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The role of warehouse managers has drastically changed over time. A warehouse manager is no longer just expected to ensure that goods are stored in the right place, products easily retrieved, and each requested item is moved from one location to another.

These tasks are still important, but thanks to advances in technology and increased demand in the supply chain, the role of a warehouse manager is more strategic than functional. That’s why your company needs access to warehouse managers that can adapt to support supply chain management.

If you are wondering how managers today are different from managers in the past, let’s further examine the changing role of warehouse managers so that you can find the right talent to fill critical roles in your company.

THE CHANGING NATURE OF MANAGERS TODAY VS. THE PAST

Technology has enabled individuals in managerial roles to take on greater responsibility and ownership of activity in the warehouse. There are many more tools at your disposal than in the past to help warehouse managers embrace this challenge.

Plus, as the business community continues to recover from supply chain disruptions caused by the global pandemic, warehouse managers play a critical role in using data to identify issues, respond accordingly, and keep the supply chain moving.

Consider three of the most important hallmarks of successful warehouse managers that you should look for to support your warehouse.

1. Strategic Use of Technology

Many warehouse managers are accustomed to using some type of warehouse management system (WMS) to track the status of products, monitor inventory levels, and generate reports. However, many other pieces of technology need to be deployed to support efficiency and productivity.

Specifically, the use of automation continues to drive today’s warehouses. Perhaps your company is already using smart technology such as automated picking tools, guided vehicles, and automated inventory control platforms.

The key for warehouse managers is knowing how use this technology strategically. Not every piece of technology is the right fit for your warehouse, an that’s why managers need to be able to discern which tools are helpful versus those that don’t add value.

You may need a different type of manager today from managers in the past to understand how to best use available technology to support the supply chain.

2. Use of Data Analysis + Predictive Analytics

Another major advancement in the warehouse is the use of data analysis and predictive analytics. According to recent surveys, these pieces of technology are two of the most important elements to support the modern supply chain:

  • Data analysis (41% priority in supply chain management)
  • IoT (39% priority)
  • Cloud computing (39% priority)
  • Info security (31% priority)
  • Predictive analytics (29% priority)

Data analysis and predictive analytics can be utilized in the warehouse to anticipate when inventory levels will drop below thresholds, feed data into the system to automate re-ordering certain products, track unusual changes that prompt action, and help generate reports to support decision-making.

Today’s warehouse managers don’t need to be data scientists. Still, they need to understand how to analyze the data presented to them, use it to make predictions, and then strategically take action to support the warehouse’s role in the supply chain.

3. Motivate Warehouse Workers

In addition to using advanced technology, warehouse managers need to be able to motivate warehouse workers differently to achieve higher levels of productivity.

Automation has replaced many basic tasks in the warehouse. Now, warehouse workers are taking on greater responsibility beyond moving boxes or scanning labels. As a result, the role of a warehouse manager has changed from just monitoring whether products are in the right place to engaging warehouse workers to help them use available tools to support the supply chain.

As you can see, managers not only need to understand how to use technology, they also need to be able to instruct warehouse workers on the value of using technology – being able to convey the “why” behind certain actions is a critical skill that not every warehouse manager possesses.

When it comes to effective motivation, there is a significant difference between what’s required of today’s warehouse managers compared to the past.

WORK WITH ALTERNATIVE STAFFING TO FIND WAREHOUSE MANAGERS

We proudly work with companies that utilize warehouse space to support their supply chain. We can help you identify the right talent to strategically manage your warehouse.

Through our support as a leading warehouse staffing agency, you’ll be able to reduce turnover, increase productivity, and grow revenue by filling key positions with the right talent.

Talk to us today about identifying a staffing solution for your warehouse. We’ll analyze your current state, look for opportunities to fill roles, and draw from our excellent talent pool to provide you with highly-qualified talent. Let us elevate your operating reality.

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Editor’s Note: This story first appeared in the Nov. 15 print edition of the GSA Business Report. Since publication, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans put a block on OSHA vaccine or testing requirements for employers over 100 people (.pdf). The Biden Administration filed a request for the federal appeals court for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati for an emergency ruling to lift the block Tuesday (.pdf).

Even before President Joe Biden issued his widespread workplace vaccine mandate on Nov. 4, several large employers operating in the Upstate felt a backlash against the existing vaccine policy for federal contractors.

After General Electric sent out an email noting a vaccine requirement for all federal contractors on Oct. 15, employees at Greenville’s plant staged a walkout Oct. 21 and attracted national attention through publications like The Hill and Fox News.

