People who, for whatever reason can’t find access to the ‘normal’ labour circuit, often end up in a custom-made company. Also known as a social workplace. Digitalisation and automation give sheltered workshops the opportunity to offer even more customized work to their employees. We try to help with our software: work instructions, customized training and digital support that can help in the execution of their tasks.
Who are they?
Who or what are custom work companies and what drives them? Custom work companies are companies that employ people who, due to personal factors, have difficulty entering the labor market. They provide adapted workplaces and optimal guidance so that these people can develop to their full potential.
Their target is social, their assets economic. Sheltered workshops are going to strive for profitability just like regular companies. Yet, we see a significant difference: unlike regular companies, sheltered workshops offer work in function of their employees and not the other way around. A regular company also strives for profit maximization, while sheltered workshops are more likely to implement tailor-made employment.
Partners in growth
The range of activities offered by sheltered workshops are often very diverse. It’s no coincidence that they opt for job creation tailored to the target group employees. Some of the activities include: metal and assembly, landscaping, cleaning, packaging, etc. Employees perform tasks both in-house and on the shop floor with customers (enclave working).
In recent years, more and more Belgian companies are opting for a local partnership with a sheltered workshop: they’re becoming the ideal partner in growth. Because of the many hands they have at their disposal, they can offer a complete production process under one roof.
Due to the increasingly demanding attitude of clients, custom work companies have focused strongly on quality in recent years. Their vision and role in the social economy has changed. Today, custom work companies are really seen as qualitative and reliable service providers.
Azumuta in sheltered workshops
As a result of this ongoing development, sheltered workshops are investing more and more in digitalisation. Not only to offer a better service to their customers but primarily to generate extra support and work for people distanced from the labour market.
Every sheltered workshop encounter some problems: jobs become more complex, series become smaller and product variation bigger. So do our customers: Waak, Bewel and Mirto are betting heavily on technology to continue to create sustainable employment.
Because sheltered workshops are constantly busy creating fully-fledged custom work, there’s also a need for digital custom workinstructions. They’re a must-have and important to keep employees motivated and engaged with the company. Especially in custom companies where work instructions are shown step-by-step, employees receive interactive guidance on how to assemble products.
Another important element is clear visual material. A picture says more than a thousand words, right? And this is certainly also the case with digital work instructions. Pictures with instructions and video lessons are faster and easier for operators to understand.
Also pictograms and symbols are everywhere on the production floor. Because of their signaling effect, you immediately see where you have to pay attention or where protection is needed. That’s why we also use symbols when drawing digital work instructions. Custom workers know immediately where they need to pay attention.
In sheltered workshops, competence development of the employees is also important. Thanks to our Learning Management System, training of (new) employees is very easy. Our training module can be fully customised to the capabilities and limitations of the employees. Azumuta is also very accessible for people who have difficulties with reading or writing. Knowledge transfer is actually done in a very innovative and interactive way to keep employees involved in their work.
Continuous improvement is also an important aspect in sheltered workshops. Managers must constantly detect opportunities within the organisation and help implement them. Our improvement boards can provide assistance here, because if ideas are not written down immediately, they often get lost.
A loose cable, scratches, recurring danger… It’s often difficult to capture every detail in a few simple words. It’s even more difficult to do this in one convenient tool. However, that’s exactly the intention. That’s why we have made the creation and management of improvement boards with Azumuta very flexible.
At Azumuta, we put customizers at the center. We want to use our software to facilitate their work while maintaining a balance between digitalization and the human aspect. Find out more about Azumuta.
Looking for a sheltered workshop nearby?
Go to www.groepmaatwerk.be