Learn how manufacturers combat the manufacturing skilled labor shortage and close skills gaps with an Augmented Connected Workforce (ACWF).

An Augmented Connected Workforce (ACWF) offers manufacturing and other industrial organizations a powerful solution to combat the ever-worsening skilled labor shortage and skills gap. According to a report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute, an estimated 2.1 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by 2030 and the cost of those missing jobs could potentially total $1 trillion in 2030 alone.

augmented connected workforce acwf manufacturing

By integrating advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), connected worker platforms, and other emerging solutions manufacturers can enhance the capabilities of their existing workforce and bridge skill gaps. Connected worker tools offer real-time monitoring of your frontline workforce, ensuring seamless operations. Moreover, connectivity enables remote collaboration, allowing experts to assist frontline workers from anywhere in the world. This interconnected ecosystem empowers workers with the tools they need to succeed and attracts new talent by showcasing a commitment to innovation and technology-driven growth.

Through an ACWF, manufacturers can effectively combat the manufacturing skilled labor shortage and close the skills gap while driving productivity, innovation, and remaining competitive. Read more about ACWF in manufacturing below:

Implementing an ACWF in Manufacturing

A critical element of transitioning from a traditional workforce to an Augmented Connected Workforce (ACWF) is implementing and adopting new technologies and processes. Here are a few steps that can help with the adoption of ACWF technologies and smooth transitions in industrial settings:

  • Step 1: Assess Current Processes – Organizations must understand existing workflows and identify areas where AI, connected worker platforms, and other ACWF technology can replace paper-based and manual processes to enhance efficiency and productivity.
  • Step 2: Invest in Technology – Procure  AI-driven analytics platforms, mobile technology, and wearable technology to enable real-time data collection and remote collaboration.
  • Step 3: Training and Onboarding – Provide comprehensive training programs to familiarize workers with new technologies and workflows. Emphasize the importance of safety protocols and data privacy.
  • Step 4: Pilot Programs – Start with small-scale pilot programs to test the effectiveness of the implemented technologies in real-world manufacturing environments. Target high-value use cases that can benefit from a transition from paper to digital.
  • Step 5: Continuous Improvement – Gather feedback from workers and supervisors during pilot programs and adapt implementation initiatives based on their input. Continuously optimize processes and technologies for maximum effectiveness.

By following these steps, manufacturers can smooth the transition from a traditional manufacturing workforce to an ACWF, empowering their frontline workers with improved capabilities, skills, and overall operational excellence.

Supporting Learning in the Flow of Work

Augmented Connected Workforce (ACWF) technologies allow for increased frontline support and for new processes around learning and training to strategically upskill and reskill, reduce time to competency for new workers, and to combat the skilled labor shortage in manufacturing and more. Connected worker tools, such as wearable devices and IoT sensors, enable real-time monitoring of worker performance and environmental conditions, ensuring safety and efficiency on the factory floor.

pyramid of learning

An ACWF also allows for improved workflow learning capabilities giving frontline workers access to expert guidance, remote assistance and collaboration, microlearning, and other learning in the flow of work options regardless of the worker’s location.

ACWF tools further enhance frontline activities through:

  • Digital work instructions and guidance: Smart, connected worker platforms provide digital work instructions, procedures, and visual guidance easily accessible to workers on mobile devices.
  • Digital mentors and training: Some ACWFs incorporate “digital mentors” – GenAI-powered industrial assistants that can provide step-by-step guidance to workers, especially new hires.
  • Knowledge capture and sharing: Connected frontline worker applications capture data and insights from frontline workers, which can then be analyzed by AI software and used to improve processes, update work instructions, and share knowledge across the organization
  • Performance monitoring and feedback: ACWF solutions provide visibility into worker performance, allowing managers to identify areas where additional training or support is needed.

augmented connected workforce in manufacturing

In summary, ACWF initiatives empower frontline workers with the digital tools, knowledge, and support they need to learn and improve their skills directly within their daily workflows, rather than relying solely on formal training programs. This helps close skills gaps and drive continuous improvement.

