The Ultimate Onboarding Checklist for Temporary Workers
Temporary workers must be integrated into the workplace as swiftly and efficiently as possible so that they can begin their assignments in a timely manner. PMC understands that every second is valuable because as we all know, time is money, which is why we’re sharing our Ultimate Onboarding Checklist for Temporary Workers. Human Resources professionals know that an onboarding routine should take between 45 to 60 minutes. This is dependent on several factors including the state that you live in, and the labor laws that apply to your state. This can only happen if you have the proper processes to follow and required documentation prepared ahead of time.
There are five important ‘C’s to onboarding any employee. These can be tweaked for your specific temporary workers based on your company policy and needs.
This part of your onboarding can be done online before your temp begins working. Since it is the paperwork part of the process, it can be quite time-consuming which is why it is best done beforehand. Be certain that all the necessary paperwork for new employees is completely filled out (including Forms W-4, W-2, I-9, and state withholding) well in advance of their first day of scheduled work. This package of documents can be sent to them electrically in the form of a hyperlink to each temporary employee. In some states, such as California, employees must also fill out other documents such as health insurance, workers comp, disability, sexual harassment, and more.
As an option to make it easier for payment to temporary employees, be sure to offer direct deposit payment. Forms are also dependent on the industry. Does your field of business require OSHA compliance? Check your state’s requirements to be on the safe side and compliant with state and federal laws. It is also important that intellectual property and non-disclosure agreements are signed at this time as well, before any work begins.
Does the temporary worker need a parking spot assigned? A security badge? Client assigned laptop and computer password? All of these things should be handled in the compliance part of the process. This is also the time to issue the company handbook to the temporary worker. Give them time to read and sign it. This also helps mitigate any potential lawsuits and keeps employee toxicity to a minimum.
The badge and passes should be waiting at the door when the temporary employee arrives at the building for their first day of work. If the client requires the temporary worker to have security clearance because of the sensitivity to intellectual property that the client possesses, (usually for federal government agencies) then this documentation should be furnished at the time of entry into the facility or in advance depending on the compliance policy of the company.
This is when the work process will be explained step-by-step. Someone should be at the front door or desk to greet the temporary employee as soon as they arrive. The time and exact place should be specified in the documents they received online. Where will they perform their job? Who will they report to? To whom will they inquire when they have questions? How are timesheets entered, submitted and approved? Cover breaks and pay, when and how. If these were not covered in the online information, they are important questions that a reporting manager should be able to answer when asked.
This is a good time to take the employee on a tour of the facility to point out where all the important areas of the organization are, like restrooms, break room, and copy machine. Also, introduce them to key staff members, those they will work directly with as well as those they will work in the near future. This is the beginning of integrating them into the company culture. Encourage them to ask questions and let them know they will be supported and who they can turn to for future questions.
If you really want your temps to blend in, be productive, and be happy, make sure they know where the water cooler and the coffee machine are. Studies have shown that employees who consume coffee are happier, more productive, and have better work experiences and memories at companies than those who do not. As an added bonus, be certain they know when and how long their lunch break is and the location of closest eateries with the best bang for the buck. Maybe even set them up with a team member for their first lunch experience. This will give them a connection – the next step of the integration process.
As your new temp is touring the facilities and learning their new tasks, meeting new employees, and learning about the company culture, it’s important that they feel connected – even though they will only be with you temporarily. Time passes quickly when you are happy. Whether your temporary employee is with you for a week, a month, or multiple years, you want them to feel content to be with you. You never know, you might need them again in the future. So do everything you can to forge a good connection with the new hire by connecting them with the company, other employees, and the culture of your company.
You can do this in the ways suggested above as well as by ensuring that their desk is clear and prepared for them to work. Some companies even go out of their way to provide a welcome package to temporary employees as a way of saying welcome to the team, even if for a short period of time. Invite them to bring in pictures of their family to personalize it. Or have a nameplate (with their name correctly spelled) already on it for them. You can post all the temps photos on the company intranet site with a brief paragraph about each to introduce them to everyone. Or simply post their picture near the water cooler or coffee pot with their name under it. Anything to help them connect and feel welcome with those around them.
