Katie Evans , Managing Editor, International Research
First solution in the marketplace specifically designed to optimize labor in the distribution center
ATLANTA - March 2, 2009 - Global supply chain optimization provider Manhattan Associates, Inc. (NASDAQ: MANH) today announced the release of Labor Schedule Optimization, the first labor optimization solution developed for the unique and complex needs of companies with distribution operations.
Unlike other offerings in the supply chain market designed only for store settings, Labor Schedule Optimization-part of Manhattan`s Labor Management product suite analyzes and calculates millions of labor factors, including number of workers, skill levels, individual performance levels, length of shifts, overall workload, break times and hourly rates. Labor Schedule Optimization creates a savings of 6 to 9 percent, which is in addition to the 15 to 20 percent of savings created by implementing Manhattan`s core Labor Management solution.
"For years, warehouse managers have been looking for a way to optimize labor schedules based on a weekly or monthly workload forecast," said Steve Banker, director, Supply Chain for ARC Advisory Group. "Manhattan Associates has combined long term workload forecasting with a schedule optimization engine that schedules employees, based on a set of user defined constraints, to complete the workload at the lowest possible cost. This is the first time schedule optimization has been embedded in a labor management application to systematically optimize employee schedules based on forecasted workload."
Manhattan Labor Schedule Optimization uses advanced mathematic concepts to determine the optimal schedule for each task in the distribution process, based upon detailed information about employees and the work to be performed. The solution factors in employee availability, the smallest time period of work that can be assigned to an employee, employee eligibility by task, employee performance by task, the maximum number of employees that can work simultaneously, the time window in which the work for a certain job must be performed, and the desire to keep employees working continuously in the same job function. By leveraging these factors, Labor Schedule Optimization raises customer service levels, facility throughput and employee satisfaction.
"In today`s economic environment it is more important than ever to align your labor costs with your company`s revenue goals," said Eddie Capel, executive vice president, Global Operations, Manhattan Associates. "Our customer research and long experience working with distribution companies has shown that creating the optimal balance among scheduled labor resources, workloads, service level commitments and costs for a typical distribution center requires considering more than 80 million variables that can substantially affect bottom-line labor improvements."
Labor Schedule Optimization can determine the number of employees required to complete each task and also create a schedule that lists the individual employees needed and the order in which each of them should be assigned specific work. This innovative process greatly reduces the amount of manual work that managers must do to create schedules, and it produces a much more accurate schedule that can meet one of two objectives as determined by the manager: reducing overall labor costs, or assigning work based upon seniority of the employees.
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