Manufacturing training is delivered to a variety of audiences: customers, end users, workers, salespeople, and channel partners. Training content covers everything from product line information to maintenance procedures.
Moreover, manufacturing training content is highly complex and ever-changing. As a result, training content needs to rapidly change without compromising quality. Here are a few ways in which manufacturers provide effective training by leveraging print on-demand processes.
Supporting the Product Line
It’s no secret manufacturing products and equipment are complex. And, the scope of the product line can vary. Depending on the size of the manufacturer—large, global, or decentralized—requires collaboration across different departments. Oftentimes, members of the training, marketing, and technical publication teams join forces to support the product line.
Product training manuals and standard operating procedures (SOPs) are developed by these teams. These documents are frequently complex, but should be readily accessible for equipment operators, customers, and sales channels. Product line training fills existing knowledge gaps, especially when provided with assessments.
Mimeo’s Take: Unite team members across departments with a shared content library. Upload, build, share, and order printed documentation that supports your product line.
Update Master Documents for Product Variations
Unfortunately, as manufacturing content curators well know, supporting the product line also requires ongoing support for product updates and variations.
While the lifecycles of some equipment and products are long (requiring little change over time to documentation and SOPs), for others its rapid and fraught with updates. Not to mention, product variations per customer require the tailoring of technical training documents. One industry best practice is the use of master documents with subsections that can be easily and quickly modified.
Master documents provide a means in which manufacturers can immediately distribute customized documentation to customers — entirely avoiding irrelevancy.
Mimeo’s Take: Support rapid changes to product line documentation with the ability to save and edit master documents to a shared library. Control the document versions in customers’ hands by printing on-demand, rather than producing high volumes and warehousing materials that may quickly become outdated.
Maintenance and Safety Training
Effective maintenance training helps identify and eliminate any waste. This promotes a longer lifecycle by optimizing the reliability of equipment. Both equipment operators and end users need maintenance training.
Additionally, maintenance training helps to promote a culture of safety for manufacturers. Outline safety procedures within manufacturing handbooks and manuals. Make this content readily available for all employees. Likewise, post visible safety signage, labels, and posters. Check your manufacturing facility to ensure that posters and labels are marked clearly and within obvious lines of sight.
Safety and maintenance training can result in fewer lost workdays in addition to lessening the possibility of machine breakdown, fires, and explosions.
Mimeo’s Take: Provide all workers and end users with proper maintenance and safety training. Regularly audit your content to ensure accurate operating, cleaning, and maintenance procedures are present in employee manuals and within the facility.
Increasing Value for Customers
Training, especially in lean organizations, contributes higher value to customers. As Reliable Plant explains, “Those involved in developing and leading training should also strive to increase value for the customer.” Aftermarket training content can take many forms and typically varies on the matureness of the manufacturer:
- Services news
- Product and aftermarket catalogs
- Spec sheets
- Owner and user manuals
- Spare parts catalogs
- Operator guides
- Repair manuals
Additionally, a manufacturing training team may provide ongoing, on-site training to customers.
Mimeo’s Take: Customers expect technical training content to accurately depict the product. Choose a print application that has easy update capabilities and fast delivery options. For example, check out how Siemens uses Mimeo to deliver customers with handbooks.
Enabling Partners with Manufacturing Training
Manufacturing channel partners and distributors frequently request content from product support and training teams. In the initial sales stages, salespeople usually provide customers with sales literature and marketing collateral. While this content is designed for the selling process, the marketing team has to collaborate with technical and training teams to reflect product accuracy.
Post-sale training for resellers is long-term training. Much of a trainer’s time is devoted to channel sales enablement. Channel partners are highly-trained individuals that thoroughly understand the product and its lifecycle.
Mimeo’s Take: Distributors are located in different sales regions. Take the responsibility off your training team through an online storefront where they can pull high-quality print (and even non-print) materials.
Our production facilities employ lean manufacturing practices. Check out why other manufacturers choose to partner with us in this booklet.