Manufacturing departments have a whole lot on their hands—literally. These groups of individuals work to convert a wide range of materials and components into finished goods that meet market expectations. While every facet of a company brings about invaluable traits and benefits, this production unit essentially represents the backbone of all business.
In part one of this series, we discussed the first huge challenge being faced by the modern manufacturing department—balancing a globally distributed workforce—and how unified communications (UC) can help meet those needs. Now, let’s take a look at two more top challenges for this workforce and how UC can help turn them around.
Challenge #2: Global Access to Collaboration Tools
Production, planning, sharing and brainstorming are all absolutely vital for the manufacturing department. From new product development to packaging decisions, the only way to get essential tasks done and keep operations flowing smoothly is to ensure seamless, global team collaboration. For example, delivering just two new products per year requires a rigorous level of decision making as well as frequent team interactions. When one is operating a globally distributed team, communication and collaboration can easily become difficult and hinder that team’s success.
The UC Solution: Presence and Video Conferencing
Presence and availability solutions such as chat and instant messaging (IM), e-mail, voicemail and Find Me/Follow Me (also known as geo-location mapping) play integral roles in unified communications. Many businesses—especially those managing geographically dispersed teams—rely on presence solutions for real-time communications wherever and whenever necessary. Co-workers will know when others are available to discuss important points and management will be able to accurately gauge the productivity levels of employees by seeing when they are and aren’t on hand.
This can be taken one step further with instant video conferencing, which enables staff to collaborate face-to-face for such things as impromptu presentations, quick product demos and more. Furthermore, advanced geolocation technology enables executives and team members to locate someone by showing their real-time location on a map.
Bottom line: unified communications is essential to rapid innovation process. It allows staff and management to share ideas and documents instantly, solicit feedback and make decisions in a timely, impacting manner.
Challenge #3: Acquiring and Retaining Talent
In a highly competitive global economy, attracting and retaining skilled talent for any business is a top priority. A lot of this has to do with the rise of the millennial workforce, which is set to determine staffing across the board. In fact, millennials will account for 75 percent of the global workplace by 2025 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This may seem like a futuristic number but, in actuality, is only about 10 years away.
The UC Solution: UC is What Millennials Need to Succeed
These individuals are accustomed to using similar UC tools in their personal life with consumer-based applications. The Internet generation has been weaned on multitasking, instant messaging, mobility, video and social media, and these tools are the very essence of unified communications and collaboration (UCC). Millennials expect these tools to be available in their work life as well as full adoption of BYOD. Therefore, businesses wanting to attract and retain top talent need to ensure that these feature-rich applications are an integrated part of their IT strategy.
Unified communications and collaboration brings a wide spectrum of benefits and competitive advantages to the table. It allows global distributed workforces to use a single integrated interface and platform for meeting all of their critical communication and collaboration needs. Today, UC is so much more than telephone and e-mail—it’s the future of business worldwide.