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Mastering the next waves of flu


Efficient shift planning: mastering the next waves of flu

The days are getting shorter, temperatures are dropping and the waiting rooms in doctors' offices are increasingly crowded. The cold and rainy season is accompanied by the rising risk of the next flu waves, just around the corner. For production or plant managers, shift planning is often a very tricky issue. Just imagine: Right after the weekend, part of the workforce has suddenly come down with the flu and fever, and a string of sick notes are popping up the screens. In order to avoid production lines going down, swift downtime management is called for. 

Manual day-to-day management is time-consuming

Here’s the reality in many companies: The plant manager in charge picks up the phone or starts pounding on the keyboard in search of a replacement. Minutes can turn into hours and in case of doubt the right replacement may still not have been found.

In many instances, there is no central database in place to see which employees are available. Could suitable skilled workers from other production areas possibly be deployed?

The interdepartmental exchange of employees is decidedly difficult to achieve manually and on demand. In addition, the person responsible for planning must take the qualifications for the jobs or machines to be filled into account – and all this under time pressure. These factors make downtime management error-prone and inefficient.

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How do manufacturing companies benefit from digital workforce management? Take a look at our customer stories to see for yourself.


Machine downtimes are still frequent occurrences

In the event of short-term staff absences, overtime is accumulated in almost one in three companies, while temporary workers are called on in 33 percent of all cases. The result of an ATOSS survey of 50 production companies brought these figures to light. The worst-case scenario, a complete machine standstill, still occurs in 16 percent of companies, as they quite simply do not or cannot react promptly enough to short-term staff shortages. This is a tremendous competitive disadvantage in today's market environment.

Demand for flexible stand-in employee pools

Cross-divisional staff assignments occur in only 16 percent of the cases surveyed. Only five percent of the companies polled are able to access a flexible pool of stand-in staff. Whether it's large-scale absences or just the illness of one single employee, planning managers in production companies have to look for replacements around 13 times a month. With professional workforce management installed, whether on premises or in the cloud, downtime management becomes a lot smarter and more efficient.

Availability and qualifications visible at all times

Thanks to a central database, the company officer responsible for planning immediately has the necessary overview of all employees still available within his or her planning area. An integrated qualification management system indicates which employees are suitable for the workplace to be scheduled. The responsible officer also has the option of viewing staff availabilities of other areas and possibly compensate for absences across departmental boundaries. Via digital workflows, shift offers are sent directly to employees either by way of an online tool or mobile apps. An accepted offer is automatically transferred to the workforce management system.

Thanks to appropriate interfaces, the connection of SAP landscapes such as SAP HCM or SAP SuccessFactors is seamless and simple – on premises and in the cloud.