It’s important to establish clear communications with the temp, whether it is with their mentor, their immediate supervisor or other employees around them. The more of a connection they have, the more they will feel part of the company as a whole. This will provide for better integration and communication within the company.
Depending on the type of temporary assignment and duration, some temps become permanent full-time employees after a specific period of time (usually in 12 months or longer). So it is always best to treat them as though that is a possible eventuality.
Make sure your temps are aware that they are welcome to ask questions at any time, that it is an ongoing process and that there will always be someone available to answer their questions. Be certain that in the clarification process, they were directed to a specific person who would always be available at any time to answer their questions.
Smooth and quick onboarding is an important part of integrating a temp into your company so that they are comfortable and work as a productive and valuable part of the team. With a little preparation and some good management, it’s as easy as five C’s. There’s no question, your employees will be content and so will your company.
Raid Al-Aomar, Edward J.Williams and Onur M. Ülgen.
Understanding The Role of Simulation Modeling
After understanding the concepts and aspects of the term “simulation modeling,” it is necessary to clarify the role that simulation plays in developing production and business systems. Initially, consider the use of simulation technically and economically and then present the spectrum of simulation modeling applications in manufacturing and service sectors.
“Why and when to simulate?” and “How can we justify a simulation project?” are key questions that often cross the mind of simulation practitioners, engineers, and decision-makers. We turn to simulation because of simulation’s capabilities that are unique and powerful in system representation and performance estimation under real-world conditions. Most real-world processes in production and business systems are complex, stochastic, and highly nonlinear and dynamic. Other modeling types such as graphical, mathematical, and physical models fall short in providing a cost-effective and usable system representation under such conditions.
“Decision support” is another common justification of simulation studies. Obviously, engineers and managers want to make the best decisions possible, especially when encountering critical stages of design, expansion, or improvement projects. Simulation studies may reveal insurmountable problems and save cost, effort, and time. They reduce the cost of wrong capital commitments, reduce investments risk, increase design efficiency, and improve the overall system performance.
Although simulation studies might be costly and time-consuming in some cases, the benefits and savings obtained from such studies often recover the simulation cost and avoid much larger costs. Simulation costs are typically the initial simulation software and computer cost, yearly maintenance and upgrade cost, training cost, engineering time cost, and other costs for traveling, preparing presentations with multimedia tools, and so on. Such costs are often recovered through the long-term savings from increasing productivity and efficiency.
A better answer to the question “why simulate?” can be reached by exploring the wide spectrum of simulation applications to various aspects of business, science, and technology. This spectrum starts by designing queuing systems and extends to designing communication networks, production systems, and business operations. Simulation models of manufacturing systems can be used for many objectives including:
Determining throughput capability of a manufacturing cell, an assembly line, or a production system.
Configuring labor resources in an intensive assembly process.
Determining the size and resources in a complex automated storage and retrieval system (AS/RS).
Determining best ordering policies for an inventory control system.
Validating the outcomes of material requirement planning (MRP).
Determining buffer sizes for work-in-progress (WIP) in an assembly line.
For business operations, simulation models can be also used for a wide range of applications including:
Determining the number of bank tellers that results in reducing customers waiting time by a certain percentage.
Designing distribution and transportation networks to improve the performance of logistic and supply chains.
Analyzing the financial portfolio of a company over time.
Designing the operating policies in a fast food restaurant to reduce customer Time-In-System and increase customer satisfaction.
Evaluating hardware and software requirements for a computer network.
Scheduling the working pattern of the medical staff in an emergency room (ER) to reduce patients’ waiting time.
Testing the feasibility of different product development processes and evaluating their impact on the company’s budget and strategy.
Designing communication systems and data transfer protocols.
Designing traffic control systems.
Table 1.1 below shows a summary of ten examples of simulation applications in both manufacturing and service sectors.
To reach the goals of the simulation study, certain elements of each simulated system often become the focus of the simulation model. Modeling and tracking such elements provide attributes and statistics necessary to design, improve, and optimize the underlying system performance. Table 1.2 shows a summary of ten examples of simulated systems with examples of principal model elements.
