Management and Dynamic Allocation of Resources in a Post-COVID-19 Work Setting

Background

YCH is seeking an effective, cost efficient and user-friendly resource management and planning solution which enables optimisation of productivity with regard to manpower and equipment utilisation. Notably, the platform will also cater to post-COVID 19 work settings, where operations has to factor in Business Continuity Planning (BCP) requirements, social distancing and workforce segregation.

Existing resource planning and workforce management solutions are not catered to suit such operations. Current resource planning and workforce management solutions are effective in environments where the materials and processes are standardized. However, in the warehousing & logistics industry, the variables and environment are highly dynamic and unpredictable, with the handling of different types of cargo. A logistics company operating in a highly dynamic and fluid post-COVID environment, has to be quick and agile in redeploying resources to functions that require greater assistance.

We are seeking a solution that is able to monitor and track the productivity of manpower and equipment utilisation,  and pinpoint areas to allow for adjustments in resource deployment. This solution should be able to be deployed in different warehouse operation sizes.

 

Requirements

The platform is envisaged to be powered by IoT devices and machine learning capabilities. It should be able to provide value through tracking, visualisation, analysis, prediction and optimisation.

Interoperable Solutioning. This solution should be able to integrate with our existing software solutions including enterprise resource planning (ERP) and warehouse management systems (WMS).

Managing Staffing Requirements. Our distribution centre has many customers from different sectors, hence there are different peak-season period where resources are not being fully maximised. In a post-COVID world scenario, there has to be granularity of data to allow for a “safe” workplace. Tracking the location of the individual is desirable, not necessarily to an exact location, but to that of the floor level for example.

Possible methods of tracking include, but not limited to:

  • Wearables
  • Computer Vision

The solution we are seeking should be able to cater to the multiple skills possessed by our employees, and be able to optimally allocate resources to the task at hand, without overburdening the employee.

The solution should be able to track the utilisation of equipment, such as forklifts and reach trucks.

Based on the data collected, the solution should be able to calculate the predicted level of productivity for each day, based on the number of employees available and their individual productivity level. Such calculations may be used to provide recommendations for optimal resource allocation, in fulfilling the total number of orders for the day.

The system should be able to calculate the gaps between order to fulfil and total predicted productivity. It should be able to recommend any additional manpower required to cover bottleneck activity and identify the suitable worker who is available and at the appropriate location to carry out the task.

Warehousing activities include

  • Inbound – Unloading container
  • Inbound – Receiving (gantry & scanner)
  • Inbound – Put away (automated guided vehicle (AGV))
  • Storage (automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS))
  • Outbound – Process Order (WMS)
  • Outbound – Staging (AGV)
  • Outbound – Picking (robotic arms & scanner)
  • Outbound – Shrink Wrap (wrapping machine)
  • Outbound – Loading container

Possible solutions include, but not limited to

  • Gamification - Incentivizing employee to strive to work harder for different tiered rewards based on their individual performance result.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Data Analytics – Perform analytics via AI models and algorithms, based on productivity metrics of the worker and utilisation of equipment, to recommend optimal resource allocation
  • Human Resource Information System (HRIS) - Tracking employee skillset and recommend training for employees lacking in specific skills. The system should be able to recommend distribution between permanent and temporary staff based on the workload.
  • System based coaching – Having the system be able to coach employees on best practices for their relevant tasks in order to improve productivity, accuracy, safety and enable inexperienced employees to learn on-the-job with minimal human instruction.
  • Group learning – Ability for various employees to contribute best practices, past experiences and/or suggestions to improve upon existing processes in a forum that can be moderated by supervisors / managers and later incorporated into the system based coaching module.

Minimum Required Technology Readiness Level (TRL)

Level 7

 

Desired Outcome

  • 30% improvement in resource utilization.
  • 30% increase in overall productivity
  • Improved employee retention rates due to solution enabling novel employment practices (e.g. reduced working hours for highly productive employees, etc.)
  • 50% reduction in instances of manpower imbalances caused due to poor recruitment / over recruitment of personnel.

The solution should be one which the industry would readily accept and adopt, with minimal resistance from employees.

It should enable warehouse operators to efficiently measure, improve, recognize, retain and reward the worker based on their productivity level.

With such a solution, it would enable effective management of the workforce in post-COVID19 world.

 

 

Further Details

Further details of the challenge statement may be found at the Briefings Page, in the form of video recordings of the virtual briefing sessions, Q&A transcripts and presentation slides if available.

 

 

Instructions on Submitting Proposals

Download the proposal submission form in Microsoft Word format at the 'Attachment' section of the Challenge Statement Listing Page and fill in the details of your project proposal. You can then proceed to the proposal submission page by logging in and clicking the 'Submit Proposal' button on the right side of this page, where you will have to fill in the form fields and attach the filled Microsoft Word project submission form before submitting. Do also upload supporting documents/files that may support your proposal.

 

Challenge

TCC Industry

Organisation

YCH Group Pte Ltd

Themes

Internet of Things
Big Data, Data Analytics
Resource Sharing, Digital Platforms
Process Enhancements
Sustainability, post COVID

Proposal submissions are open from 22 Jul 2020 to 15 Oct 2020