Short-time work in mechanical and plant engineering – still the method of choice!
After a short time working fell back from its peak in the first Corona lockdown, the figures are rising again in the latest lockdown. In the machinery and plant engineering sector, in particular, the uncertainty and reluctance to invest among customer industries has led in some cases to a drastic drop in order intake, which is already resulting in massive underutilization at many companies. Short-time working, therefore, remains the method of choice in the machinery and plant engineering sector.
The special requirements in mechanical and plant engineering
Different well-performing business units, but drawing on the same operational resources, have widely varying workloads in their departments due to often very specialized jobs. Deadline requirements and the typical postponement of deadlines complicate personnel planning due to sometimes extremely short-term changes in personnel requirements. And ultimately, the measures must somehow be understood and supported by the employees affected so that they remain committed, and so that quality and adherence to deadlines do not suffer.
Successfully implementing short-time work requires pragmatic approaches and, above all, intensive communication
Time management and ERP systems are often not designed for the current special situation. Therefore, transparency about the extent of idle time and idle costs must first be created with simple, “manual” means. On the basis of data from a wide variety of EDP systems, we create simple EDP instruments even from exports or standard interfaces. These present personnel requirements as well as supply in a simple and clear manner, and show the capacity utilization situation with comprehensible figures. But this is only the first step. The most important success factor is to secure willingness of employees to participate constructively, so that short-time work can be implemented in the best possible way. The key to this is regular and open communication on the part of management via and with all managers. This is all the more true because not all workplaces are as easy to measure as, for example, machining centers.
A pragmatic approach to personnel scheduling, which for the time being leads back to full utilization of the employees present, is a tangible result and creates understanding for the necessity of the measures. This does not yet meet the challenge of continued unplannable peaks in demand to prevent scheduling and quality problems. In this situation, the commitment and flexibility of those employees who are forced to work reduced hours are absolutely essential. Confidence in management is the most important prerequisite for gaining this commitment, especially from those with know-how and high performance.
Regular communication of the positive economic outlook and the trusting involvement of the works council is the basis for the optimal use of potential and a reduction in the consequences of the Corona crisis for the company.
The special task must also be mastered in administration
From application to reimbursement, all administrative and payroll processes must also be carried out properly and the labor law framework must be observed. Together with the specialists at Warth & Klein Grant Thornton, we provide answers and support for all your questions and operational challenges.
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Your contact persons: Dr. Armin Bratz and Dr. Kai Warschkow