How Microsoft Teams supports training and collaboration within the manufacturing sector
The manufacturing sector has seen some impressive evolutions in technology use case and capability over the past few years. In the US, organisations that have paid attention to the tech and to how it empowers their operations have been described as the ‘Titanium Economy’ by McKinsey – a cohort of companies that have used digital to become agile, flexible, smart and sustainable. This is echoed in the Future of Manufacturing report by Forrester that highlights how it is innovations in manufacturing that will reshape industry, and by Gartner who believes that it’s critical for companies within this sector to focus on reshaping the workforce.
Manufacturing is more than the weight of its technology or the depth of its innovation. It is the people that leverage this technology and that are empowered by this innovation. Gartner points out that ‘digital trends, automation, and pandemic-related change put factory work in a constant state of change and flux’ which puts pressure on job performance, roles and people.
Workers need consistent skills development to ensure that:
- They understand the data and have the digital understanding required to fully engage in their roles and the technology that empowers them
- Critical thinking and soft skills that allow for improved collaboration and engagement across multiple geographies, systems and frameworks
Because, as the same Gartner survey pointed out, 74% of manufacturing companies believe that smart manufacturing equals competitive success. And achieving competitive success lies in the hands of the people that form the foundations of the organisation. The problem is that there is a dearth of skilled workers, people struggle to manage digital within their operational functions, and change needs to be orchestrated, not enforced.
The value of technology is found in connecting people to technology – in embracing the potential of Industry 5.0 where human-machine interaction across virtual and augmented reality and intelligent collaboration is seamless and accessible.
You can find this value within the Microsoft ecosystem
In June 2022, Microsoft revealed an update designed specifically for the manufacturing sector. This application – Updates for Microsoft Teams – allows for employees within manufacturing environments create forms and tasks, to manage maintenance more effectively, to create checklists and processes that enhance safety, and to provide real-time updates that allow for cohesive collaboration from the factory floor through to the management team. Using Teams Approvals firms can also integrate additional elements such as reporting and proposals, and the very relevant Teams walkie-talkie feature provides instant push-to-talk capabilities on mobile devices for workers across sites and disparate environments.
Then, to support manufacturing firms in engaging with employees in locations that are often rural, isolated and hazardous, Teams has artificial intelligence and AR functionalities that allow for ongoing training and skills development regardless of location. Working with a trusted third-party service provider, firms can implement a Microsoft Teams solution with fine-tuned efficiencies that can support worker training, on-site safety, management, performance and so much more.
Mint has extensive experience building Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 environments that are relevant to the manufacturing sector. We can help you build the collaboration and communication spaces that your teams need to function efficiently, feel empowered, and build their skills in line with their aspirations.