HR news and updates from the E.L Blue Team

Manufacturing Revisited – COVID pivot and what it means for HR professionals

23 Sep 2020 | COVID-19, HR, Human Resource Management, Human Resource Outsourcing

Disruptions to the global supply chains, from both production and transportation perspectives, have left many ordinary Australian businesses in a tight spot.  While shortages of PPE, medical equipment and supplies have been widely noted, the supply chain impact has been felt by just about all businesses to some degree.  

As a result of this, a number of E.L Blue’s clients who previously purchased semi-finished and finished products from international suppliers, have re-organised their operations to minimise these risks in the future.  

By establishing an assembly / production line, ordering and storing components and training up existing staff to handle production, these businesses have taken steps to reduce their supply risk, and by default re-invigorate, to a small extent, manufacturing in Australia.   

Working with senior management and line management, the HR function needs to ensure that this new operation is adequately staffed and meets the production / manufacturing requirements of the operation.  Not surprisingly this will require a thorough assessment and action with regard to all of the following;

  1. Staffing and rostering.
  2. Award compliance.
  3. Up-skilling, re-skilling and training. 
  4. WHS policy, risk assessment and standards.

A paradox of the current COVID pandemic and the JobKeeper subsidy is that such initiatives are unlikely to result in new jobs until the business returns to much higher levels.  Companies will however be putting efforts into training and re-skilling the existing workforce.

It is a time of great change for all HR practitioners. 

Our HR practitioners offer the following suggestions;

  1. Work closely with management team to ensure business strategy is deliverable with existing human resources. 
  2. Assess internal capacity and experience, develop competency development programs. 
  3. Look widely for training and reskilling support.  
  4. Consider alternate talent sources – like “Worktrial” in NSW. 
  5. Review WHS requirements involved in new business activities.