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The COVID pandemic has significantly decreased demand and disrupted the supply chains of manufacturers. As organizations look to ramp up production, they will need to completely revamp operating procedures. Health and safety – a key pillar of manufacturing – have taken on a whole new meaning in the current pandemic.
Manufacturers now need to adopt new procedures across all areas of operations, whether on the shop floor, in the break room, or even offsite. They require new sanitization routines, contact-less procedures, and to monitor temperature and other symptoms as well as monitor travel history or potential virus exposure for their crews. On-site workers need to change their behavior to include enhanced use of personal protective equipment (PPE), strict social distancing, restricted movements, and altered team structures, including predetermined pod structures with little intermingling. Additionally, operations managers need to conduct contact tracing if a crewmember falls sick.
This new normal for manufacturing operations will have some implications for the business. It will mean that productivity on the shop floor will take a significant hit as shift sizes reduce and overlapping shift handovers are eliminated. Safety-related costs will also increase with manufacturers having to invest in increased training, new signage, more extensive sanitizing and cleaning routines, and so on. Additionally, the risk profiles of companies will be re-evaluated by the capital markets, and manufacturers with more automation (and therefore less risk) will be poised to receive favorable treatment.
While greater factory automation is a strategy that manufacturers will need to embrace in the long-term, short-term operational procedures focused on social distancing, contactless interactions, and contact tracing need to be adopted immediately. Digital tools built around mobile technologies, wearables, and analytics, coupled with training and behavior-modification exercises, can help manufacturers adapt quickly. These are some actions that manufacturers can take now:
By taking these steps today, manufacturers can significantly reduce the risk of plant closure by ensuring distancing guidelines are met and speeding up accurate contact tracing. These approaches will help maintain productivity and must be implemented right away. In this current pandemic, manufacturers must take to heart the adage “perfect must not be allowed to become the enemy of good.”
Capgemini has vast experience in building and deploying solutions for worker safety, leveraging wearables, IoT sensors, and mobile devices. These solutions are at the forefront of ensuring productivity and safety to the manufacturing, energy, utilities, and chemical industries, and have been expanded to meet the needs of the current pandemic.
Senior Director, CapgeminiEvery client has their own ambitions and each project its own objectives. No matter the goal, I believe technology is part of the solution and that it has power to achieve improvement and growth.At Capgemini, I am a Senior Director who leads a Digital Solutions and Consulting team. My focus is on helping our clients leverage the latest technologies and business practices to pivot to the digital economy.I am responsible for conceptualizing and developing software and business solutions, and for providing thought leadership to drive value for our clients and strengthen our partnerships. I also actively plan and execute outcome-focused technology initiatives.Technology is my passion. I am fascinated by its potential to transform business, and therefore committed to helping our clients gain a competitive advantage through its use.Some of my recent work includesBuilding a business case for an S/4HANA-based digital transformation for a specialty chemical manufacturer with a revenue of $5 billionBuilding an industrial IoT and big-data-based predictive-maintenance product, improving asset performance for a major company in the industrial-gas industry.Before joining Capgemini, I led software development teams at Wipro and Tata. I had different responsibilities, including working with a global automobile company to drive down material costs and improve product-development workflows. I am also knowledgeable on supply chain. Whenever I can, I leverage my expertise in enterprise asset management, service management, and manufacturing to solve problems and deliver business benefits.And another thing…I love to travel. In my spare time, I also enjoy good books and playing with my kids.
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