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How Interactive Work Instructions Save Money

Learn why interactive work instructions could be the key to unlocking your workforce's full potential and cutting costs in several ways.

How Interactive Work Instructions Save Money

Well-trained employees are pivotal to the ability of organizations—across all industries—to meet their potential and achieve customer satisfaction. Workers with the resources to complete tasks efficiently can optimize production and make fewer mistakes. Yet, finding the best way to accurately meet employee educational needs can be costly. Companies can spend an average of around 47 hours and $986 on training employees. Unfortunately, this figure may not account for hidden costs like administrative costs, new technology, and lost production due to time spent training. 

Interactive work instructions have the potential to give employees hands-on training that maximizes job success while cutting costs of materials and providing a comfortable environment that minimizes risks. 3D interactive instruction experiences improve learning with detailed visual guidance in the form of resources that can be revisited as needed for ongoing support. As a result, technicians have the confidence to perform in a variety of environments without increased training costs.

What Are Interactive Work Instructions?

In any industry, employees need instructions to complete tasks safely and efficiently. Companies traditionally use a variety of instructional resources that range from verbal and printed directions to videos and hands-on activities. Verbal instructions rely on listening and memory abilities while visual aids incorporate recognizable examples. 

Unfortunately, much of the information communicated in a traditional learning environment isn’t retained efficiently. People retain only about 10% of what we see and 30% of what we see and hear. However, we can retain 90% of what we see, hear, and do.

The right interactive work instructions offer a multisensory approach that allows learners to take a hands-on approach to actively exploring the physical elements of a product, part, or system. This approach empowers employers to access the higher learning retention rate achieved through hands-on experiences.

Some companies try utilizing virtual or augmented reality to provide an immersive learning experience. This approach isn’t feasible for many types of businesses due to the high costs of required equipment, and it’s not ideal for portability. 3D interactive instructions, on the other hand, allow employees to access resources from a touchscreen device anywhere, any time, with equipment they keep in their pocket. 

Related: What Are Interactive 3D Instructions? 

With the right platform, users can learn and review instructions from any angle with rotation and zoom capabilities to increase visibility and gain access to additional details as needed. No more rewinding, watching from one angle, then rewinding again in an attempt to comprehend the element in question. Interactive work instructions combine tools like highly detailed animations,  step-by-step narratives, and complete interactivity to provide a multi-sensory experience that improves overall understanding and success.

6 Ways Interactive Work Instructions Save Money

Traditional training programs rely on a one-size-fits-all approach to learning a vast amount of information within a short time period. Instructional materials are typically static printed forms and videos that may be accessible with a Wi-Fi connection. While these strategies maximize training time, they fail to account for differences in learning style or provide re-visitable resources that employees can access in the field. 

These limits can lead to a plethora of concerns that raise overall costs, from time spent getting the support needed to complete a job, to time spent returning to a job to remedy an issue that wasn’t completed properly the first time. Interactive work instructions target the shortcomings of traditional training resources to help organizations save money in some crucial ways.  

Cost Savings #1: Improved Efficiency and Productivity

Low production rates are common among employees who aren’t yet skilled enough to perform their jobs confidently. This issue typically arises when employers attempt to save time and money by delegating the task of training to experienced employees. 

When those tasked with training are still responsible for their own tasks, training can be rushed, and trainees may be hesitant to ask questions about things they don’t fully understand. As a result, unskilled employees spend substantial time seeking help or completing tasks to the best of their ability when they are actually on the job. 

The right 3D interactive work instructions provide highly flexible 3D models that the user can zoom in on and rotate to simplify complexities and gain a greater understanding of the mechanics involved—at exactly the place where they need help. Employees can learn at their own pace and access additional details as they’re needed.  

These resources are also available at a moment’s notice to act as a refresher when on the job site or in the middle of a complex task. The resulting improved understanding and accessible resources lead to increased efficiency and productivity.

Cost Savings #2: Reduced Cost of Materials

Paper is a common choice for instructional materials. Whether companies print forms or instruction manuals, the products are low-tech and reasonably inexpensive to create at first. However, the use of paper has substantial drawbacks. 

