Meeting Customer Needs: Shop Floor Training at Dean Group

Date: July 25, 2019

For Christopher Dean, meeting the ever-changing needs of customers is one of the most important things in niche industries. Because Dean Group fully understand this, we have developed a plan to train the shop floor workforce to achieve this goal. Training sessions happen over three days every week and their goal is to improve our staff’s knowledge of the company and its processes. By doing this, we intend to elevate our technical skills and customer service to new heights.

training at Dean Group

Christopher Dean, Chairman at Dean Group

Before becoming Dean Group’s Chairman, Christopher Dean had been the company’s Managing Director since 1995. In his new role, Christopher aims to continue ensuring the security and longevity of the business and to carry on supporting the company in anything necessary.

Christopher’s been involved in general engineering and the foundry industry since 1975 and his experience includes technical, commercial, strategic and project management. He is passionate about investment casting and possesses an in-depth technical knowledge of the matter, as well as of the manufacturing industry as a whole.

While he believes that Dean Group’s staff is already highly skilled, Christopher also knows it’s important to continue improving and developing in order to avoid becoming stagnant. This is why he has developed a training plan for the company’s shop floor, which comprise of three 1.5-hour sessions from Tuesday to Thursday.

The Importance of Training

Manufacturing businesses, whether niche or otherwise, should offer the most advanced training for their employees – only then can they future-proof their business and ensure its smooth running. Training and development are also fundamental elements to remain competitive in the industry; to avoid becoming irrelevant, especially in the current climate of uncertainty brought to us by Brexit, it’s crucial that companies invest in their people.

Staff training will not only benefit your employees but also your business; some of the advantages of investing in your staff include the following:

Meeting Client Demands – this is a big motivator for everyone at Dean Group. By investing in training and development, your employees will increase their ability to meet your customers’ needs, no matter how demanding or challenging they are. We believe in adhering to the strictest of quality standards in the casting process, so an improved efficiency will ensure success when it comes to creating products for our clients’ projects.

Cost-Effectiveness – while it takes time and money to train your employees, you will quickly see the value of doing so; in addition, you are guaranteed to recoup that investment in the near future. Unskilled workers tend to make more mistakes, which results in time and materials lost – this rarely happens when staff are properly trained.

Increasing Productivity – there is no denying that training employees will improve their performance and productivity. After all, your workforce becomes more competent and knowledgeable and will gain a deeper understanding of their responsibilities, which will lead to improved confidence. In turn, this will result in a boost in innovation as well.

Show How Much You Care – another reason to invest in training is that it shows your employees that you value them. You wouldn’t invest in your staff if you didn’t see a future for them in the company, so knowing you appreciate them – and their potential – will go a long way to make them happy.

Tackling Vulnerabilities – no matter how skilled your employees are, there will always be room for improvement. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses so, by training your staff, you bring everyone up to similar levels of skill and knowledge. This means your employees may even cover for a co-worker if needed and work with more independence than before.

Dean Group training

Shop Floor Training at Dean Group

The training sessions run by Christopher Dean are centred around the finer details of casting, running a foundry, the importance of quality and bringing everyone closer to the market. The training Christopher has been offering is specifically targeted at raising the technical knowledge for the generation aged between 25 and 35 years old. There are no specific investment casting training schemes in the UK and the skills gap within the industry continues to widen; also, the age of the people with the necessary knowledge is becoming critical.

To ensure that the next generation at Dean Group is equipped to cope with the future technical market requirements we have faced the challenge head-on and taken it upon ourselves to train our staff in a different way to the past. We are thrilled that this programme has proven to be a success so far.

The topics that Christopher is covering include a basic investment casting knowledge classroom-based session and a second phase with more in-depth knowledge and hands-on, practical work.

For the basic training, he discusses:

  • Design – how to design a competitive, sound casting shape
  • Wax room – basic knowledge on how wax performs
  • Investment area – basic principles and dos and don’ts
  • Foundry technology – how to make a good casting
  • Identifying casting defects – root cause analysis and resolution and term standardisation

With the second phase of training, Christopher ensures that the knowledge is understood and applied in a practical setting. Once the course is over, the shop floor staff will be at a much higher level of technical knowledge. In addition, some of the team will be put onto externally-held courses as part of the continuous development programme.

Dean Group training personnel

Staff training is incredibly important, and we believe that investing in our employees is beneficial for them, the company and the industry. The skills gained in Christopher Dean’s training sessions will help us to provide an even higher level of service to our clients and enable us to meet even the most demanding and specific of needs.

Get in touch with Dean Group to learn more about our techniques (such as our aluminium investment casting ELITE process) and how we can help your next project. Alternatively, browse our gallery to check out some of our work.

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