Hey everyone , we are a small 8 man shop. We do all custom work , everything from kitchen's and vanities , to passage doors and entrance doors and everything made of wood In between. Like most of you , our shop struggles to turn a profit . We have a cnc that we incorporate as much as we can into our custom work. And we would like to believe we are priced competitively to keep up in the market and keep 8 guys working .
Our over head is one of our biggest factors , labor , electricity , health , insurances , and heating with winter coming .
Right now our guys can make their own hours , some come in at 5 am and some start st 7, then leave in the same fashion. This as you can imagine leaves us paying added costs with our over head .
The point and main question, how do you handle when your shop starts ? A couple of the early birds in our shop are up in arms because we suggested a set start time of 6:30.
We have 3 start at 6 and the others start at 7, my only rule is can't work alone for safety. Most of my guys farm as well so we have a very flexible time during planting and harvest. On a side note I highly recommend Paul downs new book, if u are the owner. It was a great book to look directly at our industry. Just my 2 cents.
Doesn't the labor rate you charge on each hour worked cover the overhead? I don't understand how the flex time changes that. At the end of the week, it all adds up to the same amount of income. Do you have employees cross trained so no one is waiting on someone to arrive to perform an operation? Two guys that run the cnc? Maybe look at your labor rates again, and make sure the rate you are charging is covering the overhead and profit.
I could see how getting everyone to start and stop at the same time would save you money in heat and electricity.It can be wastefull to have the lights on and machinery running like a large dust collector for 1 early bird,rather than the whole crew working,same goes for 1-2 guy's staying later.
I am with Max, No matter if I have it covered in my OH or not, My shop is 20k sq ft and I dont want my DC or Lights running for just one guy. Anything else is just tossing money out the window. I do allow special circumstances, but I sure wouldn't allow a steady diet of it.
You could compromise and allow a few people to come in early and stay late if they want to do things like sanding (manually,not wide belting),clean up,or other tasks that don't require all the lights on and large equipment running,plus eliminates the safety factor.
Your work shows that you have capable employees that can do some nice things. Staggered stat times is a benefit that should cost you nothing, but mean a lot to them. Early starts mean they can be home when the kids get home from school, avoids latchkey kids.
I would let them know that as long as it is not abused, it can work for the benefit of everyone.
Your costs should not have anything to do with it.
It may be worth noting that a few years ago, the computer was going to eliminate the office. Employees would be able to work at home and the quality of their life would increase as a result. What happened? The Boss did not like the empty office and preferred walking the aisles, watching everyone tap, tap, tap away, lined up in nice productive rows.
I have people starting at many different times throughout the day.
People start at 6, 6:30, 7, 9, 11 & 12.
I do this to accommodate their personal life demands as well as I can have people share work areas. One is moving towards the end of the work area while the other is just starting. I have people come in to relieve others so that my machinery is being used for over 12 hours a day.
This helps me in that I have machinery being used at least half the day and not sitting doing nothing for 16 hours. My employees win as they are at home for their issues such as being home for kids in the morning or evening, spouse works different shift so someone is always there for the kids, early morning person and one who thinks that early is noon.
By being able to accommodate these things, I have created a crew that enjoys working here as they couldn't get this type of flexibility elsewhere. This helps me by reducing turnover and happier people.
Thanks for all the Great feedback! I dont know how this thread was created twice? Sorry for that.
Mike I have read Paul Downs book. It was such a great book to read. And knowing that we are not alone in the struggles. And our business struggles are much the same as his, cash flow. Millions in sales each year but never anything left at the end of the year really . However our business has no debts, great quality machinery and our employees are happy. They have great benefits. Higher salaries than most other shops will offer. So now , our question is how do we save money without changing the core of our company and our values. If we manage our over time better by having every one start at the same time, and can cut our utility bills by lets say $700 a month, this could add up in the end.
Really everyone thanks for all the great feed back!
Good post to a common problem. Necessary rules: No one works alone, they must know what they have to do before coming in early, You need to have some way of measuring what they get done, Try to get several people to start @ the same time so that wastes of energy aren't excessive. Put in closed circuit cameras "as a security thing." Not to spy on employees but to dissuade thieves. Your insurance company may also like it.
You mention that cutting overtime would help the bottom line. My question is why do you have overtime? Is it scheduled overtime or are you trying to finish up a project that has gone over it's scheduled time?
My thought is to track the time on work processes and determine how long they take. One of two things is happening, either the employees are not getting enough done in regular hours or you are correctly estimating the amount of time needed.
Track what is getting done & how long it takes. This will help you determine where the problem lies.
We have overtime because our employees work overtime , simply poor buissness management . A lot of time our jobs won't warrant overtime but our guys would work Saturdays or come in early or stay late. A lot of the time while we are paying operating expenses for one person to be in the shop. That is our other goal for having a dedicated start time , we just started yesterday so we will see how it works out .
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