iForce, the UK provider of specialist logistics services such as e-fulfilment and returns logistics, anticipates taking on between 1,800 to 2,000 agency colleagues to cover the fast approaching peak period when the UK starts its Christmas shopping online.
For nine months of the year iForce operates with 550 full-time employed colleagues and a core team of circa 200 agency colleagues. Being able to scale to the volume of people required to meet peak activity is a key element of the company's ability to hit some of the most stringent service levels in Europe.
The online retail peak period from 1 October to 31 December is when e-fulfilment is truly tested, and during this period last year iForce dispatched 2.6 million orders. That's 10 million items with a total retail value of 200 million both figures showing a 14 per cent increase on the previous year.
Mark Hewitt, CEO at iForce commented: "We anticipate an even busier peak this year not just because clients, such as John Lewis, Sainsbury and Boots, achieve strong year on year online retail growth but also because the volumes being processed through iForce's multi-channel returns processing and remarketing arm will have soared. It's during the peaks when the investment you make in your people, training, processes and systems particularly pays off to ensure that all SLAs (Service Level Agreements) are met and all client and their customers' expectations exceeded."
For iForce the retention of agency staff is as critical as the initial recruitment and this starts with good selection, where possible from recommendation by existing staff. And followed up with the high quality of iForce's Training Academy, which (developed and honed over many years) takes peak staff through iForce procedures during an intensive two-day's training and assessment.