MARCO reduced labour

Managing reduced labour

Top five tips for managing reduced labour during your packing season

Border restrictions and curbs of travel in general due to Covid-19, has meant that for many businesses, the packing workforce that they usually rely on has become unavailable. With many restrictions set to continue into 2021, how can you optimise your packing provision without sacrificing profitability or standards?

We have compiled our top five tips for managing with a reduced workforce this packing season:

  1. Management Insight. To make informed management decisions about your packing operation you first need to be informed about every step of the process. From monitoring individual operator performance to precisely measuring your overpack, MARCO’s Yield Control Module (YCM) allows you full visibility at all times, making it easy to make the right decisions.
  2. Deskill the packing process. If your access to skilled, experienced packing operators has been affected by Coronavirus, then it’s time to deskill your packing process. YCM completely deskills the process with a simple ‘one light = one fruit’ system, allowing new team members to operate more efficiently with minimal training requirements. Packing accuracy and speed both improve due to this simple-to-learn process.
  3. Protect against shut-down. The last thing anyone wants is to have to shut down a packing facility due to a Coronavirus outbreak among the staff. Our YCM software now comes with MARCO Covid-19 Track & Control software, which manages packing operator bubbles, ensuring that if there is an outbreak, it can be isolated to one team and one packing area. This will avoid a facility shut-down and allow business continuity.
  4. Increase productivity. Being able to pack accurately and efficiently might seem like a given, but we know from visiting hundreds of packing facilities over the past 35 year, that sadly it isn’t. Are you overpacking and giving away profit with each punnet? Are you packing slowly and paying for packing operators that you don’t really need? Are you able to adapt to changing market demands quickly by increasing production or changing products at the push of a button? We know from experience that we can increase productivity by 30% in a packing facility by tacking those issues head-on. We also know that these results are achievable from day one or operation.
  5. Have the right tools for the job. Each packing facility is unique and you need the right solution for your specific requirements. In terms of labour, our YCM system has reduced the packing labour requirement by up to 50% for some of our customers. If recruiting packing labour is getting more difficult but you don’t have the capital outlay for a new system, you could consider one of our zero deposit rental options. Whilst managing your labour shortage, you also benefit from improved productivity which more than pays for the monthly rental costs.

If you would like to find out how you could reduce your packing labour requirements by improving your packing process, speak with one of our Sales Managers by emailing