Employee education and training is a natural part of adapting to new business processes. However, the value is not always clear. The company offered educational programs to suppliers, outlining what is expected of each partner in terms of planting and harvesting best practices. From there, the company added training programs to manufacturing and warehouse staff to ensure produce was stored and maintained properly, followed by educational offerings to transportation partners to prevent damage to the produce while en route to the customer. Chiquita Brands has increased its mandatory food safety and quality standards significantly as a result of the effort, and the education and training programs were necessary to ensure the regulations were understood and implemented throughout its supply chain. when the employees are working for business partners. Even so, it is important that all links in the supply chain operate optimally, and it is likely for that reason that Chiquita Brands revamped its supply chain management education programs to include its partners. As Food Safety Magazine reported, FDA regulations represented a key area of focus, as sharing this knowledge can reduce the risk of compliance-related disruptions.
Furthermore, it was important for employees to not only understand the broad expectations of food safety throughout the supply chain, but also the individual demands placed on each produce type offered by the brand. Chiquita offers an array of products to consumers, and supply chain staff must understand how to maintain and protect the integrity of all products offered.
Within the modern supply chain, constant growth drives new strategies and business models into international markets. As supply chains expand, new workers are brought on to fill vacancies and support increased workloads. These workers must be trained and educated on the ins and outs of the company, their specific role, and any relevant regulatory or compliance issues. Once education and training have been completed, employees typically are more productive and bring a greater value to the company. Likewise, existing employees can benefit from refresher courses or programs to introduce new regulations or requirements so each worker is constantly growing within the supply chain.
What training works
Some companies prefer that their managers handle new and existing employee education and training programs, yet others are outsourcing the tasks to experts in the industry who are experienced in completing the projects quickly and efficiently. Outsourcing training and education services can enable decision-makers to spend more time and energy on other projects, while seasoned veterans guide the sessions and keep employees up to speed with what is expected of them. When working with a supply chain education and training provider, select one that offers customizable programs to meet the company's unique needs and deliver a high return on investment. Typical services include:
- End-user training and comprehensive documentation to equip workers with the skills to leverage supply chain management software
- Administration and frontline staff training on implementation, maintenance and troubleshooting
- IT training to ensure tech departments are well-versed in the latest software adoptions
Initial training may be required for all new hires, while ongoing support and curriculum can be provided through seminars or research documents.
Healthcare slips behind
While some food industry professionals are making strides to implement necessary educational programs throughout the supply chain, the healthcare industry is lagging behind in training efficiency. A recent survey from the University of Arkansas revealed many healthcare supply chains are not deploying training programs. This is a problem for many members of the healthcare supply chain, as new technologies are being adopted to improve efficiency and quality of care. Due to the stringent regulatory environment in these settings, it is critical that all key stakeholders are kept up to speed regarding any relevant requirements.
The survey identified a few areas where healthcare supply chain has suffered in education and training, including:
- Collaborative planning
- Supply forecasting
- Supply replenishment processes.
The supply chain is perhaps one of the most collaborative areas of business, and this makes it critical that every employee and business partner understands his or her role in getting all of the parts moving in unison.
Taking a proactive approach to your supply chain management strategy will translate into growth across your company. Learn about building the future's supply chain with our complimentary eBook below: