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Think Employee Training is Difficult, Time Consuming with No Measurable ROI? Think Again
A Tale of Two Injection Molding Companies
One of most common questions we get here at Paulson Training is…
“How can I measure the ROI from your training?”
It’s a good question and one that should be asked.
A few years back, Paulson Training completed an exhaustive study with the goal of showing concrete proof that a good injection molding training program boosts quality, increases productivity, reduces waste, increases employee capability, and attracts customers.
For this research project, two injection molding companies did a controlled study to determine the specific benefits of an injection molding training program for all skill levels in the plant. One injection molder was a relatively large operation with 40 injection molding machines. The other was a fairly new company that had 10 injection molding machines.
At the end of this 6 month study, the results were quite dramatic. So dramatic, in fact, that the 2 injection molding companies began hearing from their customers wanting price concessions for all the extra money that was being saved by the newly trained workforce. We’ll refer to these companies as Injection Molder A40 and Injection Molder B10 (the number being how many injection molding machines they were operating at the time of the study).
The training was done on computer-based interactive workstations supplied by Paulson. Each employee took our Practical Injection Molding training program. The training course covers everything from basic molding operations to advanced injection molding problem solving “from the plastic’s point of view“ using the 4 primary processing variables. The total time to take the training in the Practical Injection Molding course averaged between 18 to 20 hours. Each employee proceeded through the interactive course at their own pace. The way the training workstations were set up, only one employee was off the production floor going through training at any given time, so production was not interrupted. During and after the training, the personnel were encouraged to make suggestions and changes in the plant operations based on what they had learned.
The metrics that were tracked for this study were
- cycle times
- production output
- reject rates
- customer returns
- mold changeover times
A baseline measurement was taken by each company for the “before training” production state. The same data was then measured during and after the training. These measurements included both employee knowledge and skills as well as key injection molding production metrics.
The training was done over a three month period during regular molding production hours. No instructor was required since the computer took care of all record keeping and delivered the correct lessons to the correct employees at the right time. Each company monitored changes in machine cycle times, production output, reject rates, customer returns and mold changeover times as a result of the training. So what happened?