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UCaaS in the factory

Bringing new efficiencies to manufacturing

October 07, 2019

In a recent survey of 2,000 global IT and telecom decision makers in a broad range of industries, Frost & Sullivan found that 80–90% of the companies represented already use a cloud communications provider. Among the industry sectors where UCaaS is growing, the fastest is manufacturing, where the demand for VoIP and IP phones is skyrocketing.
 
Here are some of the ways unified communications has been integrated into various aspects of the manufacturing process—and how UCaaS is making operations more efficient and productive.
 
  • Asset management—Using a smartphone app with a QR code reader, plant equipment can be scanned with the swipe of a phone and a wealth of data along with it, including warranty information, maintenance logs and manufacturing dates. This makes it easier to track assets and determine replacement and repair needs more accurately.

  • Safety alerts—When IoT-driven sensors are embedded into manufacturing hardware and then connected to UCaaS apps and an advanced data network, smartphones can be used to extract data from the equipment to assess its current operational status. Alerts can be sent to floor managers and employees when there’s a malfunction or the potential for one.

  • Unification and coordination of manufacturing plants—UCaaS offers tools to bridge the gap between manufacturing facilities spread across disparate locations and time zones. With everything from instant messaging to videoconferencing, plant managers now have a variety of ways to communicate with their colleagues in other cities and countries.

  • Resolution of customer service issues—Videoconferencing is particularly valuable when a client needs to be shown a demo of how certain individual equipment should be configured or handled. It’s also ideal for interacting with customers or suppliers directly to resolve inventory issues and provide after-sales support. UCaaS platforms also allow enterprises to easily create virtual call centers to maximize agent availability and support global customers 24/7.

  • Quality assurance—Videoconferencing, instant messaging and other unified communications features offer an ideal platform for quickly bringing together experts from different disciplines to facilitate brainstorming and other creative problem solving. Video is also becoming a valuable tool in factory floor operations. For example, video surveillance of production processes, when integrated into a unified communications environment, enables quality assurance teams to use live and recorded video footage to determine the root causes of quality defects.
This is just a sampling of the ways UCaaS is improving the manufacturing process. To learn more, contact our UCC expert, Chad Simon.