MAGNET Trains Manufacturers on How to Take Charge of Their Workforce
There were many takeaways from MAGNET’s August 6th Develop your Workforce for Growth event, but a key one is this: do your due diligence. Today’s manufacturing landscape is both promising and challenging; while some challenges may be out of your business’ hands, there are many things you can do to strengthen your workforce. Our Develop your Workforce event explored workforce strategies that your company can adopt and are completely within your company’s control.
Director of Workforce & Talent Development Judith Crocker and Senior Business Consultant Donna Rhodes framed a variety of workforce challenges facing manufacturers today. Manufacturers, who often have unskilled incumbent workers as well as a shortage of applicants, are not aligned with company needs and culture. Crocker and Rhodes stressed that companies must be proactive rather than reactive in addressing these challenges.
The event featured a panel of three leaders in companies that have successfully addressed workforce challenges, ranging from addressing skills gaps to retaining employees.
Bill Swan, Lead OJT Coordinator at Swagelok, spoke about Swagelok’s successful program for developing a consistent talent pipeline. To improve their outlook, Swagelok partnered with Tri-C and MAGNET to create a fast-track program for potential employees. Participants who successfully complete the program are guaranteed a job after eight weeks of interning, instead of needing to onboard for 6-11 months. Swagelok has assistance from Tri-C and MAGNET in recruiting people for the program, and has the ability to quickly respond to the changing work environment with new curriculum.
Kenton Woodhead, Manager of Purchasing & Lean/Continuous Improvement at Royal Plastics, discussed Royal Plastics’ strategies for improving its current workforce. After receiving assistance from MAGNET Growth Advisor Michael Kaminski, the company adopted lean manufacturing to improve efficiency. They also adopted new employee onboarding and training practices, and root cause analysis (RCA). These measures resulted in huge increases in efficiency in operations, higher retention of workers, and development of promotable employees.
Fairmount Santrol’s Reggie Stover, who serves as vice president of the company’s People Talent and Development division, spoke about talent management practices, emphasizing that applicants must be the right cultural fit for the company. Stover explained how workers are investments: they must be chosen carefully, and once they are a part of the company, they must be invested in, leveraged, and protected. Fairmount Santrol uses specific onboarding, check-in, and leadership development procedures to maintain engagement and growth.
It is apparent that there are lots of strategies companies can take to both attract and retain qualified workers. However, many companies at the event shared that they had not adopted essential strategies, such as documenting task and skill requirements for essential jobs, having a defined employer brand, and adopting a standard onboarding process. These are huge lost opportunities.
Your company can tackle workforce problems by doing your due diligence and being proactive. MAGNET’s Workforce and Talent Development (WFTD) team is here to help you with all of your workforce challenges. To learn more about the steps you can take to attract and retain workers, and how MAGNET can help you in the process, contact Linda Barita at Linda.Barita@magnetwork.org or 216.391.7766.
One remarkable thing about the list is that it rarely changes. The order may change but the top cited standards typically don’t change. Top 10 Sited Safety and Health Violations: 501 - Fall Protection 1200 - Hazard Communication 451 - Scaffolding 134 - Respiratory Protection 147 - Lockout/Tagout 178 - Powered Industrial Trucks 1053 - Ladders 305 - Electrical, Wiring Methods 212 - Machine Guarding 303 - Electrical, General Requirements Three of the 10 sited standards are directed at the construction standard (1926) while other fall within the general industry (1910). It should be noted however that the general industry standard also has fall protection guidelines. Year after year, inspectors see the same on-the-job hazards, any one of which could result in a fatality or severe injury. More than 4,500 workers are killed on the job every year, and approximately 3 million are injured. By understanding these regulations you can improve your safety program and prevent injuries. Give me a call if you have any compliance doubts, or want to review OHSA regulations. Gwido Dlugopolsky at 216-391-7766 or email@example.com
Why does it take a NASCAR pit crew only 15 seconds to change four car tires when it takes people like you and me minutes? The answer is simple SMED. Single Minute Exchange of Dies, or SMED, is a process for reducing the time it takes to do equipment changeovers. Using the principles of SMED you should be able to perform any changeover in your facility in under 10 minutes! The SMED process is simple – convert as many changeover steps as possible to “external”, meaning they are done while your equipment is still RUNNING, while simplifying and streamlining the remaining steps. SMED is broken down into the following 3 Steps: Separate Convert Streamline We found this article to be very helping in explaining the SMED process in more detail: LEAN PRODUCTION - SMED A good first step to achieve this level of SMED efficiency would be to run a kaizen event at your facility to standardize (5S) your tools and supplies. Doing this alone will help you achieve 40% to 50% greater efficiency. Once the “low hanging fruit” is gone, you can still reduce setup times another 20% by practicing more advanced SMED principles.
The secret to closing any sale is to reduce uncertainty in the buyer and replace it with confidence in YOU, your PRODUCT/SERVICE, and your COMPANY. Step 1 – Confidence in YOU Someone buying from you wants to be able to fundamentally connect with you on a human level and feel confident that you’re an expert in what you’re selling If you’re selling paperclips, be an expert in paperclips If you’re selling design and engineering related services, be an expert in design and engineering related services Focus on addressing the problem, not the solution….MEANING you already know you have the solution, connect with the buyer by being an expert with the problem he/she is facing. Prove that you know the problem and all aspects of the problem like the back of your hand. Step 2- Confidence in the PRODUCT/SERVICE you are selling Someone buying from you needs to trust the product/service you are selling will solve their problem. It’s your responsibility to deliver a solution and the benefits associated with it. Basically you need to “Hit a Homerun” communicating this message. Tip – Use Success Stories: Share with the potential buyer examples of your product/service solving problems and delivering value for