Manufacturers benefit from a varied workforce. That doesn’t just extend to diversity in numbers, but also to scheduling. Having flexibility in how many employees can work a given shift can be an essential part of operations, as it can help lower overhead. One way of minimizing labor costs is to bring in more part-time staff that only work essential roles a few days or several hours per week. Combining this with effective labor-related software such as Microsoft Dynamics NAV Time Collection can optimize a company’s schedule significantly. With that said, scheduling part-timers is quite a different experience, so knowing how to handle them is crucial.
Understanding the production situation
Before hiring part-time employees or reducing work hours for full-time staff, it’s a good idea to look at the big picture in terms of operations. As ICMI noted, not every company and industry will find part-time workers useful. A medium-sized business that has a consistently high volume of output may find part-time workers not helpful, simply because it makes more sense for the same crew to come in every day.
However, smaller companies, particularly job shops, may find part-time workers far more effective because of their lower volumes. They can use the employees to either supplement the workforce during a high-demand period or for special tasks that don’t require a lot of time but a company can’t automate. The best way to assess this is to look at current operations and production output. If the need for multiple full-time employees isn’t as strong in general or in certain aspects such as inventory or warehouse, a manager can then look into cutting hours or hiring part-timers over full-timers. Just be aware of the level of necessity involved.
Remembering worker wellbeing
One of the great advantages of using time collection software is that it allows for some level of automation in the scheduling. Instead of having to constantly input schedules and guess when would be good times to schedule workers, a supervisor can fill out that information with little effort. He or she can have all the variables involved in entering the schedule in front of them, assuring the company will always have a full staff each day. In so doing, the supervisor saves administrative time from completing this task, while the schedule will be optimal. Both of these help bring down overhead costs.
However, reducing the amount of time completing a schedule for part-time workers doesn’t by default mean that a supervisor should carelessly complete this task. One of the big problems raised in using time collection software and automating is that most schedules take very little consideration into the workers’ wellbeing, as discussed by Srimathy Mohan in a research paper for Mathematical and Computer Modeling. Beyond possible availability restrictions managers account for, there’s often the feeling that schedules have no consistency to them. If an employee’s schedule wildly varies from week to week, the person will constantly feel stress because he or she will have no control over his or her work life, making it more difficult to separate it from living outside the shop. Such issues can lead to burnout and other health problems.
This is no fault of the time collection software, for it merely repurposes the information it receives. Rather, it’s the responsibility of the manager to think carefully and actually consider the wellbeing of workers when filling out a schedule, according to Entrepreneur. What is most ideal for one worker or another? It’s important to establish a level of consistency where employees will feel most comfortable and satisfied. While there will be situations such as people calling in sick, a company should still be able to give the staff what it wants while maintaining a high level of flexibility overall.
Job shops should learn more about Dynamics NAV Time Collection by reading the Time Collection Dynamics data sheet today.