“We stood by the GE employees during the #walkout yesterday!” the Greenville County GOP said in a statement following the protest. “We believe that medical mandates are an infringement on American liberties and we will continue standing up against them.”

Reportedly, dozens of protestors had clocked out of work to participate but, according to a GE spokesperson, they did not resign before the protest. The spokesperson did not comment on how many employees resigned following the Oct. 21.

Weekly COVID-19 testing will not be an alternative for employees without a health or religious exemption under the federal mandate, according to the company. On Nov. 5, the spokesperson said it was too early to comment on the impact of the mandate on GE’s operations.

On Oct. 11, Lockheed Martin Corp. required all federal contractors and subcontractors with a covered contract to get a COVID-19 vaccination by Dec. 8, unless approved for an exemption.

“As a means of fully complying, we are taking necessary steps to ensure a smooth implementation, including providing a system for employees to upload their proof of vaccination, get vaccinated and access a standard accommodations process for individuals unable to get vaccinated because their health status or sincerely held religious belief prevents it,” the company said in the Oct. 11 statement.

Following the mandate, fewer than 20 employees at Lockheed’s Greenville plant staged a protest, according to a Lockheed spokesperson, but participants did not walk out on the job.

With the new Nov. 4 mandate, the vaccination deadline for federal contractors has been pushed back to Jan. 4 in line with the mandatory vaccination deadlines for companies with 100 or more employees or for health care facilities participating in Medicare or Medicaid.

Companies of more than 100 employees, roughly 84 million employers across the country, according to a statement from the White House, must require their employees to either be fully vaccinated by the January deadline or to receive weekly COVID-19 testing and wear masks in the workplace.

“Vaccination requirements have increased vaccination rates by more than 20 percentage points — to over 90% — across a wide range of businesses and organizations,” the White House said in the statement. “According to Wall Street analysts, vaccination requirements could result in as many as 5 million American workers going back to work.”

In retaliation, Gov. Henry McMaster issued an executive order on Nov. 4 prohibiting all 19 state agencies in his cabinet from requiring employees to receive the vaccine. The order dovetails McMaster and S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson’s legal challenge to the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates for federal contractors and employers with more than 100 employees, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

“On the new OSHA regulation that has been published today, we will fight that aggressively,” McMaster said at a press conference Nov. 4. “We will, we have been and we will continue to fight these unlawful regulations and acts and intrusions on the rights of our people with all the strength that we have.”

By Molly Hulsey  / scbiznews.com

 

 

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Assemblers are an indispensable part of the manufacturing industry and a component of almost any field. The job titles may vary slightly depending on the organization and industry, so you will frequently see titles like: mechanical assemblers, production assembles, and industrial assemblers.

WHAT SKILLS DO PRODUCTION ASSEMBLERS NEED? (KEY THINGS TO HIGHLIGHT ON YOUR RESUME!)

Most employers consider both hard and soft skills in these roles. For hard skills, they look for people with manual dexterity. Fine motor skills and steady hand-eye coordination are essential because this work is often a manual process and requires the use of a variety of tools. Additionally, basic math skills, keen attention to detail, and the ability to read and understand blueprints are crucial elements to the job. For soft skills, teamwork is the top of the list. Production roles are dependent on an entire team working well together. Focus and self-motivation are significant as well because these jobs are in fast-paced environments. If you are efficient and timely in your role, you offer positive contributions to the overall production.

PRODUCTION ASSEMBLER EDUCATION

As a whole, most of these positions require a high school diploma/GED and some work experience. Many positions provide on-the-job training, while the more advanced assembly roles may require an associate degree from a technical school.

PRODUCTION ASSEMBLER DUTIES

In simplest terms, you build and assemble products and the parts connected to that product (often manufactured goods). You could construct and fasten parts for aircraft structures, wind wire coils for electrical components, laminate fiberglass molds for automobiles, and much more. Not only will you need to read and execute on blueprints, but you may be required to troubleshoot equipment to ensure everything is working accurately.

PRODUCTION ASSEMBLY EQUIPMENT

You will most likely work with various hand and manufacturing tools, like impact wrenches, torque spindles, etc. Additionally, production assemblers should be familiar and comfortable with calibration equipment and forklifts and be able to lift 50 lbs. or more at any given time.

PRODUCTION ASSEMBLER WORKING HOURS

Production assembly roles often have slots for all shifts (first, second, and third) that will be dependent on the products and location of the company.

