businessfriend: a social tool that brings connectivity to the manufacturing sector
The manufacturing sector today is highly connected, tech driven and focused on innovation. Gone are the days when manufacturing factories are all grease, intensive labour and cumbersome machinery; in fact modern manufacturing plants are equipped with the latest technology, software and human-like robots, and are operated with sustainability in mind. More and more brut strength is being swapped for sophisticated data and this change brings with it a greater need for connectivity.
Until now, manufacturers have relied on expensive bespoke tools to share data, information and documentation, but this is about to change. At CES 2015 a new, innovative social network called businessfriend (businessfriend.com) was launched to the world – its USP being that it can offer what no other social network can in terms of total collaboration.
businessfriend acts as a business utility with a social identity. Instead of using multiple different applications to accomplish one goal, businessfriend allows you to seamlessly execute all business affairs in one powerful, mobile-first platform with a simple and attractive interface, allowing you to connect and share socially and professionally in a whole new way. For example, businessfriend would allow manufacturing decision makers to share documentation, discuss strategy, make calls and record vital data in one place.
“On any given day, the typical young professional can have as many as five platforms open to get them through their day,” said Glen White, Founder and CEO of businessfriend. “We offer one complete forum that enables constant connectivity for optimal business communications. One mobile app, one desktop, any device - no more juggling apps.”
Key features of businessfriend include video chat, IM, and free VoIP calls, up to two gigs of free Cloud storage, use of its Digidex contact management system, document downloading and sharing, social feed, connectivity to colleagues and peers without sharing personal contact information, easy sign-up and much more.
“We like to say businessfriend is the channel for professionals that are suffering from S.C.S. (scattered communications syndrome),” said Freddie Pierce, VP of Product and co-creator of the app. “We’re providing one place to consolidate all of your current communications, mediums and channels into one easy to use application. You’ll never have to say ‘I didn’t get that email’ or ‘where did that document go’ again.”
Manufacturing executives, decision makers and managers often have to juggle many suppliers, vendors and internal documentation – businessfriend can help by providing a platform to stay connected with the people and professionals that matter most to business operations. Redefining how you interact with your professional and social network, businessfriend makes collaborating with colleagues and peers a whole lot simpler. Instead of using several different apps to accomplish one goal, businessfriend allows you to seamlessly execute all business affairs in one, user-friendly platform.
Download the businessfriend app today to begin communicating, collaborating and connecting. http://www.businessfriend.com
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.