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The new manufacturing workforce enabled by Cisco Unified Access

July 31, 2012 at 4:34 am PST

My eldest nephew is a recent college graduate.  He lives in Boston and walks to work, which is less than 2 miles from his apartment.  When I was his age, I commuted fifty miles in bumper-to-bumper traffic to get to work (uphill, both ways)!

Young, skilled workers who want to live, work and socialize locally are pushing companies to locate in cities.  Many employers are accommodating the hiring demands of the new workforce, as a means to recruit and retain new talent.

An estimated 10 million manufacturing jobs are currently unfilled due to a growing skills gap.  As the talent pool shrinks, companies are paying close attention to what the next generation of skilled workers wants – all with the end goal of employing, retaining and keeping workers away from the competition.

Watch the video that I refer to later in the blog

An undeniable truth is that these young workers, and most of their not-so-young co-workers, want the freedom to use their own personal smartphones and tablets at work. And more than ever, they want to use them from anywhere, even when they’re on the move. This mobile BYOD desire is causing an avalanche of new devices (15 billion by 2015), applications and cloud-based services.

Business and IT leaders are paying attention.  A May 2012 Cisco IBSG Horizons Study reveals that IT is saying yes to BYOD. A whopping 95% of respondents say their organizations permit employee-owned devices in some way, shape or form in the workplace.  Have a look at Peter Granger’s blog to learn about how manufacturers are implementing BYOD.

Working according to our own terms does present a variety of new business and IT infrastructure challenges. And thanks to Cisco Unified Access, employers can safely accommodate the demands of the new workforce, and enhance their own business productivity in the process. 

The new workforce’s insistence on working their way may not only change the way we do business; it just might ease that bumper-to-bumper rush hour traffic!

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Manufacturing: Be there while staying here

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. Read More »

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