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Manufacturing 5.0 Balancing Human Expertise in the Digital Era

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If you’re starting with technology, you’re starting wrong. 

Manufacturers that start with people, and then follow with technology, stay competitive in the changing manufacturing landscape.

Dozuki believes the future of quality in manufacturing will become a balancing act between the advantages of new technology, but also cultivating the human centric processes that make businesses successful.

And it’s not just us. Industry data supports this strategy as well.

In a recent issue of the The Manufacturing Leadership Council journal:

“Manufacturing 4.0 heavily relies on digitization, connectivity, and automation technologies often replacing human tasks, but Manufacturing 5.0 recognizes the importance of human skills, creativity, and decision-making in the digital transformation process. The goal is to create more meaningful and satisfying work experiences.”

This report emphasizes the need for efficient and rapid digital transformation in manufacturing, and suggests a growing willingness among businesses to invest in technology.

But how can leaders empower frontline workers to make more data driven decisions? And do so in a way that keeps production high and costs low?

 

Below are recommendations, along with use cases from top tier manufacturing companies, on how you can empower your workforce.

Alignment Uncovers Improvement Opportunities

When embarking on the journey of digitizing work instructions, it's essential to ensure you have a cadre of change agents at the ready. Unfortunately, there's no one size fits all approach to securing buy in from various departments. 

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The good news is, by proactively recruiting leaders for each department, you can decentralize ownership and foster a more collaborative atmosphere. Start by asking yourself:

Who are the leaders closely aligned with optimizing production performance?

Seek out open minded team members who actively seek innovative solutions and are eager to embrace new approaches. This approach encourages individuals to take a more active role in the transformation process, empowering them to spearhead significant improvements.

Dozuki customers have formalized these change agents into an internal think tank, granting them an elevated purpose and status within the cross departmental team. Our CEO, Richard Crawford, shares use cases from the frontlines in his Forbes Tech Council column:

Convert Tribal Wisdom Into Systematic Knowledge Capture

Now that we’ve explored a people centric recommendation, let’s see how humans and modern manufacturing processes and systems unite. 

Manufacturers that provide data and analytics to track the impact of its technology will reach heights of efficiency unknown to previous generations. When you deliver process knowledge at the exact time of manufacture, you set the entire organization up for growth.

But historically, not all companies had standards or processes in place to allow operators to capture work instructions in process data. Critical knowledge existed only in the minds of experienced operators.

In short, the people element needed a process upgrade.

Dozuki has a Fortune 100 customer that produces industrial products. They needed to capture every little detail about their processes and the many scenarios that popped up during the course of each shift. 

So they began equipping their experienced operators and technicians with tablets and an easy to use app. They began to document the tribal knowledge that had helped their company run efficiently for so long.

The company has developed a specialized platform designed for effortless authoring and documentation of process knowledge, seamlessly transforming it into clear, step by step instructions for practical use on the shop floor. 

This innovative approach to knowledge capture has played a pivotal role in aligning with their broader corporate objective of initiating an enterprise level deployment of a connected worker solution spanning numerous locations.

Building The Frontline Of The Future

In conclusion, here are two statistics that manufacturing companies can’t afford to ignore, fresh from Gartner’s research on their 2023 CIO Agenda:

  • Over half of digital initiatives take too long to complete and realize value, falling short of leadership expectations.
  • Four out of five senior executives are increasing their digital technology investments to counter economic pressures

It’s official. The reintroduction of empowered humans to modern manufacturing processes and systems is officially under way. 

Today is the slowest day manufacturing will ever move.

So start now.

And don’t start with technology. Start with people. 

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Written by Scott Ginsberg

Scott is the Content Marketing Manager at Dozuki. He’s spent 20+ years writing books about wearing nametags, conducting corporate training seminars on approachability, and leading knowledge management programs at tech startups. Text him right now at 314.374.3397 with your favorite emoji.

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