THE SUPPLY CHAIN INDUSTRY IS CHARACTERIZED BY HIGH CHURN. LOOK FOR A 3PL THAT BUCKS THE TREND
One of the most common questions we receive from prospects concerns employee turnover. Wise from experience, they know revolving warehouse doors does not bode well for continuity and tends to be a recipe for confusion and hours lost.
If you constantly have to get acquainted with new warehouse staff and management, you may eventually tire of having to be the expert when it should be the other way around.
But finding a 3PL with low employee turnover is not necessarily an easy task. Few industries experience as much churn as the supply chain. While a Compensation Force study shows the average turnover across all industries is 17.8%, the often-cited percentage to aim for is closer to 10% — as long as it’s not the top performers who depart.
A look at the 2019 figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals employee turnover rates for certain industries soar much higher:
● Manufacturing: 31%
● Transportation, warehousing, utilities: 46%
● Retail trade: 58%
● Construction: 64%
So, if you’re looking for a 3PL with low turnover, the challenge is identifying the organization that bucks the trend. Third-party logistics providers, in turn, are up against forces that have affected all supply chain sectors in recent years: the much talked about talent gap and intense competition for those in the talent pool. Demand for supply chain professionals currently exceeds supply by a ratio of 6:1, with some predicting that ratio could be as drastic as 9:1, according to an article in Supply Chain Digital.
Compounding the challenge? The increased complexity of supply chain jobs demands more from the employees – and consequently, makes them even harder to find. The ideal employee should possess both tactical and operational skills as well as a solid understanding of analytics. And when companies do come across a desired match, they may — as the turnover figures indicate — struggle to retain employees courted by even more attractive offers.’
3PL WITH LOW TURNOVER
In such an environment, it becomes vitally important for 3PLs to create an environment that makes employees stick around. When you look for a 3PL with low turnover, consider a few factors:
Does the 3PL rely on seasonal staff or year-round employment? Seasonal layoffs create a more unpredictable work environment where expertise and customer service can take significant hits. The alternative means greater reliability when it comes to performance, execution, and communication.
Will you be one customer in a sea of others or will you be welcomed as part of a family? The way a company treats its employees can tell you a great deal about how they view customer relationships. Employees who feel valued are more likely to excel at customer care than those who don’t. Put to practice it can mean generous benefit packages, advancement opportunities, professional training, work-life balance, and a work atmosphere built upon respect and common goals.
Does your 3PL answer to shareholders or to you? Are employees cross-trained to perform a variety of tasks or is the organization so hierarchical that there is little room for broad expertise? There’s comfort in knowing you have the CEO’s ear should an issue arise rather than be caught in a loop of no answers. A flat organization also serves to empower the staff and make them apt at answering your questions even if they go beyond their daily scope of work. Most of all, it fosters a workplace where people want to build a career by helping you succeed.
At WSI, we take pride in our low turnover and a supportive work environment. Happy team members make for satisfied customers. So employee testimonials like this also spell good news for you:
“Employment with WSI has been very good if not an excellent experience. WSI has an old-school approach where a handshake is more important than a test score. Advancements within the company, over time, even time off, are not just handed off to the ‘select few.’ The company provides all the tools, personal protection, and gear, even relocation pay to other facilities, without question.
Anyone willing to do the obvious, such as having a positive attitude, attention to safety, and being reliable, can and will go anywhere within WSI. WSI also feels more family-oriented vs. the corporate (just another number). Those who are considering a career in the logistics field should take a close look at WSI!” — WSI employee
A 3PL with low turnover has already proven it has what it takes to attract and retain talented individuals. That should be a good sign for your business as well.