Blog » Working in a Low Stress Environment
Working in a Low Stress Environment
Employing people with disabilities and also providing work placements for a soft stepping stone back into employment for others with disabilities, we need to try and ensure that we are providing a low stress working environment in order to generate positive growth.
As this is very different from other businesses, whose main concern is just in time manufacturing and lean working, I thought that this would be a great subject for a blog!
Norfolk Industries manufactures products to stock by putting in place a production schedule taking customers buying trends into consideration. We also have preferred stock levels for each product in place depending upon quantities ordered and how often etc.
The Production Supervisor then organises his team by considering which people he has available (both staff and volunteers), taking individual’s strengths and weaknesses into consideration, how long volunteers are in for (as they work varying hours and can finish mid shift), in order to decide how many people will be required on the team and on which task they are placed.
Every person, apart from the Production Supervisor and Senior Operative, have restrictions on various tasks, so at times it can be really interesting trying to organise everyone to get the best production available from the team.
Bottlenecks in production also need to be taken into consideration and this is normally the sealing task which can only be carried out by one person as there is only one of these machines on each line!
Another issue which needs attention is the raw materials. Most of our products are made from waste materials which we receive as and when they are available. When they are received we do not know what type, grade or weight of materials will be delivered and you would not believe how many different types of tea bag and coffee filter papers there are! Once received, papers are then graded for the various production lines as some go through certain machinery better than others.
All of these decisions are made in order to generate the highest production whilst keeping people busy in a task that they can cope with both physically and mentally and ensuring that appropriate resources are available and meeting the needs of the customer.
When customer orders are then received, 9 times out of 10 we already have the required product in stock and so there are not always last minute production requirements which would then impact on the factory floor and increase pressure on production.
This works well for us here at Norfolk Industries and helps us to provide and support work opportunities to people with various disabilities.