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Smart Skills Management software is helping manufacturers bridge the gap between training, skills, and work to build a more resilient and agile workforce.

Where are you on your journey with adopting new and emerging technologies? Many manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon for some of the latest tools that provide visibility on the productivity of workers. Maybe you decided to implement digital work instructions to help workers safely and efficiently perform tasks independently. Or maybe you’ve bought skills management software to help you catalog and organize the skills and capabilities of different workers. But are either of these enough on their own to achieve all your production goals? Possibly, but unlikely.

Digital work instructions on their own deliver standard work guidelines but fail to consider the unique skills of each worker. Standalone skills management programs may offer a highlight reel of the skills and certifications of your workers but neglect to capture performance in real-time to provide accurate skills evaluations. Nor do they offer personalized training content needed to ensure workers perform their absolute best. Can we agree then these two features should go hand-in-hand?

One cannot exist without the other: Blending skills management and digital work instructions

In the past, standalone skills management systems were sufficient because:

  • Turnover was infrequent so line supervisors knew everyone on their team and their current skills and endorsements, making it easy for the supervisor to assign work safely and optimally
  • Investments in training, reskilling, and upskilling were performed either in a one size fits all approach or through a purely subjective or anecdotal approach

Today, however, a different situation exists.

Line supervisors are dealing with team members that they don’t know well, new ones starting every day, and experienced ones leaving.  This creates safety issues and makes optimally assigning work difficult as not only are the workers variable, but their skill levels and certifications are a constantly moving target.

An integrated, closed-loop skills management system is the solution for this era of high workforce turnover and absenteeism.

 

skills and work

 

Skills management solutions that combine skills tracking capabilities with connected worker technology and on-the-job digital guidance can deliver significant additional value. Data from actual work performance can inform workforce development initiatives allowing you to target your training, reskilling, and upskilling efforts where they have the largest impact.

It can generate an abundance of valuable data to provide tailored training support and skills endorsements and identify workforce opportunities. What else is possible? Imagine reducing training costs, optimizing job scheduling, increasing safety, and improving productivity. And now consider what will happen when you add smart technology to this all-in-one package.

 

intelligently assign jobs

The power of smart digitization! Skills management and digital work instructions together boost productivity.

Connected worker solutions that combine skills management with digital work instructions, collaboration, and knowledge management are uniquely suited to optimize today’s variable workforce. AI-generated insights are pulled from patterns identified across all work activity in real-time. These insights identify where new and experienced workers may benefit from either reskilling or upskilling.

This combination of smart digital technology can also leverage your training resources, such as instructional videos, written instructions, or access to remote experts, to deliver personalized guidance for the worker to perform their best. These tools intelligently work together to help you assign workers to procedures based on required skill levels. No second guessing! Augmentir is the only smart connected worker solution to intertwine these management tools with AI making it a powerhouse for optimizing your operations and meeting production targets.

 

 

Learn how Smart Skills Management software is helping manufacturers bridge the gap between training, skills, and work to build a more resilient and agile workforce.

Download our latest eBook – The Future of Work: Connecting Skills Management with Standard Work.

 

Augmentir’s take on the trending Workforce Institute’s staggering survey numbers.

Do you remember when offshoring–the outsourcing of production internationally–was once considered the “gold standard” for manufacturers because of reduced costs? Funny how things change. We can partly thank the global pandemic for this. Reshoring, also referred to as ‘onshoring’,  is now the way to go–the apparent panacea to supply chain disruptions and a healthier economy. This should have manufacturers cheering and dancing in the streets, right? Not so fast. We’ve also got a massive labor shortage to deal with. But don’t fret. There are solutions to be found, and they happen to exist in software tools already being embraced by organizations on their journey to digital transformation.

The perks and pressures of reshoring

If your organization isn’t already thinking about reshoring its operations, maybe you should be. Reshoring for manufacturers means greater resiliency, agility, and sustainability by shortening the distances between process and delivery. Less travel means reduced emissions and adherence to ESG standards. Reshoring addresses issues associated with shipping costs, lead times, and new regulations. Working in familiar markets can help identify supply and demand trends more accurately. National employment rates are likely to increase when hiring residents and working with other domestic business partners.

But labor shortages and the variability of today’s workforce have not made reshoring an easy shift. So while there is tremendous opportunity to bring production home, the lack of affordable and skilled labor is having a tremendous impact on our domestic production capacity.

Here’s how you make onshoring work for you. First, stop thinking the old way of recruiting, training, and retaining workers will still work today.

Work with what you’ve got

What’s wrong with training today? Yes, training programs can help improve worker knowledge and skills development. But only if they are meeting the unique needs of individual workers with content-rich, high-impact learning and hands-on training programs. Forget those standard training programs–they are useless in the face of the variable workforce we have available today. The workers you can find are showing up with a mixed bag of experience and skills. That doesn’t have to be a disadvantage anymore. Because there is a smarter way to train and optimize the skills of each of those workers to meet productivity goals individually and fulfill the potential for your organization’s production capacity.

