Peripheral Vision

Once, back in my Navy days, I was the Chief Engineer on a cruiser.  This was a 24/7 job where it seemed that everything was a priority all of the time.  I was having a conversation with the commanding officer about setting priorities and he said, “When in doubt, shoot the wolf closest to the […]

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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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5 Signs that you may need a new shift schedule

Shift schedules rarely fail overnight.  Typically, there are plenty of warning signs; signs that tell you to take action before it’s too late.  Here are the 5 biggest warning signs. #1: You have idle equipment while still not producing enough to meet customer demands.  There can be a lot of reasons for this; nearly all […]

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The impact of overtime on salaried personnel

Since president Obama signed (28 May 2016) legislation raising the minimum bar for salaried people to qualify for overtime, I have been getting two questions: (1) What does this mean and (2) How does it affect my shiftwork operation. The answer to the first if fairly straight forward.  If you have a salaried person at […]

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Change Management

Let’s suppose someone walked into your office and said, “I just did some math and it looks like we need to make a change.” At that moment, you should realize that the easy part of Change Management has just been completed. Yes, I’m saying that “Math is the easy part.” Putting pen to paper and […]

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Preparation is part of Doing

I just saw a post on LinkedIn where a LEAN expert mentioned that 20% of implementing LEAN is having the right tools. The other 80% is mindset. In other words, the table must be set in order for dinner to be served. It strikes me that this is an “oft-overlooked” phase of every project. I […]

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Be Careful What You Ask For – Part One

Once upon a time, about 28 years ago now, nearly every 24/7 operation in the country was using some version of a rotating 8-hour schedule.  Ten years ago, I used to ask large groups of employees if any of them have ever worked one of those outdated 8-hour schedules and inevitably, several hands would go […]

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