A transformational approach to workforce management leads to optimized warehouse methods and workforce performance
West Monroe Partners helped Martin Bros. Distributing Co., Inc. (Martin Bros.) refresh their existing workforce management program, enabling warehouse operations to achieve peak performance.

The Challenge

Revitalizing an existing workforce management program to achieve peak performance

Martin Bros. has always been a big believer in Engineered Labor Standards (ELS) and the transparency, fairness, and motivation they bring to their employees. Over the past few years, their business has seen steady growth, including a number of warehouse expansions, and as a result their current standards and documentation had become outdated. Because of this, they wanted to identify more efficient warehouse methods and revitalize their existing ELS to achieve peak operational performance, improve bottom-line performance, and set themselves apart from the competition. Martin Bros. turned to West Monroe for their workforce optimization experience and proven track record for helping food service distributors improve efficiency and workforce productivity.

The Solution

An uncommon blend of workforce optimization approaches

To improve the current program, West Monroe led Martin Bros. through its best-in-class workforce optimization approach.

Key elements included:

Identifying new and streamlined work methods. In conjunction with the Martin Bros. management team, West Monroe identified and trialed selection, forklift, and loading method improvements to increase efficiency and safety, while mistake-proofing operations.

Developing fair and achievable performance expectations. Performance expectations, such as the time required to pick customer orders, were engineered and implemented, providing a more accurate and measured approach to determining incentive-based pay decisions and bonuses.

Equipping front-line management to manage workforce performance. Performance management tools were developed, and frontline management were trained on approaches to proactively run their operation to achieve desired performance levels and meet the overall organizational goals.

Building a foundation to sustain change. West Monroe worked with Martin Bros. to establish a Continuous Improvement Team comprised of key influencers from each warehouse function. This team focused on sustaining a progressive-minded culture that will lead to further opportunities to increase performance and streamline processes.

The Impact

Increased warehouse throughput by 15%

Over 25 opportunities were identified, trialed, and put into place during the early phases of the implementation. These productivity improvements were low effort to implement but had a strong and immediate impact on operations.

This, paired with managing the workforce to the new performance expectations, enabled Martin Bros. to increase warehouse throughput by 15%.

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