Changes in the manufacturing sector are leading many forward-thinking companies in the industry to reassess their approach to collaboration in order to stay competitive in a global market and meet aggressive efficiency and market goals.
Two key changes driving the need for enhanced collaboration solutions in the manufacturing industry are:
1. Massive consumer demand across the globe
The global economy has been solid for years, and consumers want to spend. More goods are being developed and delivered to meet the desires of consumers in an environment where trends and fashions change more rapidly than at any other time in history. This demand has led to increased time-to-market pressure and the need for more rapid development and launch cycles. One recent study, which assessed more than 100 global manufacturers, found that 75% claim to be under increased pressure to reduce production time of new products.
2. Distributed manufacturing and geographically dispersed teams
The supply chain is no longer concentrated in a single factory. Goods are built with parts from different areas of the world, by an increasingly broadening web of suppliers and distributors, all of which require tight integration among workers and ideas, and a way to share data. With these conditions, modern manufacturers can easily encounter costly communication gaps amongst dispersed teams.
To successfully meet these changes and take advantage of them, manufacturers need tools that support coordination among people and companies and enable better collaboration for decision-making. In addition, manufacturers are requiring more efficient ways to share data and best practices. In an industry with complex projects and so many moving parts, integrating the input and expertise of numerous teams in various locations and sharing massive amounts of data can be difficult.
In response, many organizations are turning to Google’s G Suite to support and facilitate the changing dynamics of modern manufacturing organizations. G Suite, an integrated set of secure, cloud-native collaboration and productivity apps, gives manufacturing teams all-in-one-place access to the documents, plans, deliverables and people needed to execute projects. The easy-to-use set of tools enables them to drive innovation and respond to continuously changing business requirements.
G Suite combines a variety of elements and functionality that support and improve the manufacturing activities required to be competitive. G Suite addresses key changes in the industry by giving manufacturers collaboration tools that help to:
1. Bring new products to market faster
Every product is built on a variety of plans and designs, all of which must go through reviews and meet with approvals. In order to meet increasing consumer demand, manufacturers need to efficiently connect research and development (R&D) efforts with ideation and new product introduction (NPI) teams. G Suite fosters rapid development, design, and delivery of products through effective collaboration within these teams and with suppliers and distributors. Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Drive give teams the ability to easily share and collaborate on product designs, CAD files, KPIs, mock-ups, research data and other documents in a secure workspace that gives access to the most up-to-date document versions. In addition, Google Sheets and Google Calendar help users manage activities with shared task lists and maintain order around schedules. Real-time meeting functionality in Hangouts Meet helps teams align product strategy and reach data-driven business decisions faster as a team.
2. Enable deskless mobile workers and dispersed teams
The modern workforce is no longer stuck at a desk, and this trend is especially prominent in the manufacturing industry. Whether during the planning stages of a product, or on the factory floor during daily operations, workers are using mobile tools like smartphones, tablets, and Chromebooks to stay connected to projects and monitor outcomes. With the ability to share data through Google Sheets and Docs, and store assets in Google Drive, team members can get more context to help them make fast and informed decisions that have an impact on the products they work on. Especially as more data is available (CAD files, training materials, quality controls documentation, regulatory documents, and other assets), the effective usage and management of it is critical to business success.
Additionally workers can benefit from training sessions delivered through Hangouts Meet, which can be recorded and stored in a Team Drive for future reference. This enables a repeatable process that reduces costs and brings workers up to speed quickly.
Collaboration is among the most essential elements of the modern manufacturing organization. In our fast-moving, always-changing global economy, manufacturers need to adapt and be agile. At the same time, they need to build the products the market wants and demonstrate excellence in what they produce. This requires continuous collaboration among invested parties. In response to these needs, modern manufacturing companies are turning to Google’s G Suite to enable their employees and partners to seamlessly work together to innovate and meet productivity goals that help them build and maintain a competitive advantage.