The phrase “connected workers” is buzzing around the manufacturing world like a restless beehive at the moment, and with good reason. Many in leadership positions are still on the fence about whether or not they should or could adopt connected worker solutions in their operations—even though many companies are already clearly reaping the benefits that connected workers bring to the shop floor, and even remote work locations. There are still many myths, misconceptions and questions buzzing around as well, and it is important to address them clearly so that leaders can make educated decisions about moving their businesses forward. The fact is, a connected workforce brings with it better worker safety, improved product quality, and streamline operations. Don’t let your business get left behind and lose the competitive advantages that come with connected workers. Here are some common myths behind Connected Worker Solutions, and debunking why they are actually a great investment for your business:
Myth 1: Implementing Connected Worker Solutions is Difficult and Time Consuming
Part of the problem with this myth is that it can hinder leadership members who may personally have a different perception of new technologies than their workers. This is why opening up a productive dialog with workers is so important. In a recent global survey of employees, almost half of workers said they wished that their workplaces used more advanced technologies to get work done, or that they had access to better technological solutions.
The fact is, workers want to be connected, and they want to use the kinds of fast, easy technology that they already have on their own devices. Most of the incoming generation in the workforce are already familiar with digital solutions in their daily lives, but their workplace may not be as connected as they are. Everything we do outside of work is practically digitized and mobile. So, workers are already well-versed and experienced in adapting to the benefits of new apps and technologies. In general, leadership should be confident in their workers’ ability to adopt new technology quickly and effectively, as it’s something they already do in their daily lives.
Myth 2: Connected Worker Solutions are Costly
In this case, it is all a matter of choosing the right solution in the first place. Your workers are already used to using mobile devices. So, a mobile solution that connects workers to each other, to supervisors, to sensors throughout the building, to digital documentation and forms and notifications may simply be a matter of using the smartphones your workers already carry with them.
Instead of going to find a paper form or tracking down a busy supervisor for advice, connected worker solutions like Anvl can actually put the necessary data and forms right on their mobile devices for instant use, analysis and transmission. Even if getting connected workers requires getting dedicated worksite mobile devices, the ROI for the solution and the devices in terms of time and cost savings is significant and will pay for itself rather quickly.
Also, even if your business restricts personal mobile device use for any reason, affordable options for workforce devices come in the form of corporate and quantity discounts, or even Wi-Fi-only, or refurbished devices. It doesn’t have to be expensive, and the cost savings and ROI alone will be enough to justify the initial costs.
Myth 3: Connected Worker Solutions Will Replace Real People at Work
Fortunately, this is also untrue. The essential creativity and ingenuity from real, human workers is central to manufacturing within Industry 4.0. In fact, this connected worker paradigm shift actually makes the human workers more important than ever because it breaks down communications barriers between different departments, helps onsite and remote workers connect better with supervisors and provides workers with opportunities to show leadership within their own spheres of responsibility. This can actually help them develop and create even more solutions to improve quality and productivity, bolster workers safety and make operations run more efficiently. Technology is here to be a human worker’s colleague, not replacement.
Manufacturing Leadership Needs to Take Action
Become well-informed and up-to-speed in what staying competitive means in today’s manufacturing world. Leadership rarely means doing nothing. In fact, it usually means taking decisive action for a better future. The changes of Industry 4.0 are already here, so it’s a matter of deciding to ride that wave or to get washed away by it. The good news is that empowering connected workers with the right solution isn’t hard, and can be implemented quickly and effectively with the right solution.
Anvl – Let’s Get to Work
Anvl is the connected worker solution that captures and analyzes critical safety, operations and quality data in real time, empowering you and your workers to lead the way to the future of work. Click here to see Anvl in Action and contact one of our experts today.