Noel Sheppard, General Manager at Distec, explores the applications and benefits of digital signage in a manufacturing environment.
Communication in the manufacturing workplace, whether on the factory floor or in the warehouse or stockroom, is essential. However, it is also challenging. Unlike most other work environments, employees do not usually carry a mobile device or have access to emails, and the workplace is often too noisy for intercom or PA announcements. The industry also employs a high proportion of temporary and contracted employees who need to be able to pick up information rapidly in order to work efficiently.
Since the coronavirus outbreak, manufacturers are also required to operate in compliance with additional guidelines regarding social distancing and the wearing of PPE, which only further complicates communication challenges.
The traditional approach to communication in the manufacturing sector has typically involved flyers in the cafeteria or break room noticeboard, or all-staff meetings that take time away from the production line. Put simply, this is never going to result in an effective communication strategy.
Efficient Communication is Key
Efficient communication in the workplace is key for keeping employees up to date, which in turn can help to create a sense of team cohesion and boost employee morale. In addition, many manufacturing plants involve the use of heavy machines or dangerous chemicals, making the communication of important safety information vital.
So, what is the solution? In short, the answer lies in Digital Signage.
Signage solutions, such as large-form TV screens and kiosks, can transmit highly engaging visual, audio and video information and announcements around the entire workplace. Here are some of its main uses:
Digital signage can effectively replace existing paper-based announcements, from information about shift patterns and meetings, to cafeteria menus and daily updates. In addition, screens can also be used to recognise individual and team accomplishments, such as employee of the week, boosting overall team morale.
Share Important Safety Information
Clear, engaging, and interactive digital signage can go a long way in transmitting safety information, such as health and safety procedures for machinery, production bottlenecks, critical issues on the production line, or alerts in an emergency situation.
In addition, with new social distancing requirements, digital signage can help ensure that everyone stays safe at work, communicating reminders about hand washing, PPE requirements or distancing protocols.
Display Real-Time Data for Increased Productivity
Production metrics, inventory management, product quality reports, and business performance can be updated in real time and automated on screens around the workplace. Employers could also display KPIs through colourful, easy-to-read charts and graphs that update automatically, keeping workers informed on their progress. This can help to boost both productivity and morale.
Display Site information
Finally, in large workplaces, especially those with a high proportion of temporary or contracted staff, site maps are often necessary. Rather than hard to follow, paper-copy maps, site layout and floor numbers can be displayed on clear and simple 3D maps, or even interactive kiosks, preventing employees from becoming lost or confused. Informational manuals, training videos, employee handbooks, and product information can also be displayed on kiosks at workstations.
Digital signage in the manufacturing workplace allows you to engage your workforce, build team cohesion and increase efficiency. It provides a failsafe, future-proof solution as working practices continue to adapt in the new normal.