FAQ


Why should I use a consultant to help me improve my shiftwork operation?

There are five major reasons for hiring a consultant:
1. Time. Few managers can spare the time needed to carry out a project of this magnitude.
2. Expertise. Few managers have the experience needed to successfully carry out this type of change, educate employees on the full range of options, or thoroughly address employee questions and concerns.
3. Employee buy-in. Using an outside neutral party to facilitate the change process will minimize employee beliefs that the changes are dictated by management, which will lead to more widespread support of the ultimate results.
4. Optimal results. Experts can help you identify the most effective solutions, avoid surprises, and increase the likelihood of a smooth transition and successful implementation.
5. Minimal risk. You certainly don’t want to make a change that alienates the workforce or creates a bunch of new problems. Someone with extensive experience knows what works and what doesn’t. They are familiar with the best practices. They can avoid the pitfalls and ensure an outcome that is supported by the workforce.
Our consultants have helped over 200 companies improve their operations — and they have done it well.


What does a typical schedule evaluation and change project look like?

Each project is customized to meet the needs of the client. You can see several examples of how we customize our process by clicking here.


Can you just mail me a new schedule?

Sure, but unless we follow our proven process, it is likely to be the wrong one. Schedule design is the simplest part of improving your shiftwork operations. The real question should be “Can you send me the best solution for my site and guarantee the workforce will support it?” The answer to this one is no. Finding the right solution, from everyone’s perspective, requires a lot of time and effort (see our change model).


Why can’t I just copy a schedule from a nearby facility that is operating the same number of hours we need to run?

Chances are that any solution you simply copy from another site will not meet all of your needs or your employee needs. The best shiftwork solutions are tailored for each organization. Your shiftwork operation has unique staffing levels, absence rates, maintenance issues, demand seasonality, growth/consolidation requirements, etc. Copying a solution from a nearby plant will not address these issues.


We have a union at our site. Can we still improve our shiftwork operations?

Yes, but this is a complicated issue. Union contract or not, the best solutions are the ones that fit the needs of the workforce as well as those of the company. Without the workers’ support, you will spend your career fighting with scheduling issues. If the union and management agree that a better schedule lies outside of what the contract allows, we help to write a timed addendum. This addendum must obviously meet with everyone’s approval and allow for a schedule to be implemented outside of the current contract for a specified period of time and with a very specific set of pay and work rules. This allows the schedule to be tested on a trial basis before it is incorporated into the contract.


How much do your services cost?

Much of our work is done on a project basis at an agreed-on fixed cost. We have found that the majority of these projects result in operational savings and profit making opportunities that recover the project costs in six months or less. On an annual basis, this results in an improved bottom line for your company.

Because the opportunities are real, we are also comfortable offering our services on a “pay for performance” basis. These types of projects are usually structured so that our compensation is directly linked to the value of the opportunities that your company can actually realize.

We work with every size organization, and have helped them solve problems that ranged in difficulty from very complex to fairly straightforward. Our services are customized to meet the needs of each individual client. As a result, we do not have a standard list of services and fees.

For more details on how we can help you find the right shiftwork solution while meeting your financial requirements, call us today or fill out our contact form.


What shift schedule is the most popular?

The answer to this question is simple. The most popular shift schedules are the schedules that are understood and supported by the workforce, and that meet the business requirements of the organization. Schedules that fail to meet the business requirements usually fail and get replaced. Schedules that are implemented without shiftworker input are hard for the workforce to accept.


Ok, what is the most popular shift length?

When shiftworkers are asked to focus on shift length and it’s effect on time-off alone, most shiftworkers prefer 10-hour shifts over either 8-hour or 12-hour shifts. Unfortunately, many shift work operations cannot use 10-hour shifts well because a 10-hour shift does not divide well into a 24-hour day. If level coverage is needed all 24 hours in the day, it is very difficult to get that coverage with a 10-hour shift schedule. For more information on this subject, see: 10-hour shifts, Shift-length Issues, and Shift-Schedules.