Planner/ Supervisor to Workers Ratio
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Michael Bennett from Newcrest Mining at Orange asked about ratios of supervisors to workers for downdays
I am trying to locate any information on the ratio of shutdown supervisors to tasks and workers (ie; 1 supervisor-10 tasks-30 people) , many people have a theory but I would like to see if studies have been completed or if a company that SIRF has contact with has a specific ratio used and why.
Answer Bill Sugden
It is important to be careful with ratios and so-called benchmark data that does not take account of the industry segment. One ratio on its own can be dangerous because it does not give the full picture. Would you expect the ratio to be constant for differing circumstances such as supervisors supported by very experienced planners using a fully developed system as compared to no planners and no systems? What if the workforce is highly unionised versus all staff? Etc.
We report this ratio and many others as part of a benchmarking study and comment/advise on their meaning as part of a set of ratios so that the client is guided toward sensible strategy – one horse does not suit all courses.
Answer Terry Blackman
This may be of help…
1# Here is a quote from an Alcoa,
Alcoa redefined its maintenance planning approach, placing increased emphasis on proactive programs and processes. Operations and maintenance teams met regularly to review needs, determine priorities and schedule needed maintenance. Improved communication enabled operations teams to have direct input into when jobs were scheduled and worked. Three maintenance schedulers were added to improve the ratio of crafts personnel to maintenance planners from 35:1 to 20:1, further enhancing the company’s ability to carry out proactive maintenance. The plant also revamped its parts and tools distribution, moving from a decentralized to a centralized model. It now prepares work kits for each maintenance job to ensure that maintenance teams have everything they need to complete a job on schedule.
2# Here is a quote from the trainer and author Joel Levitt,
“The average number of planners varies with the craft (like welders much less, electrician a little more and laborers a lot more). I use 1:20 as an overall average.”
3# The other two authors both suggest Supervisors to Trades rations tend to be about 1:10,
Asking around, the Supervisor-Trades ratio is around 10 for large crews. If the teams are smaller (e.g. 3-10) there is at least one supervisor, who may often be the planner.
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