It’s estimated that replacing an employee costs you more than 30% of his or her annual salary. That’s why retention is such an important part of workforce management. But when it’s time for a portion of your workforce to retire, retention isn’t an option. That’s when you need to make the investments in new talent. As the majority of the population continues to age, this situation becomes more a reality for all companies. 

The aging trend seems to have hit manufacturing disproportionately hard given that one-quarter of the manufacturing workforce is over 55 years old. And, it happens that we’re currently facing the highest unemployment rate in decades due to the pandemic and subsequent economic shutdown. You’d think it would be easy to find new talent. 

Well, think again.

A recent study by the Manufacturing Institute has found a hiring paradox in our current economic situation. Although roughly eighteen million Americans are out of work, survey respondents from small to medium-sized manufacturers continue to struggle to find the right talent. Seventy-seven percent say they’ll continue to struggle to find talent into 2021. And an overwhelming majority (78%) are seeking talent in manufacturing and production roles.  


So in the absence of talent, what are manufacturers doing to keep up with production? Well, one thing they’re not doing is asking their retirees to stay longer. With the lowest response rate (32%), this tactic sits at the bottom of the list of possible solutions to keep lines running at capacity.

While 63% will be asking their workers to simply take on more work, close to half of respondents will turn to expanding internal training programs. The majority of the currently unemployed workforce is 25-54 year old, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, so it won’t be a surprise to any manufacturer that they will most likely be training an entirely new generation of line associates, including millennials — who make up the bulk of the workforce today. 


Millennials like to work with, and they intuitively understand, new technology. Boasting equipment like AI on the assembly line is a compelling perk for millennials. Drishti is one of those “perks.”  It provides AI cycle time data on manual assembly lines without manual inputs from operations teams. What’s probably more compelling to line associates is how it does it: with video.

In a recent survey, 50% of both millennials and Gen Z respondents said they “don’t know how they’d get through life” without video. When Drishti captures data and measures it with AI, it also backs up every data point with video. 

Regardless of how exciting AI and video may be, when it comes to training, video is a practical tool. It’s agnostic to variations in language and culture. When line associates are non-native English speakers, and manufacturing operations are outside of the U.S. in non-English speaking areas, video can transcend the limitations of spoken or written training materials, allowing for the dissemination of best practices across manufacturing locations.


Our customers are using Drishti for training. Here’s how you can use Drishti to onboard new talent and train them efficiently.

Capture your best standardized work performed by the most knowledgeable associates

Drishti Trace not only provides video traceability for manual assembly processes, but also allows supervisors and trainers to quickly tag portions of videos with intuitive video annotation tools. Tags provide an instant library of training content – seamlessly curated while annotations are being made for regular root cause analysis, time and motion studies or quality checks.

Perform your regular work, take note of what’s working best with our tools and voilà: training content is ready. 

Uncover new and better standardized work on the floor as it happens

Training needs to be constant; so is Drishti. Drishti Flow continually measures cycle times so you’re not only able to improve processes efficiently, but you also understand variability on your lines. Noting when cycles are anomalous at a particular workstation at a specific time could mean good things – a line associate has improved his or her proficiency at standardized work, or possibly found a better way — or it could indicate a need for training or a process change.

Drishti’s line variability chart and station histogram are built-in tracking analytics that provide video of outliers straight from a point on a chart. With a simple click, videos of how work was performed are available to view or tag. You capture valuable on-the-line processes that provide guidance to new and established associates alike. 


Using Drishti for training content simplifies the process of educating new line associates and supervisors. Video as a tool for training has proven to be very effective. There are no hypothetical situations; instead, there’s a library of good or bad practice that’s readily available and concrete. 

A tier one automotive supplier and Drishti customer was able to see a 3x improvement in time to proficiency with training content they curated with Drishti. New line associates were able to learn processes faster and stay consistent to standardized work more often. The benefits were:

  • A reduction in production losses, otherwise expected with new associates 
  • Lower overtime costs
  • Less time spent with supervisors

The estimated savings per year were $250K. Think about what you could do with more time and all of that savings? 

Want to discover how you can inspire the next generation of line associates to be masters of their craft? Check out the IndustryWeek article Scaling Brilliance on the Shop Floor to learn what recruiting and training line associates well could do for your plant and your entire company.