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My employee is too slow.

If YOU were my Employee...
You'd be too slow too.
You can only count them for 1/3rd of yourself, on a good day.
On average. You can get employees that are as fast as you. But they quickly move on to run their own business. Because why would they put the same amount of effort doing the same work and giving a huge cut to some guy who keeps telling him what to do?
 
Yes, I will probably do that with most of the programming. I will use him as an operator and have him do programming on low volume work if there isn't enough operator type work to keep him busy.

I do bring in more than that myself, but I need HIM to bring in 120/hr that HE works or else I should go back do being solo and just turn down any additional work.
How much does him working let you do more productive work?

For example, I have (I'm making up all the numbers here for the example, these guys aren't machinists) two guys. One is really good and takes home $50, the other is getting started and makes $30. Say that I need $120 to cover the senior guy and $70 to cover the junior one.

With the senior guy working alone he produces $150/hr.

The junior guy only brings in $60/hr, so on paper he's costing the company $10/hr. Catch is that he gets all the low value stuff that my senior guy had been doing. This frees my senior guy to bring in $180 instead of the usual $150 he brought in before. More money in the end.
 
What i said at the start .........if you employ smart efficient people ,they will steal your business ..................dunno how many times Ive seen this
I think this may be a reflection on your associates. I’m used to seeing this in low barrier to entry roles (repair, landscaping, electrical trade). Compensate people well enough that it’s not worth getting all the capital together and taking the risk to leave the environment you offer.
 
On average. You can get employees that are as fast as you. But they quickly move on to run their own business. Because why would they put the same amount of effort doing the same work and giving a huge cut to some guy who keeps telling him what to do?

Because being a business owner is only fun when there's work and the customers pay and the machines don't break and the material is good and delivered on time and the work is steady but not piling up.

There are plenty of guys who want to do an honest day's work, turn their work brains off after 8 hours and go have a home life.
 
Because being a business owner is only fun when there's work and the customers pay and the machines don't break and the material is good and delivered on time and the work is steady but not piling up.

There are plenty of guys who want to do an honest day's work, turn their work brains off after 8 hours and go have a home life.
A lot of employees end up with that responsibility and stress from the business they work for. Sure, they don't have as much to lose but they also have little to gain.

And it gets worse when the worker has responsibility to keep things going but don't have the authority to make it happen.
 
A lot of employees end up with that responsibility and stress from the business they work for. Sure, they don't have as much to lose but they also have little to gain.

And it gets worse when the worker has responsibility to keep things going but don't have the authority to make it happen.
This is the owner/manager forum, if you keep up with this people will have to admit their flaws as managers/owners.
 
My business is mostly low volume production and prototyping for aerospace and medical device. A while back I hired a machinist to help me at my shop. I pay him 40/hr which comes out to about $45/hr in cost to me. The job is to program, set up, and run the parts. I need him to average $120/hr in revenue in order for me to make any profit at all from his being here. My problem is that he is a little slow with programming and also programs the parts to run slow on the machines. By my calculation, he averages around $80/hr work output.

I like the guy overall. He is a good worker and we get along. He doesn't waste time and works pretty diligently, but not fast enough. For example, the other day he programed a job to run at 30 min/part and I had to go in and reprogram to run at 7 min/part to make the delivery date. At 50-100pc quantities that is a lot of time. I already have a standard library of tools with feeds and speeds already set, but even so he manages to make the program take long. He says that in his last job they didn't care too much about the run time and just wanted to make a good part. I told him I need to make a good part with a short run time or else we won't make any money.

I am starting the think that contract manufacturing isn't a viable business with employees. There is no room to move on prices and my pricing is already higher than others. What is discouraging me is that I think this employee is actually pretty good and definitely the best out of all the ones I interviewed, but I can't make the numbers pencil out. I plan on trying to coach the guy to be faster and also make improvements around the shop to make his job easier. I am wondering what other people's thoughts are on this subject? How much can your machinists make on low volume work?
Fast...Cheap...Good...you can only pick two. Aside from that little tid bit of shop knowledge I would say that your need of $120/hr in revenue may be expecting too much
 
My business is mostly low volume production and prototyping for aerospace and medical device. A while back I hired a machinist to help me at my shop. I pay him 40/hr which comes out to about $45/hr in cost to me. The job is to program, set up, and run the parts. I need him to average $120/hr in revenue in order for me to make any profit at all from his being here. My problem is that he is a little slow with programming and also programs the parts to run slow on the machines. By my calculation, he averages around $80/hr work output.

I like the guy overall. He is a good worker and we get along. He doesn't waste time and works pretty diligently, but not fast enough. For example, the other day he programed a job to run at 30 min/part and I had to go in and reprogram to run at 7 min/part to make the delivery date. At 50-100pc quantities that is a lot of time. I already have a standard library of tools with feeds and speeds already set, but even so he manages to make the program take long. He says that in his last job they didn't care too much about the run time and just wanted to make a good part. I told him I need to make a good part with a short run time or else we won't make any money.

I am starting the think that contract manufacturing isn't a viable business with employees. There is no room to move on prices and my pricing is already higher than others. What is discouraging me is that I think this employee is actually pretty good and definitely the best out of all the ones I interviewed, but I can't make the numbers pencil out. I plan on trying to coach the guy to be faster and also make improvements around the shop to make his job easier. I am wondering what other people's thoughts are on this subject? How much can your machinists make on low volume work?

It sounds like you actually have a very good employee if he is showing up and being diligent with his work.
Many other have made excellent suggestions. The thing that has worked the best for me it to get the employee
more engaged in the business. Find a way to get him more interested in the success of your shop. If he becomes more interested it will mean more to him and you very possibly won't have to push him to be faster.

There are as many ways to accomplish this as there are people. Some possibilities include having him participate in a quote. Even if you simply ask his opinion about some aspect of it. Give him a simple task like helping to inventory stock that you like to keep on hand. If a salesman gives you a sample of a new tapping fluid, ask him to compare it to what you are using now. I have found that when employees are more interested and begin to think of your shop in terms like "we" and "our", things will improve.

This approach will not work with everyone. I have mostly had young fellows with minimal experience that I have trained. I was surprised when one of them told me that he really appreciated being asked for input on how to
approach something. I have remembered that.

Good luck.
 








 
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