Our second year student Jack Sykes is helping to develop and deliver a mentor ship program for 1st year apprentice students.
Life in the Lift Industry has enough up's and down's for its students. We could all do with a hand to hold or a point in the right direction every now and then.
As part of our Engineer Development Plan we are getting ready to recruit again and are keen to make the process as efficient and enjoyable for everyone involved. Using Jack who is our first Engineer that is moving through the system we can find out what worked out well and what we could do better to improve.
One of the topics Jack recommends is some support and guidance for first years on NVQ write ups. Just like any goal or journey there is almost always a most effective route that can be taken and this is where mentoring is most powerful in business and life. Jack is preparing to show student that path he took but we are keen that they suffer the pain and process of taking the steps themselves. There are only so many ways to can become a well rounded experienced lift engineer with a full concept of a range of engineering and electrical principles and working hard and time spent is part of the picture.
In any journey its essential to make movement in the right direction. As part of our Engineer Development Program we have implemented a lean approach to as many aspects of training and installation procedures as possible.
One of the systems although small but effective is the management of tooling within the team and throughout the installations. Our tool kits are designed specifically to the product installed, and only the relevant equipment is kept to hand and is duplicated if necessary to improve performance as much as possible.
An example is our tool station for the Aritco 7000 that allows the Technical Fitter access to all relevant tools involved in the installation.
We invest hundreds of hours into getting to know our customers lifts, so we thought we’d give you an insight into how we developed the latest Platform Lift Product Training Programme for our engineers.
Platform lifts can generally be installed in 2-3 days, what’s more they are being sold in high volumes due to them being incredible value for money; their popularity makes them the ideal type of lift to train new engineers.
Before even starting to develop the programme our senior management team immersed themselves on the product, reviewing the documentation, sitting down with product experts and ultimately, where all the the real learning took place, by jumping on the tools and installing 8-10 lifts in order to reach expert status.
In the process we captured 40+ pages of notes, 500+ photo’s:
and over 100 hours of video footage:
Once we understand how the product functioned, both mechanically and electronically, we started to pull together the process for completing each stage of the installation, breaking it down into logical steps. Once we had this laid out we looked for leaner more efficient ways to approach things; a good example being where we halved the number of measurements and cuts that needed to be made on a standard height 2 floor lift. This we did by scribbling all the measurements of various components on paper, finding key relationships and doing the sums.
Next we started to build the fitters guide, one for each the mechanical and technical engineers. The guide takes the form of a checklist that outlines the key high level steps to complete the install, in the correct order.
This list indicates the page where more detailed description for each task can be found, which covers:
We then refined this over a couple of installs until we were happy we had it down to a tee.
We found that short little tutorial videos are a great learning aid. We could introduce engineers to the product before they come face-to-face with it, allowing them to get familiar before their first on-site training session. They were also great for the engineers to access on the job if they needed some clarity on a particular step, or support with troubleshooting or even to recap on how to tackle some obscure optional extra that they may only come across from time-to-time.
Here is an example of one of our video training snippets that supplement the Platform Lift Training Programme:
Striving for excellence meant it wasn’t good enough just to teach someone how to do something we had to steer them down a path towards excellence with us and that means regular reviews along the way. To aid us with this we produced an Engineers Competency Chart to help us track how they are progressing with their learning and performance around each of the key installation steps.
This enables us to test and track, what they are capable of doing, how well they are capable of doing it and how quickly they are able to complete the installation.
Every engineer starts on as a mechanical engineer, supporting the technical engineer and depending upon experience they progress into learning the technical role somewhere between 3-6 months (quicker if they have experience on similar products and are able to fast track through the mechanical role)
This approach ensures that everyone gets to understand each others role fully and creates more rounded engineers.
It’s not just about creating a pool of talent that excels with these types of products, it’s about finding what drives our engineers, where their passions lie and what their goals are. The most obvious step is to move onto bigger more complex projects, taking 2-3 weeks to complete; therefore we are working on bringing in the necessary talent to help us develop similar programmes to assist our engineers in making that move. So watch this space!
If you would like to find out more about who we are, what makes us tick and where we are heading then don’t hesitate to contact us.
To support the work we are doing bringing new lift engineers into the industry via ME12 Sprint Team we are busy working on an exciting new training programme that all engineers working for ME12 Lifts will be placed on.
This computer based system enables our engineers to learn at their own pace and using whatever computer or smart device they have to hand.
As they progress through a courses modules they answer questions along the way to confirm understanding, gaining points and winning badges and awards depending on how well they do. Once the last module is complete they have to complete one final test before obtaining a final ranking and being awarded a certificate.
It’s a neat little solution with league tables to rank engineers amongst their peers. Course modules can be updated with new information and sent out to engineers to re-complete, courses can be set to force a refresh at regular intervals and reports tell us how well our engineers are doing.
It will also help us see at a glance who is qualified to carry out certain type of work.
The first course which focuses on Personal Protective Equipment, went on the 20th April 2017, for field testing.
This will shortly be followed by our remaining Health and Safety modules before we start moving into other areas which will include:
We also plan to link these to NVQ 2 and 3 to support our engineer’s further development.
What’s more we are developing the modules in such a way as to be able to open up the courses to lift companies and third party lift engineers, so watch this space!