Sysco is Switching Its Drivers to a Four-Day Workweek in an Effort to Boost Retention

Dive Brief:

CEO Kevin Hourican said on an earnings call earlier this month that Sysco had switched its colleagues from a five-day workweek to a four-day workweek in an effort to boost employee retention. According to an email from a representative, the change affects both truck drivers and warehouse personnel.

Employees who work overtime can now come in for a fifth day instead of a sixth, “which is lot easier for someone to do,” according to Hourican.

The statement comes after the food distributor increased asset utilization for its trucks and buildings by switching to a six-day delivery strategy from a five-day model, according to Hourican. “The model enhances our weekly throughput while also providing us with additional flex capacity on a daily basis, allowing us to better address demand swings.”

Dive Insight:

According to Hourican, Sysco’s workweek adjustment is one of the improvements that will make the company “an even more preferred employer” and improve customer experience.

As of July 3, 2021, the corporation employs approximately 58,000 people. Hourican also claimed that Sysco pays “a leading and competitive driver wage,” although he didn’t elaborate. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly wage for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers was $50,340 in May 2021.

Drivers should expect greater compensation and other benefits as fleets battle to staff up their operations enough to meet demand. In April, Walmart stated that long-haul truck drivers will be paid more and that a three-month training programme for supply chain personnel to become drivers would be started. Earlier this year, both Yellow Corp. and Werner announced that they were paying greater wages.

According to Hourican, Sysco, like Walmart, has launched a driver academy to provide warehouse staff with a path to becoming qualified drivers and increasing their earning potential. Last year, he stated that the corporation will pay trainees to attend the school, as well as cover licencing and certification fees.

On the most recent call, Hourican stated, “We’ve graduated our first class of drivers, and we’ve opened additional academy locations.” “By the end of the calendar year, we aim to have this capacity nationwide.”

Sysco will deliver to customers six days a week, despite the fact that drivers typically work four days a week. As of July 3, 2021, Sysco’s fleet numbered around 14,000 delivery vehicles.

The six-day workweek, according to Hourican, lets Sysco expand its flexibility and capacity in addition to making the most of its fleet and buildings. Even when demand fluctuates, this will result in more reliable on-time deliveries.

“The six-day workweek allows us to be more productive,” Hourican explained. “That is not a cost increase for Sysco.” This actually improves Sysco’s cost efficiency by allowing us to better leverage our physical assets. It is a positive thing, not a terrible one, if a truck is out for six days.”

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