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Recently, Augmentir completed a rigorous qualification audit as part of a Tier 1 Pharmaceutical Manufacturing company’s Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), and we are pleased to announce that our product successfully passed the audit.

Alumni Spotlight recently announced The Top 100 Entrepreneurs of 2022, which recognizes innovative and devoted entrepreneurs dedicated to driving economic growth across the country, stimulating new employment opportunities in nearly every industry. In addition, those selected have shown dedication to further developing technologies that bring progress, economic growth, community development, and income generation for a brighter future. We are excited to announce that Augmentir’s CEO and Co-Founder, Russ Fadel, was named as one of the Top 100 Entrepreneurs of 2022! 

Russ graduated from Duke University with an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering. After graduating, he went on to found four successful manufacturing software companies prior to Augmentir including Wonderware Software in 1987, Lighthammer (acquired by SAP) in 1997, and in 2008 ThingWorx (acquired by PTC). In 2017, Russ recognized that the most important asset, the human workers, were under-served. He co-founded Augmentir, the world’s only AI-powered Connected Worker platform, designed to increase the productivity and quality of processes involving frontline workers.

Since 2017, Augmentir has helped close the rapidly expanding skills gap in the industrial frontline workforce through the use of Artificial Intelligence, providing personalized guidance and support to manufacturing and service workers, enabling them to perform complex operational and maintenance tasks at their personal best. The suite of AI-powered connected worker tools helps industrial companies to deliver effective skills management, training, collaboration, and point of work support for today’s more dynamic industrial workforce. Augmentir’s software platform is already being used worldwide by leading industrial companies and organizations, including Colgate-Palmolive, Cisco, Baker Hughes, the U.S. Air Force, and Hunter Industries to digitize and optimize frontline work and deliver significant growth and continuous improvement in the areas of manufacturing, maintenance, service, and quality. Thanks to Russ’s leadership and guidance, Augmentir entered 2022 with triple revenue growth and is expanding its next generation Connected Worker offering globally.

 

To learn more about how AI is being used to digitize and modernize manufacturing operations, contact us for a personalized demo.

AI-powered technology may be the missing puzzle piece for today’s workforce crisis.

AI-powered technology may be the missing puzzle piece for today’s workforce crisis in manufacturing.

 

Is it just us or does recruiting, training, and retaining top talent today feel a lot like searching for that one elusive puzzle piece? 

The seismic shift in the workforce is forcing us to get creative and be adaptable like never before. We can no longer try to force fit the old model of staffing and training into a space that looks drastically different. It’s not just about a labor shortage or the supply chain challenges created by the pandemic. Workers themselves are changing. What they want from work, and how they want to work. 

It’s a new generation and if we want to remain competitive in hiring in this ultra-competitive environment, we need to embrace the variable nature of the labor market and meet workers where they are. 

The solution to this head-scratching puzzle? AI-based technology. Digital work instructions and individualized training and on-the-job support can improve productivity, reliability, independence, and safety for every worker. It offers flexibility in scheduling for operations managers. It reduces downtime. All of which contribute to a more efficient – and profitable – operation.

Sound too good to be true? Brace yourselves. It’s not. Here are three ways that AI-powered technology can help.

1. Moving onboarding and training closer to the point of work

Imagine if we can teach someone in the context of doing their work. We could see an increase in productivity as they constantly evolve their learnings.

AI is allowing companies to understand a worker’s skillset and provides the ability for personalized digital work instructions to guide them in the context of work while they are doing their job, whether it’s a new worker or one with dozens of years of experience. With an AI-based onboarding approach, organizations are able to hire a wider range of individuals with varying skill sets and get those individuals productive faster.

2. Give support at the moment of need

Are you a people watcher? We are. Ever take notice of who is on the factory floor? Last time I checked, we got the “newbies” and “veterans”. The variability of the workforce, both skilled and young, proves that there’s not a one size fits all approach to troubleshooting and performance support.

Enter AI.

