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Masterclass in reducing costs by optimising shift patterns

Following our Working Time Change Masterclasses this summer we thought it was a good opportunity to fill you in on the highlights of the events. 

Attendees spanned a range of sectors including manufacturing, utilities, air services, logistics and emergency services.

Delegates’ top reasons for joining the Masterclasses were shift pattern change, capacity issues and dependency on overtime.

Both events included panel discussions which were shaped around questions delegates had submitted. Popular themes included seasonality in business demand, change management and increasing productivity whilst achieving customer service standards.

Pat Bracken, Administration & Resource Planning Manager of Dublin Airport Authority gave a fascinating presentation on designing demand-led rosters in the complex aviation sector. 

Pat explained how following a period of unprecedented growth from 2001-2009 followed by a downturn in the economy they needed to restructure their rota systems at Terminal 2 to ensure passenger satisfaction while planning for peaks and troughs in demand. 

In partnership with the experts at Working Time Solutions, staff and other key stakeholders, the DAA implemented a demand-led rostering system resulting in significant and sustainable payroll savings and creating a better work/life balance for the employees. 

Pat stressed that when beginning a working time project don’t start with the solution in mind and remember you won’t please everyone as a roster that’s ideal for everyone doesn’t exist!

Diana Wood explained how implementing a working time change program enabled Premier Foods to flex their labour supply to meet forecasted demand. 

Having lost a major business contract, their plant in Knighton’s production volume was down 23 per cent, with the business on the verge of issuing redundancies to as many as 47 staff. 

Furthermore, the huge jump in demand during the latter months of the year forced them to offer overtime and employ temporary staff, with related costs amounting to £1 million a year.

New shift patterns were implemented to increase the flexibility of their workforce and avoid these expensive bills, a move that saved them almost £1 million in their first year of operation. 

Furthermore, Diana showed how through implementing a working time arrangement that accurately aligned supply with demand, they were able to retain staff who would otherwise had been made redundant. This led to a saving of £376,000 in redundancy and associated costs.

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