Published on October 30, 2020
In the past year, Voltas highlighted its requirement of improvements in quality management at some of its plants, as well as HR practices for contract workmen. The company wished to learn from the best practices in both the areas established by Tata Steel Downstream Products (TSDPL).
Accordingly, in September 2020, Tata Business Excellence Group (TBExG) facilitated the sharing of TSDPL’s practices around quality management and HR practices for contract workmen with Voltas.
Session 1: Quality management and continuous improvement
Voltas has three manufacturing facilities — two at Pantnagar, Uttarakhand (one each for air conditioners and commercial refrigeration) and another one at Waghodia in Gujarat for high-end central cooling equipment. These are medium-scale manufacturing units in terms of workforce and physical size of the facility.
Voltas is critically analysing the deployment of quality tools such as Six Sigma, Kaizen, 5S, quality circles and total productive maintenance (TPM) in these plants.
Accordingly, on September 15, 2020, Ashok Balyan, Chief of Operations, Faridabad, TSDPL, provided insights on its practices on ‘Quality and Continuous Improvement’, to employees from Voltas. He elaborated on TSDPL’s experience of deploying TPM — Jishu Hozen Pillar, Quality Control Circle and Daily Work Management. After gaining valuable knowledge through the interaction, Voltas would soon implement 5S in its plants in a structured manner.
Session 2: HR practices for contract workmen
Voltas’ factories have a substantial, over 80%, of blue-collar contracted workforce, most of whom are recruited through National Employability Enhancement Mission (NEEM), a joint initiative between All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and Government of India.
Due to high attrition, the HR team at Voltas is faced with the challenge of having to train recruits regularly. It was desirous of understanding how TSDPL addressed the issues of grooming the contract workforce, as well as ensuring their productivity and engagement.
On September 21, 2020, in an engagement facilitated by TBExG, S Anantha Rama Krishnan, CHRO, TSDPL, shared the company’s practices regarding learning & development and regularisation of contract workforce, with employees from Voltas.
Members from Voltas were able to appreciate the concept of ‘Dronacharyas’, who are experienced associates responsible for training and developing fellow associates and the contract workforce. Upskilling of the contract workforce becomes more convenient as they learn through the experience of these ‘Dronacharyas’. To create a culture of continuous learning and improvement, TSDPL has also instituted a Dronacharya award.
There were some other concepts also that were discussed in the session:
- House training modules for classroom training
- Offline practical training
- Conduct of examinations
- Issue of skill card
- Need and skill-based training
- Involvement of skilled workforce in upcoming projects
Voltas will soon initiate an activity for leveraging the concept of ‘Dronacharyas’ to develop instructors from NEEM in a bid to arrest the attrition in the contract workforce.
TSDPL gave us valuable insights into contract workforce management and quality management. Their contractual workforce deployment and distribution methods are the best in the industry. The introduction of the Akanksha and Dronacharya skill enhancement scheme appears to be the best solution to counter the problem of skilled manpower on the shopfloor. Knowledge-sharing through the fusion tool and adopting the 70:20:10 training principle is phenomenal for front-line growth through multi-skilling.Karan Thakur, Production Head (UCPL-UPBG/Pantnagar), Voltas
It was interesting to know that since inception (1998), the company had structured career growth plans to enable contract workers to become on-roll employees.H G Sheshadri, CR Mfg. Plant Head (UPBG, Pantnagar), Voltas
TSDPL conducted a fruitful session. The contractual workforce deployment process caters to an organisation’s need for skilled manpower. The Dronacharya skill enhancement scheme is an excellent way to utilise skilled manpower to train other contractual employees. It can motivate associates, who will feel a sense of pride in knowing that the organisation values their knowledge.K C Brahmbhatt, Production Head - DPG, Waghodia plant