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A simple pallet jack can make a huge difference in just about any warehouse or industrial setting because it strikes that fine balance between what a forklift can do at great expense, and what even a few workers can handle with great exertion. However, just like any other addition to your facility, there are safety concerns all involved should keep in mind.

Consequently, any company currently using pallet jacks, or thinking about incorporating them into their operations, needs to be cognizant of the following safety issues, among others:

1) Make sure any user has received proper training
Just like any other heavy equipment in your facility, managers need to ensure the workers handling a pallet jack have been properly trained to do so, according to Cherry's Industrial Equipment. There are no OSHA requirements around doing so, and thus some companies may just go without, but that's not a good idea. A quick safety training should cover everything workers need to know about proper pallet jack handling.


Safe pallet jack use is essential.Safe pallet jack use is essential.
2) Jacks should be examined before each use
In most cases, there shouldn't be too much wear and tear on a jack on a daily basis, but workers should always check the equipment over to make sure there are no problems before they start using it, Cherry's Industrial Equipment advised. That doesn't mean "at the start of each day," it means "every time it's used." A cursory glance should suffice, but it's important to ensuring everything is going to work as intended.

3) Weight restrictions must not be exceeded
Much like many other pieces of heavy equipment, pallet jacks are only built to withstand a certain amount of weight, according to Certify Me. If your workers exceed those limits, they may not only break the equipment itself, but they could also pose a safety risk to themselves and others. As such, any loads they take on with the jack need to be weighed to keep that risk minimized.

4) All potential hazards need to be accounted for
There are many things in any industrial setting that could pose a risk for pallet jack operators or others around them, Certify Me added. This could include traffic from other machinery (like forklifts) or inclines, as well as rough patches in flooring, debris left on the ground and more. Anyone using a pallet jack should therefore keep a lookout for anything that could pose a risk.

5) Users should plan their routes through the facility
A great way to prepare for such a risk certainly includes knowing what path the jack will take through a warehouse or factory before it's on that journey, according to HTSS, Inc. That way, it's easier to take the above risks into account, especially when those workers are also aware of what they will be using the jack to transport.

6) Potential issues must be reported right away
In the course of daily use, problems big or small might arise with any pallet jack, and these need to be addressed quickly, HTSS, Inc. cautioned. Workers should be instructed to report problems with its operation as soon as they're spotted so they can be fixed as soon as possible.
The Marketing spend category has its fair share of complexities and sensitivities, making it difficult at times for Procurement to support the Marketing function, especially if there is a lack of category knowledge on Procurement’s end. Driving collaboration, maximizing investments and delivering value are key success factors when managing the Marketing spend category and demonstrating results.

As companies continue to navigate new challenges at this time and seek out opportunities and strategies to remain profitable, no spend category is off limits. In the past, Marketing was often one of the last few areas considered for cost cutting measures, due to its strategic nature, direct impact on a company’s ROI and various other reasons. And for some companies, this is still the case. However, an overall shift has occurred within the past decade to the point in which Marketing Procurement is in high demand when it comes to Category Management hires. And the current crisis we all find ourselves in could very well compound this demand. Many companies at this time are not in a position to hire and onboard new category managers, but an expectation may exist to support the Marketing function in a smart and effective way.

In an upcoming webinar hosted by ISM NJ, Corcentric will share some insights we’ve gathered over the years in supporting various Marketing groups and driving budget optimization across several Marketing spend areas. As Corcentric’s Marketing Sourcing Practice lead, I will be leading the discussion and speaking specifically to the following topics:
  • How to properly engage Marketing, offering up potential conversation starters
  • Our approach to categorizing Marketing spend, presenting our taxonomy and definitions
  • Various sourcing levers applicable to certain Marketing subcategories/budget areas
  • Recent trends to be aware of pertaining to Marketing investments and the agency/supplier landscape
The planned talking points can be considered relevant to many different groups that currently touch the Marketing spend category or are striving to learn the category in order to properly impact it. If you are a Procurement Professional recently tasked with tackling the Marketing spend category, you will walk away with some tips on how to properly engage your Marketing counterparts. If you are a Marketer that has recently started working with Procurement, the webinar could be worth attending to understand how Procurement ticks and also learn about some sourcing strategies that could very well apply to your current state. Marketing Sourcing consultants, agencies and other industry experts are welcome too! Overall, we’ll discuss ways that Procurement can partner well with Marketing and create a roadmap together that is centered around the right objectives and spend areas.

