Labor shortages have affected businesses of all types, but manufacturing firms have been hit particularly hard. According to a recent survey from the National Association of Manufacturers, more than 85 percent of manufacturers are struggling to fill job vacancies. To add insult to injury, these vacant positions have caused nearly 45 percent of respondents to turn away new business and revenue opportunities.
Manufacturing firms are changing strategies and devising new ways to do more work with fewer people. Thanks to emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and IoT, machinery — and its supporting systems — are getting an efficiency boost; with the help of technology such as unified communications (UC), workplace communications and collaboration are getting a boost too.
Improving Efficiencies in the Office
Many manufacturers are turning to feature-rich unified communications as a service (UCaaS) platforms to improve the efficiency of operations. Departments like Human Resources, Sales, Marketing, Finance, and Research and Development rely on effective communication to meet their daily and long-term goals. UCaaS solutions provide a seamless, reliable way to collaborate. Here are a few UCaaS features that can help improve the efficiency of day-to-day tasks:
- One interface. Businesses rely on a variety of apps and channels to carry out daily tasks, but UCaaS provides one all-encompassing platform for streamlined access. A single, comprehensive interface allows employees to monitor and execute calls, chats, and video conferences from a single app — no more app switching. Users can easily move between chats, calls, and video conferences, providing employees with a seamless, stress-free experience.
- Mobility. The cloud based infrastructure of UCaaS platforms provides seamless mobility: employees can participate in real-time collaboration using voice and video or collaborate asynchronously through email, chat, or text. With the increasing popularity of hybrid work models in manufacturing firms, this mobility is crucial for on-the-go employees such as sales personnel and field managers.
- Call routing. Most UCaaS systems have advanced call routing functionalities to help direct callers to the right person, cutting down on the amount of time spent jockeying calls.
- Statistics and dashboards. Poor communication can contribute to bottlenecks, supply chain issues, production errors, and more. UCaaS platforms provide much-needed visibility to help managers identify potential problems. Managers can immediately address those problems by hopping on a video conference or providing instructions via text or chat. UCaaS helps manufacturing employees navigate challenges better, therefore enhancing productivity.
Improving Efficiencies on the Factory Floor
The factory floor of a manufacturing firm is fast-paced, process-oriented, and systems-reliant. When there is a hiccup in the system, effective and efficient communication is the first line of defense against a loss of revenue or a potential safety hazard. Here are a few ways UCaaS systems support productivity and efficiency on the factory floor:
- Easy accessibility. UCaaS solutions provide crucial mobility that enables deskless workers to communicate with coworkers, suppliers, and customers wherever they are, decreasing delays and ensuring that the factory keeps moving. Frontline workers can use mobile apps such as the Broadvoice b-hive Communicator to call, chat, and video conference from any internet-enabled device.
- Adapts to the environment. Manufacturing floors can be very loud, and most employees wear ear protection, making it nearly impossible to make traditional voice calls. Mobile apps with UCaaS capabilities offer easily accessible and unified chat, text, and email channels that are perfect for noisy factory floors.
- Guarantees continuity. Manufacturing firms can only make money when they are online. Selecting a UCaaS system designed for continuous operation provides even more continuity — communications will remain up and running even during a power outage or natural disaster.
- Safety-oriented. In an environment where safety is paramount, seamless and reliable communication tools are vital. Bubble by Broadvoice is a broadcast SMS platform that enables real-time safety updates and warnings to keep employees aware and protected.
The labor shortage in the manufacturing industry has managers looking for ways to streamline and optimize their existing systems. A UCaaS solution like Broadvoice b-hive facilitates impactful improvements in employee communication and collaboration, directly affecting output and revenue. The best part is that when the shortage is finally behind us and hiring increases, b-hive is easily scalable to grow with your expanding business needs.
Want to learn more about how Broadvoice can help your manufacturing firm? Check out our webpage that highlights all of the ways Broadvoice helps manufacturers.