Manufacturing World: What Makes a Good Leader?

September 24th, 2012

Step into the manufacturing world. It used to be a world of factory lines with thousands of people working to create a simple finished product. Today’s views involve more machines and higher demands. Those demands come from all directions including consumers. At the head of it all is a leader. This person needs to have what it takes to push the company to profit, not something that is easy to do in today’s very diverse and highly competitive marketplace. However, there is help.

What Makes a Good Leader?

In manufacturing, numerous factors play a role in determining if an individual is a true good leader of it he or she is simply just pushing papers around. Whether talking about on the floor management, or executives, before bringing anyone in, leadership qualities need careful consideration. Consider the following.

  • Leaders listen. You have heard it before but are you sure you are implementing it? Good leaders listen to the market, the company owner, and the employees and even to the industry changes. They listen and absorb information as it is coming to them then use that information to make decisions.
  • Leaders make decisions. Sometimes, decision-making is difficult. Do you take a chance on that big investment in the hopes that it will pay off or do you go the safe route? Making these decisions is not easy but the true leader is not afraid to make tough decisions.
  • Leaders are knowledgeable. It used to be commonplace for upper management to replace ineffective managers with off-the-streets professionals in similar industries. Now, with so many companies looking to create the must-have, very specific product, specialization is key. If the leader does not know the job of the employee, how can he lead the employee?
  • Leaders communicate. They are present on the job floor. They engage everyone from the new hire to the owner and public. Leaders are willing to communication both positive and negative feedback but they do it with respect. Ultimately, this can lead to true results on the floor.
  • Leaders teach and respect staff. Every leader is a teacher. If that teacher is demonstrating respect for employees, he or she is likely to teach in a more effective manner. If the leader sits in an office and barks orders, chances are he or she is teaching the team that the company does not appreciate their value.

In the manufacturing sector, take leadership qualities seriously. Although the job is different from one industry to the next, leadership traits are versatile. Bring on board those that have them to see your business excel.

 Want to be a more effective leader in your chosen career path? Consider how a contract assignment in manufacturing can help you to gain the right experience to become a leader of tomorrow. Check out the manufacturing job opportunities at Stark Talent.

How Returns Management = Cost Savings in Staffing

September 17th, 2012

Returns management is big business. As an executive managing a retail outlet, your job is to minimize returns. Wait, how is that the case? Although it used to be that people returned gifts most commonly for reasons such as product malfunction or even buyer’s remorse, today’s trends are vastly different. Instead of focusing on returns management at the manufacturing level, it is critical to see this as a customer experience problem instead.

The Stats Show It

Look at the following statistics on return management. The biggest impact comes in the weeks after Christmas, but returns management is a focus throughout the year in most businesses.

  • Year after year, about $100 billion worth of loss occurs to retailers and manufacturers each year. This comes from losses in sales, processing, disposing of goods, handling, and transportation related to returns.
  • Since 2007, consumer electronics returns have increased by 21 percent. That accounts for $17 billion.
  • 43 percent of electronic manufacturers say the product return rates are up, according to a study by Accenture.
  • Only 5 percent of all returns are due to defective products. 27 percent are due to buyer’s remorse.
  • 68 percent are considered no fault found returns.

As these stats show, there’s a real need to focus on returns management right from the manufacturing stage.

Manufacturing Changes Equate to Improvements

Some companies are focusing on the design stage to reduce returns. They are making products that are easier to use. Many of them are focusing on making products that are customer friendly.

It goes further, though. Some also believe that manufacturers should help consumers to learn about the product, how to set it up and use it and how to optimize the products. Instead of just putting money into returns management, it is better to put those funds into methods that can help to actual prevent the problem in the first place. This comes from educating the customer and providing aftermarket support.

Making it an ongoing effort can make a difference. Some companies are putting into place ongoing efforts to improve the first call completion rate. This means that solving the customer’s problem on the first call they make is the goal.

Returns management is a key component to any manufacturer’s bottom line. By refocusing funds into prevention, though, many companies can see a significant savings. According to some resources, a simple reduction of the returns rate attributed to no fault returns could equate to a savings of $21 billion.

