According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average overtime hours worked by manufacturing employees in December 2018 was 3.6 hours per week. Surveys of shiftwork and overtime practices at companies maintaining around-the-clock operations show some employees average up to 500 hours of overtime a year. Along with employees’ requests for overtime, supervisors must distribute (and account for) overtime equitably. Coleman Consulting Group Managing Partner Frank Pereira, who says his firm has surveyed more than 350,000 employees worldwide, estimates only about 50% of manufacturers have scheduling software. Pereira’s firm helps manufacturers analyze their scheduling and overtime practices, and he notes that there are as many ways to keep track of overtime and schedules as there are companies.
“Automating scheduling is scary for a lot of manufacturers because it’s hard to put a value on it like you could with an ERP implementation that will save 10% in shipping costs,” added Pereira, “And, more importantly, employees build their lives around their work schedules, so the risk of something going wrong in implementation far outweighs the benefits of an automated schedule.
“Managers know that messing up the schedule can lead to massive headaches including increased turnover, low morale, poor performance, higher costs, and, if you’re unionized, even a strike,” adds Pereira.