Dear Todd:


This letter will inform you of the progress made on my feasibility report. As you know, I have been looking at the manning situation on all of the shifts. Sinoe your approval on March 1st, I have been gathering information and researching items in order to submit a report that will provide insight to establishing an efficient and effective distribution of manning. The following will provide you with background information on the project, accomplishments to date, items needing completion, and some preliminary findings.


The background information...


Since the hiring and job-posting freeze was initiated in August 1998, manning on each of the shifts has gotten leaner. The problem that the department now sees is that some of the shifts have gotten leaner than others. This has caused a very inefficient way of operating. Most shifts do not have operators available to cover lunches, and some shifts do not have the personnel to even operate all of the available machines. Because of. each shift's uncertainty of the next shifts ability to cover all of the machines, each shift shuts down and cleans up machines daily. The new shift then wastes time resetting the machines up. With the cost of materials

wasted during cleanup and the time lost during the cleanup and re-set up, there is a definite need to develop a. manning strategy.


What has been done so far...


As per the "Scheduled Plan Of Attack" (Appendix A), the following items have been addressed:


                 Completed manning breakdown by shift and operation


      Researched absenteeism trends, seniority issues1 and past machine efficiencies


      Reviewed some production control plans and industrial engineering numbers


                  Started developing different manning level scenarios



Some of these items have brought some interesting findings that the final report will discuss in detail. However, you will find some of the preliminary findings later in this letter.


What needs to be done yet..


As you noticed above, I have just started developing the different manning scenarios. I am also using older industrial engineering numbers for this study; the layoff required a reassignment of the old deanroom engineer, and the new engineer is not quite up to speed yet This will not be a problern as the machine speeds have not changed enough to distort the findings of the feasibility report. After developing the different manning soenarios1 the following items still need to be completed:


                 Tying in current manning levels with the different scenarios


                 Establishing the needed manning moves or additions with the different scenarios


                 Preparing the feasibility report with a proposed plan



One item not on the original plan of attack is the establishment of criteria to check against the different scenarios. First, it is important to see that each shift has enough operators to run all of the machines: It is also important that the manning is capable of meeting the production control plans (especially since these plans call for an increased production to one billion parts per month). Cost savings should also be considered. The last thing needing consideration is the happiness of the employees. An employee required to change shifts will not be happy We can measure happiness by the number of required~employee moves. Though I am still looking at different criteria, these should give me a good start


Preliminary findings


So far, the research has not found a shift that has complete manning at all of the operations. It is also clear that shift 8 has the fewest operators. The planned number of operators per shift prior to the freeze was 48, manning levels now range between 37 and 42 with shift 8 at 37. The absenteeism research has also shown some interesting findings. It is very rare to find a day that each shift does not have at least one operator call off. This indicates that although we can establish enough manning to operate each shift, the call-off trend is a problem that needs to be considered. Machine efficiencies have also dropped in every area since last year. Even though machine efficiencies are not hurt by not running over lunches or entire shifts, the time spent stopping, cleaning up, and restarting do affect machine efficiencies.


Plans based on preliminary findings


After establishing the criteria that will be used for this report, it is almost certain that no scenario will meet all of them. The best proposal may be the one that meets most of the criteria. The absenteeism trend is also an item that cannot be ignored; I will try to incorporate it into the manning scenarios.




As you can see, I have made good progress on the report and will have no problem completing it on schedule. The information gathered so far has opened my eyes to problems that I had only suspected were happening. Hopefully, this letter has made you more aware of what is happening, has piqued your curiosity, end has you looking forward to viewing the final report Though the final report will be more complete, this letter should have given you an understanding of the report, what has been accomplished, what needs completed, and a few preliminary findings.






I.          Introduction


A. The problem (Inefficiencies caused by lack of/unbalanced manning)


1.       Where we were prior to hiring/job posting freeze

2.       Where we are today

3.       Conclusions as to why there is a problem


II.      How the problem was addressed


A.      Research, planning development, and results

1.       Breakdown of manning by shift and operation

a.       Chart showing manning distributions


2. Review of production control plans and industrial engineering numbers

a.      Current PC planning numbers

b.       Forecasted PC plans for one billion pieces per month

c.       Industrial engineering numbers for current PC plans

d.       Estimated numbers for forecasted plans

3. Research absenteeism trends, seniority issues, past efficiency numbers (compare to present efficiencies.)

    a.       Show graph of call-offs (by date)

    b.       Show graph of past efficiencies vs present efficiencies


4.       Develop different manning level scenarios (charts)

a.       Minimum required (no lunch or Call-off coverage)

b.       Maximum cove rage(full lunch plus call-off coverage)

c.       Manning with full-lunch but no call-off coverage

d.       Manning with no lunch but call-off Coverage

e.       Manning with partial lunch and minimum call-off coverage


5.       Current manning levels with the different scenarios (charts)


6.       Establish needed manning moves or additions with the different scenarios

                          B.      Criteria establishment

1.       Will meet the required output plans

2.       Will provide efficlent use of the machinery and materials

3.       Will minimize costs

4.       Will keep the employees happy (minimal manning moves)


C.      Criteria vs scenarios


1.       Compare all Scenarios with criteria


III.        Conclusions and recommendations


A.      Not yet established

IV. Conclusion