In today’s volatile marketplace, manufacturers need to function as efficiently as possible to control costs and maintain agility — both fundamental aspects of competitive positioning. As such, good labor management is critical to ensuring efficient operations. But what is labor management, how can you improve yours, and what human and technological components do you need to take into consideration?
Topics: Improve Labor Management, Workforce Management Tools, Workforce Management, Increase Productivity, Improve Efficiency, Manufacturing Management, Warehouse Technology, Process Analysis, Labor Cost Solution, reduce labor costs, performance partners, Great Labor Management
“The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.”
- Helmut Schmidt
Although these words, attributed to the German statesman Helmut Schmidt, were originally spoken in a political context, they’re equally true when it comes to manufacturing. In this sector, continuous improvement is critical to refining processes, making operations more responsive and ultimately, becoming more competitive. To achieve continuous improvement, your management team must take the lead in driving change.
According to Harvard Business Review, an organization’s long-term success hinges on enterprise alignment — a value chain in which the organization’s purpose is aligned to its business strategy, organizational capability, resource architecture, and management systems. Among management systems, workforce management is perhaps one of the most critical, since every organization depends on the efficient management of its talent to accomplish its objectives. In this endeavor, cost and performance are both important aspects to consider.
Technological advancements have an impact on every industry — especially manufacturing. In fact, according to the report “Exponential technologies in manufacturing” by Deloitte and Singularity University, 86 percent of the top 100 companies by R&D spend are in the manufacturing sector. The main technology investment areas for these companies include cloud computing, advanced analytics, modeling and simulation, optimization and predictive analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) platforms.
Topics: Workforce Management, Increase Productivity, Improve Efficiency, Manufacturing Management, Warehouse Technology, Process Analysis, reduce labor costs, warehouse efficiency, Workforce Management Tools
Engineered standards are key to implementing production planning, management reporting, incentive structures, and individual accountability. Standards are developed using techniques that create fair expectations of the output projected over a specific time frame.
Throughout the U.S., the greatest obstacle for Operational and Human Resource professionals hit while trying to improve their labor management is a resistance to change. The pressure to succeed makes companies less open to taking risks and trying new techniques. Yet, businesses have to make modifications to keep up with a shifting national and global economy.
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Americans love their football and 2013's Super Bowl offered an array of "made in America" sub-plots. From the “HarBowl” story of two brothers meeting on football’s greatest stage, to Ray Lewis’ high energy, 17 year career coming to an end. Not to mention that San Francisco’s quarterback, Colin Kaepernick was a rookie named full-time starter in late November AND set a single game rushing record for a quarterback. Perhaps the most compelling take-away for me is the realization that the same team building principles of the NFL apply to American companies – especially when the business involves labor intensive operations.
Topics: Human Logistics, Labor Management, Business, Management Impact, Process Analysis, Labor Solutions, labor costs, reduce labor costs, Lean Manufacturing, performance partners, warehouse efficiency
For years I complained to my wife that despite the fact that I ate healthy and lean meals, I simply could not lose weight. At first she asked me what I had eaten and I would recite a list of healthy foods. For quite some time, she agreed, “you are doing everything right.” Then one day she shared an observation.
My list didn’t match my reality. She quickly started pointing out things that she witnessed – the candy bar after lunch, the forgotten beer watching the ballgame, and the calorie dense latte. In short, I was fooling myself. After decades of managing and observing production floors throughout the U.S., I realized that the same phenomenon takes place in almost every work site that I visit.