Mobile communication is an increasingly important part of every business. In the United States, over 71% of the population owns a smartphone. Instead of fighting…
Communication, especially inter-departmental communication, is one of several organizational functions that help to keep any enterprise efficient and productive.
Although it’s one function that is often overlooked or taken for granted, the importance of good internal communication becomes evident whenever there is a communication breakdown. In any manufacturing plant, one of the closest departments to the manufacturing process is the maintenance team. However, this does not mean that maintenance can afford to work in isolation. In fact, the reality is just the opposite.
If the maintenance team has the culture of proceeding with repairs or servicing without informing other departments, it can cost the manufacturer dearly in the form of missed orders, product quality issues, safety problems, and more.
Here are the top reasons why good communication between maintenance and other manufacturing departments is so important – and how digital communication tools can facilitate this.
This kind of issue typically occurs when an employee from another unit needs maintenance attention but lacks the resources needed to quickly convey the request. For instance, someone from outside the production floor, such as at the front desk, is requesting for repairs of a faulty equipment but they can’t adequately explain what the problem is. Likewise, it could be that the instructions for a maintenance technician are vague because the employee raising the job request is busy and so they don’t take the time to give all the information needed.
Accidents occur when there is lack of collaboration between machine operators, production floor team, and maintenance personnel. All it takes is one accident for workers to lose trust in the maintenance team and vice versa. This becomes obvious in blame-trading, poor teamwork, and even friction among the different departments.
A team communication tool is a fitting way to encourage the flow of inter-departmental information via digital communication channels, where staff can be encouraged to air their opinions, observations, and suggestions on dedicated communication streams. This also saves time and money by eliminating the need for so many in-person meetings.
Imagine a situation where maintenance is short-staffed, busy, and somehow forgets to inform production that they are shutting down a packing machine for 12 hours. The result is chaos and missed deadlines, which can result in angry customers. This kind of miscommunication often stifles or completely halts production.
To address this, top-level management can be more involved in the organization’s productivity efforts by implementing digital communication tools. One way to do this is by listening to the input of maintenance managers and working with them to ensure the maintenance team has all it needs to get the job done. By working with feedback from maintenance and other units as well, management can lay out better operational strategies and plans that will keep every unit running smoothly and then communicate these plans to all levels of employees in a way that everyone can understand.
Although good employee communication is considered a soft skill, it’s absence can lead to friction between every major department in a business and affect the bottom line. Deploying an effective, accessible, and mobile communication platform is a first step to make sure manufacturing employees feel informed, heard, and connected.