How to build operations guides for your manufacturing team
One of the biggest challenges in a manufacturing environment is maximizing equipment and employee productivity. With smooth operations, you’re more likely to hit your business targets and make customers happy—and keep everyone working safely and efficiently.
One important but often overlooked tool for running a tight ship is an operation guide. An operation guide (aka operation manual) is comprehensive documentation that covers, in great detail, business or equipment functions and operating procedures. A well-written operation guide reinforces training and is a prudent backstop for workers struggling to recall every detail of it. The guide also provides a constant resource for new equipment upgrades and changes.
With an operation guide, you can reinforce what your workers learn in their training to drive on-the-job performance. Even better, an effective operation guide can help your manufacturing team avoid downtime through cross-training. When everyone can see how to get a job done, no one employee is the lynchpin of your entire operation. And that, in turn, helps to reduce your risk.
In this article, we’ll dive into all the details you need to know about operation guides, including how you can quickly and easily build a modern one that your manufacturing team can reference online, from any device.
What a typical operation guide includes
Operation guides have traditionally been a catchall for content related to day-to-day operations. They include everything from timesheet tracking and benefits enrollment to equipment usage and maintenance schedules. Other types of content in operation guides may include how-to procedures, the location of safety equipment, safety guidelines, and contacts for reporting maintenance issues, as well as department-specific standards and policies.
Nowadays, operation guides include much of this same information, but in a much more digestible format. Modern guides are online resources that are searchable and focused on specific products, equipment, or job tasks. Having an online guide is especially important for today’s workers, as they’re accustomed to finding information on their mobile phones and expect access to digital resources that provide information the moment they need it.
How to build an online operation guide
Creating an online operation guide is easy with the right application. For example, maybe you want workers to interact with images of their equipment. Instead of static diagrams and text, you can present workers with labeled images with clickable markers that help them explore the functions of various equipment parts in context. Markers could even include videos from equipment manufacturers that demonstrate safe use and maintenance procedures.
Apps like Rise let you easily create online training and performance support, such as operation guides, job aids, and quick-reference training. Because it’s an all-in-one online training system, Rise lets you both create your operation guide online and share it with your workers online.
Workers can take training courses and access operation guides from the workshop floor or even in the break room. That’s because training built with Rise is fully responsive, meaning it works great on every device—laptops, tablets, and even smartphones. And because your content is online, everyone in your organization can access the information 24x7x365, wherever they are.
Let’s sum it up
If you want to modernize your manufacturing operation and put critical information into the hands of your workers, ditch all those old-school binders. With an all-in-one training system like Rise, anyone on your team can quickly create operation guides and other online training that your workers need to keep operations running like a well-oiled machine.
Check out our manufacturing field guide example for some more inspiration. You get this example and more free with a 30-day trial.