Speaker: Conrad Leiva
It is definitely important to attract and train a new workforce. Manufacturing has had a reputation for being an old-fashioned, dirty job, and it will help to change that image. We cannot change that image if the tools on the shop floor are antiquated, old-fashioned, paper-based tools. This generation of workers grew up gaming, working online, using Facebook with their friends, and messaging. The old-fashioned processes of filling out forms and sequentially routing them do not impress the new workforce. They want real-time processes and real-time visibility into what is happening on the shop floor. Having the right tool set that features 3-D models and CAD creates a feeling for modern systems on the shop floor and is key to attracting a new workforce.
Training the new workforce is also important. These workers are used to learning by playing, not reading the manual. They are used to learning more visually and doing a little less reading. Those tendencies parallel very well with a lot of the things we are doing to improve work instructions on the shop floor. We are making more illustrated instructions that are based on 3-D animation. The better we do at capturing expert knowledge today from our retiring workforce in those work instructions to make them clear for the next generation, the better we are going to help them learn quickly on the job and reduce the learning curve concern.
There are other things relevant to managing the workforce that attract the new generation such as flexible work schedules, but having the right tool set and training the new workforce are the top two.
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