The deployment of digital transformation tools and platforms is being pursued aggressively around the world.
Statista claims that worldwide spending on digital transformation reached a staggering $1.59 trillion, an increase of 20% compared to 2020. While cloud-technology implementation investments lead the way, workforce transformation also remained extremely important. Upskilling and reskilling existing employees and introducing digital analytics in day-to-day work are top-priority deliverables.
One of the key challenges faced by manufacturing leadership, aside from choosing the right platform for process and workforce transformation, is choosing the use cases across which the proposed solution or platform would be deployed. While there is no playbook for choosing use cases across manufacturing operations, choosing too many or too few can lead to frustration for users and failure to generate any tangible value for management.
Today, we will examine an ideal selection of use cases for the deployment of workforce optimization and process transformation platforms. While these are recommended as a generic guide, we recommend working with Webalo’s expert team to chalk out specific use cases for your operation.
Use Case Selection:
The Webalo Platform recommends lighthouse solution deployment, wherein an entire process is exposed to the platform and can leverage the data being collected, collated, and analyzed for better results and faster ROI per deployment. However, we recommend the following use cases to derive the most from platform rollout within specific functional areas. Focusing on the quick implementation of particular use cases can help manufacturers approach digital transformation more purposefully and drive results that can then be quickly replicated across other manufacturing locations and partner sites if needed.
As the pandemic raged on, workforce safety concerns became a focus for manufacturing plants. Ensuring workers were able to perform their duties while avoiding contact and cross-infection was a primary deliverable for factory management and safety staff. With Webalo, managing workplace safety is a lot easier and more precise. The platform covers all inspections and audit-related data points while providing requisite access and safety permits, all in digital form, to create a contactless work environment. Furthermore, the platform covers gate compliance, which is extremely important for maintaining safety and process flow. Other key safety deliverables include operational safety checklists, 5-S checklists, forklift and equipment safety checklists, incident forms, behavioral checklists, and EHS training and development records.
When automated and digitized through Webalo Apps, safety procedures and documentation seamlessly become part of the overall production process.And while the major safety-related use cases are covered above, specific operation use cases can be easily and quickly added to the platform’s functionality to create customized solutions.
Quality is an extremely important aspect of manufacturing. The ability to control and even eliminate COPQ (cost of poor quality) is a top priority for most manufacturers. Depending on the way an industry is regulated and the perceived quality of its product, quality-related deliverables might be enhanced and become highly process or product specific. But irrespective of the process, certain quality deliverables are always required from an all-encompassing platform like Webalo. Ensuring that quality SOPs are in place and data is recorded in requisite regulatory formats is a must for any workforce platform. Furthermore, establishing proper work instructions in accordance with compliance requirements and maintaining end-to-end defect tracking are also important use cases to consider.
Finally, any good workforce-optimization platform should allow workers to view and act on quality claims using their mobile devices. They should also be able to access order history and CAP forms and take containment actions. The automation of quality claims, including opening, closing, and any actions taken, should be done through the system in the form of claim-related orders, which should help with any necessary rework. Establishing and controlling the entire quality management system or QMS with one platform should be the goal upon implementation.
It would appear that digital work instructions, SOP creation, and amendment and operational orchestration would be the top production use cases. In reality, managing a production plant has many other equally important use cases. Digital logbooks that track all shop-floor transactions, just-in-time training for newly onboarded employees, event notifications and maintenance alerts, line changeovers, and action-item tracking are all vital platform deliverables.
With Webalo, manufacturers can ensure that their production is continuous and on schedule. Their CI or continuous improvement efforts are tracked and reported on, accompanied by analysis and critical action items. Irrespective of their industry segment, manufacturers need to ensure that the frontline-workforce platform they engage delivers the maximum value by covering at the very least the instances described above and does not simply digitize their current paper-based forms. Running a truly digital manufacturing operation is a lot more than simply making the manufacturing paperless.
Downtime related to equipment breakdowns can cause manufacturers to lose millions of dollars annually. Therefore, any maintenance module or platform with a maintenance functionality must support PM (preventive maintenance). Webalo integrates with and deploys SAP-PM on mobile devices to make maintenance a smooth and all-pervasive activity. When PM is coupled with AR and workflow management, workers can not only identify issues on the go but also create maintenance requests and monitor progress as actions are taken to mitigate an issue.
Webalo caters to all mandatory maintenance use cases from maintenance work order creations and tracking to claims order creation, tracking, and final settlement. Maintenance is an often-neglected functional area, and adherence to PM schedules is always challenged by shifting production schedules, asset availability, and changing customer preferences. With Webalo, maintenance schedules can be synchronized with production schedules, which allows the maintenance of assets to happen based on their availability while still allowing for the prevention of breakdowns. Once their operations are digitized, properly orchestrated, and correlated with manufacturing data, manufacturers can move toward Industry-4.0-level predictive maintenance.
More often than not, manufacturing plants consider gate entry and warehouse management to be separate. Ideally, warehousing should monitor anything that enters the gate, be it RM, spares, or equipment. With Webalo, all the aspects and major use cases of warehouse operation are fully covered. These include gate-entry management, weight and count management, inventory tracking, load management, material receiving and issuing forms, yard management, bay management, and trailer tracking, among other key use cases.
With Webalo, there is end-to-end traceability of everything that enters the company or exits the company in the form of finished goods and scrap. When one platform enables workers to monitor production, quality, maintenance, and safety, you have a complete solution that not only digitizes all forms and SOPs but also creates a Workforce Intelligence Center and empowers frontline workers to deliver their best work.
So, when choosing a digital platform to train your workforce and automate their daily tasks, only consider ones that address at the very least the use cases discussed above. For highly regulated industry segments or those with continuous process manufacturing type operations, specific requirements may be added to the use cases discussed, and that is where Webalo’s team of industry experts can come in and help you customize the platform to your workers’ and operation’s needs!