The quality of talent is critical in manufacturing plant start-ups – both locally and in overseas markets, according to a recent white paper by The MPI Group (MPI) sponsored and presented by Development Dimensions International (DDI).
While “Global Auto Plant Start-Ups: Building a Workforce to Drive Success” examines the role of human resources in driving successful automotive plant start-ups around the world, the best practices and strategies identified for establishing effective HR processes can be applied to plant start-ups in any manufacturing sector.
“From DDI’s years of experience in start-ups, we know the ability to quickly select, staff, train, lead and sustain a team-based workforce is imperative for the success of any manufacturing plant,” said Bill Jackson, a vice president and executive consultant for DDI. “As start-ups increase in Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) economies, they’re facing the same challenges that manufacturing start-ups have seen historically, and they need to be serious about leadership, hiring, training and team environments.”
The major findings of the study include:
· Leaders have to establish the cultural identity of a new plant – its DNA – well in advance of hiring the first employee. “There is only one opportunity to embed a corporate stamp firmly on the location and to remove or revise traditional mindsets, systems and practices,” Jackson said.
· New-plant leadership is a critical component to an on-time launch that hits performance criteria for quality, cost, safety and other areas. With the right leadership in place, all other HR facets can proceed in a systematic and efficient manner, consistent with corporate the DNA.
· Successful start-ups focus on hiring a workforce with the right personal attributes and work motivations – especially in locations where relevant industry experience is not readily available. This is consistent across all positions and throughout the organization.
· Selection infrastructure is required. New plants face the challenge of quickly sifting thousands of recruits through a selection and hiring process filter while adhering to launch timelines and regulatory restrictions. Proven support services and analytical tools are a must.
· Training needs to be viewed as a continuous activity. Inexperienced workers must be trained quickly via a program integrated with selection and staffing efforts. Yet pre-hire training can only go so far; successful start-ups rely on leaders capable of training “just in time” as new developmental needs emerge.
The leadership and technical staff necessary to launch a plant are often not the same staff required to lead a mature a plant. Leaders must develop the systems and practices to transfer knowledge from start-up experts to local employees who will guide the plant to long-term success.
About The MPI Group
The MPI Group is a fast-growing global research and thought-leadership firm specializing in manufacturing and management research. Founded by business executives and journalists with two decades of experience in uncovering best practices, The MPI Group enables companies to benchmark performance vs. peers and competitors and discover the strategies, tactics and investments needed to sustain growth, increase revenues and uncover areas of opportunity. Based in suburban Cleveland, The MPI Group maintains one of the largest databases on performance metrics in the world.
Founded in 1970, Development Dimensions International (DDI), a global human resources consulting firm, helps organizations close the gap between today’s talent capability and future talent needs. DDI’s expertise includes designing and implementing selection systems, and identifying and developing front-line to executive leadership talent. With more than 1,000 associates in 75 offices in 26 countries, the firm advises half of the Fortune 500.