Future-proofing Manufacturing Operations with an ACWF

Adopting an Augmented Connected Workforce (ACWF) approach centered around augmenting frontline workers with mobile technology, immersive training, collaborative decision-making, and continuous improvement, allows manufacturers to future-proof their operations and gain a sustainable competitive advantage. This concept empowers employees with powerful tools that augment and enhance their capabilities, productivity, and overall business processes by accessing critical information and fostering collaboration

AI-powered software can analyze vast amounts of data to optimize production processes and predict workforce development needs. At the same time, connected frontline worker solutions enable the integration of mobile and wearable technologies and provide real-time data insights, aiding in optimizing factory operations and adapting to evolving industry trends.

For an Augmented Connected Workforce, integrating AI and connected worker technologies serves as a vital strategy for manufacturers navigating the skilled labor crisis. Augmentir encourages organizations to embrace ACWF transformations and expedites adoption through a comprehensive connected worker platform leveraging the combined benefits of connected worker and AI technologies.

With Augmentir, frontline workers can access critical information, real-time data and insights, and expert advice and guidance all in the flow of work preventing lost time and improving both efficiency and productivity. Schedule a live demo to learn more about how an Augmented Connected Workforce future-proofs manufacturing operations and enhances frontline activities.


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The evolution of connected worker software, how industrial transformation leaders are meeting modern challenges with a generation of tools.

Beginning in mid-2022 and now increasing in 2023, there is a significant trend of companies moving away from earlier investments in connected worker software tools to Augmentir’s Connected Worker Platform.

Early adopters and pioneers of V1.0 connected worker tools and technology deserve respect for leading the charge into Industry 4.0 and the concept of a connected workforce. However, we also admire those leaders who realized there are more transformations and improvements to make – such as value in the data from your connected workers and incorporating AI-driven solutions to make sense of that data. These innovative leaders dared to adapt, continue innovating, and replace the connected worker software systems that were not solving enough of the challenges faced by the modern workplace.

darwin in manufacturing

By combining AI-powered software and smart connected worker solutions, manufacturers are able to get next-level results and improve frontline worker productivity, engagement, and safety.

Following in the Footsteps of Industrial Transformation Leaders

According to LNS Research (a leading analyst firm in defining the connected worker space), the business case for connected worker software continues to grow, and solutions that incorporate emerging technologies like AI are leading the way. In fact, LNS states that Industrial Transformation Leaders (IX Leaders) are two times more likely to use AI-enabled advanced analytics capabilities. These leading manufacturers are supporting their frontline operations with AI-based technology for training and skills development, real-time worker performance support, and providing dynamic and personalized content.

Here at Augmentir, we have seen quite a few companies that fall into the category of the courageous, understanding that they needed to continue adapting for their business to thrive.

We have been honored to be recently chosen by several global leaders as their connected worker V2.0 solution, including:

  • one of the largest paint manufacturers in the world
  • one of the largest agricultural companies in the world
  • one of the largest food manufacturers in the world
  • one of the largest manufacturers of batteries in the world

All of these world leaders recognized that their current connected worker software solutions had become insufficient and that they needed a smarter, more complete solution to help them overcome their frontline workforce challenges and current business obstacles.

Here are three key takeaways you can use from these companies that went back to select a new connected worker solution:

  1. Don’t be afraid to make a change that will have a positive impact on your business, even if you are the one who made the initial decision.
  2. If you have experience choosing early connected worker tools, build on that experience. You are ideally situated to identify gaps in processes and improvement needs; and know best which tools to use to address the overall operational needs of the business.
  3. Use your prior experiences to build processes for re-evaluating connected worker solutions from the perspective of already experiencing one fully deployed.