PRODUCTION ASSEMBLY ENVIRONMENT

The most common work environment for production assemblers is in manufacturing plants. Most factories have a clean working space and ventilation systems that ensure the safety of the workers. Depending on the product, protective gear may be a requirement for daily use inside the factory.

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When Hiring Manufacturing Positions: Consider These 3 Things

 

Manufacturing jobs have become more appealing to the general public over the years. It’s a great industry to enter into for many because there are so many learning and financial growth opportunities. In some ways, this is great for employers because there are always people interested when you have a position to fill. However, not all of those people might be the right fit for the job.

To help you better navigate changes in the job market trends for manufacturing positions, consider the following.

1. MODIFYING YOUR STRATEGY

Filling a position with a weak candidate will only result in more work for you. That’s why it’s important that you’re really thoughtful and strategic about the way you go about your hiring process. Some tips to help you develop or strengthen your strategy are:

  • Determine skills and abilities that are a must for the position, and then another list of things that are a plus. This should stand out and be the most important thing in your job ad. Compare these lists with your applicant’s resumes and make sure they align before setting up an interview.
  • Be flexible about candidates. These days, manufacturing jobs require a lot of different skills and versatility. What’s really important is that the individual possesses those specific things. Don’t focus so heavily on schooling or industry experience. While those things are a plus, you may find an individual with a different background who is even more qualified for the job based on their skillset.
  • Clean up your internet presence. As much as your opinion of potential employees matters, their perception of you does as well. You want your ideal candidate to want you as much as you want them, and the way they’re going to learn about you is through the internet. Get started by making sure your website is easy to navigate and setting up some social media accounts. Those will need to be maintained, so having a person who is responsible for those items is a good idea.
  • Invest in training & retention. The initial experience you provide new employees with has a huge effect on their success with the company. Without proper training, the employee can feel frustrated and stressed, causing their performance to suffer and unfair expectations to be set. Investing in a thorough training process benefits you just as much as it does the employee because you will be rewarded with confident people who know what they’re doing and want to stick around.

2. THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILLS TO POSSESS

As the manufacturing climate continues to evolve, it helps to pin down the specific qualities and work ethic that will always be useful in the workplace. This will allow you to have a solid strategy that you don’t have to keep changing. It also ensures you are only spending time on interviews with real potential. As experts in staffing manufacturing positions, we have found that successful employees possess the following:

  • Creative problem-solving abilities. A strong employee will be able to make smart decisions quickly when under pressure and know how to navigate solving unforeseen issues. Candidates with any management experience often possess good problem-solving skills.
  • Extra attention to detail. Lack of attention to detail can easily result in product quality to suffer and the possibility of injury in the manufacturing industry. This makes it essential that every hire is detail-oriented and meticulous.
  • Flexibility. New hires need to be able to cross-train and adjust to change with a commitment to constructive criticism and constant improvement. The more capabilities a person acquires, the more useful they are.
  • Strong technical skills. The manufacturing industry is constantly adding in new tools and technology so things will run smoothly. Employees with technical skills allow your company the ability to continue to thrive and adapt in this digitally-driven age.

3. RECRUITING APPROACHES

In addition to knowing what to look for, it’s also important that you know how best to position your job opening to attract the right crowd. Some examples are:

  • Make the job description clear, simple, and appealing.
  • Require that all job inquiries include a cover letter and resume.
  • Offer more than just money (opportunities to grow, training and education options, performance rewards, etc.).
  • Receive help from staffing experts that specialize in manufacturing.

WE CAN HELP YOU FILL YOUR MANUFACTURING POSITIONS

Alternative Staffing has been specializing in finding strong employees for the manufacturing industry for over 25 years. Because of that, we have gathered a lot of intel on the type of individuals that thrive in manufacturing careers. Allowing us to do your candidates’ initial screening process ensures that you are only ever interviewing people at a skill level of your choosing. We also take care of:

  • Background checks
  • HR coverage and maintenance
  • Employee benefits
  • Payroll
  • Replacing the employee if needed

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Large employers should consider onsite vaccination programs, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in recent guidance.

 

FEATURED RESOURCE HUB PAGE
COVID-19 Vaccination Resources

“Most employers that choose to mandate or even strongly encourage vaccines should rely on pharmacies and other health care providers to administer vaccinations to employees and then simply request proof of vaccination instead of administering or hosting the administration of the vaccine themselves,” said Lindsay Ryan, an attorney with Polsinelli in Los Angeles.

