Don’t we all wish we could put our foot down hard and put the pedal to the metal with our business plan? We just want to release all our ambitions and aspirations in one giant flurry of creativity, hard work, innovation and jaw-dropping efficiency. That would be like living in a world that’s not a reality but a video game where you control everything at all times. The honest truth is that your business can sometimes only react to the world rather than control it. There’s a great line in the financial drama movie Margin Call where the antagonist says that the economy cannot be controlled, stopped, altered or even truly accurately predicted. So what on earth do you do if you’re at the engine-end of the world’s economy? A business that relies on manufacturing needs to voluntarily bear the brunt of the woes that come its way but not accept them. It’s a strange paradox but it taking it on the chin doesn’t need to be liked. So plan for tough times with an interim plan just in case plan a, b or c doesn’t work.
When times get hard, you can’t expect to operate as you normally would, so don’t even try. If you have one worker per workstation, under normal circumstances that’s fine because you can’t afford the turnover to be a little slower to get the best product out there to the consumers. However, when there is an economic crisis such as a recession, it’s better to double up and increase factory productivity. Rather than having the entire factory at full capacity, you should definitely consider closing half of it and pool your workers together. Instead of one person per workstation, now you have two. The products are made quicker with teamwork, and you’re also not spending money keeping the other end of the factory up and running. Your efficiency levels immediately shoot up, and you can still maintain your normal workload without having to fire some of your employees. It’s all about creating a balance in this regards.
Cut the juniors
Under extreme circumstances you may even need to put a project on hold. This is very painful for you as the owner of the business to have to literally put the brakes on in the middle of a project which you’re doing as it does hit home emotionally that your future is uncertain. In the dark times, your pure single aim must be to keep the lights on no matter what it takes. Unfortunately, you can’t survive without having to let go of some people. Specifically, it’s always the junior staff that must be culled. In this event and other such situations, you can labour hire professionals to take over the tasks you need to be done. Should you need to de-hire people rapidly to keep from sinking financially, hiring, experienced industrial workers will fill the gap. You may have less staff, but due to their experience, the hired labour can do multiple roles to a high standard until you get back on your feet.
In times of good, prepare for the bad. Manufacturing is such an underrated part of business and trade. The challenges businesses face in this industry during the rough and tumble of bad times is also underestimated.