Top 10 Signs You Need a Better Way to Support Your Factory Workers

Connected Workforce August 27, 2019
Still using print documents and verbal conversations to deliver information to workers? Find out what Mars, Barry Callebaut and others are doing differently.
Support20 Your20 Factory20 Workers

The manufacturing industry has seen staggering technological advancement throughout its 236-year journey from steam-powered engines to the robot-controlled and AI-enhanced assembly lines of today. But despite this progress, factory workers are still using archaic technology to access critical information and develop the skills needed to operate these increasingly more complex pieces of equipment.

Because workers on the ground remain digitally disconnected, information is still largely shared via printed documents and word-of-mouth conversations, thereby negatively impacting their skills development and performance.

Here are 10 signs that your factory is ready for a better way to support workers.

  1. Operators are not working to standard because printed SOPs are either out-of-date or stored in hard-to-access locations away from their workstations.
  2. Important updates take too long to reach frontline workers because they are being hand-delivered or verbally communicated, and some are missed.
  3. It can take hours to troubleshoot a problem because workers can’t easily share collective knowledge and they don’t have direct access to experts who can help them.
  4. You have unresolved issues dating back several months because people have simply forgotten about them or swept them under the rug.
  5. When identifying the root cause of a problem, you have system data that confirms what has happened but you’re missing contextual information that explains why.
  6. Your continuous improvement suggestion box is collecting dust because workers find it too difficult to share their ideas, or they’ve given up trying.
  7. More and more senior workers are retiring each year and taking decades worth of tribal knowledge with them.
  8. You don’t have real-time visibility into the skills coverage in your factory because you’re still tracking the information in spreadsheets.
  9. Training is inconsistent because you rely on shadowing and senior operators have varying levels of skills and experience.
  10. There’s no easy way for workers to track their skills development because things are documented on paper or stored in a corporate LMS that they don’t have access to.

If any of these sound familiar, there is hope!

Worker Performance Support App

When leading manufacturers, such as Mars, Barry Callebaut, and Danone were looking for a more effective way to support their factory workers, they turned to Poka. This worker
performance support app combines digital content, communications and collaboration into a single, worker-centered interface to support the unique needs of the factory floor.

Workers just scan a QR code on their equipment or work order using an iPad with the Poka app to access all relevant information updates, work instructions, and training guides. Workers also use Poka to communicate with one another and troubleshoot problems in real-time, track their learning and development, and much more.

By digitally connecting and empowering their workers, manufacturers have seen the following benefits:

  • Barry Callebaut has reduced machine downtime by 50%
  • Nutricia N.V., a division of Danone, has reduced shadowing time and costs by 40%

Watch our 2-minute video to hear what Tyson Foods, Mars and others are saying about how
Poka has digitally transformed their factory floor.

Continuous learning on the factory floor
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