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AI is playing a key role in changing the manufacturing landscape, augmenting workers and empowering them with improved, optimized processes, better data, and personalized instruction.

Deloitte recently published an article with the Wall Street Journal covering how AI is revolutionizing how humans work and its transformative impact. They emphasized that AI is not merely a resource or tool, but, that it serves almost as a co-worker, enhancing work processes and efficiency. This article discussed how the evolving form of intelligence augments human thinking and emphasized this as a catalyst for accelerated innovation.

Manufacturing is uniquely situated to benefit from AI to improve operations and empower their frontline workforces. The skilled labor gap has reached critical levels, and the market is under tremendous stress to keep up with growing consumer demand while staying compliant with quality and safety standards. Manufacturing workers are crucial to the success of operations – maintenance, quality control and assurance, and more – manufacturers rely upon their workforce to ensure production proceeds smoothly and successfully.

AI is playing a key role in changing the manufacturing landscape, augmenting workers and empowering them with improved, optimized processes, better data for informed decision-making, troubleshooting, personalized instructions and training, and improved quality assurance and control. According to the World Economic Forum, an estimated 87% of manufacturing companies have accelerated their digitalization over the past year, the IDC states 40% of digital transformations will be supported by AI, and a recent study from LNS Research found that 52% of industrial transformation (IX) leaders are deploying connected worker applications to help their frontline workforces. Not only that, AI technology is expected to create nearly 12 million more jobs in the manufacturing industry.

Integrating AI into manufacturing not only enhances productivity, but also opens the door to new possibilities for worker safety, training, and innovative new manufacturing practices. Here are some ways AI is transforming manufacturing operations:

  • AI-based Workforce Analytics: Collecting, analyzing, and using frontline worker data to assess individual and team performance, optimize upskilling and reskilling opportunities, increase engagement, reduce burnout, and boost productivity.
  • Personalized Training in the Flow of Work: With AI and connected worker solutions, manufacturers can identify and supply training at the time of need that is personalized to each individual and the task at hand.
  • Personalized Work Instructions: AI enables manufacturers to offer customized digital work instructions mapped to their skill levels and intelligently assign work based on each individual’s capabilities.
  • Digital Performance Support and Troubleshooting Guide: Generative AI assistants and bot-based AI virtual assistants offer support and guidance to manufacturing operators, enabling access to collaborative technologies and knowledge bases to ensure the correct actions and processes are taken.
  • Optimize Maintenance Programs: AI algorithms analyze data from sensors on machinery and other connected solutions to predict when equipment is likely to fail. This enables proactive maintenance, minimizing downtime and reducing maintenance costs. Additionally, with AI technologies, manufacturers can implement autonomous maintenance processes through a combination of digital work instructions and real-time collaboration tools. This allows operators to independently complete maintenance tasks at peak performance.
  • Improve Quality Control: AI-powered solutions can improve inspection accuracy and optimize quality control and assurance processes to identify defects faster. With connected worker solutions, manufacturers can effectively turn their frontline workforce into human sensors supplying quality data and enhancing assurance processes.
  • Ensure Worker Safety: AI-driven safety systems coupled with connected worker technologies monitor the work environment, supplying real-time data and identifying potential hazards to ensure a safer workplace for employees.

connected enterprise

As AI continues to advance, the manufacturing industry is poised for even greater transformation, improving both the quality of products and the working conditions for employees. AI is revolutionizing the way humans work and how the manufacturing industry approaches nearly every process across operations, augmenting work interactions, productivity, efficiency, and boosting innovation.

Learn about the best practices for optimal asset maintenance performance and how to track your assets to ensure that everything is in working condition.

Unlocking the potential of connected worker platforms becomes a game-changer when integrated with enterprise systems, giving them a live, closed loop connection to frontline processes and operations. This creates a truly connected enterprise that links diverse systems with the frontline workforce, paving the way for heightened efficiency, productivity, and safety.

connected worker platform integrations

However, a majority of connected worker platforms overlook the fact that connectivity doesn’t end with simply linking workers to their platform. They fail to recognize the immense benefits that live connections to enterprise systems of record bring to frontline business processes and activities.

