by Desiree Schnoor
Manufacturing tradition often places new hires with experienced technicians to train on new tasks. While this is tradition, it is not the most efficient, and now, not the only way, to train. Virtual QE recently rolled out Video Work Instructions, a way for companies to disperse expert tribal knowledge to all new hires, instantly, using video tutorials. Instead of a lead technician training one or two people at a time, in person, efforts are instantly multiplied using Video Work Instructions.
Every shop manager knows that every good lead technician houses an immeasurable amount of intangible knowledge and experience. Many are the longest standing or more versatile employees, causing them to be leaders in more than just a “knowledge” or “skill” sense. Many are loyal to their companies and want to see them do well, even after they are gone.
Now the question is, how can Video Work Instructions free up lead technicians to further impact their companies? Many of these techs have been working at plants for many years, and may only have a few left before they retire. How can companies best utilize these information powerhouses? What more could lead technicians do if they didn’t spend their time training one-on-one?
A unique feature of manufacturing is its workforce demographic. On either end of the spectrum there are older generation workers on the verge of retirement, on the other, millennial new-hires. Not only does experience level differentiate these two, but also age, maturity, and differing work and life values and expectations.
What could a mentoring relationship between lead technicians and millennial new hires look like? Mentoring millennial workers is of great importance. Not only will providing direct input attract more young workers, but it will also retain more of them.
The opportunities for connection and learning are endless. For example, senior techs can show their diverse skill set while work with millennials by cross-training them at new stations for new challenges, and understanding why task illegibility is important for them.
How could your veterans and new hires learn from each other’s patience and perseverance, and fast, changing and creative work preferences?
by Desiree Schnoor
“From 2007 to 2017, unit labor costs increased in 80 of the 86 manufacturing industries”. Understandably, the big question manufacturing companies want to solve is “What could I accomplish if labor costs weren’t an issue?” Said another way, if there was a way for companies to fill workstations, increase yield and reduce turnover, they could spend resources on actually growing their businesses.
Virtual QE, a quality engineering company, understands the need and sees the solution. Video Work Instructions, video training tutorials, replace traditional work instructions and have much larger implications for finding a solution to the labor issue.
Firstly, the leading need in manufacturing today is finding qualified people to perform highly specialized tasks; labor availability. Video Work Instructions hurdle over the experience prerequisite, because they automatically allow inexperienced workers to perform liked skilled ones, speeding up training by providing first-person video instruction our brains prefer.
Speaking of training speed, Video Work Instructions drastically reduce onboarding time. Once job positions are filled, training is faster and easier with video. One of the metrics Virtual QE measures is the speed an individual can do a new task while making no mistakes. In over 8 manufacturing demonstrations alone, employees have performed first-time tasks over 10 times faster using video instructions, on average, than the time it would take them if they were being traditionally trained.
Finally, there is the supply and demand aspect of labor. As long as there is a labor shortage, cost of labor will be high. Video Work Instructions provide the ability for companies to reduce their skill requirements, in turn increasing, the number of qualified applicants, the available supply. When supply goes up, labor cost goes down. This provides immediate relief to the company by reducing labor costs.
These factors and others not only meet the issue of labor costs head on, but are improving manufacturing companies as a whole.
By Desiree Schnoor
In the manufacturing industry, many open positions have been left unfilled because managers can't find applicants with the skill level necessary for the job. Not only does this mean slower production and empty workstations, but also companies sometimes having to forego bidding contracts because they don’t have anyone who can produce the product. This need to match open skilled positions with suitable employees is called closing the skills gap.
Traditionally, companies hire skilled, experienced employees to do high level, skill-specific tasks. But there are a few reasons this hiring method isn’t working as well as it once did. Firstly, there are less skilled workers in the manufacturing sector then there once were. To make matters worse, of the skilled technicians already working, a large number are retiring every year.
Unfortunately, it would follow then, that the skills gap will probably widen over the years, unless something changes.
