by Desiree Schnoor
Labor availability. Training. Tribal knowledge. Quality. If you are a manufacturing plant manager in the U.S. today, just hearing at least one of those words probably gives you a negative feeling. That’s because these are the top four areas that are negatively impacting managers and workers today. One of these areas might be so costly, unattainable or broken for you, that you might think there is no way to improve it, but Virtual QE has a solution- Video Work Instructions. Joshua Schnoor, Business Development Manager, says, “I like to call these the Fateful Four because the fate of your company depends on the health of these four areas, on how well you can answer these questions. Video Work Instructions strengthen each of these areas and more.” What if Video Work Instruction could bring resolution in just one of these areas? Two areas? What would that mean for hiring, revenue, and production and beyond? Find out the financial impacts Video Work Instructions can have on your company by completing a quick calculator here.
by Desiree Schnoor
Wondering more about what it takes to get your company up and running with Video Work Instructions? Let’s take a closer look at the process. The Virtual QE team offers start to finish email support with thorough and easy to follow instructions. First, you will be shipped a pair of camera glasses, that your lead technician will wear to record video and audio of your best practices. We then receive the file you send to our secure cloud-based. Once uploaded Virtual QE can begin the editing process, which usually takes 1-2. During editing, our quality engineers and video editing team will work together to identify quality, critical safety, and learning moments that they highlight throughout the video. Your final product will differ in length than initial recording time, due to cutting some video out and adding in some time with quality control features. Virtual QE counts “one” Video Work Instruction as about 10 minutes of edited and finalized video. Once this process is completed, our senior quality engineer will verify all the steps are captured correctly before the video is delivered back to you via Box.com. The file is now ready for you to upload onto a tablet or other device and be utilized by your employees.
For added peace of mind, Virtual QE has an optional maintenance package available. For an additional 25% of the cost of the instruction, Virtual QE will perform limited revisions to the work instruction, renewable yearly. Revisions include simple corrections and updates, but might not include additional steps or substitutions, which would constitute a brand-new work instruction.
by Desiree Schnoor
Results like this are amazing, and the implications almost unimaginable. What would it mean for your company to put a technician on a task that he or she has never done before and see it completed in a fraction of the time it usually takes? Which of the benefits would be most crucial for you company? Time saved, production increases, cross-training flexibility, freeing up your expert technician for other duties, or something else? No need to pick just one, because all these benefits and more can be yours with Video Work Instructions.
To find out the financial impact Video Work Instructions could have on your company, visit www.virtualqe.com/calculator.html .
by Desiree Schnoor
The 2017 Training Industry Report reveals that not only are companies training expensively, but they are also training longer. The average rose 4 hours from last year, with midsize companies training for just over 54 hours. Despite more expense and longer training, 49% of companies reported their training budget remained the same. This means these companies are either training less people, or training is causing them to lose money. In 2017, the average manufacturer spent $1,217 to train each learner, the most expensive, across all sectors.
The tricky thing about traditional training methods is that not only are time and money resources costly, but they are compounded for each person being trained. Video Work Instructions allow you to do things differently. Video allows you to train multiple people, and endless number of times, while directly utilizing tribal knowledge.
by Desiree Schnoor
Imagine if your company could hurdle over the state of the current labor pool and not worry about filling workstations, finding qualified applicants, high salary constraints, or whether tribal knowledge would be lost if workers quit or retired. Now you can.
Video Work Instructions bypass "skills" and "experience" prerequisites, because they automatically allow inexperienced workers to perform liked skilled ones, speeding up training by providing first-person video instruction our brains prefer.
by Desiree Schnoor
How do Video Work Instructions make for a safer work environment? By their very nature, Video Work Instructions have several safety measures automatically embedded. Since video instructions capture the entire process in a few minutes, they are faster, better and safer execution of the task. Let’s take a look at the safety features of Work video.
With Video Work Instructions, the trainee is watching what the expert trainer is wearing, saying and doing, so they are learning the safest way to perform the task. And since the video is in the first-person point of view, trainees are seeing what the expert is seeing, causing their brain to easily orient them to be able to replicate what the expert is doing. The trainee can then model the exact actions of the expert trainer, increasing standardization of the task, which means less variations and errors, ultimately, less room for accidents to occur.
A university source says, “Most importantly, the best prevention strategy is to train employees and employers frequently. Creating a learning environment focused on safety promotes a healthy and safe workplace”. Cross-training is another safety function of Video Work Instructions, that elicits diverse and continuous training and learning. Not only do video instructions allow new and existing employees to train quickly, effectively and safely at new tasks, they also allow them to cross train multiple new tasks in the same way. Periodic exposure to training with Video Work Instructions compounds the safety effects of the training tool, and the result is a well-rounded, safe, and effective employee.
Looking at the financial impacts of safety, “safety is the #1 way to reduce your workers’ compensation costs both direct (insurance premiums) and indirect (cost of hiring, retraining, overtime, and loss of productivity and other costs associated with work place injuries).”
