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Formal Training vs On-The-Job Training
“Every plastics processor, injection molding, extrusion, blow molding, thermoforming and all the others, have a training program”.
Do you agree or disagree with the above statement? If you don’t agree and think that your company is one without a plastics training program, it is probably because when you think “training” you think of some structured formalized process to take a body of knowledge and skills and deliberately teach them to the plastics production floor workforce. Unfortunately for the plastics industry that type of formalized, structured (and proven) training is still the exception rather than the rule.
If, as many companies say, “Our people are our most important asset”, don’t those employees deserve at least some investment in training? We are surprised at how often it is the lower level production floor employees that inquire about our training programs. These are generally people with zero purchasing authority, yet are actively looking for ways to improve both their knowledge and their company’s bottom line. That person is a true asset to your company.
Why don’t more companies have formal, on-going training programs for their injection molders or extrusion/extrusion blow molding production floor workers?
In the majority of cases the answer we get is that “We don’t have the money”. Here at Paulson we have a lot of data that backs up an ROI of 6 months or less for a modest investment in a proven on-going training program. Yet the people who write the checks are not able, in many cases, to make the leap from a training investment to an actual bottom line impact.
If the average injection molder (that does not have a formal training program) were to add up all of the mistakes and inefficiencies that could be quickly corrected with formalized training, they would be very surprised. Seconds of cycle time add up to thousands of dollars. Slow mold changes add even more unnecessary costs. Damage to equipment can stop a molding job in its tracks. These are all “training lessons” and taken together, comprise the molder’s “training program”.
What is the cost of that training program for the injection molding plant?
The cost is many thousands of dollars. And it happens day-in and day-out. Probably 90% of the cost of those mistakes could be virtually eliminated if the company would take the time and make the investment in training. We know it works because we see it working every day and we have thousands of customers to back up that success.
If you don’t have formal training, it would be very worthwhile to take an inventory of your injection molding or extrusion or blow molding training program and calculate what it is truly costing your company.
Remember, every company has a training program…
The smart processors know exactly what they are spending on training and have a very good idea of their ROI. The others have no reliable way to calculate the cost of their “learning from your mistakes” training program.
It is a huge missed opportunity and one that, in the long run, will weed out the inefficient processors from the top 20% of plastics manufacturing plants.
Take a few minutes and see if your training program(s) can measure up to the inevitable increased competition that the future is bringing.
If you want to read more on this topic, here are a couple links to articles from Plastics News…
Here is a good opinion article written by Elaine Pascoe for Plastics News magazine about how training is a “forgotten asset” at many plastics manufacturers.
Steinwall Inc. has been Plastics News “Processor of the Year” and is a long-time Paulson customer. Company CEO Maureen Steinwall has had an unwavering commitment to employee training for years (as have just about every “Processor of the Year” winner. Read about their commitment to training here.