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How many staff do I need on at what
This is all about assessing your workload. Once you
have your workload you can convert it into man
hours. If you have a flat workload, you just need to
know how many staff you need at one time. If you
have a time independent workload, you just need
the overall yearly workload. If you have a variable
workload, you need to make an assessment of the
workload for every hour of every day. E.g. if you
have a factory and you want a production line with
five stations to always be filled then you need five
staff on at all times. You then convert this into man
hours, so five people mean five man hours. You
then take the number of hours you want it to be
operational (365 * 24 = 8,760) and multiply it by the
man hours per hour giving a workload of 43,800
man hours per year.
You can either attend our workload training course
or have us assess your workload as part of our
There are three questions you need to ask about
How many staff do I need on at what times?
How many staff do I need to meet the
What is my current capacity?
What is my current Capacity?
Most operations are not green-fields sites, so we have to work with what we have. Knowing how
many staff you need is all well and good, but if the operation can't afford that staffing level or
you don't want to loose key skills just because of a current lull in the workload, then you need to
know what your current capacity is. Your capacity is based on how much can you produce given a
set amount of people, equipment and infrastructure. Whilst working out your capacity with a
given amount of equipment and infrastructure is easy. The people part is far more complicated.
Predicting the amount of production a group of people will produce is difficult because of
holidays, absences, and rules governing the operation. We take all of these factors into
consideration in order to estimate your current capacity, give advice on how you could increase
this capacity if required, make the operation more efficient, make the most of your budget and
improve your performance by prioritising workload.
It is not just manufacturing operations which need to know their capacity, service operations
need to know too and due to the complicated nature of the people management, most use trial
and error as opposed to the detailed calculation. Trial and error is a perfectly valid method
however the errors are very expensive. If you err on being overstaffed, it is inefficient. If you err
on being understaffed it could lead to the loss of customers and lower profits because the work
is not completed. We can take any operation, do an assessment of the workload or predict your
future workload. Then calculate how many staff you need, what your current capacity is, what
the maximum capacity would be given any number of staff and advise you on how to maximise
Capacity estimation is a standard part of our Business Health Check, we can also do these
calculations as part of our bespoke consultancy. If you would like to discuss this topic with us
please call or email to find out how we can help you.
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Experts on Shift Operations and Scheduling
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