In one example, a global manufacturer invested in an early connected work tool and had been using the tech for nearly 4 years. However, once they decided they needed a new solution, they then went back to evaluate the market for the right tool. They made a list of selection criteria they knew they wanted from this new solution, from that they looked at approximately fifteen (15) connected worker vendors, and from there they narrowed down to the three (3) they ended up testing. They even included having a couple of integrations in their POC as they knew that an integration into their ERP, Quality Management, and Asset Management systems was something they needed, and they had poor experiences previously with vendors overcommitting.

Pro Tip

We suggest anyone evaluating a technology use this same approach – include integrations as part of your Proof-of-Concept to ensure that you are not getting hypothetical answers to hypothetical questions, and that the solution meets your true business needs.

What our customers tell us

Here is what customers are telling us they are looking for in a V2.0 connected worker solution, and the reasons they changed to Augmentir’s Connected Worker Platform:

  1. Ease of Use: Augmentir prioritizes a user-friendly experience. Its intuitive interface and workflow builder makes it easy for employees to adopt and use the tool effectively. This can result in faster onboarding and increased overall productivity.
  2. Augmented, Personalized Work Instructions: Augmentir provides a workflow and content creation environment that allows you to digitize standardized work instructions, and adjust content and in-line training to suit the needs of individual workers.  This optimizes performance and speeds up onboarding time for new employees.
  3. Upskilling and Reskilling: Augmentir’s ability to deliver formal skills and learning in the flow of work means a worker can stay current in their needs, continue to grow in their role, and build a structured career path within their company. This approach appears to be driving increased retention and job satisfaction.
  4. Workforce Optimization: Augmentir’s ability to assess in real time who is available to work on any given day and then balance the skill level best suited for a task with the available workforce offers optimal productivity based upon what you have to work with on any given day.
  5. Digitizing Complex Workflows: Most solutions on the market allow you to digitize simple workflows. With Augmentir, manufacturers can build complex workflows that satisfy use cases that are unique to their business, and extend those workflows to support greater integration into their business processes.
  6. Industrial Collaboration: Augmentir enables remote collaboration among workers and experts. This functionality is particularly useful when experts are not physically present at the job site. Remote experts can guide workers through AR annotations and audio/video communication, fostering knowledge sharing and faster problem resolution.
  7. Continuous Improvement: Augmentir focuses on driving continuous improvement within organizations. It leverages AI to analyze data from worker interactions and identifies areas for improvement. This data-driven approach allows companies to optimize processes, increase productivity, and reduce costs over time.
  8. Integration and Scalability: Augmentir offers integration capabilities with existing enterprise systems, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) or manufacturing execution systems (MES). This ensures seamless data exchange and workflow integration. Additionally, Augmentir is designed to scale with the organization’s needs, accommodating both small teams and large enterprises.
  9. Analytics and Insights: Augmentir provides robust analytics and reporting features driven by AI-powered solutions and focuses on AI as a core component of Connected Worker V2.0. This allows managers and supervisors to gain valuable insights into worker performance, task completion times, and areas that may require additional training or support. Data-driven analytics can aid in identifying bottlenecks, optimizing processes, and making informed business decisions.
  10. Customization and Flexibility: Augmentir allows organizations to customize their work instructions and workflows to fit their specific needs. This flexibility enables the tool to adapt to different industries, processes, and work environments.


If you are interested in learning for yourself why companies are choosing to change to Augmentir over their current connected worker solution – reach out to book a demo.


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Learn how digital and mobile operator rounds make manufacturing inspections safer and enhance overall operational excellence.

Mobile and digital operator rounds significantly enhance manufacturing activities by providing real-time data collection, analysis, and decision-making capabilities. Applying mobile technology and digitizing operator rounds connects and empowers manufacturing workers and organizations with improved operational efficiency, equipment uptime, and drives continuous improvement initiatives, ultimately leading to greater operational excellence.

mobile operator rounds in digital manufacturing

Operator rounds in manufacturing refer to a systematic process where operators or technicians conduct routine inspections and checks on various equipment, machinery, and systems within a manufacturing facility. During operator rounds, operators inspect equipment, check for leaks, listen for unusual sounds, monitor gauges and indicators, and perform basic tests or measurements to ensure that equipment is operating as intended, identify potential problems or maintenance needs early on, and prevent unexpected downtime or failures that could disrupt production.

