This month, Best Practices takes you to the world of employee training — at International Automotive Components' North American Division, where its big plastics operation is adopting Paulson Training Programs Inc.
Big time. More than 13,000 people at IAC's cockpit and overhead systems operations have taken Paulson training, said Joel Scott, vice president of operational excellence.
Paulson set up four levels of testing, and it is for more than just new employees. Scott said there's a curriculum designed for the total plastics business at all 14 plants in North America.
"Every single employee in every single plant has to go through some form of training," from janitor to management, Scott said. For example, he said "a janitor's training was the same as the president's," meaning that both are at Level One.
Also, anyone who is interested can take a higher-level test.
IAC's cockpit and overhead systems molds and assembles interior plastic parts like doors, instrument panels, center consoles and other trim pieces. The overhead is the headliner.
Scott was promoted to vice president of operational excellence from his original post of senior director of management, where he led the decision to go all-in on Paulson. He came to IAC in late 2014.
"My sole purpose before in this organization was developing a strategy of taking our injection molding from average to excellent. It ended up being a three-year strategy and part of that was training," he said.
Scott calls it the "brain tissue" process … as in measuring and working to improve.
The overarching plan was to look at technology, machinery and tooling. The condition of the asset base, the "hard technology," how do employees troubleshoot, maintain and repair the machinery. Another area, he said, was advancing technology, such as core-back molding.
The knowledge-gap discussion was in a separate group.