Nonetheless, she added, for health care or other large employers that have the space and resources to host or contract with a third party to operate an onsite clinic, doing so can help encourage vaccination. Onsite clinics make vaccination “convenient and accessible and help reduce the time and cost associated with employees traveling offsite for vaccination,” Ryan said. “However, hosting an onsite vaccination center also presents increased liability risks that must be carefully considered.”

CDC Guidance

If an employer decides to host onsite COVID-19 vaccinations, the planning process should include input from management, HR, employees and, if present, labor representatives, the CDC noted.

Employers considering an onsite clinic should contact the health department in their jurisdiction for guidance.

Employers may want to use a community vaccination provider or vendor. Such providers typically deliver worksite flu vaccinations and are expanding to provide COVID-19 vaccination, the CDC said. The providers have trained nursing staff available and can report vaccine administration data to immunization registries.

Vaccination providers must prepare to monitor for and manage potential allergic reactions after vaccination.

Workplace vaccination clinics must offer vaccinations at no charge and during work hours, the CDC said.

The CDC recommended that employers provide easy access to vaccination for all people working at the workplace, even if they are contractors or temporary employees.

In addition, the CDC recommended staggering employee vaccination to avoid worker shortages due to vaccine side effects.

For those receiving a two-dose vaccine, staggering may be more important for the second dose, after which side effects are more frequent. Facilities may consider staggering vaccination for employees in the same job category or who work in the same area of a facility. “Staggering vaccination for employees may cause delays in vaccinating your staff, and the decision to stagger vaccination will need to be weighed against potential inconveniences that might reduce vaccine acceptance,” the CDC said.

Prioritization Plan

Employers with onsite clinics should prioritize who gets vaccinated first if there is not enough vaccine supply for all workers eligible within a phase, the CDC recommended. Prioritization should be done according to risk, age or underlying health condition and not by worker status (i.e., employee versus contractor), the CDC said.

“Don’t allow employees, contractors, owners or anyone else associated with the business to skip ahead in the vaccine line,” said Robin Samuel, an attorney with Baker McKenzie in Los Angeles. Vaccines should be administered to those who are eligible to receive them under state and local orders.

“Employer clinics should plan so that doses are not wasted at the end of the day,” he added. He said employers should create waiting lists prioritizing who’s eligible so that missed appointments don’t lead to wasted doses that cannot be refrozen or put back into vials once drawn into syringes.

If there aren’t enough qualified employees to receive allocated doses each day, employers should have a backup plan for transferring the leftover doses to nearby hospitals, clinics and other places that can administer them that same day, he said. “In a worst-case scenario, doses should be given to others who may not yet qualify if there is no way to administer the doses to eligible persons, but this shouldn’t happen with adequate planning.”

Legal Considerations

“Large employers probably tend to have advantages for managing the legal and logistical complexities associated with hosting an onsite vaccination clinic,” said Jill Cohen, an attorney with Eckert Seamans in Princeton, N.J.

She said potential laws that may be triggered by onsite clinics include the Americans with Disabilities Act with respect to pre-vaccine screening medical or disability-related inquiries, and workers’ compensation laws when an employee has an adverse reaction to a vaccine.

“Medical information must remain confidential,” said Katherine Dudley Helms, an attorney with Ogletree Deakins in Columbia, S.C. “If you use a third-party provider, be sure it has a system for handling confidential medical information. Have things set up so others do not see or overhear medical information.”

She added, “Communicate clearly why this is being done. If it remains voluntary, communicate that.”

Employers should work with their attorneys to ensure their companies are considered “program planners” as defined in the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, Samuel said. All those who administer vaccines onsite should be “qualified persons” under the PREP Act. “This federal statute provides broad immunity to employers and qualified persons who administer COVID-19 vaccines in the workplace, but only if they fall within the statute’s definitions,” he noted.

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Of course there are many risks when it comes to hiring felons, and no one would judge an employer for hesitating to do so. But, despite those risks, did you know that there are also risks to not hiring them? So much so, that most would consider them to outweigh the risks of hiring. It’s also worth considering that a person can be a convicted felon for doing something less serious than those who haven’t been caught. You could easily hire someone without knowing their bad behavior, felon or not. With that, let’s take a look at those risks and benefits and see how you feel after learning both sides.

