The heart of any business is its workforce, and despite the prominence of machinery, manufacturing is no exception. While many of the previously manual production processes have been modernised, it’s important to ensure that your employees are satisfied and working to their full potential. Having an up-to-date technological infrastructure is critical in supporting your teams to deliver the most value they can.
These don’t have to be huge, earth shaking changes. At Advanced, we specialise in targeted digital interventions to help small and medium sized business do more with less. A few modifications in your digital technology could dramatically enhance the agility and efficiency of your staff.
Why is change necessary? Because the old workforce rules don’t apply anymore. Historically people have spent their entire careers doing the same job, using the same skills and competencies. Not today. The millennial workforce has different outlooks and aspirations. This ‘digital-native’ generation expect their workplaces to adapt to new technologies and capabilities. Quickly. While many of the processes and jobs within manufacturing are subject to automation, there is still a need to attract a diverse and vibrant talent pool with the creative skills that only a human worker can bring. And this means reimagining the internal infrastructure to create new, modern roles that best utilise these strengths.
Failure to modernise your workforce will also impact your customers. Low productivity, inefficiencies and an inability to change will limit your ability to meet demand. If your customers aren’t getting the best value for their money, they will simply look elsewhere. So how do you start considering the move to a more agile workforce underpinned by flexible working practices?
A good place to start is with an honest appraisal of where you are, and where you’d like to get to. Have you ever audited processes to identify inefficiencies and rethink how tasks are carried out? As you do this, be sure to consult members of your workforce – they’re on the front line and will be able to spot gaps in processes that you might not be able to see.
As you plan next steps, consider the culture you want to inspire in staff. Businesses need to be able to identify, appeal to and inspire a diverse talent pool to successfully build an agile workforce. What does workplace agility mean? It means a culture of autonomy, accountability and empowerment. And that employees are able to communicate and collaborate freely. It’s a liberation of the workforce.
All of these steps forward can be facilitated by the best digital technology. Capturing information from across your production lines and processes can reveal hidden insights and opportunities. Making this accessible to all the right people and giving them the tools to act upon the information encourages efficiency and clarity within your organisation.
This kind of centralised system to capture data and activity history, accessible from any device, from any location, ensures your teams can make informed decisions, spot threats and identify opportunities to improve. This increases their satisfaction and efficiency as they’re empowered to work seamlessly across platforms – cloud, social, mobile – and collaborate in new ways.
A modern workforce, supported by the right digital technology, can support your business aims and generate consumer satisfaction at the same time. When you free up staff from low value-add activities that can be time consuming, frustrating and prone to human error, you create a flexible, agile and productive team that’s happy to work for you and with you.