With rising awareness about how Video Work Instructions reduce both the rising labor availability and training costs, let’s highlight how video drives down manufacturers’ workers’ compensation costs too. Companies experiencing a reduction of the indirect costs associated with workers’ compensation can be traced back to the implementation of Video Work Instructions, as video improves each of the indirect causes listed above. Of course, general improvements in overall safety, such as less work place injuries means lower insurance premiums for employers.
So, is it worth is? A state Department of Labor website states, “for every $1 invested in workplace safety, employers realize $3 – $10 in cost savings (direct and indirect costs).” And with Video Work Instructions answering both indirect and direct costs, we say video is a “safe” bet.
by Desiree Schnoor
The father of quality engineering speaks to the absolute cruciality of process, not only as a foundation but as a function of all work. He reminds us of the simple, yet profound truth that if what you are doing can’t be described as a process, then you aren’t really doing anything. But can we do better than “describing”? We are all familiar with the saying, “show, don’t tell”, so I wonder if Mr. Deming would agree that “showing” is better than “describing”? Enter Video Work Instructions. Now, you can forget about flipping through cumbersome, outdated, confusing paper manuals, that even when read diligently, have serious limitations. The long, subjective nature of text means confusion, inconsistency, deviation, errors and frustration. All these ultimately increase production time and errors. Text means employees work slower, harder, more expensively and less safely.
Video Work Instructions are a powerful substitute- in fact, 1 minute of video equals 1.8 million words. Video Instructions are easier to understand, they are quickly visualized, and the entire process, from start to finish is realized in minutes, not tens or hundreds of pages. The ease of video means better understanding, replicability, consistency, less errors and greater confidence, now your technicians work faster, easier, cheaper and safer.
With Video Work Instructions, the process being seen, not read, is only a part of its capability. The positive outcomes of using video instructions reach as far as increasing labor availability and reducing turnover.
You be the judge, but something tells me Deming would approve.
by Desiree Schnoor
No one can deny that time and experience equal expertise, and all those years, days and moments along the way are what shape what we really “know". But what if there was a way to expedite the time and experience needed for the same, or better results? Video Work Instructions perform like a canon that speeds over the time and experience chasm and lands firmly in solid results. Virtual QE is taking this concept to the manufacturing industry with applications for new hires, veteran technicians and managers alike.
Manufacturing new hires are reaping the super-speed benefits of Video Work Instructions from the very beginning. Video and its effects revamps everything from their selection, hiring, training, productivity, work perceptions and job satisfaction. Video also allows expert technicians the platform and flexibility to record, store and disseminate their expertise for the benefit of an unlimited number of employees, an unlimited number of times.
Managers can trace increases in labor availability, standardized best practices, quality and on time delivery, reduced turnover and even improvements to the auditing process to Video Work Instructions. Video Instructions have been used to chronicle how to perform periodic tasks, that only happen every few years, or to capture information pertinent to management and HR personnel and policy changes.
by Desiree Schnoor
If you are a manufacturing company, we would guess that one of your biggest problems fall into one of these areas: labor availability, training, production, or audits. It might be inconceivable to think that these same problems could be turned from money wasters into you biggest profit-making areas. This might be especially true considering how much time, energy and money has been used at attempting to find solutions to these problems. Video Work Instructions to the rescue!
Let’s take a look at how implementing Video Work Instructions can transform your old ways of “doing” labor availability, training, production, or audits, which wasted money, to new methods that will help you save or make money.
Labor availability is the leading problem facing manufacturers today. Forget about the limited labor pool of qualified applicants, how much you have to pay the qualified applicants you can find, not being able to fill workstations, and worrying about your most experienced technicians’ upcoming retirements. Video Work Instructions are the one simple solution to all of those issues by providing a revolutionary way to close the skills gap from the “other side”. Tradition says qualified, skilled workers do highly skilled tasks, but Video Instructions automatically allow anyone to perform high skilled tasks, eliminating the need to be able to find, pay and keep highly skilled technicians, while maintaining quality, standardization and tribal knowledge.
Training new and existing employees is usually costly and takes a long time. Video significantly reduces training time and increases training effectiveness. It also makes identifying and implementing cross training opportunities for employees seamless. Video brings new meaning to job flexibility by quickly allowing employees to train on new tasks much quicker and more effectively than long hours of learning from an expert. Video Work Instructions are launching continuous improvement opportunities and job satisfaction, while reducing turnover.
Production improvements can be seen almost immediately upon implementing Video Work Instructions. Drastic increases in quality and yield save you time and money, as do reductions in waste and having to correct defective parts. With full workstations and workers who can perform multiple tasks, work is faster and standardized. You will find yourself being able to qualify for and bidding more and new jobs.
While no one enjoys the auditing process, using Video Work Instructions makes compliance easier since video is document controlled. Keeping your documents up to date with current updates and revisions is also much easier with video.
There are many effects of revamping the biggest money wasters into money makers with Video Work Instructions. Your company can reduce spending by reducing what and how much is outsourced, reducing payroll costs, waste and defects, so you have more to spend on growing your business in new ways.