Like any other engineering tool, simulation has limitations. Such limitations should be realized by practitioners and should not discourage analysts and decision-makers from using simulation. Knowing the limitations of simulation should emphasize using it wisely and should motivate the user to develop creative methods and establish the correct assumptions in order to benefit from the powerful simulation capabilities. Still, however, certain precautions should be considered to avoid the potential pitfalls of simulation studies. We should pay attention to the following issues when considering simulation:
The simulation analyst as well as the decision-maker should be able to answer the question “when not to simulate?” Simulation studies may not be used for solving problems of relative simplicity. Such problems can be solved using engineering analysis, common sense, or mathematical models.
The cost and time of simulation should be considered and planned well. Many simulation studies are underestimated in terms of time and cost. Some decision-makers think of simulation as model building although it consumes less time and cost when compared to data collection and output analysis.
The skill and knowledge of the simulation analyst need to be addressed. Essential skills for simulation practitioners include systems thinking, fluency in programming and simulation software, knowledge in statistics, strong communication and analytical skills, project management (PM) skills, ability to work in teams, and creativity in design and problem-solving.
Expectations from the simulation study should be realistic and not exaggerated. A lot of professionals think of simulation as a “crystal ball” through which they can predict and optimize system behavior. It should be clear that simulation models by themselves are not system optimizers. They are flexible experimental platforms that facilitate planning, what-if analysis, statistical analyses, experimental design, and optimization.
The time frame of the simulation project needs to be realistic and properly set. Insufficient time and resources at various project stages, improper work breakdown structure, and lack of project control are issues that result in project delays and low-quality deliverables. Typical PM skills are essential to execute the simulation project in an efficient manner.
The results obtained from simulation models are as good as the model data inputs, assumptions, and logical design. The commonly used phrase of “garbage-in-garbage-out (GIGO)” is very much applicable to simulation studies. Hence, special attention should be paid to data inputs selection, filtering, and simulation assumptions.
The analyst should pay attention to the level of detail incorporated into the model. Some study objectives can be reached with macro-level modeling while some others require micro-level modeling. The analyst should decide on the proper level of model detail and avoid details that are irrelevant to simulation objectives.
Model verification and validation is not a trivial task. As will be discussed later, model verification aims at making sure that the model behaves according to intended model logic. Model validation, on the other hand, focuses on making sure that the model behaves as the actual system. Both practices determine the degree of model reliability and usefulness.
The results of simulation can be easily misinterpreted. Hence, the analyst should concentrate the effort on collecting reliable results from the model through proper settings of run controls and by using the proper statistical analyses. Typical mistakes in interpreting simulation results include relying on short run time, including biases caused by model initial conditions in the results, using the results of only one simulation replication, and relying on the mean of the response while ignoring variability inherent in response.
The analyst should pay attention to communicating simulation inputs and outputs clearly and correctly to all parties of the simulation study. Also, the results of the simulation model should be communicated to get feedback from parties on relevancy and accuracy of the results.
The analyst should avoid using wrong measures of performance when building and analyzing the model results. Such measures should represent the kind of information required for the analyst and the decision-maker to draw conclusions and inferences on model behavior.
The analyst should also avoid the misuse of model animation. In fact, animation is an important simulation capability that provides engineers and decision-makers with a valuable tool of system visualization. Such capability is also useful for model debugging, verification, and validation. However, some may misuse model animation by relying solely on observing the model for short-term, which may not necessarily reflect its long-term behavior.
Finally, the analyst should select the appropriate simulation software tool that is capable of modeling the underlying system and providing the required simulation results. Criteria for selecting the proper simulation software tool typically include price, modeling capabilities, learning curve, animation, produced reports, input modeling, output analysis, and add-in modules. Simulation packages vary in their capabilities and inclusiveness of different modeling systems and techniques such MHS, human modeling, statistical tools, animation.
A manufacturing plant with machines, people, transport devices, conveyor belts, and storage place.
A bank or other personal-service operation, with different kinds of customers, servers, and facilities like teller windows, automated teller machines (ATMs), loan desks, and safety deposit boxes.
An IT organization with software products, developers (e.g., coders, testers, reviewers, etc), file servers, automated testing tools, software migrations and releases.
