Survey: Peak Times Strain Labor Strategies

Mar 28, 2007 9:18 PM  By

A majority of executives feel that their temporary-labor strategies could improved, according to a recent Supply Chain Consortium survey of 100 top retail/wholesale and consumer goods companies.

“Results indicate that companies are searching for ways to improve strategies for handling peak period volume and managing temporary labor,” says Bruce Tompkins of Raleigh, NC-based supply chain solutions provider Tompkins Associates and author of the “Peak and Temporary Labor” report. “There is clear evidence of a need for a more-structured temporary-employee program. A major issue is the limited training that temporary and peak employees receive, because it directly affects productivity.”

The survey also revealed:

  • Nearly half of all companies provided fewer than 10 hours of training to their temporary distribution employees, and 21% provided fewer than two hours of training.
  • The average peak month’s volume is greater than the average nonpeak month’s volume by approximately 70%.
  • During peak months, distribution overtime and temporary labor hours grow to 29% of the total labor hours worked, up from 15% during nonpeak months.
  • Only 11% of respondents said they offer additional compensation to existing employees during peak periods.
  • Companies clearly require less time to fill temporary distribution positions than temporary transportation positions. The lead time to hire temporary transportation employees averages 30 days, compared with 23 days for distribution employees.
  • The highest-rated approach for providing management was increasing the number of workers per manager and supervisor, followed by temporarily promoting full-time employees to supervision.