Why Notiphy’s “Connected Worker Platform” is the Solution for Manufacturers to Digitally Transform and move to Industry 4.0
Digital Transformation and Industry 4.0 is the future! The question is how and where do you get started? Manufacturing is considered one of the most complex industries; more complex than most people would think. With sophisticated machines doing the heavy lifting and people required to know how to operate them, how do you connect these resources with the rest of the operation while remaining profitable?
A rigid ERP as the core backbone
With the introduction of ERP in the early 90s, many manufacturing organizations have grown into two disparate operations. Many refer to this as ‘the shop floor vs. the top floor’. Since most ERP's are often finance driven systems and deployed as desktop software (most desk workers don't need mobile access), other departments such as production, quality control, maintenance and safety are often neglected when it comes to ERP software. This means that when each department starts using their own systems to manage their operations you are left with islands of their own data silos. Departments cannot share information easily, leading to massive inefficiencies between the shop floor, supply chain, and sales efforts. Luckily, with the advancement of Connected Worker software technology and common data protocols, most organizations are starting to realize that it is time for change.
Existing ERP and MES systems are often not flexible and typically aren't integrated to the rest of the operation
If there’s one word to describe traditional manufacturing software, it’s “rigid.” Many ERP or MES systems aren't built to make quick changes, add new functionalities or work with new technologies such as mobile apps, IoT or wearables. However, the fact that most of these systems are rigid isn't bad per se. It is often for a reason. ERP systems are at the core of most organizations and even a small, unvalidated change can be disastrous. This is why most manufacturers still work with paper and Excel. It’s cheap and easy to work with, but it also has major drawbacks: 1. A lack of real time data to drive important business decisions. 2. No easy tracking and forecasting analysis on quality, production, and maintenance KPIs.
3. Extra time spent on archiving and reporting. 4. Paper documents aren't intuitive. You can't just pull up an instruction video or send a message for help.
And yet, this is the biggest problem in manufacturing: since most production processes are so complex and specific, it's tough to go paperless if the underlying software is too rigid to make changes easily. Therefore, paper still dominates the shop floor. But with Connected Worker software, this is all about to change.
Today, many manufacturers produce customized products. There's no ‘one-size-fits all’ anymore and production lines need to accommodate endless variations upon modular products. With shorter product life cycles, thinner margins, and just-in-time supply chains, there is not much room for mistakes.
With the latest advancements in Connected Worker technology, you can now easily build complex SOP’s that replace paper and Excel to innovate faster and get the data you need to drive important business decisions.
But how do you eliminate the use of paper docs, excel sheets and rigid software systems?
If you ask any process engineer about the challenges they face on the shop floor, they’ll have no problem listing areas for opportunity. However, most manufacturers don’t have the capital to hire developers or bandwidth to build the applications they need to connect data silos and speed up innovation. And if they do, it can get very expensive and time consuming.
But who knows a factory’s processes better than those tasked with improving them? This is the idea behind Notiphy’s Connected Worker solution. Notiphy empowers your frontline workers with today’s state-of-the-art technology. Our solution digitizes paper processes and job travelers and connects employees to increase efficiency on the manufacturing floor in real-time. We are able to create Smart Workstations across all functions. This includes safety, quality, maintenance, operations, supply chain, continuous improvement and more with a flexible SaaS-based platform for your everyday business.