May 11 2008

TRAINING 5 Reasons why you shouldn’t train your people

Published by at 6:33 pm under Uncategorized

Training is very much part of my consulting business. It takes one day, a lot of lame jokes and because the students walk away with a book the get it. GET IT means they feel like they are a part of the team. They’re contributors and not somebody who’s there until management figures out a way to replace them with a robot. Some company owners get it. It’s the best way to improve your profits. But I constantly listen to people tell me why training is a waste of money. OK here are the top five reasons I get along with my answers.


REASON #1 “If I train them, they’ll immediately quit because I can’t afford to give them a raise. These folks will change jobs for a nickel an hour.

ANSWER #1 If your people will change jobs for a nickel an hour, you are seriously under-paying them anyway. The money you don’t have for raises is because your people aren’t trained. This inefficiency is the source of your problem that could be solved by having a professionally trained workforce. It is interesting that these folks never have the money for raises but always have the money to pay for scrap and inefficiency. I donÃ’t get it.

REASON # 2 “We’re already making a profit”

ANSWER # 2 You probably also tolerate mold changes longer than 45 minutes and have a concept of ‘acceptable scrap’ that is in whole percentages. With training; molds can be switched in much less and 45 minutes. Your yield rates can normally be in the 99.X% range. Think of the profit and available machine time you’d make.

REASON # 3.”We have all different machines, it’s too complex”

ANSWER # 3. You learn the principles of molding first then where the knobs and buttons are second. Think of molding machines like driving a car. The skill of operating a car is learned. However each manufacturer’s car is slightly different from the others and takes some getting use to. These differences in cars have never stopped you from renting one. Yes?

REASON # 4 “Our molding process is proprietary”

ANSWER # 4 Get a grip. While your material might be proprietary, unless you are levitating the screw in a field of magnetic flux, or melting the material through induction heating or lasers and using ionic pulses to generate pressure; Molding is Molding. I worked with a client once whose material was corn syrup mixed with wood flour and shredded newspapers molded in a traditional molding machine with a thermoset type stuffer to get the material into the machine.

The machine heated the corn syrup to a temperature where is crystallized and bound the other materials so that it could make a product. While using an injection molding machine to essentially make lollipops was a little weird, the principles of molding still held. If you’ve so horribly modified your equipment to make a proprietary process this is all the more reason to train your people the difference is you will no longer be able to bring in an outside expert.


REASON # 5 “Training is Expensive”

ANSWER # 5 “Expensive”is a relative term. If all we do is drive to and from work a vast majority of us could take public transportation and do a little Heart Healthy walking in stead of buying a car or truck costing several months salary with more gadgets in it than a Stealth Jet Fighter. We chose driving to work not because it was ‘Expensive’but because of a perceived value.

Now let’s look at the equation backwards. Go to your bookies and engineers with this project: How much additional profit could be made if 1. Scrap went down into decimal percentages, 2. Mold hangs/pulls were faster, 3. Cycles were optimized, 4. The additional machine time that became available because of 1-3 (and already paid for) was filled with new business, 5. As the result of the above improvements how many less people per $1,000 of sales would be required on the payroll?

Now that you’ve calculated the value of productivity improvement (which is usually an additional 10-15% in profits); how much money would you be willing to spend based on a 9 week ROI on training? Even if I flew in on a First Class ticket and stayed in the Bridal Suite drinking champagne and eating the best steaks, the total cost of a week’s training is less than the ROI number. Keep in mind training is usually a day or two class room and then if the customer wants it; another day showing what I taught actually works.

Here’s my question to you: You know a lot about your operation. But what do you know about what the industry is doing to help you improve (your) profits? Are your people at the top of their game? What will you do to lower your costs to improve your profits and be the best guy in town to work for? Who can help you and what will they cost?

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This rant, like the newsletter, is virtual. If you don’t like it, delete it into the Black Hole of lost Bits and Bytes. Or maybe you’ll show it to your boss. OR maybe you might do something before you get swatted on the nose with a rolled up Pink Slip. Or maybe you’ll quit (get downsized etc), get a nickel raise down the street and try to show this to your new boss.

What ever you do is Your Choice. I just keep hearing excuses a lame as a teenager explaining why they didn’t get home in time for curfew.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “TRAINING 5 Reasons why you shouldn’t train your people”

  1. Tony Dumbillon 12 May 2008 at 4:27 pm

    you have to giggle reading this because its so so true i have been in the plasticsindustry for 25yrs and couldnt agree more hope to see you back in australia soon

  2. Jim Turneron 21 May 2008 at 7:48 am

    I also have been in the industry for over 30 years and have done exactly what you said. Took another job for a few cents more. I have been trained extensively and am now trying to find work. I keep getting restructured etc. I have resorted to consulting (which is slow) as people are reluctant to hire me. This is what happens in the long run. Therefore i recommend staying on at one place as long as possible. This is what they do in Canada

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