When manufacturers have too much to do, not enough time to do it and no mobile ERP to help, they all become "if only" fountains.
If only there were more hours in the day...
If only I could go back in time and tell those technicians to fix that machine before it failed…
If only I could be in two places at once…
As it turns out, enterprise mobile management coupled with cloud-based ERP solutions can actually help supervisors split their time between the shop floor and the back offices so well, they'll think they hired a clone.
What does mobile ERP do for employee-manager relations?
Industry 4.0 has forced industrial businesses to question and rethink every aspect of their operations.
Plant line supervisors spend only 15% to 25% of their days with frontline workforces.
In the endless search for improvements, however, operator supervision has become increasingly more strategic. According to one study from McKinsey, the average manufacturing plant line supervisor spends only 15 to 25 percent of his or her working day "on site with frontline workforce" and 30 to 50 percent on "administration, meetings." Does that sound like an ideal segmentation of labor?
But with cloud ERP and mobile access, plant managers gain the freedom to roam. Here are just a couple ways plant supervisors can utilize mobile, cloud-enabled ERP to deliver real value to productivity (and no, we're not talking about micromanagement).
Audit adherence on the production line
Process standardization and perfect changeovers both take time, careful consideration and practice. In the end, manufacturers reap the benefits of tight production cycles and reliable operations. When supervisors spend more time on the plant floor thanks to mobile cloud ERP, their presence has a major impact on workflow.
We know what you're thinking. Didn't they say this wouldn't be about micromanagement?
And it's not. One of the most important elements of a sustainable SOP is comfort and advocacy among employees who are tasked with carrying it out. ERP mobility gives supervisors a sight line on whether back-office performance metrics actually reflect activity on plant floors. Moreover, even if the numbers are good, supervisors get a firsthand glimpse into how employees work through established guidelines. It's not about following the rules per se but rather whether the rules assist or hinder employees in ways that either promote or hold back long-term adoption.
Eliminate manual processes in person
Next-gen cloud ERP technology should seek and destroy any wasteful manual actions. That's the promise of user-friendly automation and machine learning. A majority of what an ideal ERP system does ought to happen automatically. Otherwise, adopters end up becoming the world's most tech-savvy crossing guards, directing data this way and that but never studying the flow of traffic and what it means.
Be where the action is with mobile ERP.
For ERP to work with them and their staffs, manufacturing leaders must spend a lot of time on the shop floor, watching people carry out tasks and observe bottlenecks. Disruptions, after all, are opportunities in disguise, so long as supervisors are there to catch them in action. Mobile ERP lets them do the same administration they could from a desktop terminal through the mobile devices of their choosing. Meanwhile, they can witness and report on what goes down on their production lines in ways that actually support operational excellence.
Want more ideas on how cloud ERP and enterprise mobility keep manufacturing employees and site supervisors on the same team? Here's a blog post that addresses common misconceptions about mobile ERP implementation. You can always contact us with your questions.