A distribution network of plants, warehouses, and transportation links.
An emergency facility in a hospital, including personnel, rooms, equipment, supplies, and patient transport.
A field service operation for appliances or office equipment, with potential customers scattered across a geographic area, service technicians with different qualifications, trucks with different parts and tools, and a central depot and dispatch center.
A computer network with servers, clients, disk drives, tape drives, printer, networking capabilities, and operators.
Freeway system or road segments, interchanges, controls, and traffic.
A central insurance claims office where a lot of paperwork is received, reviewed, copied, filed, and mailed by people and machines.
A chemical products plant with storage tanks, pipelines, reactor vessels, and railway tanker cars in which to ship the finished product.
A fast-food restaurant with workers of different types, customers, equipment, and supplies.
A supermarket with inventory control, checkout, and customer service.
A theme park with rides, stores, restaurants, workers, guests, and parking lots.
Pedestrian flow in malls, museums, buildings, stadiums, airports, plants, etc.
Military planes, rockets, etc. that can be operational at any one time under different scenarios, maintenance, material handling, and supply chain operations.
For owners/operators seeking the holy grail digital twin, you must first create the AIM. AIM is the acronym “Asset Information Model”. You might be asking, “Wasn’t the dream of BIM to be that?” Of course BIM, Building Information Modeling, does inherently hold information at any point in its lifecycle. Unfortunately, the source of asset data is often default values or something downloaded from the internet to save time. The challenge is to specify data input and reporting in a meaningful way for AEC without disrupting cost or schedule.
The PMC team has been empowering building stakeholders to advocate for themselves on two digital fronts. The first is managing their AEC supply chains to deliver the quality of 3D data to fit the needs of facilities management. The second empowerment is a path to convert all the other structures in the enterprise that are past the design and construction lifecycles. It’s notable that both of these types of transformation share a common foundation. That foundation is predictable data that is interoperable. Asset data at all stages of the building lifecycle have commonality. The ideal BIM requirements focus on what those common aspects are and also understand what enterprises have unique needs for operating a building. PMC has termed our process to define those requirements as Enterprise Facilities Integration (EFI). Once a guideline for integration is established, owners can begin to see a digital transformation that is interoperable and at a foundation for higher levels of multi-use values.
What is “good data” and why is it important to target how it will be used? Defining the end goals (target usage) is key to understanding the data specifications for asset information models (AIM) at a foundational level. Something to consider is that good data can add a variety of ROI and it doesn’t need to be BIM if you don’t plan on re-engineering.
3D Virtual Tours – Data Integration Example
As a complement to implementing Laser Scanning and Scan to BIM efforts, PMC recently started providing data integrated Matterport as a complement to high-end scanning and Revit modeling. These Matterport virtual tours can allow our clients to have “virtual” visibility of a site throughout the building lifecycle. The spatial data can be integrated with information and linked to other data. I see the same potential for the “Virtual Tour” level of technology in terms of integration. While not as accurate as a point cloud, it can be a useful tool for record information. In the example below the embedded data is serving space planning as you hover over a workstation. It could just as easily be integrated with links to booking software in an agile workspace or equipment data and maintenance information.
Record Revit model – Data Integration Example
The 3D model lifecycle can consider Facilities Management from its early inception. The example below is a project PMC is modeling with TMC Drafting Services for John Deere and has little existing data. One thing that was acquired from the terrestrial scanning was the ability to read the equipment tags/QR codes captured in the scan. These tags could have initially come from a mechanical engineer as a mark for the purpose of scheduling. However, the potential for interoperability in the life of the plant becomes possible because good data establishes relationships and database connectivity. What would it take for a large enterprise to establish one consistent piece of information (Primary key) for all forms of information on any given asset? I truly don’t know, but establishing a standard for BIM to PDF cut sheet names might make nailing a record model a whole lot easier.
