A recent study by CDW revealed that 80% of all employees around the world bring a smartphone to work. And most use more than one app to improve productivity or performance. Mobility as a tool to improve productivity has been recognized by many industries like transportation, healthcare and more but manufacturing was a little slow to catch up.
With employees at all levels becoming more tech-savvy, and mobile devices getting cheaper and more affordable for their own, embracing this technology has never been easier. Recent tremendous improvements in mobile networks and launch of LTE networks, some issues like offline data, and computing power seem like part of the near-extinct breed of problems.
6 Benefits of Mobility in Manufacturing
By its very design, the mobile app is for portability, use on the go. The right mobile applications can eliminate the need to return to a single fixed terminal to receive information, review a checklist or fulfill an order. Using a tablet or mobile frees your workers to conduct quality checks, monitor performance, alert teams of problems and instantly update the status of a particular job order or piece of machinery.
It can help management too. The ability to refer to a tablet or device for status on jobs, access customer or order documents or even check the maintenance schedules, schematics and procedures while on the go boosts productivity and efficiency. Mobile may allow managers to be more proactive and present in the field as well since they need to be tied to one location is drastically reduced by this technology.
2. Real-Time Problems, Real-Time Solutions
Mobile apps can facilitate such a level of quality communication, that when the team hit a roadblock, problems with moving the production forward due to internal or external factors that needs the intervention of different teams, it really gets tricky and difficult sometimes to get access to them in time and get delayed. Each delay is a loss that affects the bottom line. With mobile communication can be real time.
Not every issue or every problem that your teams face they know the solutions. One-time session of training wears off if material to refer back is not always on hand. Mobile apps and tablets provide an excellent opportunity to have the knowledge base on the go with every team member. If they find an error code on some device or break down and need to know how to get it to solve, they can refer a well-documented knowledge base on table zoom in directly to the topic they need and get things sorted.
True situational awareness can decrease your reaction time, and increase your positive outcomes. Being able to instantly assess an issue while in the field can allow planners and the management team to act instead of reacting and may improve your outcomes and customer relationships as well.
3. Health and Safety
Mobile is more than just tablets; wearable tech trends are also a part of the mobility in manufacturing movement and continue to provide better safety options for operators and for those working a line, picking orders or managing inventory. Inroads into fitness and health monitoring allow for mobile alerts when an employee is overheated – or too cold – and can trigger an immediate change in the environment. For those in cold climates, wearable can help prevent frostbite or stress injuries; workers in hotter climates can benefit from modulation in temperature and humidity as well.
4. Location Tracking
Do you know where your fleet is – and where your workers are? GPS locations in real time allow you assess your logistics and determine where you are losing time or being inefficient in your freight management tasks. Instant updates allow team leaders to check the status of any order at any time, or to instantly locate raw materials and goods arriving. For companies with an active outside sales staff, the ability to both check inventory and input sales on the go improves efficiency tremendously and can boost customer relationships as well.
Choosing mobile tablets can lead to easy hand-holding for workers, intuitive interface help workers to fill correct and accurate information, and also provide with help where they need it. It becomes a tremendously better experience than working filling sheets of paper-based forms and all of that data then later being entered manually into a system.
Reduction in potential errors and ease of use are appealing options for most workers to opt for mobile reporting.
The tablets used for most manufacturing friendly applications are available at a consumer level and in many cases, more affordable than their stationary predecessors. Consumer tablets and devices pack a lot of power into a small mobile package – and are easily protected with heavy duty cases and screen guards.
As companies begin to embrace mobility in manufacturing to support an active sales staff, to manage data more effectively and to increase productivity, collaboration and innovation naturally improve. The reduction of employee stress improved relationships and boosted productivity are some of the biggest benefits an organization can reap when making the switch to mobile. To learn more about mobile and the manufacturing workplace, contact us or follow our blog for the latest industry news.
How are you embracing mobility in your manufacturing processes? Let us know in the comments section below!