit well planned, scheduled, and reported, the operation catapults to Industry 4.0-level efficiency. Nothing in the DC is unpredictable or uncertain. Vehicle waiting times are minimized, driver check-ins and check-outs are virtually automated, audits are expedited, and visibility is end to end. All of this saves time, which as we have established, is the currency of DC and warehouse management. However, a platform like Webalo has an even more profound impact on an area that is often not prioritized but is extremely valuable to a great operation: the frontline workforce.

Webalo and FLW Retention:


Figure 2- Source: Webalo Inc.

As we described in our earlier post, attracting and retaining the right talent and a lack of quality supervision are two of the biggest challenges facing the DC and warehousing industry. Figure 2 depicts the Workforce Intelligence Center that Webalo creates by digitizing workflows, forms, and instructions and by providing notifications, alerts, visualizations, and analytics.

Imagine you are a frontline worker in a DC managed with Webalo. Your mobile phone is your workstation, and every transaction happening in the DC is recorded and reported and then translated into action items and presented in real time with clear instructions and explanations. Furthermore, in case you want to review your day’s work, the platform provides you with keen insights on your work and its relation to your KRAs and how they impacted the overall operation. The platform also allows you to collaborate with and seek advice from your superiors and other subject-matter experts. 

Webalo truly empowers you to do your job better, use the device you are most familiar with, and collaborate, analyze, and suggest improvements all through the same platform. You will never miss a beat with Webalo, because every part of your job is captured, and the provided notifications and alerts help you do better.

Now, if you are a part of the DC business at any level, you will want the Workforce Intelligence Center not just for your workers but for your whole operation. It will help retain talent and attract new talent because work is made simpler and effective. 

Webalo Helps You Save the Big Bucks:


Figure 3- Source: Webalo Inc.

With Webalo deployed, the average savings per DC is estimated at $200,000 in the first year of deployment. But how? Figure 3, above, illustrates what a DC’s yard report looks like on Webalo. Basically, every aspect of each vehicle and all transactions pertaining to that vehicle that impact the yard’s management are captured and reported through the platform. Now, visualize all operations, from gate in/gate out to yard management to DC load close out being effectively orchestrated with absolute clarity about each and every aspect of the DC operation.

The result is an efficient operation, and with an efficient operation comes time savings., Time savings translate to cost savings, and that means better profitability per DC. Now, multiply this savings of $200,000 across ten DCs,  or better yet, fifty DCs, and the results are mind-boggling. The investment reduces drastically after the first year of implementation, but the savings continue to pour in, year after year!

Webalo provides DC and warehousing companies with a unique value proposition while addressing multiple challenges that the industry currently faces. It creates a Workforce Intelligence Center that helps retrain, retain, and attract workers while it improves operational efficiency, improves time management, and helps save millions of dollars. So, choosing Webalo is a no-brainer!