Operator rounds are an essential part of a preventative maintenance strategy, helping to improve equipment reliability, extend asset lifespan, and optimize overall manufacturing operations. They also provide operators with the opportunity to become more familiar with the equipment they are responsible for and to detect and address any safety concerns.

Read below to learn more about digital and mobile operator rounds, the benefits they offer versus traditional paper-based operator rounds, key aspects to include in an operator round checklist, and how AI-driven insights and connected frontline worker technology transforms the operator round process for enhanced results.

Paper-based Operator Rounds vs. Mobile and Digital Operator Rounds

According to Forbes, the average manufacturer encounters 800 hours of equipment downtime per year — more than 15 hours per week, with an estimated total cost of $50 billion per year. Further studies found that human procedural error contributed to 405 fatalities, 2,163 injuries, and over $150 billion in losses for manufacturers.


So why do many plant operators still use paper-based checklists and forms when conducting critical inspections?


In many cases, it is simply a matter of tradition, and when given the opportunity to make the process easier and more efficient with digital solutions, operators and manufacturers alike are eager to embrace the change.

Comparing paper-based operator rounds with mobile and digital operator rounds in manufacturing highlights several key differences in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and overall impact on operational excellence.

Paper-based operator rounds in manufacturing can be boiled down to 4 main steps:

  1. Managers or supervisors create an operator round checklist/form
  2. The operator executes the round and writes the observations on a paper sheet
  3. In the instance of any uncertainties or issues workers need to stop the round and ask for assistance or guidance
  4. The worker then delivers the completed checklist to their manager, who incorporates it into an ERP system or other management tool

Compliance is difficult when using paper spreadsheets and word processor documents. Routes or routines that still use paper checklists must be manually entered into a spreadsheet or database. This not only creates double work, but issues such as:

  • Decreased visibility into facility-wide inspection activities
  • Inconsistent records
  • Lower anomaly detection and slower response
  • Remedial and follow-up procedures are not automatic
  • No access to immediate guidance or key information
  • Lack of operational context in potentially hazardous environments

mobile operator rounds maintenance

Mobile operator rounds and digital operator rounds, however, enable manufacturers and technicians to accelerate inspections, improve accuracy and compliance, and enhance operational excellence and efficiency through:

  • Real-time data collection
  • Immediate access to expert guidance or critical information
  • Automated alerts or notifications
  • Optimized processes and inspections
  • Remote collaboration
  • Enhanced compliance and digitized documentation

Connected devices enable operators to capture data, such as equipment readings, inspection results, and maintenance activities, directly at the point of operation. This eliminates the need for manual paperwork, reduces the risk of errors, and ensures that data is captured promptly and accurately. Additionally, digital operator rounds allow operators to access equipment manuals, schematics, and historical data instantly via mobile devices. This enables them to troubleshoot issues more effectively, follow proper procedures, and make informed decisions without delay.

Digital operator rounds systems can even streamline task assignment, tracking, and completion. Supervisors can assign tasks to operators, monitor progress in real-time, and prioritize work based on criticality and resource availability. This ensures that maintenance activities are performed efficiently and promptly. Overall, mobile and digital operator rounds empower manufacturing organizations to improve operational efficiency, maximize equipment uptime, and drive continuous improvement initiatives, ultimately leading to greater operational excellence.

