Manufacturing organizations are currently grappling with a significant skills shortage, which is expected to persist beyond 2028. According to a Deloitte study, skill shortages will result in approximately 2.4 million unfilled manufacturing positions by 2028. Given the scarcity of qualified personnel and the stringent compliance requirements, traditional training methods are no longer sufficient. In-house training, facilitated by a Learning Management System (LMS) for manufacturing, has emerged as a viable solution to address skill gaps and ensure compliance, productivity, and safety in the workforce. In this beginner’s guide, we will explore the challenges associated with traditional training methods, the benefits and features of a manufacturing LMS, and provide guidelines for successful LMS implementation in your organization.
What is a Manufacturing LMS?
According to the 2022 Training Industry Report, LMS is the most widely used learning technology, with 89% utilization for employee training. But what exactly is an LMS? An LMS is an application that employs interactive modules, engaging multimedia, and real-time assessments to achieve specific learning objectives.
In the context of manufacturing organizations, an LMS automates the training process, offers hands-on training for equipment handling, and ensures compliance with industry regulations. The customizable nature of an LMS allows organizations to create e-learning materials, track employee progress, update content, leverage analytics to enhance training programs, and employ different training methods.
Challenges with Traditional Training Tools
Traditional training tools in the manufacturing industry posed several challenges, including high costs, time-consuming processes, and coordination difficulties. Here are some of the significant hurdles manufacturers faced with traditional training methods:
1. Large Skill Gap
The manufacturing industry continually undergoes rapid technological advancements, leading to evolving skill requirements. Traditional training methods proved to be time-consuming and prohibitively expensive when it came to training employees in new skills while maintaining their productivity and quality of work.
2. Changing Industry Regulations
Non-compliance with industry regulations can result in significant penalties and fines for manufacturing organizations. Staying informed about the intricacies of these regulations and consistently updating employees about changes posed a challenge with traditional training methods. Additionally, there was no efficient system in place to track and monitor employee progress on compliance-related training.
3. High Costs
Manufacturing processes are complex, specialized, and subject to numerous guidelines. This complexity necessitates hands-on training sessions, making traditional training methods costly. In fact, manufacturing organizations had the second-highest average training budget (approximately $3.5 million) in 2022.
Benefits of a Manufacturing LMS
Now that we have explored the challenges associated with traditional training methods, let us delve into the advantages offered by a manufacturing LMS:
1. Better Compliance Management
A manufacturing LMS ensures improved compliance management by enabling companies to set up regular training aligned with industry regulations. Mandatory training modules can be established, and progress tracking and completion reports can be generated. Additionally, safety training modules can be integrated and personalized based on employees’ roles, ensuring compliance with safety regulations.
2. Cost Reduction
By delivering a blended learning experience, an LMS helps reduce the cost of face-to-face training. Leveraging AI and augmented reality, an LMS can provide virtual hands-on training to employees, increasing engagement and retention while minimizing costs.
3. Up-to-Date Training Content
A manufacturing LMS facilitates easy updating of training content to incorporate the latest changes and requirements. This flexibility allows organizations to modify and improve their training programs to meet evolving needs.
4. Customized Learning
One of the key advantages of an LMS is its ability to provide customized learning experiences. Organizations can tailor training content to match employees’ individual roles, departments, and skill levels. Adding multimedia elements further enhances engagement and knowledge retention among employees.
Key Features of a Manufacturing LMS
Let’s take a look at the essential features that a manufacturing LMS should possess:
1. AI and Augmented Reality
A manufacturing LMS leverages AI and augmented reality to simulate real-life manufacturing scenarios, providing hands-on training in a virtual environment. This not only reduces on-the-job training injuries and accidents but also allows organizations to analyze employee performance effectively.
2. Automated Training
An LMS streamlines the training process by automating various tasks, resulting in time savings and increased efficiency. It automates progress tracking, course enrollment, and sends automated notifications and reminders to keep employees on track with their training.
3. Advanced Reporting
Comprehensive reporting capabilities are crucial for a manufacturing LMS. Advanced reporting provides insights into the effectiveness of training, learner progress, and performance. Organizations can access reports on completion rates, skill development metrics, and scores, helping them identify areas for improvement in their training programs.
4. Performance Management
An LMS enables organizations to set employee goals and track performance through its performance management features. By assessing employees based on outcomes and identifying skill gaps, employers can implement improvement plans to enhance performance effectively.
Success Stories of Manufacturing LMS Implementation
Several manufacturing companies worldwide have witnessed significant success by implementing an LMS. One such renowned success story is that of MBCC Group, a leading construction chemical company with over 130 production facilities across 60 countries. When faced with the need to provide online training to thousands of clients due to the pandemic, MBCC Group initially struggled with the inefficiency and complexity of their training procedures. However, with the implementation of an LMS, the company successfully automated their processes, improved the accuracy and efficiency of their learning management, and efficiently managed their user base.
Prominent companies like Boeing, General Electric, and 3M have also experienced the benefits of implementing eLearning through an LMS for the training and development of their employees.
Best Practices for Implementing a Manufacturing LMS
Successful implementation of a manufacturing LMS requires careful planning and execution. Consider following these best practices to ensure a seamless implementation process:
1. Define Clear Objectives
Begin by determining your organization’s specific training needs, desired outcomes, and key performance indicators (KPIs) to be achieved through the LMS implementation. Conduct a training needs assessment to identify skill and knowledge gaps within your organization.
2. Select the Right LMS Provider
Choosing the right LMS provider is crucial for a successful implementation. Consider partnering with a provider who has experience working with manufacturing organizations. Evaluate vendors based on their features, customization options, support services, and pricing. To make an informed decision, explore demos and take advantage of free trials offered by different LMS providers.
3. Customize the LMS
Once you have selected an LMS, customize it to align with your manufacturing processes, specific training requirements, and job roles. Set up comprehensive training for employees, administrators, and trainers on navigating and utilizing the new system effectively.
Implementing a manufacturing LMS can revolutionize your organization by improving performance and reducing costs. A well-executed LMS facilitates streamlined training and enhances employee skills. If you are considering implementing a manufacturing LMS in your organization, contact us today! We provide a free personalized demo to showcase the transformative power of an LMS in your manufacturing environment.