The TWI Blog for the Training Within Industry Community of Practice

Archive for May, 2011


   Our friend and colleague Kathy Lee at AIT shared an article recently posted on her company intranet.  

AIT implemented Training Within Industry (TWI) in 2009 to help improve technical training and employee relations. The goal wasn’t to save money but to improve how employees are trained. One year later, though, AIT has realized a savings of more than $260,000 through the implementation of TWI.

What is TWI?
After an assessment of company training procedures in 2008, AIT recognized the need to standardize training in order to ensure all employees – current and incoming – receive the same information and knowledge regarding their positions. To improve these procedures, Training Coordinator Kathy Lee partnered with Purdue University’s Technical Assistance Program/Manufacturing Extension Partnership to implement TWI in July 2009.

“TWI offers a way to standardize training and teaches why we do everything, not just how,” said Lee. “It puts quality into our training, and it goes hand in hand with the initiatives Quality Services already has underway. It’s a resolution for issues we’ve experienced in the past.”

Reduction in Errors, Cost
Since that first training class in 2009, TWI has helped reduce errors in the lab, decrease sample failures, and save the company more than $260,000. Here is an overview of initial results realized from TWI:

  • The most severe level of data entry error was reduced by 40 percent
  • Individual sample failures decreased by 68 percent with a savings of more than $38,000
  • Training time reduced from six months to two months (66 percent) for research and development training with hybridized application
  • At least five employees previously struggling with their performance are now in good standing as a result of TWI Job Relations training
  • For an initial investment of $35,000, TWI has a return in excess of $260,000 to date

Currently, TWI is only used in AIT’s production laboratory, but Lee said there are plans to bring the program to Business Operations in the future. “When this happens, we will see even more efficiency in technical skills and employee relations, which will translate into even more dollars saved,” said Lee.

For more on AIT Labs –  

Kathy added in her email to us:

The Training Specialist concept is working very well and I am fortunate to be working with a group of individuals who are as passionate about training as I am.  I have recently been moved back into the Quality Services portion of our organization in a newly formed group called Quality Operations – Documentation, Training and Records – and am currently focused on developing a Training Management System (TMS) for the company.  I still maintain the status of TWI Coordinator but am focusing my energies on the TMS project for the near future.

TWI Summit 2011: A Great Success!

The TWI Summit was last week (May 17-18).  This year it was held at the Disney Boardwalk Hotel Conference Center.  Even though the location was entertaining the conference was all business. From the pre-conference workshops to the final J classes on Friday everyone was engaged and all the scheduled events went off without a hitch.  Kudos to  Lean Frontiers’ Jim Huntzinger, Dwayne Butcher, Linn Asbury and Sharon Brown for their outstanding work.

I enjoyed the keynotes: Norman Bodek and the “Be Like Coach” guys: Swen Nater and Mark Siwik.  They were  entertaining and instructive. I bought Norman’s book, Kaikaku, also entertaining and instructive.

 TWI implementors have discovered the importance of management support and skill development after the initial training, so, coaching and follow-up was a sub-theme this year.  For example, Monday, the    “TWI Job Instruction Follow Up Course” was sold out.   Patrick Graupp and Richard Abercrombie presented a valuable workshop on delivering a TWI-Job Instruction Follow-up course.   

On Tuesday TWI Institute’s own Bob Wrona and Patrick Graupp presented a double breakout session on the concepts in their new book, Implementing TWI: Creating A Skills Based Culture.   Following that, I sat on a panel with Bob Wrona and Maureen Conway in which we had a lively discussion on:  “Getting Management On Board”.  It was a very interactive session with an enthusiastic and knowledgeable group.  Tuesday afternoon our friend Martha Purrier from the Virginia Mason Medical Center provided her engaging healthcare perspective in her breakout session on “Achieving Reliability with Job Instruction”. 

Wednesday, I had the privilege of co-presenting on the “Power of Coaching…” with Milica Kovacevic , Packaging Coordinator at Patheon Inc.  She presented an outstanding overview of their implementation effort at Patheon in the Packaging Division.   She described how important the return visit by Richard Abercrombie, to follow-up and coach staff, was in their JI implementation.  She described how their management support for JI was structured, including managements’ role as coaches.  Earlier in the day I was able to sit in the presentation on the implementation of TWI at LEGO. The presenters from LEGO, Gitte Jakobsen and John Vellema  came all the  way from Denmark to share and learn.

Finally, I facilitated the post conference “J” classes. This year we had three JI classes and sold out JR, JS and JM classes.  Special thanks for a job well done to the trainers:  Richard Abercrombie, Mike Braml, Glen Chwala, Patrick Graupp, Richard Jackson and, Paul Johnson.      

Those are my highlights. If you were there, tell me yours and we’ll post them.  If you weren’t able to attend this year – watch for the “save the date” for next year.  We hope to see you there!

 Steve Grossman, Director

Tag Cloud