The presentation will be held on Wednesday, June 3rd at 1pm EST. Members and Non-Members of ISM are encouraged to tune in – and it’s free for all registrants! Sign up before 10am EST on June 3rd to secure your spot. See you there!

When trying to optimize their supply chain operations on an ongoing basis, one potentially beneficial change many managers overlook time and again is reorganizing the floor plan of their warehouse or other industrial spaces. The reason why is relatively straightforward: In the course of identifying inefficiencies, he same old patterns and layouts are hard to single out when there are so many more moving pieces to consider.

However, experts largely agree that the layout of a warehouse should change as the organization grows, shifts focus or otherwise might need to make critical changes to its operations, according to Camcode. As such, if you're considering such a change, there's an obvious place to start. You need to think about what your current needs are, and what can be rearranged within your facility to get you to your next organizational goal.

Spelling out what those needs are, and what can be done to meet them, is key in understanding how to proceed, the report said. The more specific the goals are, the easier it becomes to figure out if a layout change is appropriate to facilitate a positive change.

Would it be a good idea to reorganize your warehouse?Would it be a good idea to reorganize your warehouse?
What to consider
When it comes to looking at the ways in which your current layout may lead to success - or impede it - there are three main areas to examine, according to Dear Systems. First and foremost is how easily everything flows through your warehouse. That includes not only your inventory, but also your employees and equipment; talk to workers about what works and what doesn't in this regard, and you may find some areas where even small changes make a big difference.

Another important consideration is how well you're utilizing your space, and whether the idea of growing "up" rather than "out" is a better path forward, the report said. Obviously, there is a finite amount of square and cubic footage in any facility, but it's likely that you're using a higher percentage of the former than the latter. With that having been said, however, the third consideration - accessibility - comes into play here. If it's not easy for workers to get to certain areas or items, that can lead to unexpected slowdowns in efficiency.

Some basic ideas
In many cases, inefficiency starts at the point of entry, according to the Logistics Bureau. When your receiving department doesn't do a good enough job of organizing shipments and making sure their contents are disseminated to the proper spots in the warehouse, it creates a major logjam that can take time to untangle. Changing the floor plan in this area, adding shelves and the like could all help with organization.

Likewise, the other big hurdle many logistics firms face is that their pickers and packers take too long to pull items off shelves, the report said. With that in mind, reorganizing so they have less distance to cover on most picks - changing both where they pack and your most popular items are stored will go a long way.

Of course, these ideas are fairly broad and your own needs will vary significantly, but even a cursory examination of your needs could lead to big positive changes


Many industries have been affected by Covid-19, but one of the latest is the meat industry.   At least 12 of the 25 hotspots in the United States originated in meat factories.  The high rates of infections in meat processing plants have caused them to shut down.  The shutdowns have resulted in meat shortages and have caused prices to increase. 

The meatpacking industry has evolved over the years and produces 105 billion pounds annually of poultry, pork, beef, and lamb.  While the industry has grown exponentially, the reasons for its steady churn on cheap meat are now the cause of its vast spread of the coronavirus.  Some of these factors are the cramped workplaces, sharing of facilities and transportation, and the culture of under-reporting illnesses.  These conditions have allowed the meat processing plants to become breeding grounds for airborne diseases such as the coronavirus.

The meat industry is still experiencing a surge in cases, which has had an effect on production and staffing abilities.  Tyson Foods, the largest meat processor in the United States, has since transformed its facilities due to the recent pandemic.  They started offering on-site medical clinics for its employees, screening employees' temperature prior to their shifts, requiring face coverings, and installing plastic dividers between stations.  Many other companies have also followed suit, in the hopes of preventing the spread of Covid-19.

John Tyson, the chairman of Tyson Foods stated how food supply chains are vulnerable and that millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain while meat facilities are closed.  Meat plants' inability to operate at full capacity has trickled into the operations and rules of supermarkets.  Food stores are now putting a limit on how much meat a person can purchase and prices of these items have increased as a result of supply and demand.  Business Insider reports that meat prices went up 8.1% by the end of April, 2020.  A May report from CoBank, which specializes in serving rural America, warns that meat suppliers in grocery stores could shrink as much as 35% and prices could spike 20%.  The chart below depicts the available supplies of pork and beef forecasted in the coming months.



