Why social media and manufacturing work hand-in-hand
Today’s social media age has led consumers to embrace companies that are straightforward and explicit in all external communications. However, logistics companies that handle sensitive commodities must be savvy with their communication strategy in order to preserve customers’ privacy and security.
Privacy breaches are very real and can result in physical or intellectual theft, compromising both livelihoods and reputations. One such breach occurred in 2010 in Connecticut, when thieves cut through the roof of a warehouse and made off with millions of dollars in medications.
Our industry walks the line between sharing the work we do for customers while maintaining the confidentiality that clients deserve. So, how can we preserve privacy while staying competitive in today’s storytelling world?
A polished content marketing strategy is one part of the solution. Content initiatives such as white papers, case studies and blog posts allow logistics companies to provide example-driven narratives that showcase their successes.
Additionally, while content marketing is one part of the solution, social media cannot be ignored. Pew Research Center reports that nearly 75 percent of all internet users are members of a social network. This means that communicating thoughtfully through social media and other new and secure technologies can help logistics companies enhance visibility and improve reputation.
Logistics companies and manufacturers can alleviate risk and protect customer privacy while telling their stories by:
Modernizing content: Update all outdated digital content in your archive and replace it with new collateral that is explicit and on-brand. Ensure that old materials and case studies remain relevant and correlate with company values and always-changing privacy policies. Content may be king, but customer privacy is your trump.
Exploring anonymous examples: Logistics companies may opt not to identify customers in case studies or white papers. Instead, a well-crafted piece should focus on challenges overcome or successes garnered by working cohesively with customers. By not disclosing customers’ names, companies can divulge details of the story while protecting the customer’s privacy and safety.
Utilizing new technology: Though users and companies must tread thoughtfully, the presence of social media has spurned innovation throughout our industry. For example, advanced monitoring systems allow subscribed companies to stay on top of current security breaches and plan for adjustments.
Partnering with public relations experts: Outward facing employees should be trained on the impact of publicity, the complexities of digital media and steps to address external privacy concerns. However, including the marketing or communication departments in any information request adds an extra layer of assurance, as these employees are comfortable helping the company walk the line between publicity and privacy.
Rewriting outdated policies: As technology changes, so should policy. Regularly revise all procedures to make sure they are current, align with company values and leave no room for employee interpretation. By updating these processes regularly, companies can better adapt to social media nuances while addressing up-and-coming trends such as tablets, wearable technology and other trends.
Digital media is a double-edged sword that should be approached with care. By coupling constant vigilance with continued deference to customers’ privacy needs, drug companies can begin to distinguish their work while maintaining customer privacy needs.
With nearly 30 years of industry experience, Mark Sell has established himself and his company as leaders in the 3PL industry. He and business partner, David Kiebach, founded MD Logistics and MD Express in 1996, followed by the establishment of a strategic partnership with SEKO Worldwide in 2002. Sell received a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Indiana University’s School of Business.
Siemens: Providing the First Industrial 5G Router
Across a number of industry sectors, there’s a growing need for both local wireless connectivity and remote access to machines and plants. In both of these cases, communication is, more often than not, over a long distance. Public wireless data networks can be used to enable this connectivity, both nationally and internationally, which makes the new 5G network mainframe an absolutely vital element of remote access and remote servicing solutions as we move into the interconnected age.
Siemens Enables 5G IIoT
The eagerly awaited Scalance MUM856-1, Siemens’ very first industrial 5G router, is officially available to organisations. The device has the ability to connect all local industrial applications to the public 5G, 4G (LTE), and 3G (UMTS) mobile wireless networks ─ allowing companies to embrace the long-awaited Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
The router can be used to remotely monitor and service plants, machines, as well as control elements and other industrial devices via a public 5G network ─ flexibly and with high data rates. Something that has been in incredibly high demand after being teased by the leading network providers for years.
Scalance MUM856-1 at a Glance
- Scalance MUM856-1 connects local industrial applications to public 5G, 4G, and 3G mobile wireless networks
- The router supports future-oriented applications such as remote access via public 5G networks or the connection of mobile devices such as automated guided vehicles in industry
- A robust version in IP65 housing for use outside the control cabinet
- Prototypes of Siemens 5G infrastructure for private networks already in use at several sites
“To ensure the powerful connection of Ethernet-based subnetworks and automation devices, the Scalance MUM856-1 supports Release 15 of the 5G standard. The device offers high bandwidths of up to 1000 Mbps for the downlink and up to 500 Mbps for the uplink – providing high data rates for data-intensive applications such as the remote implementation of firmware updates. Thanks to IPv6 support, the devices can also be implemented in modern communication networks.
Various security functions are included to monitor data traffic and protect against unauthorised access: for example, an integrated firewall and authentication of communication devices and encryption of data transmission via VPN. If there is no available 5G network, the device switches automatically to 4G or 3G networks. The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and autoconfiguration of the devices,” Siemens said.
Preparing for a 5G-oriented Future
Siemens has announced that the new router can also be integrated into private 5G networks. This means that the Scalance MUM856-1 is, essentially, future-proofed when it comes to 5G adaptability; it supports future-oriented applications, including ‘mobile robots in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles in logistics or augmented reality applications for service technicians.’
And, for use on sites where conditions are a little harsher, Siemens has given the router robust IP65 housing ─ it’s “dust tight”, waterproof, and immersion-proofed.
The first release version of the router has an EU radio license; other versions with different licenses are in preparation. “With the Sinema Remote Connect management platform for VPN connections, users can access remote plants or machines easily and securely – even if they are integrated in other networks. The software also offers easy management and auto-configuration of the devices,” Siemens added.