Facilitating Food Manufacturing Skills Development Using Learning Technologies
Setting the Scene
A global organisation employing in excess of 2,000 people, Devro is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of collagen casings used in the production of sausages and other meat products. A core principle of the organisation is developing the people involved in the business, recognising the vital role that all employees play in the success of the organisation, especially their positive impact on customers.
Devro was looking to develop the skills of their employees and transfer technical knowledge across the organisation. Importantly, the main objective was to capture and transfer the knowledge of decades of technical “know-how”, held by employees, and find a way of sharing fact-based knowledge across the business. As a global company, they also needed to ensure consistency of the scientific and technical understanding of their key manufacturing processes The training of Manufacturing, Engineering and Product and Process Development employees was being delivered through traditional methods.
As a global organisation, Devro was looking to make a proportion of training material accessible to everyone, so an online eLearning solution was a necessity. It was important to bring this knowledge to life through interactive module content and supplement this training through tutorials led by internal subject matter experts. To ensure this “know-how” remains confidential, there are additional security measures to control access to the content.
In November 2015 Devro commissioned eCom to develop a number of eLearning modules. To ensure the project was aligned with the Company’s goals and to get buy-in from key stakeholders, eCom facilitated a one-day workshop to discuss all elements of the project. The full eLearning cycle was outlined with a focus on content, the construction of the eLearning material and a structure suited to learner engagement. This session identified the need to keep the module content as simple and clear as possible for online delivery, as these modules were being rolled out globally across the Company to different nationalities, where English was not the native language.
Devro employed a Technical Writer to abstract the main educational content from the earlier knowledge-capture exercise and offer advice on its use and placement. Regular reviews were built into the project plan to maintain contact with all stakeholders. This included eCom attending monthly steering group meetings to assist with keeping the project on track and to help resolve any issues. A series of eLearning modules were created using eCom’s cloud-based authoring tool eNetAuthor.
These modules form part of the Devro skills development Academy and expand the knowledge and understanding of the science that is at the heart of the whole manufacturing process. Each interactive module is supported by an internal expert tutor who can address questions which arise from the training and assist with the understanding of the content for the learners. Learners access the content via a secure online platform with a dashboard showing the course catalogue for that individual with the status on progress.
Each module includes a self-assessment knowledge check to assist the learners with their understanding of the module content. Course evaluation questionnaires are also included in every module to ensure there is a feedback mechanism to continuously improve the module design and content for the future. Responses to the eLearning programme have been very positive: 82% of participants were happy with the level of information in the modules; 98% considered that the modules are well laid out and easy to follow and 97% agreed that eLearning is an effective tool for delivering the knowledge content. Two-thirds of the eLearning modules have been delivered in a planned three-year process.
Devro has benefitted from using online learning in the following ways:
- They have successfully transferred a large amount of internal knowledge into content
- They have developed a more consistent message across their business
- By incorporating videos and interactive elements, this training suits different learning styles
- Moving to an online learning environment has delivered cost savings for the organisation.
eCom have enjoyed collaborating with Devro to develop their food manufacturing skills with these eLearning modules and look forward to working with the company on future projects.