Seasonal and Unbalanced Scheduling: A case study

The situation: A distribution center with 350 employees Last year they ran 38 Saturdays Highly seasonal with 3 months having no weekend work Local unemployment is around 3% The workload is dictated by upstream sources outside of the distribution center’s control The lack of predictability coupled with few days off was resulting in high attrition […]

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The Cost of Time

Suppose I asked you the following question:  “Will an employee make more or less money when they work overtime?” You might quickly answer: “Yes.  They make anywhere from 50% to 100% more when they are being paid at the overtime rate.” And you would be right. Now, suppose I asked you, “Which costs you, the […]

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Work-Life Balance

A frequent lament I’ve been hearing for the last 30 years is “Today’s kids don’t have the work ethic of their parents.” Interestingly, the frequency of this type of statement is inversely proportional to the local unemployment rate. When unemployment is low, then companies start to notice that their employees become less “sticky”. They leave […]

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Management By Walking Around

Wage pressure is here. Every site I go to the number one issue is “How can we get the people we need to produce at the level we need to produce?” A facility struggles to find and keep qualified people and then a competitor opens the doors across the street. What to do. The short, and expensive […]

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Workforce Scheduling for Food Manufacturing

Over the last 30 years, we at Shiftwork Solutions have worked with dozens of food manufacturing facilities.  One thing that always strikes us is how complicated their production requirement are. While a typical manufacturing facility will say “Our overtime is too high” or “We need to increase capacity”, a food manufacturer will use these statements […]

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Staffing? <-Good Question

Considerations for answering – How Many Do I Hire? I’m a shiftwork expert so my posts are always centered on shiftwork operations.  That doesn’t mean that there isn’t something that a non-shiftwork operation might find helpful.  My hope is that every reader of every post is able to find value. Most of my work, about […]

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5 things H.R. needs to know about shiftwork

Let’s start with this – My intent with this post is NOT to tell H.R. how to do their job. Rather, I want to round up many of the issues surrounding shiftwork in an effort to put the spotlight on those I have found to be most important to H.R. professionals. So, let’s get to […]

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Yes, it’s personal

I’m often asked “Jim, what is the single most important thing we, as an organization, can do to better facilitate a schedule change.” My answer is always the same – “Find a way to see the event through the eyes of a shiftworker.”  In other words, walk that mile in their shoes. Companies don’t change […]

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