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62 PCB007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2021 Feature Article by Jahr Turchan BLACKFOX TRAINING When I think of a manufacturing organiza- tion, I think of a "well-oiled machine"—a com- plex system of unique parts that work together to create something wonderful. is is a fun- ny comparison to me, though, as most times actual machines are being employed to pro- duce or assemble components at some point in the manufacturing process. While this "ma- chine" consists of many working parts—such as systems, materials, actual machines, pro- cesses, and procedures—undeniably the most important component is the workforce. Our employees are also where we have the larg- est opportunity to have a substantial impact on the manufacturing process as we work to- ward excellence in operational management. Here, I will share feedback from training our clients and students as well as some training best practices. One might think that such a substantial im- pact would require massive amounts of re- sources such as money and time (of which we all wish we had more), but that is not the case. Repeatedly, research has shown that pro- ductivity will increase when proper training is made available to the manufacturing work- force. We know that employees who gain new skills become more confident, get stimulat- ed and engaged, and are more satisfied with their employment. It can also help to revive old skills not practiced in a while. is con- cept of improved productivity has been stud- ied and proven time and time again. In a study conducted by the National Center on the Edu- cational Quality of the Workforce in over 3,100 U.S. workplaces, they showed that on average if there was an increase by 10% in workforce education, an 8.6% increase in productivity would follow. [1] Too oen when we think of training our manufacturing workforce, we focus on the shop floor. We look for opportunities main- ly with those who are doing the making. We need to cast a wider gaze as the manufactur- ing process is not limited to the manufacturing floor. Quality, engineering, sales and market- ing, logistics, and even accounting/finance are Increasing Productivity Through Training

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