Navigating Disruptions Series: Achieve Productivity in Manufacturing

by Catherine O'Toole

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Within a year, 2020 showed how fast manufacturing operations can be impacted. From plants coming to a standstill to others hitting unsustainable levels with new and skyrocketing demand, companies have had to adapt to an ever-changing landscape quickly. As companies have grappled with these disruptions, an elusive goal has become even more vital: managing productivity. Read on to learn why manufacturing teams are concentrating on increasing their productivity and how digital investments can help.

The Biggest Challenge: Managing Productivity

In a recent poll, manufacturers found that managing productivity is the top challenge of the current environment (and for a good reason). As new guidelines and mandates have been put into place to ensure physical distancing requirements, the challenge to increase productivity has become more difficult. Social distancing requires more space, and more space means fewer people on the production floor. So, how do you increase productivity within these new constraints? 

Digital Investments: Your Key to Productivity

When disruptions arise, digital investments are your champion. With digital technologies, companies can experience agility and flexibility where other processes fall short. For example, digital investments can increase your productivity without bringing in equipment, hiring more people, or buying new space. How is this possible? Let’s check out the below section to find out!

Increase Productivity with Digital Production

When a company is looking to boost productivity on its factory floor, a digital investment can help by simply making production work more efficient. By making all the information digital and readily available, the process becomes more streamlined because:

  1. Feedback from the plant floor is easily shared.
  2. Information is available to other employees.
  3. Operators receive the most accurate information.

Digital technologies boost productivity because it ensures that everyone is working off the most accurate information. It also provides a full view of the process, so there are no more blind spots for management when they monitor the process.

Of course, the other options (bringing in equipment, hiring more people, and buying more space) can achieve a similar result, but these options are more expensive and time-consuming.

Unlike other investments, digital technologies also create a connection company-wide, streamline business processes, and secure data exchange from any location.

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