Key Aspects of an Operator Round Checklist

An operator round checklist in manufacturing serves as a structured guide for operators to systematically inspect equipment, monitor performance, and identify potential issues during routine rounds. Here are key aspects to include in an operator round checklist:

  • Inspection Identification: Clearly list the equipment, machinery, or systems that need to be inspected during the rounds.
  • Visual Inspection: Include visual inspection items such as looking for leaks, cracks, signs of wear or damage, loose connections, abnormal vibrations, or any other visible abnormalities.
  • Safety Features: Verify the functionality of safety features and emergency shutdown systems to ensure compliance with safety regulations and protocols.
  • Functional Checks: Include functional checks to ensure that equipment is operating as intended. This may involve verifying that motors, pumps, valves, sensors, and other components are functioning properly.
  • Process Measurements and Readings: Include items that require measurements or readings, such as temperature, pressure, flow rates, voltage, current, or any other relevant parameters.
  • Quality Assurance: Ensure that quality checks are performed at each stage of the process and that products meet the quality parameters for each section.
  • Training and Qualifications: Ensure that operators conducting the rounds are adequately trained and qualified to perform the inspections and understand the importance of their role in equipment maintenance and reliability.
  • Special Instructions or Procedures: Include any special instructions, procedures, or precautions to be followed during the inspection, such as lockout/tagout procedures, safety protocols, or specific operating instructions.
  • Comments, Feedback, and Continuous Improvement: Encourage operators to provide feedback on the checklist and suggest improvements based on their observations and experiences during the rounds. Regularly review and update the checklist to incorporate lessons learned and optimize inspection processes.

Additionally, consider breaking down the inspection into specific points or components to be checked on each piece of equipment. This may include mechanical components, electrical systems, fluid levels, safety features, etc. Other potential aspects that can be considered or included are documentation requirements, reporting and communication specifications, and inspection schedule and frequency. By including these key aspects in an operator round checklist, manufacturing organizations can ensure thorough and consistent inspections, identify issues early, prevent unplanned downtime, and maintain equipment reliability and operational excellence.

Transforming Operator Rounds with AI-powered Connected Worker Technology

AI and smart connected worker technology are revolutionizing a wide range of manufacturing operational processes, including operator rounds. By introducing advanced capabilities for data analysis, frontline worker augmentation, and better connectivity, these emerging technologies are transforming traditional operator rounds allowing for enhanced predictive maintenance, remote guidance and support through Generative AI assistants, workflow optimization, and improved safety compliance.

With AI and smart connected worker technology, manufacturing organizations can optimize operator rounds, maximize equipment uptime, minimize maintenance costs, and achieve operational excellence in an increasingly digital and data-driven environment. Augmentir’s connected worker solution, for example, offers tailored solutions for improving a wide range of operational processes, including operator rounds.

Using Augmentir’s No-Code workflow builder, companies can quickly convert paper-based instructions and checklists to a digital format and tailor those digital instructions to meet the needs of individual operators with inline training, built-in collaboration, and troubleshooting support. Additionally, 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. Allowing our system to easily, bi-directionally, and securely integrate the enterprise systems of record to create closed-loop processes involving the frontline workforce.

Schedule a demo to learn more about our AI-powered connected worker solutions and how they dramatically improve manufacturing operational processes like operator rounds through digital and mobile technology, enable personalized skills management and training, and optimize manufacturing activities.

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Digitally enable frontline workers through UKG and Augmentir’s innovative partnership, leveraging AI and smart connected worker technologies.

Augmentir and UKG complement each other by providing an integrated mobile solution that digitally empowers frontline workers and drives operational excellence in manufacturing.

ukg frontline workforce connected with augmentir

UKG is a leading global provider of cloud-based human capital management and workforce management solutions for organizations to drive better business outcomes, improve HR effectiveness, streamline payroll processes, and enhance employee experience. Together with Augmentir – the leading AI-powered connected worker platform designed to digitize and optimize processes for frontline industrial workers, UGK digitally enables frontline workers to improve real-time communication, digital task management and standard work, training and knowledge sharing, and more.

Continue reading below to learn more about the benefits Augmentir and UKG bring to frontline workers and how together we are ushering in a new era of human capital management and an augmented connected frontline workforce.

