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5 Challenges In Manufacturing

December 19, 2022

Manufacturing globally is a 44.5 trillion dollar market powered by an estimated 10 million factories. While these figures are impressive, often the technologies powering these factories are not. While many manufacturers have begun their digital transformation journey, others cling to their “this is the way we’ve always done it” methodology. Wherever you find yourself in this journey, the goal of this article is to help you advance.

This article addresses five significant issues that manufacturers are facing in this digital era. As well as the benefits that digital solutions can generate for manufacturers of all kinds.

1. Labor Shortage

Despite employing 427 million workers globally, labor shortages within manufacturing are nothing new. The lack of meaningful technological advancement in the manufacturing sector has made it tough to attract the Millennial and Gen Z generations. Further fueled by the “great retirement” of baby boomers, labor shortages affect organizations small and large alike.

One way to mitigate the labor shortage crisis we are all facing is by implementing technology to attract and retain talent. Today’s reality is that the front office is powered by software, such as ERP, HCM, CRM, and many others. While deskless workers are still in the “pencil & paper” ages. With over 80% of the total workforce being deskless, the deskless worker is the optimal place to begin a digital transformation journey.

Implementing a connected deskless worker platform, like Proceedix, can greatly accelerate your digital transformation journey. As well as contributing towards employee retention, attracting new talent, and improving the employee experience; Assisted reality facilitates new hire training and complex workflows alike. If you are interested in learning more, about the labor shortage and how assisted reality solves training challenges in manufacturing, read this article.

2. Managing Inventory and Capacity Constraints

Managing your company’s inventory and capacity constraints is critical in all forms of manufacturing. Managing these challenges is consequential in improving the efficiency of operations and minimizing additional costs and risks. As well as confirming that the customer’s needs are fulfilled promptly and accurately. Because of labor shortages, supply chain disruptions, and inflation, simply tracking inventory and capacity constraints is not enough. To thrive, manufacturers must take it to the next level, through continuous improvements and data-driven decisions.

The primary objective in many factories today is to improve efficiency. Many talk about data-driven decisions and efficiency, but how can we actually achieve it? A connected worker platform, like Proceedix, automates data gathering of executions. An operator, inspector, or technician simply executes their daily workflows on their device of choice. Be it a cellphone, tablet, laptop, or wearable smart glasses. Proceedix seamlessly tracks Who did What, When, Where and How. This data is then leveraged to minimize risk, assist in anticipating production, and improve worker safety.

Predictive analytics can then be used to anticipate demand to ensure products are delivered in a timely and efficient manner.

3. Improving Maintenance Time

Maintenance is a critical part of keeping factories operational. Whether routine or unexpected, maintenance execution and maintenance-related issues are inevitable. These issues can greatly affect the bottom line, as well as cost, quality, and time.

A proactive approach to maintenance is good but insufficient. A connected worker platform, like Proceedix, takes it a step further. By digitizing maintenance procedures, an organization can benefit from reducing administrative and operational tasks. As well as providing valuable data that can be translated into information and analytics.

Additionally, features such as scheduling, and integrated action management can streamline maintenance processes. Maintenance plans greatly benefit from scheduling tasks proactively. While users and organizations leverage action management, a feature within Proceedix that enables a user to launch an action to another user. For example, a machine operator finds a leaky oil line. Instead of walking around the plant to find a maintenance technician, they can simply launch a maintenance request, within Proceedix, that immediately appears as a To-Do action item on a maintenance technician’s cellphone, tablet, laptop, or smart glasses (RIP walkie-talkies).

4. Ensuring Accountability & Traceability within the Workplace

Checklists and excel spreadsheets have long been the standard for documenting who did what. We have all seen the empty maintenance logs that have been neglected for months and miraculously get updated the day before the auditor arrives. Although this will get you past an audit, it is not an optimal way to run a factory and/or equipment.

A digital execution platform, such as Proceedix, tracks real-time execution data of manufacturing processes. This provides management with the data to understand Who did What, Where, When, How, and Why. Not only are time stamps, locations, inputs, and values traced, but the collection of this data is automated and provided in real-time. Rather than Friday afternoon right before a long weekend.

Additionally, organizations can configure notifications, alerts, and reminders within Proceedix, to alert the appropriate personnel when a maintenance procedure is due and notify management if it becomes past due.

5. Increasing Competition in the Industry

Gone are the days when companies could rise with the tide and hide their inefficiencies. High-performing companies must provide superior products and exceptional service to gain a competitive edge and ultimately achieve substantial market share and better profitability. A true competitive edge is actually a multi-faceted surface. Companies know that today’s consumers care about sustainability, the environment, reducing waste, and more.

By implementing a Digital Connected Worker Platform, like Proceedix, companies can turn their sustainability and efficiency goals into reality. Not only do digital procedures remove the need for paper, but they also improve efficiency and operational costs. Such as automatically tracing executions and automated analytical information regarding your processes. If you would like to learn more about how a connected worker platform helps a company achieve ESG goals, click here.

Staying ahead of the competition is not an end unto itself but an ongoing process that an organization must perform time and time again.

Written by:
Anderson Lemos
Manager of Solution Engineering at Symphony AI Industrial