Although meat processing plants have started re-opening and enforcing stricter rules and regulations in PPE and social distancing practices, the spread of Covid-19 still remains an issue.  Supply chains have been deeply affected by the closure of meat processing plants, such as the farmers who supply to them as well as the stores that receive shipments from the plants.  The shock to these supply chains will continue to be evident in the upcoming months.


In just about any work setting these days, the health and safety of workers are in sharper focus than ever. While you may be doing plenty to provide protective personal gear for your employees and making sure they're following all reasonable protocols to maintain social distancing, you also need to make sure your cleaning efforts have gone above and beyond normal standards.

The following principles should guide your supply chain firm's cleaning decisions for the foreseeable future, to ensure worker protections are as strong as possible:

1) Make sure there's a schedule
While you no doubt have a relatively set schedule for cleaning already, you need to bolster those efforts to make sure potential contamination is handled quickly and expertly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Something as simple as doubling the number of cleanings your facility gets in a given week will help ensure everyone under your roof is safer, and all involved should be advised about the new plans.Finding the right cleaning methods is a must these days.Finding the right cleaning methods is a must these days.

2) Use a different approach for various surfaces
There is no one-size-fits-all method to clean everything in your warehouse or other industrial facilities, so you need to tailor your cleaning methods to your exact facility, the CDC noted. For instance, if you have high-touch surfaces that are made from fabric, they should be cleaned in a completely different way than you clean your heavy-duty shelving and other hard surfaces.

3) Don't just spray disinfectant
Many supply chain managers may feel they have to balance the twin considerations of making sure their companies can keep functioning as normal while also getting deep cleaned, but that might not cut it, according to Envirox. As such, they should aim to prioritize cleaning specifically, with at least one scrubbing with soap and water before spraying a disinfectant onto a surface. The initial scrub will help ensure the spray gets through to a deeper layer of the surface.

4) Make sure you're buying the right cleaners
Along similar lines, you may want to think about what kinds of cleaning products you have on hand, and whether they're enough to get the job done effectively, Envirox added. A little more research may help you identify more effective products than those you currently use, and making the switch at this time is a good idea.

5) Combine cleaning methods
There may be a number of ways you can clean various parts of your facility, from using machines to doing everything by hand, according to the International Association for Food Protection. However, if you're only using machines or only working manually, you're probably not giving all your surfaces as much attention as they need, and you would be wise to stagger your approach instead.

6) Inspect after cleaning
Finally, once all cleaning has been completed for a single sweep of your facility, it's important to look over everything to ensure nothing slipped through the cracks, the IAFP noted. In most cases, a cursory inspection will be plenty to ensure your cleaning crew didn't miss anything, but that extra layer of scrutiny can help avoid a potential misstep.
Building out a business case for Procurement may seem like a daunting, albeit necessary, task in order to expand your team, capabilities, or tools. Whether your organization places strong emphasis on the value of Procurement, or is yet to fully embrace a holistic Procurement program, the right metrics can be an important asset in developing a business case and telling the story of Procurement. Let’s take a look at some of  the important metrics to track when building out a business case for your team or organization.

Spend Under Management

Spend under Management is an important number to track for any Procurement organization, as it can be directly tied to the amount of influence your team can extend, the amount of hard dollar savings you can capture, and an indication of reporting and tracking abilities. A firm grasp on your Spend and budgeted Spend can help better plan and forecast for upcoming years and savings projections. Moreover, if you have the ability to track and monitor the control your organization has, you can actively contribute to the bottom line of the organization and work toward enhancing your position within the organization. In short, Spend under Management is a good place to start when looking at your current program.

Cycle Time

Cycle time is the measure of how long a certain task or activity takes to complete its full life-cycle. An example would be time from Purchase Requisition to Purchase Order, or the time to negotiate a contract. While cycle time won’t directly contribute to your bottom line, it is an important measure of how efficient your team or program is in its current iteration. Additionally, the sooner you execute on a project (e.g. sign a contract, approve a proof of concept, etc.), the sooner you implement savings. Build your business case by presenting your team’s efficiencies, or highlight areas for improvement. As an added bonus, sort or segment your cycle time by supplier, category, spend amount for more granular level metrics – this can come in handy when working on a Supplier Relationship Management program or category planning.

