Digital Transformation for the Deskless Workforce
Building The Business Case For Industrial Wearables Within Your Digital Transformation Framework
Digital transformation is on everyone’s lips, with almost 90% of companies viewing it as a competitive opportunity. But there’s a hidden side to this movement that will blindside you if you’re not careful.
Deskless workers represent over 80% of the workforce. However, only 1% of venture capital is focused on technology designed to meet their needs. What’s the key that can unlock the benefits of digital transformation for this population? And how do you turn that key?
If you want to reap the benefits of digital transformation, you need to promote the business case for industrial wearables.
Industrial wearables are lightweight computing devices worn on the human body, designed to address the unique needs of industries such as Oil & Gas, Logistics & Transportation, Manufacturing, Energy & Renewables, and Telecommunications.
There are two areas ripe for improvement:
- Recruiting and Employee Retention
- Safety and Productivity
Everyone from executives to frontline workers shares these concerns, regardless of their industry. Read on to see how industrial wearables are the key to your digital transformation framework.
Recruiting and Employee Retention
The industries cited above face a daunting challenge in recruiting new employees. Over the past several years, these industries have been the victims of a perfect storm:
- Shortage of properly trained workers
- Widening skills requirements
- An aging workforce
For example, 72% of employers in the Utilities industry are struggling to fill positions due to retiring workers. With stats like these, how can industrial wearables help?
Train Workers Quickly
In an industrial setting, it’s easier to learn on the job with short “how-to” videos, also known as microlearning. When Millennials and Generation Z want to learn how to do something, they turn to YouTube and platforms like Coursera. And the only devices that can effectively deliver microtrainings in these environments are industrial wearables.
When It Comes To Tech, The Simpler The Better
Factories and other industrial job sites are always innovating. This means new employees must learn about existing machinery while they get a grip on the latest tech. This use case demonstrates the business case for industrial wearables. Hands-free headsets empower workers:
- Add notes to technical manuals with simple voice commands
- View step-by-step instructions and checklists
- Capture images for future reference
These are just a few of the benefits of industrial wearables, but they only make sense if the devices are easy to use. And this points out one of the major benefits of industrial wearables for new employees.
Make New Friends But Keep The Old…
In the Oil & Gas industry, they call it “The Great Crew Change.” Workers over the age 55 possess a wealth of knowledge, but many of them are retiring soon. Meanwhile, younger workers make up over half the workforce, but they lack the tribal knowledge their colleagues have spent years accruing. If companies want to stay competitive, they need to train new employees fast.
Once again, industrial wearables are the key. When younger workers use a hands-free headset equipped with two-way video, they can receive expert guidance from industry veterans in real time. These Remote Mentors can see everything new employees see, and provide the right guidance at the right time. This way, new employees can learn from the best while minimizing equipment downtime and travel costs.
Safety and Productivity
When new employees use industrial wearables, they can learn critical skills faster. But digital transformation requires more than a well-trained workforce. The best companies see digital transformation as a way to improve safety and productivity. And industrial wearables are perfect for the job.
Many industrial workers are still using paper manuals and notecards to keep track of their work. That’s what you get when you only receive 1% of all venture funding for new technology.
When industrial workers need to keep track of bulky instruction manuals just to do their jobs, it’s counterproductive and dangerous. These physical reference materials reduce situational awareness. Try reacting to wobbly equipment while you’re holding a thick instruction manual, and you get the idea. For another example, think of texting while driving. Even a moment’s distraction can lead to disaster.
When workers only take notes with pen and paper, companies miss out on opportunities to improve their performance through analytics. This rift illustrates one of the major challenges digital transformation: how can workers use Big Data in their daily responsibilities? This illustrates the business case for industrial wearables. With a rugged hands-free headset, industrial workers can get real-time insight into equipment health in all environments.
Technology on its own cannot improve productivity. But industrial workers who use the right technology can improve their productivity and safety while reducing errors. The only way this can happen is if they use rugged industrial wearables that can perform in all conditions. Hands-free wearable computers bridge the gap between digital transformation and workers’ day-to-day activities.
Why Should You Build A Business Case For Industrial Wearables?
Digital transformation has the potential to streamline every facet of your business, but only if you include deskless workers in your strategy. If you want to give deskless workers all the resources and tools that office workers enjoy, they need hardware that’s up to the challenge. They need industrial wearables.
Andrew is the Campaign Manager for RealWear