Harris to Cut Workforce; Outsource Console Manufacturing, Other Services

Harris to Cut Workforce; Outsource Console Manufacturing, Other Services
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Harris to Cut Workforce; Outsource Console Manufacturing, Other Services

Harris Broadcast is streamlining operations by outsourcing and eliminating some jobs, both here and overseas.
In a memo to employees, Broadcast Communications Division President Jeremy Wensinger states the company will move production from Huntingdon, England to establish a single transmitter manufacturing plant by the end of December at the main Quincy, Ill. plant.
By the end of September, he wrote, the company intends to outsource PR&E console assembly, carpentry, systems wiring, warehousing and shipping functions that have been performed in Mason, Ohio. The company will still design consoles, radio systems and furniture. It will still handle engineering functions and quality control, a spokeswoman confirmed.
Last, the company will eliminate what it considers duplicative jobs in the automation and digital asset management lines as a result of last year’s Encoda acquisition.
A Harris spokeswoman confirmed the information and said the total number of positions to be lost or outsourced is unknown at this point, but the company believes up to 10%, or roughly 170 jobs, of its 1,700 worldwide divisional workforce could be affected. Most of the employees to be affected are in Ohio and Europe.
In the memo, Wensinger said the moves would reduce costs, make the company more flexible by simplifying operations and increase its competitiveness.
Although transmitters destined for Europe would now be manufactured in Quincy, the company will continue to assemble the exciters in Rankweil, Austria, and provide European transmission equipment customer service there and in England.
The spokeswoman couldn’t answer how much, in dollar amounts, the moves would provide in savings for the broadcast division. It was also unclear when layoffs would begin.
The moves come as Harris reaches the end of a fiscal year. Last year at this time, the company laid off 5% of its U.S. workforce and went through a restructuring. Then, Harris Chairman, President and CEO Howard Lance said the broadcast division was one of two that needed to improve contributions to the overall bottom line to increase shareholder value.