Manufacturing Workforce Training: Why eLearning Outsourcing Is A Viable Option

Manufacturing Workforce Training: Why eLearning Outsourcing Is A Viable Option
Summary: It's a given that all organizations face training challenges in some form or another. The challenges vary from one industry to the next, and according to the size of the organization. What are the manufacturing workforce training challenges and the solutions to these challenges?

eLearning Outsourcing: A Viable Option For Manufacturing Workforce Training 

Any organization that conducts training, faces training challenges. The more complex the organizational structure, the more complex the training challenges. B2B product-based organizations (e.g., manufacturers of heavy machinery, furniture, and medical devices) that operate worldwide and need manufacturing workforce training have a complex organizational structure. Here’s a look at the organizational structure of one of our clients:

  • A decentralized manufacturing organization with a global presence, consisting of several independently-run units.
  • The product lines are entirely different from each other; and each requires a different type of specialization in the manufacturing and distributing processes.
  • The daily operational and decision-making functions are left to the middle and lower management, while only group functions such as IT, e-commerce, global marketing communication, supply chain, HR, legal, stock planning, metrology, and corporate programs are taken care of by the main branch (headquarters), to make sure that each of the independently run industries continue to adhere to the norms of the company.
  • The product organizations (POs are organizations that manufacture and distribute the manufactured products), are distributed across one or a few continents and often not based in the same locations as the market organizations (MOs are organizations that sell the manufactured products; these could be present across the globe).
  • Improving productivity is a constant challenge with this organization.

Let’s look at the training challenges faced by such organizations.

6 Manufacturing Workforce Training Challenges 

1. Different Level Of Training Challenges.

These large, global, and decentralized manufacturing organizations face a different level of training challenges. While these challenges are not unique, the number of challenges they face can be quite exasperating.

2. MOs Not Taking Responsibility For Training Their Staff.

Market organizations (MOs) very often don’t take responsibility for training their teams. The onus lies with the POs to take care of their own training as well as the training of the MOs that market their products. Training sessions must be conducted at the locations of the POs and then across the locations of the MOs as well. Such is the case with this company as well.

3. Distributed Teams.

Given that the MOs are scattered across the globe, trainings must be conducted in a multitude of languages, keeping the local nuances of each location in mind. Then there are compliance laws that these organizations must adhere to –  international laws, as well as regional laws. This involves more training.

4. Training Types Vary.

Product training for service technicians, sales forces, distributers, and customers; sales training for sales personnel; compliance training for all the employees; new hire training for new hires – to name a few.

5. Plethora Of Training Combinations.

Training must be conducted by jobs, division, cross-divisional, compulsory training, in a myriad of combinations.

6. Different Types Of Training For Different Types Of People.

It’s a complex grid of different types of training for different types of people of different countries, languages, rules, and regulations – so complex, and yet it must all fall in place seamlessly to complete the whole picture: A flawless working right from production, manufacturing, shipping, transportation to selling and customer satisfaction – all within the norms set at the HQs.

Typical Training Needs

  • Create training for a workforce that comprises largely of sales workforce and service teams (a major chunk of training was concentrated on these global workforces, in the case of our client).
  • Conduct training for sales reps, sales managers, product managers, employees in the product line, service staff, and new hires.
  • Prepare and eventually conduct training on upcoming products.
  • Regularly update trainings on new features of existing products.
  • Deploy courses rapidly across a large, geographically-dispersed workforce.
  • Translation and localization of courses to cater to all employees across geographies.
  • Optimum efficiency of workforces across all POs and MOs must be maintained –employees must have access to information at all times– even when meeting/talking with a customer.
  • Consistency must be maintained across all locations and geographies.
  • Training must be current, up-to-date and delivered on time – sometimes simultaneously across geographies.

The wisest choice is to procure a solution that manages all the above criteria – outsourcing of online training.

Why eLearning Outsourcing

To be able to cater to such a large and complex training order is no mean feat for online training organizations – but a reliable online training company would be able to meet all the above criteria and:

  • Deliver, track, and assess training across the organization.
  • Provide a dedicated team to cater to the training needs of POs and MOs.
  • Meet deadlines set by the POs.
  • Manage all types of training – such as leadership, safety, product, compliance, process, sales, or new hire training.
  • Take charge of translations and localizations, simultaneously.
  • Provide access to an online learning platform that will deliver training.
  • Provide access to their own secure server to host training data.
  • Make use of mobile learning courses (microlearning) to improve the efficiency of employees.
  • Use a variety of multimedia and rapid authoring tools to rollout courses, quickly.
  • Convert courses quickly and also quickly alter specific versions as needed.

It’s no mean feat, but outsourcing this type of complex training to a reliable online training organization will hasten the entire process and allow the organization to conduct its trainings seamlessly.