TWO SIDES OF THE COIN

There are two sides of the coin to consider here. When hiring an employee with a criminal record you could either:
Be at risk of negligent hiring by not performing a background check revealing exactly what laws this individual has broken.
-or-

Be at risk of excluding an applicant because of their criminal record and get in trouble for discrimination.

Excluding a felon from consideration for your current job opening could be considered discrimination due to the Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records within the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It’s important you understand all of the rules set in place under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act when handling cases such as these. Examples of the guidelines included are:

  • Employers shouldn’t ask about any convictions on job applications. Inquiries should be limited to convictions for which exclusion would be job-related for the position.
  • Employers should avoid making rules that exclude a set group of people, such as race or where they are from.
  • Employers should practice caution when excluding employees based on their criminal record, especially if the crime had nothing to do with the job.
  • Employers should consider all of the facts and circumstances of the conviction.

There are more guidelines to know than those listed above, and you will want to understand them fully before making any quick decisions when it comes to hiring (or not).

BENEFITS TO CONSIDER

In addition to these risks, you should also know that there are actually a handful of benefits to hiring felons. In fact, The National Hire Ex-Felons Campaign was literally designed to tell employers the benefits of doing so. Here are a few:

  1. The Department of Labor offers tax breaks for companies that hire felons through the Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program. This tax credit can apply to you if you hire “an individual who was convicted of a felony and who is hired not more than one year after the conviction or release from prison.”
  2. Many felons are on probation and have to be accountable to their Probation Officer for landing and holding onto their job. They will be grateful to you for giving them the opportunity, and work hard to keep their position so as not to violate their parole.
  3. When you consider how many ex-felons make up the American population, many major cities are made up of more ex-felons than not. The crimes many of these individuals make are based on not knowing any better due to growing up in bad neighborhoods or poor parenting. Employers have a hard enough time finding good enough employees without criminal records. Therefore, not employing ex-felons only makes things more difficult, when the individual could be the exact person you’re looking for.
  4. Some felonies don’t have anything to do with the quality or work or person someone would be within your company? Have you ever gotten in trouble for doing something wrong, or be in a circumstance that caused trouble to enter your life? Well, having felony can sometimes be no different than other situations you’ve gotten into and to judge someone on that moment in time would be very condescending.
  5. Did the felon not already pay for his crime? The courts place a judgment and delivered a justly punishment depending on the circumstances of the crime. Why should an employer add to these retributions by denying employment based on a record of information that they do not know the details and has already been paid for by the court of law.
  6. Because of the harsh judgement society has placed on felons after they have paid for the crime, doors are closed on the number of places the potential employee has to work. As an employer, you can gain an employee whose experience and work ethic can raise him to the top of your company and give you longevity because there isn’t as many opportunities for the felon elsewhere in the market to job hop.

WE CAN GIVE YOU GUIDANCE

Staffing companies like ours specialize in finding you employees that fit your staffing needs. We work closely with businesses to understand exactly what they are looking for. We also take care of all of the other headaches that come along with staffing. That includes background checks, discrimination laws, and why the benefits outweigh the risks of hiring felons. Because this is our specialty, we know it all. To learn more about our services and how we can help you build your ideal staff, reach out to our team here!

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Looking for a new job? Within your search for open positions you have probably come across a lot of temp to hire work. What is temp to hire, you say? It’s pretty straight forward, and there are many reasons why it’s beneficial for you to consider this line of work. In a temp to hire job, you work with an agency that places you in a temporary position within a company. If you both agree that the fit is a good one, you have a very good chance of being hired on as a full time employee. This isn’t necessarily a guarantee, especially if the company doesn’t have a permanent position to fill. Still, there are a lot of reasons to consider temp to hire employment.

WHAT IS TEMP TO HIRE?

Temporary employment agencies find people like you to work for the companies that have asked them to do so for a short-term basis. The company may request this for a number of reasons, including:

  • They’re still new and don’t currently make enough money to pay someone full-time.
  • They work purely on a contractual basis and the amount of employees they need per project differs.
  • They want to see if the fit is right.

The temp agency will do their best to find an employee that fits well with the company. This means they also consider what the employee is looking for, as this will allow assurance that both parties are getting what they want. Temporary work can range anywhere from a few days, to a few weeks, to possibly even a year. It all depends on the type of work you are carrying out and how long the project takes.

THE BENEFITS OF TEMP TO HIRE

As much as you may be in the market for a job that sticks, working a temporary position has a lot of benefits you should be aware of before knocking it. Here are a few:

It’s a Great Way to Meet People. Many people actually choose to do temp work when they are first starting out in an industry for networking purposes. Not just that, working for a temp agency introduces you to people across a variety of fields, opening up opportunities you might not have originally considered, but now have access to.

