Employees' Hidden Talents
Employees pursue all kinds of interests while not on the clock that could be of value to your company. Some may have valuable computer skills and others may be media savvy. You might even have a writer on hand.
Do your computers need to be cleaned out? If it's near your shop, it probably needs to be cleaned, not just of junk, but actually blown out. Many people own computers but have no idea how to maintain the machine. During the slow periods you could have one of those tech-talented employees clean it out. During the process you can evaluate their actual CPU knowledge. Maybe the individual is going to be your future CNC operator. That's what happened at our shop.
For the media savvy employee, how about making a video that you could show your potential customers? A slow period is the perfect time to do this.
An aspiring writer might enjoy helping prepare company safety handbooks and writing steps for the proper use of machinery.
The interesting thing about having a plan for slow periods is that you will never notice you are slow. Your shop will still be busy getting important work done. You will be laying the groundwork for when the busy season is upon you again. Your shop will be cleaner and more organized and your workers will have enjoyed the opportunity of trying their hands at something a little different. As the old saying goes, "A change is as good as a rest." More importantly, no man-hours will have been wasted.
Prepare now for those slow times and you won't find your workers twiddling their thumbs on the clock. You will be glad you did.
About the author:
Jon Olson is the production and operations manager for Sterling Surfaces in Sterling, Mass. He has been a solid surface fabricator since 1982 and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.