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38 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2021 must be trained to certain proficiency levels. In manufacturing, they apply their skills to the respective products, as they are the last line of defense before the product goes to the cus- tomer. It's necessary to have someone who is capable, has the incentive, and is happy doing the work. This makes a skilled worker. Therefore, companies must pay attention to their employees who physically make the products. When they are proficient, have the proper tools to manufacture the product, and are noted as major contributors to the end product, their value increases. What Are the Goals and Objectives? When a company addresses its business goals, it can certify these goals will comple- ment the following manufacturing goals or objectives: • Improve product quality • Improve yields • Reduce scrap • Improve throughput • Improve morale and employee retention • Remain competitive and current • Increase customer base Ask yourself: • "How has my product changed over the years?" • "How has it evolved or how has the company grown?" For example, look at how smartphones (Apple's iPhones, for example) have evolved. EMS companies are successful when they adapt to the changes and make the necessary modifications within the organization to make it happen. What Are Your Manufacturing Goals? Manufacturing goals must improve yields; this can be accomplished by reducing defects, which provides better qual- ity and results in customer satisfac- tion. Be transparent with your employees who are making the products, so they know how they are performing against the goals. Make them aware of how minimizing the num- ber of defects positively affects the company. Employees do want to do a good job, so these efforts will, ultimately, improve your relation- ship with your customers. Product Changes What is the Impact of Product Changes? Product changes must be defined, acted upon, and factored into the cost of opera- tions. To use an old phrase, "One cannot build tomorrow's product with yesterday's skills." People joining the workforce today don't remember—or were never exposed to—some- thing developed more than 10 or 20 years ago. Cars always had FM radios and air con- ditioning, computers are commonplace, and they have no idea what a slide rule is, never mind how to use one. Many of the products your manufacturing staff will be working on had not yet been invented when they were in school. Technology changes, however, man- date the need for new knowledge. Determine how this will be accomplished—more school- ing, more in-house seminars, or maybe more training? How do we get them up to speed in a hurry so, as an industry, we don't fall behind in the global marketplace?

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