Hold PMC to a standard when we commission your data. In fact, hold all your consultants to that same standard. We can help you develop that standard as we are with TMC/John Deere and other clients. My team is acutely aware of the whitewashing of the term digital twin. However, we know the proof is in the data and the potential for interoperability. Don’t even get me started on the perception of the “LOD” levels and how it equates to the usefulness of models in the hands of building owners. That is too often qualified by visual detail and the type of consultant or contractor turning over a model. “LOI” is what really matters for owners. “Level of Information” can be its highest value in the most basic LOD100 model or even the virtual tour example above. In fact for the owner and FM managers who don’t deploy the highest end workstations, having something light and data-rich would serve a higher value.
A great starting place to see where your current BIM data is at on an LOI scale is to open the MEP model and try to export just the equipment to COBIE. How clean does it look? What is COBie? That is a topic for another blog.
Raid Al-Aomar, Edward J.Williams and Onur M. Ülgen.
So, What Exactly Is Simulation Modeling?
Simulation Modeling is the art and science of capturing the functionality and the relevant characteristics of real-world systems. Modeling involves presenting such systems in a form that provides sufficient knowledge and facilitates system analyses and improvement. Physical, graphical, mathematical, and computer models are the major types of models developed for different purposes and applications.
This blog posts focuses on defining the simulation concept, developing a taxonomy of different types of simulation models, and explaining the role of simulation in planning, designing, and improving the performance of business and production systems.
Simulation is a widely used term in reference to computer models that represent physical systems (products or processes). It provides a simplified representation that captures important operational features of a real system. For example, FEA represents the mathematical basis for a camshaft product simulation. Similarly, production flow, scheduling rules, and operating pattern represent the logical basis for developing a plant process model.
System simulation model is the computer mimicking of the complex, stochastic, and dynamic operation of a real-world system (including inputs, elements, logic, controls, and outputs). Examples of system simulation models include mimicking the day-to-day operation of a bank, the production flow in an assembly line, or the departure/arrival schedule in an airport. As an alternative to impractical mathematical models or costly physical prototypes, computer simulation has made it possible to model and analyze real-world systems.
As shown in the figure below, the primary requirements for simulation are: a system to be simulated, a simulation analyst, a computer system, and simulation software. The analyst has a pivotal role in the simulation process. He or she is responsible for understanding the real-world system (inputs, elements, logic, and outputs), developing a conceptual model, and collecting pertinent data. The analyst then operates the computer system and uses the simulation software to build, validate, and verify the system simulation model. Finally, the analyst analyzes simulation results and determines best process setting.
Computer system provides the hardware and software tools required to operate and run the simulation model. The simulation software or language provides the platform and environment that facilitates model building, testing, debugging, and running. The simulation analyst utilizes the simulation software on a capable computer system to develop a system simulation model that can be used as a practical (close-to-reality) representation of the actual system.
Based on the selected internal representation scheme, simulation models can be discrete, continuous, or combined. DES models, which are the focus of this book, are the most common among simulation types. DES models are based on a discrete internal representation of model variables (variables that change their state at discrete points in time). In general, discrete simulation models focus on modeling discrete variables that receive values from random or probabilistic distributions, where the state of the system changes in discrete points in time. A discrete variable can be the number of customers in a bank, products and components in an assembly process, or cars in a drive-through restaurant.
Continuous simulation models, on the other hand, focus on continuous variables, receiving values from random or probabilistic distributions, where the state of the system changes continuously. Examples of continuous variables include waiting time, level of water behind a dam, and fluids flow in chemical processes and distribution pipes. Continuous simulation is less popular than discrete simulation since the majority of production and business systems are modeled using discrete random variables (customers, units, entities, orders, etc.).
Combined simulation models include both discrete and continuous elements in the model. For example, separate (discrete) fluid containers arrive to a chemical process where fluids are poured into a reservoir to be processed in a continuous manner. This kind of simulation requires the capability to define and track both discrete and continuous variables.
Furthermore, models are either deterministic or stochastic. A stochastic process is modeled using probabilistic models. Examples of stochastic models include customers arriving to a bank, servicing customers, and equipment failure. In these examples, the random variable can be the inter-arrival time, the service or processing time, and equipment time to failure (TTF), respectively.
