Shift management in factories: Keys to shift management

The shift management is always a complication for companies, and even more so for factories. Getting it right or finding the ultimate formula is not easy, and there are often numerous failed attempts at shift management in factories led by led by managers who do not have an HR software for the HR software for the industry..


Requirements for the need to organize work shifts

Despite this, there are no specific requirements for the need to organize work shifts, as the simple differences between workers, their specialties, skills, years of experience and also the particularities of the day-to-day work in the factory make it necessary to design adapted work shifts. As well as dates, machinery operating hours, etc.

With well-defined shifts, consistent and focused on productivityWith well-defined, consistent shifts focused on productivity, production efficiency, resource utilization and employee and end-customer satisfaction, any plant could increase its market position.

Most common types of work shifts in Spain

In Spain, there are many types of shifts, so shift management in factories shift management in factories should not be complex a priori as long as it is structured by people or professional tools.

Discontinuous shifts

Discontinuous shifts refer to the hours when the company or factory is productive and available for customer service, for example. And of course, it is linked to the schedules of the workers..

Discontinuous shifts are the most common in Spain and many other countries. They consist of morning and afternoon shifts with a few hours or minutes break, usually at lunchtime.

This type of shifts include weekends off. That is, there is no work activity on Saturday and Sunday.

Semi-continuous shifts

Semi-continuous shifts include hours of productivity and work in the morning, afternoon and evening. in the morning as well as in the afternoon and evening.. However, there are also usually some breaks, for example, between the morning and afternoon, also at lunchtime, while the afternoon and evening do not have an intermediate break.

It is common for discontinuous shifts to also work many Saturdays or almost all of them.

Continuous shift

It is called continuous shifts when a company, factory company, factory, firm... is always in operation. That is to say, when any production is taking place and there is also the possibility of contacting an employee or administrative staff of the company.

These companies work every day of the week, month and year, with no exceptions for holidays and schedules.

Continuous shifts are rare. They are sometimes offered by some factories, companies and also supermarkets or places of prime necessity such as pharmacies. These establishments are known as 24h or 24/7.

Of course, as in the previous cases, these shifts do not refer to the employees, but to those of the company itself, which, after choosing the schedule, must combine and manage the workers' shifts to offer a factory with discontinuous, semi-continuous or continuous shifts.

factory shifts

How to implement shift management in a manufacturing plant

There is no single way of correct shift management in factories. In fact, each factory will have an ideal model that can be arrived at after different calculations and adjustments that may take more or less time and decisions.

The key thing is to be clear about what elements need to be taken into account before setting up and managing factory shifts for employees.

They are as follows:

  1. Factory hours.
  2. Start-up and completion times of machinery, systems, doors, safety controls...
  3. Employee schedules and their possibilities of conciliation.
  4. Employees' experiences, skills, knowledge and further skills and attitudes in relation to the factory, communication within the factory, operation of machinery, and so on.
  5. Operating time of the machinery and its qualities or needs.
  6. Regulations of the locality and community regarding the activity of the factory, as well as schedules, noise levels...
  7. Types of working hours, vacations, possibilities of own days...
  8. Schedules, productivity and efficiency of transporters and carriers.
  9. Time required for manufacturing, packaging, management and administration, transportation.
  10. The timing and mobility of the stock.
  11. And more. 

The aspects to be taken into account are almost endless. Human Resources and other departments must therefore work together work together to formulate to formulate different tests and even simulations in order to know what will be the most correct shift management in the factories. They also need to rely on professional tools such as those provided by Mesbook.

A fundamental objective must also be to put an end to long working hours for workers, as they generally have a major impact on their health and, in particular, on the industrial environment, There are many more occupational hazards.

This is detrimental to the worker and, at the same time, to the company itself and its customers.

For this reason, rotating employee shifts are extremely popular, although they will not always be appropriate in all factories.

Some of its bases are:

  1. Do not allocate the night shift more than two weeks in a row to the same employee.
  2. Ensure safety and hygiene for all employees, workers, operators, managers, etc....
  3. The option to include rotating employees to complete teams.

It is also mandatory to have at least a 12-hour break between shifts, which can only be reduced to 7 hours in very exceptional cases.

It is also important to take into account the options and advantages or disadvantages that double morning and afternoon rotating shifts may have for employees. Or the triple rotating shifts of morning, afternoon and evening.

With all these with all these variables, options and rules, it is it is very complex to achieve good shift management in the factory without having all the possible information available to the decision-maker. 

Shift management system

It is necessary to have a digital tool to be able to control all variables automatically, not only for shifts, but for everything that covers the management of human resources in a factory. In addition, the system must provide the assurance of the regulations, with restrictions on types of hours, bonuses... according to the agreement in order not to exceed the stipulated limits.

Therefore, in order not to waste attempts it is convenient to count on an operating system for managing shifts in factories, such as some of the options as some of the options offered by the MESbook system. Contact with us.

Marta Cejudo

Product Manager at MESbook

Marta Cejudo

Industrial organization engineer with 4 years of experience in real-time factory management as KAM.

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