Manufacturing success hinges on the seamless integration of connected worker platforms with legacy and enterprise systems to provide adequate support to frontline workers, giving them access to data and knowledge that can boost their efficiency and keep them safe.

Read below for more information on connected worker platform integrations; what they entail, which enterprise systems are essential for integration, and how AI-powered technology improves impact on frontline manufacturing activities.

Connected Worker Integrations: More than just an API

In manufacturing, it is critical that connected worker platforms are integrated with various enterprise systems to streamline operations and ensure that workers have the data and information they need at their fingertips. As critical as this is, most connected worker vendors believe that providing an open API is sufficient, and even boast that they integrate to enterprise systems, when in fact they place this burden on their customers.

Having an API is not enough

There are several not-so-obvious aspects to connected worker platform integrations, including:

  • Connected worker integrations with enterprise applications, even streamlined ones, have essential requirements such as logic that needs to be written, customized, run, and supported. Most, if not all, of this logic is initiated by the connected worker platform, propagating events and data from shop floor processes to the associated enterprise system of record.
  • Connected worker platforms with just an “API” require all of this functionality to be developed, hosted, and supported externally. The responsibility is then on the customer to build a custom product and select and support the hosting environment. This effort (building, hosting, and support) can cost between $50K and $150K to build and test, and then another $50K – $150K annually for 5 x 9 support. And, the customer is responsible for maintaining an SLA acceptable to the business (99.9% being typical).
Pro Tip

It’s critical that connected worker platforms include “platform-as-a-service” (Paas) capabilities that provide the ability to write, support, and execute both standard and custom integrations. These can be done by the platform provider, the customer, as well as third-party system vendors and system integrators. Providing PaaS capabilities puts the responsibility on the vendor for operating the integration service, and maintaining SLAs, geo-redundancy, disaster recovery, and privacy and security. In short, just saying “we have an API” places an undue burden on customers, and prevents building the sustainable connected enterprise necessary to remain competitive in today’s global economy.

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Which Enterprise Systems Should You Integrate

In any industrial environment, connected worker platforms should be integrated with various systems to support operations, help with cooperation and communication, and gain valuable insights into frontline manufacturing processes. These integrations streamline activities, improve efficiency, and provide a unified digital environment that empowers frontline workers.

This concept of a connected enterprise spans several initiatives within an organization: assets and equipment, the products being manufactured, the end customer, operations, workers, and the entire supply chain, and is highlighted below using the Industrial Transformation (IX) Reference Architecture from LNS Research.

connected worker enterprise system integration

Examples of enterprise management systems of record that are key to connected worker success and should be integrated are:

  • ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)
  • EAM (Enterprise Asset Management)
  • HCM (Human Capital Management)
  • HR, Training, and LMS (Learning Management System)
  • QMS (Quality Management Systems)
  • MES (Manufacturing Execution System)
  • CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System)
  • Supply Chain Management

Enterprise systems such as ETQ, Workday, UKG, SAP, Oracle, IBM Maximo, Microsoft Dynamics 365, Salesforce, and ADP provide transformational value for a manufacturing company if they can be connected into frontline operations. By integrating connected worker platforms with these systems, manufacturers can create an interconnected environment that supports frontline workers and drives operational excellence. Ultimately, integration enhances collaboration, workforce visibility, decision-making processes, and overall operational efficiency, making connected worker platforms an indispensable component for manufacturing organizations.

Improving Integration Success Through Augmentir

At Augmentir, we see integrations differently than other connected worker platforms. Our rich history of building integrations in the manufacturing space enabled us to design a connected worker solution that easily, bi-directionally, and securely integrates the enterprise systems of record to create closed loop processes involving the frontline workforce.

