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Remember the Human Touch in Warehouse Tech Implementations

One key to success in Hall's Warehouse Corp.'s full system overhaul is pairing super stars with laggards, says Chris Brennan, director of process analysis and improvement.

(Boonton, NJ, March 18, 2010) — The warehouse workers who seem least likely to embrace change and new technology just might surprise you.

That's one of the lessons Chris Brennan has learned during a hectic two and a half years. Brennan is director of process analysis and improvement at Hall's Warehouse Corp., a New Jersey company that has implemented a new warehouse management system and added radio frequency tracking of workers.

As Brennan tells readers of the March issue of industry newsletter Distribution Center Management, "It is a full system overhaul. The number of moving parts to this operation was pretty significant, and a lot of people thought we were going to fail."

All of the company's warehouse workers have access to the system, and that required remedial computer training for some workers. A few employees were so new to computers that they had never surfed the web.

Brennan remembers that a couple of employees were so nervous at their first training session that their hands trembled as they reached for the mouse.

In many cases, Brennan overcame barriers to the technology by pairing top performers with laggards and has found that a little coaching works wonders both in improving performance and in building morale for the stars.

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