Improving employee productivity is probably on just about every manager’s goals list. And rightfully so. Since labor costs often account for 50% or more of the cost of many manufactured products, improving productivity translates directly to higher profits. (Click here to learn more about equipment productivity).
What Is It Worth?
To put things in perspective, let’s look briefly at a facility with 500 employees making an average wage of $15/hour plus benefits. If you can make each employee productive for one more minute each workday, it is worth about $43,000/year in labor costs, while a 1% improvement in productivity is worth $206,000/year. Since many companies can realize a 5% to 10% productivity improvement with the right shiftwork solution, the potential cost savings adds up quickly.
Opportunities to Improve Productivity
- Minimize lost time at shift change.
- Minimize the number of shift changes.
- Keep equipment operating through shift change.
- Allow enough time for communicating operating conditions, but not too much time – most operations need to allow 10 minutes or less to communicate conditions between shifts.
- Use a continuous break coverage system.
- Keep equipment operating through breaks.
- Optimize plant equipment – use your most productive equipment to its fullest potential.
- Match staffing to the workload requirements – you must fully understand your workload requirements to do this. Most companies find that workload varies considerably depending on the product and plant conditions, yet their coverage is fixed.
- De-couple tasks from traditional time frames. For example: Does it really take exactly 8 hours to clean a line? Is batch cycle time really 4 hours? Is the operators’ lunch break really long enough for maintenance to changeover the packaging line?
- Schedule personnel to work when they are most productive. A classic example of this is maintenance scheduling. Most managers agree that their maintenance personnel are most productive when the plant is not operating. Yet many companies use overtime to cover these periods – making the coverage expensive and difficult to provide.
- Match flows within the manufacturing process. Lean manufacturing makes the right shiftwork solution critical to your success.
These are just a few of the general areas that Shiftwork Solutions evaluates when helping you identify opportunities to improve productivity. Your organization probably has some of the opportunities listed above, and several unique opportunities too.
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