The adoption of new technology is one of the driving forces in making manufacturing much quicker, more efficient, and affordable. While businesses have always focused on next-gen technology to boost growth, the global pandemic has significantly increased this trend due to the unexpected disruption in labor.
Employees working during a pandemic is always a safety issue, whether it’s at a factory or a warehouse. Manufacturers were forced to adapt their business operations or risk getting shut down due to the pandemic. After a rough few months, many of these companies have successfully used various return-to-work strategies. However, the road to recovery demonstrated the significant opportunity for advanced analytics and data management to impact manufacturing companies for the long-term.
Manufacturers now have a clearer view of business operations and equipment performance by analyzing data from each plant. Data analysis allows these organizations to operate more efficiently, as AI software can use this information to improve decision making. AI-powered business intelligence software is a proactive approach for manufacturing leaders to identify potential equipment problems, production challenges, and predict supply chain problems before they occur. ABI Research expects manufacturers across the globe will spend almost $20 billion by 2026 on analytics, data management, and other advanced technology.
All of the investments and approaches that manufacturing companies take today will make a big impact on future success. Smart organizations will look beyond the bottom line and focus on sustainable deployment to best meet the unique needs of their business.
Why Business Intelligence is Critical for Manufacturers
The most successful businesses will often attempt to predict and mitigate potential problems before they happen. This proactive approach allows a company to always look at ways to improve and never remain satisfied with the status quo.
On the other hand, slow technology adoptions will result in manufacturers falling behind on production and losing out to competitors. However, transitioning too rapidly isn’t without risks, as productivity will drop if the workforce isn’t ready for this change. Consistent real-time engagement with employees is critical during this transition process to optimize performance and maximize productivity for your business.
Choosing to focus on three key areas can make it much easier for manufacturers to perform tech rollouts without suffering a significant drop in production.
1) Invest in Employee Training
One of the most important aspects of taking advantage of next-generation technology is to invest in employee training. Each employee will need additional training to advance them beyond their current responsibilities. However, this isn’t always a straightforward process, as organizations need to understand if they can train their existing employees or if they need to hire additional workers.
Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute expect 4.6 million manufacturing jobs will become available in the next decade, but 2.4 million of these jobs will go unfilled due to the skills gap. Now is the perfect time for manufacturing leaders to analyze their current workforce and consider making new hires due to the abundance of available workers caused by COVID-19.
2) Perform Experience Checkpoints
Adopting new technology while training employees must occur at the same pace for companies to avoid any potential problems. Traditional operational metrics will highlight any issues during the deployment process. Experience checkpoints can quickly reveal these problems and help your business find an immediate solution.
3) Understand Employee’s Ability to Fulfill New Roles
A manufacturing company must have full confidence in the ability of each employee before transitioning to more in-depth automation and other advanced technology. Automation isn’t always about replacing human workers, as it’s more about making their work more meaningful by automating time-consuming tasks.
The long-term success of a manufacturing company is often due to their efficiency and foresight. Investing in AI-powered business intelligence is essential in allowing companies to operate more efficiently during these uncertain times. Training each employee on how to use this next-gen technology is key to the long-term success of manufacturing companies.