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.
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.