Give workers the support and guidance they need, at the moment of need, whether it’s immediate access to a digital troubleshooting guide, or connecting virtually with a subject matter expert.  Delivering personalized work procedures for every worker allows for continuous learning and growth.

3. Improve engagement and retention

Workers that are connected and empowered with digital technology can discover and nurture diverse skills based on their unique competencies and experience. They can earn greater responsibility and independence. This increases confidence and job satisfaction. Which in turn can improve employee retention and slow the revolving door of continual recruiting and training. 

The aftermath?

Workers are likely to stay and want to grow in the company when they feel included. Shortly, workers begin walking with poise and a “can-do” attitude to their next job task.

 

What else is possible with AI-powered connected worker technology?

AI-based technology is ideal for training workers in this variable environment. AI-based systems individualize information about workers based on previous training and data-driven performance insights. It offers step-by-step guidance at the moment of need for regularly scheduled maintenance as well as troubleshooting. It helps managers learn about workers’ existing skills and build a rationale for specific roles, resources, and certification support and then make clear recommendations based on demands.

Technology should fit into your business as simply as sliding that last puzzle piece into place. Workers are the heart of your business, and you should adapt techonogy to fit your business, not the other way around.

Technology should fit into your business as simply as sliding that last puzzle piece into place. That includes how you train your workers. But no two workers are exactly alike. Each will learn and approach problems differently. So why not use the technology that recognizes and adapts to those differences to your advantage?

 

To learn more about how Augmentir can help you embrace this opportunity, contact us for a personalized demo.

AI-powered technology may be the missing puzzle piece for today’s workforce crisis.

Are you still printing work instructions and operating manuals? If so, we need to have a serious chat! Maybe you invested in “going digital” a while back and think your work is done. You’re not alone. It was considered “groundbreaking” when PDF files made their way to the factory floor. 

The first generation of digital work instructions were birthed after learning 46 percent of field technicians claimed paperwork and administrative tasks were the worst part of their day-to-day job. No argument here. Completing and filing paperwork is time-consuming and there is potential for lost information. There was an obvious upside to going digital, except for no longer being able to tell your supervisor that your dog ate your worker performance report. 

But even now that technology is ready for the archives. An estimated $1.3 trillion (and counting!) has been spent on digital transformation initiatives as the online connected workplace and market continue to move at a rapid pace. 

We are no fortune tellers, but studies show that 25 to 31 percent of 3.3. million business service jobs will be automated in the next decade. This doesn’t mean everyone is being replaced by robots. On the contrary. It means technology is improving to help workers do their jobs even better. Manufacturing companies need to be prepared to hop on this next-generation train if they aren’t already.

Move over one-size-fits-all training and work instructions 

The individualized, real-time, connected worker platform is here. Let us emphasize individualized. Connected worker platforms are being implemented in myriad industries, from automotive to food processing. Any industry which is adapting daily to the constant shifts and pressures of the global economy. Regardless of the industry, standard digital work instructions are no longer effective. They do not reflect the real-time changes happening in the operation, such as order fulfilment and materials inventory, or equipment maintenance needs and the capabilities of the workers operating the machines. Imagine working on the manufacturing floor for five years and handed with the same standardized work instructions as the new hire.

Does this make sense? Not anymore. Not when AI-based technology is changing what’s possible. And what’s different about this latest wave of technology that makes it so special? It’s built around optimizing the performance of people (Gasp.)

Change is inevitable. Growth is optional. – John C. Maxwell

A marriage made in heaven–the next generation of workers is ready for a digitally connected workplace

Recruiting and retaining talented workers is one of the greatest challenges facing operations today. We get it. But there’s good news. As one generation of workers readies for retirement, another is stepping up to fill the gap. Gen Z is overflowing with talented innovators in the tech world having grown up surrounded by non-stop advancements and devices. Need one of them to look somebody up in the phone book? Forget it. But need assistance when your home computer suddenly “dies”? These are your people. 

It’s more than video games. Their education has been largely based on a digital foundation. Nearly every function of their daily lives has an element of connectivity to the broader online world. You could say this generation is hardwired to respond best to customized digital learning platforms. It’s their love language. And so the potential to drastically improve productivity is real.

