The Essentials Of Cross Training: The Benefits Of Delegation And The Role Of Education

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Joseph B. Mosca
John Buzza
Stuart Abraham

Keywords

cross-training, delegation, management

Abstract

Bob Hunter is the operations manager for a medium sized manufacturing plant that produces after market automobile parts. The line of products includes: alternators, starters, rebuilt air-conditioner compressors, disk-brake pads and replacement kits, and electric motors for power windows and seats. Bob has been having difficulty meeting deadlines due to increased orders and he met with his boss, the director of operations saying:  “Mr. Conner, I am pushing my crew to the limits, I seem to be running around from department to department since I lost my assistant, and meeting production deadlines is becoming difficult. Can I hire at least two more employees to increase production?  “Sorry Bob, but the budget will not allow it and you will have to increase efficiency. Our raw materials costs have increased and the competition is not raising their costs.”  “Do you have any suggestions that can help me?” asked Bob.  “First I have a couple of questions for you; are your employees cross trained and how much work do you delegate? If not, you should give it some serious consideration. As you know Bob, changes in management are essential in order for us to remain competitive. When you hired your employees, did you give any thought to how flexible they were?”  No organization can survive today without employees that can meet the challenge of rapid change. This paper is not to discuss change, but how cross training employees can increase efficiency, and how education is helping to prepare future employees.

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