In his article, Facing Down The Biggest Challenges In Manufacturing Today, Tom Bonine, President, National Metal Fabricators lists down the following as the most important problems dogging the American manufacturing Industry.
- Finding good people
- Rising employer costs
- Big data management
- Reduced gross margins
- Inventory discrepancies
- Compliance breaches
- Negative image of manufacturing
Finding good people is right on the top of that list. This sentiment is echoed by a Skills Gap study, published in 2011 by The National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) Manufacturing Institute. The study revealed that 82% of manufacturers have shortage of skilled manpower in one form or the other. At any point, 5% of manufacturing jobs are not filled because of lack of suitable people. That is close to 600,000 jobs. Additionally, over 2.7 million employees in the manufacturing sector would retire in the next 10 years (Source: Association for Manufacturing Excellence).
One of the recommendations by the association is to build a better educated and trained workforce. So, how does one do it? While there are no simple solutions to the issues faced by the manufacturing sector, technological solutions for training could be a step in the right direction.
People are adapting to new technologies more willingly now-a-days as against a few years ago. It is easier to administer an online course today than before. There are definite advantages for organizations to consider training their employees online.
- It is cost-effective due to its multiple benefits. Online learning courses developed once can be used to train multiple employees over a period of time.
- More employees get trained in a short duration.
- Training on best practices, compliance, safety, supply chain process etc., can be administered more frequently, for reinforcement and strict adherence.
- Motivational and morale boosting videos or modules can be shared, easily, on a regular basis. This helps boost their morale and reaffirms the faith of the management in them.
- Courses hosted on the LMS can ensure effective tracking and evaluation of the training program. Modifications and improvements can be carried out quickly, in a pro-active manner.
These measures will surely help organizations reinvigorate the ailing sector and instill renewed confidence and enthusiasm in the workforce. Manufacturing companies can significantly reduce the skills gap, by adopting online training methods. In fact, CommLab has compiled information about eLearning adoption in the manufacturing sector in a form of an eBook that gives more information on this and specific examples of how organizations benefited by implementing eLearning.