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Manage Supply Chain Workers for Best Results

For any supply chain manager, managing time and employees are critical — both for themselves and for employees. A handful of easy-to-use technology tools can make life easier.

Time management tools
Using time management tools, such as Employee Time Clock Software, provides necessary employee structure and discipline. As a first-time manager, whether you're dealing with supply chain or personnel issues, setting clear expectations for working hours is crucial. Time clock software not only allows you to track employee start and end times, it also allows employees to track time spent on individual tasks.

Knowing when and how employees use work time will benefit overall productivity. It also helps managers identify top performers for certain tasks, allowing for critical workflow shifts that may impact employee workload and morale.

Employee monitoring tools
Through assessing benchmarks and time management, you may find that your employees aren't performing at optimum levels. If this is the case, monitoring tools may provide vital insight into how your team members are spending their time. PC World notes, “Everything your team does on company time — and on company resources — matters. Time spent on frivolous Websites can seriously hamper productivity, and visiting objectionable sites on company PCs can subject your business to serious legal risks, including costly harassment suits from staffers who may be exposed to offensive content.”

Monitoring software can provide the necessary understanding of work patterns and areas in need of improvement. This tool may also inspire policy changes, especially if you find many employees are spending significant amounts of time on social media and other websites.

Wellness tools
A key part of an effective workforce is a healthy staff — this includes both mental and physical health. Many human resource departments already have wellness programs in place, but that doesn't mean you can't inspire your team on your own. Some states offer Fit Business Kits that guide managers in starting their own wellness program to increase physical activity and encourage healthy eating habits.

Good morale will likely have the added benefit of improving employee wellness and, ultimately, performance. If you've had a particularly stressful, deadline-oriented week, reward your team for their hard work. This will boost confidence, as well as their mental capacity to take on the following week's challenges. Forbes offers a list of excellent, low-cost ways to reward employees.

As a supply chain manager, your workload is unique in that you likely work with various vendors and suppliers in order to make things run smoothly. The best thing you can do for yourself is to make sure those who work for you are working at their highest potential.

What tools do you have on your new manager belt? If you're a long-time manager, what methods made you and your team and your supply chain successful? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

62 comments on “Manage Supply Chain Workers for Best Results

  1. _hm
    March 7, 2014

    I prefer result vs better money reward and vcation to be more productive. These two tools are very simple and scope for much manipulation.

     

  2. SP
    March 8, 2014

    I guess it would be so very hectic for someone to manage another individual. Some managers try to manage the other team members and get into conflict. I think projects should be managed not people. Because people have emotions.

  3. Hailey Lynne McKeefry
    March 9, 2014

    @SP, I think that ideally the mob of a manger is to help employees be more productive. These tools could be used in ways that are negative, but used appropriately, then can help the manager understand how long things take, what elements of the job are unreasonably long, etc. More than a “Big Brother” item, i would hope they would help a manager be informed and reasonable.

  4. Daniel
    March 10, 2014

    “For any supply chain manager, managing time and employees are critical — both for themselves and for employees. A handful of easy-to-use technology tools can make life easier.”

    Jane, supply chain works are time bound and we have to cope up with customer requirements. Only efficient managers can do this by make use of handful number of professionals.

  5. Daniel
    March 10, 2014

    “I guess it would be so very hectic for someone to manage another individual. Some managers try to manage the other team members and get into conflict. I think projects should be managed not people. Because people have emotions.”

    SP, emotions are required in motivating others. If there is n o emotions, all peoples may work like machines; but somewhere some links may get missed and end up in a mess.

  6. Ariella
    March 10, 2014

    ” I think projects should be managed not people. Because people have emotions.” @SP I like it! In truth it is the project that is being managed, and the people are being directed or organized to get the porject done. 

  7. Ashu001
    March 10, 2014

    Ariella,

    LOL!!!

    I am not at all surprised most folks think this way currrently in Management.

    It has a lot to do with the Automation of Most Tasks& Services .

    Management thinks even People should be automated in that case!

    People are'nt allowed to fall sick,Get Depressed and whats not…

    Its all about the Bottom-line now .Everyone just thinks Short-term.

