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Today’s dynamic and changing manufacturing workforce needs continuous learning and performance support to effectively sustain and deliver effective on-the-job performance.

Continuous learning and workforce development for the industrial frontline workforce

Every day we hear about the growing “Skills Gap” associated with the industrial frontline workforce. The story is that 30% of workers are retiring in the near future and they are taking their 30+ years of tribal knowledge with them, creating the need to quickly upskill their more junior replacements. In an attempt to solve the knowledge gap issues, an entire generation of companies set out to build “Connected Worker” software applications, however, they all relied on the existing training, guidance, and support processes – the only true difference with this approach has been the creation of technology that takes your paper procedures and puts them on glass.

Along with tribal knowledge leaving, today’s workforce is also more dynamic and diverse than previous generations. The 30-year dedicated employees are no longer the norm. The average manufacturing worker tenure is down 17% in the last 5 years and the transient nature of the industrial worker is quickly accelerating. An outgrowth of the COVID pandemic brings forth the Great Resignation, where workers are quitting in record numbers, and worker engagement is down almost 20% in the last 2 years. 

This new workforce is changing in real-time – who shows up, what their skills are, what jobs they need to do, is a constantly moving target. The traditional “one size fits all” approach to training, guidance, and performance support is fundamentally incapable of enabling today’s workers to function at their individual peak of safety, quality and productivity. 

Digitizing work instructions is a great start to helping the skilled workers issue but alone, it won’t help completely solve the problem. We must go a step further to overcome the lack of a skilled and qualified manufacturing workforce. 

Enter the 2nd generation of Connected Worker software, one based on a data-driven, AI-supported approach that helps train, guide, and support today’s dynamic workforces by combining digital work instructions, remote collaboration, and advanced on-the-job training capabilities. 

These 2nd generation connected worker solutions are designed to capture highly granular data streaming from connected frontline workers. These platforms are built from the ground up on an artificial intelligence (AI) foundation. AI algorithms are ideal for analyzing large amounts of data collected from a connected workforce. AI can detect patterns, find outliers, cleanse data and find correlations and patterns that can be used to identify opportunities for improvement and creates a data-driven environment that supports continuous learning and performance support.

This approach aligns perfectly with the dynamic, changing nature of today’s workforce, and is ideally suited to support their 5 Moments of Need, a framework for gaining and sustaining effective on-the-job performance.

For example, Augmentir’s AI-powered connected worker platform leverages anonymized data from millions of job executions to significantly improve and expand its ability to automatically deliver in-app AI insights in the areas of productivity, safety, and workforce development. These insights are central to Augmentir’s True Proficiency™ scoring, which helps to objectively baseline each of your team members for their level of proficiency at every task so organizations can optimize productivity and throughput, intelligently schedule based on proficiency and skill-levels, and personalize the level of guidance and support to meet the needs of each member of the workforce.

This provides significant benefits to Augmentir customers, who leverage Augmentir’s AI in conjunction with the platform’s digital workflow and remote collaboration capabilities, allowing them to deliver continuous improvement initiatives centered on workforce development. These customers are able to utilize the insights generated from Augmentir’s AI to deliver objective performance reviews, automatically identify where productivity is lagging (or has the potential to lag), increase worker engagement, and deliver highly personalized job instructions based on worker proficiency.

Traditionally, there was a clear separation between training and work execution, requiring onboarding training to encompass everything a worker could possibly do, extending training time and leading to inefficiencies. Today, with the ability to deliver training at the moment of need, onboarding can focus on everything a worker will probably do, significantly reducing onboarding time. In one particular case, Bio-Chem Fluidics was able to reduce onboarding time for new employees by up to 80%, while simultaneously achieving a 21% improvement in job productivity across their manufacturing operation.

As workers become more connected, companies have access to a new rich source of activity, execution, and tribal data, and with proper AI tools can gain insights into areas where the largest improvement opportunities exist. Artificial Intelligence lays a data-driven foundation for continuous improvement in the areas of performance support, training, and workforce development, setting the stage to address the needs of today’s constantly changing workforce.

