Tim Walmsley joined The Mentor with Mark Bouris podcast to talk about his business Bench On, which connects under-utilised staff from one business - with a short term contract with another.
“The problem was underutilisation of employees,” he said.
“I was working as an executive in the defence industry and I saw a company develop specific engineer roles for a government project.”
“They trained them up and won the contract and it was going to be a 10-year project; but after the first year, the government said they had to pause the project for two months because of some budgetary issues.”
“And the company couldn’t keep those engineers on the bench, they needed to find them a short term contract in the meantime.”
The challenge was around being able to afford the staff’s salaries while they weren’t bringing any money in while the project was delayed.
“They were big salaries which is a lot of cashflow issues - and they went looking for other short term contracts and businesses to take those staff and they couldn’t find anyone,” Tim said.
“So they had to put them on unpaid leave - and those three people had mortgages and kids and they couldn’t go on leave without pay, so they went and got new jobs.”
“And when the government came back after six weeks saying they were ready to go, the company no longer had the people.”
Tim describes it as a ‘lose-lose-lose’ situation.
“The situation was that small business lost three valuable employees which they know well and liked having, they lost a 10 year government opportunity and then the government project was delayed by 18 months because they had to wait for another company to train up a team,” he said.