Print shops are steadily losing their technological edge, and the possibilities of systems are increasingly similar. In an era of tough competition and declining prices for printed products, tapping the full potential of presses becomes a critical factor.
Only up to twenty percent of limited performance is caused by technology, while eighty percent can be attributed to human factors. To increase a company's mid to long-term performance, it is necessary for employees to make a targeted effort to develop their individual skills and potential. "With the printadvice concept CEplus – which stands for Competence Engineering – the strengths and weaknesses of individual employees and teams can be compared and analyzed in relation to the company's requirements," says Thomas Schonbucher, Managing Director Eurografica Systemplanungs GmbH, a subsidiary of manroland that provides consulting services as part of printadvice. "Building on that analysis, measures are developed according to the job definition (as targets) and the priority of requirements. Trainings with the most significant impact on performance are assigned a higher priority. This reduces training expenditures to a minimum, while they remain precisely defined and quantifiable with the CEplus analysis. Repeating this process on an annual basis bring improvements in expertise and skills."
Where are we headed? The target profile
At the outset of the analysis, the companies create a task-specific target profile containing detailed technical requirements, organizational aspects, as well as social and team-based skills. What set of expertise and skills is required for reel men and women, printers, or shift managers? What basic knowledge do employees need to have in terms of reporting, communication, or safety-related topics? Which operational, analytical, organizational, or other skills are expected? printadvice compiles a questionnaire based on a print shop's equipment for the target profile; however, its scope and methods can be applied to the printing company as a whole. Because not all contents of the training areas have an equal impact on the company's performance, the system sets their priority in accordance with the target goal.
How am I doing? The actual situation
Data for the actual situation are taken from the employee's self-evaluation as well as his or her supervisor's assessment. On the request of management, employees can also rate their supervisors. Ratings occur in terms of levels, from novice to expert. Participants are able to complete the questionnaire in approximately thirty minutes and subsequently view their submitted assessments.
Good or better? The analysis
Following the predefined parameters, the actual analysis is conducted, accompanied by a personal comment and recommendation from printadvice for each participant. The evaluation documents knowledge levels and identifies potential for improvement. If skill levels are found to be above the expected target value, for example, an employee can be designated as a mentor for other colleagues. If values fall below targets, a measure is recommended for the area in need of improvement. In the event that several areas are affected, the highest priority is assigned to trainings on topics with a high importance rating and which involve a strong deviation from the target level. If there is a strong variance in performance assessments between employees and their superiors, printadvice moderates a discussion to reflect and rethink these discrepancies.
In addition to the individual employee evaluations, management receives an overview of all employees for quick reference and detailed project documentation. This enables a direct comparison of individual participants and teams. Thus, clarity is gained regarding general shortcomings or areas where the weaknesses of specific employees need to be compensated by their colleagues: this improves the team's ability to operate production equipment at an optimum level.
What now? The list of measures
After potential improvements have been identified, printadvice compiles an overview of recommended measures for all employees in the order required by the priorities set in the target profile. Based on this information, manroland's Print Technology Center defines training contents according to the test results. Unnecessary topics or those that have been already mastered are not included, allowing the trainings to be as compact, on-target and efficient as possible. Because the CEplus concept covers the entire range of print shop activities, printadvice also includes external trainings for the optimization of pre-press, finishing or maintenance.
printadvice recommends a renewed assessment of knowledge levels every six to twelve months. This allows the success and quality of the initial trainings to be measured, necessary follow-up trainings to be identified, or additional measures for long-term personnel development to be implemented.