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August 13, 2021

Augmentir Recognized in Gartner Hype Cycles Manufacturing Digital Transformation

Augmentir was recently recognized by Gartner in four separate Hype Cycle reports that cover technology innovation in manufacturing. These four reports include:

  • Hype Cycle for Manufacturing Digital Transformation and Innovation, 2021
  • Hype Cycle for Manufacturing Operations Strategy, 2021
  • Hype Cycle for Manufacturing Digital Optimization and Modernization, 2021
  • Hype Cycle for Frontline Worker Technologies, 2021

In these reports, Gartner highlights Augmentir as a key software vendor in the Connected Factory Worker and Immersive Experiences in Manufacturing Operations categories.

  • Connected Factory Worker: Connected factory workers use various digital tools to improve the safety, quality, and productivity of the jobs they perform. This technology helps connect workers to the “digital fabric” of the business, providing insight into the tasks they perform so that they can be optimized and continually improved on.
  • Immersive Experiences in Manufacturing Operations: According to Gartner, immersive experiences refer to enabling the perception of being physically present in a nonphysical world or enriching people’s presence in the physical world with content from the virtual world. Gartner sees using immersive experiences for quality and maintenance tasks, remotely connecting and collaborating with employees that are not able to be on-site, or wearables for safety management.

These hype cycles and innovation profiles are provided by Gartner to help organizations decide which new innovations and technology to adopt, as well as what value they can provide to their manufacturing operations.

Digital Transformation in Manufacturing

According to Gartner, the manufacturing industry is being transformed by new business models and strategic, innovative technologies that fit within Industrie 4.0. Manufacturers can capitalize on advancements made in artificial intelligence (AI), visualization, collaboration, and greater connectivity across enterprises.

This was the focus in Gartner’s recently published reports, which revealed opportunities for manufacturing leaders to gain business advantages through concepts and technologies that improve productivity and decision making. Besides adding value to manufacturing businesses, they increase windows of competitive advantage.

The Connected Worker – A first step for Digital Transformation in Manufacturing

Manufacturers are beginning to recognize just how integral frontline workers are to their company’s digital fabric and that overlooking these workers has caused their digital transformation efforts to fall short of their objectives.

These same industry leaders are now investing in an integrated approach – empowering their frontline teams with connected worker solutions that utilize technology such as mobile and wearable devices, augmented and mixed reality (AR/MR), remote collaboration tools, and artificial intelligence (AI). Connected worker solutions that bring together these technologies are helping to connect a new class of workers and are allowing organizations to proactively and continually deliver the right level of training, support, guidance, and improvement.

Optimizing Worker Performance with AI

As workers become more connected, companies have access to a new rich source of activity, execution, and tribal data, and with proper AI tools can gain insights into areas where the largest improvement opportunities exist. Artificial Intelligence lays a data-driven foundation for continuous improvement in the areas of productivity, quality, and workforce development, setting the stage to address the needs of a constantly changing workforce.

Our view at Augmentir is that the purpose of a connected worker platform isn’t simply to deliver instructions and remote support to a frontline worker, but rather to continually optimize the performance of the connected worker ecosystem. Artificial intelligence is uniquely able to address the fundamental macrotrends of skills variability and the loss of tribal knowledge in the workforce, and creates a foundation for data-driven improvements to operational performance and continuous improvement.

“AI will play a critical role in the long-term success of connected factory workers. As more information is curated and made available, algorithms must be continually trained in alignment with continuous improvement initiatives, creating the potential for enhanced root cause analysis.”

Gartner

With an ecosystem of content authors, frontline workers, subject matter experts, operations managers, continuous improvement engineers, and quality specialists, there are dozens of opportunities to improve performance using AI. For example, after Augmentir is deployed for a number of months, our AI engine will start identifying patterns in the data that will allow you to focus your efforts on the areas that have the biggest customer satisfaction, productivity, and workforce development opportunities. This will allow you to answer questions such as:

  • Where should I invest to get the biggest improvement in operational performance?
  • What manufacturing tasks have the largest productivity or quality opportunity?
  • Where would targeted training give me the biggest return?

Augmentir’s AI continuously updates its insights to enable companies to focus on their largest areas of opportunity, enabling you to deliver year over year improvements in key operational metrics.

Interested in learning more?

If you’d like to learn more about Augmentir and see how our AI-Powered connected worker platform improves safety, quality, and productivity across your workforce, schedule a demo with one of our product experts.

 

 

 

 

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