Stop the CHAOS! Improve Your Training
The Inevitable Trend
In our previous post, we talked about the worldwide trend towards more customized and specialized products and how that trend translates into significant challenges (and opportunities) for manufacturers.
Let’s face it. Making more customized and specialized products (that are more complex and always changing) and doing that efficiently and profitably isn’t easy.
Variation and Chaos
Customization introduces more variation and puts pressure on our traditional methods of quoting, purchasing materials, design and then manufacturing these differentiated products. And when our operational systems aren’t a match for these increased demands, we get… CHAOS.
So what is chaos? Chaos is simply the reactive environment we get when an overabundance of variation breaks down our routines. As we know from Lean / Continuous Improvement, unwanted variation is the #1 enemy of manufacturing and it results in a) operational waste and inefficiency; b) a culture of reactivity; c) a lack of profitability; and d) employee frustration.
So how do we meet customer increased demands while reducing or eliminating the variation that creates the chaos?
Well there’s a combination of answers to that. But for one thing, we sure don’t want lots of variation in how our people perform their work. Manufacturers MUST have effective training and qualification methods that ensure that workers are able to consistently perform work THE ONE-BEST-WAY. And that requires a top-to-bottom effective training system.
And the good news is that there are proven, time-tested tools and methods that any company can learn and apply that will ensure that people are able to do their jobs the one-best-way. And to continually adapt that one-best-way as requirements change.
In our next article we’ll continue the discussion with something called “Training Within Industry” (TWI) and how IMC is adapting TWI to help manufacturers reduce variation, errors, frustration and chaos and to increase efficiency and profitability. We’ll start with “Job Breakdown Sheets” and the basic “how-to” of effective training and go from there.
So until then, let’s keep turning challenges into opportunities.