    No one cares about Long-term Sustainability of the Company.

    Sad but true.

    Ashish.

  8. Ashu001
    March 10, 2014

    Jacob,

    Have to agree wholeheartedly.

    There are serious limits about how much can be done by Most Humans if you don't consider the emotions involved there.

    I also think it would be beyond dumb to not involve the Creative Input of Folks who have been doing something for Years and Years together in the whole process.

  9. Ariella
    March 10, 2014

    @Ashish agreed. Treating people like machines is no way to inspire loyalty and optimum productivity. 

  10. Ashu001
    March 10, 2014

    Jacob,

    This approach works well usually but you need to have redundancies in place.

    What happens if someone from your limited pool of Professionals falls sick?

    Or decides to leave your company because they don't feel like it?

    This is where it makes sense to train some more of your Employees to take on atleast part of the Key Responsibilities here ,especially if you incentivize them adequately enough.

     

  11. Ashu001
    March 10, 2014

    Ariella,

    Have to agree.

    Its most unfortunate that most people in Senior Management(across most Fortune 500 Firms) don't think this way.

    Employees are clearly Expendable assets currently.

    That's what happens in a world of Artificially Suppressed Interest Rates!

    Regards

    Ashish.

  12. ahdand
    March 11, 2014

    @Ariella: Indeed employees are the key towards the growth of the company. So treating them in a more human manner is something that every management should look into. Imagine loosing the best lot of your workers to a competitor ? What happens to the business ? Everything is possible since there are competitors for every market right now.  

  13. Ariella
    March 11, 2014

    @nimantha true, and incompetent managers can and do drive away great employees. 

  14. Ashu001
    March 11, 2014

    Ariella,

    Very,Very True!

    I can't tell you how many times I have heard such stories from many of my friends around me have considered leaving their positions primarily because the fellow above them was clearly incompetent(sometimes even plain nasty) and consistently took credit for their work.

    But then,Why is it (just like in Politics);its always the Worst elements of Society(or for that matter in a corporation) consistently rise to the Top?

    LOL!

     

    Ashsih.

  15. Eldredge
    March 13, 2014

    @nimantha – Even in economic conditions where competition is stifled, that situatin is usually temporoary, and when the upturn comes there can be a mass exodus to better positions.

  16. Daniel
    March 16, 2014

    “Have to agree wholeheartedly. There are serious limits about how much can be done by Most Humans if you don't consider the emotions involved there. I also think it would be beyond dumb to not involve the Creative Input of Folks who has been doing something for Years and Years together in the whole process.”

    Thanks Ashish. Emotions are natural and those who turned against it are heartless peoples.

  17. Daniel
    March 16, 2014

    “This approach works well usually but you need to have redundancies in place. What happens if someone from your limited pool of Professionals falls sick? Or decides to leave your company because they don't feel like it? This is where it makes sense to train some more of your Employees to take on atleast part of the Key Responsibilities here ,especially if you incentivize them adequately enough.”

    Asish, the immediate resolution is work sharing and later looks for alternate methods like recruitment of new peoples or work re arrangements.

  18. Ashu001
    March 17, 2014

    Jacob,

    With respect to your statement-

    Emotions are natural and those who turned against it are heartless peoples.

     

    Have to agree wholeheartedly.

    But then Business is Cold-BloodedLogic & Numbers above everything else.

    As long as the Company Execs see The most Profit(even if its in the short-term) they will stick to it come what may.

     

     

     

  19. Ashu001
    March 17, 2014

    Jacob,

    Yes work sharing is definitely Key here.

    This requires your entire team to work closely together and also in such a way that things work seamlessly with Minimum Disruption for Core Business Processes.

    Thats where Either Consultants or Good Managers come through.

  20. Susan Fourtané
    March 17, 2014

    Ashish, 

    I have no clue what emotions are you talking about, but many times you want to just kill them because they cause you pain and block your ability to function. In this case, I vote for killing them, because it's you, or them. Not necessarily you become heartless, but you start wearing an armour to avoid wounds. 😀

    -Susan  

  21. Daniel
    March 18, 2014

    “Yes work sharing is definitely Key here. This requires your entire team to work closely together and also in such a way that things work seamlessly with Minimum Disruption for Core Business Processes. Thats where Either Consultants or Good Managers come through.”