Cost Savings and Avoidance

Most Procurement professionals will agree that cost savings is a major value prop for Procurement, but an often overlooked component is cost avoidance. Savings are the negotiated savings and discounts that appear on the bottom line (important to note, you may want to establish as baseline to measure against your savings), while avoidance are the soft-dollar savings achieved that don’t necessarily appear on any bottom line, at least not without some type of data sorting and manipulation. Measuring your cost avoidance may be tough, so I recommend to highlight the areas for potential added costs and risk when building your business case and call out the types of problems that may arise (delays, product specifications, added costs or services). When your team is mature and can calculate a measurable number for cost avoidance (again, you may want to establish a baseline or a case study with significant delays or problems), this will only contribute to your narrative. Some organizations place significant emphasis on cost avoidance and count these numbers with their savings – this only adds to our realized savings, so count that as a win!

These measurables are only the beginning and you and your team should establish what is most important to you as an organization. If speedy deliveries are crucial for your business and/or supply chain, then certainly track on-time and delayed deliveries. Once you’ve established a firm grasp on these metrics, considering expanding your current data set – look for ways to gather more granular metrics (cost-per-PO/invoice, opportunity costs, etc.). Congrats if you are currently capturing any of these metrics, this shows you have strong reporting capabilities; now it’s time to put those metrics to good use and build a business case to expand your influence within your organization! 


Change management is a structured approach designed to ensure end users and adopters understand why changes in an organization are occurring and inevitably adopt and utilize the resulting new systems. Change management is a necessary component to project success because if business users to do not adopt new systems then organizations do not achieve their target business outcomes.

The business case for change management is pretty clear and logical, yet organizations often try to cut budget corners. Next time you find yourself in a meeting making the case for change management, try asking this simple question, “Are the target business outcomes we are trying to achieve dependent on stakeholders changing how they do their job?” For each target business outcome where the answer is yes, ask the follow up question, “What percentage of this outcome results from stakeholders doing their job differently?”

In most cases this is a very powerful exercise when seeking to obtain manager buy-in for including change management in a SOW. Of course if your project involves switching network servers there is going to be very little requisite change involved for employees. But if your project involves new processes, technology, KPI’s, etc., then odds are the realistic answer to the question is somewhere around 75%.

No matter how telling the answer is, sometimes it is not enough. To further support your pitch for change management, I am going to provide three approaches to building a business case for change management. The perspectives I am providing below are intended to alter the view of change management from “nice to have” to “must have”.

CHANGE MANAGEMENT BENEFITS

Cost Avoidance
Businesses suffer significant added costs when organizational change is poorly managed. Additional resources are required to fix the process or solution, and time is needed to retrain and satisfy disgruntled employees. Other costs that can be expected are: plunges in productivity, customer and supplier impacts, loss of valued employees, reduced quality of work, declining employee morale, stress, confusion, and added resistance.

Separate from these organizational costs are project-specific costs. These costs and disruptions include: project delays, missed milestones, loss of resources, budget miscalculations, unexpected obstacles, and rework required to correct mistakes. In a nutshell, the organization fails to receive the value the project was intended to produce and the initial project investments are lost.

Change management is an effective cost avoidance approach we can use to mitigate these negative consequences.

Risk Mitigation
More than likely risk analysis is already included in your organizations standard project management methodology. A strong approach to assessing the importance of change management is to conduct employee-dependent risk alongside financial risk, security risks, and any other risks your organization may already be conducting.

When change is not properly planned for and managed the organization, project, and stakeholders are all subject to risk. Refer back to the question we discussed earlier “What percentage of achieving the target business outcomes associated with your project depend on people changing how they do their job?”    Whether the answer is a lot or a little, if it includes changes to responsibilities, behaviors, processes, systems or tools, your project has people-dependent risk.

Change management is a powerful risk mitigation solution. When change management is done well organizations achieve their project objectives and employees walk away feeling satisfied, motivated and accomplished.

Benefits Realization
If employees do not understand why changes are being made, embrace the future state, and possess both the knowledge and skillsets required to successfully operate in the to-be state, projects do not achieve the intended results. Change management is an approach designed to ensure users graduate through this process. Think of change management as an insurance policy to protect your organization’s project investment. Whatever percentage of achieving your project’s target business outcomes can be tied to people changing how they do their jobs is the percentage that can be insured through change management.

