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Posted 09/08/2016

Manufacturers’ Top Three Challenges  

Manufacturers agree on many things, but most of all, on the challenges they face on a daily basis. It comes down to three facets of one issue: staffing. So, what about staffing seems to create this consensus?
  • Understaffing/overstaffing
One would be hard-pressed to win a debate on which condition is worse: under- or overstaffing. Either situation can create havoc with scheduling, inventory, and ROI. That is, quality may suffer, production may be thrown off causing a lag-time in filling orders, and overtime pay may become the norm to help answer the demand. Whether holding on through lean months or ratcheting up for peak season, staffing numbers need to correspond with the manufacturer’s supply chain and orders. It is also critical that the staff meet productivity, safety and revenue goals. The balance is difficult to achieve as timing and talent pools rarely coincide in a perfect storm. One solution: Demand planning and forecasting should help determine labor needs and keep your hiring proactive instead of reactive.
  • Staffing Adequacy
Staffing adequacy is more than a perception. It means not only having the right number of people to staff open jobs and keep the work going, but also to have the right talent in the right jobs. With a talent shortage, that objective is not as easy as it sounds. When manufacturers talk about the shortage of talent, they aren’t necessarily talking about bodies to stand in place as they are about a lack of skilled workers to fill those open jobs - particularly jobs in production operations, such as welding and machining. Further, skills such as these can be physically demanding which often makes it challenging to find experienced staff. Therefore, to assure staffing adequacy, manufacturers need to train candidates who are identified as having potential and abide while the employees (via training) meet the baseline requirements to perform the job. One solution: Engage in active recruitment of candidates with the core skills you require. Offer training and competitive salaries to boost interest.
  • Deciding to outsource staffing
Deciding to outsource staffing may seem complicated. And at first glance, a manufacturer may think outsourcing seems expensive and burdensome, but statistics show otherwise. Partnering with a staffing agency to assist in finding talent and filling jobs with skilled workers who match your needs, however, can be a most cost-effective decision. One solution: Use a specialty staffing agency like MPS to meet your top three challenges. With a staffing agency, a manufacturer can choose from options that work best for his company and talent needs including hiring contract workers, temp-to-perm workers, or direct hires. Using an agency such as MPS Technical can be your best bet. MPS has over 20 years’ experience helping fill your staffing needs. Contact MPS today. We’ll help your business face your challenges.