In 1961, General Motors installed the first industrial robot, Unimate, in its assembly line in New Jersey. With human help, these bots would automate welding and metalworking processes. To date, Unimate remains the best example to prove how technology and humans can coexist in factories to achieve extraordinary output. This is because automation lets humans reach a new level of efficiency by enhancing their capacity. It has the potential to augment humanity.
The world is fast evolving, and we need to understand the evolving role of frontline workers and the part technology plays in it. We must explore solutions that provide a democratisation of knowledge and a move towards training on-demand.
Technological solutions are also crucial to provide hands-on training to the increasing young workforce, and the archaic methods used currently are not sufficient. A swifter and innovative approach would help millennials explore creative ways to perform efficiently.
Industry 4.0 and adoption of technology
Automation has disrupted the consumer experience of every industry. It is high time to automate manufacturing processes and supply chain lines. The world is witnessing a fourth industrial revolution. It has brought a drastic change in the way frontline works operate. An early investment in connected worker platforms can help companies leverage the developing labour market and gain an edge over their competitors.
The ongoing pandemic has forced companies to witness a five-year change in merely a few weeks, with automation at its centre. Organisations are heavily relying on digitisation to thrive. But, most companies often fail to take maximum advantage of technological solutions.
Since the deskless workforce is responsible for about 80 percent of the manufacturing tasks, they also bring a higher variability. Ultimately, businesses often find it challenging to unlock their potential.
Growth of automation
Technology can help businesses upskill their connected workforce and unleash their potential. The technological solutions we have today no longer require coding or complex IT configurations and setup, or any such technical expertise. With these solutions, companies can create customised work procedures locally and enforce them without any hassle.
Business leaders must analyse the digital strategies closely before implementing them to make their organisation more sustainable, competitive, and tech-savvy.
The only constant thing in the manufacturing world that will continue to be true in a more complex future is machines, which will run till they break down. In most cases, they break because of variability in human work processes.
It could be an instruction that is not given correctly or not understood properly, a training not attended, or even as simple as the experienced employee not being available at the right time to do quality checks. Connected worker platforms are trying to empower the evolving needs of our workforce.
Connected worker platforms are an essential cogwheel for an organisation looking to implement continuous improvement to achieve standardisations across their sites and workforce and improve the results of last-mile execution.
Such platforms enable a modern, automated, collaborative experience to optimise daily work for employees. They allow quick and easy sharing of process workflows across the organisation through seamless authoring of rich interactive SOPs and work instructions.
Additionally, they provide daily insights regarding the observance of these to drive process improvement. They also help identify employees who require training, which the employers can provide before it’s too late.
Delivering digital-friendly work experiences
Business operation teams can use a no-code authoring framework to plan and schedule workflows. Businesses can create an application seamlessly without writing a line of code; all they have to do is drag and drop. Thus, they can change and continuously improve their process with a click.
Such organisations can achieve operational excellence by standardising processes and fetching last-mile execution data. It will help companies design people-independent processes. Further, they will be able to make quick and smart business decisions. For example, machine learning can help with the smart assignment of the right technician for a job and help unlock massing ROI.
It is crucial to realise point-solutions no longer will give a sustainable advantage for the organisation. The success factor for any connected worker deployment should require quantified developments to safety, quality, and time savings.
Monitoring must be done by breaking these metrics into leading indicators like improving compliance and adherence for job procedures, lagging indicators like reduction in safety incidents, and financial savings like reducing back-office jobs.
Delivering an easy, user-friendly, digital work experience to optimise the work execution by the frontline workforce is very important. The world is becoming more collaborative, and leaders need to be mindful of the evolving needs of their workforce to transform their organisations successfully.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)