The Digital Training Transformation
by Dan McKiernan, on Nov 18, 2019 3:06:05 PM
Accelerated and enhanced training with digital work instructions.
As growing numbers of manufacturers are discovering, digital work instructions can be a game-changer. Digital work instructions are more accurate, more user friendly, and can be more easily updated with new parts, processes and configurations. When implemented in conjunction with one of a new generation of leading Manufacturing Integrated Platforms (MIPs), digital work instruction platforms can be connected to systems across the enterprise in a way that allows changes in the BOM to update automatically and propagate down to the plant floor.
The precision and accessibility of digital work instructions (which often includes graphics and visual guidance) reduces errors, allows for quicker and more accurate part picking, and enables operators to complete tasks quickly and more efficiently—with fewer mistakes and minimal downtime.
One of the under-appreciated benefits of integrated digital work instructions however, becomes evident even before considering its direct impact in a production environment: as a training tool. Digital work instructions can be utilized in ways that make the training process simpler, faster and more efficient, leading to accelerated training times, more confident and capable operators, and potentially significant cost reductions.
There are a number of ways that digital work instructions perform better than standard analog or employee-driven training processes:
Speed and retention
Digital work instructions allow trainees to learn by doing—step by step—instead of trying to retain data from a book or set of traditional instructions. Trainees are guided through each step instead of being forced to digest a big block of data. They also experience quick success, which keeps engagement high, and keeps training progress moving quickly. And when trainees access information themselves (and apply it immediately) instead of being told how to do something, studies have shown they retain the information better.
Experience and exposure
Because digital work instructions used for training are identical to the platform and process used on the plant floor or production environment, trainees are getting the benefit of experience with and exposure to the same exact look and feel of the real thing. That familiarity is enormously important, and pays near-immediate dividends once the newly trained employee begins to apply their training for real.
Latest and greatest
The easily-updated nature of digital platforms means that employees are always training on the latest parts and processes. There are no more concerns about training on an outdated version or the wrong systems.
When a digital work instruction platform is implemented as part of a larger MIP solution, it allows managers and supervisors to automatically track and verify what each employee has been trained for/on. This is incredibly important, especially for industries like healthcare, where training verification is a critical part of regulatory and compliance mandates.
One key advantage of digital training is that it frees up the most talented and experienced employees from their training obligations and allows them to focus on being productive. Consequently, trainees are getting the benefit of top-level training without the previously unavoidable inefficiency of wasted man-hours.
Clarity and accountability
Employees appreciate clarity and crave clear expectations. A lack of clarity can lead to fear and uncertainty. Digital work instruction platforms make it crystal clear what information needs to be retained, fostering a greater attention to detail and leading to not just clarity, but personal accountability. It is ultimately empowering for employees to know exactly what they are responsible for, and to be given the tools to access and master that information.
Enthusiasm and engagement
Along with empowerment and motivation, trainees are generally more comfortable and willing to engage with information presented in a digital format. In today’s world, where personal digital devices have become ubiquitous, virtually everyone is intimately familiar with, relying on digital resources. That comfort and subsequent enthusiasm means that enhanced digital training platforms actually reduce turnover by creating happier and more motivated employees.
The bottom line? Accelerated training that isn’t just faster, but also more effective, efficient and engaging. And when you add in the fact that utilizing digital work instructions for training is proving to be more popular with both employees and employers, and it’s not hard to see why digital work instructions are an increasingly common feature in many manufacturing training environments.
Accelerate training and build products right. the first time, every time with our Job Element Monitor (JEM) Digital Work Instructions Software. Utilized for assembly operations, repair stations, equipment maintenance & sterilization, or anywhere process control is critical.