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Shop employees start time10/28
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.
What are your start times and thoughts
No matter what time you choose, someone will not be happy.
Explain and show how keeping the utilities going for more than 8 hours is expensive. You can't afford it this year due to rising costs. And this is your new start time. I know some will be unhappy but this is what we are going to do.
Remember that they need you as much as you need them. Ignore the grumbling for a few weeks and it will go away. And you save money.
I can sympathize with utility costs. I'm a 3 man shop in a 20,000 sq. ft building. My electric bill is 2500 in the summer with A/C on, and my gas bill is 1500 in the winter months. However your shop should be climate controlled 24/7, not just during working hours. I am amazed at how many shops operate in 100% humidity during the some because they don't want to foot the A/C bill.
If rolling start/stop times aren't causing you any production issues then you are well ahead of the game if you have happy employees who can do great work and have a happy personal life. That really is priceless and something many of us on here wish to achieve. You should never risk that to save a couple of bucks a day for utilities.
I always looked at variable start times for employees as a benefit that did not cost me anything. Yes, there were times it is inconvenient, or seems wasteful, but the employees that are happy that they can pick up kids after school or time their work with their life makes it worth it. It gives me back more than it costs.
Your utilities should cost the same, as stated above. The only way it will cost you real dollars is if someone can't work because their partner is not there, and that can be overcome with a bit of planning and floor management.
It can make it hard to measure progress on projects with the variability, but that should be measured in labor docs and such - not by looking at stuff in the shop.
All that said, I did have to limit hours for one guy. He got increasingly variable - he would come in at midnight and work until 7 the next morning, then a few hours in the afternoon, then not be in for a day. Regularity and predictability matters.
Great responses guys, thanks.
Jerry and David, we have always tried to make sure our employees are happy. We constantly remind each other how we spend more time together than we do with our own families. A happy employee is a productive employee. And we have always been very flexible with them, the same as we would hope to be treated .
I think for the winter months we may give this a try and see if it really has a financial impact or not.
Well, the work on your website is beautiful. You should be pricing it to make money. That takes years of experience to have the confidence to do that, but the sooner you do it the happier you'll be. You may be losing money in a lot of different ways, or better stated you may be losing opportunity to make money in a lot of different ways, but worrying about your utility bill should not be one of them. Furthermore, I can think of a lot of different reasons why I would want my crew on the same schedule, but again, saving money on utilities is not one of them.
I recommend you take a step back for a moment and think about what you're asking. Does it seem right to you that your margins are so thin that turning the lights and heat off for 2 or 3 hours a day is going to make a significant difference? Price your jobs to theoretically make you a 20% or 25% net profit margin, perhaps settle for the reality of a 15% or 20% net profit margin, and your utility bills will be forgotten.
I agree with Taylor. To accept that you can't be more profitable if the flaw. Not the extra utilities. Do not be afraid to charge more. Do not be afraid to charge more than you would pay!