The Best Practices in Measuring Warehouse KPIs for Enhancing Productivity


This best practice is about measuring and improving warehouse productivity through LMS, which stands for labor management system. There are typically two segments of customers that will benefit significantly from an LMS, one is this huge ERP – vendor who supplies WMS. For example we will take SAP.  

  1. SAP’s core was ERP and they still developed and integrated the WMS because many of their customers have integration challenges with other platforms. They gave them the WMS and because their core is ERP there is no solid LMS that works. They should be buying some other LMS and integrate into the SAP’s – WMS which is a cumbersome process. 
  2. The second thing is that there are small companies with just a hundred thousand square feet or two hundred or three thousand square feet with anywhere of revenue from 10 million to let’s say hundred million, two hundred million.

They don’t have sophisticated LMS and for that reason they are not able to measure their employees work. There are also no metrics in place and also in a general sense the argument to implement an LMS was like “you cannot manage what you cannot measure” if you want to manage obviously you have to measure and you need an LMS. 

You can measure the performance of operators, supervisors and managers along with their KPIs such as picks per hour, units per hour metric, and EPP (Employee Performance Percentage) and then post it on a notice board on a daily basis. The fact that the personnel is measured and their KPI’s getting posted on the board gives you a productivity boost of 7%. Personnels will now do the job perfectly for the fact that you’re measuring and posting their KPIs. 

This alone gives 7% increase in productivity and if you start doing it even efficiently and optimally, you can gain more throughput. That’s the value prop for LMS, but it was expensive before but now it’s not the case, I mean there are many LMS available that even small enterprises can have. If they want to integrate in their existing WMS systems – it’s not a super complex process. 

It can be done quickly almost like a plug and play technology. So that’s something to think about and if you’re managing a big labor pool with multiple shifts and see a big opportunity from a labor perspective and start optimizing certain things such as these labor metrics, that will definitely help in pushing the productivity levels to the maximum levels. Please share your thoughts in the comments section. 

Originally published at on July 16, 2019.

Puga Sankara is the co-founder of Smart Gladiator LLC. Smart Gladiator designs, builds, and delivers market-leading mobile technology for retailers, distributors, and 3PL service providers. SG LoadProof is a patent pending Centralized Enterprise Photo/Video Document System on Cloud for Supply Chain. SG LP is built on the fact that photos & videos are vital docs as important as POs/SOs/Legal Contracts/Fulfillment Orders that reside in ERP/WMS/TMS systems, that serve as compelling, conclusive, unequivocal proof of crucial, critical, vital operations executed in Supply Chain within/across orgs when fulfilling customer orders as well as meeting contractual obligations between orgs as merchandise is transferred between different parties that partake in Supply Chain functions & operations. And these photos/videos data should not be stored in someone’s Smartphone or Email Inbox or in their personal/work Computer, but should be stored in a Centralized Enterprise system, where such data can be pushed into super-fast, stored securely, accessible to all stake holders (CFO/Sales Reps/Customer Support/AR/AP) in an org, as well as facilitates super-fast retrieval/sharing. LP is an Enterprise System of record for Photo/Video docs & is as important as an ERP which is an enterprise system of record for POs, SOs, Legal Contracts between parties etc. that have huge legal ramifications, also as important as a WMS (Warehouse Management System) that hold indispensable shipment & fulfillment data on orders. Like how Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat etc. have evolved into social media platforms/systems that enable individuals to showcase their beauty/pretty clothes/lovely cosmetics/hep coolness etc., LoadProof is an Enterprise system that holds similar photos/videos, but for a different reason, not for show off, but to serve as compelling, conclusive, unequivocal & indisputable system of record and proof that can be presented even in the court of law, when there is a dispute between parties while they execute many facets of the Supply Chain functions & operations. Puga is a supply chain technology professional with more than 25 years of experience in deploying capabilities in the logistics and supply chain domain. His prior roles involved managing complicated mission-critical programs driving revenue numbers, rolling out a multitude of capabilities involving more than a dozen systems, and managing a team of 30 to 50 personnel across multiple disciplines and departments in large corporations such as Hewlett Packard. He has deployed WMS for more than 30 distribution centers in his role as a senior manager with Manhattan Associates. He has also performed process analysis walk-throughs for more than 50 distribution centers for WMS process design and performance analysis review, optimizing processes for better productivity and visibility through the supply chain. Size of these DCs varied from 150,000 to 1.2 million SQFT. Puga Sankara has an MBA from Georgia Tech. He can be reached at [email protected] or visit the company at Also follow him at

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