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Case studies:

True North Supply Chains

The client

True North specialises in offering comprehensive supply chain solutions tailored to the marketing and operational needs of businesses across New Zealand.  

With offices strategically located in Auckland & Wellington, they provide a full spectrum of services including sourcing, logistics, warehousing, and fulfilment.

The challenges

Balancing high service standards across diverse industries within tight deadlines presents challenges in forecasting resource needs. 

Richard Niovara, Warehouse Manager at True North, expressed there were challenges with previously used warehouse staffing agencies. 

High unpredictability around staffing needs

True North faces the challenge of navigating through daily fluctuations and unpredictability in workloads. Given that their clientele operates in agile and dynamic environments, True North must align their resources accordingly.

The nature of last-minute campaigns or delays upstream in the supply chain can disrupt schedules, leading to urgent tasks with tight deadlines. Flexibility in swiftly adjusting the workforce size is vital to meeting customer demands effectively.

“We find it very difficult to get staff quickly from other agencies, and our requirements for extra staff can be unpredictable.”
Sourcing high-quality staff

The majority of True North contingent worker needs are used for Pick Packing, so having access to high quality and productive staff is critical for them to be able to manage costs and meet client deadlines.

Before partnering with Sidekicker, True North experimented with conventional warehouse staffing agencies, only to find that the quality and reliability of the staff frequently fell short of their standards. 

With little oversight or influence over the assigned workers, opportunities to cultivate consistency and leverage the expertise of previously trained individuals were limited.

“Before Sidekicker we used other agencies, and the quality of staff was not to a high standard. We faced challenges with the staff not being able to work unsupervised or being unskilled.”
Commercial flexibility

At True North, daily workloads can significantly fluctuate, underscoring the necessity of a dependable contingent workforce to maintain control over labour expenses.

Maintaining a direct or permanent workforce that is too large poses the risk of idle resources during quieter periods, adversely affecting the company's financial viability.

The solution

Since December 2020, True North has relied on Sidekicker as their warehouse staffing agency, recognising the platform as an invaluable asset in their daily business operations.

Ability to retrain staff

True North carefully selects Sidekicks by thoroughly reviewing their detailed profiles, which encompass on- and off-platform experiences, ratings, and reliability scores provided by other companies.

Once a Sidekick has completed a shift onsite, True North saves them into their private Talent Pools, facilitating direct future requests to these workers. With enhanced visibility and hiring control, True North can prioritise workers they've previously collaborated with, ensuring a highly productive workforce.

Additionally, True North utilises the Talent Pool feature to assign shifts directly to specific workers, granting them complete control over scheduling and fostering ongoing relationships with well-suited individuals.

24/7 labour requests

The Sidekicker self-service 24/7 platform is hugely valuable for True North Supply Chains when it comes to managing the unpredictability of their business. They don’t need to wait to request casual staff or fill their requirements during business hours, or for somebody else to do it for them. 

True North Supply Chains can jump in anytime to make their staffing requests within a minute with the assistance of the Request Templates for their core roles such as Pick Packers and Devanners, and as soon as they’ve posted their request they can expect to see applications flowing in. This allows them to swiftly fill their requests, even those starting with a couple of hours notice. 

The results

Seamless scaling up and down 

Throughout 40 months of utilising the Sidekicker Platform, True North has consistently engaged at least one Sidekick each month, with occasional peaks of up to 16 workers completing at least one shift.

Given the monthly fluctuations in required hours, the flexibility of the Sidekicker platform to scale the workforce in tandem with business demands proves indispensable for True North. Moreover, the absence of subscription-based costs means they only incur expenses when workers are onsite, aligning with their operational efficiency and offering significant commercial value.

Increased worker consistency

True North Supply Chains has a number of Sidekicks which have worked casually for them via the Sidekicker platform for over 2 years on a casual but consistent basis, with many having completed over 25 shifts for True North Supply Chains themselves, which gives great consistency and highly productive staff. 

“Sidekicker is really good at gaining repeat workers and usually I always get the same staff back which means I don't have to retrain. When using other agencies, if on the odd occasion I get a good worker it was always difficult to get them on repeat, especially with last minute requests. Any good workers they did have were likely already signed up to work elsewhere.”
High fulfilment rate and quick turnaround time

Over the past 12-months on average, True North Supply Chains have been able to review applicants and make hiring decisions within 45-minutes of posting. 

They’ve received applicants to 95% of the total number of jobs posted onto the Sidekicker platform, even when workers are requested with less than 24 hrs notice. Additionally, over the past 6-months they’ve had Sidekicks working on over 89% of the requests. 

With these fulfilment rates and quick turnaround times, True North Supply Chain can rely on Sidekicker being able to fill their last minute labour requests, and not fall short on productivity onsite. 

“I often will post a shift on Sidekicker after hours or on weekends as I have had a last minute container arrive or staff inform me of being sick etc. With other agencies its very difficult to contact my account manager outside of business hours to get staff for the next morning."