Hold on to your hats (or, should we say, safety helmets), changes are coming thick and fast in manufacturing right now and the pace of transformation is showing no signs of slowing down. Like many industries, as a result of the emergence of new technologies and the widespread disruption caused by the pandemic, manufacturers are busy assessing a whole new set of challenges and opportunities right now.
In this rapidly evolving environment, manufacturers will be looking for ways to improve collaboration, empower their employees and add agility to enable them to adapt to new market trends. This is where Microsoft Teams can help.
This blog explores how using Microsoft Teams as a single platform for collaboration and communication can benefit your manufacturing organisation.
You can utilise Microsoft Teams for everything from voice and messaging, to integrating with, and surfacing, information from critical operational systems or task and shift management tools. If you are using a DECT system within any of your facilities or, indeed, any other analogue endpoints, these can also be mapped into it, ensuring you can really use Teams as your sole UCC platform.
By digitally empowering the workforce in this way, you can create a platform on which to build new digital applications and business process automation, boosting the efficiency of your operation. Let’s take a look at some of the ways that Microsoft Teams can offer manufacturers a way to integrate or migrate existing systems and therefore clear the path to build new digital tools.
As you know, there is a stringent set of lone worker regulations and you will already have some kind of system in place that enables you to comply with them.
However, if you bring that system into Microsoft Teams, your organisation will benefit from extra agility that will enable you to do more with the information you have which, in turn, is likely to lead to better outcomes in the event of an incident.
We’re talking about things like enhanced reporting, providing instant digital notifications to all key staff or creating additional workflows. So, when your fire alarm goes off it won’t just trigger a call to emergency services. You can build a platform that allows you to instantly communicate the emergency to all relevant people. This could be your health and safety team or maybe just the people close to the alarm who will need to evacuate.
You can use a direct routing platform like Resonate Voice for Teams to handle complex voice scenarios. The key benefit here is having an all-in-one omni channel system with the ability to facilitate voice and interaction recording services within Microsoft Teams. This enables you to move voice into the cloud for greater efficiencies.
However, we know you most likely have lots of analogue endpoints; that might be DECT phones, door entry systems (the receptionist dials 44 on the touchpad to release the doors) or fire alarm systems (call the fire service from an alarm).
Resonate can deploy analogue gateways, on your behalf, to bring these legacy endpoints into the Teams direct routing platform to connect to the SIP Trunk, enabling you to remove the legacy PBX system entirely if you want to.
Analogue gateways are cost-effective, stand-alone VoIP devices that provide superior voice technology for integrating legacy telephones, fax machines and PBX systems to Microsoft Teams.
By removing all or part of your legacy PBX, Teams will be enabling you to reduce your maintenance commitments. It may also allow you to turn off machines supporting on-premise architecture and reduce CO₂ emissions by moving into the cloud. Better still, it will enable all your workforce for hybrid, remote and mobile working, which is obviously the way things are now going.
You can equip your frontline workers with agile shift scheduling tools, enhanced communication capabilities, and seamless task management - all in a single, intuitive user experience with Microsoft Teams.
If you’re using systems like Kronos, BlueYonder, and AMiON, then Resonate can bring that shift and task management into the Teams environment for you. That means, as long as everyone has a Teams enabled device, such as a smartphone, your system will be more agile and more useful for your workforce. It’s simply a case of taking your information and making better use of it.
So, for example, shift and task management will be easier and more intuitive. You can align schedules to your fluctuating needs while saving workers’ time and energy. You can provide staffing and schedule management with Shifts in Microsoft Teams.
Teams will enable you to connect your workforce better by increasing employee communication with tools like chat, video calling, and push-to-talk Walkie Talkie. Soon, you’ll be able to deliver a single destination for shifts, news, tasks and company resources with Viva Connections which will be available within Teams shortly.
Better still, you can simplify the task management process by giving frontline workers greater control over tasks and clearer direction with Tasks in Microsoft Teams. Assignments for your workforce can easily be distributed from headquarters to frontline locations and ongoing progress can be followed with task publishing.
Microsoft Teams won’t just make your people more productive, it will also make them happier in their work as they will find it easier to do a better job. With Microsoft Teams, it seems, everyone wins.
If you’d like more information on anything covered here, you can download our Microsoft Teams eBook written specifically for the manufacturing industry.
Or, you could book a discovery call with a member of our Manufacturing Team to find out what Resonate, a certified Microsoft Partner, could do for your organisation.