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Description.

Goulburn Furniture Manufacturers produces cheap chipboard tables. It has two plants employing 40 staff in one location and 20 in the other location. After reviewing their business plan for the year, the Board of Directors have made a decision to relocate the two plants to one site; keeping only 40 staff members in the factory in regional Victoria. This is in part due to the rising Australian dollar and influx of Made in China furniture and a fall in domestic demand which has impacted sales. Apart from that, there is also a duplication of functions which can now be resolved. Goulburn will now focus more on research, development and design as it corners the high end furniture market while downsizing its mass production department.

Goulburn Furniture Manufacturers intends to produce 250 limited edition tables within six months. Each table will be hand crafted and takes one staff member 40 hours to produce. There are 10 full time artisans in this department.


At the same time 11 full time staff members are needed to continue with the mass production of the cheaper range of furniture. Goulburn Furniture Manufacturers intends to produce 100 tables per day. Usually, there are 15 people on duty manning the five heavy duty machines but with the relocation, four people have been laid off.


The rest of the team are in administration related roles:

●     Human Resource - 3

●     Administration - 5

●     Sales - 5

●     Marketing - 3

●     Research and Development 3


Within a year, the company intends to increase production to 100 limited edition tables a month and 150 mass produced cheap chip board tables a day.


Within the company there has been past rivalry and competition between the two sites which has been encouraged by management but will now need to be resolved. The Managing Director of Goulburn Furniture Manufacturers has become aware of the need for a change in attitude amongst the employees as the previous rivalry will no longer be of benefit given the rationalisation to one site.


The move is proposed to occur in a staged process over a six month period and the Managing Director has asked the Human Resources Department to develop a strategy, in conjunction with team leaders, to manage the change


process in order to minimise friction, retain key personnel and enable smooth transition to operation at one site as well as do workforce plan.


Task

As the HR Manager, you are required to do small report that will cover the workforce plan and its objectives, obtain agreement and endorsement for the plan and address each of the items below.


1.    What are the issues in terms of workforce planning that need to be addressed and in what order of importance?

2.    Analyse the existing workforce to determine areas where there are excesses or shortages and review organisational requirements for diversity.



4.    Research and review current and predicted external labour supply data and government policy to ensure that you will have no problem with labour supply. Take into consideration workforce trends in response to global trends, incidents, demographic and economic data.


5.    Morale has been dropping with staff being laid off and the merger of the two sites into one. Some staff live far away from the new site and are unhappy with the move. You are concerned as your most valuable employees are the highly skilled artisans who hand craft the tables as well as the research and development team who design the new tables and these are the two areas where there is always high turnover.


6.    Develop workforce objectives and strategies that can retain and source skilled labour and come up with a contingency plan in case these workers resign.

  

8. What might the team leaders need in order to manage their staff and the transition effectively?

9. Are there any external individuals or organisations that you would consider involving? Why or why not? Consider the benefits and potential issues.

10. What kinds of support or additional input would you recommend for staff at all levels within the company in order to facilitate a positive transition to one site?

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