Video Conferencing in the Manufacturing Chain; Increasing Efficiency

The manufacturing business relies heavily on team work and collaboration.

In an earlier manufacturing article we saw the overall communication complexities in the manufacturing industry.

The dispersed geographical nature of interactions, communications and activities mean that the most successful manufacturing businesses are those that have been able to develop strong connections between head office, design centres and factories.

To foster communication, manufacturing businesses are increasingly turning to video conferencing solutions.manufacturing

With video conferencing, it is now easier than ever for manufacturing and distribution businesses to achieve enhanced productivity and faster delivery time, whilst greatly reducing costs.

Here is a closer look at the benefits of video conferencing in the manufacturing sector.

Reduction in time to market
A manufacturing business that deals with several plants and suppliers may find it difficult to maintain efficiency, leading to increases in time taken to get products to the market.

The time wasted waiting for product design feedback, strategy meetings, and product training can be reduced by streamlining engagements using a good video conferencing system.

Sustaining high quality
The reputation of any manufacturing business hinges on the quality of their output. Video conferencing allows such businesses to conduct inspections and validation tests over HD video, thereby giving them a competitive advantage.

Easier management of the supply chain
Global sourcing offers manufacturing businesses a wide range of benefits, but it equally presents management challenges. With video conferencing however, a global supply chain can be managed remotely from any part of the world.

Catering for the customer
Customer satisfaction is vital, and video conferencing makes it easy for end consumers to be a part of the manufacturing process thanks to HD video and document sharing. We are living in an increasingly user focused age, where products must meet a need or will fail to make an impact. Consumer choice is greater than ever before.

Below are some examples of manufacturing businesses that have embraced video conferencing, and how they have benefited.

Just Play
In the children’s consumer goods industry, Just Play is one of the biggest names. Their work involves some of the worlds leading entertainment brands, such as Disney Consumer Products and Marvel Entertainment. They focus on the manufacture and distribution of toys and personal care products to markets around the world.

Understanding the importance of video conferencing systems, the company installed a two-room solution to help improve communications between their offices in Los Angeles and Hong Kong. The quality was good but the systems were expensive and not easy to use, making it difficult for the solution to be deployed in more locations.

The company however, found a cost-effective solution by combining telyHD Pro and service from Blue Jeans Network. This allowed them to fully benefit from the amazing capabilities of video conferencing across their business. The service allowed them to roll out video conferencing in not just their remote offices, but their smaller meeting rooms as well. It is now easy for their staff to participate in multi-point video calls; even while on the road.

EPC Groupe
EPC Groupe is a business with operations in France, the UK, Poland, Romania, Norway, Sweden and Germany. This means considerable expenditure on fares and hotels to cover travel by the senior management staff of the company, not to mention lost time spent in airports and trains.

To counter both problems, the company adopted video conferencing. It not just improved the communication and management between sites, but it has also had a beneficial impact on the company’s carbon footprint; a fact of which they are very proud of.

With a staff base of over 2,800 people (including their field based force), Heineken is undoubtedly the leading beer and cider business in the UK. Apart from its brewery and cider making, the company also manages around 1,400 pubs. All of these mean a workforce that is scattered across multiple sites.

The company embraced video conferencing to increase communications between its UK head office in Edinburgh and other offices around the UK, as well as their manufacturing sites. The incorporation of the technology has also significantly reduced the amount of travel time field sales employees face each year.

Heineken achieved their process transformation by implementing High Definition Unified Communications video conferencing solutions over 11 video enabled rooms in the UK. The RealPresence Immersive Solutions (OTX Series) from Polycom was at the centre of the technology deployed.

The rooms are now useful for a variety of meetings, such as board meetings, interdepartmental meetings and HR interviews. The video conferencing solution is easy to use, has a unique multifunctional design, and offers immersive HD quality to people on both sides of the conference.

This French company started out in 1854 as a freight company that transported goods along the Seine and Oise rivers. The group has since grown into one of the world’s largest players in the operational leasing market thanks to their diversification of trade and innovative spirit “de vie”.

As an operational leasing company, they specialise in shipping containers and modular buildings. This invariably means operations that are scattered around the world. Employees have to meet for most processes to be completed and this involves a lot of travel.

To counter this, the company deployed high quality audio and visual systems that made it easy for employees to meet and complete plans from their locations around the world. They were able to achieve this thanks to a video conferencing solution that includes the Polycom HDX 7000 and HDX 8000 systems.

These are just some of the ways video conferencing has simplified processes for manufacturing businesses around the globe. The benefits of incorporating the technology are numerous. The increased efficiency that organisations are achieving by adapting their processes to video conferencing are helping them forge ahead of the competition. Companies with staff that are still doing the air miles are, it seems, going to have to jump onto the technological bandwagon soon, or risk losing staff and contracts.