Augmentir has internal PaaS services to run connectors that we build and support for popular enterprise applications like SAP, Salesforce, ETQ, Oracle, IBM Maximo, and more. Additionally, our PaaS enables custom integrations to be built and executed for custom, and niche applications. All third-party integrations running in the Augmentir connected worker platform carry the same SLA and geo-redundant support. By facilitating connected worker platform integrations with enterprise systems in this way, we have provided leading manufacturers with increased workforce visibility, improved productivity, digitized and standardized processes, enhanced training and collaboration, and more.

augmentir enterprise integration

Furthermore, because we are the leading AI-powered connected worker provider, we have brought innovative generative AI technologies such as AI-driven analytics, machine learning algorithms, NLP, predictive maintenance, and industrial AI copilots to improve connected worker integrations with enterprise systems, providing real-time guidance, enabling predictive analysis, and enhancing communication and collaboration among workers.

Schedule a demo to learn more about our AI-powered connected worker solutions and how they are drastically improving frontline processes, training, and manufacturing activities.

 

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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. However, despite the current crisis, there is hope yet for manufacturing, specifically in the form of AI and Connected Worker Technology.

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 makes 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!

Connected frontline operations platforms are helping manufacturers reduce downtime and provide a foundation for a holistic preventive maintenance strategy.

Efforts to enable the frontline industrial workforce through connected worker and other digital technologies have become increasingly common over the past several years, recently, LNS Research found that over half of industrial organizations globally have undertaken Connected Frontline Workforce (CFW) initiatives. CFW has become a strategic part of Industrial Transformation (IX) initiatives as manufacturers seek to solve critical labor shortages, skills gaps, and retention issues in frontline operations.

CFW-enabling technologies hold the promise of helping companies meet their frontline workforce challenges while optimizing operational performance across safety, quality, and productivity dimensions. However, industrial business and technology leaders must navigate the uncertain waters of the relatively immature and highly fragmented CFW Applications market to capture the opportunity fully.

LNS Research Connected Worker Solution Selection Matrix

From their extensive analysis, LNS Research has created the CFW Applications Solution Selection Matrix™ (SSM) – a comprehensive guide intended to help man­ufacturers better understand, evaluate, and even select from a shortlist of Connected Frontline Worker technology vendors.

LNS Research reviewed dozens of vendors within the CFW ecosystem and categorized them based on various key criteria, including product capabilities, market potential, and company presence.  Augmentir was named by LNS Research as a leading CFW solution innovator in their SSM.

Augmentir positioned as a leading front runner and innovator

According to LNS Research, Augmentir is well-positioned for future growth, with a trajectory that gives it the potential to be among a small set of likely market leaders in the Connected Frontline Worker (CFW) Applications space. This assessment is based partly on the strength of differentiated capabilities of its AI-enabled solution suite to enable proactive, data-driven performance improvement, personalization of work execution support and training, and the integration of individual and team skills and qualifications to guide workforce development and shift-specific work assignment.

Other key factors impacting Augmentir’s potential are the strength and proven experience of the leadership and management teams, strong momentum in the market, a record of successful product innovation, ecosystem partnerships, and likely continued access to adequate funding and resources to support the expansion of go-to-market initiatives. Augmentir’s track record indicates a strong likelihood of continued growth and the potential over time to be among a select group of market leaders in the CFW Applications space.

Read the full report here.

Augmentir’s results from the field

Manufacturers are using connected frontline worker solutions to empower their employees with real-time, actionable data; driving better decision-making and improving safety, training, and more.

Leading manufacturers that deployed Augmentir’s AI-driven, smart, connected worker solution have seen impressive results, such as:

  • 75% reduction in new hire training/onboarding time
  • 27% reduction in machine downtime using Autonomous Maintenance
  • 32% improvement in worker productivity

In addition to the above results, our customers have seen quality, safety, and productivity increases across all operations, as well as increases in employee retention and reductions in operating costs associated with employee churn.