Want to maximize your ROI with a smarter staffing strategy? Stark Talent in Texas and Alberta, Canada has the resources you need to contain staffing costs and improve your business returns management all year.

Oil Market Better Supplied – Outlook on Staffing in the USA

September 12th, 2012

What is the oil industry staffing situation? If you are in this industry, you monitor the current market conditions carefully to determine if you will have a job, where you will have one and what the next step will be. A look at the reports for 2012 in North America, and more specifically Texas, can give you a good idea of what is really happening out there.

Current Oil Supply

According to reports, the International Energy Agency has concerns about the oil markets going forward. The agency, in a report issued in June of 2012, indicates that crude oil output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) averaged 31.9 million b/d during the month of May. That is significantly higher than the December 2011 output. In fact, it is 1.4 million b/d up.

At the time of the report, oil prices were down $25/bbl from the highs they hit in March. The last 18 months have had a bullish market in this area. There is no doubt that concerns about the Eurozone and China itself have caused enough tension to worry some investors.

Better But Not Oversupplied

The organization classified the market as being better supplied. However, it noted that it was not over supplied. Tight inventories at the end of 2011 and historically high prices have ensured this is the case. The concerns about Iran that occurred throughout the summer months and concerns about non-OPEC products also are a factor.

So, What’s the Future Hold?

For those who are wondering what the future in this market is, IEA states that production may be slightly lower in the third and fourth quarters of 2012. That is due to the US sanctions on Iranian oil sales and European Union embargo play out. Oil demand growth is also left unchanged.

When all of this is factored into the current conditions in Texas and in the United States in general for oil staffing, it looks like the rest of 2012 will be a positive but stable market for the country. With oil prices up, consumers will cut back. That may mean less production in many cases.

Production is unlikely to stop in the coming year, but that does not mean it will grow significantly either. In fact, when it comes to staffing in oil companies, many companies will likely hold off as the summer season winds down and the overall demand falls back during the colder months.

Be sure to review previous posts on the topic of the oil industry job market here:

The Effect of Rise in Oil & Gas Prices on the Tech Industry

Oil and Gas Industries: Consistently Contributing to Our Economy

Stark Talent Specialties for Staffing Management

September 7th, 2012

In today’s world, staying on top of the challenges of staffing is key to business growth. That’s why Stark Talent has several specialty areas that can help you better manage your staffing needs in the coming year. Here is a brief review of the Stark Talent specialties that your business needs to stay ahead of the game.

Focus on Major Growth Industries and Services

Oil and Gas, Energy, Defense, Technology and many more fields are the fastest growing industries around the globe. That’s why the Stark Talent focus is on providing high quality, well-matched candidates from these sectors with the employers who need them the most. From short-term contract staff to permanent placement opportunities, there are a wide range of options available to suit your staffing needs. You can also choose outsource placement services to manage all your staffing and payroll processes, freeing you up to focus on other aspects of running a growing business.

Government Talent Management

For nearly 20 years, Stark Talent has been supporting the needs of state and local governments with innovative staffing programs. These include the SourceMatch® system that uses the government standards and criteria to select the right candidates for each assignment. This is especially important as many candidates look to government jobs for stability and above average earnings and benefits, thus there is often an influx of applications to weed through. Candidates are individually evaluated during the application and screening process before they ever set foot in your office.

Maintaining Staffing Numbers

It can be tough to make sure you have enough staff as new projects come in and workloads fluctuate through cycles. This is where the systemic approach that Stark Talent uses to evaluate and pre-screen each candidate comes into play. Having quick access to the best candidates in your industry can help you to maintain your staffing numbers, reduce employee turnover, and grow your business through employee development programs. This can help your business become more efficient and profitable.

Recruiting Process Outsourcing to Control Costs

Let’s face it – recruiting costs time and money. For the average HR department this can be astronomical, especially for ongoing recruiting or volume recruiting campaigns. That’s why an RPO model makes better business sense. Many of your recruiting processes can be outsourced to Stark Talent’s capable staff of skilled recruiters to help you cut these costs to a more management level.

For more information about the specialties that Stark Talent of Austin, TX offers, be sure to visit our website to learn more. Put Stark Talent to work for your growing business and experience the many benefits of strategic staffing management.