A blog post in English, well, that gives us some stress… But, since we’ll be attending the DevLearn conference next week and we have a cool project on DemoFest, we thought it would be helpful to give our project some buzz!
About our client
Every day Royal FrieslandCampina provides millions of consumers all over the world with dairy products containing valuable nutrients. With annual revenue of 11.4 billion euro, FrieslandCampina is one of the world’s five largest dairy companies. In Belgium, there are a few production plants, with the plant of Aalter being one of the largest and most important ones for the consumer products industry of FrieslandCampina.
Together with the local division manager, Matthias Haspeslagh (L&D manager Belgium) encountered that one production line in the PEML division had almost 20% less efficiency than the other production lines. When they analyzed the total loss of efficiency on that line, they found out that the Sleever machine was one of the main reasons for this drop in efficiency: 3.2% of the efficiency loss was caused by the Sleever and that percentage was an annual equivalent of € 25.000 euro ($ 30,000). After assessing the employees, Matthias saw that the general skillset was good, by he also realized that the machine operators lacked some specific knowledge and competencies to handle a few crucial aspects of the Sleever.
“Employees didn’t have all the specific skills at that time to adjust and to finetune the most crucial parts of the machine, so we had a lot of minor breakdowns and loss time” (Matthias Haspeslagh)
A possible solution
“We have a lot of written procedures, job aids, and single-point-lessons, but they’re all printed out on paper and stocked in a file somewhere in a closet near the machines. And I always knew that those job aids and procedures weren’t consulted in times of problems and breakdowns. So we had to figure out another way,” says Matthias Haspeslagh. The reason for not consulting the job aids when in need was due to pressure to solve the technical breakdowns and the fact that the procedures were not immediately accessible when needed.
That’s when Winston Wolfe joined Matthias to look for an easy solution, with a quick implementation time. In the past, formal training proved to be not the best answer to fit these kinds of specific workforce problems. We then decided to provide the machines with QR codes, linking to the right procedure or job aid and adding some easy analytics. Our aim was to provide the right information to the right person at the right time. mLearning at its finest!
The main challenge here was: how do you convince management to implement QR codes and to stimulate the use of a tablet in a cellphone-free production facility?
When in need, bring in the numbers
At FrieslandCampina, it was prohibited to use a cellphone or smartphone in the workforce. So, asking to use a tablet and some strange codes, that would be revolutionary. When Matthias Haspeslagh was asked to give the local management some insights on his project, he decided – backed by the Belgian HR Director – to write down a business case, filled with real-time numbers, to convince the local management team.
“We were all convinced that we could bring down to efficiency loss from 3.2% to 1.6% if we could augment the skills and competencies of the employees. That would result in an annual saving of more than € 12.500 (= $ 15,000).” (Matthias Haspeslagh)
Combined with the QR codes, we set up an analytics system to keep track of the scans and the downloads. We now have data that prove that people keep using the tablet and the codes to help them out when they need assistance. In the team, there are a few early adopters who are now thinking of some videos to add to the procedures. “They really are motivated and engaged to make this a success,” says Matthias Haspeslagh.
Each week, Matthias also keeps track of the machine efficiency and since the kick-off, they managed to limit the efficiency loss on that machine to 1.4%, which is a huge success! The question here is: is this all due to the implementation of the QR codes and tablets?
“There’s probably no one-on-one correlation, but in the end, it’s all about performance and this approach definitely proved to be the right solution for us.” (Matthias Haspeslagh)
Because of the fantastic results, the good feedback from the employees and the strong belief in this unique approach, FrieslandCampina is currently looking to roll this project out to other machines and divisions and to link other learning materials to the QR codes.