It Helps You Gain Exposure. Temporarily working for a company allows you to test the waters and decide if it’s truly the line of work for you. You can feel out the job without actually having to commit long term.

The Job Could Stick. Though you have only agreed to work for the company on a temporary basis, it could also be an opportunity to build a relationship. If your time with the company is a successful one, oftentimes they won’t want to let you go. When that time comes, you’ll be able to decide if that’s something that you want as well.

An Opportunity to Learn. With each temporary position you work in, you will be able to build on your skill set. Your temp agency will also help you to take these experiences and form an impressive resume. When the time is right, and once you so choose, you can bring that resume to a company that requires more credentials.

HOW A STAFFING COMPANY CAN HELP

Alternative Stafffing works for a number of industries and is always in search of people who are looking to work on a temp to hire or full time basis. We have a lot of options for you, and will help you prepare for whatever endeavor you’re ready to take on. Reach out to our staff today, 843-744-6040, if you have any more questions about temping or our services!

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Preventing Another Supply Chain Crisis

 

We have learned a lot from the COVID-19 outbreak. Supply chains specifically have taken some major blows due to the public’s panic and resulting behavior. Though an increase in demand would normally be embraced, these extreme jumps simply are not manageable and have given supply chain business owners much to consider in preparation for the future. Manufacturers of essential products such as toilet paper now know that they need a plan in place for the possibility that something like this or worse could happen again. In March, toilet paper machines ran at 99.7% capacity up from their normal 92%, according to Fastmarkets RISI. Amazon is months behind on orders and now has even temporarily stopped stocking some goods altogether because they can’t keep up. How can the supply chain prevent another crisis such as this? Keep reading for insight and solutions that will help you prepare.

PLANNING FOR SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTION

In order to adequately plan for supply chain disruption you first need to assess possible risks. COVID-19 would be considered an ‘extraordinary risk’ for commercial products, as it is in the category of epidemic or pandemic outbreaks. Though the risks in this category are mostly deemed unpredictable and uncontrollable, we can still learn from this experience. Strategies can be formed based on areas that struggled, processes that can be optimized, and recovery solutions. Some examples are:

  • Flexible orientation and staffing.
  • Quicker communication techniques for the sharing of information.
  • Solutions for employee support.
  • Increase in supply chain collaboration.
  • Updated technology.
  • Buying more machinery.
  • Backup and alternative suppliers.
  • Compensation policies for customer inconvenience.

SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS

A deeper factor to note as well when considering our resources and the possibility of running out is where these things really come from. Toilet paper comes from trees, and though we can ramp up production based on need, the forests that continue to be cut down to accommodate these needs are not unlimited. Additionally, the toilet paper that consumers buy from grocery stores is not as sustainable as what’s being purchased for businesses. Because more people are now working from home, the demand for home-brands (which are not as sustainable) has increased. Why are home brands not as sustainable? The toilet paper that is made for restaurants and bigger businesses is constructed to last longer and use less resources due to the large amounts they usually go through. This is accomplished by:

  • Making larger rolls that are often single-ply.
  • Using recycled materials.
  • Having a lower standard for texture or thickness.

In order to make resources last longer, tissue makers will need to start constructing at-home toilet paper with the same sustainable ideals in mind. Furthermore, manufacturers need to be ready and willing to assess facts like these in reaction to pandemics and the like, so they can adjust accordingly and prevent further damage from occurring.

ADJUST ACCORDINGLY

The most effective way to plan for the future is to be ready for the worst case scenario and to prepare as needed. Too often managers and business owners will wait for the catastrophe to occur. How has your supply chain taken a hit and how can you make sure that the impact isn’t so great next time? Make sure you’re adequately staffed, and that your options are flexible. Many supply chains are now adhering to temporary staffing solutions to increase this flexibility. Partnering with a staffing agency makes staffing malleable to your needs because:

  • You have a dependable resource for finding you strong temporary workers.
  • Temporary employees are not depending on you for continued work if sales drop off.
  • If you have a large increase in demand, you can hire more people quickly.

 

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What Can We Expect from a Biden Administration?

