Previous Article Next Article Staff and union initiative raises firm’s productivityOn 17 Jul 2001 in Personnel Today Distribution company RS Components has cut costs significantly and increasedproductivity by involving employees and unions in the business strategy. It needed to introduce more products to its range and expand its marketsoverseas, so a decision was taken to radically change the way employees workedat its plants in Corby and Nuneaton. Staff were working just over five hours a day, overtime was running at 20per cent and absence levels were at 11 per cent. Tony Smith, head of operations for the distribution company, told an IIRconference on flexible working practices that, until 1996, RS Components hadbeen held back by its methods and its confrontational relationship with theunion, Usdaw. The firm decided to engage the unions and workforce in the businessobjectives, Smith said. The firm’s supervisors took part in an eight-week training course,culminating in a presentation in which each of them had to put forward an ideathat would save £1,000. As a result of the ideas generated, RS Components madeoperating savings of £400,000. The company also held workshops with union representatives to involve themin the business strategy and explain the challenges facing the company,including competition, range expansion and customer demand. Smith said all employees were kept informed of what was happening throughweekly verbal briefings, monthly written reports and quarterly presentations. As a result of the changes, RS Components reduced labour costs by £2m,absence levels to 5 per cent and overtime to 4 per cent. Today, the company distributes 135,000 electrical, electronic and mechanicalcomponents from its two sites, compared to 46,000 in 1995, and has cutoperating costs by more than 2 per cent. By Ben Willmott Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.