Deterministic models, on the other hand, involve no random or probabilistic variables in their processes. Examples include modeling fixed cycle time operations in an automated system or modeling the scheduled arrivals to a clinic. The majority of real-world operations are probabilistic. Hence most simulation studies involve random generation and sampling from theoretical or empirical probability distributions to model random system variables. Variability in model inputs leads to variability in model outputs. As shown in the figure below, a deterministic model Y = f(X) will generate a stochastic response (Y) when model inputs (X1, X2, and X3) are stochastic. If the response represents the productivity of a production system, model inputs such as parts arrival rates, demand forecast, and model mix generate a variable production rate.
Finally, and based on the nature of model evolvement with time, models can be static or dynamic. As shown in the figure below, a simulation model can involve both static and dynamic responses. In static models, system state (defined in state variables) does not change over time. For example, a static variable (X1) can be a fixed number of workers in an assembly line, which does not change with time. Alternatively, a dynamic variable (X2) can be the number of units in a buffer, which changes dynamically over time. Monte Carlo Simulation models are time independent (static) models that deal with a system of fixed state. In such spreadsheet-like models, certain variable values change based on random distributions and performance measure are evaluated per such changes without considering the timing and the dynamics of such changes. Most operational models are, however, dynamic. System state variables often change with time and the interactions that result from such dynamic changes do impact the system behavior.
Dynamic simulation models are further divided into terminating and nonterminating models based on run time. Terminating models are stopped by a certain natural event such as the number of items processed or reaching a certain condition. For example, a bank model stops at the end of the day and a workshop model stops when finishing all tasks in a certain order. These models are impacted by initial conditions (system status at the start). Nonterminating models, on the other hand, can run continuously making the impact of initialization negligible. For example, a plant runs in continuous mode where production starts every shift without emptying the system. The run time for such models is often determined statistically to obtain a steady-state response. The figure below presents a simulation taxonomy with highlighted attributes of DES (discrete, stochastic, and dynamic models of terminating or nonterminating response).
Independent contractors can be a real asset to your business. They can take up the slack when your workload is especially heavy yet it’s not a problem to release them when the workload slows down or when a particular job is completed. They also can often save your company money in that you don’t have to pay benefits, worker’s compensation, payroll costs, and all the miscellaneous expenses that come with an employee.
Once you’ve decided independent contractors are the way to go, you need to know you’re following all the latest rules and appropriate labor laws. Rest assured, they haven’t changed…….much.
The Department of Labor tried to implement an ‘Economic Reality’ test that would have made independent contracting determinant on whether or not a worker was economically independent of the employer. That’s a pretty easy determinant. It would have made life a lot easier for all the businesses that use independent contractors. It almost passed. Unfortunately, in March, the Biden Administration’s Department of Labor delayed that initiative, and then finally canceled the ruling. So the rules determining independent contractor status are still as ambiguous as ever.
You also probably heard the debate in California primarily concerning Uber drivers and their independent contractor status. It was similarly considered in other states. Simply put, it had to do with a National Labor Relations Board memorandum which determined Uber drivers to be independent contractors not employees under the National Labor Relations Act. Individual states can classify Uber drivers and others as employees but it is much harder for them to do so.
Because of these state powers to reclassify workers separately from the National Labor Regulations, it is essential that you become aware of your state’s individual classifications and always consult with your attorney or financial advisor concerning independent contractors.
An independent contractor is:
You do not withhold taxes. They are responsible for all of their own taxes.
They bill you for their pay and therefore cannot claim unemployment.
They have an end date when the job is complete.
Technically, you can tell them what to do, but not how to do it (because they are their own boss).
They provide their own tools and supplies for the job.
The independent contractor has the opportunity for profit or loss.
There are considerations that must be maintained when hiring an independent contractor. For example, you must always have a contract in place. Without one, your company is vulnerable. Not only to pursue litigation for poor performance related issues, but also to taxing authorities, labor and employment, and insurance companies. They all expect contracts in place that state your contractor is not subject to withholding and benefits. The contract also protects you from the contractor later claiming they were an employee.
This contract should also clearly outline the scope of the work expected, the start and completion dates, and the compensation to be awarded. It’s helpful if the place the work is to be accomplished is also stated. For example, if you are hiring an IT or Engineering professional, you may provide office space for them. If you’re hiring a blogger or a speechwriter for example, it’s more likely they will work from their own home office or space.
