Manufacturing companies face a competing set of challenges such as streamlining operations, keeping employees productive, and maintaining rigorous quality control, all whilst navigating the new era of changes that Industry 4.0 brings.
And like so many businesses, manufacturing companies have experienced additional hardships over the past 18 months as a result of the pandemic. In the early days of Lockdown 1.0, 60% of US manufacturers said their business was impacted by coronavirus.
Combined, that’s a lot for manufacturing teams to take on. Thankfully, intranets for manufacturing can offer some respite. The software addresses those common manufacturing concerns as standard via productivity-enhancing apps and workflow automations that improve quality control. But it also provides features that simplify online communication and collaboration, which are essential in today’s remote and hybrid working landscape.
Below we take a deeper look into the 5 major benefits of intranets for manufacturing. But first, let’s understand why intranet software brings so much value to businesses:
What’s the business value of intranet software?
Intranet software has been a staple of internal business operations for several decades. Starting out as a static information portal that hosted company news and documents, intranet software has evolved in line with the ever-changing business world.
Now at the heart of the digital workplace, modern intranets enable cross-departmental communication and collaboration; boost employee engagement via recognition tools and rewards; and increase knowledge sharing.
Today’s integration tech also powers up intranet software with additional features such as e-forms, workflow automations, project management software, and e-learning. This gives companies added value, because the platform provides a single access point to all business tools, saving them time and money from managing multiple systems that don’t connect with each other.
The benefits of a manufacturing intranet
In a nutshell, intranet platforms help manufacturers address their day-to-day challenges by reducing repetitive tasks, centralising resources, and improving communication. Here are 5 major benefits that manufacturing companies will see when utilising a modern intranet:
Improve quality control with workflow automations
We mentioned above that today’s intranet software is so much more than a communication and information management tool. This is no more evident than when using the software’s in-built e-forms and workflows technology.
E-forms and workflows streamline internal business processes by automating the background admin tasks that so often drain your teams’ time. For example, if you have compliance or regulatory processes that need approval at multiple stages by multiple people, you can use e-forms and workflows software to automate a large chunk of the process. This will save an enormous amount of time from having to email documents to various team members for sign-off.
Workflow automations improve quality control and save time
Automating your business processes will improve quality control too – an absolute must in the manufacturing industry. By using technology to replace busywork, you eliminate the human error that so often occurs when undertaking repetitive, manual tasks, which will free your staff to work on more meaningful projects.
Centralise and securely store documents
Document management systems – a staple of manufacturing intranet software – include built-in version control that make it easy to view and download the latest instance of your business-critical documents. No more will you need to rifle through various folders and inboxes to locate the file you need, nor will you need to worry about having the wrong version.
The system also brings all files together into a central document library, providing teams with a single source of truth for obtaining information. You can also limit who can and can’t view specific files using access controls, ensuring confidential documents don’t fall into the wrong hands.
Collaborate on projects and tasks
Now that many businesses are split across locations, with some in the office, on-the-go, or at home, it’s vital that everyone has the means to collaborate from afar. Manufacturing intranets include task and project management software that enables teams to collaborate from any location – all they need is a Wi-Fi connected device.
Using the intranet, project teams can assign tasks, review progress, communicate, and share ideas within a central digital workplace. Because all the information is accessible from one place, staff won’t need to waste time chasing for updates or comb through emails, which will speed-up turnaround times and in turn reduce costs.
Push important updates to frontline staff
Reaching frontline workers – many of whom may be working onsite or out in the field – is a common challenge for manufacturers.
A mobile-ready manufacturing intranet allows you to push important updates and internal communications directly to individual team members, ensuring those who aren’t based at a desk don’t miss out. In this way, the system helps keep your teams connected to the wider business, breaking down departmental silos in the process.
Use your manufacturing intranet to push important updates to your dispersed teams
Connect external stakeholders
Manufacturers work with a variety of external stakeholders, from contractors and suppliers through to distributors. A manufacturing intranet makes it easier for these crucial parties to stay connected through extranet portals.
Extranets provide third-parties with restricted and secure access to areas of your intranet, such as specific communication channels, documents, and projects. Not only will this improve productivity by streamlining access to essential data, it will also help strengthen relationships between your internal and external teams.