People need to realize the benefits that a trained operator can bring to the table, not only from the perspective of safe and efficient operations but also from equipment maintenance and uptime’s point of view, says Hitesh Gupta, Vice President, Praguna.
Excerpts from the interview…
Brief us on the facilities created by ‘Think Link’ in imparting training to forklift operators?
ThinkLink Learning works under the brand name ‘Praguna’ which stands for efficient. Our first flagship Praguna center is located in Dharuhera, Haryana (around 50 KM from Gurgaon on NH-8) and is a 26,000 sq ft simulated warehouse environment for practical hands-on learning experience. This facility has a state of the art and well equipped practical area as well as classrooms to facilitate effective training delivery.
Our lift truck training programs are accredited by RTITB, UK and are run as per international standards. As of now, we have a team of 9 qualified trainers who are capable of delivery in-center or client-site training on forklifts, reach trucks, order picker, pivot steer trucks to name a few. Strict selection criteria, standardized curriculum, low trainer to trainee ratio, practical teaching approach, stringent assessment process, international certification and job assistance are some of the salient feature of Praguna programs.
To what extent the changing product and technology trends impact the training?
Logistics sector has historically been underinvested and hasn’t truly experienced the technology growth that other industries have seen. However, this is changing very fast. Most of it is driven by the realization that sometimes success and failure are just separated by an efficient supply chain. Therefore, this industry is experiencing a surge in technology that is unforeseen and the impact is there to be seen in the MHEs as well. MHEs now are getting intelligent and more advanced than ever; capable of doing much more than just moving the objects. IOT and the various technologies associated with it will make lift trucks more than what they are. These trends warrant new operators to be properly skilled and also make a case for the upgradation of skills of the existing operators.
What are the challenges in training?
One of the major challenges is the fact that people usually consider following pro-per operating practices as a trade off with productivity, which usually is not the case. An operator equipped with right education can not only operate safely but productively as well; same can be validated by the modus operandi through the operator brethren in the developed countries. Moreover, a change in mindset is required, training should not be considered as a cost but an investment.
What are your suggestions to iron out these issues?
Firstly, it is important to have a standardized and relevant training curriculum and infrastructure to be in place. Secondly, the way training is conducted has to go through a sea of changes as well; we need to move away from the concept of having big class sizes and theory based teaching. It is imperative that we realize that such skills are best taught in small groups and on the machine.
Thirdly, corporations have to realize that is a specialized skill and hence needs to be taught by trainers who are not only experienced operators but have the right skills set to be ‘teachers’. Finally, decision makers in the logistics industry have to be made aware of the benefits proper training will bring. There is no doubt in my mind that once the benefits are made clear, they will see the sense of participating in initiative like these.
Latest trends warrant new operators to be properly skilled and also make a case for the upgradation of skills of the existing operators.