Laithwaites Wines was established by Tony Laithwaites in 1969 and was originally called Bordeaux Direct and sold just one wine. Fast forward 45 years and today Laithwaites has over 700,000 regular customers, a portfolio of around 2000 wines and has won a whole host of industry awards. Over the years Laithwaites have introduced many new wine regions to the UK.
The Problem Prior to Omega’s appointment, Laithwaites had a number of concerns regarding the quality of the service they were receiving from their current supplier, including erratic fulfilment levels, poor worker attendance, high attrition, poorly screened temporary labour, and a reactive rather than proactive approach to workforce performance management.
The Solution Since June 2009, and following a competitive tender exercise, Omega Resource Group (Omega) were initially awarded to supply and manage temporary warehouse staff at Laithwaites Wines (Laithwaites) for its Gloucester Fulfilment Centre, using an On-Site management model.
Prior to implementation of the contract, Omega undertook an in-depth Business Needs analysis (BNA) of the operation to quantify the impact of the selection and management of the temporary labour on Laithwaites’ business. This enabled Omega to implement new processes and initiatives as below.
Improved candidate selection process -The objective was to introduce a uniform screening process which ensures a good match between the candidates’ ability and expectations and the demands of the job. The “Best Fit” process not only measures key specific aptitudes and capabilities, it also probes the candidates’ work ethic, motivation and reliability. By continuously comparing eventual worker performance with screening scores, Omega has been able to refine the selection benchmark thresholds to continuously improve temporary worker quality.
Enhanced shop floor / worker management processes - Omega has invested in an experienced and highly capable on-site management team, whose main focus is on managing and motivating the temporary workers to achieve excellent performance.
Management information suite - Omega has invested heavily in improving the quality of the information and processes used in managing the temporary workforce and associated KPI’s and SLA, starting with the investment in biometric hand scanners and time and attendance software to reduce administrative effort and to provide real time performance information. We have also developed comprehensive management information processes which allow both Omega and Laithwaites to monitor all key performance parameters in finite detail and for review in the operational reviews.
Improved flexibility and responsiveness - Omega has introduced a number of initiatives to improve responsiveness. This includes the introduction of contingency staffing, whereby in consultation with Laithwaites’ supervision additional workers are brought in at the start of the shift, in excess of the theoretical number. This allows unforeseen staff absences – both temporary and permanent – to be covered instantly if required.
Improved temporary worker motivation - Omega has introduced a number of initiatives to help improve temporary worker loyalty and motivation. These include the Lifestyle Benefits Package and Worker Bonus Schemes.
Funded Training - Omega has orchestrated and delivered almost £150,000 of funding to provide valuable skills training for temporary (and permanent) employees. This funding has so far enabled training to be delivered to around 150 Laithwaites workers, in skills including QCF Level 2 in Warehousing & Storage, and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) as well as Customer Service.
New starter training / proactive coaching - in order to further improve productivity, Omega introduced a full time warehouse trainer with the aim to reduce the learning curve and continue to drive retention – Omega deliver all new starter and refresher training for temporary workers on site.
The Outcome •Proven results – Attrition 1.77% in 2016 against industry average of 5.1%, generating cost savings of £77k through improved retention. •Proven results – Reduced time and attendance over contract term from 5.39% to 1.9% whilst providing effective reduction to 0.2% time and attendance through contingency deployment. •New Starter Productivity, Omega has reduced the learning curve from around 12 weeks to around 6 over contract term through successful recruitment and training. •Reduced time involvement of Laithwaites colleagues •Improved efficiencies and reduced administration •Real partnership solution in place