Companies in the U.S. spend over $120 billion each year on printed forms, most of which become outdated within three months. Old instructions must be discarded and new versions reprinted and redistributed when updates are needed. Paper instructions don’t offer the detail and flexibility of modern instruction methods, and they’re easily misplaced.

The right digital instructions, in contrast, can be updated and re-distributed in real time. They’re flexible, precise, multi-sensory, and accessible on any touchscreen device. Look for a platform that allows instructions to be downloaded for use in environments without Wi-Fi.

Cost Savings #3: Increased Retention

Most employers recognize that retaining loyal employees is significantly cheaper than hiring and training new employees. Some estimates argue that it costs 6 to 9 months’ salary to replace an employee

Interactive work instructions can help employers address some of the top reasons for employee turnover, like limited advancement opportunities and low engagement. In fact, interactive 3D instructions are ideal for cross-training and introducing employees to new tools that allow them to grow in their position and feel a sense of accomplishment. 

By creating a learning and development program with interactive learning, you can improve employee morale with cross-training and promote an environment of learning that will help employees prepare for more advanced roles within the company. When advanced instructions are also used for new employees, you can reduce the training burden for experienced employees, helping to lighten their workload.

Cost Savings #4: Reduced Errors

If you’ve ever had to assemble an item with limited instructions, you can probably recognize how poor directions can lead to errors. In the workplace, mistakes and misunderstandings can be expensive. Rework is the term used in the construction industry for redoing completed work, and it costs the construction industry over $177 billion in the US alone. 

In an industry like manufacturing, undetected errors can lead to re-running an entire product lot. Even worse, mistakes that go undiscovered can lead to mass returns, recalls, and substantial safety risks. Communication breakdowns and lack of training are among the most common reasons for costs accrued due to employee error. 

Digital work instructions, as mentioned above, can be updated in near real-time to ensure workers in the field and on the factory floor have the most up-to-date information possible. They can be downloaded for use with or without WiFi to put effective training materials in the hands of workers anywhere. These materials can prepare employees for the job they’re facing, and they can act as a refresher for experienced professionals preparing to complete a job they don’t do frequently, or a job with updated parts they may not be completely familiar with. 

Cost Savings #5: Reduced Training Costs

Training your employees is an investment that pays off over time when you do it well. However, it is still a significant expense for any business. Costs include training materials, time diverted from other tasks, and the lag in production until a new employee builds the knowledge and confidence to work at full speed. 

The right interactive work instructions are uniquely designed to train individuals effectively, no matter their learning style or professional level. Animated CAD imagery along with voice and text guidance provides step-by-step guidance to walk users through complex processes. 

Related: Attracting & Retaining a New Generation of Workers Through Digital-Forward Practices

Perhaps more importantly, interactive features empower learners to custom focus on their exact needs, zoom in or out on images, tap for more information, and rotate images 360º for a new perspective. Individuals can learn at their own pace and revisit sections as many times as necessary to gain confidence about completing specific workflows. With these powerful features, Interactive work instructions can reduce training time by up to 55%

Cost Savings #6: Attract New Employees

Recruitment has been top of mind recently for employers across several skilled trade industries. Engagement among workers is low and the retirement of baby boomers promises to push the worker-to-retiree ratio lower than ever. With fewer employees to fill positions, young workers have the opportunity to seek in-demand features in a job. 

Gen Z employees are digital natives who value innovation and technology. Over 90% of these workers say technology plays a role in their choice of employer. Furthermore, 76% of Gen Z workers believe that learning is the key to a successful career. As a result, they place a high importance on training and development and upskilling opportunities in the workplace. 

By providing the learning opportunities younger workers crave and sharing those perks in your recruitment materials, you can gain the attention of new employees and decrease your recruitment costs. 

Cut Costs with the Right 3D Interactive Work Instructions Many of the instructional methods used by organizations are costly to keep up and limited in their abilities to provide effective training. Interactive instructions from BILT provide learners with cloud-based, highly flexible 3D instructions that combine animation, step-by-step instruction, and interactivity to promote a hands-on experience. Users can access information and learn at their own pace with the ability to easily search, zoom, maneuver images, and replay the animation as many times as they want. Request a demo to learn how 3D interactive work instructions can reduce costs and help your employees maximize their potential.

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