One of the challenges all of today’s manufacturing companies face is global operations that require increased attention from a diverse and oftentimes shrinking or aging workforce. Manufacturers and machine builders are faced with challenges every day in terms of getting the right engineer or expert from her office to the plant floor half the globe away. If the plant is down or operating inefficiently there are huge cost impacts to the manufacturer, huge support cost to the machine builder, and just tremendous impact to the value chain.
At Cisco we have shaved hundreds of millions of expense dollars from our budget by using a variety of collaboration tools. These start with Unified Communications but they include tools like WebEx, TelePresence, Video and Active Collaboration Rooms. These all add on to the existing capabilities of Borderless Networks. Many of our manufacturing customers already use these tools and are successfully stripping cost from their Operations every day.
Imagine the power of walking into a conference room, pressing a button on the phone and instantly seeing your assembly operations in China and Germany, being able to share data with the operations people from both plants with your staff in Michigan. Finishing that meeting you can capture the action items via your interactive whiteboard, set up follow-up calls via WebEx (all without printing, by the way! A Green feature!). Then you can get a cup of coffee and head back to your office and handle the call from Brazil about the packaging machine that wraps half the skid, then shuts down – and you do that from your phone, finding the design engineer that is at a customer site in Australia. And you did this all without having to fly anywhere, and you had visual contact with everyone.
(I realize I crossed a lot of time zones in the above, but when we fly we do that today. How often have you been in China or Germany and gotten a call in the middle of your night?)
What would be the value of seeing this happen while you were home? And here I do mean home, in your home office, as well as your office across town. You resolve issues in a timely manner, you connect and collaborate with the right people wherever they are to resolve the current issue, and you can read a book to your son or take your daughter to her soccer game or cook dinner for your spouse. You can even go for a walk in the neighborhood and reacquaint with your neighbors.
All of these solutions and more are available today from Cisco. We do this through the same network you are reading this blog on. We do it in an Open Standard technology. It all exists today. And we do it without forcing you to walk through one of those body scanners at the airport. Isn’t that a plus?
If you aren’t familiar with our Manufacturing Solutions, get in touch. Tell us why you aren’t familiar or what we could do better. We value your feedback, and together we will get to better answers.