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Make The Most of The 100 Days of Summer With Veryable

By
Ben Steele
June 12, 2024
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The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day, known as the 100 days of summer, are one of the busiest times of the year for beverage distributors, who often refer to this period as the 100 days of headaches. When this time of year rolls around, you’ll want to focus all your energy on taking full advantage of the financial opportunity that this time presents to your business.

In this article, we’ll explain why adopting an on-demand labor model will help you make the most of these 100 days of summer.

The Old Way Won’t Cut It

The conventional approach heading into the busy season is to hire a bunch of seasonal workers to meet your average demand throughout the summer. The problem with this approach though is that you never know just how busy it’s going to get, and with a fixed headcount, you can’t react to demand changes. When demand comes over plan you’ll have to pay overtime and will inevitably upset customers with late deliveries and unstocked shelves. When demand dips back down you’ll be overstaffed and burning through your margins. Simply put, your performance and service will be average because that’s exactly what you planned for.  

Furthermore, if you have any mid-season turnover you could be understaffed for weeks on end until you can find a suitable replacement. What happens if your sales team lands a big new customer the day after a few of your warehouse workers walked out the door? In this case you don't have several weeks to go recruit, screen, hire, and train candidates and you also can't afford to disappoint the customer on their first order. This means lots of overtime for your warehouse crew which could cause even more turnover, and it also means that managers will be picking orders and loading trucks and not focusing on higher level tasks and objectives like they should be.

Instant Flexible Capacity

With an on-demand labor pool, you can adjust your capacity in real time to respond to demand. Access to thousands of skilled and vetted independent workers means you can find labor on short notice to help get all your orders out on-time without having to spend weeks on direct hiring, locking into staffing agency contracts, or promoting turnover through high overtime reliance. The best part is, if your business has an opportunity to bring on a new customer or take on a huge last minute order, you can utilize operators from your labor pool to handle the extra workload and you won’t have to turn away revenue out of fear of hurting service to your existing customers. Additionally, building a labor pool will help you increase retention and morale among your full time workforce as they'll have more predictable schedules with less overtime, and more flexibility to take off time off.

In your warehouse, Veryable operators can assist with a multitude of tasks including:

-Order picking & selection

-Repack

-Forklift operations

-Lumping and receiving

-Inventory counts

-Cleaning/Sanitation

-Quality inspections

-Tough shifts (weekend mornings, overnight shifts)

-Driver assist

Additionally, the platform’s rating and review system ensures you can find proven operators with the exact skills you need who are ready to hit the ground running when you need them. With staffing agencies you don’t really know who you’re getting and if the worker they sent you isn’t a good fit or turns over after a few days, it’s not always a guarantee that you’ll have an immediate replacement that’s any better. With direct hiring, you could spend weeks going through the process with a candidate only to have them not live up to your expectations or leave after a week to go work across the street at a company that pays them $0.25 more per hour.

Quick Workforce Reduction After Busy Season

After the summer’s over and demand has dropped to normal levels, you can reduce your platform usage just as quickly as you increased it. Simply stop posting new opportunities, and just like that you’re back to your usual headcount. When demand spikes again during holidays like New Years, you still have all of these operators in your labor pool that you can flex back in.

On the other hand if you hired a bunch of workers in preparation for your busy season and had to lay them off afterwards, not only did you waste a significant amount of time and money in the process, but now you’re constrained by labor again and can’t take on more volume without having to go through this process all over again.

Real World Example

Wholesale beverage distributor Gold Coast Eagle was well into their busy season but was struggling to keep up with orders. Employees were working 6 days a week + overtime, and managers and salespeople were having to work in the warehouse to help load the trucks. They didn’t just need more people, they needed the operational flexibility to be able to respond to demand in real-time.

By building a labor pool skilled in order selection, repack, janitorial duties, and general warehouse work that they could pull from as needed, Gold Coast gained the ability to match headcount to demand on a daily basis. As a result they were able to significantly improve their on-time delivery rate while simultaneously reducing overtime and turnover. In just one year this approach saved them $274k in labor costs.

Without an on-demand labor pool, Gold Coast Eagle would have had to choose between turning down orders and missing out on new revenue, or maintaining a suboptimal on-time delivery rate for their customers which would have hurt their bottom line in numerous ways. In their situation, trying to bring in additional workers through direct hiring mid-season would have been too slow and time consuming with all the administrative work required, and a tremendous waste of resources when the additional help isn’t needed for more than a short period of time. Staffing agencies with their restrictive contracts and lack of control over worker selection had also been a fruitless experience in the past for Gold Coast.

To read the full case study, click here.

Conclusion

The 100 days of summer provides a huge opportunity for beverage distributors to capture new revenue and gain greater market share, but only for those who are properly prepared and can react fast with their labor.

With an on-demand labor pool at the ready, you’ll be able to delight your customers with world class service regardless of volume, and grow your market share by taking on new business that your competitors can’t due to capacity constraints.

If you haven’t already, take 5 minutes to create your free business profile. Then you can connect with operators in your local area and start building up your labor pool.

To learn more about on-demand labor for beverage distribution, make sure to check out these resources:

Guide: On-Demand Labor for Beverage Distribution

Fleet Optimization for Beverage Distributors

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Ben Steele
Growth Strategist

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