manufacturing job

Managing Staffing with Fluctuating Labor Needs

A staffing partnership that delivers consistency and cost controls.

Established in 1975, this central Virginia-based manufacturing company is a production resource providing packaging and ancillary services for emerging and established companies.

Central Virginia

“AdvantaStaff’s ability to bring on the right people when we need them, coupled with their understanding of how our business operates, greatly improves our production cycles and margins.” – Chief Operations Officer

The Challenge 

Like many in manufacturing, the company needs to respond effectively to changes in production volume as demand for services fluctuates significantly and is labor intensive. As a result, it is reluctant to expand its full-time workforce for times when not necessary, instead relying on temporary employees. Its original staffing resource was unable to consistently supply adequate manpower to meet critical need especially with unpredictability in the marketplace. Ultimately, headcount requirements were not being met even though its service provider was utilizing multiple back-up vendors and demanding a rate increase.

The Solution

Filling temporary positions is much more than placing a person on a production line. Staffing impacts multiple areas of a company, including:

  • Operations: delivering a quality product despite demand and marketplace fluctuations.
  • Human Resources: maintaining a trained, available workforce, with oversight that ensures appropriate skillsets, safety, and behavior.
  • Accounts Payable: budgeting appropriately for busy times as well as slow periods.

AdvantaStaff was brought in to support the highly cyclical, contingent labor needs of the client. As its sole staffing source, we manage all aspects of the company’s temporary workforce, meeting changing requirements while aligning costs. Our role leaves the client to do what they do best – run their business. We provide management and supervision and perform other indirect labor activities that support operations as production levels dictate and in accordance with compliance regulations.

To avoid potential co-employment issues, we remain responsible for the human resources needs of the staff we bring on. This includes:

  • recruiting and screening
  • training, coaching, counseling and terminating
  • labor assignment based on skills and performance
  • employee health and safety
  • recordkeeping, including time-tracking, invoicing, training records and daily job assignments

A training program and compensation structure was also developed to ensure that staffing needs are met with qualified employees while maintaining low bill rates in a tight labor market. This is especially beneficial as the complexity of work performed increases. All employees are evaluated in areas such as attendance, attitude, compliance to procedures, quality, and safety.  Those who perform to standards are given the opportunity to progress to positions involving increased responsibility, attention to detail, and complexity.  Each “Tier” within the scale allows the employee to earn an increase in pay, enabling qualified employees to be moved to different projects within the facility.

Costs associated with these extended on-site management services were included with our regular rates, enabling the client to better budget and plan for production. These consistent, competitive rates are due to many factors, from our knowledge of the skills needed for manufacturing and warehouse operations, to the relationships we have with individuals and organizations in the local community and the benefits we offer employees, even when they’re not on assignment.

Bottom-line Results

AdvantaStaff helps this company control costs and improve ROI while avoiding many of the inconsistencies associated with production hiring. Output has increased, peak cycles are fully staffed, and gaps in its regular workforce remain filled as we find the employees they need – faster and keep them available for the longer term.

How a partnership with AdvantaStaff benefits changing workforce demands:   

  • Flexibility to meet needs on-demand and align labor costs appropriately so there is no commitment to labor when it is not needed. 
  • Customer can focus on core business processes. 
  • HR needs are met including on-site management, recruiting and screening, coaching/counseling/terminating employees, labor assignment based on skills and performance, and HR compliance. 
  • Manufacturing operations complexities are clearly understood as is the importance of producing a quality product with employees who are trained and monitored in all aspects of safety.