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How to Define Outsourcing [A Plant Within a Plant]

Post Author Bill Wolfe
Feb 6, 2018 2:23:52 PM
Workforce Insights
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One of the most popular debates in our company is, ‘What do we consider outsourcing versus temporary staffing?’  I always enjoy these debates, because to me it is so clear.  When I look at outsourcing, I truly consider it a “plant within a plant.”  Our leaders provide the daily direction and guidance to our employees.  A principle foundation for this direction is our focus on metrics, SQDC.  Another acronym, you say?  What would any company be without an acronym or two?!  This should be one that most of you are familiar with and one that hopefully drives results within your organization, as well.

Safety – In Outsourcing, we typically track both proactive and reactive metrics.  To add value to our customers, we focus a-lot of our attention on proactive measures and then review these processes and their results on a periodic basis.   We prefer to focus on behavioral-based safety observations and getting our hourly employees involved with our safety culture and our Safety accountability.  At our larger sites, we have hourly participation on our safety committee.  We utilize an annual safety assessment tool to drive continuous improvement in this key metric.  This includes quarterly reviews to make sure that we are driving good results with our processes.  If not, we hold a check and adjust exercise to get back on track.   Every meeting begins with safety as our first agenda item to constantly keep it as a focus.

Quality – Since our product is people, this can be a challenging area.   If we have a defective ‘product’, hopefully they would not work for us for very long.   We take any customer complaints involving our people very seriously.  A customer complaint, internal and external, triggers a problem solving session to document root cause and develop an action plan to prevent similar incidents from happening again.  This also includes tracking and 30 to 60 day follow-up meetings to ensure that the action plan was successfully completed and that the same issue was not repeated.

Delivery – Because we focus primarily on non-core functions, we tend to have a lot of positions where we move items from point A to point B.   There are targets for reducing downtime as part of a continuous improvement culture and there are a lot of customers where any machine downtown would be considered a major event.  Should an event occur, the exact same problem solving session mentioned above is put into action.

Costs – Like any business, overtime is a key focus area, as overtime would be considered waste.  Another part of the Outsourcing culture is curtailment with our workforce.   When there is planned or unplanned downtime then we quickly react to get people out of the building to help customers reduce their costs.   There is typically a rate savings related to using Outsourced labor for the customer, and the quick curtailment adds another benefit.  The overtime and curtailment is tracked on a regular basis to truly add value to the customer bottom line.

Interested in learning more about outsourcing. Click below to download an info sheet on this different way of viewing your workforce. 

Outsourcing Info Sheet

Click here to learn more about MAU's outsourcing division.
About Bill Wolfe

Bill Wolfe is the Director of Outsourcing services at MAU Workforce Solutions.  Bill joined MAU in 2011, with over 25 years of manufacturing experience.  Fifteen of those years were spent in both Plant and Regional Manager roles at Fortune 500 companies. Most recently, Bill served as the Regional Manufacturing Manager for Pactiv Corporation where he also once worked locally as Plant Manager of their Beech Island plant. When joining MAU Bill served as an on-site General Manager of Outsourcing, and in early 2014 was promoted to the Director over all MAU’s outsourcing operations. He currently oversees five outsourced operations for MAU in both Georgia and South Carolina.

Bill received his bachelor’s degree from Southern Illinois and also holds a Masters in Business Administration from Northern Illinois University. 

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