Connected Workforce: The Future of the Manufacturing Industry

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Short and sweet

Networking employees from different departments has always been an important topic in companies. Here you can find out why a connected workforce is so important in the manufacturing industry - not least because of the pandemic.

Connected Workforce

Connected Workforce is a term you will hear a lot in 2021 - especially in the manufacturing industry. Connected workforce and work are the driving forces here. Finding tools and technologies that make an increasingly dispersed and remote workforce as productive as possible should be a top priority for companies today. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is a particular concern in the manufacturing industry. Learn how a connected workforce can give you a long-term competitive advantage, while protecting your production workers and ensuring operational flexibility.

From trend to necessity: Connected Workforce

The industrial transformation, or digital transformation of industrial processes, is forcing manufacturing companies to rethink and realign strategies. There is no turning back - the market is not waiting for you. 

Networking departments, employees, suppliers and partners has always been important in the manufacturing industry - this is nothing new. But what started as a growing trend must now be or become an integral part of manufacturing companies. Because with the advent of Industry 4.0 - including pandemics and social distancing - this is now becoming essential. What this means for you is that you need to build the deployment of a digital, connected workforce directly into your strategy and plan for it. 

Only in this way you can 

  • technologies 100% to your advantage, 

  • Improve your productivity, 

  • Increase communication, 

  • Share knowledge in real time, 

  • Solve problems faster, 

  • so increase your performance 

  • and ultimately increase your sales. 

Equipping employees in different areas of your company with the very technologies that enable them to network with each other remotely and collaborate better sounds like a mammoth task at first. But the ongoing pandemic has clearly demonstrated the need to increasingly, and in some cases exclusively, rely on digital collaboration. Many companies in the manufacturing industry have already changed their work processes in the hope of ensuring the safety of their employees through social distance and minimizing physical contact. 

Adjustments in working methods and personnel models are therefore the beginning. The long-term goal must be a secure, engaged and informed workforce on the one hand, and strategy-inherent digital networking planning on the other. This is the only way to overcome challenges in the future - together.

The workforce is changing - you should too

Experts predict that, with the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), technologies will take away people's jobs in factories. So far, however, this has not come true. The importance of human labor has been demonstrated once again by the COVID-19 crisis. 

Nevertheless, older generations are increasingly leaving the workforce and new, younger employees are being recruited. These, in turn, are not so easy to recruit, as the choice often falls on digitally active companies and industries. Because a connected workforce is one thing - a multigenerational workforce is another. 

The common denominator between an increasingly dispersed workforce, a multigenerational workforce and the recruitment of new, younger employees is missing. 

How can you attract, retain and get the best out of Millennial talent? How can you maximize the productivity of your remote employees? And what resources can be used to accomplish this all-important task? We answer these questions for you now! 

More than just lip service - the right technology for you

The technologies available to most employees are email, chat and text messaging. However, because these are not always up to date and are usually disconnected from the actual information flows of business processes, employee productivity is impacted. 

Cloud software is fundamentally particularly well suited for networking the workforce. Advantages such as continuous updating and location-dependent usability provide the basis. Give your employees a CRM system in which they can collaborate directly and also communicate easily with each other via a chat function, for example. 

In the following, we present three possible solutions that will take you one step further on your path to the Connected Workforce. 

  1. The Salesforce Experience Cloud (formerly Community Cloud) makes so-called communities available to several actors - in your case, employees and departments. You can think of these as a kind of portal. With a wide range of products, collaboration between the various players in a system is essential. This is the only way to reduce the complexity of communication channels. Therefore, provide all employees along the supply and production chain with a portal in which they can act independently. For example, they can view the product inventory, the order status, or view various invoices. You decide which data is visible and which employees can contact each other. 

  2. Chatter is Salesforce's own communication tool. A kind of social medium that lets you eliminate long and unnecessary communication channels once and for all. The networking of all employees and departments in your company takes place, similar to other common social media channels, through continuous, location and time-independent, also mobile, exchange of several parties. Social collaboration occurs through interaction, engagement, polls, topic pages, and more. Feeds are at the heart of this social network. Feeds keep your employees up to date on projects, topics and teams. Publish files, videos, images and other information directly to the feed and ultimately connect your entire organization. 

  3. Slack - a web-based instant messaging service - offers another way to connect your workforce. Communication takes place in work groups, so-called channels. Files are shared in seconds and within a few clicks. Departments, short- and long-term project teams organize themselves into channels, which can be dissolved or created at any time. Audio and video calls are also possible with just one click. With a Salesforce Slack integration, you can look for your Salesforce instance from Slack and share the results in Slack. Plus, you can share messages in both directions, between Salesforce Chatter and your Slack channel(s). 

Would you also like to restructure to a Connected Workforce? We will accompany you on your way. You are welcome to contact us without obligation for a first meeting. 

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