Big Picture - May 2017 - 13


* Months 6-12 - Training and certification on more
detailed and complex SOPs and departmental tasks.
* Year 2 - Training will typically now expand to
cross-training on additional tasks, different pieces of equipment, and perhaps other departments. This process also
includes the testing and certification protocols.
* Year 3+ - Annual review and recertification of various
SOPs as determined by department manager.
Part of formalizing your training program includes the
important step of documenting each person's participation in
the curriculum. An SOP should be set up so each employee is
required to learn it, practice it, and have a manager sign off that
they've mastered it. This process for each employee and each
department can easily be tracked on a spreadsheet or Word
document providing an up-to-date view of the status of your
entire training program. This documentation should be visible
to all department managers and the senior management of the
business. This type of system makes everyone accountable, and
training will be taken seriously by everyone in the company.

Cross-training can be a complex issue, particularly in a
manufacturing environment with the sophistication required
to run printing and fabrication devices. However, every
business should have some level of cross-training included in
their training program. The best approach here is to be
selective about which employees should be cross-trained on
which equipment and processes.
You may also choose to cross-train employees across
different departments. Training a fabrication employee to
move over into shipping may not be nearly as challenging as
training a prepress technician to work in the printroom on a
complex printer. Nonetheless, the latter may be exactly what
you need to do to provide adequate coverage if an employee
leaves unexpectedly without notice, someone has an extended period of sickness, or there's any other event that would
disrupt your production flow. The important point here is that
certain employees will be the best qualified to cross-train on
various skills and/or equipment. You will have the greatest
success cross-training your best employees.
This philosophy should extend to all departments in your
business. For instance, your receptionist is certainly fully
trained on how you like your phones to be answered. But
when he or she is out, does the next person answer the phone
the same way? Maybe not. And while you may not train your
receptionist to manage your general ledger accounts, it would
make sense to have more than one person in your accounting
department trained to cut checks or process payroll data. (In
our company, our receptionist actually performs a number of
accounting tasks.) By including a thorough approach to
cross-training in your overall training program, you'll find
your operations running much more smoothly.
Hopefully some of these thoughts will prompt you to
assess your current training programs and make improvements where needed. Our businesses are only as good as our
employees. Highly trained employees always make the best
employees and, in the end, will contribute to the long-term
success of your business.


A great way to structure a comprehensive SOP program is to
designate one individual to be in charge of managing it. This
person is not responsible for creating the departmental SOPs,
just for getting them organized and documented once they're
created. In our business, this designated person meets with
the department managers and outlines the structure and
templates for their SOPs. Then, she meets with the manager
and other members of the department who typically have
extensive experience to develop the SOPs for that particular
department. Once they get the basic outline of an individual
SOP finished, her job is to get it documented, obtain final
approval from production management, and add it to the SOP
database for that department.
At first glance, this approach may seem tedious, but in
reality this is the type of process you must be willing to commit
to if you want to establish an effective and consistent training
program. Appointing someone to lead that process and
allocating a portion of their time to that process will ensure that
your SOPs get done in an accurate and timely manner.
Avoid spending an unnecessary amount of time attempting to develop the perfect SOP system, though. Create a basic
template instead that can be used as a structure for creating
SOPs in all departments. Ours contains the following
elements, and is created and referenced on our company
intranet for easy access to both the trainers and the trainees:
* Scope - determines which personnel/departments the
SOP pertains to
* Necessary Tools - defines what processes and/or
equipment are attached to the SOP
* Definitions - expands on various elements of the process
* Purpose - outlines what the SOP attempts to accomplish
* Related SOPs - cross-references other SOPs that
connect to any of the processes being taught
* Steps/Responsibilities - outlines the specific training
steps to be taken
* Comments - provides any additional information
pertinent to the process
* Attachments - visual images or videos used for training
Unfortunately, many businesses go through all the time and
effort of creating and documenting excellent SOPs, and then
the files end up sitting in a binder collecting dust. Your SOPs are
only going to be as effective as the training that goes along with
them. In order to implement effective training, you must have
a plan. Like the SOP process, your training plan will be more
successful if you have a designated person managing the
process. In our business, the same person who manages the
SOP process drives the training program, too. Her responsibility
includes working with the department managers to set up
training schedules for all departmental employees.
Here's an example of a new employee's training schedule
at Ferrari Color:
* Day 1 - New employee orientation with human resources
department and introduction to the management team and
department teams.
* Months 1-6 - Individualized training on employee's
specific responsibilities including basic departmental SOPs.
Employee is tested and certified on individual SOP mastery.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Picture - May 2017

Big Picture - May 2017
Wide Angle
Business + Management
Selling a Story
How I Got the Job: James Swanson
Dialing in on Dye Sub
Job Log
Big Picture - May 2017 - Big Picture - May 2017
Big Picture - May 2017 - Cover2
Big Picture - May 2017 - Contents
Big Picture - May 2017 - Insight
Big Picture - May 2017 - 3
Big Picture - May 2017 - Wide Angle
Big Picture - May 2017 - 5
Big Picture - May 2017 - Upfront
Big Picture - May 2017 - 7
Big Picture - May 2017 - 8
Big Picture - May 2017 - 9
Big Picture - May 2017 - 10
Big Picture - May 2017 - 11
Big Picture - May 2017 - Business + Management
Big Picture - May 2017 - 13
Big Picture - May 2017 - Selling a Story
Big Picture - May 2017 - 15
Big Picture - May 2017 - 16
Big Picture - May 2017 - 17
Big Picture - May 2017 - 18
Big Picture - May 2017 - 19
Big Picture - May 2017 - 20
Big Picture - May 2017 - 21
Big Picture - May 2017 - How I Got the Job: James Swanson
Big Picture - May 2017 - 23
Big Picture - May 2017 - 24
Big Picture - May 2017 - 25
Big Picture - May 2017 - Dialing in on Dye Sub
Big Picture - May 2017 - 27
Big Picture - May 2017 - R+D
Big Picture - May 2017 - 29
Big Picture - May 2017 - 30
Big Picture - May 2017 - 31
Big Picture - May 2017 - 32
Big Picture - May 2017 - 33
Big Picture - May 2017 - 34
Big Picture - May 2017 - 35
Big Picture - May 2017 - Job Log
Big Picture - May 2017 - Cover3
Big Picture - May 2017 - Cover4