How is Covalent different than a learning management system (LMS)?
LMS’s and LXP’s (learning experience platforms) are incredibly well-designed for facilitating classroom training and e-learning. These are mature, proven solutions for particular types of learning and learning environments.
But spend a few shifts on the production floor of an advanced manufacturing environment, and one quickly appreciates the unique set of challenges to administering on-the-job training (OJT) well. Here’s what we’ve heard from a range of Fortune 500 industrial companies that have struggled to customize their corporate LMSs to fit the needs of production environments:
The skills matrix is insufficient, if not non-existent; we’d rather use spreadsheets
There is no way to configure unique qualification processes that match how OJT actually occurs (i.e., some quals require OJT hours and/or practical exams and/or gated multi-stakeholder sign-offs) (credit: MB)
Qualifications cannot be associated with particular jobs / machines / products / model years (credit: JG)
There is no way to configure complex parent/child relationships between qualifications, such as pathways with pre-requisites (credit: JP)
Frontline leaders, including supervisors, shift leads, and trainers:
The skills matrix is insufficient; we’d rather use spreadsheets
We can’t incorporate actual work experience (i.e., hours / units) into the criteria for a qualification. That’s the golden goose. (credit: MJ)
There is no digital depth chart / coverage chart (credit: AS)
It’s not clear when I have to take an action; it’s not clear how to take that action (credit: ZP)
There is no training plan to compare current and required capacity based on work-to-be-done (credit: LL)
The data is not granular enough to make the case for changing headcount (credit: TR)
There are no out-of-the-box reporting capabilities to analyze contextualized data over time, such as identifying opportunities to accelerate time-to-productivity (credit: VL)
There is no audit trail with time-stamped signatures (credit: MB)
Notifications do not automatically alert the right stakeholders about upcoming or expired qualifications (credit: TS)
The data is not granular enough to feed our manufacturing execution system (MES) to gate unqualified workers from buying-off on jobs (credit: DH)
The LMS cannot host our technical data (credit: JF)
It’s difficult to understand what I’m responsible for learning and by when
It’s difficult to view all of the requirements to earn qualifications so I can level-up or get a raise
It’s hard to understand how I’m progressing through my training and what it means for my job
LMS’s play a major role in the learning journey of most hourly production workers today…off the floor. In industrial environments, we most often see LMS’s facilitate corporate onboarding, EHS, and professional development. Yet, it’s not uncommon — even for Fortune 500 companies with highly customized LMSs — to use paper and spreadsheets to manage OJT on the floor. We see it all the time. Once those workers “hit the floor”… industrial operations require a purpose-built, interoperable solution to take up the baton.