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Preparing Your Operations Team for the Future

Dude Solutions
  • Mar 11, 2020
  • 3 minute read

The operations industry has evolved significantly over the past decade. Changes in technology and the job market keep operations leaders in the position of not only trying to keep up with their work, but with their approach to their work as well. 

Two things will always remain the same, though: You’ve got to have a reliable tool to manage your operations, and you need the right team of people to carry them out. 

Here’s a quick guide for what to consider to ensure you’ve got the tools and the team to future-proof your operations and be sustainably successful. 

 

The Right Personnel 

Here’s what we know: 

  • 50% of facilities personnel are set to retire in the next 10 years
  • Blue-collar positions are harder to fill than white-collar positions
  • The average number of days to fill a position for a skilled production worker is 93

 

Having the right people on your team is your most important asset. No work gets done without workers, and investing in technology doesn't help much if there’s no one to use it.  

 

Today’s operations workforce is experiencing a few common challenges: 

  1. A lot of experienced workers are preparing to retire 
  2. It’s getting harder to fill operations roles 
  3. Workers are lacking important skills to work efficiently 

 

That means there are some questions you’ll need to be able to answer, like: 

  • What’s my plan for when my team member retires? 
  • What knowledge or skills will my team lose once this worker has left? 
  • How do I make open positions attractive to today’s applicants? 
  • How do I ensure my team has the right skills to get the job done well? 

 

It can be overwhelming to think about, but coming up with these answers now instead of waiting until your team has gaps will save you and your organization a lot of strain down the road. 

 

Check out this podcast episode for tips on how to survive the trades shortage. 

 

The Right Technology 

Could your team use more time? Do you need to get more done with fewer resources? Do you feel like documentation and reporting sometimes fall through the cracks? 

If you’re answering yes, having the right tool to manage your operations will be the second most important asset for future-proofing your team. 

Let’s say you have a team of six technicians, and you average 5,000 work orders a year. Using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is known to save teams as much as an hour per work order, but even if using a CMMS only saved you a quarter of that, it would still equal 1,250 hours saved in a year. 

The right ops management tool not only saves you time, it also gives you a reliable, secure way to document, track and report on everything your team does.

Here’s what won’t help your team: 

  • Paper work orders. They get lost. They create more work than necessary. You’re not able to properly track and report on them. 
  • Desktop-based spreadsheets. They require tedious data entry. You can’t get quick, full-picture reporting. They’re not secure and could easily get deleted from your computer. 
  • Having technology you don’t utilize. Getting an operations management system is one thing. Consistently using it to its full advantage is another. 

 

The right people plus the right tool is a winning combination for setting your operations team up for success, now and in the future.  

To further help you navigate today’s changing workforce and understand how you can best serve your organization, we put together this easy-to-read guide full of facts and tips to help you create the best plan for your team. 

 

Sources: 

1 - Tom Willie, “CFM As An Inevitable Trend,” FMJ

2 - Alexia Fernandez Campbell, “The US is experiencing a widespread worker shortage. Here’s why,” Vox.com

3 - “2018 Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute skills gap and future of work study,” Deloitte Insights

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