Take Your Manufacturing Business to the Next Level – Use Training as a Tool

Take Your Manufacturing Business to the Next Level is a five-part blog series:

  1. Introduction and Opening Moves
  2. Commit to Post and Go
  3. Ingrain Technology
  4. Use Training as a Tool
  5. Press Your Advantages and Conclusion

Part Four: Use Training as a Tool

Most Mastercam users are under-utilizing their software. That means that profits are being left on the table due to lost opportunities for efficiency improvements and cost reductions. Training can correct this problem, but it has to be the right kind of training, tailored to your manufacturing problems, opportunities, and work force.

Training should not be an afterthought engaged in when you get around to it. Instead, it should a primary tool for obtaining sustainable manufacturing competitiveness. Here are some ways training options that can be used strategically to meet your manufacturing company’s long-term objectives.

Explore “open” training options.

Many CAM resellers provide training services that are customized for the needs of their market areas as well as for specific customers. For example, one Mastercam Reseller decided to add value by creating an unlimited training program. All employees of companies enrolled in this program could receive training services. With this approach, everyone who is willing could get training and the Reseller’s customers gained a competitive edge. That is good thinking.

Find variations that work for you.

There are many other variations on this theme. Training can be provided in cost-effective classes at the Reseller that are attended by multiple customers; customized training on-site or in-house; training packaged with advanced system installations; in- house mentoring programs where experienced users help learners improve their skills; and self-study at the learner’s own pace via online courses, on Mastercam University, for example.

Anyone who wants training should get it and there are many ways to achieve this objective. Explore them. Contact a Mastercam Reseller if you would like assistance.

Get the right people in the right seats.

Training is not just a way to impart necessary skills. It is also a way to evaluate what the wide-ranging inherent abilities of a set of workers are, so that they can be used most effectively.

If a company has one seat of Mastercam, it is likely that one or two workers will have been selected as primary users. They should be trained. But why not make training available to a dozen others in the shop who would like to know more about Mastercam?

Cycle everyone through if they want to learn. Some of these may become back-ups to the primary programmers and ones who will jump into the next programming positions when the need arises. Some may show an aptitude and love for even more complex types of programming, such as multiaxis or mill-turn. It is good to be aware and nurture this kind of talent on your staff. The knowledge can help you grow your company’s capabilities with more complex CNC manufacturing applications.

Proficiency testing at the end of a training session gives the trainer a window into how well they are doing their jobs. It also provides insights into the types of CNC work for which an individual is best suited.

Not everyone who attends training will have the desire or aptitude necessary to become CNC programmers. But the entire staff will benefit from a shared understanding of how CAM processes work, and what needs to happen to support them. Finally, giving everyone the opportunity to attend training is a real morale booster, something everyone can appreciate.

Focus on need to know.

Beyond the basics, the most valuable CAM training for both the manufacturer and the individual Mastercam user is tailored to provide information that will be of the most immediate use—as opposed to providing a blanket curriculum that is set in stone for everyone. This concept applies to classroom training sessions designed for specific customers, as well as one-on-one training designed to help specific users to adapt proficiently to manufacturing challenges likely to be encountered every day.

Companies who have elected to install Mastercam generally fall into two categories: 1) startups choosing the industry leader and 2) companies who are replacing their existing process/system because they couldn’t accomplish what they needed to do. Companies in the second group often have a sense of urgency. They feel like they are falling behind and seek rapid-fire success.

If regularly scheduled classes don’t line up, speak with your Mastercam Reseller to source a more customized alternative. For example, combine training with implementation of the post processor to benefit from hands-on training with your specific applications.

Mastercam Resellers have Application Engineers who are industry experts. These talented people are specialists in the ability to jump in and troubleshoot, optimize, and manage a wide variety of shop-specific needs. These AEs are available to turn new Mastercam users into application-specific power users capable of getting parts off the machine efficiently and safely.

Our next installment of this blog series will explore ways to take better advantage of what you already have and wrap up ways to take your manufacturing business to the next level. If you like, you are welcome to download a free white paper that overviews the content of this blog series as a manufacturing action plan here: Ignite Your Manufacturing.

This blog series was written in partnership with QTE Manufacturing Solutions, a Mastercam Reseller providing CAD/CAM solutions in St. Louis, Kansas City, Wichita, Springfield, Cape Girardeau, Columbia, Hannibal, Quincy, St. Charles, Memphis, Nashville, Jackson, Knoxville, Chattanooga, Cookeville, Little Rock, Bentonville, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and most other locations in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.