Virtual QE, a quality engineering company has a revolutionary solution. Joshua Schnoor, their Business Development Manager, explains it like this. “Traditionally the industry has tried to bridge this skills gap by hiring more skilled employees or increasing the knowledge and training of current employees, to get these really complicated tasks done. But when it comes to job specific, part specific tasks, everyone has to learn on the job. We are saying what if there was a way to reduce the amount of skill or knowledge needed to accurately perform a task? That’s what we have done in Video Work Instructions. We are saying that if you put the task on video, anyone can do it accurately. Essentially, we are bridging the skills gap from the other end of the space."
Mr. Schnoor is talking about the company’s premier product and service; Video Work Instructions. These work instructions replace traditional work instructions and automatically level the playing field for new, inexperienced employees to be able to perform tasks quickly and correctly, just as accurately as experienced technicians. From watching a first-person video, new hires can easily train to complete new tasks faster and more effectively, increasing yield and standardization and reducing error.
by Desiree Schnoor
The father of quality engineering, W. Edwards Deming, and Gallup research both confirm the fundamental necessity for an employee to know what is expected of them at work, in order to be the most productive and engaged. "Knowing what is expected of me at work" is one of The Gallup Q12 questions- 12 core elements that are the best indicators of employee and company success. While such a requirement may seem obvious, surprisingly, no more than half of all employees strongly agree that they know what is expected of them. Virtual QE, a quality engineering company, has a remedy for meeting this basic need.
Video Work Instructions, are the best and easiest way to make sure the most basic, yet crucial criteria for your employees is met. Video Work Instructions provide user friendly, brain preferred, video tutorial tasks, performed by expert technicians. They include quality inputs embedded with added features like safety indicators, slowed down playing speed where special attention is needed, and pause and rewind capabilities, to ensure increased standardization and production. Video Work Instructions- making work easier, faster and smarter.
by Desiree Schnoor
If a picture is worth 1,000 words, video is worth a million. Not only that, but video is worth 1,000 languages. In fact, there are 6,500 languages spoken in the world today, and video can speak to each one of them.
Let Video Work Instructions help you reach your employees of all languages, overseas manufacturers and the global market. Video works better for our brains and can cover the world.
Video Work Instructions provide easy fix for workers transitioning jobs because of automation .
by Desiree Schnoor
The current U.S. unemployment rate is only around 4%, and President Trump reports millions of jobs created within the last few years. But, with the ever-increasing advances in technology and automation, is there real danger of robots stealing our jobs? Will automation eventually take over for everyone? As technology advances, there is no question that machines can out-produce humans, and companies who don’t implement automated processes won’t be able to compete with companies that do.
Consequently, by 2026, nearly 1 million Americans will see their occupations vanish entirely and will have to gain new skills to meet the changing demands of the workplace. A recent report shows that even though some people will be transitioned easily to new occupations, ultimately, about one third of all employees will need to be trained for new positions. That translates to 375 million people re-trained for work in new occupational categories. This same report says that governments would need to have some type of infrastructure in place to offer financial support to workers transitioning from one occupation to another.
That sounds weighty, complicated and expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. A quality engineering company called Virtual QE offers a unique way their Video Work Instructions can retain jobs and easily train workers for new ones- a revolutionary answer to the automation dilemma.
This is how Virtual QE sees it; as more and more machines and processes become automated, there will need to be revisions and repairs- repairs that will need to be completed by people. In the past, only those who had training in electronics and software would have the knowledge to repair complex machines, but Video Work Instructions can quickly and easily cross-train, say, cashiers to fix kiosks, for example. Instead of using countless hours and dollars on traditionally training employees to move from one occupation to another, Video Work Instructions make the jump from cashier to kiosk repair person easy.
Video Work Instructions are video training tutorials showing a first-person view of an expert performing tasks, giving employers increased flexibility to train any employee to do any task, quickly and competently.
What if your workforce could eliminate anyone being untrained, unskilled and unqualified to do any task, overnight? With Video Work Instructions, you can.
Watch out, robots.
by Desiree Schnoor
One of the most urgent yet elusive problems manufacturing companies face today is how to prevent the knowledge of their most expert employees from walking out the door with them when they retire. Just ask the managers at many manufacturing plants with empty work stations, unable to complete tasks because no other worker knows how to complete that task, and they can’t find others to hire that do.
Loss of knowledge spans job sectors and continents, not just all around the world, but even into outer space. Indeed, those in the “aerospace industry recognize that the knowledge base that created the space shuttle, landed men on the moon, and designed the cruise missile may be lost as employees retire.”