Consider the ethics of treating similar workers differently. If you have window installers who work hourly and hire independent contractors who are piece workers or are paid one set price for the entire job, you begin to run into the problem of the independent contractors taking breaks or leaving the job whenever they want. That is their prerogative. You have no say over that. Remember, you have the right to tell them what to do, but not how to do it. Even if you explain this to your hourly employees, they will not fully understand it and they will not feel justified in it. They will try to take the advantages they see the independent contractors taking. You may experience some pushback or resentment from your employees as a result.
Better to hire the independent contractors for an entirely separate job. Keep them separated rather than encourage any sort of insurgence. Peace among the troops is management’s first responsibility.
Yet, don’t let this consideration stop you from hiring independent contractors because they may be exactly what you need to push you through a temporary surge in work or help you with an important project that needs to be completed or delivered in a timely manner. A great example is getting approval for project funding and quickly finding out that you don’t have enough software developers or engineers to build that sophisticated web portal or do some simulation modeling work. The last thing you want to do is find yourself scrambling to find qualified contractors to get this work done. Advanced planning to qualify contractors is always a good business practice.
Independent contractors that come ready to hit the ground running are just the ticket. Just be certain they also come with contracts.
Another consideration to keep in mind given the current landscape of how consultants are being hired is the option of remote or hybrid work (a mix of onsite and remote). Many companies that don’t need to have a contractor onsite are opting for the remote option. This does come with some risk however. If you need to hire an Engineer that needs to be in the plant performing time studies for example, the remote option would probably not work.
As with all things in life, there are some grey areas with independent contractors. That is, the extent to which you reimburse workers for their business expenses. If the contractor has to make a special trip out of town to perform onsite work at another location, do you compensate for time and gas? Technically, such things should be factored into the contract. Reimbursements could be reviewed in a classification dispute. Yet, a generous company, and a small contractor, should work these things out for the sake of maintaining a mutually beneficial working relationship.
Another very important grey area that you will notice left out of the bulleted points above is payment. There is no IRS rule that say you cannot pay an independent contractor by the hour. However, it blurs the line between employee and contractor. And this is one of those things that can raise a red flag. There are different types of engagement arrangements that a company can make with a contractor. A ‘milestone’ based engagement, “a project fee’ engagement, and an hourly (Timer & Materials) engagement to round it off. Depending on your specific needs, it may be necessary to come up with a creative compensation alternative. For example, if your contractor comes to the job without the proper tools, you could provide them and then charge them back, subtracting the cost of the tools from the contract. This way, you are no longer providing the tools to the contractor, rather, you are selling them to him. And still staying within the IRS Independent Contractor Guidelines.
Independent Contractors will always be necessary to effectively manage your business. More and more so as COVID changes the structure of the professional working landscape as we know it today. It is important to understand and follow the rules necessary in successfully using them in your business.
Production Modeling Corporation (PMC) is a full-service Industrial Engineering Company with offices throughout the world with Headquarters the US. PMC employs SME’s that have manufacturing process improvement and digital technology (Digital Twin) expertise in nearly every industry to include vertical farming, poultry and cattle processing, food and beverage, automotive, aerospace pharmaceutical and many others.
PMC invites you to consider the following proposal and information as a means of analyzing layouts and maximizing automation systems, to achieve optimal material handling systems and harvesting efforts.
Where PMC would work with your robot and/or automation vendors to optimize each process.
PMC would review the need to perform Worker Analysiswith Time-and-Motion & Ergonomic studies
Time-and Motion(MODAPTS) Modular Arrangement of Predetermined Time Standards is a highly regarded method of a predetermined time system which deals with standard time values or units of human physical work that can be used for Donning & Doffing and more.
Ergonomic simulation for different types of workers and tasks:
3D animation with dynamic statistical results to identify potential hazards that could cause worker injuries
Historically, projects of this type performed by PMC have realized significant increases in:
Production Throughput – Automation Utilization – Production Output
Overall, clients that work with PMC have consistently seen ROI’s ranging from 10% – 70% either in throughput or utilization. PMC’s special approach to streamlining processes and reducing costs is the reason we are now the largest independently owned industrial engineering company in the country.