With tremendous innovation in technological advancements and manufacturing practices, products have become more complex and manufacturers are now even more dependent on the supply chain. Combined with short time-to-market and cost pressures, this makes effective collaboration critical to success within the manufacturing industry.
Several manufacturing companies, including Clarks, are now seeing the great benefits of implementing a video conferencing or unified collaboration solution into their workforce that enables much quicker decision making, lower supply chain costs, and the ability to be much more flexible, removing many of the barriers to effective international manufacturing trade.
Research has shown that during product development a video-enabled team can review three times as many ideas during the same time period as teams that are not video-enabled. (Aberdeen Group)
By implementing an enterprise video solution, manufacturers can provide their supply chain with a collaboration platform that allows for face-to-face communication regardless of where users are around the world. Meetings that would otherwise require long travel times can be scheduled and conducted in a meeting room on the same day.
Here are some examples of what can be achieved in the manufacturing industry through the implementation of unified communications and remote collaboration:1. Controlling international production processes.
Video conferencing allows manufacturers to see work in progress around the world on a day-to-day basis. In the past, seeing the far-flung production facilities was limited to a few trips a year, thus reassuring management that projects are moving forward per the schedule.
Video collaboration can allow you to make your supply chain more efficient by speeding up the procurement process. Collaborating with suppliers all around the world enables you to source raw materials without leaving the office. As a result you can speed up time to marketing and ultimately drive a higher return on investment.
3. Enforcing quality assurance policies and procedures.
Video helps formalise the communication process to ensure foreign partners are following the correct standards. It is possible for managers to inspect foreign partners’ production to ensure they are compliant with the correct procedures and regulations.
4. Improving customer relationships.
As new customers require close interaction, daily video conferences in the start-up phase keep new manufacturing projects on track and increase customer satisfaction.
5. Reducing hiring costs.
The cost of acquiring talent is significantly reduced by using video to pre-interview before candidates are brought to headquarters. Video collaboration also lets the manufacturer demonstrate its flexibility and state-of-the-art workplace, both of which have high appeal to potential new hires.
6. Retaining highly skilled workers.
Video conferencing allows highly skilled workers who want more job flexibility to keep working for the company as they can work effectively from a home office or remote site. This also serves to satisfy a key company objective to be family-friendly.
7. Keeping project teams in sync.
Project managers plan the workloads of their staff by coordinating the status and requirements of each on a daily basis. Using video conferencing for internal meetings promotes better attendance and participation. Time and productivity are preserved by eliminating the need to travel to another location. Video conferencing meetings create a face-to-face atmosphere that results in teams working more closely toward the same objectives.
8. Delivering consistent training.
Through video, all workers can receive the same training simultaneously. Also, since each training session is available to larger, multi-location audiences, the cost of trainers and travel has been reduced.
Video is changing the world of manufacturing. We have compiled a whitepaper which focuses in detail on some of the challenges facing supply chains and the manufacturing industry today and how organisations round the world are able to employ unified communications and remote collaboration solutions to solve their business challenges.
Click below to download our whitepaper “How video is changing the world of manufacturing”