Your plan cannot simply be to lay people off. The reason that cannot be your only strategy is because you will layoff warehouse personnel, but we have already established your warehouse is in shambles. How will you improve it with fewer people? You won't.
Now is the time to do the things you have been too busy to do. Now is the time to address inventory inaccuracies and picking errors. Now is the time to address the turnover you have been experiencing year after year. Now is the time to motivate your personnel, who are driving long distances to make it to a job they hate. Because, in reality, they have already begun looking for employment closer to home which will be a pay increase for them. Think about it: A person making $10-per-hour in your warehouse can spend as much as $100-per-week for gas. That means they spend as much as one week's salary per month to make it to a job where they feel underappreciated, thus causing them to be disengaged. This cycle is about to come to a screeching halt.
And your customers that are fed up with receiving incorrect shipments, their orders not being ready when they arrive at your will call, and being placed on hold so the customer service person can check stock, are already searching for new, more efficient suppliers.
Again, now is the time to address your inefficient warehouse which is costing your organization to lose valuable customers. I am telling you, with no hesitation, your baby is ugly. Now what are you going to do about it?
About the Author: Rene' Jones is the founder of Total Logistics Solutions, Inc., a Warehouse Consulting organization headquartered in Burbank, Calif. Jones is the author of several books including, This Place Sucks — What your warehouse employees think about your company and how to change their perceptions! Jones is considered one of the most dynamic and inspirational speakers in the supply chain industry. Recently TLS was named one of the, "Top 100 Supply Chain and Logistics Providers" in the world. Visit www.logisticsociety.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.