Category Archives: Management

Dealing with people.

Finding Equalibrium

Most major OEM studios suppliment their work force with some type of paid mercenary when the work load is greater than the permanent staff can handle but there comes a time when the percentage of contractors verses permanent staff can sometimes get out of wack. This type of situation not only jeopardizes the programs that are in progress but can also jeopardizes cadencing of future projects due to inconsistent manning levels.

You may be asking yourself, “What the hell is he talking about.” Just picture this situation where the logic behind the plan is to have just key personnel to manage the contract staff, a direct hire, be it a design director, model manager, workshop manager or personnel officer who receives a benefit package such as salary, health care, paid vacation etc, etc. As far as the company is concerned that equates to a reasonable compensation package and a safe seat, a person keeping reasonable contol of the day to day activities.

Now in this scenario the guys that are paid to do the work are employed contract staff, they become the employees of the agency, that is the company that they are vested in not the company that they are presently working for. Therefore at times when the work slackens off the hiring company can terminate contract staff by informing the agency that there is to be a staff reduction and X amount of workers will be let go on a certain date. This you may be saying is callous, unfeeling towards your work force but this doesn’t really come into it, contract workers are for the convenience of the hiring company, an easy way to control a work force without the additional headache of severance pay. That is why the extra premium is paid for a contract worker, mercenary or hired gun, call it what you will.

For the hiring company this is an ideal situation, control of the outgoing monies, flexible head count and the ability to shut an operation with minimal relocation issues. A few directs to pay severance to or offer relocation in the worst case and sell equipment for a penny on the dollar. Continue reading Finding Equalibrium

Coping With Fussy Designers

There are times in every studio where you will come across that one designer who has to be involved with every aspect of the modeling process, be it in the construction of the buck to the application of the modeling clay. He will have his own set methods of construction or application probably stemming back to his experience at art school or a previous employment. Now, you may find this to be amusing in the first instance because normally this side of the process is of no concern to the designer. His goal is to see his sketch in 3D form as soon as possible so that the designing process can begin.

For the sculptor this can be extremely frustrating, very little momentum is gained let alone the time to absorb the concept before modeling begins. This form of micro managing impacts the whole modeling process, increasing the man hours and generally the overall length of the program. In todays cut throat business time is an important commodity, the faster the product comes to market the sooner the sales can start pulling in the profit. Continue reading Coping With Fussy Designers