The Changing Landscape of Distribution: Present and Future Impact

Distribution warehouse worker


Distribution warehouse worker


The current pandemic has sped up business transformation like no other time in modern history. The impact has been felt across nearly every industry, with the speed of digital transformation leading the charge. The logistics and distribution industry has felt this impact in numerous ways, with nothing more important than the challenges related to keeping employees and customers safe while ensuring the timely delivery of orders that have increased exponentially during the pandemic. 

FedEx has stood out in their response to these challenges. Because of this, Kronos and FedEx recorded a webinar that features expert insight on how workforce technology can help distribution organizations deliver on business strategies while keeping employees and customers safe.

FedEx Ground’s director of IT, Harry Gillespie, and Robert O’Dwyer, Logistics Principal at Kronos, discuss the topic of COVID-19 and its impact on the industry, along with other key topics including:  

  • An examination of current distribution industry challenges
  • A discussion on how future-built labor management solutions can better equip distribution centers to improve employee retention, boost productivity, and optimize labor costs
  • Strategies for implementing safety protocols with workforce management data to help keep employees and customers safe
  • Predictions for the industry's future

Current Distribution Industry Challenges and Future Built Labor Management Solutions

The distribution industry is constantly evolving, and competition has only intensified due to the “Amazon” effect. To keep pace with customers’ growing expectations of next-day shipping, companies like FedEx have learned to adapt and evolve quickly. To meet productivity goals, employee engagement and retention have become increasingly crucial, with companies requiring more advanced technologies to help them better manage employee retention, productivity, and labor cost optimization. In this webinar, we discuss new technological innovations that are enabling distribution organizations to deliver on their business strategies in innovative ways while also implementing safety protocols to keep employees and customers safe, especially during the current pandemic.

Strategies for Implementing Safety Protocols

One of the most salient topics covered in the webinar, in my opinion, is how FedEx uses workforce management data as a critical component of their COVID-19 communications to keep customers and employees safe. FedEx is accomplishing this feat in three different ways:

  1. Communicating Safety Messages: FedEx uses Kronos time clocks to update their employees on the pandemic. This includes tailored messages by individual facility with information on the location of PPE equipment and safety tip reminders and best practices.
  2. Identifying Sick Employees: FedEx leverages Kronos information on employee location and matches their data against it for any employees reporting flu-like symptoms or that are being tested for illness. From there, they communicate this information to supervisors, managers, and other operational leaders to ensure sick employees are not at work and that proper steps are completed to disinfect the facility.
  3. Ensuring High Employee Engagement: FedEx is always looking to ensure high employee engagement, and this only increases during a pandemic. One way they are showing their appreciation to their hard-working employees, who are putting in extra hours and are unable to use their paid time off during the pandemic, is by utilizing Kronos data to identify employees whose vacation time is about to lapse and waiving the expiration period.

Future Predictions

The logistics and distribution industry is going through a time of rapid and unprecedented transformation, with a future paved with innovation and technology.  In our webinar, we cover numerous exciting topics related to the future including the Internet of Things (IoT), drone delivery, driverless vehicles, and 3D printing.  The related impact of these predictions, in the short and long-term, are increasingly valuable to anyone in the logistics and distribution industry.

FedEx uses workforce management data as a critical component of their COVID-19 communications to keep customers and employees safe.

Don't miss this on-demand expert discussion of the difference the right workforce technology can make in both the present and the future.

Join us. 

Learn more about how UKG for Distribution can help your organization.