Overtime can be good for operations

From a manufacturing operations perspective, lower overtime requirements are a positive progression towards being able to properly control production and scheduling ("Less overtime for workers in manufacturing, construction"; Monday).

The push for productivity in terms of automation has helped in this case.

However, it would be superficial to think that overtime is a bad thing for the manufacturing industry.

When a certain level of efficiency has been achieved for minimising unplanned overtime, the next step is to look at where overtime utilisation can help improve operations further.

For instance, securing an elite team on overtime hours to perform regular/pre-emptive maintenance on a machine can reduce fault rates and ensure the machine runs uninterrupted during normal operating hours.

Another example would be to utilise overtime hours to continue production runs when line switchovers may be more costly if done during regular working hours.

It is important for manufacturers to continue to utilise overtime in a proactive way to bring about continued production improvement and efficiency.

This helps those who are looking for additional overtime, as well as management, to ensure normal operations are at peak efficiency.

Willson Deng

Chairman and Founder

Singapore Manufacturing Consortium

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2015, with the headline 'Overtime can be good for operations'. Print Edition | Subscribe