We recently completed work with a customer where we were able to reduce their overall cost of labor and measure the results as well. The goal was to reduce the use of temporary workers (Temps).
Temps are an ideal resource when balancing the ups-&-downs of production demand with a finite labor capacity. Using Temps is more cost-effective than having to fill open jobs with overtime. So eliminating the use of Temps altogether is not practical. However, relying on Temps indicates that one’s existing work force is not being used in an optimal manner. And this is an indirect indicator of labor waste. If you can meet your production demand by using your existing work force in an optimal manner, the use of Temps is reduced and your overall labor cost goes down.
How? We used optimization to find the best possible match between the skills inventory available with the customer’s hourly workers and, on the other side, the labor demand required to meet their production requirements.
Tugboat’s customer operates a prepared-meals manufacturing facility with about 800 regular hourly workers. They were using 20 to 40 Temps every day. Using Tugboat’s scheduling engine to do the crewing automatically the number of Temps was cut to 10 a day.
Measuring Labor Waste
In this case, the cost of labor waste is very easy to measure. Before Tugboat’s solution 20 to 40 Temps. After, 10. Temps may not sound expensive, but. The savings calculates out to at least $207,000 per year. (How would you like to take part of that home as a bonus?)
Here’s how we arrived at that number. Using the conservative estimate for reducing Temps from 20 to 10, that’s 10 fewer Temps. At $10.35 per hour, the cost of a Temp comes to $82.80 for an 8 hour work day. Multiply by 10 Temps, 5 days a week, and 50 weeks and we get to $207,000 per year. And, this should be easy to verify. Finance can report the cost of their temporary labor force from any prior period and compare it to the costs for the current period.
Posted by Terry Schilling, VP Marketing & Sales