Business Based Projects
Why spend more?
A manufacturing company was under significant pressure to reduce costs and defer investments in new plant and equipment. However, they did not realise how new roster solutions could achieve these goals.
To assist, Shiftwork Solutions designed roster options to reduce downtime, improve shift handovers, better utilise key equipment and better optimise the mix of overtime and other operating hours. As a result, production levels increased without new capital expenditure, unit production costs reduced, and the company received a return many times their initial investment within the first 12 months.
More Than Dollars
"We do not care what roster our employees work, as long as it does not cost us anything extra." (famous last words)
The management team at this company historically focused on employee wages. By the time we finished our business and roster analysis these managers realised that more could be achieved than just maintaining employee pay.
We developed alternative roster options for this site that provided benefits including:
- increased productivity and flexibility
- reductions in absenteeism, idle time and inventory levels
- less fatiguing shift rotation and additional time off for employees
- improved product quality and shift handovers
The company saved in excess of two million dollars per year with the added benefit of health and lifestyle improvements for employees.
Do Your Homework
Shiftwork Solutions was asked by a mining company to eliminate an existing operational bottleneck by developing a number of seven day continuous roster options to increase production. We eliminated the bottleneck, but not in the way this mining company anticipated. Our recommendation was not to change rosters.
By analysing workload, equipment utilisation and labour costs we showed that rostering more hours a week was not the best answer in this case. We demonstrated that a more economic solution was achievable by increasing equipment capabilities.
Not every shiftwork solution requires a new roster.
One of our clients implemented a new roster more than seven years ago. In preparation for their upcoming EA, employees presented a case to management claiming that they were eligible for significant back-pay due to an incorrect conversion for public holidays worked.
Management records were incomplete and the company had resigned themselves to a large payout. After reviewing their roster and award details we calculated accurate pay conversions for the original roster change seven years ago. This analysis showed that not only was the back-pay not warranted, but employees actually benefited from the company's original pay conversions for the change in rosters.
More Than Dollars
The new owners of a manufacturing company inherited high levels of rostered overtime with some employees working over 60 hours each week. The operation was struggling with excessive labour costs as well as concerns about employee health and safety. At the same time, employees were accustomed to substantial overtime pay each week and had resisted previous attempts to change the situation.
Using our process for alternative roster design, the company lowered working hours by 20% on average for each employee. We involved employees so that they had a say in this difficult change. We assisted the management to think through the business issues, to plan their communication with employees, and to convert pay and conditions correctly and fairly.
The company saved $600,000 per year, while meeting their duty of care obligations for employee work hours. Importantly, they also preserved the working relationship with their employees.