In 2020, the ability for manufacturers to rapidly pivot to changing market demands and challenges became critical for success—and in many cases, survival. We can expect 2021 to require similar agility to adapt, such as to the Defense Production Act to accelerate COVID-19 vaccine production, or President Biden’s executive order to review critical supply chains to ensure security and reliability. A cornerstone will be enabling production workers to be more connected to increase productivity, rapidly switch between production runs, and make decisions.
When talking about being “connected,” we often think of the physical aspects: workplace design, real-time sensors, devices, robotics, and machines. However, we need to move from simply being asset-focused to become more worker-centric, empowering connected workers with improved data-driven insights and on-the-job guidance. Moreover, manufacturers need to support teams working remotely—whether from home, the road, or a control center managing multiple facilities.
For manufacturers, five key trends stand out:
Connected workers are the future. Training provides workers with the skills and intelligence they need. Trained workers means manufacturers achieve greater efficiency, improved quality, and stronger ownership of outcomes.
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