    Asish, new recruitments won't happen regularly, till that time we have to manage the workload within the teams.

  22. Daniel
    March 18, 2014

    Emotions are natural and those who turned against it are heartless peoples. Have to agree wholeheartedly. But then Business is Cold-Blooded Logic & Numbers above everything else. As long as the Company Execs see The most Profit(even if its in the short-term) they will stick to it come what may.”

    I have to agree with you Asish in terms of business. In business there are no emotions, sentiments or attachments. The only sentiments are for profit.

  23. Ashu001
    March 18, 2014

    Susan,

    I second those sentiments and emotions entirely!

    Count me in with you whenever you go in for the Kill!

    LOL!

    Ashish.

  24. Ashu001
    March 18, 2014

    Jacob,

    If you read Susan Fourtane's Perspective below;Business thinks very-very differently to how Ordinary Folks think.

    That's the crux of the whole matter really-Its all unemotional,Cold-Hearted Logic and Numbers.

  25. Ashu001
    March 18, 2014

    Jacob,

    Managing External Loads via existing Team Members is easier said than done.

    Especially,when one does'nt pay Employees extra for the work they do.

    That does'nt mean that it can't be done;just that you have to incentivize Employees either through Cash or Kind.

     

  26. Daniel
    March 19, 2014

    “Business thinks very-very differently to how Ordinary Folks think. That's the crux of the whole matter really-Its all unemotional, Cold-Hearted Logic and Numbers.”

    Asish, no doubt about that. they will think in a better way than normal peoples without any attachments or sentiments.

  27. Daniel
    March 19, 2014

    “Managing External Loads via existing Team Members is easier said than done. Especially,when one does'nt pay Employees extra for the work they do. That does'nt mean that it can't be done;just that you have to incentivize Employees either through Cash or Kind.”

    Asish, nothing extra than normal salary. These are the instances where management squeezes employs with extra work load.

  28. Ashu001
    March 19, 2014

    Jacob,

    That is what we need to change.

    This is the primary reason why most Employees are'nt happy with their companies today.

    The Concept of Over-time as such is passe.

     

  29. Ashu001
    March 19, 2014

    Jacob,

    This is the Biggest Strength and Weakness of Business today.

    Why is a weakness?

    Because what happens when things don't go quite according to plan?

    They tend to simply cut costs by Firing employees or by cutting capital Expenditure at the most critical times(in Recessions).

    Why can't they explain the situation clearly to employees and cut salaries partially instead?

     

  30. Daniel
    March 21, 2014

    “This is the Biggest Strength and Weakness of Business today. Why is a weakness? Because what happens when things don't go quite according to plan? They tend to simply cut costs by Firing employees or by cutting capital Expenditure at the most critical times(in Recessions). Why can't they explain the situation clearly to employees and cut salaries partially instead?”

    Asish, would you think employees will agree for a salary cut; brain drain will the only after math. When outside Job market is good obliviously they will try for a change.

  31. Daniel
    March 21, 2014

    “That is what we need to change. This is the primary reason why most Employees are'nt happy with their companies today. The Concept of Over-time as such is passe.”

    Asish, now a days in IT and supply chain there is no concept of “Over Time”, everything is a part of their responsibility and they have to meet the deadlines. Overtime and extra duty concepts are only with factories and production environments.

  32. Susan Fourtané
    March 24, 2014

    Ashish, 

    It's so good to count with some support for such a task. 😀

    -Susan

  33. Ashu001
    March 31, 2014

    Jacob,

    Don't you feel that's a Wrong Way of Doing Things?

    After all neither is it sustainanble in the Long-run nor can anyone continue on that path forever.

    Why not Hire more folks(even if they are on a part-time basis) to share some of the Work-Load?

    If the Labor laws in a country don't permit this,They clearly need to change.

     

  34. Ashu001
    March 31, 2014

    Jacob,

    That's where Team-Spirit and Fostering the Right Employee Culture comes into play.

