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Custom Metal Fabrication Personnel Series - Part 3

Employee Development and Training

OEMs and their contract manufacturers alike are finding themselves adjusting to a more competitive, globalized metal fabrication marketplace. To adapt to current trends, companies must hire exceptional talent from C-level management to the operator level. While this doesn’t mean necessarily hiring those with the most refined skillsets out of the box, there is a need for quicker and more effective development. For this reason, on-site training and career development has taken a new level of importance.

Metal Fabricators Are Willing to Take More Risks

On-the-job training, especially for personnel that arrive with little-to-no experience, is inherently risky. Fabricators are willing to take more of those risks as their individual training programs become more robust. There are also meaningful cultural shifts occurring as on-site training becomes more prioritized. As stated by Jean Pitzo, Ace Metal Craft’s CEO, in The Fabricator, “it takes several months to a year for an employee who came from very intense, fear-based management cultures to begin to trust co-workers and believe that people want to help.” Fabricators that train well promote peer accountability and a willingness to help each other through issues. Instead of oppressive management, successful metal fabricators encourage employees to assist others in need. This creates a sustainable work environment.

Expecting More from Everyone in the Company

shutterstock_275332469.jpgAs metal fabrication changes and the need to bolster competitiveness increases, there’s a need for everyone in a business to understand the bigger picture. That is, everyone that contributes to the company, either at the operator or manager level, should understand how what they do contributes to the success of the greater business. This means understanding how scrap, faulty parts, timeliness and overall throughput affect revenue, costs of sale and other expenses. Furthermore, it’s important that personnel, especially operators, receive cross-training in case a transition is necessary.

Where OEM Manufacturing Can Reduce Overhead

On-site training is becoming more important, but training takes time and can cost an OEM significant overhead costs in the long run. Contract manufacturing can relieve an OEM of labor-related overhead costs and forego the burden of training employees in the departments the contract manufacturer oversees. Instead of investing in labor and capital equipment in production, more OEMs are transitioning to assembly, R&D and shipment of final products.

OEM Struggles