How to Modernize Workforce Operations and Experience Its Benefits

Modernizing Workforce Operations

Technological advances are happening faster than ever, resulting in workers having to learn new skills quickly and efficiently. The resulting skills gap is driving labor shortages that have only been compounded by COVID. The National Association of Manufacturers estimates that the manufacturing skills gap could result in 2.1 million unfilled jobs by 2030. Manufacturers must adopt a modern take on workforce operations in response to these market forces. “Workforce operations” is the practice of strategic coordination of their workforce systems, processes, and activities based on operational priorities to optimize productivity and quality.

The first step necessary to modernizing workforce operations begins with data. Manufacturers must implement solutions to ensure that the data captured on their workers' skillset is high quality and accurate. Trust in the data collection process ensures that you can trust the data outputs down the line. Once that data is captured, manufacturers can take the next step of matching job qualifications with their training processes. Going through the exercise of clearly matching job qualifications to training processes enables organizations to systematically build a relationship between work to be done and the capability to do it. Connecting these dots drives deeper and more rigorous analyses of workforce operations.

Once the data is being captured, then it’s distributing and consuming that data. Providing digital skill matrices that are accurate and up to date can allow front line leaders to efficiently detect and address any skill gaps as they arise. Front line leaders can more readily review critical data points to effectively manage their workers' productivity and efficiency, ensuring they meet quality standards and customer expectations. 

Moving beyond real-time reporting, manufacturers can begin to take predictive and preventative actions with the data. One example of a predictive action is career pathing. Workers are provided with clear plans on what skills they may need to develop to continue their professional development in the context of skill demands of the future. Manufacturers can also leverage the data to create predictive workforce planning, ensuring that employees with the right set of skills will be available to meet demand in the future across various scenarios. Finally, with preventative actions, captured skill data can be leveraged as a form of digital process control, fed into systems to limit unauthorized actions. This ensures that workers are only involved in processes that are conducive to their skill level, preventing potential accidents and poor quality outcomes. 

Benefits of Modernizing Workforce Operations

One of the most significant benefits of modernizing your workforce operations is a better utilized and more productive workforce. With accurate data, front line leaders can quickly identify opportunities for cross-training their workforce, which leads to better agility and improved outcomes. In addition, through matching qualifications and training, the training process is accelerated ensuring that manufacturers have a qualified workforce to meet demand. 

A well-trained, highly qualified workforce helps reduce quality costs for organizations. Internal failure makes up the most considerable portion of poor quality costs. An undertrained and under-validated workforce is a leading root cause of all quality errors. With real time access to workforce skills, front line leaders are enabled to take a proactive approach when managing employee proficiencies to ensure staff meets manufacturing quality standards. This results in decreased prevention costs and an overall reduction in COPQ. 

Modernizing your workforce operations is key to ensuring your organizations' long-term health and success. Investments in solutions that assist with capturing, analyzing, and operationalizing your data result in increased labor utilization and improved quality outcomes. To learn how Covalent Workforce Operations can help your organization, contact us here. 

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