The beauty of the digitally connected worker–could they be “the One”?

The digitally connected worker has all the right stuff for a long-lasting relationship with your operation. The digital training and work instruction platform holds their unique inventory of skills, goals, and performance history, and works with them to become a better version of themselves on the floor. Workers whose individual needs are supported are better, more engaged employees. They have the self-confidence – as well as the tools and specific instructions – to address problems head on when they arise. An investment in AI-powered technology is an investment in a stable, adaptable, and reliable workforce.

Are you and your workforce ready to take this next step in digitization? Contact Augmentir to start the conversation. Together let’s step into the full potential that this generation has to offer to improve your operational efficiency.

AI-powered technology may be the missing puzzle piece for today’s workforce crisis.

It wouldn’t be fair to attribute all of manufacturing’s current labor shortage woes to the pandemic–there are a lot of factors contributing to this frustrating situation, and many of them were looming long before we ever heard of COVID-19. Did it make things worse? Probably. And the forecast doesn’t look very sunny if you believe what analysts have to say about it.

Sure, the face of the workforce has changed dramatically. The pool of potential laborers has shrunk. Businesses are being forced to hire people traditionally considered under-qualified. And that leads to a whole host of other complications, including a drop in operational efficiency, a rise in safety issues, and more. The pessimists out there would only see the threat to the global market these challenges pose–the manufacturing industry does make up between 11 and 12 percent of the US economy after all.

Good thing we’re optimists at heart! Behind every challenge is an opportunity, as far as we’re concerned. And when it comes to this challenging labor market in particular, we see a huge opportunity for businesses to work with what they’ve got, and still reach operational goals. We have the potential to assess how every worker performs on the job, regardless of the experience and skill set they bring on day one, and use that information to improve individual and enterprise-wide performance. Puts a new light on the labor shortage, doesn’t it?

You can’t fix what you can’t see.

We know using data is important to directing and improving operations–that’s business best practices 101. But insights drawn are only as good as the data itself. And even though there can’t be many businesses out there who haven’t yet jumped on the digital transformation bandwagon, we suspect a lot still rely on outdated data collecting and reporting mechanisms. Those digital spreadsheets had their moment, but we’ve got better options now. Maybe you opted for a bluetooth software program or distributing a digital survey for your workers. But even with those innovations, what do these data indicators really tell you? Is this reliable and usable information? We didn’t think so either.

Imagine what you could do with real-time data, rather than a summary of operational KPIs at the end of set periods? Even better–imagine capturing the performance metrics of each individual worker rather than their self-generated assessments and observations and having the potential to use that knowledge to improve their skill set and operational proficiency. That’s when data becomes intelligence. And that intelligence has the potential to become so valuable to your enterprise that you’ll wonder how you ever operated without it.

Not convinced you could benefit from data at that level of individual performance? Let us draw an analogy we think you’ll appreciate.

Think of each worker as a newly licensed driver; what happens after passing the road test?

Remember the day you got your driver’s license? We spent hours, if not days and weeks practicing behind the wheel, eagerly waiting to be evaluated by a driving instructor. And let’s be honest, plenty of us winged it, too. Either way, once you show them you can do a three-point-turn and know to stop at the flashing pedestrian crossing sign, everyone walks away with the proof of their proficiency–a driver’s license. 

Then what happened? Nothing. Maybe a celebratory high-five and then eventually years of driving. In one, five, or ten years, what do we know about each person’s capabilities? Unless they’ve wracked up a stack of tickets for traffic violations, we don’t know anything. For all we know, they haven’t sat behind the steering wheel since passing. There is no mechanism to re-assess whether drivers are highly skilled or at-risk of creating an accident in operations.

Now what if we looked at our frontline workers through that lens? You know when they were hired that they could perform X, Y and Z. Some could do even more. But what about after that? What if you could assign an AI-based driver instructor to follow each new driver around for ongoing assessment and intervention in the moment of need?

