Distinguish between Normal and Abnormal Idle Time
Idle time indicates that time for which wages are paid to the workers but no production obtained during that time. It happens when employees or machines are not working but are being paid.
Accurate recording of the idle time n the department is of great importance form the point of view of cost finding and cost control. For controlling the costs, careful analysis and recording of idle time under significant heads are essential. In order to facilitate identification, the Major causes which account for idle time may be grouped under the following two heads:-
(i) Normal causes: Some idle time is inherent, in every situation. The time lost between the factory gate and the plate of work, the interval between one job and another, the setup time for the machine, normal fatigue etc. result in normal idle time. It refers to the labor time paid for but not utilized on production. Examples are a loss of time between the factory gate to the department due to personal needs, tea breaks, machine adjustments etc.; idle time normally arising between the finishing of one job & beginning of the next job.
(ii) Abnormal causes: Idle time may also arise due to abnormal factors like lack of coordination, power failure, a breakdown of machines, non-availability of Raw Materials, strikes, lock-outs, poor supervision, fire, flood etc. and causes for abnormal idle time should be further analyzed into controllable and uncontrollable. Controllable idle time refers to that idle time which could have been put to Productive use had the management not been more alert and efficient. All such time which could have been avoided is controllable idle time. However, time lost due to abnormal causes, over which the management does not have any control. Thus idle time arising due to machinery breakdown, long time failure of power or load shedding, sudden strike or lockout is abnormal idle time. Example: breakdown of machines, floods etc. may be characterized as uncontrollable idle time.