Distribution, warehousing and container specialist, Savco Logistics swung into action when it won a contract to manage Myer Online’s national distribution centre in mid-2013. To service Myer, Savco needed to transform a disused warehouse in Melbourne’s west into a purpose-built, highly functional and streamlined distribution centre, complete with new technology, racking and warehouse systems.
Online retailers are keenly focussed on meeting customers’ delivery expectations that goods arrive quickly and in perfect condition. The responsiveness and attention to detail of the people in the online retailer’s distribution centre plays a big part in determining customer satisfaction. The mission of the new distribution centre and its team was to cost effectively and expertly pick, pack and dispatch lines on an agreed flat rate and handle order volumes ranging anywhere from 100 to 1000 items daily.
One of the biggest challenges Savco faced was a recruitment approach that met its commitment to delivering superior customer service at a reasonable cost. To fulfil the contractual agreement and maintain its own margins, Savco needed to find the best people who were also willing to work flexible, ad hoc hours. The distribution team needed to scale up at short notice to meet the unpredictable demands of online orders and scale down to match quiet times.
Savco’s Distribution Centre Manager and Project Manager understood the uniqueness of the recruitment challenge and sought a partner for this intensive and specialised role. Staff Australia demonstrated to Savco that it had access to a coveted talent pool of casual employees with the necessary training and experience in the retail distribution sector. Staff Australia now manages the core group including two leading hands and a supervisor of eight Myer Online pick packers, labourers and drivers. Staff Australia takes full responsibility for staffing the flexible distribution centre team that can swell, during peak times, to 35 staff managing 15,000 line items.
The synergies between several of Staff Australia’s retail clients allow for a shared workforce. In this scenario, a Staff Australia casual might work early in the week at Myer Online, fulfilling weekend orders, and at another retail client for the rest of the week, replenishing store stock in preparation for a weekend of trading. This dynamic work placement system requires constant communication with the Staff Australia account managers, and a willingness to work at last minute across a few of Staff Australia’s valued retail clients.
A large part of Staff Australia’s success is its ability to hold on to talented and reliable staff. The key to finding and keeping the best people is recognition and communication. For a business like Savco it can be a huge advantage to partner with a team who can shoulder the crucial and intensive load of people management. The Staff Australia team handles everything from suitability and availability, to satisfaction, ongoing training, morale and team building.
Staff Australia’s successful recruitment methodology, covering recruitment, training and ongoing people management, underpins the success of Savco’s distribution centre. In addition to skill, character and aptitude testing, Staff Australia assesses potential candidates using simulated pick activities which helps Savco find the fastest and most careful staff to handle valuable homeware, giftware, cosmetics and clothing.
The Staff Australia team meet and greet all selected staff prior to kick off, develop and implement the induction program and train all warehouse staff in safety, receiving, picking and packing.
Commitment to customer service is the common thread that binds Myer Online, Savco and Staff Australia. Business success and end customer satisfaction depends on each group in the chain’s appreciation and realisation of a similar set of values.
Pick rates have continued to improve, resulting in the implementation of KPIs that both exceed the retailer’s delivery times and allow for effective staff rostering. Partnering with Staff Australia, to achieve an efficient and effective workforce model, positions Savco well to expand its e-commerce footprint.
Mr Kiran Savage, State Manager at Savco has stated:
“We have been impressed with the Staff Australia team. They show excellent levels of care and share our values of integrity, reliability and hard work. Over time we’d like to employ some Staff Australia people permanently and we’ve nominated several standout people for Staff Australia’s ‘Employee of the Month.
Staff Australia delivers a huge piece of the workload for our servicing of Myer Online. Managing people is not our core business and if we did it directly it would be near impossible to meet our contractual obligations.”