SMC Packaging employees must receive proper training on all the electrical components of machines and be able to troubleshoot issues to prevent downtime on the manufacturing line. Since the industry is ever-changing with new efficiencies and technological advancements, even seasoned employees require regular training.
Prior to partnering with the OTC-CWD, SMC Packaging would send their employees off-site, sometimes to larger cities like St. Louis or Kansas City, to receive training. While this solution worked as a temporary fix, the travel costs and time away from work for their employees made the training costly. The inconvenient training opportunities put SMC Packaging at risk of falling behind, especially as the business continued to grow. However, all that changed six years ago, thanks to trainers from the Center for Workforce Development at Ozarks Technical Community College.
By partnering with OTC-CWD, SMC Packaging's employees now receive electrical training from the convenience of the company's training center. Bob Sherman, one of OTC-CWD's industry experts, regularly visits SMC to teach employees how to safely troubleshoot electrical problems and prevent equipment downtime by heading off problems with proper maintenance. With more than 25 years of manufacturing experience in engineering, new product development, and industrial maintenance, Sherman provides expert training just a stone’s throw from the actual production floor.
The best part about the in-house training? The employees are still able to work and tend to the machines during the week of their training. This means the maintenance workers are still on-site in case one of the machines malfunctions. In the past, when the maintenance employees were being trained they were often too far away to offer any help in the event of an equipment challenge.
Another perk of training with OTC-CWD is the employees train together in groups. Rather than sending individual employees to an offsite training one at a time, the entire maintenance staff is able to quickly receive the same information. Sherman teaches in three shifts at SMC. Thanks to this method, two employee groups can keep an eye on the machines while the other group is training.
While SMC still occasionally sends employees to their machine's manufacturing plants to train on new machines, Gary Fender, director of corporate human resources at SMC says the need to send employees to other states for training is rare now.
"The service they provide us is invaluable for our maintenance staff," Fender says.