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Operational Agility

Protect Your Workers and Maximize Agility During Uncertain Times

By
Ben Steele
June 27, 2024
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It’s happened before and unfortunately it will happen again: your volume has suddenly dropped and you’re left with more employees than you have the work for. Unless something changes quickly you might be forced to make some tough decisions.

If your warehouse, plant, or fulfillment center is experiencing this situation, just know that Veryable provides a better option - for both businesses and workers. In this article we’ll cover what that option is.

A Better Option

Instead of just laying off workers and losing all the time and money you’ve invested into them, encourage them to sign up as a Veryable operator. Not only does this provide a softer landing for them, but this way you can still bring these trained workers back on days when you need them.

When business is slow, you’re still going to have days that are busier than others. If you’ve rightsized your business only to meet minimum average demand, you’ll have to rely on overtime to keep up on these busier days. This isn’t margin friendly nor is it good for the morale of your remaining workforce. There's also a possibility that even after you've rightsized, you still aren't fully at the bottom... Low volume + unproductive costs is a dangerous spot to be in. Furthermore if you have an opportunity to take on new business, you’ll probably have to turn it away due to capacity constraints.

Then on days when your business doesn’t need these workers, they’re able to bid on other local opportunities to stay busy. By utilizing their skillsets in other similar operations, they may learn a few things that can make them more productive on the days they're back working in your facility. The best part is, they’ll get paid the next day after completing an op, and this means they won’t have to potentially go weeks without bringing in a paycheck like they would if they got laid off and then sought another full-time position.

Alternatively, when you lay off a portion of your workforce, they’re going to find other work immediately out of necessity and they aren’t going to be waiting around in case you have an opportunity to bring them back. This means when your volume comes back you’ll have to go through the inefficient process of direct hiring all over again. With the length of time it takes to go through the process of recruiting, screening, hiring, and training workers, you may not be able to scale back up fast enough. This leaves opportunities for more prepared companies to steal market share while your business is still trying to find enough workers just to meet daily demands.

Furthermore, this concept doesn’t just help you avoid layoffs, but it can also help your business more quickly build a robust labor pool. Numerous platform users have found success converting flex or part time employees to Veryable Operators, as well as employees with attendance issues who were solid performers that just needed more flexibility in their schedules.

Additionally, manufacturers requiring more niche skill sets that are hard to come by have found success converting some of their retired & highly skilled employees to Veryable operators. This way, these businesses can bring back these skilled workers when they really truly need them, whether it be to meet a sudden increase in demand or to help supervise & train new employees. This is especially beneficial in today’s environment where many manufacturers struggle to fill these roles.

Real Industry Examples:

Large Plastics Manufacturer - Specializing in injection molding and additive manufacturing in the medical, automotive, and food industries.

This business user was looking to improve production agility, lower costs, and reduce lead times to become more competitive.  In a growing environment they knew they needed to grow their workforce, but at the same time they recognized that production volume wasn't always consistent.  By pulling Operators from the Veryable platform with machine operator experience, they quickly built a labor pool to help them scale.  At the same time, they upskilled their talented full time machine operators to more complex equipment.  The part time and full time employees who were looking for more flexibility were converted to Veryable Operators on the platform, working when they want. Now 100% of their Machine Operator 1 type of work is manned by using their Veryable Labor Pool; this allows them to flex up and down in that area to mirror volumes and maintain a constant cost per unit.  This also gave them a more flexible full time base that is cross trained in multiple parts of the business.  They currently operate two shifts a day, and flex up to a third to reduce lead times and allow them to take profitable expedited orders.

High Skill Flexibility - Multiple Tool and Die and complex job - shop machining operations

Veryable works with multiple manufacturers who have highly complex operations or who serve niche businesses/industries with very rare skills.  As you can imagine some of these skills are nuanced and hard to come by.  While your business should have a training program and succession planning, that doesn't always happen quick enough nor does it allow you to handle spikes in demand in some of these workcenters.  Businesses in this space have found success in tapping into their retiree base as a way to scale up when needed.  By putting them on the platform, it allows the business to tap into their experience on an as-need basis.  Additionally with thousands of experienced Operators on our platform, there is a good chance you can find some of those nuanced skills locally -  they may just have their experience from another shop.  This concept also works for converting flex or part time crews to Veryable Operators or maybe ex-employees with attendance issues who were great workers but just needed more flexibility in their schedules.

Putting the right help in the right bucket - A best practice for HR supporting operations

Manufacturers and distributors need to tap into the total working age population to identify and bring in the talent their operation needs.  40% of the working age population is stranded on the sidelines because they cannot or will not work a traditional 40+ hours shift with the same business day over day - they want flexibility and the opportunity to continuously learn and develop new skills.  Unlike traditional labor solutions, or a full time only approach, Veryable allows you to tap into this subset of the workforce.  A best practice used by several of our business users to give optionality as part of the hiring process is allowing the best talent to come onboard as a full time employee, or as part of their Labor Pool on the Veryable platform.  This way operations is getting the help that they desperately need for production through a base of full time employees and a combination of Veryable operators to handle the changing needs in the operations.  This fractional approach to matching labor to the production schedule when (and only when) needed drives significant cost out without sacrificing service metrics.

Conclusion

Nobody wants to layoff workers, and thankfully with Veryable you won’t have to. By converting your full-time employees to Veryable operators, not only will you be providing a softer landing for them, but you’ll be building a sideline bench of workers familiar with your operations that you tap into as demand dictates. Not only does this reduce the amount of time and money your company has to spend on recruiting, screening, hiring, and training workers, but it gives your business the agility it needs to stay profitable during uncertain times.

How Your Workers Can Get Started With Veryable

  1. Download the Veryable App

Visit the Google Play store or App Store to find the Operator app.

  1. Complete Profile

Set up an account on the app and provide payment information.

  1. Choose Work

Operators decide where and when to work by bidding on local opportunities

  1. Work and Get Paid The Next Day

As soon as the next day after completing the assignment, money goes directly into their account.

To learn more about how your workers can get set up With Veryable, click here.

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Ben Steele
Growth Strategist

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