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Requirements for an evaluation model for the proactive management of human resource capacity in volatile markets

: Spath, Dieter; Bauer, Wilhelm; Hämmerle, Moritz

International Foundation for Production Research; Brazilian Association of Production Engineering -ABEPRO-:
Challenges for sustainable operations. 22nd International Conference on Production Research, ICPR 2013. CD-ROM : July 28th - August 1st, 2013, Iguassu Falls, Brazil
Iguassu Falls, 2013
ISBN: 978-85-88478-47-3
7 pp.
International Conference on Production Research (ICPR) <22, 2013, Iguassu Falls>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IAO ()

Manufacturing companies face stronger fluctuations in customer demand driven by volatile markets with even shorter lead times and decreasing predictability. The traditional objectives of manufacturing companies to be able to deliver products within a short lead time at low costs with minimum stock are unchanged. Manufacturing companies therefore need to increase their production responsiveness by organizing the flexibility within their personnel capacity which is one of the most relevant cost factors in production. Thus the flexible adjustment of human resource (HR) capacity represents a significant advantage in competitiveness for future business sustainability. Manufacturing companies can utilize several instruments to adjust HR-capacities to markets demand (e.g. temporary work, working time accounts). These instruments are widely available across industries but the application is often based on experience rather than on systematic planning. Many of the fluctuations in market demand (e.g. economic crisis) cannot effectively be addressed at the point in time they occur even though their impact is often well-known. Nevertheless companies use the majority of their existing flexibility in HR-capacity to address short-term fluctuations. Medium to long term effects are considered secondarily. Systematic planning of HR-flexibility can only be ensured by proactive planning at the strategic level. Therefore a model is required, that focuses on today's market requirements and considers the range of instruments applicable using criteria beyond the capacity effect (e.g. costs). Initial findings show notably improved transparency and significant cost savings by planning HR-capacity instruments systematically. The paper describes the requirements for a strategic planning model of HR-capacity instruments under the conditions of today's volatile markets and highlights the initial success of the practical implementation.