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.
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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.