CONSIDER YOUR AUDIENCE

All three of these approaches are highly effective, but there is no one size fits all solution. The priorities of managers and stakeholders will vary from company to company and department to department. Before making a decision about the perspective to take, it is important to consider your audience.
    §  What are the current pain points creating a need in the first place?
    §  What are the goals and objectives of this individual or team?
    §  How is the performance of the prospect you are pitching to measured?

If you are presenting to a COO this individual might be most interested in cost avoidance. For a CIO the most successful approach will likely be to focus on risk mitigation. CPO’s are most concerned with cost reduction and efficiency gains, so benefits realization will more often than not yield the best results. The bottom line is in order to close your sale or obtain internal stakeholder buy-in for change management, your success is going to hinge on your efforts to develop a targeted approach.

The next time you find yourself developing a business case for change management, reflect back on these approaches. Consider your audience and their concerns, then select the value perspective(s) that will be most compelling. For more information about change management and how it can benefit your organization, please contact Corcentric’s Advisory team at our website.


It's been a few months since the first lockdown orders around the novel coronavirus pandemic were announced, and for the most part, companies in many industries seem to be adjusting to the "new normal" as best they can. However, while those in the supply chain may have been particularly proactive in dealing with these issues, there are also relatively few sectors that are exposed to more risk as a result of the outbreak.

With that in mind, the following tips will help any supply chain business keep themselves as well-positioned for success as possible:

1) Build better relationships with partners - especially those overseas
One of the biggest issues seen in the supply chain in recent months has been backups and confusion in shipping, particularly when it comes to imports and exports, according to Penn News Service. For that reason, it's critical for businesses at every step of the supply chain to know what their partners are dealing with and potentially finding solutions that work for everyone. With better data tracking, these kinks in the system can be identified as they develop and are smoothed out in real time.

It's critical to understand the large- and small-scale changes of the pandemic.It's critical to understand the large- and small-scale changes of the pandemic.
2) Improve planning for worker safety
The other most notable problem for many companies in the supply chain has been what they can do to keep their employees safe on an ongoing basis, because even a few positive diagnoses for COVID-19 can lead to operations being shuttered, Penn News Service said. For that reason, they need to take all due caution - providing safety gear, enacting social distancing rules and more - to ensure they can continue to work (more or less) as they did prior to the outbreak.

3) Communicate your risk mitigation strategies
When you're putting all these plans into place, it's important to make sure all involved know what's going on with them and why they're being enacted, according to Material Handling & Logistics. That way, there is no ambiguity about your plans or what it will take to make sure they are properly enacted and, as a consequence, things are far more likely to go smoothly as you attempt to adapt to the current conditions.

4) Invest in the right technologies
Often, you may find that you do not have the deepest or strongest insights into your own operations, which can put a serious crimp in your ability to react to emergent problems - or be the best supply chain partner you can be, MH&L added. For that reason, now might be the time to make sure you have all the right tech under your roof, and that it's being utilized properly, so you can be as nimble as possible going forward.

5) Have a plan to power out
While the pandemic is understandably front of mind for many businesses, and is likely to linger in some form or another for at least another year, it is still just temporary, according to Spend Matters. For that reason, it's important to have a plan in place so that your company can successfully pivot out of its "pandemic" stance and get back to its previous normal operations.

It should come as little surprise that the novel coronavirus outbreak has led to the disruption - to one extent or another - of countless industries. However, some may be surprised to learn that one such sector is the pharmaceutical industry and, more specifically, the global supply chain it relies on to conduct business on an ongoing basis.

When the outbreak became a truly global phenomenon in the first quarter of this year, the disruptions for the pharma supply chain were not particularly significant, but as time stretched on, companies were forced to take action, according to Chemical & Engineering News. That lack of significant initial disruption, however, came because pharma companies large and small around the world were forced to dramatically change their approaches as 2019 drew to a close.

The reason for that is simple: Chinese factories comprised about 13% of all those from which active pharmaceutical ingredients were sourced in the U.S., the report said. While that share was smaller what's supplied by plants in India (18%) and the European Union (26%), as well as the U.S. itself (28%), it nonetheless required a big shift in strategy, and many experts believe this will result in a long-lasting - or perhaps even permanent - change for U.S. pharma companies.

