The holiday season has begun. To stay ahead of customer demands and outwit the competition, efficient fulfillment is the key to your success. Have you taken these steps to ensure your DC is ready?

  1. Training

If you are bringing on temporary team members to manage the extra workload, you need them to become productive quickly. However, you don’t want to invest a lot in training since these new workers will be gone after the holidays.  If you have a continuous improvement program in place, you may have already made a good start to simplify your processes, which will make it easier to bring new people on board. This is not the right time to make sweeping changes to procedures, but small tweaks may help you keep productivity high.

You should also invest in mobile devices that are simple and intuitive to use, and make sure they know how to operate the devices. Show new employees how to scan bar codes using a handheld scanner or mobile computer, and how to change the batteries or recharge cordless devices. Don’t forget about loading labels! Temporary employees need to know

how to replenish bar code label printers, and where to go if they run in to a problem they can’t solve on their own.

Giving your temporary employees a thorough grounding in your equipment and procedures will help them to become productive faster and keep them from becoming a drain on the productivity of your experienced staff.

  1. Workforce Preparation

Make sure you have enough devices, spare batteries, chargers and accessories to supply each worker, and make sure they have a keen understand of the business processes they need to perform. Equipping users with the right data collection devices will not only keep productivity high but may also improve safety by reducing accidents.  For example, arming your workers with hands-free bar code scanners or a voice-directed data collection solution will speed up productivity, allowing them to spend more time on the task and less time fiddling with the device.

  1. Select Devices for Efficiency and Reliability

Your entire team needs to move fast during the holiday season and other peak times of the year, so be sure your devices are up to the task. If your mobile devices are not rated for the rigors of a rugged distribution center or warehouse, or if your handheld scanners are not as responsive as they need to be for your fast-paced environment, it can lead to a decrease in order accuracy, increased rates of failure and additional expenses to correct mistakes. Printer volumes may also become an issue if you are asking your printer to exceed its rated duty cycle.


The Right Device Makes All the Difference
Choose rugged devices that can stand up to untrained and multiple users, drops to concrete and changes in environmental conditions. Consider the ergonomics of the device. You may want wireless scanners for the shipping area and forklift mounted devices or mobile terminals for the picking team. In the long run, it will save you time and money to choose devices wisely rather than focus on pricing. The right mobile devices can reduce costs and errors while increasing productivity and customer satisfaction.

Your employees will be picking, packing and shipping at break-neck speed, so having the right equipment will help keep them safe and improve accuracy while minimizing potential damage to your devices. The bottom line is that in a short amount of time, you’ll need to be on top of your game with speed and accuracy to satisfy customer requirements.