Put smart connected worker technology in the passenger seat

Adopting connected worker technology powered by artificial intelligence (AI) increases the reliability and credibility of data by analyzing employee performance in ‘real-time.’ That individualized data can be used to connect workers with a company’s digital library of training tools and resources, having an immediate impact on operational proficiency and cultivating a healthy learning environment for workers.

Connected worker technology that leverages AI offers self-guided learning processes when opportunities are identified, reduces human error and improves safety, provides updates on pressing issues and equipment failures and access to a variety of applications. Who wouldn’t want to work for an organization like this? One that offers a high probability of job satisfaction and encourages personal skill development? A culture like that can help the operation on many levels, from reducing operational costs to attracting new employees. 

What now? There is only one connected worker solution that can provide this level of intelligence on your workforce–contact us to learn more about how Augmentir can benefit your business and ask for a demo!

Being thankful for AI might not seem like one of the usual items to include on your “What I’m Thankful For” list, but, AI truly has laid the foundation for not only the Augmentir platform, but for transforming the manufacturing workforce in positive ways

Every year as Thanksgiving approaches in the United States, we take time to reflect on what we are thankful for in our personal lives, such as family, friends, and health to name a few. As we started thinking about what we’re thankful for from a work perspective here at Augmentir, many things came to mind: our wonderful clients, an awesome team, our incredible founders, but one item high on our list is something that has allowed us to stand out in the Connected Worker platform space and make our product what it is today – Artificial Intelligence

Being thankful for AI might not seem like one of the usual items to include on your “What I’m Thankful For” list, but, AI truly has laid the foundation for not only the Augmentir platform, but for transforming the manufacturing workforce in positive ways as you’ll see below.

Improved Safety in the Workplace

One of the most common use cases for adopting AI has been in workplace screening and safety primarily as a result of the pandemic. Manufacturers found use in AI to monitor interactions of employees that needed to be in person on the shop floor during the pandemic so that they could conduct contact tracing and facility sanitization if necessary. Seeing the value of AI in workplace safety, manufacturers have continued to implement AI strategies for long-term solutions to identify safety events before they happen or to speed up post-incident root cause analysis for accidents like trips and falls. Industrial companies that implement AI-powered connected worker solutions as part of their digital transformation strategy have seen up to an 80% decrease in reportable injuries.

Connecting the Frontline Worker

According to Cisco, there are over 3 billion workers across the globe, and nearly two-thirds of these workers are frontline or field workers, whose day-to-day duties require that they physically show up to their jobs. Over the years, the manufacturing industry has done a really good job of connecting machines in the fabric of the business and giving operators the necessary data to help run those machines better. Our frontline workers are the least connected set of workers in the company. Frontline workers should be fully integrated into the fabric of the business from a collaboration standpoint so that they have access to the data that they need, when they need it. AI-powered connected worker tools provide not only a path to connect workers, but also intelligently deliver the right level of performance support so they can perform at their best.

Making Sense of Valuable Data

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. 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 create a data-driven environment that supports continuous learning and performance support. Using AI insights derived from Augmentir’s Connected Worker Platform, Colgate-Palmolive was able to save 10-30 minutes saved per shift and as much as 120 minutes reduced between Maintenance Notification and Maintenance Order Closure (Maintenance Execution Time).

Continuous Learning & Development

The new workforce dynamics and the nature of hybrid work are also now forcing manufacturers to re-think employee onboarding and training. The historic methods of onboarding and training taught workers everything they could “possibly” do which resulted in overtraining. The data-driven era we’re entering into is one of continuous learning and development powered by AI. Training shifts from the things frontline workers are possibly going to do to what they are probably going to do. Implementing AI into training results in reduced training times, continuous learning and development, and the ability to upskill at any point as needed. Learning is always available, training content is available on-demand to the worker on the shop floor at the time of need. Reducing the initial onboarding training and allowing training to occur at the moment of need, coupled with AI for scoring, provides insights into the most effective training modules as well as what needs to improve based on demonstrated execution.

