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Research

Problem Description:
In an unpredictable volatile economy, it is becoming extremely difficult for many companies to accurately align their business strategies in order to remain competitive and profitable. Major companies within the high-tech manufacturing industry are coming under insurmountable pressure to accurately forecast quarterly earnings to their shareholders. In the high-tech manufacturing industry, the cost of manufacturing is steadily increasing while the average selling prices of products such as computers are being reduced to maintain market share. As a result, companies' profit margins are steadily shrinking. These increasing costs are due primarily to expensive repairs and equipment downtime. To make matters worse, industries are currently experiencing a skills gap due to an aging workforce. In the next 10 years analysts predict a 40-70% loss of maintenance personnel in the marketplace. Training budgets are still not valued in most industries due to short-term gains. A deeper assessment of the problem can be directly contributed to use of ineffective problem-solving strategies that are usually hidden in the cost of downtime.

Problem Observation:
Many organizations are implementing lean manufacturing principles to streamline their workforces. 24-hour team troubleshooting is highly desired by many companies as they attempt to maintain their competitiveness. Training funds are usually the first to be justifiably cut from long range financial plans. It is becoming increasingly difficult to find the adequate technical resources to undergo a 6-12 month training program. Most colleges are not adequately preparing their students for the complexity of this new challenge. On-site support contracts are becoming very expensive for large and small organizations. As this skills gap continues to widen, most senior technical experts are looking forward to retirement or entering into management positions. As a result, companies must begin to seek out innovative strategies to gain and maintain valuable knowledge to remain competitive in their industries. As a result of this current situation most companies are experiencing high operational cost and a loss of valuable market share which has some investors nervous.

Industry Facts:

  • Ineffective Equipment Maintenance
    Recent studies indicate that 70% of equipment problems are self- induced. Most companies are operating at a 10-40% efficiency.
  • Lack of Skilled Workers
    According to the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), a survey of 360 manufacturing companies reported that 50% had a deficiency in problem-solving skills among employees. 38% of the nation's largest companies surveyed reported that it is difficult to find skilled workers; the situation worsens for engineers and technicians. 80% of manufacturers surveyed agree that there will be a shortage of skilled labor for the 21st century factories. - Mack Messmer (1996). Steer Clear of Skill Gaps. www.workforce.com
  • Technical Skill Knowledge Gap
    Recent studies of various technical industries indicate that in the next 10 years an aging technical workforce will be nearing retirement. Unfortunately, these seasoned technicians and engineers will take valuable undocumented knowledge with them.
  • Education Training Gap
    Other observations indicate that recent college graduates and organizations are not adequately prepared to immediately close this skills gap. In 1996 Motorola turned away 90% of applicants. - Mack Messmer (1996). Steer Clear of Skill Gaps. www.workforce.com
  • Missing the mark – 10 years later…In a study released in January 2006 by “The National Survey of America’s College Students” funded by Pew Charitable Trusts, it was estimated that more than 50% of 2 and 4 year college students lack the skills to perform complex literacy skills. Over 20% of college students lack basic quantitative literacy skills such as those required to compare ticket prices. Dr. Stephan Baldi, a principle research scientist for the American Institute for Research who directed the study, says…

“The surprisingly weak quantitative literacy ability of many college graduates is troubling. A knowledgeable workforce is vital to cope with the increasing demands of the global marketplace.”American Institute for Research, 2006

  • Rapidly changing environment
    Many organizations are continuously seeking new strategies to remain profitable as they adapt to this new challenge.
  • Related Articles:

National Association of Manufactures (NAM) Keeping America Competitve. How a Talent Shortage Threatens US Manufacturing
                       
Training Cuts adds to Job Woes - USA Today Aug 9 2012

"A" Solution:

Hobbs Technical Consulting was formed to assist educational institutions and organizations to counter this problem primarily through practical theory-based workshops and seminars. The seminars and workshops are designed to help organizations and individuals reap a return on their hard earned training investments. During the training, participants will be introduced to a proven innovative problem-solving technique that could be applied to any problem within any industry. Similar effective approaches are being used by many problem-solving professionals in the medical and law enforcement community.

Let's face it; every industry has its unique problems to solve. The one thing that is common to all successful problem-solvers is their ability to effectively apply a methodical approach. During the seminars and workshops participants will learn how to apply The Anatomy of Problem Solving techniques to solve real everyday problems that are encountered regularly within their homes, vehicles, and various industries.