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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”

When is high overtime appropriate?

We are typically asked about ways to lower overtime. It is clear that most companies view overtime as a necessary evil. They try to get it as low as possible and consider all overtime reduction as cost savings. In many instances, they are right. However, just as often, they are wrong. From a pure tangible … Continue reading “When is high overtime appropriate?”

Considerations for Multiple Schedules

Often, when we start on a project with a company, the question will be asked, “Can we put in more than one schedule?” The intent is to discern if such a thing is actually possible or too complicated to consider. The answer is almost always, “Yes, in fact, you already have multiple schedules being worked … Continue reading “Considerations for Multiple Schedules”

A schedule is more than a day-on-day-off pattern

Most people that come to our site are thinking “I need a shift schedule so all I need to do is search the internet until I find a pattern that I like.” There are several “Danger Will Robinson” issues associated with this idea. First of all, what you like may not be what everyone else … Continue reading “A schedule is more than a day-on-day-off pattern”

Non-wage Solutions to Rising Wage Pressure

We all knew this was coming. We watched and cheered as unemployment numbers dropped, month after month. This meant the economy was recovering. Manufacturing, in many industries, has reached the tipping point and is returning to the United States at a pace not seen in decades. One of the results of this “bountifulness” is a … Continue reading “Non-wage Solutions to Rising Wage Pressure”