Much supply chain management focuses on the challenges of a globalised market, ensuring that suppliers are reliable and compliant, and that the transportation of goods is both safely and efficient.
However, there is a whole other aspect to supply chain management that is to do with people, and specifically remote working in logistics.
“Efficient supply chains must rely on the people that are involved in them,” observes Tim Groves, from Addtime. “This aspect of supply chain management is closely tied in with HR issues around employee empowerment, and having clear visibility of remote workers’ activity.”
Are Remote Workers Connected?
Amid the complexities of global logistics, there is the central issue of the people working on the ground to deliver solutions.
“The clarity of employee goals and business objectives is vital for remote workers,” says Tim. “So, setting the right level of communication, and maintaining it, is crucial.”
“Productivity is a big issue, along with how logistics companies approach the administration of their remote employees, especially when dealing with time and attendance”
“Logistics companies need the right tools to plan the movements of their staff on the ground, and to verify them,” explains Tim.
People Performance in Supply Chain Management
If the purpose of supply chain management is to improve long-term performance of the supply chain as a whole, it must look at it strategically. Typically, this tends to concentrate on companies in that chain, and how they perform.
“Many businesses and organisations fail to capitalise on the fact that supply chain performance relies on how productive the individual people in the chain are,” Tim states. “This requires them to take a broader perspective, while also examining their administrative processes.”
Tim’s focus is on how logistics companies in the supply chain can improve, or even transform, their service delivery.
“Using specialist software, businesses can better integrate their payroll and time-keeping for remote workers, while more effectively planning the allocation of staff for different tasks”
“It’s about how you manage the mechanisms that will keep you competitive,” he says. “These mechanisms include real-time verification of actual worked hours by drivers, and by warehouse staff, and elimination of time-clock fraud.”
Tim also advises that tightening up back office functions at the same time will provide essential improvements to administrative infrastructure.
“Automation removes error and tightens up processes, saving on time and resources,” concludes Tim. “The implications can be far-reaching, resulting in better planning, tighter compliance over Health and Safety and the Working Time Directive, and a reduction in costs associated with absenteeism and the use of agency workers to cover staffing shortfalls.”