In the span of few years, technology companies and consultants have pushed to build networks of not only the equipment and machines that help us manufacture – but, also the human capital which manages them, helps them run and monitors them.
Faster data speeds, widespread data mobility and concepts like Internet of Things (IoT) – has meant that this pursuit of connectivity and tapping into the minds of the workers as they hone their skills, has become an immensely lucrative proposition.
One of the technology pioneers in this area touts connected workers under the banner of productivity, safety and performance.
Modern industrial progress is determined to stand on the shoulders of such defining traits and the idea to allow better data networks, on-person connected devices and in general technology, help us achieve these objectives will drive industrial agenda in this decade.
The human capital-intensive investment within this pursuit would rely on skills to make this innovation part of the work culture.
Focus to reduce risk and improve safety
Industrial workplaces can transform their growth potential by use of wearables and on-person connected device to harness data which has so far been untapped.
Consider the case of a lone worker, whether at a remote renewable energy generation site, under maintenance OR a telecommunication work personnel, undertaking work at height activities to troubleshoot tower issues. A technology consultancy reporting suggests that a telecom organization was able to increase productivity by as much as 30% for the field workers by implementation of a connected worker plan.
Connected workers can elevate industrial workplace by:
- Decreasing operational spend
- Improving efficiency and time to competency
- Providing objective safety vigilance at-hand
- Harnessing real-time data for better insights
- Help to create a wider and connected industrial network
The other beneficiaries of connected worker approach would be advanced site trainings which employ AR and VR techniques. And as mentioned earlier – skill enhancement would benefit tremendously from it.
Like other technology assists – connected worker is about key business outcomes rather than a technology experiment. The advanced safety helmets with display readouts or AR based safety goggles address the safety outcomes. Organizations should focus on these objective targets and try to ascertain deployment areas where information capture, relay and time to competency factors have stymied operations.
Technology adoption curve dictates that early adopters and early movers are best positioned to respond well to disruptions and manage change, well.
Similar picture arises from connected worker scenario where the diverse conglomerates like Tata have already developed a solution for their Steel business. Many leading technology and IT companies are now managing and shaping connected workers strategies for organization in India.
In terms of finding the potential partners who can help with such future initiatives – apart from knowing your own requirements – a carefully crafted workplace ready plan is what would sweeten the proposition. However, it is better to perform a need analysis and optimise the machine human interface for a better organizational analysis.
As we encourage exploration in connected worker strategies, this core aspect can capture the tacit knowledge for everyone. However, on the business front, it sharpens a business value delivery, product and solution offerings.