By: Eric E. Kinder;spilman thomas & Battle; Mr. Kinder’s primary area of practice is labor and employment law with an emphasis on wage and hour, employee benefits, ERISA litigation, and USERRA.
As President-elect Joe Biden begins to transition into the Oval Office, employers cannot help but look ahead to what the next four years may hold. Although a Biden administration may be limited in what it wants to do because of a possible Republican majority in the Senate, the campaign indicated on which it is likely to focus. Also, as happens any time the Presidency transitions from one party to another, presidential appointments to the administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) and the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) could play huge roles.

Paid Leave (including the Families First Coronavirus Response Act)

If it does not occur before he takes office, expect the Biden administration to push hard to extend the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (which requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19) as that law is set to expire on December 31, 2020. A Biden administration is expected to push for mandatory paid leave policies, similar to what some states recently have enacted. President-elect Biden has said he supports converting the FMLA’s mandatory leave provisions from unpaid to paid.

Minimum Wage and Overtime

Expect a heavy push to increase the federal minimum wage. Biden campaigned to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour. While a bump of that size is unlikely to pass the Senate, expect a push for some increase. Biden also supports indexing the minimum wage to the median hourly wage so that the minimum wage could potentially increase on a more regular schedule as wages increase. The Biden administration also may try to eliminate the “tip credit” (the ability to pay a reduced minimum wage to tipped employees) and may seek an increase in the minimum salary to qualify as an exempt employee under the FLSA. You may remember the Obama administration promulgated an overtime rule that set a threshold of $47,476 annual pay (or $913 per week) in order to qualify for an exemption. The rule was enjoined and the Trump administration substituted a smaller increase (minimum salary of $35,568 a year or $684 a week). In any event, expect more stringent enforcement of overtime requirements by the Department of Labor (“DOL”).

Arbitration and Non-Competes

President-elect Biden supports passage of legislation that would prohibit employers from requiring employees to sign pre-dispute arbitration agreements as a condition of employment. Again, if Republicans maintain their Senate majority, this may never reach President Biden’s desk, but he is almost certain to sign such a bill if it did. Relatedly, the Biden for President website promised to “eliminate all non-compete agreements, except the very few that are absolutely necessary to protect a narrowly defined category of trade secrets, and outright ban all no-poaching agreements.”

Independent Contractors

Also, look for a closer examination of the definition of independent contractor. The Biden for President website praised states such as California that “have already paved the way by adopting a clearer, simpler, and stronger three-prong ‘ABC test’ to distinguish employees from independent contractors.” Under the ABC test, a worker is considered an employee and not an independent contractor, unless all three of the following conditions are met:

  • The worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact;
  • The worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and
  • The worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.

What that means is that the DOL under President Biden would almost certainly withdraw the DOL’s proposed independent contractor rule, or if the rule is finalized before the end of the Trump administration, immediately would begin new rulemaking to rescind it.

Prevailing Wage

While campaigning, Biden said he would apply a broader standard for who needs to be paid a “prevailing wage” and would strictly enforce their payment. This largely can be done by Executive Order, so expect to see a prevailing wage requirement apply to an even larger segment of government contracts, and perhaps more importantly, expect to see increased enforcement by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) that contractors pay prevailing wage under the Davis-Bacon Act and Service Contract Act. He also will be very likely to revoke President Trump’s “Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping” that restricts the federal government, federal contractors, and certain federal grant recipients from conducting specific types of diversity and unconscious bias training.

Labor Law

President-elect Biden ran on a platform of strengthening worker organizing, collective bargaining, and unions. He has expressed strong support for the Protecting the Right to Organize (“PRO”) Act, which would significantly change the union/employer dynamic (in favor of unions) by:

  • Banning employer mandatory “captive audience” group meetings;
  • Requiring immediate collective bargaining shortly after a successful union election and, if no agreement is reached, requiring binding interest arbitration of contract terms;
  • Preempting states’ “right-to-work” laws;
  • Allowing “unfair labor practice” claims to be brought as civil actions in court;
  • Adding fines and liquidated damages (possibly six figures) as remedies for unfair labor practices; and
  • Adding personal liability (even criminal liability) for unfair labor practices for corporate directors and officers.

Biden also pledged to reinstate and codify into law the Obama administration’s “persuader rule” requiring employers to report not only information communicated to employees, but also the activities of third-party consultants who work behind the scenes to manage employers’ anti-union campaigns and the Obama era’s NLRB rules allowing for shortened timelines of union election campaigns. As a senator, Biden co-sponsored the original Employee Free Choice Act, which allowed workers to form a union if a majority signs authorization cards empowering a union to represent them.

