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Shop square foot to person ratio5/18/15
By unscientific observation and study, I've noticed successful wood shops have about 1000 square feet per person. I have 2000 square feet and myself and another fellow. I need to bring on at least one more but likely two by mid summer. Am I kidding myself in thinking we can all fit? Interested in your ratios. Thanks
Are you building birdhouse or sailing yachts?
1000 s/f per man is a good rule of thumb - if you don't finish, don't store finished goods, have little inventory, and the products are not overly large.
We have a similar situation, but I find the third man works alright, as the third man also means I am able to withdraw myself to some extent. My working in the office more on quotes and cutsheets, means we don't get too crowded. We do have to think our schedule through more closely, and at times we do get into each others way. Having a separate area for finishing is a big plus. In a earlier shop, when we were really crowded, we found adding employees would actually cause a decrease in production, an increase in payroll and very frustrating unsafe environment to work in.
Mitch you're right planning better and me getting out of the way is my goal anyway.
2000 sq.ft. and 2 full timers in the shop. I'm downstairs in the office.
We've done the third person routine now and then and it can work. It requires more attention on everyone's part though to keep from getting in each others way and to not bottle neck at one machine or another. It can add some pressure to the working environment.
2400 +/- sf for me. I build custom cabinetry and built-ins, interior doors, an occasionally run some custom molding.
I'll probably be looking to try and hire again in the near future though. Maybe the 4th time's the charm? I could probably fit 3 guys total if one was mostly finishing. Otherwise I think it might get a bit crowded.
So much depends on what you make and shop layout it's hard to say. If you are a kitchen shop, how many kitchens can you store if needed? Do you have someplace else to put finished goods? Can you rearrange your layout to reduce the need for too many carts, WIP, material inventory etc. It will be a trade-off of more work done but less efficiency after the 1000' mark.
Production wise, we have 8 people in about 23,000SF including finishing and storage. However, we are often dealing with full units (sometimes as many as half a dozen at a time), and move stuff around with a forklift, so wide aisles and space between equipment is a must.
With rare exceptions we don't have any WIP that is not actually being worked on. Most jobs are shipped as soon as they're done, with the exception of some flooring jobs; probably average delay is a week or so, but they can be stacked to the 17' ceiling if necessary...
It's a shame to pay for space you don't need, but I have never regretted having too much space.