We begin our second shift this week at Ebsco. This is one of the largest initiatives I have led since joining the Ebsco Team. Am I scared? Of course. But I am also extremely confident.
I began discussing the potential need for a second shift over a year ago. It was obvious that at some point we would have added all the personnel we could for the machines we have available. The only option would be to add more machinery, very costly, or add a second shift and expand the utilization of the machine we have. Pretty easy decision between the two. Running only one shift does not get the bang for the buck out of the machinery we currently have.
Since our current first shift consists of four ten-hour shifts, Monday through Thursday we have added three twelve-hour shifts, Friday through Sunday as our second shift. This allows a great deal of flexibility to many people’s personal lives. If day care is an issue, the three-day second shift would allow a spouse to work a traditional first shift and only have one day needed for child care. If the spouse worked a four-day, ten-hour as we have at Ebsco, they would have no child care costs. For others it is an opportunity to work another job, part-time. The second shift can be a real benefit to many.
My greatest concern was loosing touch with the team on second shift. We have set up several communication chains to ensure we don’t lose touch and that our team members on the second shift receive the same information as the first. We will carry our monthly luncheon onto the second shift on Fridays. Our daily communications memos will be saved and shared on Saturday and Sunday with the entire team. Our second shift manager will work four hours on Thursday to set up the weekend schedule working with the production manager and all of the department team leads. I feel confident our second shift will be informed.
We have literally spent one entire year talking about and planning this new shift. We have spent two months training our second shift assistant production supervisor. So the real question is, What am I scared about?
I am scared about the same thing everyone is afraid of, change. This is a major change for Ebsco. We are very comfortable with our current schedule and I’m changing it. I am confident that we have properly prepared and trained for the new shift. I know that this will allow us almost unlimited capacity for growth. I am sure this will be the final piece to bring our lead time and our on time production ahead of the competition, BUT……. It’s change.
No matter how opened you are to change and if like me are excited about change, you are lying to yourself if you do not have some hesitation. Proper planning increases your chances of success but you REALLY don’t know until you do it. It is impossible to know what you didn’t think of because you haven’t thought of it. Change is scary.
So I go into this week, I am a little apprehensive and a lot excited. I know this second shift will be the platform to our next stage of growth. I know this is just the beginning of very exciting times for Ebsco. I am placing a great deal of confidence in this new second shift team. I know they will make it a home run.