Accelerate Your Success

Posted By: Dave Ewers on June 08, 2017

Dave Ewers

Somehow it’s June, and we are halfway through the year.

We talk with manufacturers all around the country who are optimistic about the potential for strong business results...but concerned this success could be in jeopardy due to a lack of skilled workers.

Growth, productivity, customer satisfaction, safety — all business results are contingent on having qualified, motivated people in the right positions.

But there is a shift in the industry. Manufacturers are tired of waiting around to see what the job market produces on its own and are taking control by creating and sustaining their own pipeline.

We are busy working on-site with human resources, management, and front-line team members to implement our Accelerate Methodology , developing a business case for a training and development program. This approach helps determine gaps in performance and builds a training strategy that delivers a measurable return on investment.

Arwood Machine Corp., a high-precision machine shop in Newburyport, Mass. is a great example of a company that built a customized training program to fill its high skills pipeline.

After Arwood lost a long-time customer because it was unable to hire enough skilled workers to fill a large order, CEO and owner Michael Munday decided to make an investment in his workforce.

“The only way to maintain and grow a company is to develop training in-house,” Michael said. “Technology is advancing dramatically, and to keep moving forward, the key is continuous improvement around equipment, processes and employees.”

We worked closely with Michael and his team to create a training program that would both develop new employees and sharpen the skills of incumbent workers.

It started with a robust Discovery phase where our Tooling U-SME team worked with Arwood on the following:

  • Conducted job analysis and reviewed legacy materials
  • Developed job classifications and descriptions for 14 jobs
  • Built progression (progressive model) from entry level to more senior levels. Included jobs on the shop floor as well as jobs in engineering, quality and continuous improvement
  • Developed performance indicators tied to pay scale
  • Assessed employee skill sets
  • Designed a training curriculum including online and hands-on training
  • Ensured that standards adhered to the criteria set for government subcontractors and that standards were measurable and trackable

Phase Two was the rollout of a custom, competency-based training curriculum using blended learning. Arwood created a dedicated Training Center and training was provided during downtime to keep productivity high. Competencies were validated through knowledge tests and skills assessments to ensure performance standards are measurable and trackable.

The outcome? In a short time, Arwood saw a 10 percent upward trend in productivity. Additionally, scrap cost as a percent of sales was at a lower level, and defects decreased. The company is seeing improved morale, new and incumbent employees are increasing their skills more quickly — and all of this has led to heightened innovation as employees look for better ways to work.

Here is more about the Arwood story. Learn how can we help accelerate your success through the rest of 2017 — and beyond. Reach out to us at 866.706.8665.

Tags: "Accelerate Methodology", "Arwood Machine Corp", "Commonwealth Corporation", "competency-based training", curriculum, manufacturing, "Michael Munday", "Tooling U-SME", training, "workforce development", "Workforce Training Fund Program"