Color Coding Simplifies Process for Seasonal Staffers

Oct 28, 2011 8:17 PM  By

Kim Silva, operations team leader for food gifts cataloger Fairytale Brownies, says some of her company’s lessons learned from last year’s holiday experiences will be implemented in this year’s planning.

Silva says this holiday season Fairytale Brownies is color coding certain aisles in the warehouse so seasonal team members have an easier time identifying where particular items are stored.

“They can more easily do this at a glance with the color coding, which cuts down on travel time,” she says. “We are also assigning particular groups to packing certain items so they aren’t confused at having to learn the entire product line.”

But this can be difficult, Silva explains, for some seasonal staffers who work for a shorter time period — in particular the company’s 3-week peak staff in December.

Fairytale Brownies has improved its custom ordering system internally so it’s easier for seasonal customer service team members to understand and use. “This cuts down on the training time so we were able to bring them on a little later, which in turn saved on payroll,” Silva says. “We also redesigned a few gift items that did not sacrifice on the quality or uniqueness of the item, but made them easier to pack.”

Silva says her company stocks inventory differently between early November and mid-December. “We have holiday items that are not available year round, so we have to account for this. They are typically the fast movers, so we do move things around and store these accordingly for faster picking.”