 

At Augmentir we believe that the purpose of a Connected Worker platform isn’t simply to deliver digital work instructions and remote support to a frontline worker, but rather to continually optimize the performance of the connected worker ecosystem. AI is uniquely able to address the fundamental macrotrends of skills variability and the loss of tribal knowledge in the workforce. 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 – and that’s something to be thankful for.

 

To learn more about how AI is being used to digitize and modernize manufacturing operations, check out our latest eBook – Build a Modern, Connected Workforce with AI.

Prior to Augmentir, our founding team was involved in founding Wonderware Software in 1987, Lighthammer in 1997, and ThingWorx in 2008. In 2017, we recognized that the technology and market forces were aligned yet again, for a fourth industrial software revolution. A revolution that focused on increasing the productivity and quality of processes involving front-line workers.

Times have changed since 1985 when relying on tribal knowledge was the only option for frontline workers, and today we are lucky enough to have new technologies and resources that enable frontline workers to do their best work in a complex world.

Although taking the steps towards digital transformation can seem scary or overwhelming, the longer you wait and “do nothing”, the more difficult it becomes to modernize. Not having the proper resources or being unsure about the digital transformation process are common hesitations for most organizations. Beginning your digital transformation is like beginning your journey to the gym after a long day. You can come up with a million excuses for not wanting to get your workout and usually, the hardest part is actually taking the first step to get there. But once you’ve started, you never regret it! The truth is that most manufacturing companies have at least begun their digital transformation journey, and for those that have not, the hardest part is just taking the first step.

Here’s what doing nothing is costing you today.

“Doing nothing” is costing you $234,900 every year with 1 changeover

If you could reduce variability in the execution of one changeover you could save 15,660 hours each year.

If the variability in completing a changeover between 2 operators is 1 hour and a changeover is performed 1/day, you are losing 261 hours each year for 1 operator.

Now, let’s look at shifts – if the average variability between A-shift, and B-Shift is +1 hour and C-Shift is +2 hours – with a total of 20 employees on each shift and each operator performing 1 changeover /day the variability in hours relative to A-Shift is equal to 60 hours every day and 15,660 hours each year.

Multiply that time at the national average of $15/technician, over the course of 1 year, “doing nothing” for just 1 task is costing you $234,900 in employee time alone.

Quantify increased throughput, proficiency, productivity, and quality, and there is even more impact!

“Doing Nothing” for manual data entry is costing you $97,875 per year

If you could save 15 minutes per day for an operator by eliminating data entry, after 1 year you would save your employee 3,915 minutes!

Multiply that time across 100 employees at the national average of $15/technician, “doing nothing” is costing you $97,875 per year.

“Doing Nothing” for apprenticeship programs is costing you $5,742,00

The average time for a new unskilled hire in an apprenticeship program is 2 years. If you could reduce the time that the new hire spends in the apprenticeship by 25%, you would save 1,044 hours for each new worker you hire. Reducing apprenticeship time by 50% would save 2,088 hours for each new hire. Reducing apprenticeship by 50% for 50 unskilled new hires would save you 208,800 hours.

Multiplying that time at the national average of $15/hour across 50 new hires, “doing nothing” to reduce a 2 year apprenticeship program by 50% is costing you $1,566,000.

Quantifying the impact on the skilled workers giving their time to the apprenticeship program, at $40/hour across 50 new hires amounts to an additional $4,176,000.

Why not start today?

If increasing proficiency could start to pave the way towards digital transformation and save you the cost of doing nothing, why wouldn’t you start today?

If reducing variability could start to pave the way towards digital transformation and save you the cost of doing nothing, why wouldn’t you start today?

If one simple digital procedure could start to pave the way towards digital transformation and save you the cost of doing nothing, why wouldn’t you start today?

The business impacts of doing something are clear:

  • Accurate Data Entry
  • Job Visibility
  • Execution variability insight
  • Downstream impact
  • Decrease downtime
  • Increase throughput
  • Reduce/ Eliminate training
  • Easily accessible documentation

With the proper AI-powered Connected Worker tools, your workers become more integrated and you gain access to a new rich source of activity, execution, and tribal data that lead to valuable insights into areas where the largest improvement opportunities exist. AI 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.