Smart digitization is the ticket to effective onboarding, training, and more–from hire to retire

“The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

This new era of workforce instability is forcing manufacturers to change. It’s forcing them to turn to digital technology and look at smarter ways to hire, onboard, train, and retain their workers. At Augmentir, we call this Smart Digitization.

What do we mean by ‘smart’ digitization? Smart digitization involves adopting modern, digital tools, mobile technology, and supporting workers throughout their entire lifecycle.

smart digitization throughout worker lifecycle

 

Modern connected worker tools are at the core of the solution that supports workers throughout their employment, from training to troubleshooting in real-time to ongoing learning and development. If you look at the entire employee lifecycle, this means:

  1. Using software tools to digitize and automate onboarding and skills tracking to help get workers operational faster, regardless of their skill and experience.
  2. Once on the job, digitizing and personalizing work instructions based on the individual needs of the worker – whether they are a novice worker or an expert.
  3. Proving instant access to support, within the flow of work.
  4. And finally, using an AI-based system to analyze how workers are performing on the job, and intelligently targeting upskilling and reskilling based on actual work performance.

Workers have access to a suite of digital tools and knowledge resources at their fingertips – digital work instructions, collaboration, and support tools to guide them on the job and quickly problem-solve complex tasks, allowing them to do their personal best.

For employers, this means not only more engaged and collaborative workers, it also means deeper insights into work performance that can help drive continuous improvement efforts.

skills job proficiency mapping

AI-based smart insights intelligently optimize workers’ performance by identifying and tracking their skills in real-time. Smart insights pull from these performance metrics and learn to prompt workers who need new training programs or work opportunities, continuously upskilling and reskilling.

It’s the advanced medicine needed to maximize productivity and operational health.

So as you plan to bring more of your production back home, make sure you’re ready to seize the opportunity and address the challenges of a restricted labor market at the same time.

 

Find out how and why so many manufacturers are turning to Augmentir to turn their workers into efficient, productive, and long-term assets for their businesses.

Check out our latest webinar – Smart Digitization of Frontline Workers to learn more.

 

Augmentir’s take on the trending Workforce Institute’s staggering survey numbers.

A skills matrix is a grid that maps employees’ skills and qualifications. Companies use this information to manage, plan, and monitor current and desired skills for a position, team, department, or project.

Having a place to store each employee’s skills and experience level can help managers decide how to divvy up tasks. It’s also a great way to gauge areas of improvement.

A skills matrix is usually managed using a spreadsheet, but there are alternatives to skill matrices. For example, cloud-based skills management software can help identify and track employee competence and correlate it with actual job performance. The software can also help managers filter employee databases by skills to assemble teams or assign work based on specific qualifications.

To help you learn more about the skills matrix and its alternative, this article explores the following topics:

What is a skills matrix?

A skills matrix is a tool used by employers to track workers’ skills and expertise. Typically maintained in spreadsheet format, it usually includes skills that workers already possess, ones that are needed but underdeveloped, and those that are required to complete a project or perform a job function.

Each employee is given a rating on their proficiency in each skill and their interest in developing it. This gives managers great insight into who is qualified to complete certain tasks.

What are the benefits of using a matrix to track employee skills?

A skills matrix offers multiple benefits that can increase team performance and boost productivity. Some of its benefits include:

1) Brings awareness to employee skills

This tool shows what area a team member excels at and where they can improve. This can bring awareness to what skills need to be cultivated and what areas team members are already proficient in.

2) Sets team expectations

With the matrix outlining what skills are needed to complete a project, employees have a better idea of what’s expected and required to be proficient in their roles.

3) Shows where new hires are needed

The matrix gives employers a better idea if someone needs to be hired to fulfill a certain role. Knowing which skills are missing helps managers determine what kind of employee needs to be hired for a specific project.

How do I create a skills matrix?

Creating a skill matrix can provide a wealth of benefits to a business. You can set one up by following the steps below:

  1. Determine which skills are needed for your team based on job function or responsibility.
  2. Evaluate your workers’ skills and qualifications.
  3. Create a grading system to rate each employee’s current skill level.
  4. Fill in the missing criteria and manage the information in a central skills management system.

skills matrix for skills management

How can skills matrices be used in the manufacturing industry?

The manufacturing industry is always seeking skilled employees. Skilled matrices are an excellent way to cultivate the skills of current production plant workers and boost productivity.

This organizational tool also simplifies the hiring process. For example, it gives managers a better sense of what skill areas are lacking and who may be the right fit for the role.

The better equipped an employee is to do their job, the better a company’s bottom line will be.

What are the alternatives to using a skills and competency matrix?

If you’re looking for an alternative to using a spreadsheet to manage the skills of your team, consider cloud-based skills management software. These programs help businesses identify and track worker competency.

For example, this software maps skills from a centralized library to job profiles and individual employees to help managers analyze the abilities of their teams, the desired skills for each role and any skill gaps that exist. Learn more about skills management software in our guide.

Furthermore, skills management software not only allows you to efficiently manage skills for your frontline workers, it also enables you to use this skills mapping to intelligently assign work or identify upskilling or reskilling needs.
skills job proficiency mapping

 

Interested in learning how Augmentir’s connected worker platform can help you digitize and effectively manage skills within your manufacturing operation? Get in touch with us for a free demo.