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FLEXO Magazine : February 2011
who can lessen their impact on the environment with data-driven metrics? working for you. you can. www.sunchemical.com getting more – using less – eco-efficiency Those days of receiving the same standard sustainability rhetoric are over. At Sun Chemical, we use data to assess our impact, and innovate processes and products that are more sustainable from both an economic and environmental perspective. Our “Carbon Footprint Report” quantifies the carbon footprint of our product lines and our “Sustainability Report” shows the results of the metrics we monitor to measure our environmental impact. That’s data you can use to support your sustainability goals. To learn more about our sustainability policy and to obtain a free copy of our Carbon Footprint Report, or our latest Sustainability Report, go to www.sunchemical.com/company/sustainability. To calculate your energy carbon footprint, visit www.sunchemical.com/suncare. FTA TODAY employees were expected to take the online training and pass the tests. That is intimidating as there was a fear that if they didn’t do well, it could cost them their jobs. But the level I program is really “disarming” ... They don’t feel judged and they succeed easily. By the time they get to Press Operator Level II training, we believe they will take ownership of the process and the weekly assignments quite successfully; much like the leadership team has done so far. FLEXO: This issue of FLEXO has a focus on automation. Do you feel you are essentially automating the training process using the Virtual Campus? CRAMMER: It really is automated in the sense that it is objective based, systematic training with online test- ing and employee progress tracking. It’s been simple to integrate the administrative aspect of the Virtual Campus into our process as well, yet it is completely customized as a “Best Label Campus” . Most notably, the system is completely supported by FTA experts, who keep it running 24/7, up-to-date and trouble free. It’s like hiring a training consultant to build and maintain an entire in-house program at re- ally a nominal cost. In the end, this “automated” virtual training gives upper management an opportunity to concentrate on the other areas of the business, while seeing the company benefit from the advancement in productivity and waste reduction; not to mention. consistency and repeatability. FLEXO: How has certification training been received by current, or even, potential customers? CRAMMER: We have a large pharmaceutical customer, a CPC, that’s been quite impressed by the objectives of FIRST certification, as well as the Virtual Campus delivery system. We explained the system to the client, kept the staff at the CPC informed about our training progress and our future plans to go beyond individual employee certifications and to eventually FIRST certify our entire workflow. The program has had such an impact, that this CPC is seriously considering attending the FFTA Forum in May, to learn more about FIRST and the industry. It really is amazing to see just how much faith our customers have in our process. FLEXO: You have said that FIRST Certi- fication is really like ISO certification for printers. What do you mean? CRAMMER: Quite frankly, I think it is actually better than ISO certification for a flexo printer, because, while it has the measurement and management steps with the process control and procedures you would expect to find in ISO certification; it is tailored specifically to our industry. That’s a powerful training tool and a powerful marketing tool too! Once we educate the CPCs on what FIRST is, if they don’t already know, they immediately recognize its value in the same way they see ISO as a mark of excellence. That’s why to me it really is like “ISO for Flexo” . FLEXO: How have your suppliers reacted to the FIRST Certification process? CRAMMER: The program has created a real buzz within our “printing community ” at Best Label. Our key suppliers, such as MACtac, Pro ColorFlex and Pitman (AGFA), quite honestly, knew nothing about this program. Then, here comes one of their largest West Coast accounts, Best Label, telling them it has adopted this online FTA training program in full. They were simply blown away! Once they saw the quality of the program and how far it has come in a very short time, they got behind the training 100 percent! Our suppliers now share our enthusiasm. We hope they will take the next step and become FIRST Certified as well. That would eventually bring our entire supply chain full circle in regard to FIRST certification. FLEXO: You are the first narrow web printer to fully adopt FIRST Certification training as a company. What advice would you give other narrow web printers thinking about doing the same? CRAMMER: The truth is, I’m sure most label and narrow web printers rely on their own on-the-job training... The floor sweeper becomes a press helper, who becomes a press operator, then a supervisor and finally upper management. This is valuable knowledge to pass on; but you are only as good as what your management knows. By incorporating FIRST Certifica- tion training, along with your own experiences as a printer, you are at a great advantage over those who choose not to grow past their own self-education. Now that we are combining our own experiences with outside expert training, we are making a huge leap in our knowledge and competitiveness as we go forward. So, I would say, just dig down, get past your misconceptions about online training and take a seri- ous look at what FIRST Certification can actually do for your company. n Trainees Dan Crammer, purchasing, and Alisen Gridley, customer service, access FTA’s Virtual Campus in side-by-side cubicles. 10 FLEXO FebruArY 2011 www.flexography.org FLX_Feb11_mech.indd 10 2/16/11 8:49 AM
Sustainable Winter 2011