Tags – Unlocking Innovation and Productivity
Digital collaboration tools are well positioned to play a significant part in allowing workers to access company expertise, collaborate with experts remotely, and turn shop-floor IoT data into valuable goods.
However, before doing so, manufacturers need to look at digital collaboration as the key to unlocking innovation and productivity in manufacturing, with the following major considerations in mind.
1. Attracting the Younger Generation
The manufacturing labour force is changing as a result of demographic trends, localization, and data proliferation.
Manufacturers have also complained about difficulties in finding and retaining skilled employees, with recent college graduates showing greater interest in industries that were more obviously digitally oriented.
Whether the wide range of economic situations businesses and employees face today will have a significant influence on employment is uncertain.
However, while this is true, it must be noted that these young individuals do not have the same skills as preceding generations, nor have they received the same training and apprenticeship programs in most cases.
Manufacturers can appeal to this new generation of employees by making learning and training easier.
By utilising collaboration technologies, factories may more effectively utilise their specialists across a larger number of individuals to assist educate the less experienced workforce.
2. Bringing Together Digital Collaboration Solutions
The tools that most workers have access to for collaboration up until now have been restricted to basic communication methods such as e-mail, chat, and text messages.
Back-and-forth status updates and complex handoffs are typical of these solutions, which are usually unconnected from real business processes.
Embedding digital collaboration into workflows can help organisations make faster, better decisions that increase key performance indicators (KPIs) and create bottom-line value.
3. Reforming Issues Management
The actual source of a production problem in a manufacturing plant is frequently determined by a sequence of events that triggered it—known as “root cause problem solving” or “root cause investigation.”
As the investigation of a certain problem advances, it often necessitates a more sophisticated level of knowledge, thus the roles and parties involved in the process continually evolve—making it extremely collaborative.
The majority of the time, investigations focus on topics related to safety and maintenance (machine failures, major breakdowns), as well as quality concerns (such as scrap and rework).
Pain points emerge from a lack of communication among employees and between them and data within each stage.
In many cases, the time and money it takes to locate experts and arrange schedules can cause weeks of delay and rising expenses.
Ineffective data capture may result in a lot of time being wasted for many people throughout the problem-solving session. Inadequate collaboration may lead to duplicate efforts or failure to take advantage of previous solutions that have been created.
The reduction of electronic meetings may also help teams save time and money by allowing them to use virtual meetings and rapidly find relevant information.
A reimagined approach to root-cause investigation utilises technology to enhance information gathering, enable continuous collaboration, and share knowledge among all of the roles involved in a cause.
4. Upgrading Maintenance Management
In asset-intensive businesses where the amount of invested capital is significant, and the value of a day’s production is substantial, regular maintenance to maximise plant availability is crucial.
The majority of routine maintenance operations today are still paper-based and manual, resulting in significant information losses at each stage.
Maintenance pain points are well known: inadequate documentation and knowledge sharing, inefficient communication between stakeholders, and lengthy wait times due to manual checking and scheduling.
Furthermore, the maintenance process is more difficult than root-cause analysis since it necessitates comprehensive records and intensive coordination among stakeholders (both internal and external) to manage material deliveries, staffing levels, and production schedules.
The process has been reinvented, and it makes use of collaborative technologies to assist gather, prioritise, track work orders, communicate across multiple stakeholders, and share knowledge and experience throughout the production process.
Managers can also simply choose which materials to purchase and which resources to call in.
Digital tools can also help technicians collaborate more effectively with their colleagues and across the organisation to troubleshoot issues, allowing for rapid access to specialists, knowledge, and proven solutions in the field. This means less equipment downtime and lower costs associated with resolving problems.
5. Reducing Loss of Potential Value
Businesses use productivity software to boost operational efficiency, automate time-consuming paper procedures, and lower costs.
Office productivity software, accounting programs, communication and email tools are the most popular productivity solutions.
It is important for any company to succeed and grow. A firm’s ability to do so will be determined by its ability to acquire and retain consumers. Customer service must be maintained at a high level consistently in order for businesses to succeed. Technology can assist with this as well.
It’s all about integration these days, and the most up-to-date CRM and PSA solutions may integrate with company communications systems to offer insights that can help improve customer service and increase first contact resolution.
Getting True Value Out of This Suggested Effort
Manufacturers may take a number of tactical actions to seize the chance.
1. Mapping Collaboration Potentials
The most time-consuming and difficult processes in an organisation should be identified by mapping out the most essential operations. The majority of cost and intricacy are typically concentrated in a tiny fraction of procedures.
2. Integrating Responses
Recognize which levers to pull in order to lower cost and complexity, including increasing collaboration, capturing data, or eliminating manual labour.
This approach can be used to describe use cases where technology solutions may help people collaborate across remote sites, such as using chat software.
3. Add the Finer Details to the Technical Roadmap
For the most important applications, figure out the technology and tools required to address pain points in existing processes while also facilitating collaboration. Instead of focusing on current technological solutions, prioritise software that is relevant to your entire strategic mission.
4. Centralise Collaboration into Your Overall Plan
Companies can enhance scale and avoid wasting time on initiatives that aren’t likely to yield long-term impact by embedding digital collaboration-enabled processes into their overall digital transformation plans and technical roadmaps.
5. Track and Drive User Adoption to Make it Part of the Culture
Foster a culture that recognizes the value of digital technology. To make sure that workers understand how to utilise technology and are enthusiastic about it, hold frequent training sessions.
To learn more, get in touch with us today.
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