The image of a warehouse worker only using a forklift to move pallets is rather outdated, as alongside taking care of incoming and outgoing goods, we are increasingly producing various value adding services and logistics outsourcing that companies utilise to enhance their operational efficiency.
For example, we sub-assemble equipment, gather boxed kits of parts needed in product manufacturing, and label product packages. Sometimes our customers also ask us to add separate campaign products to orders, such as gift cards or product gifts. Finland is gradually catching up with the other Nordic countries in logistics outsourcing.
Variability brings its own spice to our work. When our warehouses open in the morning, we only know about 30 % of the work for the coming day.
The essential question is how to successfully handle all the work at our warehouses and serve all our customers and their customers kindly and efficiently, supporting their businesses.
I started my own career at a warehouse, and I have seen the full scope of the task field. I believe that there are three cornerstones that guarantee our success: employee inclusion, positive customer encounters, and refined processes. I'll tell you a little more about them.
Ensuring employee inclusion
The most important thing – and the basis for our smooth operations – is employee inclusion. I'm not exaggerating at all when I say that logistics workers in our warehouses understand the big picture: how co-workers’ actions affect the success of all our customers' and their customers' businesses. For us, this work is more than just logistics work.
It is also clear to our employees why things are done in a certain way. If they think that a way of working needs to be developed, we will think about it and develop it together. Reciprocity also increases motivation and our employees’ commitment to us as a company.
Our excellent shared understanding is thanks to our experienced supervisors. They anticipate policy changes and discuss them well in advance. They support logistics workers each and every day and aspire to balance the workload at the warehouse to match resources. Whenever foremen need my help, they know they will get it.
Positive customer encounters
Every encounter with a customer and their customers – be it at a warehouse, or via phone or an electronic channel – is an opportunity for us to show that we are worthy of our promises.
Especially in tight places, our can do attitude, integrity, and customer oriented approach are tested.
A customer representative may, for instance, show up at our warehouse to pick up an order, but the order has not arrived yet. Our logistics employee's task is to report the situation and find a solution that ensures the customer expecting to make the pick-up has the most positive experience possible. If necessary, management will help.
A fun fact about refined processes is that they are constantly changing, because our customers have such altering needs and jobs. Consequently, the processes and how storage space is used to accomplish different things also constantly vary. It is important to ensure that our employees work smoothly and safely – and everything is completed on time.
A good example of our flexible approach are the kits we make. We put together a number of different kits for our customers to facilitate production work in their assembly lines. Our customers’ employees no longer need to leave the assembly line to collect the products they need, as they have the parts required for each work phase as a finished kit at their workstation.
We have made putting together kits as smooth as possible at our warehouse. We have placed kit assembly points in the immediate vicinity of the loading areas, and we have created a solution for assembling the kits that ensures an efficient and high-quality process.
A well-designed and flexible approach takes you forward.