Human Resource Planning

Planning of human resource should be practical enough to match the dairy plant requirements. Proper planning ensures determination of optimum manpower strength and quality for recruiting process. Various aspects like details of dairy unit operations,their labour requirement with respect to number and skill is considered as input for planning. In some areas trained and skilled manpower is employed with desired experience and qualification, whereas as in other areas only physical qualities and behavior aspects are looked into. In order to have effective planning of human resource we shall discuss below various influencing aspects:

i. Functional Requirement of Plant

Planning consideration of dairy plants includes requirement of various functions.Management of milk shed and procurement of milk, processing, maintenance and utilities, materials management, accounting and finance, marketing, quality assurance,personal management and management information system are the most prominent functions of dairy organizations. Independency of these functions varies greatly on the size of organization and style of management. Therefore, manpower planning may include requirements of these functions with respect to nature, volume and level of specialization. In general, manpower requirement is in the form of ordinary(unskilled), semi skilled and fully skilled workers. Less skillful job involving physical labour is done by unskilled workers, whereas jobs with more technicalities require semi-skilled or skilled personnel like technicians, operators, supervisors, typists,marketing staff, accounts clerk / accountant / officers and managers. Qualification and experience are determined as per the level of responsibility and degree of technicality. Generally, candidates with basic qualification are employed and later on suitable exposure and training is provided to improve their skill. Continuous assessment is done to ensure proper training and implement motivating schemes.

ii. Organizational Structure

Manpower planning has to go with the organizational structure involving and interworking all of its functions. A most commonly used organizational structure of dairy plant is given in figure. The working of departments other than plant work is done in day shift, whereas plant work is done in one or more shifts based on workload or market requirements. A typical shift structure is depicted in figure. Production, maintenance and quality control functions require round the clock working through shifts. Usually three shift operations are common in dairy plants. Shifts are headed by senior managers and supported by lower management level functional in-charges for processing, production, quality control and maintenance. Each of these functions is provided with required manpower in each shift. Shift in-charges head all the line functions of the their shift.

Organizational Structure for a Dairy Plant
Organizational Structure for a Dairy Plant

Structure of Shift in Dairy Plants
Structure of Shift in Dairy Plants
iii. Factors Affecting Human Resource Deployment

There are numerous factors that influence manpower requirements of dairy plants.In manpower deployment, two important aspects, namely, skill and strength(number), are of great consideration. Most significant factors are being discussed below:

i) Capacity and Size of Dairy Plant: The installed capacity and its expected utilization in the future have considerable influence on workmen deployment.Some times due to size and shape of plant and its technicality more workmen are required in-spite of low plant capacity utilization.

ii) Products and Product Technology: Pack-sizes and complexity of production are the two highly influencing factors. Liquid milk is sold both in retail pack size and bulk (Cans / tankers etc.). Milk products are also manufactured in retail packs and in bulk depending upon the marketing requirement. It is observed that retail-packing operations demand higher number of personnel as compared to bulk packs. Dairy products are as simple as market milks and as complex as cheese and accordingly, the product technology has influence on the manpower requirement. Products that are manufactured through automatic plant machinery require less manpower, whereas indigenous technology based products using human art and skill require more manpower.

iii) Level of Automation: Level of plant automation varies greatly from plant to plant and function to function. Old and traditional plants have less automation compared to modern plants. Automation requires less manpower and result in better product hygiene. In automated plants labour requiring operations like product shifting, transportation and filling are carried out through conveyor,pumps and suitable equipments. In the modern dairy plants, monitoring of plant operations and process parameters is done through sensors and controls.

iv) Equipment Requirements: Equipment features such as requirements relating to material loading/unloading and cleaning process has influence over manpower requirement.

v) Number of Shift Operation: In general, a complete operation of dairy is done in three shifts, but in several cases it is also done in one or two shifts.Some times number of shifts are increased due to constraint of milk availability,process / packing machine and/or storage facilities. In such cases, bottlenecks decrease throughput of plant and increase working hours. In dairy, normally
milk procurement and marketing is done in two shifts i.e. morning or day shift and evening or night shift, but in most of the cases due to continuity of operation, the operations are divided into three shifts viz; 1st, 2nd and 3rd shift(each of 8 hours). Therefore, these factors must be considered while planning manpower requirement.

vi) Legal Provision: Labour welfare department enforce guidelines with respect to working and rest hour / period to prevent harassment of personnel. While planning manpower requirement these guidelines and other state legislation should be considered in judicious manner.

vii) Seasonal Variations: Dairy business has a great influence of seasons and festivals. During summer month, milk procurement goes down, whereas demand for milk and milk products in market goes up. Similar variations are also seen during festival period. The above changing situations do influence manpower requirement to meet operational compulsions. To deal with such trends, dairies need to hire or reduce workers on temporary basis. The employment or curtailment of worker is possible only for un-skilled category, whereas the same is normally not practicable for jobs requiring skilled personnel.

viii) Centralized or Decentralized Operations: Some times dairies have raw milk reception and chilling operation away from the main processing plant.These plants receive only chilled raw milk in bulk through tankers. In such situations manpower requirement reduces to a great extent due to absence of can milk reception, sampling, testing and cleaning operation. Similarly, provision of bulk storage do influence manpower requirement.

ix) Degree of Contractual Arrangement: Some of the dairy plants cope up increased workload through contractual job arrangement. Such arrangements are done for cleaning of cans and crates, product packing and product shifting/movement. Sub-contract of production, packing and transportation work has become more common. Such arrangements drastically reduces extra and regular workers requirement.