    After a particular point in Time,Employees don't really change jobs just for 15%-30% more ;its more about how you are treated at your Company and whether or not you feel Respected and Appreciated there.

    I hope you appreciate what I am saying here.

     

  35. Daniel
    April 2, 2014

    “Don't you feel that's a Wrong Way of Doing Things? After all neither is it sustainanble in the Long-run nor can anyone continue on that path forever.”

    Asish, everybody knows that it's not the right way but market needs such types of working to meet deadlines and to complete the targets.

  36. Daniel
    April 2, 2014

    “That's where Team-Spirit and Fostering the Right Employee Culture comes into play. After a particular point in Time, Employees don't really change jobs just for 15%-30% more ;its more about how you are treated at your Company and whether or not you feel Respected and Appreciated there. I hope you appreciate what I am saying here.”

    Ashis, yes you are right. am working with my current employer for more than 8 years because of such reasons. When others are moving, we get respect and seniority with more responsibilities at key positions.

  37. Ashu001
    April 3, 2014

    Jacob,

    That's the smart and sustainable way to Work.

    Think about it;if you work for One company for that long;its so much easier for the company to be flexible to your needs[Whatever be the change in Circumstances in your life at that point of time].

    In contrast if you are one of those Flippers who constantly change Jobs its just not possible for anyone in your Company to place their trust in You when it comes to Handing you new Responsibilities.

    Smart,Smart Thinking!

     

  38. Ashu001
    April 3, 2014

    Jacob,

    Yes that's true.

    Its a really sad way of Doing Things but can't be helped more often than not.

     

  39. Daniel
    April 4, 2014

    “That's the smart and sustainable way to Work. Think about it;if you work for One company for that long;its so much easier for the company to be flexible to your needs[Whatever be the change in Circumstances in your life at that point of time].  In contrast if you are one of those Flippers who constantly change Jobs its just not possible for anyone in your Company to place their trust in You when it comes to Handing you new Responsibilities. Smart,Smart Thinking!”

    Asish, basically am satisfied and comfortable with my assignments, working culture and perks. So still time I never had a though about changing the employer. But many time my peers told me that am not ambitious, that's why I am still with the same employer.

  40. Daniel
    April 4, 2014

    “Yes that's true. Its a really sad way of Doing Things but can't be helped more often than not.”

    Asish, market needs and hence employees have to cope up with that. Eventhough if some peoples are not willing others are waiting for those chances.

  41. Ashu001
    April 28, 2014

    Jacob,

    Given how rapidly Economic Cycles are changing Nowadays it makes no sense to move for just 10-15% Increments and re-exposing yourself to tremendous career uncertainty.

    After all,if the Economic Cycle dips suddenly its usually the New Guys who get booted out first.

     

  42. Ashu001
    April 28, 2014

    Jacob,

    That's true.

    Aggressive Competition is the rule in every sphere of Life today.

    Have to get used to it and adapt accordingly.

     

  43. Daniel
    May 6, 2014

    “Given how rapidly Economic Cycles are changing Nowadays it makes no sense to move for just 10-15% Increments and re-exposing yourself to tremendous career uncertainty. After all,if the Economic Cycle dips suddenly its usually the New Guys who get booted out first.”

    Asish, that's right. Who grab the opportunity is important.

  44. Daniel
    May 6, 2014

    “Aggressive Competition is the rule in every sphere of Life today. Have to get used to it and adapt accordingly.”

    Asish, competition can be aggressive; but in a fair way too.

  45. Ashu001
    May 7, 2014

    Jacob,

    That is unlikely to be the case in most situations.

    Competition today is Brutally aggressive ,No-Holds barred.

    Fairness is no longer a significant virtue here.

     

  46. Ashu001
    May 7, 2014

    Jacob,

    Its no longer just a question of Grabbing the Economic Oppurtunity but also maintaining Stability and the Status-Quo.

    When there is so much Flux/Change happening around you;most Established Companies prefer a Degree of Stability.

    That comes from sticking with the Status-Quo.

