How Video Can Transform the Manufacturing Industry

Manufacturing has changed immeasurably in the past few decades. Technological advancements, changing workplace environments and an overall focus on safer and more efficient warehouse processes have led to an age-old industry becoming a contemporary force willing to embrace new methods.

video conferencing and manufacturing

Consumers personalities have also changed, with a newfound sense of immediacy about their purchases. Whilst the manufacturing industry encapsulates possibly every other sector under its umbrella, the modern consumer cares little for the extent of the manufacturing process. Their interest lies in getting the product from the shelves and into their pockets as quickly as possible, and streamlining processes is the best way to do that.

Click to download our whitepaper: How Video is Changing the World of Manufacturing

If streamlining is the key, communication is the tool with which to achieve it. The nature of the manufacturing industry means the locations from where each stage of the process take place are often disparate. Suppliers could be in Europe, warehouses in China and quality control on home soil, as well as the various executives working directly for the consumer-facing side of the business. With up to three million people employed and the high economic revenue generated by the manufacturing industry, the UK is the eleventh largest manufacturing nation in the world.

As well as the sheer number of workers in the industry, achieving the optimum levels of communication can be a tough task when dealing with differing countries, customs, languages and workflows. By implementing an enterprise video solution, manufacturers can begin deeper collaboration via a platform that allows face-to-face interaction regardless of global location or device. Meetings that would have usually required either domestic or international travel can take place wherever the attendees are. Moreover, usability is such that anyone can arrive in a meeting with ease, whether they are a supplier with little knowledge of IT or a warehouse manager whose only endpoint is his smartphone.connecting supply chains

Let’s take a look at some key focus points for manufacturers and how video conferencing can improve them:

Greater Control of International Production
Understanding and controlling international production processes is the key to reassuring management of project timeframes and completion dates. In the past, the only way to see and assess international processes and workflows was to visit a number of times a year and report back to upper management. Whereas now, even a basic video conferencing solution can allow manufacturers to see how their global affiliates are working and collaborate over more efficient ways to do it.

Aiding Procurement
Understanding the whole supply chain is the only way to truly comprehend the manufacturing process as a whole. The procurement process alone requires a great deal of back-and-forth, from identifying the amounts needed, to supplying tender documents, and securing samples for verification.

With video conferencing, the need for travel is cut down to the bare minimum. Depending on the material required, samples can be demonstrated live via video link signed off immediately, saving valuable time on the project. Furthermore, tender documents and contracts can be shared to ensure all parties are on the same page in terms of service level agreements.

Improving Quality Assurance Procedures
Video helps formalise the communication process to ensure foreign partners are adhering to the correct standards. Quality assurance issues can be ticked off in real-time, rather than relying on email and, to some degree, postal services. Regulations differ from country to country, so ensuring that these aspects are understood is that much simpler when communication is visual.

Strengthen Employee Retention
Manufacturing is an age-old trade, with older generations remembering times when spending eighteen hours a day on the factory floor was the norm. The influx of attention on the work\life balance does not just apply to office-based industries, as more and more people realise they can work effectively on fewer hours.

keeping disparate teams in sync

Of course, those who physically manage production lines or run whole sites may need to be present for the majority of their working week – however, with video conferencing, they can work on significant administrative tasks from home or from an alternative site.

Keep Teams in Sync
With such a large number of workers having to work in union in order to complete projects to the expected timescale, video conferencing affords the most effective method. Project managers plan the workloads of their staff by coordinating the requirements of each time on a daily basis. Internal meetings will see better attendance and participation and productivity is preserved by negating the need for travel.

Delivering Consistent Training
Integrating video conferencing with manufacturing can significantly improve the quality of staff training. All workers receive the same training at disparate locations simultaneously, which improves the overall knowledge and solidifies the brand message throughout the company. Not only that, but some video conferencing software, like the Videocall ICE platform, allows meetings to be recorded. This allows training seminars and how-to videos to be archived and kept as a resource for new employees or retraining existing staff.

Video is changing the world of manufacturing. Our whitepaper focuses in detail on some of the challenges facing supply chains and the manufacturing industry. Find out how organisations around the world are able to employ unified communications and remote collaboration solutions to solve their business challenges.

Click to download our whitepaper: How Video is Changing the World of Manufacturing