Pharma supply chains are in upheaval these days.Pharma supply chains are in upheaval these days.
A shock to the system
In this undisputed era of disruption, there have already been significant shortages of some medications and pharmaceutical products, but because the pharma industry has longer production times, the worst may still be yet to come, according to an editorial by Pinar Keskinocak, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Evren Ozkaya, a supply chain executive, published in Healio. Even before the outbreak, the FDA had flagged nearly 100 products as facing shortages, and a combination of higher demand from concerned consumers and reduced supply could lead to significant issues in the months ahead, as well.

Pharma, after all, tends to carry supply chain lead times of up to six months, Keskinocak and Ozkaya wrote. With the outbreak in China first becoming public knowledge in late December, that means the industry could still be waiting for the initial shockwaves to hit in some cases, let alone the ones that may come later.

Long-term views
A recent industry poll found that just 24% of respondents were "extremely confident" the supply chain wouldn't be disrupted, compared with 22% who were "extremely doubtful" of this fact, according to Pharmaceutical Technology. Altogether, though, people with a positive view comprised 47% of those polled, compared with 42% with a dimmer perspective. The remaining 10% were unsure.

What that means, more or less, is that uncertainty reigns in the pharma supply chain these days, and the likelihood of anyone having more concrete answers about what comes next for the sector is remote, the report said.

For these reasons and more, companies in the supply chain need to have not only contingency plans in place for any type of disruption, but contingencies on those contingencies, to ensure the impact of just about any unforeseen event is minimized.

Much like almost everything else in life and business these days, the supply chain has been experiencing some wild swings between positive and negative news in recent weeks. Some experts believe the industry has been extremely responsive to the coronavirus crisis, while others note that there are signs of stress - and while both are certainly true depending upon the angle from which it's being viewed, that has nonetheless led to some uneven performance.

For instance, after initially taking a hit in many parts of the country, stores large and small are now seeing their shipment levels return to normal, according to Austin, Texas, television station KXAN. When the downturn first hit and supply chain businesses were having trouble meeting staffing goals, that wasn't always the case, and even big-name stores like the grocer H-E-B had to scale back hours and offerings simply because they couldn't keep up with shifting consumer demands.

While some may still limit the quantities of certain items that individual customers can buy, most are more or less back to where they were before the crisis hit, the report said. Of course, most stores are still following all reasonable protocols around consumer and employee safety and hygiene, and many larger chains are also offering extended hours for senior citizens and those with compromised immune systems, all of which helps keep them responsive to current and emerging trends alike.

Companies are having major difficulties responding to the pandemic.Companies had major difficulties responding to the pandemic initially.
Difficulties linger
While many stores are now able to get back to normal operations, the producers on which they rely may not have been so lucky in some cases, according to The Washington Post. Meat processors, for instance, have been receiving a lot of negative attention in recent weeks because some - among the largest producers in the nation - have become hotspots for spreading coronavirus, understandably leading to plant closures and severe slowdowns in operations.

Indeed, some industry estimates project that the national meat supply has declined "by at least 25%," The Post noted, and these disruptions have hit numerous locales, including in Washington, Colorado, Iowa, Texas, Indiana, Georgia and more. These trends could also continue as more testing is completed and potentially hundreds of workers test positive for the novel coronavirus.

The big picture
Perhaps most problematically for the supply chain sector is that the major disruptions at many steps of the chain have been thrown into chaos, according to The Verge. The analytics and data that feed complex algorithms used by the largest members of the supply chain simply aren't built to respond to current conditions and that information, at some point, began to become so unreliable as to be more or less useless.

"When you have something like COVID-19, it's just a total outlier," Joel Beal, the co-founder of the consumer goods analytics company Alloy," told the site. "No model can predict that."
With all this in mind, companies can only do so much to prepare for each unique circumstance, but should nonetheless strive to be reactive to whatever comes their way as the pandemic continues.

When you're trying to get the most out of your supply chain operations, there are many avenues you can pursue, but perhaps the most fruitful will be increasing engagement with workers and managing them more effectively overall. With that in mind, now is certainly the time to look at your company's handling of talent today and see what can be done to make those processes more effective.