Improvements in the ways above may also give you a new presence and competitive advantage with both new and existing customers and employees. Internally, prospective employees will be drawn by new training methods and work instructions. And not only will you be producing work better and faster, for your customers, but you will be able to establish yourself as an industry leader, which may lead to better customer satisfaction, loyalty and ultimately more money.
by Desiree Schnoor
Did you know that almost 1 in every 2 new hires will quit their job within a year, and of those who do quit, half of them quit quickly; within just 3 months of starting. This is a huge kick in the wallet to employers, who just spent substantial amounts of time and money training that new person, an average of 2 to 3 weeks, in fact. That trainer was probably pulled off of a revenue producing activity to train the new hire, who in just a few days would leave the company. Such staggering statistics demand a solution, and Virtual QE, a quality engineering company, offers a bold one. “Stop training your new employees.” Shawn Findlater, CEO, says. “At least, stop the old way, of long, expensive training programs. Video Work Instructions let you train a lot of new employees faster, cheaper and better.”
Mr. Findlater is talking about the revolutionary training tool called Video Work Instructions, and their ability to turn traditional training on its head. Replacing traditional work instructions, video gives a faster, more effective, full-picture training tool to employees, who can perform tasks like pros, after watching experts perform the tasks. Companies see training speed, standardization, efficacy, safety and cost improved when using Video Work Instructions. But that’s not all. Video Work Instructions’ capabilities go far beyond new hire training and on-boarding, by making cross training seamless and fast. Video brings new meaning to job flexibility by quickly allowing employees to train on new tasks quicker and more effectively than long hours of learning from an expert. Video Work Instructions are launching continuous improvement opportunities and job satisfaction, and reducing turnover.
by Desiree Schnoor
Carlos, the current Production Manager at Cidrenes bread company in Puerto Rico, started at the company many years ago- as a janitor. Despite studying telecommunications in school, he wanted to work for Cidrenes, so he took the job. Carlos quickly excelled in his role and was given the opportunity to spend the last two hours of each work day learning all he could about the pastry production line. For 2 years, Carlos trained himself, learning all he could, in case a position became available.
Opportunity came knocking one afternoon when Carlos was taking over for the Quality Control Manager, who was out on vacation. Carlos had been cross-training with him for the past month and was able to take his place. It had come to his boss’s attention that Carlos’ quality and yield numbers were better than the Quality Control Manager. Carlos explained that when there is a problem on the production line, the Quality Manager stops production to try to solve the problem, he writes a report, and has to wait for someone to come fix the problem. Carlos, though, just fixes it himself, then writes the report.
After getting demoted back to janitor because he didn’t have USDA certification, Carlos took classes, gained certification and officially became the Quality Control Manager.
Carlos’ passion for cross-training didn’t stop once he got the position he wanted. In fact, a little while later, Carlos took a position driving the bread delivery truck, even taking a pay cut to do it. He explained he wanted to see for himself how much people loved the bread, he truly enjoyed talking to customers and store owners. One day, he was putting bread on the shelf at a store and he overheard a bakery worker complaining about their Cidrenes bread being ruined because it had proofed too long. Since Carlos had seen countless instances along his self-propelled cross-training journey, he had an idea about how to save the bread, and it worked. He saved the store almost $1000 worth of dough that day.
An employee like Carlos is every company’s dream- competent, ambitious, and self- motivated to cross-train as much as he can outside of his current role. Joshua Schnoor, Business Development Manager at Virtual QE says, “The key to the success of any company is cross-training. We can’t give you Carlos, but we can provide Video Work Instructions- a way to instantly and efficiently cross-train all your employees to do expert level tasks correctly the first time.” Cross-trained employees have been shown to be more productive, efficient and motivated employees, with significant impacts both externally, including on-time delivery, and internally by improving your company culture and morale.
by Desiree Schnoor
In a market with so much competition, how does a company gain the attention of potential employees and customers? And how can they differentiate themselves? Let’s take a look at how Virtual QE and their Video Work Instructions offer companies a leg up on the competition.
Firstly, Video Work Instructions help a company stand out among potential employees. Not only does the nature of video training attract a certain demographic of new hires, but all of our brains learn better using video over text. So, whether new hires know it or not, training and working using video will afford them better, safer and faster task execution.
Secondly, managers and trainers can do their jobs better because of Video Work Instructions. Video significantly reduces training time and increases training effectiveness. It also makes identifying and implementing cross training opportunities for employees seamless. Also, when workers know exactly how to do their jobs and are more confident because of video, manager-employee relations are improved.
How can Video Work Instructions set a company apart with its customers? They give a company the ability to share its best practices with its customers, increasing customer relations, while building trust and loyalty. Since Video Work Instructions can be accessed at any time, by anyone, companies can use them to show their customers how they have used video to improve quality scores and on-time delivery or reduce production errors.
Finally, Video Work Instructions can make the auditing process much smoother. A distinguishing compliance characteristic of Virtual QE’s Video Work Instructions is the document control aspects they provide. Auditors look for work instructions to be in place, up to date and used properly. The nature of Video Work Instructions ensure these criteria are met. Some companies can fall short here, especially when it comes to revisions and other upkeep required for traditional work instructions.
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.
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.