Benefits of Connected Human Capital Management

Integrating Augmentir’s connected worker platform with UKG’s workforce management solutions offers several key benefits for empowering and enabling frontline workers:

  • Workforce Management Integration: Augmentir’s AI-powered connected worker platform integrates with UKG’s workforce management solutions allowing frontline workers to access scheduling, time tracking, and other UKG features directly within Augmentir’s platform. Workers can view schedules and manage workforce processes seamlessly through Augmentir’s user interface.
  • Real-time Communication and Collaboration: Augmentir and UKG offer tools for real-time communication and collaboration among frontline teams. Providing knowledge-sharing capabilities for frontline teams, and enabling seamless real-time communication, collaboration, and access to workforce information improves frontline adaptability and decision-making allowing for faster response and issue resolution.
  • Training and Skills Development: Augmentir and UKG facilitate training and upskilling of frontline workers. Augmentir’s platform delivers personalized digital work instructions and training content, while UKG provides learning and knowledge-sharing platforms. Together, they create a comprehensive training ecosystem for frontline staff.
  • Operational Insights and Continuous Improvement: Augmentir’s AI-based operational insights help identify opportunities for improving worker skills and driving continuous improvement. When coupled with UKG’s workforce analytics capabilities, organizations gain deeper visibility into their frontline operations to optimize productivity and processes.

Together, Augmentir and UKG create a powerful technology ecosystem that connects, empowers, and drives operational excellence for frontline workers across various industries by unifying their complementary digital workplace offerings.

Collaborating for the Augmented Connected Workforce of the Future

With UGK’s robust human capital management solutions integrated with Augmentir’s AI-powered connected worker platform, organizations enable an augmented connected workforce that is future-ready and equipped with the right tools for success.

UKG offers comprehensive workforce management solutions like UKG PRO, which includes features for scheduling, time tracking, payroll, and HR management. Augmentir allows companies to easily digitize complex frontline workflows and deliver personalized digital work instructions matched to each worker’s proficiency level. This ensures workers receive tailored guidance in the flow of work. Together, they give organizations a unified approach that augments and supports frontline workers by leveraging AI, real-time communication, comprehensive training solutions, and data-driven insights to ultimately drive improvements in productivity, efficiency, and better business outcomes overall.

Leading manufacturers that have deployed our augmented 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

Furthermore, over 5,500 manufacturers globally leverage UKG solutions to create great employee work experiences, improve productivity, enhance compliance, increase operational performance, and more. By integrating UKG’s robust workforce management solutions with Augmentir’s AI-powered connected worker platform, organizations can create an Augmented Connected Workforce that is more efficient, productive, and engaged.

AI-Driven Connected Workforce Management Solution

AI-driven connected workforce management solutions like those offered by UKG and Augmentir provide several benefits for manufacturing operations including Intelligent Staffing and Talent Acquisition, Predictive Workforce Planning, Strategic Scheduling and Resource Optimization, Personalized Employee Development, and Increased Productivity and Cost Savings.

AI empowers manufacturers to forecast workforce needs accurately by analyzing frontline workforce data alongside historical data, market trends, and business objectives. AI-driven scheduling algorithms optimize Lean Daily Management by considering employee availability, skills, preferences, and other capabilities. This minimizes scheduling conflicts, reduces overtime costs, and ensures fair workload distribution while enabling real-time adjustments.

Additionally, with AI and connected technology manufacturing learning and development professionals can personalize employee training programs based on individual performance data and identify skills gaps for targeted upskilling or reskilling efforts. By leveraging AI, machine learning, digital workflows, and data-driven insights, modern workforce management solutions empower organizations to build a more efficient, agile, and connected frontline workforce capable of adapting to changing demands.

Interested in learning more?

If you’d like to learn more about how Augmentir and UKG work together to create a powerful digital ecosystem that streamlines operations, improves communication, and empowers frontline workers with the tools and information they need, schedule a demo with one of our product experts.


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