Mastering Operations: How Developing Manufacturing Skills Drives Growth
Posted: August 16, 2023
Manufacturers are the cornerstone of the energy and industrial markets, driving technical solutions and improvements in productivity, efficiency, safety, and environmental impact. The manufacturing market, however, faces a significant skills shortage with many baby boomers heading for retirement. Engineers with valuable years of expertise are exiting the industry, with less knowledgeable newcomers entering the market to replace them.
A 2021 report revealed that more than half (56%) of recruiters in the energy industry say their biggest challenge is an aging workforce and shortage of skilled staff. As regulatory requirements, technology advancements, and societal expectations evolve, skills validation together with reskilling, cross-skilling, and upskilling programs are key.
In this article, we discuss successful skills strategies that Gilmore is and continues to invest in to continuously improve and optimize operations. In operation for over 60 years, we at Gilmore have established ourselves as leading providers of essential flow control solutions for energy and industrial markets. Whether you’re a business looking to master operations or an individual wanting to further your career, we’ll outline key manufacturing skills and principles to drive growth and achieve new heights.
Key Supply Chain & Manufacturing Skills for the Energy and Industrial Sectors
Employers are implementing various solutions to address the manufacturing skills gap. Brunel notes that 64% of energy sector employers plan to expand existing workforce training programs, and 36% plan to broaden recruitment processes to target individuals with transferable skills from other industries. In addition, 29% plan to increase collaboration with colleges to attract top-performing graduates. Let’s look at some key manufacturing skills for energy and industrial markets.
Technical knowledge necessitates an in-depth understanding of the processes, materials, equipment, and methods involved in manufacturing. Necessary for maintaining, troubleshooting, and improving systems, technical knowledge also plays a significant role in developing new solutions and opportunities in emerging markets and creating new value propositions for customers.
Quality control requires high attention to detail, meticulous data analysis, and testing skills. Individuals should be able to generate and review quality control plans and audit metrics; quality control is essential to meet compliance regulations as well as reducing costs, risks, and environmental impacts.
Knowledge and awareness of safety policies, procedures, and best practices are not only important to comply with occupational health and safety laws, but also to identify and rectify potential hazards before they become safety issues. This requires alertness, proactive behavior, and excellent communication skills.
While some people are more inclined to be natural team players than others, this is a learnable skill—and is essential to achieving long-term operational growth. A CNC Senior Programmer, for example, needs to integrate work with engineering, quality, purchasing, production, and scheduling units to ensure a streamlined flow of products within deadlines.
Working synergistically and cooperatively with others improves resource sharing, innovation, feedback, and problem-solving. It contributes to faster, more effective goal achievement.
No business can succeed without good communication skills—even more so in a sector that runs on a myriad of technical details, quality, and safety specifications. In manufacturing, this requires being able to communicate technical information, instructions, and specifications clearly and accurately. It involves written and verbal communication, reporting issues, providing updates, and giving presentations.
How Gilmore Develops Manufacturing Skills to Drive Growth for the Business and Its People
Through these three key strategies, we develop our business around a valued and motivated workforce. By encouraging personal development, Gilmore helps team members to flourish and realize their fullest potential.
Apprenticeship and Mentoring Programs
Our apprenticeship programs help young people launch a career in the energy and industrial sectors. The programs provide practical, hands-on training, mentoring from industry professionals, academic assistance, and certification. Additionally, a study by the Society of Petroleum Engineers revealed that more than half (53%) of respondents would consider leaving an employer due to a lack of training and development opportunities. Furthermore, 75% said that training and development were key in the role they chose or applied for. To that end, Gilmore offers an array of training and development opportunities.
As just one example, our manager and leader training courses equip senior team members with mentoring skills to support the development of others in the organization. Among the topics covered are emotional intelligence, communication, feedback, and goal setting.
Gilmore also offers development opportunities through workshops on various topics related to manufacturing skills, including quality control, safety awareness, and problem-solving. While they are designed to improve knowledge and skills, they also foster teamwork and collaboration.
Impact of Supply Chain & Manufacturing Skills and Talent on Company Growth
Oscar Guerrero, Supply Chain Manager at Gilmore, emphasizes that in the oil and gas sector, a skilled workforce is key to building a strong reputation. He notes that Gilmore’s highly skilled workforce empowers us to deliver high-quality products and services that exceed customer and partner expectations.
Thanks to our team’s manufacturing skills, Gilmore continues to innovate and adapt to the changing demands of the energy market. This has solidified our reputation as a leader and pioneer of flow control solutions; our skilled workforce attracts customers, stakeholders, investors, and talent who value quality, innovation, safety, social responsibility, and excellence.
In addition to establishing a competitive edge, Gilmore’s quality talent helps us continue expanding our portfolio and establishing resilience in the face of uncertainty and disruption.
Along with prioritizing a highly skilled workforce, adopting a LEAN operations strategy has played a significant role in Gilmore's success.
LEAN Operations: Why it Matters in the Energy and Industrial Sectors
Lean manufacturing is a way of thinking and a systematic approach to minimizing waste and maximizing value in manufacturing processes. It focuses on eliminating activities that do not add value to the customer while continuously improving quality and efficiency, helping organizations become more competitive and improve overall operational performance.
In applying our LEAN strategy, Gilmore is improving operations by switching to economic batch quantities and reconfiguring shop floor space to enhance efficiency. We’ve adopted an assemble-to-order model for high-volume standard products and meticulously monitor inventory turns, component demand, and stocking. In addition, Gilmore upgrades machines as necessary to minimize downtime.
With our LEAN strategy, Gilmore has improved efficiency, lowered costs, and reduced delivery time.
Collaborate With Gilmore Excellence and Innovation
Gilmore CEO David Nemetz believes in building a dedicated, inclusive, collaborative, and dynamic work environment. In addition to apprenticeship, mentorship, and skills training, we encourage an openly creative culture of collaboration, innovation, and transparency from the top down; with regular feedback, rewards, and support, Gilmore nurtures growth and development.
Our team looks forward to collaborating with you through excellence and innovation. Contact us today to learn more about how Gilmore can improve safety and productivity and reduce operational costs in your energy operations.