The progression of technology has given rise to conveniences and productivity never before seen in the workplace, with more solutions being released every day, some for issues you probably didn’t even know existed. Using tech to your business’s advantage can also help it compete in a market dominated by far larger entities, allowing you to gain valuable productivity, employee satisfaction, and brand recognition that belies the actual size of your business. Embracing technological solutions to problems inherent in your line of work will do more to propel your business to new heights than treading proverbial water in the marketplace.
Efficiency Is Everything
If you ever have to ask, “What is Rapid Tooling?”, then the answer may solve a few of your prototyping and production issues. Rapid tooling is a speedy and inexpensive process for creating high-quality prototypes and tools. While this used to be a time-consuming and expensive endeavor for small businesses, it is increasingly being supplemented by additive manufacturing (3D printing) processes, making it both more affordable and more adaptable than ever before. Rapid tooling is employed to test and control the quality of parts in prototype stages of development.
If time is a factor, then rapid tooling is an invaluable solution for short production runs and excellent to get a product to the market quickly and affordably. In manufacturing environments, 3D printed tools can quickly improve systems and processes and, if any issues are discovered in the design, they can quickly be rectified via Computer-Aided Drawing (CAD) software and the model can quickly be 3D printed again.
Remote Workforce Solutions
In a highly competitive business world, working smarter and not harder has become a leveraging factor in the success of many companies, both small and large. Following business trends and empowering staff to be productive from home is one emerging trend that is helping to ensure employee satisfaction and keep business expenses down in terms of overheads. Having a remote workforce will ensure that you can keep your business’s physical footprint to a minimum, meaning you can save on office rental, utilities, furniture, sustenance, and, most importantly, workplace incidents and accidents.
If implemented correctly, studies suggest that remote work policies would increase productivity, with many companies discovering that their employees not only get more work done but are also more willing to work overtime than those who had to go into the office every day. Not only do work-from-home policies boost staff morale, but they also help save the environment by saving on travel to and from work and the reduced carbon emissions that come along with the practice.
Connectivity is vital for all businesses in today’s market, with communication making or breaking many companies’ futures. For smaller businesses, connectivity may only entail an internet connection and a telephone line to communicate with staff, contractors, and customers. For larger businesses, especially businesses that have a global reach, connectivity may mean a consolidated software and hardware system that unify communication systems such as voice, data, and internet services. Speed and reliability are the two most important factors when it comes to connectivity, so you will always want to have a backup or redundant system to ensure you stay connected. This can be as simple as a cellphone that can double as a Wi-Fi hotspot, or as technical as an uninterruptible power-supplied telecommunication system, as long as the solution allows business to continue.
Faster connectivity should allow many businesses to operate faster and more efficiently, especially if any of the staff or contractors are working remotely. 5G is an emerging technology that everyone should be paying attention to and making plans to adopt. 5G makes for lightning-fast data transfer speeds and reduced latency, which should help keep latency and connection-related issues to a minimum while helping to improve productivity by reducing transfer failures and download times.
Inventory Management Solutions
Keeping track of inventory and storage is imperative for businesses to stay profitable, keep customers supplied, and manage orders. These processes are even more vital to larger businesses or businesses and those that keep a large volume of stock. This is where inventory management software comes in, facilitating the clear and concise tracking of parts and items throughout a business’s supply chain. From receiving stock or manufacture to assembly, storage, and sale of the stock items, inventory management tools offer valuable insight into stock trends and trajectories.
Before investing in any inventory management software, figure out what the inventory tracking needs of your company are so you can keep the cost manageable. Smaller businesses will do well with simple inventory systems, often paired with point-of-sale systems, while larger firms may need a more robust system to manage assembly, dispatch, and accounting, like an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
Always Be Analyzing
Utilizing operational and event data to increase productivity, ensure quality, optimize supply chain operations, and reduce costs is known as Manufacturing Analytics. Relying on big data analytics, machine learning, the industrial internet of things (IIoT), edge computing, and predictive analysis, manufacturing analytics help to pave the way to quick, intelligent, and scalable solutions to issues plaguing the factory and production lines. One software package can address all these needs, with manufacturing analytics being made to collect and analyze data from numerous sources in the working environment.
All of these systems serve one function, which is to collect large amounts of data and display that data in a digestible manner, allowing management and staff to react to problems, proactively fix shortcomings, and set up automatic processes to alleviate any foreseen issues. By using data visualization tools and models from machine learning systems, manufacturers can optimize their production and boost performance. None of these tools will help businesses if management is not willing to change or get behind the data.
Analytics can only be effective when the data, and subsequent solutions or optimizations, are integrated into the daily operations of your business practices.
Staying on top of tech trends in your workspace can do wonders to increase customer experience, employee satisfaction, and your business’s bottom line. Keeping ahead of these trends could see your business separate itself from the competition and stand out as an entity in tune with the needs and trends of its support base, your staff, and customers.