     

  47. Daniel
    May 12, 2014

    “Its no longer just a question of Grabbing the Economic Oppurtunity but also maintaining Stability and the Status-Quo. When there is so much Flux/Change happening around you; most Established Companies prefer a Degree of Stability. That comes from sticking with the Status-Quo.”

    Asish, stability is important irrespective of economic situations

  48. Daniel
    May 12, 2014

    “That is unlikely to be the case in most situations. Competition today is Brutally aggressive ,No-Holds barred. Fairness is no longer a significant virtue here.”

    Asish, in practical that's the situation.

  49. Ashu001
    May 31, 2014

    Jacob,

    Very-Very True.

    One can't really help it but its the Ground Reality currently.

  50. Ashu001
    May 31, 2014

    Jacob,

    You need both Conditions in the right balance.

    You need to be Aggressive when others are fearful and Vice Versa.

    That's the right way to trump the Competition and always keep everyone inside on their Toes.

     

  51. Daniel
    June 5, 2014

    “You need both Conditions in the right balance. You need to be Aggressive when others are fearful and Vice Versa. That's the right way to trump the Competition and always keep everyone inside on their Toes.”

    Asish, when others are fearful, there may be some reasons behind that. So taking high risk at that situation can lead to total loss.teh best way is explore the opportunities in all sense with mild to moderate risk.

  52. Daniel
    June 5, 2014

    “Very-Very True. One can't really help it but its the Ground Reality currently.”

    Asish, exactly.

  53. Ashu001
    June 23, 2014

    Jacob,

    I was just sharing the Warren Buffet way of doing things here.

    It has served me very well in the recent past as well as whenever I was searching for Direction.

    Never,Ever do something because almost everybody around you is rushing into it.

    When you see that kind of Hype around anything step back take some time off and try to take in the Bigger picture.Then you Dive in.

     

  54. Daniel
    June 24, 2014

    “I was just sharing the Warren Buffet way of doing things here. It has served me very well in the recent past as well as whenever I was searching for Direction.”

    Asish, Warren Buffet is an exceptional case; I cannot imagine me at that level.

  55. Ashu001
    June 30, 2014

    Jacob,

    Nobody is asking you to imagine yourself in his position but every single person out there can learn a tremendous amount from how very successful people go about their Business(I am sure you will agree here).

     

  56. Daniel
    July 2, 2014

    “Nobody is asking you to imagine yourself in his position but every single person out there can learn a tremendous amount from how very successful people go about their Business(I am sure you will agree here).”

    Asish, no doubt that anybody can learn about their path and action points.

  57. Ashu001
    July 28, 2014

    Jacob,

    As they say-Success has many Fathers but Failure Orphans you!

    LOL!!!

    Or atleast something like that.

    You need to respect somebody anyone who has achieved Success in their field and see what can be done to emulate that success in the future.

     

  58. Daniel
    August 4, 2014

    “As they say-Success has many Fathers but Failure Orphans you! LOL!!!
    Or atleast something like that. You need to respect somebody anyone who has achieved Success in their field and see what can be done to emulate that success in the future.”

    Asish, peoples are thinking in other way; how to copy that success for their own benefits and business. Or what can constitute for the failure of other's sucess.

  59. Ashu001
    August 31, 2014

    Jacob,

    Who was the smart person who said these immortal words-Imitation is the sincerest form of Flattery?

    Very,very true.

    Was'nt it?

    As for the issue of folks wanting to bring about others Failures;I just feel in the End-run that kind of behavior is more conter-productive for that company concerned.

    Those Negative Vibes just tend to circulate and end up suffocating the existing business as well.

     

  60. Daniel
    September 2, 2014

    “Who was the smart person who said these immortal words-Imitation is the sincerest form of Flattery?
    Very,very true. Was'nt it?”

    Asish, don't feel jealous; its myself.

  61. Ashu001
    September 2, 2014

    Jacob,

    Don't worry I am not.

    In fact I am honored to be interacting with You!

    LOL!!!

     

  62. Daniel
    September 3, 2014

    “Don't worry I am not. In fact I am honored to be interacting with You! LOL!!!”

    Asish, thanks LOL!!!!!

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