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$600,000 Mistake Prevention | Measure Twice | Benefits of Testing | The Winning Edge

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Preventing a $600,000 Mistake through Skills Assessments

The following is an actual example of how industrial skills testing and skills assessment can benefit an organization.
The plant manager was shocked; the quality assurance engineer was livid. It seems that an employee, who could not read a ruler, drilled 40 holes too deep into 20 very large and very expensive locomotive motors. The damage total was over $600,000. The employee was given the assignment to drill these 40 holes to a specified depth with a magnetic base drill press. This drill press had a built in ruler scale, and the employee was instructed to stop when the appropriate depth was reached. Those holes, which were supposed to be 1.75" deep, ended up 2.25" – 2.50" deep, and ruined twenty 12,000-pound locomotive motors.


measurement skills test

After the incident, a process engineer verified that the employee lacked basic ruler reading skills. When asked to identify several measurements on a ruler, the employee could not determine the correct answers. The procedure was changed to prevent future incidents like this, but the assumption throughout the hiring and task assignment process was: everyone can read a ruler, WRONG.
PreEmployment Testing: Measure Twice, Cut Once

multimeter skills test
The incident was so significant, that the customer's president personally took a trip to visit this vendor, and the incident almost destroyed the supplier-customer contract and relationship. The $600,000 figure only included the rebuild cost for the 20 motors; it did not include the lost downtime of the locomotive inventory, which, if included, would probably double the original damage costs.

The reality is that making hiring decision based on assumption can be costly. In fact, a 2008 Industry Edge study of over 500 industrial job applicants showed that the average score of the ruler test was 56% and the average score of the tape measure test was 76%. The ruler scores are a bit lower because some of the measurement questions are in 1/32", while the tape measure resolution is limited to 1/16".


The Benefits of Industrial Skills Testing
The benefits of pre-employment testing include both cost savings and consistency in selection. In a 2007 Business Outcomes Report by a leading provider of pre-employment assessments and partner companies, several findings were reported based on 29 unique research studies conducted with major U.S. and international companies across numerous industries. They included:
  • Turnover in a Warehouse/Distribution role was reduced by 50% for high-scoring associates
  • High-scoring Customer Service Agents generated $18,000 more revenue than low scorers;
  • Pre-screened Bankers were 48% more likely to pass exams and get licensed
  • Sales increased by $17,000 for high-scoring retail sales professionals
  • Assessments at a major Healthcare Services Provider helped identify those most likely to get promoted.

The benefits of testing are clear. So ask yourself, what would happen to your product or service if your measurements were accurate only 60% of the time? Making a quality product requires dozens, hundreds or even thousands of measurements. Your product quality depends on your employees' skills and inherent understanding to provide those measurements. The stakes get higher as the tolerances get smaller as there is a lot less room for error when you are dealing with three and four place decimal measurements.
Industrial Skills Assessments: The Winning Edge
Using Industry Edge Skills Testing as part of an overall skills training program will quickly pinpoint deficiencies in the basic core skills of your workforce, allowing you to focus on upgrading those skills where necessary. Use Industry Edge Skills Testing to:
  1. Identify basic core skill weaknesses in your employees with Industry Edge. 
  2. Address those weaknesses through training. 
  3. Follow up and evaluate your training effectiveness with Industry Edge. 

PNC skills testing
The quality of your product or service, scrap rates, and employee retention rate all hinge on the basic core skills of your workforce, so an investment in Industrial Skills Testing pays dividends.

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$600,000 Mistake Prevention | Measure Twice | Benefits of Testing | The Winning Edge

Your industrial edge

warehouse skills testing

"Other testing companies attempt to be all things to all people, at Industry Edge we focus on developing specific industry testing solutions. We have been providing testing solutions to hiring managers and staffing agencies improving industrial placements and profitability since 1997."

Representative Clients:
  • International Paper
  • Gage Personnel
  • USA Staffing
  • Pacesetter Personnel
  • Skilled Craftsmen of Texas
  • Industry Products, Co.
  • The Jel Sert Company
  • 3PL Inc. - Third Party Labour
  • Leasing Inc.
  • Tempo-Team
  • Encon, Inc.
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