Core-Mark's Tampa Location Meets 27% Higher Volume with Flexible Labor
Core-Mark’s Tampa facility gained sales volumes 27% higher than what they planned for in early 2021, meaning they needed to increase their output quickly. Being a distribution company means that they had to deliver on time consistently or lose customers. In the warehouse, this goal translated into avoiding late dispatches. This would have been quite difficult for Core-Mark, because they had capacity constraints at the same time as the unexpected additional volume.
With constraints in equipment necessitating longer operating hours to keep lead times competitive, the facility’s employees were stretched thin. The management team had tried temp staffing, but the long lead times, contracts, and inability to select workers left them dissatisfied. They needed operational flexibility to avoid turning down orders and to keep their customers happy, and they weren’t going to roll over and accept defeat. "Pieces of equipment that would normally have been idle now need to run overnight.”
Meeting a partner
During this dilemma, operations manager Scott Brooks and warehouse manager Whittaker Vogt met with Veryable to discuss its on-demand labor platform. Veryable representatives coached the team on the concept of building a labor pool that would enable the company to respond to demand variation using on-demand labor. The two managers bought in quickly. On the spot they created a portal, posted a work opportunity, and received bids within a minute. “The best thing about the platform is there's not really any risk associated with trying it,” says Brooks. “I didn’t say much, but I was already loving it,” says Vogt. “The first thought that popped into my mind was that this is like an Uber for work. I was thinking of an instantaneous workforce.”
The proving grounds
The Core-Mark Tampa facility was capacity constrained by labor because they needed to run their equipment longer hours to keep up with demand. They needed flexibility, and they needed it fast.
The team hoped to increase their output by using Veryable to find workers, because their full-time employees were stretched thin. “We haven't been able to get any more pieces of equipment in the building. We haven't been able to get any more trucks. So we're trying to do more volume with the same amount of material things,” says Brooks. “The offset to that is we need to spread the work out over as long of a period of time as possible. So pieces of equipment that would normally have been idle now need to run overnight.”
To increase output while reducing the overtime burden on full-time employees, Vogt continued using the business portal on Veryable’s platform, where he posted more initial Ops to gauge interest from workers in the area. Before long, he realized that there was enormous interest in the posts he was putting out, so he accepted some Operators from the platform to come work in the facility. This enabled the company to start building a source of flexible labor to maintain their high rate of on-time dispatches. “We were able to choose who and what skills we wanted,” says Vogt. In the beginning, Vogt used the platform when employees were absent. Instead of turning to temp staffing or hiring new employees, Vogt would post Ops on Veryable to find on-demand labor to meet the day’s demands. As time went on, he brought in more or less workers each day from Veryable’s marketplace as demand fluctuated. When he found workers with the right skills and consistent performance, he would add them to the company’s labor pool on the platform. That way he could easily invite those workers back in the future.
The on-demand workers in the facility’s labor pool were eager to learn new skills and tackle new challenges, so Vogt was able to start deploying on-demand labor across the warehouse in a variety of roles when they were needed to increase uptime and output.
“Veryable has given us flexibility to get orders out without late dispatch,” says Brooks. “We have a resource pool and we use it. And it's been life saving at times.”
The Core-Mark team started to see big operational results as they built their labor pool of on-demand workers. With their 27% increased demand, they needed a surefire way to avoid late dispatch, and on-demand labor delivered with improved on-time dispatch rates and reduced overtime. “Veryable has given us flexibility to get orders out without late dispatch,” says Brooks. “We have a resource pool and we use it. And it's been life saving at times.”
Because Vogt was able to increase output using Veryable instead of overtime, he was able to reduce the burden on his employees, which reduced costs for the company and improved morale. “Before Veryable, my crew was working unseen hours,” says Vogt. “You don't want to put that on a person, especially when you're trying to get that work life balance. Veryable came in handy where we were able to do the things we needed and give [our employees] a lot of relief.”
Since they started using on-demand labor and partnered with Veryable to build out their labor pool, the team at Core-Mark Tampa achieved a 10% improvement in on-time dispatch and a 15% reduction in overtime.
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