Pandemic issues, supply chain worries and now high gas prices are making consumers continue to turn to e-commerce in record numbers. In fact, last year’s holiday season alone accounted for nearly $219 billion in e-commerce sales. Between increased demand for production and distribution thanks to that boom and the record number of returns coming to warehouses, workers can often be caught in the middle.
At SIMOS Solutions, one team rose to the challenge. For two years in a row, the SIMOS Solutions team at a retail distribution center in Elwood, Ill., has been among the top-producing groups in the retail operator’s non-sortable network.
“Our entire gate-to-gate 3PL operation stepped up to the challenge in 2020 while also providing a safe and sanitized work environment,” said Mark Domroes, general manager of the SIMOS Elwood team. “For fiscal year 2021, we improved again and remained one of the top-ranked facilities in the customers’ non-sort network.”
That network, which handles pick, pack and shipping operations for large and bulky items, includes 11 facilities across the country. Among those, the Elwood team topped the ratings in performance, safety, service, quality, people and cost, rating 50% above average in performance; 35% better than average in cost; and 13% better than average in quality. In fact, their total cost-per-unit was 50% better than the network average.
So what’s their secret?
“Much of our success comes from a very experienced and tenured team, both hourly and management,” Domroes said. “Our average hourly tenure is 4.4 years. Four and a half years in this environment as a heavy lifting non-sort warehouse is unheard of — and 13 of our people have been with us for more than 10 years.”
Having a long tenured team is both a reflection of the value of the work and the strength of the leadership. In Elwood, the leadership team averages eight years and many have been with the team for more than 12 years. But it’s the way they go about their work that makes the difference in both inspiration and leadership.
“We have a very detail-oriented and forward-thinking team that lives for continuous improvement,” Domroes said. “Through trial and error, technology, building profile upgrades and perseverance, the Elwood team has improved performance by nearly 300% over the past 10 years. As a result, we have been able to show the customer that not only are we best-in-class for performance and quality, we are also the lowest cost provider in the network.”
The popularity of e-commerce is not going away, so it helps to have a team that is well-positioned to handle those operations.
From leadership that knows what it takes to run operations across the supply chain to workers skilled in picking, packing and shipping or handling the record number of returns, SIMOS Solutions has the solution for companies looking to streamline their operations