 

If you are interested in learning why LNS Research ranked Augmentir as the leading connected worker solution in the market, reach out to us and request a live demo.

 

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August 13, 2021

 

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 cycle reports 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.

 

August 16, 2021

Augmentir was once again recognized by Gartner as a key vendor for Connected Factory Worker technology. In the latest Gartner Hype Cycle for Consumer Goods, Augmentir was highlighted as an important vendor for Connected Factory Worker software and Immersive Experiences in Manufacturing. This marks the seventh time in 2021 that Augmentir has been recognized by Gartner for leadership in emerging technologies for manufacturing.

Digital Technology – A Key Priority for Consumer Goods CEOs

This Gartner report identifies technology as a key priority for consumer goods CEOs, and states that “79% of Consumer Goods CEOs plan to increase their investment in digital capabilities.”

According to the hype cycle report, “Investments in long-delayed digital initiatives came to the forefront due to the pandemic.” Digital transformation initiatives were put into focus and brought to the forefront due to the impact of the pandemic, increased remote working, and supply chain disruptions, and many leading consumer goods manufacturers were “jolted to invest in long-delayed digital plans.”

Gartner highlighted Connected Factory Workers and Immersive Experience in Manufacturing as offering transformational benefits for consumer goods manufacturers, and mentions Augmentir as a key software vendor in each category.

  • Connected Factory Worker: Connected factory workers use various digital tools to improve the safety, quality, and productivity of the jobs they perform. In consumer goods manufacturing, this may include enabling digitization of maintenance procedures, changeover procedures, EHS lockout/tagout procedures, quality checklists, and plant walkabouts via digitized step by step instructions or guided workflows. 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 Experience 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 as important for “accelerating problem solving and broadening continuous improvement dialogue through virtual or remote access.” This approach is being use for quality and maintenance tasks, remotely connecting 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 and when, as well as what value they can provide to their manufacturing operations.

Accelerating Your Digital Journey with Augmentir

Many leading consumer goods manufacturers, including Colgate-Palmolive, have adopted Augmentir to connect their frontline workforce and accelerate their digitization efforts. Augmentir’s AI-based connected worker platform offers connected worker technology with augmented work instructions. Equipped with digital devices that could include tablets, mobile phones, or even AR-enabled industrial smart glasses, frontline workers are able to receive fully augmented, guided instructions on any device to improve productivity, quality and allow workers to perform their jobs more independently. These help guide workers with visual aids, AR/MR experiences, and contextual information.

For example, since the selection of Augmentir in November 2020, Colgate has already seen tremendous progress towards their digital transformation goals and has digitized over 1000 workflows across 10 global plants, resulting in significant value and productivity improvements in maintenance tasks, line changeovers, and shift changes.

Optimizing Worker Performance with AI

Gartner further recommends that consumer goods manufacturers: “Make your focus the creation of a “data-driven” culture in manufacturing operations.” This includes not only integrating factory workforces with their virtual and physical surroundings, but also driving a culture change towards data-driven performance optimization and workforce development.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a key foundation for data-driven transformation within the manufacturing workforce.

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. 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.

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.

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.  It’s a new generation and if we want to be competitive in hiring in this ultra-competitive environment, we need to re-access how we train, develop, and retain talent, embrace the variable nature of the labor market, and meet workers where they are. 

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.

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 could train and develop someone in the context of doing their work, leading to increased engagement and allowing organizations to retain top talent. Furthermore, 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 and augments their capabilities. 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 technology 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.

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 a frontline worker, and today, via digital transformation efforts, 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 toward 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! According to LNS Research, 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 frontline workers 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 times 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 though frontline digital transformation, 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 can pave the way towards frontline worker digital transformation and save you the cost of doing nothing, why wouldn’t you start today?

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

If one simple digital procedure can pave the way towards frontline worker 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?