Importantly, as President, Biden will be able to appoint a majority of NLRB members, likely resulting in the overruling of many of the precedents issued during the past few years. After he has appointed a majority, it is likely that a Biden NLRB would reinstate the rulings from:

  • Specialty Healthcare, which permitted the organization of so-called “micro-units” and allowed unions to target a smaller group of employees to organize at first;
  • Purple Communications, which held that employees had a protected right to use their work email accounts for organizing purposes even if they were not allowed to use the email for other personal purposes; and
  • Browning-Ferris Industries, which held entities could be joint-employer based on a reserved right to control employees or indirect control over employees as opposed to actually exercise direct control over the employees at issue.

Pay Equity Mandates

While campaigning, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said she wanted to make the U.S. a worldwide leader in the fight for pay equity. Even if unable to enact legislation on this point, do not be surprised to see pay parity standards applied to federal contractors. For instance, the Obama-era requirement that pay data be disclosed by employers on EEO-1 reports is likely to reappear.

In all, expect a rollback of many of the Trump administration’s more employer-friendly policies and more stringent enforcement from all federal agencies (DOL, EEOC, OSHA, OFCCP, etc.), not the least of which is a heavy emphasis on OSHA to conduct more investigations and issue greater penalties for COVID-19-related violations.

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When Should I Hire Additional Employees?

 

Knowing when to bring on additional employees is a battle all business owners face. Getting busy is great, especially because that means more profit for you. However, it also means that your staff is having to work extra hard. This can result in them being overworked, which can ultimately affect the quality of service you provide.

At that point, it’s time to face the fact that you have to spend more to make more. That means bringing on a few extra hands so you’re still providing your customers with the service that got you to this point of success. How do you know you have reached that point? Keep reading to learn more about when you should hire additional employees.

KEEP YOUR STAFF & CUSTOMERS HAPPY

At the end of the day, the happiness of your staff and clientele is the lifeblood of your company’s success. That is why it’s so important to continue to change and evolve with your business as it grows. Failing to do so will only set you back. Some surefire signs that it’s time to hire on more hands are:

You’re Getting More Customer Complaints. It’s true, you will always have unhappy customers. Unfortunately, that is just part of the way business works. However, it will become pretty obvious when you’re getting more bad reviews than good. The moment that starts happening it is time to find out what the problem is. You don’t want to lose your loyal customers or potential ones when the fix could be a simple one.

Your Employees Are Working Overtime. Even if you have a strong team, once the demand becomes too great, they will need to stay longer to make sure you aren’t falling behind. Overtime means extra unnecessary expenses you could avoid if you had the adequate amount of staff. The occasional hour or two here and there is ok, but if it’s happening all of the time you absolutely need more people.

You’re Turning Down Opportunities. So far your team has been able to keep up with your rise in business. But, if they are just at their limit, and there is no room to take on anything more, you’re going to have to start turning people away. If you have already reached that point, you need more hands. Once the demand of work is too much for your current staff to withstand, the quality of work they put out will suffer. Not only that, turning people away leaves a bad taste in their mouths. Bring in more people so you can continue to expand and keep people smiling!

You Don’t Have Time For Your Main Responsibilities. The business owners and managers have enough paperwork, bookkeeping, and financials to worry about. They shouldn’t have to be out on the floor at all times helping the staff with tasks that should be accounted for. Not just because of how things should be running organizationally, but also because that means the paperwork will not get done. If there isn’t enough time for office work, that is a big red flag. Don’t take on that unnecessary stress when you should be enjoying your success.

The Staff Has Started Cutting Corners. Make sure your management team is keeping a close eye on the quality of your products and services. Don’t depend on the fact that customers will leave bad reviews when something makes them unhappy, it’s best to catch these issues before it goes that far. Once your team is overworked, they will start cutting corners and looking for ways to cheat the system so they can keep up. So, make sure to have quality control procedures in place, and once that quality starts to go down, it’s time to readdress your staffing needs.

Your Business Isn’t Growing. Your company is busy as all get out every day, your employees are working to the bone, but the numbers just keep staying the same. If that’s the case you are missing a huge opportunity to expand and make more profit. As mentioned earlier, you need to spend more to make more. Bring in those extra people so you can set some more things in motion that will allow your business to really set sail.

NEED HELP HIRING?

Yes, hiring is time-consuming and you don’t have that time, but we do! We specialize in finding the employees you are looking for. Once we get to know your business and learn about your specific needs, we will find the people for you!