Scheduling & Workforce ManagementCompliance

The Top 3 Food Processing Workforce Challenges

Food Processing Workers Smiling While On The Job

By 2050, Food Production Will Have To Increase By 70%

This intense demand is contributing to the unique labor problems that food and beverage manufacturers face today. These new food processing workforce challenges need solutions before they worsen. Recently, the food processing industry has been experiencing a lot of staffing and labor shortages. Many employee challenges in the food processing industry are due to workforce management. 

If you have experienced these challenges in your company, you can benefit from food processing workforce management solutions to assist with scheduling, compliance, employee engagement, and operations. Indeavor can work with you to address employee challenges in the food processing industry. 

We offer innovative software that automates employee scheduling. With our food processing workforce management solutions, you will optimize your scheduling and increase compliance and employee engagement in addition to having a centralized operations hub.

Food Processing Workforce Challenges

Depending on your business model, there are many challenges for employees in the food processing industry. Here is what’s at the top of the list of concerns, along with some helpful tips to make your workforce management robust enough to combat them.

1. Mismatched Labor and Demand

Since employees at the plant are responsible for production deadlines, forecasting labor demand correctly is critical. Inaccurate forecasting negatively impacts the bottom line, whether paying for redundancies or having fewer people to do the job. An industry with steadily increasing production demand is facing a worker shortage, which is another stressor compounding this pressure.

Indeavor’s employee scheduling system offers an effective solution. Our system automatically matches your production demands to your labor demands. With this system, you can eliminate the guesswork in your scheduling and eradicate overstaffing or understaffing, which leads to losses in your business. 

Your workforce management strategy needs to involve access to real-time analytics to determine demand to cope with labor shortages—and what your workforce spread currently looks like to control any gaps proactively. With Indeavor’s workforce management system, you can look forward to real-time visibility. Once you have these real-time updates, it will be easier to determine when to schedule overtime for qualified employees or bring on temp workers. A food processing workforce management system eases your scheduling, allowing you to spot shortages early.

2. Harder to Retain Employees

Fewer workers means fewer skills to go around. What’s probably at the top of your mind right now is where you will find your next wave of employees, from the plant floor to the upper levels of management.

Beverage companies, in particular, need help hiring and retaining skilled labor for plant operations. That’s because it takes more work for employees to receive adequate training in production-intensive environments, like large carbonated soft drinks (CSD) and water companies. With extremely high production volumes and low margins, there is little freedom to shut down a line for training blocks. Compounding the problem is that 12-hour shifts are common, leading to fatigue and eventual burnout. You can read more about the dangers of worker fatigue here.

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The good news is that there are processes your organization can implement to safeguard your current workforce and retain your exceptional talent.

It all starts with giving everyone at the plant, from your line workers to your schedulers and supervisors, transparency over their schedules to combat burnout and increase the length of their stay with the company.

The ability for employees to have real-time visibility into their schedules to request time off, volunteer for shifts, swap assignments, and even attest hours increases employee morale and frees up the scheduler’s time dealing with grievances in person.

With this challenge, you need a way to help you manage your employees and reduce labor turnover in your business. You can increase employee engagement with a food processing workforce management system. It gives your employees the tools to view their schedules, take time off, interact with their supervisors, and swap shifts. Employee engagement is a game changer in the food processing industry. It increases employee satisfaction and reduces the rate of labor turnover.

3. Strict Compliance Laws

Compliance is a common employee challenge in the food processing industry. Human error in food manufacturing is a public health issue— contamination makes people sick. Food processors have intense guidelines to follow because it’s not just about the safety of the workers but also the public.

According to the requirements of NFPA 652, your facility must consistently review safety standards to reduce the risk of fires and dust explosions. Adhering to these standards involves regular fire safety training and strict cleaning routines.

Proper employee training is critical to staying compliant. You must ensure only workers with the right certifications handle the right task. However, qualification and certification tracking gets confusing when your organization relies on employee information hosted in an Excel spreadsheet.

A food processing workforce management system helps you determine which of your employees are qualified for a particular position and comply with the NFPA 625 requirements to reduce the risk of hefty fines and increase the safety of your food, employees, and the public in general.

To handle the complexity, you’ll need a fully functional and integrated qualification management system (QMS) that automatically breaks down the skills across your entire workforce and allocates the right person for the job. Your plant runs more efficiently and stays compliant when the right person is in the right place at the right time. With Indeavor’s employee scheduling, you can track qualifications with automatic renewal notifications to update your employees’ compliance.

How Indeavor Can Help

Employee challenges in the food processing industry can be overwhelming and may impact your bottom line. However, there’s a way to overcome these challenges by keeping your HR and operations teams up at night: Indeavor’s proprietary solution, Indeavor employee scheduling.

At Indeavor, we aim to provide you with an innovative and comprehensive workforce management system. You will experience unparalleled customer service and support when you work with us. We have intelligent algorithms that integrate even with complicated workforces. System implementation will take less than three months, and we can customize our solutions to suit your industry’s unique employee challenges. 

Are you ready to simplify your workforce demands? Request a demo or contact us today to learn more.

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