The critical measure for any manufacturer is productivity. Increasing reliance on communications technology, including web chat, email and video, has led to a plethora of useful data being made available that can improve productivity. The challenge for organisations now is how best to use that data.
From disparate tools to a unified, cloud-based solution
In their haste to enable remote working, many organisations implemented a host of disparate tools, which have now become essential. Constellation Research reported companies are using an average of seven different tools for messaging, collaboration, file sharing, and meeting management. These often sit alongside a costly, traditional, on-premises telephone systems and each provides its own data set. The challenge for IT professionals is how to use that data effectively and maximise their investments.
Increasingly, manufacturers are replacing on-premises telephone systems with a cloud-based communications solution to bring all communication channels together onto a single platform that simplifies administration and provides valuable insights into customer and employee interactions. We now find that the humble phone call is being given pride of place – fully incorporated into an integrated ecosystem that employees need to deliver a better customer experience.
There are cost benefits too. Research from Metrigy has shown that organisations that use a single platform for calls, chat, meetings, and contact centre demonstrate a 56% reduction in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).
Improve collaboration, efficiency, and speed
A modern communications solution transforms business operations, increasing collaboration across teams and locations and turning business insights into operational actions.
Cross-platform reporting brings all your data into one place. Tailored user experiences, based on job roles, provide your employees with the data they need when they need it and valuable real-time insights that enable supervisors to take immediate action to support their teams.
Cloud communication solutions play a key role in empowering employees to connect with experts across all parts of the organisation, enriching their knowledge, and allowing for faster problem-solving and better employee and customer experiences.
Getting cloud communications right across the organisation (which may mean a complete overhaul of the band-aid solutions put in place a few years ago) could be a game-changer for manufacturers moving forward. This holds especially true for contact centre employees who have traditionally been siloed from the rest of the organisation.
Manufacturers realise the need to empower staff with capabilities that enable them to access accurate and relevant information at the speed of conversation. This allows them to quickly react to an enquiry and maintain the context and content of engagement as it moves between customer-facing departments, back-office and the shop floor.
Attract and retain the next generation of talent
Manufacturers must address the challenges of talent acquisition as experienced staff retire and retaining and recruiting qualified staff becomes more difficult. Younger workers do not share the same skill sets as previous generations and have different expectations and demands for remote working. To attract these workers, manufacturers must make it easier to leverage expertise across the organisation and share information to help train inexperienced employees.
Modern communication tools break down geographic barriers by enabling employees to collaborate remotely, providing a wider resource pool for recruiting back-office and customer-facing staff, and making it easier to retain highly skilled employees.
Recent research estimates that digital collaboration will boost productivity by 20%-30% in activities such as root cause investigation, supplier management, and maintenance.
Transform your manufacturing organisation
Modern communications enable automation and AI to go beyond the factory floor, integrating your communication channels with your business processes to improve overall productivity, time to market, and customer satisfaction rates.
Download the 8×8 eBook and see how five leading manufacturers are using modern communications to power agility.