Mitel’s Manufacturing Sales Specialist discusses the possibilities of a connected sector.
The current economic climate is driving a need for British companies to be more leaner and highly-competitive than ever before, and nowhere is this more acutely felt than in the manufacturing sector. Under pressure to change rapidly, some of the most pervasive challenges faced include the optimisation of business processes and workflows, improving networking on the shop floor and increasing productivity – all while reducing cost.
The realities of manufacturing are complex. It’s a process that involves hundreds of people, often communicating across different geographies, working across functional boundaries and joining disparate hardware, software and communications devices. They must also be able to problem solve and make timely decisions that benefit their organisation and its partners in the supply chain.
Inarguably, the entire process is one big collaboration.
So long, silos
Manufacturing businesses can only run at their optimum if they have specialist functions, such as engineering, production, marketing and finance. Yet these functions easily become siloed, eventually preventing effective communications and decision-making processes. And when information gets “stuck”, it creates havoc along the entire supply chain.
The cause of this havoc is due to a disconnect in communication styles. Supervisors on the factory floor for example, problem solve along the production line using smartphones or the more traditional two-way radio. Meanwhile, office-based workers might spend their times communicating via face-to-face meetings or sending emails. To those on the factory floor, any time spent in the office equals a loss in productivity as well as a breakdown in communication and clarity across the wider team.
So how can communications technologies make life easier for everyone involved?
Communications, connectivity and collaboration are the glue that cements all of these elements together. When you apply a unified communications strategy, that same situation becomes much more streamlined. Daily meetings can be set up using smartphones, sales managers can make calls from home or while on the road and the production line supervisor never need leave the floor.
Introduce presence technologies and a manager can update his workforce in real time to let them know when he’s available for voice, SMS or video calls. And if he’s off-site – or perhaps on different continent – VoIP technology can help him easily and securely communicate.
But it doesn’t stop there. In today’s manufacturing world, collaboration occurs all along the supply chain, across every nation a company operates in. The clothing designer in New York is going to need to speak to the production supervisor in Britain. Procurement may have to notify the factory in Brazil that the shipping of raw materials has been delayed. The factory in Honduras could be hit by bad weather that pushes production off-schedule.
When all participants are connected via the cloud, communication occurs more easily irrespective of company boundaries and international borders. The clothing designer in New York can share documents in real time with the UK production manager and the factory in Brazil can see the movement of its supplies before Procurement contacts them.
As for Honduras, because it can be linked to a shared communications system, a partner facility can pick up the workload, coordinating with the original plan to meet the same deadline.
Daisy and Mitel
Creating a reliable and future-proof infrastructure that delivers integration between physical production and internet-enabled technologies are exciting yet challenging areas that face the sector.
But Daisy and Mitel are here to help. Working together as strategic partners for many years, we understand the digital journey that manufacturers find themselves on.
As the UK’s largest independent supplier, backed by the highest levels of accreditation with world-leading vendors and suppliers, Daisy’s years of experience with legacy and revolutionary technology make them the perfect partner to seamlessly connect workforces and guide them along their transformation journeys.
When combined with Mitel’s market-leading portfolio of solutions that sit at the very heart of the fourth industrial revolution’s key pillars, manufacturers have all the key building blocks needed for true digital transformation. With the broadest communication portfolio in the industry, Mitel and Daisy can provide a unique end-to-end proposition aligned with the distinct needs of the manufacturing sector.
About the Author:
Steve Powell is Mitel’s Manufacturing Sector Sales Specialist who brings a background in aerospace engineering and 25 years’ experience of working for global communications Manufacturers. With a passion for the Sector and Communications and a wealth of experience, Steve is helping some of the world’s most forward thinking Manufacturers drive transformational change through improved communications, collaboration and customer experience.