iv. Manpower Quality Aspects

As discussed above dairy plants involve ordinary to specialized and labour intensive to automatic operations. Operation and maintenance of sophisticated plant machinery, laboratory instruments and other services including book keeping,accounting and marketing do require trained manpower with basic qualifications.The selected manpower is then further trained according to the requirement of operations. In order to have proper quality, some basic criteria are to be laid
down as discussed below:

a) Operation of Dairy Plant & Machinery: The candidate should have basic knowledge of machines. As far as possible candidate should be ITI qualified in the trade of Fitter or electrical with required practical apprenticeship training.Matriculate or non-ITI background candidates with appropriate experience may be considered for process machinery operations.

b) Chemical Analysis: Laboratory work-involving analysis of raw and finished products by scientific testing requires candidates with chemistry background and therefore graduates in Chemistry, Dairy/Food technology/Agriculture are suitable for such jobs.

c) Microbiological Analysis: Dairy products need to be tested for their microbiological quality. Various analyses like efficiency of cleaned surface, hygiene of surrounding atmosphere and bacteriological quality of ingredients and finished products etc. are done to ensure this aspect. To carry out this work, professionally qualified candidates with B.Sc in microbiology/ Dairy /Food technology are suitable.

d) Material Management: Now a day due to high degree of competition and cost, the procurement and safe storage of various materials has become highly scientific and specialized job. An experienced science graduate or qualified material management professional would accomplish such jobs with effectiveness.

e) Marketing and Distribution: Highly perishable nature of milks and milk products requires experienced personnel to carry out the operations and promotional activities.

f) Accounting and Finance work: Dairy plant requires two types of accounting.One is related to accounting of various materials (physical accounting) during manufacturing. Whereas, other type of accounting relates to financial transactions related to fund flow. Technical background personnel would better do former type of accounting, whereas latter type of accounting requires skills and knowledge in accounting and book keeping including financial analysis and preparation of books of account.

g) Supervision and Managerial work: Dairy plants involve supervision of numerous operations and personnel. In order to effectively supervise the work,entire operation is divided in to shift operations and section wise work (refer Tables). Shift or section in-charges look after the work and people under their jurisdiction. In order to have effective supervision, the in-charge should be professionally qualified and have good grasp of the entire work. Dairy plant production work is normally looked after by dairy or food technologist /engineers, whereas quality control is headed by qualified dairy/food technologists,chemists or microbiologists. Utility section is headed by technical professional;such as dairy, mechanical, electrical or chemical engineer. Manager of the dairy plant should be highly experienced technologist or engineer with sufficient knowledge of planning, administration and information technology. Milk procurement activities are suitably headed by veterinary, dairy or agriculture graduates having experience of organizing dairy co-operatives and looking after milk procurement routes.

v. Determining Manpower Strength in Dairy

Manpower planning includes determination of number of personnel along with their qualification. There is no fixed guideline for calculating number of personnel.However understanding the functional requirement and Organizational Structure along with other influencing factors as detailed in the paragraph will be of immense help. We are illustrating below examples focusing on major dairy functions.

a) Milk Collection: Bulk reception may require one operator and one helper,whereas can reception would require 9 to 14 persons depending upon level of automation. Suitably trained personnel are required for skillful operations like grading, weighing and sampling. Straight through or rotary washer requires atleast two persons, whereas one worker each is required for can scrubber, steam block and inspection of can condition and cleaning status. One operator is separately needed for looking after operation of general cleaning & milk movement from dump vat to storage tank.

b) Milk Processing: To carry out milk processing one operator with one dairyman is required. These dairy personnel may also look after the work of CIP cleaning work.

c) Milk Packing: Milk packing machine needs one person per head. Two persons for crate washer, two people each for crate loading and unloading and two people for crate stacking in cold room are optimum. One extra person for cleaning and pouch weight monitoring is desirable.

d) Creamery Section: One operator per shift for butter manufacture per machine, two workers for butter movement to ghee section and two person for ghee making are required. One skilled packing machine operator would be desirable in each shift.

e) Indigenous Products: The manpower requirement depends on level of automation and layout of production facilities including product mix and product technology.

f) Powder Plant: Plant operations including bagging and arranging bagging material required two to three persons per shift in a fully automatic plant. However, at low level of automation the manpower requirement will be more.

g) Utility Section: Under the trained and qualified sectional head, there would be supervisors for looking after sub-sections like boiler, refrigeration, mechanical and electrical maintenance. Boiler section requires a boiler operator with one attendant, similarly refrigeration section need one or two operators per shift depending upon plant layout and number of machines in operation. One electrician, fitter and welder per shift along with helper is considered optimum for maintaining smooth operations.

vi. Manpower Planning for Shift

Manpower planning of shift operations is determined in two situations:

a) As an integral part of planning to determine and select manpower for dairy,based on shift operation. In this case, the factors discussed in paragraph  needs to be assessed for meeting requirements of shift-operations, monitoring,accounting, quality analysis and management.

b) Second situation of manpower planning for shift arises in the event of revising shift strength on account of change in production schedule, changing of personnel in the shift and shift rotation. Planning process in this case would include assessment of manpower availability with respect to skill and strength, products and production schedule, weekly offs, leave and other holidays, plant operations and work to fulfill the production schedule.

In turn, on totaling manpower requirements of all the shifts, we get overall manpower requirement of dairy plant.

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