Define Standard Work
If you want your operations to run at optimal efficiency, you need to begin by defining what best practice is. By digitizing what "standard work" is, your team knows what is expected of them and you have a standard to measure against.
Industry 4.0 is about connecting all of your operations - both human and machine. In most industries, companies have spent decades deploying machines and measuring them. Most human work, however, isn't fully measured. If people work with digital tools, the steps, transitions, and idle time becomes data that can be used to better understand your operations.
Drive Continuous Improvement & Lower Cost
With your process now fully digital, you can dig into any part of your operaton and look for potential improvements that lower cost. You might find out that handoffs between departments need work. Lag times for human actions might be unacceptable for certain operational error conditions. Organized data is insight and insight creates knowledge that is power.
Automates Work with Tools People Are Familiar With
Machines provide signal through IoT sensors and this is rapidly becoming a standard for new equipment. For humans to provide digital signal, they need tools that seemlessly fit into their jobs that they are familiar with like mobile phones and tablets.
Fosters Collaboration Between Management and the Shop Floor
If management can actually see what is happening on the front lines and employees can provide input directly to the processes they work in, companies can drive a new level of collaboration.
Unifies Human and Machines into Seamless Business Processes
An ideal Industry 4.0 platform brings the data humans generate in a business process and machine sensor data into a single repository. A fully digital process can now be fully understood and optimized.
Provides the Ability to Identify the Root Cause of Any Process Challenge
The ultimate goal of deploying an Industry 4.0 platform is to be agile. This means not only changing live processes quickly, but also getting the to bottom of any challenge so that your processes get more efficient quickly.
Cut the Clutter
Great digital work instructions or procedures boil work down to their essence. The key is to provide a value-adding reminder without insulting the instincts of process veterans. The individual steps should serve to clearly confirm that an individual step has been completed, nothing more.
Make it Visual
A picture says 1000 words. A video says even more. Leverage these visuals to clearly show workers what they need to do.
Dust off the old manuals and decide what you need to keep. It is ideal to leverage front line staff to update the procedures at the same time you are digitizing them. Ideally leverage a fast authoring environment to speed conversion.
You'll need to determine what devices are right for your work environment and who will need them. You'll then want a team to provision the devices and double check that the right procedures have been assigned to the right roles. You should define protocols for chain of custody for devices and charging routines and then distribute them to users.
Train Users and Cut Over
It is best to rollout the devices group by group accompanied by training. A good platform with strong usability will require minimal training. Once a group is trained, paper procedures should be removed from the work environment for a definitive cut over.
• Standard work is defined.
• Work execution is measured digitally.
• All process data is unified in a single system.
• Continuous improvement accelerates as root causes are easier to pinpoint.
• Execution costs go down.
• Your business becomes more agile and ready to tackle change.