Manufacturing: Staying Profitable When Using Temp Workers

posted on: Friday March 27, 2015

08-abouta_1The manufacturing industry is no stranger to temporary workers. The need is so great that there are staffing agencies committed solely to finding temp workers for manufacturing jobs.

With so many people willing to take on temporary work, staffing agency employees are building beefier resumes, making them more qualified for assignments. However, there is never a guarantee that a candidate was trained the right way to perform the exact job you need covered. Holding off to find the right candidate will prolong the time you’re short staffed. Using someone who isn’t quite qualified enough will slow production. You can’t keep people from going on vacation or taking medical leaves. What are some options?

One strategy that manufacturers use is to have a few positions that are easy to fill and then train up. For example, it’s easier to train someone to operate a pallet jack or wheel production parts to and from work cells than it is to train employees on complicated machines. If you have to hire a temp worker, it would be ideal to place him or her in the less complex role. By cross-training your team, you can properly teach everyone to safely perform an alternate job. When someone takes leave of absence, employee roles “shift up” or “shift over” to the open position. The lower level job is often times physical but easiest to fill with a temp worker.

The biggest downside to this approach is that without proper training, temp workers can easily get injured or exhausted in physical jobs. To counteract this, material handling equipment can make most of these jobs safer and less strenuous. Some of this equipment is even practical enough to be used for multiple applications.

The best example of this is the power tugger, or power mover. It is a compact, battery-operated machine that provides the muscle in pushing and pulling tasks. It can move just about anything on wheels, including racks, kilns, carts, machinery, vehicles, and dumpsters. Operating a tugger doesn’t require any special training. In many cases, it can even substitute a forklift moving product through manufacturing, which offsets a highly trained forklift operator.


One of the greatest advantages to using this kind of equipment is that it makes the job far safer – not only for temp workers but also for full-time, permanent employees. Pushing and pulling tasks lead to a number of chronic injuries. A power tug minimizes the effort required on these kinds of jobs, thereby preventing musculoskeletal disorders.

By planning ahead, any manufacturer can keep production running smoothly during an employee’s absence. Cross training and material handling equipment can maintain profitability when less experienced workers fill in. For information on power tugs, contact Load Mover Inc. Our experts can help you determine your “Draw-bar Pull” and whether a power tugger will benefit your company. Call us at 952-767-1720 or email