If you don’t start now, there’s always going to be something that happens in the next 6 months that will also prevent you. This was a trend that was occurring before the pandemic, but the pandemic has accelerated it greatly. There is pressure to keep up with the new normal and the faster you start the better equipped you will be. You could continue to fight this fire with a firehose and keep it at bay, but the fire isn’t going away until you solve the root problem.

You have an opportunity, right now! Older workers are aging out, and you’re working hard to hire new, young, bright, excited workers. These younger workers expect tech. They’ll embrace change. If not now, when?

These virtual events were a great way to connect with manufacturing professionals and discuss some of the industry’s top challenges and topics – workforce transformation, learning and development, lean manufacturing, and autonomous maintenance.

Last week, Augmentir participated as a sponsor in the 2021 American Food Manufacturing Summit. This 3-day virtual event was designed to bring food and beverage manufacturers together to discuss current trends, strategic insights, and best practices in an ever-evolving environment. The event focused on addressing today’s top challenges and future of food processing and manufacturing, specifically around embracing digital transformation and technology for manufacturing excellence. Attendees were able to connect with top industry influencers and learn about different strategies to improve automation, operational excellence, quality, and safety in the food manufacturing industry through open roundtables and 1:1 meetings.

Augmentir’s Enablement Director, Shannon Bennett, hosted an open roundtable discussion on the role digital transformation plays in food and beverage manufacturing, and how technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and connected worker platforms are helping companies kick-start their digital transformation efforts. During the discussion, Shannon opened the floor to the attendees to discuss the day-to-day challenges they face at their manufacturing organizations and the tools they’re looking into to solve those challenges. 

Solving Manufacturing’s Biggest Challenges with AI and Connected Worker Technology

The roundtable consisted of executives and manufacturing leaders from some of the world’s largest food and beverage companies to smaller family-owned and operated specialty food and beverage manufacturers. Throughout the roundtable, we heard the same challenges and frustrations related to standardization, moving from paper to digital processes, data collection, lack of traceability, and an overall need for digital transformation.

The overarching roundtable discussion was around digital transformation. Food and beverage manufacturers are accelerating the pace of digitization to address their top challenges – the labor crisis, increasing skills gap, and increased pressure for improved production efficiency, changes in consumer demands, and increased regulatory compliance related to food safety.

Moving from Paper to Digital

During our roundtable discussion, most of the manufacturing leaders were in the discovery phase of their modernizing process, where they were beginning to look into digital solutions to solve their challenges around manual processes and efforts to reduce paper. Some of the discussion around paper included issues with quality on the shop floor and wanting to go paperless, easier access to training for employees, lack of traceability (for example, maintenance schedules need more visibility of completion, where issues arise, and more transparency all around), and digitizing information from a quality standpoint.

Digital work instructions reduce the need for paper and deliver information to frontline workers when and where they need it. This provides frontline workers with a standardized way of performing technical work.

Lack of Data-Driven Insights into the Work Being Done

Another key challenge was the lack of insight into how workers were performing their jobs – whether it be in quality, equipment operation, or maintenance. One participant discussed labor challenges in their organization and that when they collect data it often gets lost and when they come back to it, they don’t know or remember why they’ve collected it in the first place.

Connecting workers with digital tools is merely a first step in the process of truly understanding and getting clarity on the work being done. Connected Worker data is inherently noisy, generating misleading signals that traditional business intelligence (BI) tools aren’t designed to handle. This leads to murky or contradictory conclusions that prevent organizations from taking anything but a “one size fits all” approach to work process and workforce investments. Or, even worse, false conclusions are generated about the state of work process and workforce opportunities, leading to targeted investments into the wrong areas.

The discussion shifted to AI as a solution not only bringing clarity to the work being done, but also more generally democratization of the workplace, and giving employees the tools to use data effectively to improve manufacturing operations. AI is designed for purpose to recognize patterns in the noisy data sets generated by a factory workforce, letting your continuous improvement and operations teams focus on what’s really going on.

