5 Keys to On-Call Staffing Strategy

Written by Howard Fenton
Senior Technology Consultant

man and woman collaboratingIn the last blog we discussed the sales per employee ratio. The ratio is generally considered an indication of productivity. The theory is if you can increase the sales per employee ratio without affecting the quality or on-time delivery of your product then you will be more profitable.
There are two different ways that we see this strategy work most effectively. First, when there is not enough work for a full-time person, such as a bookkeeper or an HR person. And second, when the peaks and valleys for demand vary greatly and the skills required are not high such as manual tasks.
The latter has been used successfully for years. There are companies that have a great deal of experience with temp agencies. Some inplant printers, such as university inplant printers, use students, some commercial printers have a student intern program or a “mom squad” for envelope stuffing and other specific kinds of manual finishing.
While many companies make it look easy, mastering the on-call staffing strategy in production is harder than it looks.  It requires painstaking attention to detail and mastering many different human resource issues.
The companies that use this most effectively:

  1. constantly recruit and maintain a good source of on-call staff;
  2. create, formalize and provide in-depth training strategies;
  3. rotate the on-call staff to keep them up to date;
  4. measure, monitor and benchmark performance; and
  5. replace low performers with higher performers.

Have you identified where the on-call staffing strategy would work in your company?  More importantly, who in your company would manage the process?
Howard Fenton is a Consultant and Business Advisor at NAPL. Howie advises commercial printers and in-plants on benchmarking performance against industry leaders, increasing productivity through workflow management, adding and integrating new digital services, and adding value through customer research. He is a paid contributor to this blog.

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