The following tips should help you on your way to more effective workforce management within your facility:

1) Keep better tabs on productivity
Especially in the supply chain, if you don't have full visibility into your various processes, you often don't even know what you don't know, according to F. Curtis Barry & Company. With that in mind, now is the time to make sure you have enough monitoring platforms in place to identify areas for potential improvement so that you can start culling actionable data - and giving workers the insights they need to be more effective and efficient.

Reconsidering your processes can help you manage your workforce more effectively.Reconsidering your processes can help you manage your workforce more effectively.
2) Do more to attract and retain talent
One of the biggest issues for companies on a number of fronts arises when tenured, experienced workers leave for greener pastures, F. Curtis Barry & Company added. The lost productivity - not only while you're actively searching for a replacement, but also when getting that new hire up to speed - is costly enough, but so too is the potential damage to your reputation if employees feel they're under-compensated. Higher pay and better benefits will typically translate into far less turnover.

3) Offer professional development
Another reason workers may feel as though it's time to move on is if they feel they've hit a plateau on their career development, according to Veridian. To help you avoid that issue, it can be helpful to offer not only training exercises on a regular basis (which also helps ensure everyone is pulling in the same direction with your latest processes) but also to cover the cost of professional development courses, whether in-house or from local colleges. Doing so could help ensure your talent doesn't look for greener pastures.

4) Keep communications open
Employees may often feel frustrated if they cannot figure out who to talk about their workplace concerns with, or if they feel you aren't actually listening to or acting on those concerns, Veridian noted. Likewise, if they do not receive feedback on a regular basis, they may not know what else they can do to maximize their efficiency. Making communication a two-way street will help workers feel as though they're being heard and have plenty of necessary direction in their daily work.

5) Invest in technology
Finally, if your workers feel they are being truly put to the test and possibly overworked on an ongoing basis, that may indicate the need to modernize your processes, according to Adecco. Often, such feelings arise when employees are using years- or even decades-old equipment to get the job done, and a little investment in more recently released technology could be the key to unlocking new levels of efficiency.

When you are trying to get the most you can out of your logistics operation, there are so many moving parts to consider that it could lead to "analysis paralysis." Even if you find something to improve, you may focus on just one issue for a time and then move onto the next, making small gains here and there, but never seeing the kind of great leap forward you might be expecting.

Certainly, achieving peak operational efficiency for your supply chain business overnight isn't easy - and it's probably impossible to do in one fell swoop - but the following steps should help you get there over time:

1) Start with a deep analysis
The fact of the matter is that you can't improve if you don't know what aspects of your operations aren't running as well as they possibly can, according to Hash Micro. Over time, and often without even intending it, employees or managers allow inefficiencies to creep into their daily work and become a more or less formalized part of the process. Taken by themselves, one or two of them aren't a big deal, but over time, they can add up to major sources of lost efficiency. Smoothing them out is vital to keeping your operations strong.

There's lots to consider when it comes to finding more efficiency.There's lots to consider when it comes to finding more efficiency.
2) Get employees up to speed
When you decide to implement any of these changes, the first thing to do is make sure your employees both know what the goals are and why changes are being implemented, Hash Micro said. Carefully communicating the need for these changes - and providing the necessary training to get them all pulling in one direction and eliminate any confusion - will help ensure workers on the shop floor and managers are all on the same page.

3) Invest in the right technology
One of the biggest sources of inefficiency in supply chain settings - and especially those with a manufacturing focus - is that machines get old and eventually need to be replaced, but companies can be slow to react to that need, according to MaintainX. The reason is often as simple as the fact that replacement equipment, shelving, production machines and so on can be big-ticket items, but the efficiency of new machines may help them pay for themselves over time.

4) Reorganize your facility
When you're adding new equipment and other items that take up plenty of cubic footage anyway, it's also a good idea to evaluate whether your layout is ideal for efficiency, MaintainX added. If it's not, taking the time now to rearrange where things literally stand in your facility could help you find a little extra wiggle room.

5) Make tweaks on an ongoing basis
Finding efficiency in your operation is never a "set it and forget it" process, according to the GWP Group. You should not only strive to continually identify issues as they arise - for instance, with an in-house tracking software - but also consistently convene meetings with workers and managers alike to understand when little annoyances are starting to crop up.