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Henry Ford once said, "Coming together is beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." Manufacturing companies depend on their employees' hard skills with machinery to efficiently churn out products. However, mastering soft skills like effective employee communication and collaboration is what can turn an ordinary manufacturer into a Lean Six Sigma organization.
Here are three big ways you can take your manufacturing communications to an elite level.
This frees up employees on the floor to focus on higher level tasks like planning, maintenance, and quality control.
“Manufacturers have focused so much on cost reduction that they've taken their eye off their people,” said Bill Flint, President of Flint Strategic Partners, a manufacturing consulting firm. He continues, "One of the best ways to tap into the collective wisdom of the production floor is to hold regular town-hall meetings, perhaps every quarter.”
The employees manufacturing the product are closest to the action and have perspectives that managers would benefit from hearing. By facilitating communication using mobile tech, managers can better oversee operations using key insights from frontline workers.
Just a few years ago, the company Henry Ford founded realized that internal communications in their North American manufacturing facilities had calcified. Understanding the importance of employee communication, they developed a new system and incorporated it directly into their production system.
Joe Kimball, an HR manager at one of Ford’s plants, said of the changes, “It has provided us with a system and a process so that we’re doing the same things everywhere and we’ve got a cadence laid out so that if you go from one plant to another you will see the same kinds of internal communications tools being used in a very deliberate way.” If one of America’s oldest manufacturing companies can reinvent their internal communications, your manufacturing company can also embrace new technology.