With all the talk of Industry 4.0 and digital innovation in manufacturing, we can lose sight of the very backbone of every manufacturing company: the people. The workers must be at the front and center of every discussion and decision made by manufacturing leadership. Remember, it’s the humans that wield the tools who can make things happen. The key is for leaders to visualize how a connected workforce can proactively address and resolve several major business challenges. When technological solutions are partnered with skilled human workers is when the magic really begins. Here is why implementing a connected workforce is a must for manufacturing leadership to consider:
The Connected Worker: Human-Powered Innovation
A recent Kearney report discovered two very telling statistics: Human workers are still performing 72 percent of manufacturing company tasks. In addition, human workers generate three times more actual value on the shop floor than the machines do, even though the machines are now critical to operations on a large scale. This incredible insight underscores why manufacturing leadership must center their workers in all of their technological innovation discussions and decisions. There is no way to replace the intrinsic value of human know-how, even with all the latest innovations.
So, now the question becomes this: how do we help those human workers really excel at their jobs and generate high-quality, high-production value while staying safe and excited about their jobs? The way to do this in Industry 4.0 is to turn technological advances into “co-workers” at the sides of your human workers. A connected workforce is empowered and insightful, using the technological tools available to enhance value and productivity while also solving tough business problems that come to every company.
A Connected Workforce Brings Clarity
One persistent problem manufacturing leadership deals with on a daily basis is still just how reliant their businesses are on paper documentation and older file systems. Managing the old paper files, which almost everyone still seems to have to some extent or other, requires a lot of manual hunting and searching and filing and office space. In fact, the same Kearney study found that skilled engineers spend more than a third of their work time just manually gathering data to analyze. By the time the data is unearthed and analyzed, hours could pass that could have been spent more productively.
For engineers and supervisors, this is a massive waste of time, especially when it’s now unnecessary given the availability of digital documentation and analytics platforms like Anvl. The connected workers can then spend time on more important tasks, with a lot more clarity going forward.
3 Reasons Why a Connected Workforce is a Must
A connected workforce creates new possibilities that manufacturing leadership can apply right away for significant improvements on the shop floor and the bottom line. Three of the key areas include training, communication, and positive culture change, all of which tie directly into improved safety, quality, productivity and operations overall:
1. Training is Ongoing and Proactive
Digital transformation turns the day-long or multiple-days-long training sessions into ongoing, on-the-job training that continues as part of the daily routine. Workers can immediately connect activities on the shop floor to their responsibilities and visualize the expectations and guidelines through a digital format that is continually reinforced through the connected worker solutions from Anvl.
2. Communication is Better than Ever
Two-way communication between leadership and frontline workers is easier and faster through the Anvl mobile solution. You can stay in constant communication from a single mobile device for immediate interaction, across lines and offices, when it counts.
3. Spark Positive Culture Change
Leadership often wants to “talk” about change, but digital transformation empowers workers to make active steps toward positive culture change themselves. This type of personal ownership gives them even more incentive to make those changes from the ground up because the change is rooted in people’s lives rather than the tech itself. The tech is a tool to empower the workers in their jobs and improves how they experience and perform their jobs.
The Anvl Platform Leads the Charge for Manufacturing Leadership and Connected Workers
Anvl is one solution for safety, quality, and operations that connects your workforce while capturing critical data in real-time. See Anvl in Action here and contact our experts for more details and customized recommendations for connecting your workers today.