Trends. Reports in October reveal a further sharp fall in diesel car sales, down 29.9% in October and 14.9% for the year so far. This is following changes in government policies towards diesel following recognition of diesels significance in contributing to the air pollution that kills thousands of people a year.
This shows that a product can fall in sales quite quickly if attitudes towards it change. Of course, the manufacturers could have predicted this and adjusted production in anticipation. The extent to which manufacturers fraudulently reported emissions rather suggests that they new about the problem for some time.
When we calculate the number of employees we need to do the number of hours of work we need to pay for to get a job done, we always take into account annual leave! Not so Ryanair who appear to have completely forgot to budget for when their pilots will need to take their contractual leave.
At first site thy look like a good way to manage staff and to minimise 'wasted' expenditure on Labour. However, the problems the contracts cause staff and the reduction in loyalty to the company they inevitably lead to may be reducing the number of contracts. Or it might just be political pressure and the number of scandals associated with them.
Costs shift from Direct Labour to Factory Overhead as you buy equipment rather than employ staff. A possible consequence though is redundancy of equipment. Usually people can be retrained as your requirements change. Equipment cannot always be repurposed. Think of the expensive electronics you have lying around the house that you don't use.