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: piece work  ( 1233 )
papasage
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« : July 04, 2014, 05:17:42 PM »

how would you pay  labor on  piece work  ? i did some on furniture @ 60% of labor  would  auto be the same  as you don`t make  as much off  material because aut takes mor tiome  and less material to  make a profit on .

just recovering 40 years
baileyuph
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« #1 : July 04, 2014, 09:50:07 PM »

The answer to your question is I would expect the arrangement would have to be agreeable to the shop and the worker.  Both have to be satisfied for the relationahip to work.

Doyle
bobbin
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« #2 : July 05, 2014, 08:12:00 AM »

In a garment shop here's how it works with respect to labor:

Shops set the rate based on the minimum wage.  Minimum wage can be the Federal minimum wage or the minimum wage the particular shop wishes to pay to attract workers, or what the union requires if it's a union shop (higher than the Fed. #).  Every step in the construction process is assigned a $ value based on time studies; how many pcs. can a reasonably competent stitcher be expected to crank out in one hour.   Rates are typically set to the lowest wage, and thus ability to produce more allows the worker to earn more.  At least in theory.  To arrive at the rate per operation a competent stitcher is given a kit of pcs. and then the supervisor uses a stop watch to time the work.  This is repeated for every operation required in a garment.  Simple arithmetic is plugged in and the piece rate is established.  The piece rate is for labor only.  Materials and unit materials cost are figured separately.

I loved working piece rate.  But I have never been a "slacker" and I've paid attention to detail.  Piece rate depends a great deal on the quality of your available machinery and your ability to break down a given job and organize it to minimize handling and set up time.  And the most important thing to remember is that you only make money when the needle on your machine is going up and down in the right place in the most efficient manner possible.  If you make a mistake and have to rip out the work... you begin losing money!  Accuracy is paramount. 
kodydog
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« #3 : July 06, 2014, 01:15:06 PM »

I've never worked by the piece but when I worked in manufacturing in North Carolina we always considered the factories who paid piece work to be of lesser quality than those that paid by the hour.

I don't know if this is the same with reupholstery shops but I always assumed it was.

Working piece work in manufacturing meant picking up the pace to make a decent wage. And if you want to make above average wage you would take some shortcuts.

In the three different upholsterery shops I've been employed piece work would not have worked. They simply were not set up to do it.

My feeling is if your going to ask someone to go on piece work you better be extremely organized so the employee can keep working and make money. When the employee sets off the piece their working on the next piece needs to be ready to go. With a work order explaining all the changes. The fabric should be with the furniture with a note telling which side is the face and which way is up. And most important a copy of the invoice so the upholsterer can figure how much time is expected to finish the piece. If the next piece is sitting there ready to go the upholsterer can be planing his next project even before he picks it up. The upholsterer shouldn't have to hunt you down and waist valuable time figuring out what their next project is. And if the upholsterer feels the price is to low he can discuss it at this time.

Its human nature to want to make more money. And a lot of upholsters on piece work are going to take shortcuts if they are not supervised closely.

A lot of shops around here pay 50% labor. I guess that's after overhead. Only problem is a lot shops don't keep good records and couldn't truly tell you what their overhead is. This is especially true for shops that have an accountant do their books. Just sign the dotted line in April and never really look over the paper work.

These are all just personal opinions and I would love to hear others.

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
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sofadoc
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.


« #4 : July 06, 2014, 01:41:32 PM »

Ditto Kody's observations.

I never had much luck either way.

If I pay them by the hour, they take all week on one couch. If I pay by the piece, they sling it out at break-neck speed (and it looks like they did).

The only solution, is to hire a reputable upholsterer with high standards and ethics. And most of those guys already have their own shop. They're not looking for a job.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
papasage
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« #5 : July 06, 2014, 07:35:48 PM »

kodydog  50 to 60 %  less the  material on  furniture  is what i  have seen  shops pay  but cars  has a lot of labor and not much material so i  was wondering about  cars more than furniture . i have a good car trim man and  as far as furniture  that has been in short  supply with the cheap  furniture sold in  stores around here.i have a  man training to do  furniture upholstery  and doing wood repair and  refinishing work  .

just recovering 40 years
bobbin
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« #6 : July 07, 2014, 05:13:06 AM »

Great observations on piece rate work with respect to upholstery.  In a garment shop you sit at your machine and work.  You set the kit up on your benches/carts and then you set the cruise control and go for it.  Work is continually fed to you by a floor person/supervisor who periodically does spot checks to make sure large quantities of substandard work isn't passed on to the next person in the line.  Generally speaking you don't work on something from start to finish... you do one/two/three operations that involve the same piece of machinery (single needle or multineedle), but not usually in succession; meaning that the kit will come back around to you after someone else has done their thing on it.

Obviously, that sort of "automation" isn't possible when working on individual, large pcs. which may be "customized".   Kody's observations are spot on, as are Sofa's.  Slackers and "from the neck downs" are common no matter the occupation... doing just enough to get by but fancying themselves "worth more" is pretty common, sadly.

Thinking about labor costs... .  I know that when I bill out a job labor is usually the biggest part of the bill (repair work, esp.) or just below materials on new fabrication.   And I tend to keep a good record of the time I spend on work, noting my start and finish time in my personal notes for the project.  Doing that has been invaluable for me; I can clearly see how long it actually took to complete something (and compare it to my estimate), and what parts of the operation were "time hogs" and which were smooth sailing. 

I can see how automotive upholstery could be tough... removing seats (w/electrical connections) and reinstalling them, just for starters. 
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