It’s simple, manufacturing in Australia is expensive – and labour costs are the prime reason.  But what if you were told your business’ payroll could be drastically reduced, thanks to technology.  And you won’t be paying employees less, nor will you be sidestepping labour laws to save money.

Australia’s HR Directors are feeling immense pressure these days from Management to be lean and efficient, so staffing levels can fluctuate with the ebbs and flows in the business.

As the nature of work changes and the needs of workers evolve, there has been a notable shift towards the recruitment of workers on a more casual or temporary basis, and this is often performed by labour hire companies.  While this is a great solution for a business’ fluctuating demand, it also dovetails into the changing nature of the workforce; that is - workers wanting more flexibility in their work life.

A new breed of labour hire company that utilises on-demand workers has emerged.  These companies use Uber-like technology, working hand in hand with manufacturers to provide the man hours they require to satisfy the changing nature of their business needs.  Leading the pack in Australia is Workfast, a labour hire company that specialises in on-demand workers.  This method of recruitment is expected to grow due to how easy and quick it is to receive workers, as well as its cost-effectiveness.

Workfast’s retail clients Harvey Norman, Bing Lee, Nick Scali and Snooze are prime examples of how manufacturers could also benefit from an on-demand workforce.  The warehousing operations of these top retailers can be off the boil one moment and then simmering the next.  We have between 120 and 180 workers across 10 sites in total.  Workers can be placed and taken away as the demand requires.  We are also able to supply these workers, on average, 30% cheaper than from where they were being sourced from previously.  The pay rates varied per employee, with our system managing the variables and passing the savings onto the client.

On top of all this, Workfast works within the Storage Services and Wholesale Award 2010.  We've managed hiring, site specific inductions, travel and accommodation for workers.

Workfast supplied a multitude of roles similar to those needed in manufacturing, from forklift drivers and pick packers, to fulfilment staff, stock managers container unloaders supervisors managers, end line operators and machine operators.

Disruption is everywhere in manufacturing these days, but often it’s focused on machinery.  Labour hire is seen as the final, most important frontier to be disrupted.  As most Australian manufacturers will profess, saving money on staffing is not only important, it is essential.

‘On demand’ has become a major buzzword in recent years, but what does it really mean? Think of it like this; if you need a last minute receptionist, an extra set of hands to pick and pack your orders, or a forklift driver to work overnight, you’re in luck, because the digital age is here to find the workers you need effortlessly, and affordably.

On-demand technology directly connects a customer who needs a service right now, to the worker who is able to satisfy that need.  It also incorporates a host of cost-saving efficiencies, and that means workers can be delivered to your manufacturing business much cheaper than your current methods for sourcing.

And for these workers, the flexible hours of an on-demand lifestyle is quickly transforming the traditional nine-to-five work culture, setting a new standard for the way Australians work, live and play.

Money is currently being poured into on-demand apps all over the world from the US to Australia, to Bangalore and Brazil, funding in recent years has drastically increased. With both domestic and international venture capitalists investing hundreds of millions of dollars in these companies.

Workfast is Australia’s first on-demand temp agency, providing employers in the manufacturing industry labour hire workers at variable rates of pay, with businesses saving up to 30% on costs thanks to the company’s bespoke technology that calculates a worker’s hourly rate based on experience and availability. The Workfast platform means an employer will now only pay for what they need in a worker, and not a cent more.

It’s our belief that If you are currently using a traditional agency to hire temporary staff, you are being ripped off.  You are being charged a flat rate hourly fee that has been fattened up to incorporate the wages of more expensive and experienced workers – even if you were never offered that more experienced person.

Variable pricing, which is made possible thanks to on demand technology, is a real innovation for the manufacturing industry.  If Workfast can find a worker that meets your requirements and availability at a lower price, it will pass that saving on to you. And when you require a worker urgently, or you want to hire the very best worker, that’s when you may have to pay a premium.  There is complete transparency, and you make the final decision.  It all comes down to supply and demand.

With traditional labour hire companies, a direct connection between workplaces and workers is unheard of.  The ‘middle man’ earns his cut by facilitating the introduction between worker and employer, while looking after all the other HR processes.  On demand technology cuts this middle man out completely – this increased efficiency means both the employer and employee benefit with more money in their pocket.

For big manufacturers, even a 5% saving on wages could mean the difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars!  In comparison, if a traditional labour hire or recruitment agency sourced a cheaper employee, they would skim that saving as a profit rather than pass it on to the client.

Variable pricing is just one innovation on demand labour hire companies can offer manufacturers. These platforms also integrate the whole HR process with automated timesheets and weekly schedules, invoicing, payments and expense reconciliation, as well as calculating overtime hours and producing payslips.  It also abides by all labour laws and regulations.  For many business owners and manager who are drowning in admin work, having these activities taken care of is a major timesaver.

If you feel on demand technology only benefits the employer, think again.  Workfast workers are often better paid than their peers.  What’s more, through technology, workers are paid on a daily basis. These factors have meant Workfast is attracting some of the best candidates in the business.”

In January 2017, Workfast undertook a survey of its workers, it came back overwhelmingly positive. Not only were they being paid on average 20% more than the current award rate for their industry, but word of mouth from Workfast workers meant we started to see a real upturn in the quality of the candidates wishing to work with us.

On demand labour hire companies also allows you to try a person before you commit to them more permanently.  If the labourer does not fit the company or isn't as experienced as you wanted them to be then you can get a replacement worker in hours. There is also the possibility of trying the person until they are ready to be hired full-time.

With the advancement of technology knowing no bounds, and the importance of cutting costs to stay competitive more pertinent than ever, there has never been a more crucial time to look at the way staffing can be sourced.