An MES or Paperless Manufacturing system offers the most effective resource in onboarding new manufacturing production employees.
We recently spoke to a manufacturer about implementing an MES. Business was booming, new orders were coming in and a system would solve many of their problems. They needed to increase production, decrease scrap, and track orders with better scheduling and production records.
Even so, they were reluctant to implement the software because they weren’t sure how to train their employees, new and old, on the system. “It’s going to be complex,” they told us. “I don’t know if we can manage everything.
MES and Complexity
I won’t lie… some MES are complex.
There are systems with multiple pull down menus, floating windows, disconnected data, and a bazillion fields to fill out for the simplest function in the system.
But, if you have a modern system focused on supporting productivity and offering automated functions, you have an MES that reduces complexity in the manufacturing process. In fact, with some systems (like Quantum) users can be trained in an afternoon.
There is no better way to onboard new employees than with an MES, especially one designed to minimize complexity like Quantum. Consider this:
- Improved planning.
With a strong MES, planning can be improved with additional, contextualized information such as visual work instructions, safety instructions, and best practices. You can ensure workers are using only the most relevant information. Rather than teaching new employees how to navigate paper packets that may (or may not) have all the information they need, they automatically receive the information they need, when they need it.
- Procedural Enforcement.
With procedural enforcement, you can be sure the shop floor is doing the correct work at each step in the process. Procedural enforcement creates a behavioral system that makes best practices second nature. The system walks new workers through process steps accurately and correctly.
- Automated tolerance checks.
Automated tolerance checks identify quality escapes immediately, mitigating quality problems with new employees and offering on-the-job quality training. New employees learn immediately what causes a quality problem and can adjust the behavior before it becomes a habit. Real-time analytics build collaboration and process improvement for new employees.
- Contextualized data collection.
Data collection is a critical step in production visibility and quality standards, but it’s often an afterthought. Notes are scribbled on the traveler after the work is done, and is more guesswork than precision. An MES makes it easy for employees to easily collect critical data at the precise moment in the production process, often automating data collection. This eliminates the guesswork and lets new employees focus on their work.
- System familiarity.
Today, many young people, the largest source of new employees, grew up using software systems like Quantum and MES. They are comfortable accessing information in the software, completing work in conjunction with the system. The training with an MES, a modern MES, will be significantly less than trying to teach paper-based manufacturing that is more tribal knowledge than process.
Increasing Productivity with Paperless Manufacturing
Rather than fighting against technology, it’s time to embrace the advantages offered by manufacturing software and a modern, user-friendly MES.
You shouldn’t see new employees as a reason to avoid change, but a time to implement, especially as the younger generations have become more and more comfortable with using software and technology in their work. Not only is paper less efficient, but training is guesswork with no standard or platform to provide a foundation for production.