Online retailer Amazon.com made headlines recently with its announcement that it will hire an additional 100,000 seasonal workers to meet holiday demand. This surge tops 2014’s seasonal hiring spree (of 80,000 holiday workers) by 25% and more than doubles Amazon’s total full time staff of 90,000.

The Amazon announcement is significant because nearly all of these new hires will serve in fulfillment-related roles to help the online retailer process ecommerce orders. While holiday hires of yesteryear may have been sales floor associates to answer customer questions and keep checkout lines moving, today’s holiday hire will make sure same-day and next-day orders leave the warehouse in time for holiday gatherings. To expedite the training process for these new hires and ensure that supply chains maintain optimum levels of accuracy and efficiency during the busy holiday season, many companies turn to solutions like Voxware’s Cloud VMS.

Before the training process can begin, companies must determine exactly how many new team members to hire. While most ecommerce companies know how important it is to prepare for the holiday season, that knowledge doesn’t make preparations easy. Predicting demand and allocating staff and other resources in the face of a holiday rush can be a time-consuming and risky process. Fortunately, companies no longer need to rely on manually collected data and calculations. Tools like Voxware’s new Intellestra make it easy for managers to run custom analyses that predict the likely outcomes of various decisions so they can make the right choices.

In a pre-holiday hiring scenario, Intellestra would pull average picking rates for new and seasoned item selectors and combine those rates with sales forecasts based on last year’s holiday season to estimate staffing requirements. The hiring manager can move an on-screen slider to vary assumptions and see the impact on staffing and on day-by-day throughput.

Amazon’s plan to add team members to its warehouses suggests that the online retailer expects more online shoppers during the holiday season—and that they know how high the stakes are. Voxware research indicates that 86% of consumers have higher expectations for correct and on-time delivery of items that they purchase online or by phone during the holiday shopping season. Retailers that want to be sure to deliver an exceptional customer experience should consider leveraging multiple data sources and predictive tools like Intellestra to drive their hiring decisions and test the outcome before they even begin interviewing.