The worker shortage has brought with it several challenges. Blue-collar companies have had to do some serious restructuring to accommodate for the new normal. Many employees have started switching careers due to larger salary increases.
Employers looking to retain their employees are being forced to re-evaluate their salary structures. The e-commerce industry has not been left unaffected either. However, their picture does look slightly different. So how are they coping during these challenging times?
Turning to automation
The e-commerce industry is growing rapidly. This has led to companies having to build larger warehouses, seeing that shop floor space is not needed. Finding workers to man the warehouses is proving to be a challenge. This is why companies are looking to robots and automation to limit the number of people who are needed on the floor.
Some experts warn that automation will lead to job losses, but this seems unlikely, seeing that there are already not enough people to run the warehouses. Not only can robots ease the workload at the warehouses, but automated trucks could become a viable option to limit staff needs when it comes to transport.
Smaller companies have turned to outsource to ease the burden of worker shortages. Companies like Red Stag Fulfillment have stepped into the gap of warehouse management and logistics by offering smaller companies 3PL warehouse space. Third-Party Logistics is an all-inclusive service that smaller companies have turned to.
Although these companies still manufacture and produce products, the storage and distribution logistics are outsourced. They pick, pack, ship, and distribute your inventory so that you can spend more time on other aspects of the business. For e-commerce companies who are already short on staff, it is the ultimate solution.
There are several aspects and areas in an e-commerce company where staff is needed and with the current shortage, there are bound to be vacant areas. Instead of trying to find competent staff, companies have started to rely more on on-demand staffing solutions than before. Staffing websites have a repository of staff and depending on the need of the company, they will assign staff on assignment.
When a worthy candidate impresses management, they usually offer the hired hand a competitive salary. This allows the e-commerce company to continue functioning and handpick staff while they are doing the work. A major benefit of this hiring model is that labor is relatively cheap and there are no lengthy contracts between a company and casual workers.
Enhancing the work experience
Millennials are the next wave of the workforce and for them, a positive and productive work experience is highly important. E-commerce companies have fallen short on the work experience part in recent history, but that is starting to change. These companies have started to invest in work experience to get the most out of their employees.
Part of the work experience is continuous development. Training and upskilling employees have become important anchor points for staff when they have to decide on whether they want to stay or leave a particular job.
Keeping tech and staff in sync
A common problem that has developed in recent years is the shift to digital administrative systems and this has caused more problems than what it solved. Employees felt inadequately trained to do routine work and became over-burdened with technical issues.
To overcome this deterrent, companies have started to invest in working environments that encourage productivity. To do this, they have started to secure the technical skills to drive technology and make their staff members super-efficient.