Why bother with operator training? For many companies, whose operators are either employees or temporary workers that will cycle out of those roles on virtually a monthly basis, it’s a question they might consider. After all, why invest the time and costs into operator training if your operators can seemingly get by without it?
But the reality is, a well-trained staff is a document factory’s greatest resource. Leaders today are being instructed to do more with less: producing more mail, in less time, with fewer errors, at a lower cost. The natural reaction might be to look at new technologies, redesign workflows or create more detailed policies and procedures, and to simply have new hires shadow their best operators for a few days.
But the best performers don’t always make for the greatest teachers. And having certified, properly trained operators on staff bring a wide range of advantages to the table – from being able to act more autonomously, because they’re relying on skill rather than process, to being able to better react to and amend equipment failures (which in turns help to reduce associated maintenance costs, too).
Here are five of the most significant reasons why leaders and document factories benefit from a team of well-trained operators.
- Improved run time = Lower cost per mailpiece
Nothing moves the needle in a document factory like run time – and nobody understands how to maximize run time better than trained operators. Knowing and being experienced in everything from basic setup to fundamentals like paper handling, setting up new jobs efficiently, running at optimal speed, clearing jams quickly and fine-tuning inserters for maximum throughput are all key to optimizing run time and reducing mailpiece costs. Operators can’t learn to do just that by shadowing someone for a week; that expertise only comes with properly certified training.
- Higher quality = More client options and revenue opportunities
Client data is sacred. Well-trained operators ensure better running machines, fewer stoppages and less manual intervention leading to fewer opportunities for error. Higher mailpiece integrity in complex jobs paves the way to more revenue, too. If quality issues are keeping you up at night, operator training is the solution.
- More job satisfaction = Increased stability within the manufacturing floor
Recruiting and retaining quality operators can be a drain on a company’s resources. Operators that receive formal training have a better employee experience. They appreciate the investment made in them. Consequently, trained operators are not only more motivated and engaged, but also work more quickly and confidently.
- Improved TLC = Extended equipment life and better ROI
If you’re trained to handle the equipment, you’re more likely to take better care of it. Trained operators can take ownership of the machinery: cleaning belts, blowing dust off sensors, alerting techs to any unusual activity. Light maintenance goes a long way in preventing unplanned downtime.
- Sustained continuous improvement = Ongoing review of business processes from all levels
Subject matter experts are key to effective continuous improvement. Well-trained operators are engaged in continuous improvement, providing valuable insight into the gaps and bottlenecks of your inserting operation.
This is really just scratching the surface of the kind of value that properly trained operators can bring to the table. At the end of the day, if you’re still debating internally about whether an operator training course is really worth the price tag, ask yourself: What does my run time look like? Is the math working in my favor there? Do we have a lot of new operators who just joined? Am I getting the ROI on my hardware investments I expected to, or is it being bogged down by frequent maintenance costs and production delays?
If the answers to any of these questions don’t align with your own goals and expectations, it’s simple: your operators need training.