Changing shift schedules is not like changing the curtains in your kitchen.
Its complicated. It disrupts your workforce. It takes a great deal of effort in an area that you likely have very little experience AND if you make a mistake, you must be prepared to live with it for a very long time.
So, if you don’t need to change your schedule don’t change it.
Having said all of that, there are many very compelling reasons to at least take a look at alternative ways of scheduling your workforce.
Here is a sampling of reasons that companies have given us in the past:
- We are out of capacity during the weekdays
- There is no room to expand out facility outside of our current building
- Overtime is out of control
- The workforce is tired and mistakes are on the rise
- Costs need to be contained
- Product flow is irregular causing shortages and stockpiles
- High turnover
- We need to reduce shutdown and start-up costs
- Lean manufacturing initiative is not supported by the current schedule
- Trouble distributing skill sets across all shifts
- We are combining two plants into one
- Lower costs
- Supervisors don’t match the crew schedules
- Vacation and absentee coverage is difficult
- Current schedule does not support training
- We need to get rid of a weekend warrior schedule
- We are in a tight labor market and need a more attractive schedule
This list goes on and on. Nearly every company has its own unique reason for wanting, at the very least, to look at alternative ways of scheduling their employees.
Every company that competes on the open market must be constantly striving to improve. However, be careful. Your workforce is likely to be very wary of any attempt to upgrade their schedule. Interestingly, this is even true if they hate their current schedule.