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 … Continue reading “Peripheral Vision”

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 … Continue reading “Staffing? – Good Question”

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 shift worker.”  In other words, walk that mile in their shoes. Companies don’t … Continue reading “Yes, it’s personal”

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 … Continue reading “5 Signs that you may need a new shift schedule”

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 is fairly straight forward.  If you have a salaried person at … Continue reading “The impact of overtime on salaried personnel”

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 … Continue reading “Change Management”

Alertness on 12-hour night shifts

The problem with all night shifts, regardless of shift length, is that they don’t match up with the lifestyles of the rest of the world. On nights, you are expected to be awake when everyone else is asleep and then you are to sleep when everyone else is awake. A pretty tall order. Most shift … Continue reading “Alertness on 12-hour night shifts”

Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is one of those rare production crazes that actually works. People that have never heard of it might immediately think it implies reducing the size of the workforce. This is simply not the case. Lean manufacturing means to produce with the goal of zero waste. So the question is, “What is waste?” Waste is finished … Continue reading “Lean Manufacturing”

Getting the Workforce Involved

I recently received a telephone call from a company that was having problems with their shift schedule.  The problem, it seemed, was that people were complaining about the schedule.  The company could hear the complaints but was having a hard time interpreting what they were hearing.  Was it just a few “squeaky wheels” doing all … Continue reading “Getting the Workforce Involved”