Labor Analytics is a premium offering for 3PLs that provides critical insights on labor productivity by associate and fulfillment labor costs by customer. Like the Outbound Productivity Dashboard, Labor Analytics utilizes scan event data from SmartScan and Small Parcel Suite to provide data insights generated directly from your team’s warehouse activity. The Labor Analytics Dashboard, however, goes to a new level by providing highly granular data by associate and customer – for the current day and over historical periods. We hope that this will enable data-driven processes for improving team and individual performance as well as help you improve profitability with each of your customers.
This article reviews how to configure and interpret the Labor Analytics Dashboard.
A Critical Note on Fulfillment Productivity Measurements
As the management guru, Peter Drucker said: “What gets measured gets managed…”, so it is critically important to understand the various ways that we enable productivity measurement so that you can get a complete, accurate, and fair picture. For example, it is possible to have an associate perform a small number of picks very quickly and rank at the top of the leader board while another associate performs picks much higher volume but has a lower Picks / Minute pace. To help you get a more complete picture of productivity, we provide multiple charts, tables, and historical views.
In addition to the pace leader boards on the Picking Productivity and Packing Productivity sheets, we have added the ‘Experiments’ sheet to test different ways of calculating productivity for picking and packing. The visuals on this sheet use a variety of formulas that combine pace with the volume of work done (number of picks and packs) to paint a more complete picture. We encourage you to view these experimental visuals, compare them with the raw productivity tables provided on that sheet and send your questions and feedback directly to Brian Sevy – firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Access
To access the dashboard, it must be enabled for your account, and you must have the following permission assigned to your user role: Data Insights Module > Operations Dashboards > Labor Analytics.
You can access the Outbound Productivity Dashboard through the left navigation menu via Dashboards > Labor Analytics.
How it Works
Data from your 3PL Warehouse Manager database is continually migrated through a data pipeline to an analytical database with the current day’s data. Labor Analytics also includes a second stage of the data pipeline that stores your historical data in an optimized data warehouse. Any of the dashboard visuals that have a “◴” symbol are displaying data that is delayed by 1 hour. All other visuals are for previous days and periods.
Dashboard Navigation and Viewing Tips
- This dashboard contains several charts and tables with vertical scrolling. To scroll down the dashboard, you may need to place the cursor in the space between or on the sides of these visual types.
- You may want to increase or decrease the number of associates displayed in a horizontal bar chart. To do this, drag the handle just below the scroll bar to show more or fewer associates in a horizontal bar chart.
- Expandable filters at the top of each sheet enable you to filter by warehouse, customer, associate, and date or date range. To change filter settings, click in the filter area at the top of the dashboard.
- There is a Show Help filter that turns dashboard help notes on or off for a sheet.
Clicking the three dots in the upper right of any visual gives you the option to export the data to CSV or Excel for further analysis.
To refresh the dashboard data, you can change any filter (and change it back if needed), close and reload the dashboard, or navigate to a different sheet and return to your original sheet.
Drilling Through to Picking and Pack Details
The are several visuals in the Picking Productivity, Pick Cycle Time, and Packing Productivity sheets that allow you to drill through to the actual picking and packing event details for an associate, including the time stamps for all the events in a pick job or a pack operation. On a horizontal bar chart, right click on the bar for an associate and choose 'Drill Through to Details'. In the Picking and Packing by Associate Tables, right click on the associates name to see the option to drill through to details.
The Labor Analytics Dashboard is currently organized into four sheets or tabs.
- Picking Productivity
- Pick Cycle Time
- Packing Productivity
- Labor Planning
Picking Productivity Sheet
This sheet is designed to help you compare overall team picking productivity for today and previous periods with the performance of each individual associate.
Let’s start with the Picking Pace metric. A filter at the top of the page enables you to measure picking pace by Picks or Primary Units Picked. You can choose Hour, Minute, or Second as your Timing Unit of Measure.
The Picking Pace by Associate visuals measure pace regardless of the volume of work done. It is possible to have an associate quickly perform only a few picks but rank at the top of the leader board while those that performed more work rank lower. To mitigate the risk of misinterpreting productivity, we have also included Picking Productivity by Associate Tables that provide all the details about the volume of work done in terms of picks and primary units picked. We have also provided several alternative productivity measurements in the ‘Experiments’ sheet. We will be evaluating these alternative calculations based on your feedback.
Picking Pace by Associate – Today and Historical
You’ll notice that, wherever possible, we juxtapose today’s productivity data alongside data from a historical period. You can configure the date range for the historical visual in the filter at the top of the sheet. If you change the Picking Pace Type filter, it will automatically update the charts.
Picking Productivity by Associate – Today and Historical
These visuals provide the details you need to get a more accurate picture of productivity that combines pace with the volume of work done. You can click on the three dots in the upper right hand of the visual to export the data from these tables to CSV or Excel.
