Personalization on the Manufacturing Floor

By on January 18th, 2019 in Uncategorized

It is ALWAYS all about me. We can picture our kids saying this, we can stereotype millennials who want this, and if we are honest with ourselves, we can admit that we all want some element of our learning journey to be focused on us.

However, when we think about the manufacturing floor, something else is saying those words. Our equipment. The equipment that works tirelessly day in and day out to manufacture the products that our salespeople sell, our marketing team markets, and our shareholders reap the benefits from. Our equipment is screaming, What about me?

Personalization on the manufacturing floor can benefit from all the key concepts we know about individualized learning journeys, but one element can actually return your investment. Focus on equipment criticality. Just as we focus on the information and tasks that are important to learner performance, we also need to focus on our equipment.

Critical equipment is that equipment whose failure has the highest potential impact on the business goals of the company. An asset strategy, which keenly targets equipment criticality, can then be used in a variety of ways for your training and learning needs:

  • Streamline documentation: Technical training budgets typically include more documentation than you can throw a book at. Literally – have you tried to pick up a training manual lately? Pro Tip: Lift with your knees. Alternatively, think smart; use equipment criticality to determine the documentation you really need to ensure safe and efficient operation versus simply using the documentation provided by your original equipment manufacturer.
  • Streamline onboarding: With the aging workforce and a new generation entering the field, training needs are daunting. There simply is not enough time from the day of hire to the day the new employee sets foot on the floor and safely operates the equipment. Using equipment criticality, you can reduce the knowledge and skills you need to transfer during onboarding.
  • Streamline training: There are other tools, such as skill surveys, job task analyses, assessments, and skill performance measures, that can then be used to create individualized learning journeys tailored to each employee’s specific training needs.
  • Improve compliance: Seventy percent of firms are expecting regulators to publish even more regulatory information within the next year, with 28 percent expecting significantly more. Using your equipment criticality, you can also fine-tune the compliance program to focus on the most heavily regulated areas and the areas where you need to focus on the safety of the people, equipment, and environment.

So, the next time you walk into your manufacturing facility, recognize that your physical assets (the equipment) are also looking for you to personalize the learning and development of your technical workforce. With a focus on equipment criticality, you can both reduce your training spend and increase the overall effectiveness and lifespan of your equipment.

Sheri Weppel

Sheri Weppel started her career as an art teacher covered in finger paint, clearly teaching people about out-of-the-box thinking (or at least off-the-construction-paper thinking). While working on her master’s degree in Instructional Design and Development at Lehigh University, she realized that we could learn a lot from the public-school classroom. Concepts like micro-learning, learning styles, gaming, and training on demand were common in grade school, but were considered new concepts in the corporate sector.

Because one degree is never enough, Sheri continued her studies at Lehigh with a focus on Gaming for Instruction. In her spare time, she spent her evenings losing to her husband in Scrabble and wanting to throw the letter Q across the room, making her realize the emotional attachments we can have to games. If we could harness that desire to succeed, compete, or win to a learning environment, what impact could we have on learner motivation?

Countless games of Scrabble later, Sheri started at GP Strategies as an Instructional Designer and was able to inject those concepts into solutions for her customers. This is often a challenge for customers that want to use gaming but often don’t believe they have the time or budget required to successfully launch into the gaming space. Sheri is driven to help these clients find a balance in embedding gaming elements into instruction in a practical manner.

In the past nine years, Sheri has held many roles within the organization, from instructional designer to sales lead for blended learning, and is now focusing on the off-the-shelf product GPiLEARN+, growing the product into a true blended learning solution. Regardless of her role, Sheri is always focused on working with customers to help build impactful training solutions that focus on the needs of all populations. She helps clients determine specifically when to incorporate gaming versus using hands-on, traditional approaches.

When she is not working, Sheri enjoys having adventures with her dog Olivia, attending barre classes, and learning new three-letter words that begin with the letter Q.
Sheri Weppel

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