How Can eLearning Help The Manufacturing Industry?

How Can eLearning Help The Manufacturing Industry?
Summary: The manufacturing industry seems like a likely candidate to utilize eLearning for employee development. In this article, we'll discuss what challenges present themselves while bringing eLearning to the manufacturing industry, and how eLearning can transform the manufacturing industry despite them.

Are There Possible Ways eLearning Can Help The Manufacturing Industry?

The manufacturing industry is one which depends heavily on technology and automation for its day-to-day activities. What’s strange, however, is the fact that most organizations that manufacture finished or unfinished products haven’t automated employee training. Yes, we’re talking about eLearning in the manufacturing industry. The manufacturing industry would seem like one of the first places to adopt eLearning as a form of training for their workers, but that is not the case. That is likely because the manufacturing industry faces certain challenges in trying to integrate eLearning into their eLearning programs, namely the lack of computer-literacy or tech-expertise in their blue collar workers. However, these problems are a thing of the past as blended learning—an amazing eLearning strategy that combines the benefits of both traditional classroom training as well as eLearning—has been proven to be a great solution for the above-mentioned conundrum. Once the initial problems are solved, there is a lot eLearning can do for the manufacturing industry, and that is what we’ll discuss in this article.

Both blue and white collar workers in a manufacturing organization have to have a good grasp on how technology works, like most processes in the industry, are automated. But even the automated machines require humans to run and maintain them. The importance of human capital, even in a highly-automated industry such as manufacturing, cannot be overstated. Running the machines requires calculations to be done with pinpoint accuracy, let an entire batch be ruined. Both groups of employees in such an organization (blue and white collar) need to be skilled and trained to face challenges at any time in their day to day jobs. Here’s how eLearning can help achieve that:

  • eLearning can help target specific skills that are required by the employees. There can be courses in vernacular language for the blue-collar workers on how to run and maintain the machines, and there can be courses for the white-collar workers pertaining to the strength of materials, solid mechanics, etc. (or any other in-depth subject pertaining to the goods being manufactured). In case the blue-collar workers are not computer-literate, they need to be trained to use computers and complete eLearning courses via traditional classroom training first.
  • The learning content can be updated easily as and when required, and can be sent on to the smartphones of the employees so that they have the freedom to complete eLearning courses as and when they like, wherever they are.
  • eLearning will reduce training costs and increase revenue. Blended learning may be expensive at first, but once the blue-collar workers get a hang of operating eLearning courses to learn skills, the organization can transition fully into full corporate eLearning. eLearning can even be used to train workers to minimize waste from manufacturing activities and contribute something to the environment.
  • Employees not adhering to compliance laws can be really worrisome for a manufacturing organization. eLearning works like a charm for compliance training and can help manage issues such as budget constraints and high employee turnover. Compliance laws like Anti-bribery and Conflict of Interest, Privacy, Confidentiality and Information Security, Product Safety as well as Health, Safety and Environment can be easily drilled into the employees using eLearning courses.
  • eLearning is a great tool for performance evaluation. eLearning provides measurable data that can be used to track employee performance and understand which employee lacks in which sphere or field. Manufacturing is a highly-regulated industry and one which loves data (or at least is used to it).

To conclude, eLearning can be the revolution that has been missing from the manufacturing industry. eLearning can address several problems, bridge employee skill gaps, increase operational efficiency and provide a high ROI. What’s there not to like?

The manufacturing industry is facing a severe gap between the talent they need and what is actually available on the labor market. It is expected that this talent gap will only increase in the near future. eLearning is the need of the hour, a survival strategy if you may. Start taking small steps in its direction. A transition can be difficult, but taking it one step at a time will ensure no mistakes are made, and everything goes smoothly.

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