High total pick times can be caused by pick jobs that span multiple days. These long pick times can be caused by starting a pick job and then starting another pick job without finishing the first. It can also be caused by pick jobs that require multiple days to complete. In these situations, the time between picks (Pick Cycle Time) could include time over breaks, nights, and weekends. To adjust for this, use the 'Max Pick Time Threshold' filter. Set this filter to a number of minutes that is a typical maximum for any single pick operation. The total pick time calculation uses this filter setting to adjust individual pick cycle times that exceed the maximum. We have included a table that lists the Pick Jobs Exceeding the Max Pick Time Threshold. In the future, we will provide a more precise solution for addressing paused pick jobs.
Associate Average Picking Pace
This provides a view of picking pace (as configured in the filter) over the previous day, the last seven days, and the last 30 days.
Average Warehouse Picking Pace by Day
This chart visualizes picking pace for each warehouse, day by day, over the configured date range.
Jobs with Picks Exceeding Max Pick Time Setting – Today and Historical
These table lists the pick jobs with pick cycle times that exceeded the Max Pick Time Threshold.
Average Picking Efficiency Percentage
This visual calculates overall picking efficiency based on the number of successful picks (picks that were not unpicked) divided by the total number of pick operations (picks and unpicks).
Picking Efficiency Percentage by Associate
This visual calculates picking efficiency by associate, using the same calculation.
Pick Cycle Time Sheet
Pick Cycle Time measures the average time between picks. It is a way of measuring team and individual productivity but also provides a way to measure warehouse layout efficiency.
Important Note: Pick jobs that span multiple days cause long pick cycle times that can impact the Average Pick Cycle Time calculations. To adjust for this, use the 'Max Pick Time Threshold' filter above.
Like the Picking Productivity Sheet, these visuals show:
- Overall averages over periods
- Pick Cycle Time by Associate – Today and Historical
- Associate Ave Pick Cycle Time over periods
- Warehouse Pick Cycle Time by Day (over the configured date range)
Packing Productivity Sheet
Packing pace is measured in Item Packs / Minute. Like the Picking Productivity Sheet, these visuals show Packing Productivity visualized by:
- Overall averages over periods
- Picking Pace by Associate – Today and Historical
- Associate Ave Packing Pace details over periods
- Warehouse Packing Pace by Day (over the configured date range)
- Average Packing Efficiency Percentage
- Packing Efficiency Percentage by Associate
If you are using both SmartScan and Small Parcel Suite for packing, this sheet includes a filter that enables you to select either SmartScan, Small Parcel Suite or All as a data source for the visuals.
The visuals on this sheet will help you estimate fulfillment cost-to-serve by customer so that you can estimate profitability and evaluate your rates.
- Picking and Packing Time-on-Task by Customer
- Customer Avg. Pick Times - Historical. This table provides Avg. Pick Job Time, Avg. Order Line Pick Time, and Avg. Pick Cycle Time. Pick Cycle time is the average time for a single item pick operation.
- Customer Avg. Pack Times - Historical. This table provides Avg. Order Pack Time, Avg. Order Line Pack Time, and Avg. Pack Cycle Time. Pack Cycle Time is the average time for a single item pack operation.
- Picking and Packing Pace by Customer
Labor Planning Sheet
This visual enables you to view order fulfillment activity on a previous day. Customers have asked for this so that they can use the activity profile of a previous day to help plan labor requirements for the current or next day.
- Orders and Order Lines Closed by Hour
- Total Orders and Order Lines Closed that day
- Picks and Packs by Hour
- Hourly Picks and Packs by Associate
This is the sheet that the dashboard jumps to when you right click on a horizontal bar or an associate's name to Drill Through to Details. There are visuals in details associated with Pick Jobs Today, Pick Jobs Historical, Pack Jobs Today and Pack Jobs Historical. Look for the visual the corresponds with the type of data in the visual from which you started. For example, if you right clicked on the horizontal bar for an associate in the Picking Productivity - Historical visual, then you would scroll down to Pick Jobs - Historical in the details sheet.
You can also start a search directly from the Details Sheet by opening the filters and entering a Pick Job ID, a Transaction ID, or an Associate.
In order to provide a more accurate measure of productivity, these visuals use a variety of calculations that combine pace with the volume of work performed. We would like your feedback on which metrics best reflect how you would like to measure and reward your team's productivity. Don't worry about the technical names for these calculations, just compare the rankings in the various productivity charts with the Pick and Packing Productivity by Associate detail tables. Please send questions or feedback to Brian Sevy - email@example.com.
We will include visuals in this sheet from time-to-time for you to try out. We look forward to getting your feedback on what works for you and what doesn't.