Training

Employee onboarding and training was also a hot topic of discussion. Many participants spoke about manual processes and how traditional training methods are proving to be ineffective.  Traditionally, there was a clear separation between training and work execution. However, many participants shared that they are starting to re-think how they are training and onboarding their workers, and shifting more towards delivering training at the moment of need. The roundtable participants discussed at length approaches and strategies for re-thinking how training is delivered for today’s workforce.

Build a Modern, Connected Workforce with AI

To address these challenges, the roundtable participants overwhelmingly agreed that the starting point should be digital transformation initiatives that focus on streamlining data collection and digitizing valuable data. Using an AI-powered connected worker platform to accelerate this effort not only furthers a company’s digital transformation efforts, but also provides a whole new set of data that can provide really interesting insights and optimization opportunities. AI doesn’t remove the human worker from the equation, but rather, takes the human worker and embeds them into the digital operation.

 

To learn more about how AI is being used to digitize and modernize manufacturing operations, check out our latest eBook – Build a Modern, Connected Workforce with AI.

 

Recently, Augmentir completed a rigorous qualification audit as part of a Tier 1 Pharmaceutical Manufacturing company’s Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), and we are pleased to announce that our product successfully passed the audit.

A recent article published by The Washington Post shows some shocking numbers on the amount of Americans leaving their jobs over the past year. It’s no surprise that hotel and restaurant workers are resigning in high numbers due to the pandemic, but what is surprising is the fact that the manufacturing industry has been hit the hardest with “a nearly 60 percent jump” compared to pre-pandemic numbers. This “Great Resignation in Manufacturing” is the most of any industry, including hospitality, retail, and restaurants, which have seen about a 30% jump in resignations.

However, if you dig deeper, this trend isn’t new. This recent increase in job quitting in manufacturing has simply magnified a problem that had already been brewing for years, even prior to the start of the pandemic. In fact, in the four years prior to the pandemic (2015-2019), the average tenure rate in manufacture had decreased by 20% (US Bureau of Labor Statistics).

This accelerating workforce crisis is placing increased pressure on manufacturers and creating significant operational problems. The sector that was already stressed with a tight labor market, rapidly retiring baby-boomer generation, and the growing skills gap is now facing an increasingly unpredictable and diverse workforce. The variability in the workforce is making it difficult, if not impossible to meet safety and quality standards, or productivity goals. 

Manufacturing leaders’ new normal consists of shorter tenures, an unpredictable workforce, and the struggle to fill an unprecedented number of jobs. These leaders in the manufacturing sector are facing this reality and looking for ways to adjust to their new normal of building a flexible, safe and appealing workforce. As a result, managers are being forced to rethink traditional onboarding and training processes.  In fact, the entire “Hire to Retire” process needs to be re-imagined. It’s not the same workforce that our grandfather’s experienced, and it’s time for a change.

The Augmented, Flexible Workforce of the Future

The reality is that this problem is not going away. The Great Resignation in manufacturing has created a permanent shift, and manufacturers must begin to think about adapting their hiring, onboarding, and training processes to support the future workforce in manufacturing – an Augmented, Flexible Workforce.

What does this mean?

  • It means adopting new software tools to support a more efficient “hire to retire” process to enable companies to operate in a more flexible and resilient manner.
  • It means starting to understand your workforce at an individual level and using data to intelligently closes skills gaps at the moment of need and enables autonomous work.
  • And it means taking advantage of data.  More specifically, real-time workforce intelligence that can provide insights into training, guidance, and support needs.

Investing in AI-powered connected worker technology is one way to boost this operational resiliency. Many manufacturing companies are using digital Connected Worker technology and AI to transform how they hire, onboard, train, and deliver on-the-job guidance and support. AI-based connected worker software provides a data-driven 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. 

As workers become more connected, manufacturers 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. Today’s workers embrace change and expect technology, support and modern tools to help them do their jobs.

 

To learn more about how AI is being used to digitize and modernize manufacturing operations, contact us for a personalized demo.