What’s the Deal with the Labor Shortage?
We all can agree that we have been through a lot in 2020 and 2021, experiencing the pandemic and everything that resulted from it. There have been numerous challenges to contend with including employee and customer fears, market shifts, PPE expenses, supply chain issues, freight scheduling conflicts, skyrocketing prices, increased costs, IC shortages…..the list is long and comprehensive.
The Labor Shortage and Pandemic are Affecting all Industries
One of the biggest obstacles our Advanced Wireless Communications customers have been dealing with is the labor shortage. It doesn’t matter if you are a restaurant, retailer, senior living facility or large distribution center. Finding good quality help has been elusive. Labor costs are getting more expensive as we come out on the other side of the pandemic. A majority of companies, both big and small, have been forced to do more with less employees and often less experienced people.
Retailers Will Have to Up Their Game
This article from Chain Store Age states that the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that over 850,000 retail workers left their posts and many have yet to return. This number should be alarming to retailers as expected. Why? It’s been predicted that more shoppers plan to head back into stores as 2022 goes on so it will be important for retailers to be prepared.
Senior Living Facilities are Facing Problems Too
The senior living industry isn’t looking any more promising either when it comes to a fully staffed facility. In November 2021, nurse and residential care facilities lost 11,000 jobs according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Senior Housing News). While these care facilities struggle to meet the minimum staffing requirements and experience burnout, they will have to reevaluate systems that will relieve overworked staff and prioritize resident safety.
Distribution Center Drama
Distribution centers are also lacking the employees needed to get products on trucks and into stores (Forbes). This industry in particular, along with manufacturing, trucking and retail, are all contributing members to the supply chain inefficiencies the entire country is experiencing. The supply chain won’t be able to keep up with consumer demands if the industry continues to face labor shortage issues.
How to Combat the Labor Shortage
Communication devices and systems are now more valuable than ever. Organizations that understand this and address this will be poised better for the future than others that don’t. Here are a few things for you to consider if you are planning to upgrade your communications solutions to better optimize the team members that you have:
- Discuss how your teams communicate and who they need to communicate with.
- Equip as many of your employees as possible with communication tools. These shouldn’t be only earmarked for management.
- Communication solutions need to be simple to use.
- Use a standard communications protocol if possible. Be careful about getting locked into proprietary equipment. Pricing generally increases if you are not using a standard.
Assess Your Current Communication Strategies
Look beyond the communication device itself and look at the system.
- Is the system expandable?
- Does it integrate with other systems you have already invested in?
- Does it have open API’s/ways for you or others to communicate with it?
- Does it allow for others without the communication devices to be able to communicate with the ones that do?
- Does it help corporate sites to communicate with individual locations?
- Does it allow for enterprise reporting so you can more effectively manage your organization?
Assess Your Current Communication Provider
Review the total cost of ownership for your communication system(s).
- It is more than the initial purchase?
- How durable are the devices, what does it cost to run the program?
- Is the communications company that you chose, a specialist in your field?
- Do they have the ability to be a true partner?
- Understand the whole objective or ROI that is available to your organization with the right communication strategy.
Consider the Future Benefits
Investing in technology may seem like an intimidating step for some businesses. If you plan wisely, your technology can last and be scaled to fit future needs. Here’s an example. A retailer could start by implementing a radio system to increase team member communication. After that, they consider purchasing an entire communication and alert system that integrates with radios, alarms, and task management.
Prioritize Your Technology
We reiterate that communications devices and systems are more important than ever with a labor shortage that we are uncertain might right itself. AWC has the solutions to help mitigate the effects of it.
Combat the Labor Shortage Today
Let us know how AWC can help your organization design the right communication solution system for whatever pain points you might be feeling. We are committed to helping our customers reach their objectives and find opportunities within the obstacles.