Indeed, when the right knowledge is harnessed, captured and reproduced, the possibilities are endless, but when critical knowledge is lost, the results are devastating.
Shawn Findlater, the CEO of Virtual QE, a quality engineering company says, “The need for quality standards, including the effective management of knowledge, to be in place are so crucial, in fact, that the aerospace industry has been charged with finding a solution and updating their quality standards. We offer that solution”.
So, how do Video Work Instructions raise quality and on-time delivery scores for companies?
First, let’s look at video instructions’ impact on quality. A manufacturing quality score is basically reflective of the number of bad parts produced. Many low quality scores can be traced back to a lack of a truly standardized process, one that reduces errors. All plants have employees with varying skill and experience levels, which allows for more production error.
Video Work Instructions provide a standardized process by recording an expert technician modeling a task, thereby capturing the correct process entirely. This method diminishes the impacts of having employees with various skill levels because all employees automatically perform the task the same way the expert does, therefore reducing error. Video instructions also allow employees to pause and replay the video, to further ensure higher quality scores.
Video Work Instructions themselves have “built-in” quality raising aspects Virtual QE calls “learning optimization”. The first-person view of the expert technician, training within industry and other components all add to a learning experience that our brain prefers and help us perform better. Video Work Instructions also incorporate ques, reduced video speed and tips to avoid errors and increase production time and yield.
How is on-time delivery improved when using Video Work Instructions? The biggest way is because managers can hire more employees. Since Video Work instructions make training faster and more efficient, more people can do more tasks faster. This ensures more delivery schedules will be met. Some reasons for delay, such as having to remake parts because of incorrect assembly are also avoided because video instructions ensure higher consistency and replicability. Employee turnover is greatly reduced because workers feel competent in their work. Cross-training employees is seamless with video, and helps meet delivery schedules. Video Work Instructions correlate to more production and more volume for your company.
Video Insurance; a way to store Video Work Instructions for later use
by Desiree Schnoor
Video work instructions are setting the tone for U.S. manufactures by revitalizing the way their technicians and managers are able to do their jobs. Workers learn better, faster and cheaper and managers are able to hire and train more workers faster, and better. Video work instructions harness the knowledge of skilled technicians, reproducing what they know and how they do tasks for both new and existing employees to view and reproduce. Consequently, one of the most important and often urgent need for Video Work Instructions is preventing the knowledge and experience of skilled technicians disappearing with a worker. This is especially true for companies with soon-retiring senior technicians.
Virtual QE is now offering Video Insurance, options for companies who would like to record and store their Video Work Instructions for use in the near future.
The first option, consists of a monthly fee for storing a company’s completed Video Work Instruction until they are ready to implement at their facility. This option offers the higher monthly charge of the two options; however the video instruction implementation price is established and locked in at the time of your commitment.
Similarly, the second option consists of a monthly fee for storing your completed Video Work Instruction until you are ready to implement at your facility, and costs less monthly. This option is not price locked, so when you are ready to implement, your price will be whatever current market pricing is at that time.
Who might take advantage of Video Insurance now so they can implement Video Work Instructions in the near future? Companies that don’t currently have an expert employed but are looking for one. They might not yet have someone working in a task that is an expert, or their expert might have retired or quit before they had a chance to record his or her skill. Those who lack an expert technician don’t have anyone to record the task, therefore cannot make a video work instruction at this time.
Secondly, growing companies working on contract basis would have already built all costs into projected profits, so purchasing Video Work Instructions now would eat into their profit margins. It would make most financial sense for them to wait until next big project.
Also, companies with tight cash flow margins on products would have difficulty justifying the purchase of Video Work Instructions right now. Similarity, it may not be the right time yet for companies that are doing short runs of different parts.
For more information and pricing please visit virtualqe.com
Desiree Schnoor holds degrees in psychology and public health. Her interests lie broadly in health and well being. She spends the majority of her efforts and love on her husband and four children. She has used her communication skills in health education and promotion for a large wellness corporation, as well as starting a women's mentoring program. She is utilizing her skill set at Virtual QE to convey the "quality of life" aspects of quality engineering.