HAPPY MANUFACTURING MONTH!
Here we are in “new normal” for the manufacturing space… well in all spaces really. Each day, more and more companies are adapting, finding ways to get back up to speed. In navigating forward there seems to be a renewed emphasis on adaptation; being able to shift and evolve is more important than ever. Many corporations are finding their way thru by incorporating new technologies, mainly to help with new regulations; but what if those same tools can help in other ways after Covid, or sooner?
Manufacturing Shifts with "New Normal"
The “New Normal,” a phrase that may seem overused at this point, however, it still tends to best describe where most of us are. The C-19 pandemic shifted much of what manufacturing took as standard—things have not been “business as usual” for months now. At the beginning, manufacturing businesses across the globe suddenly got pressed into working remote, altering shifts, or otherwise changing routines. This created challenges that some were not ready for nor could adjust to. Since then there have been new emphases in many areas, from packaging to logistics, work shifts to processes, etc. Not to mention the attention and changes related to worker interaction and safety.
Covid - Awareness & Ingenuity in 2020
According to the results of Fictiv’s 2020 State of Manufacturing Report, COVID-19 has negatively harmed most businesses (89%), sales are down (44%), cost of materials and components have increased (41%) and production times have lengthened (41%). While this sounds dire, circumstances like this tend to breed ingenuity. Reopening and operating in 2020 requires awareness, while being effective and continuing to grow requires innovation. The first priority at most facilities is keeping employees safe, done primarily through increased sanitation effort and social distancing. But let’s face it, on the shop floor there are still interactions that result in people coming into contact with one another, it’s unavoidable. Having additional insight into these and other events can be beneficial, this is where technology enlightens awareness.
Manufacturing Adapts thru Technology
Innovation. Technology has been key to making many recent industry adjustments work. By now we are all getting pretty good at virtual meetings… although past that, some companies have implemented more impactful equipment for various goals. Many that could likely be beneficial in other ways if explored.
- Tracking cards/tracing technologies, proximity sensing and “geo-fencing” for safety
- Temperature/Identification screening
- Mobile devices, ideally that can be easily sterilized, are more prominent than ever.
A quick read of this article by Michael S. at Accuity outlines technology directions likely to be key in the future.
Today's Technology, Tomorrow's Insight
Technology is a tool, how much use one gets out of it depends on their understanding of it, and so their training with it. Good technology is meant to be adaptable. Properly deployed, and in conjunction with the right training, the technologies implemented now can remain in place and impactful long after C-19 needs calm. Maybe these tracing element investments can be repurposed or integrated to help track materials. And in turn, strengthens in house supply systems. So awareness of people expands to include insight into your shop floor, your daily procedures, and ultimately your productivity.
As the post-pandemic era solidifies, leaders must continue to respond to the present, planning thru recovery, while concurrently preparing for the future. What if some of that same technology needed to run a business in 2020, could ultimately be utilized not only to keep you safe, but also lead to increasing productivity and visibility? And at the same time improve communication, while minimizing errors in your routines? What would stop you from investigating your options?
Transformative Choices, 2021 Direction
Technology deployment, of course, has a cost that for many can be a hard justification and a barrier. Innovation through today’s digital technologies is truly transformative! And now is Not the time to make do with what’s in place, it’s the time to take strategic action. Turn your needed upgrades for C-19 into your desired results from before the New Norm.
Gain control of the “Next Norm,” speak with someone from ISE today. We are here to listen to your situation and help guide you thru – Let’s Change the Conversation.
Here’s to finishing your 2020 strong, and preparing for a better 2021!
Sr. Account Manager with Information Systems Engineering, Inc.