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4 Ways to Increase Productivity on the Manufacturing Floor

4 Ways to Increase Productivity on the Manufacturing Floor
Alexandra Zamolo
Alexandra Zamolo, Head of Content Marketing
6 min read

Team productivity has always been a major concern among businesses across virtually every industry, including manufacturing. Inefficiency hurts any manufacturer, and may even endanger the company's survival. It’s vital for any manufacturing organization to promote team productivity in order to survive this competitive market, but it’s important to note that low levels of productivity can’t be blamed entirely on employees.

Often, it has something to do with the workplace environment and work conditions, along with a variety of factors that define the culture of the organization. Employee talent is a critical asset for any company, and it has to be maximized by ensuring employees are motivated to work and deliver great results they are capable of and qualified for.

Therefore, employers and companies must implement some changes in the setup and integrate some tools to enhance the productivity and efficiency of their workforce. A very successful plant manager once stated that one of the keys to a thriving manufacturing is to do simple things remarkably well. This means that great results can actually come from mastering simple techniques and applying them consistently.

Here are four powerful ways to use this idea to increase productivity in manufacturing.

1. Provide Easy Access to Digital Communication Tools and Embrace AI

As a company leader in your manufacturing business, you are often faced with difficult choices. When it comes to improving your off-site or non-desk workers, you can either just watch your competitors become more efficient or give your staff the means to work effectively from any location. Giving your workers access to systems they need to perform well is one of the secrets to increase productivity in manufacturing. This can be done by integrating cloud services or mobile solutions to enhance their efficiency from outside the workplace. This makes information remotely accessible for them, enhancing their work-life balance.

The most successful manufacturing companies across all industries leverage technology to give their workers easy access to communications, collaboration, and information even when they are off-site. This leads to higher outputs, while arming employees with resources they need to do their job well. Rather than presenting a threat to your manufacturing workforce, companies should view AI technology as a mechanism for improving productivity and a technological asset to their production schedules and workforce productivity

With the help of AI-assisted manufacturing technology, workers (including remote workers) can get the most up-to-date analytics information in real time to adjust production timeframes or equipment maintenance accordingly. This gives them mobility, and more of the information they need when they need it, which empowers them to get more done in a shorter amount of time. This will also ease workload, reduce time-wasting actions, and amplify productivity. See how Seaboard Foods manufacturing did it.

2. Have a Mobile Operational Communication Strategy in place

Internal mobile communication can do more than just managing and distributing information. Quality internal communication strategies can cultivate the development of a community between the workers and employers that will foster a relationship of trust, which is vital to a team working towards achieving a goal.

As the manufacturing industry enters a period of rapid growth in technological advancement, businesses in the industry must embrace a digital approach. With the integration of a mobile internal communication strategy, organizations can streamline workflows, improving their overall productivity and efficiency.

Internal communication strategies are a vital component of any business, especially for employees on the frontlines. Just as mobile devices transformed the way we operate in our personal lives, business mobility can also be revolutionary. Rather than carrying overflowing folders, any system can be made accessible through a simple app. Workers can communicate off-site with similar levels of efficiency they get inside the office. This also allows team members, departments, and production workers to communicate and collaborate more effectively.

Therefore, the use of operational communication platforms for employee engagement is something that manufacturing companies should consider. There are products that also integrate with existing operational systems, so employees can have all their tools in one simple interface. Since most don't non-desk workers don’t have access to email, these apps provide a solution for them to keep in regular contact with the whole company.

3. Invest in Continued Manufacturing Workforce Education

Workers appreciate the opportunity to enhance their skills and get access to professional advancement provided by the employer. The machining, cutting, and manufacturing industries are constantly changing. New technologies arise, promising these industries to become more efficient than ever. Advancements in technology also require change or development of skills needed for a particular task. With this, workers will need access to education and regular trainings to keep up with what the industry needs and with more advanced skills.

Manufacturing is also a unique industry where employees can just be as efficient and productive as their tools. To get ahead, it is also important for businesses to invest in smarter tools that employees can take full advantage of.

4. Encourage Mobile Collaboration for Better Team Productivity

Teamwork and collaboration are vital for a manufacturing business, especially since there are so many safety hazards. The company becomes safer and more productive when everyone works together towards achieving a similar goal with minimal conflict and confusion, which are substantial time wasters. While it is important to focus on the work being accomplished, it is also crucial to make sure that every worker feels comfortable as part of the team.

Indeed, effective collaboration is easy when you share a work location or office. However, with non-desk employees working on different production lines, encouraging collaboration may be a challenge.

This is where the implementation of a quality mobile collaboration solution comes in. Effective team collaboration results in greater growth and innovation without incurring additional expenses. Your manufacturing company can integrate a system that features collaborative elements that will change the way teams work together and enhance team productivity.

Just increasing your workers’ salary will not always make them truly satisfied. It is important to keep them motivated by integrating innovative operations tools and implementing unified communication strategies and systems that will create meaning and keep them motivated. By giving them access to systems they need to function and perform well, having a mobile operational communication strategy in place, investing in continued worker education, and always encouraging collaboration, you can effectively increase team productivity in manufacturing and have a satisfied workforce.

To learn how Beekeeper’s operational communication platform can increase productivity at your manufacturing company, download our Holcim Switzerland and Italy case study.