As one of the most integral industries in the country, manufacturers have a talent for keeping a razor-sharp focus on their production and adapting to new technologies. This trait not only benefits the end-consumer, but also instills an efficient workplace.
Now, while this focus is admirable, some manufacturers may be missing out on the benefits that come with adapting to technology that's not used on the production floor. In this case, we're talking about social media and tablets.
In this post, we’ll discuss each of these elements and highlight how their use can improve your facility’s manufacturing practices — beginning with social media.
Using Social Media to Your Advantage
From building tighter relationships with your clients to getting honest feedback on products, the use of social media for a manufacturer is often underrated.The industry is often slow to adapt to new technologies when it doesn’t benefit the product, but why is that the case? Research shows that manufacturers tend to doubt the effectiveness of social media when it comes to marketing.
And this is understandable. However, the benefits of using social media are vast.
Social Media Uses for Business to Business (B2B) Manufacturers
If you're a manufacturer dedicated to providing products to other businesses, you may find that LinkedIn, for instance, is a useful resource. It allows manufacturers to discuss trends among their counterparts.
Engaging in conversations with fellow manufacturers allows you to exchange ideas, learn about the industry in other markets and create relationships that could turn into longterm, lucrative business partnerships.
- Sharing supplier tips or locating new suppliers
- Finding skilled workers or management expertise
- Collaborate with other manufacturers or contractors
Social Media Uses for Business to Consumer (B2C) Manufacturers
If you're a manufacturer providing products to the consumer industry (apparel, toys, cosmetics, etc.), you may discover that Facebook is a good way to showcase new products and services. You also can use Facebook to create a dialog with your followers.
- Promote and showcase your new products or services
- Gain feedback directly from the consumers
- Learn which questions consumers are asking about the industry
Utilizing Tablets in ManufacturingFor manufacturers who require a mobile workforce, the rise of tablet usage should come as no surprise. Across all industries, more tablets are becoming commonplace at work sites and the trend is showing no signs of stopping.
In fact, according to a Forrester study, nearly one in five tablet purchases will be made directly by companies in the year 2017. And the benefits make it worth the investment. Tablets give employees the ability to access information right from their fingertips. Some applications can even be customized to suit a specific job’s needs which streamlines many duties and saves time that can be used to improve another process.
Rather than purchasing another computer, tablets not only fulfill the same duties, but also give employees the luxury of mobility. Regardless of whether you’re in an office setting or between the areas of heavy machinery, a tablet can help manufacturers in several categories.
HOW Tablets Benefit Your Facility
More “rugged” tablets are becoming available on the market to ensure no facility is too dangerous for this technology.
Whether outdoors or around heavy machinery, these tablets not only make it easier for employees to perform their jobs, it gives managers peace of mind knowing that their investment is safe, no matter where a team member may be.
Here are some benefits to consider:
- Communicate in real-time more effectively
- Continue to be productive — even away from desks
- Cut costs in printing blueprints, graphs, designs, etc.
- Synchronize with staff across multiple technologies
Two Concerns to Evaluate
While the increased use of tablets in the workplace benefits everyone involved, it can cause more work for your IT vendor or IT employees. More devices mean more wireless capability (space) is needed to maintain consistency in your network. While this may be a pain, the investment may be well worth the extra work.
Also, the security of these tablets should be taken very seriously. With "bring your own device" (BYOD) policies slowly becoming the standard in some industries, the threat of a device bringing in a virus or malware is very real. For employees using their tablets both at home and at work, increased security measures should be taken so nothing is transferred to your facility’s wireless network.
For help on how to implement these technologies into your manufacturing organization, contact one of our specialists today!