The manufacturing sector has come a long way from the iconic Bruce Springsteen world of rust-belt blast furnaces and factories belching smoke into the sky (“Youngstown,” anyone?). Today’s manufacturing is at the forefront of innovation in many ways: leading the way on green production, embracing smart-factory floors and optimizing supply chains with the latest in artificial intelligence and machine learning. And true to that spirit of adopting future-thinking technology, unified communications (UC) is being increasingly deployed across the sector.
Collaboration is Crucial
Manufacturing, perhaps more so than many other industries, flourishes with strong collaboration. In-house teams, consultants, business partners and more have to communicate effectively in order to pull it all off profitably. UC offers invaluable tools to do just that – especially in the critical realm of supply-chain management.
Once the orders start to come in, it’s crunch time. Not delivering enough (or delivering too much) of a given product, without timely delivery or appropriate margins, kills companies and ideas, no matter how well-conceived the product or article in question may be. Yet, the processes required to create and assemble goods of all kinds – from smartphones and futons to cars and barbecue grills – have many stakeholders. One type of screw may be made in Taiwan, while another that goes into the same product might be churned out in Chicago. Somehow, all of the disparate parts need to be put together on a just-in-time basis to avoid margin-blowing over-production and waste. And when all of that’s done, the goods need to get into the hands of a network of vendors.
Multiple Channels for Multiple Scenarios
To better navigate both the upstream and downstream aspects of your supply chain, UC offers an omnichannel way to get answers when you need them. Whether you need to find out where a certain order is, double-check logistics with a supplier or verify shipments with a vendor, interactions become streamlined when voice, conferencing, instant messaging and presence can all work together. Some examples:
- When you need an answer right away, presence can alert you to who’s online with the answers you need, and the best way to reach them. This is especially useful for geographically diverse crews.
- Sometimes instant messaging is the best real-time channel for simple answers, but the ability to escalate a chat to a voice call is crucial for more in-depth conversations.
- Still, other times, you need to loop in other team members by expanding communications to a conference call.
- Suppliers, vendors, and customers alike can connect to you through online meetings with “guest join” capabilities. All meeting participants can use audio, video, and desktop sharing tools, with no software downloads required – it’s all done through the browser.
UC Delivers for Manufacturers ‘Just in Time’
UC accomplishes all of these functions – and more – seamlessly. And with cloud-based UC solutions like UCx, instant scalability allows manufacturing firms to expand and contract their communications virtually overnight. As a cloud-based service, UCx puts no limitations on your physical location – whether it’s your manufacturing team overseas or your distribution center in the U.S., all can be available on UCx to move products out the door. And with UCx, you get instant access to next-generation collaboration tools like HD video calls, screen sharing and CRM integrations. These features all add up to give your company a much-needed advantage in an increasingly competitive global market.
See It In Action
We’d love to show you all the ways UCx can help your manufacturing operations. Contact your TPx representative or schedule a demo today for details on how we can help you make your supply chain communicate more effectively, optimize your processes and, perhaps most importantly, solve problems faster.