In February, President Biden introduced an Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains, which mandated a federal review of U.S. supply chains in the wake of concerns about supply shortages. After the 100-day review, the Biden Administration announced a series of policy recommendations to strengthen and secure critical supply chains, and shore up supplies of essential products.
Creating even more buzz around the potential impact on the supply chain is the Biden Administration’s recent announcement of its goal for 50% of all new car purchases in the U.S. to be electric vehicles by 2030.
Businesses involved in supply chain resource management and distribution will have to comply with the new regulations. As affected companies race to address vulnerabilities, how can they best prepare and support the frontline workforce?
The Administration’s executive order and similar initiatives highlight the importance of digital transformation. To pivot successfully, organizations must develop agile operations that enable continuous adjustment and limited change management. And to effectively manage their workforces and prepare for reviews and policy recommendations, organizations must streamline communication channels, develop flexible scheduling, and implement digital training tools.
To remain nimble, supply chain managers and manufacturers need to ramp up and prepare for reviews and audits that could occur at any time. This is where a platform that enables workplace communications enters the picture. Organizations can implement a digital workplace platform that offers multiple channels of communication, all within a single mobile or desktop application.
For example, workers on a manufacturing line don’t always have access to their work e-mail or internal digital communications. Digital workplace tools bridge the gap. They can create channels to disperse information on a variety of topics, including training sessions, company announcements, and safety information.
With a digital workplace, workers can create a help desk ticket during a site audit, so that the maintenance ticket is immediately opened and addressed. Employees can also use the tool as a space to ask questions about new policies, and poll employees to ensure they understand new orders and training.
Ultimately, real-time collaboration tools are essential for teams to work together efficiently and boost productivity, while also collecting feedback on areas that are pain points for workers. These benefits are wrapped up into what is described as workforce orchestration, enabling seamless and often autonomous operations.
Since the policy recommendations will create the need to adopt a flexible and adaptable strategy for managing the workforce. This challenge is only compounded by the current global labor shortage. To foster an agile environment that can handle rapidly evolving situations, companies should consider flexible scheduling.
A digital workplace platform that offers flexible scheduling capabilities allows for real-time changes in employees’ shifts. With flexible scheduling, employees can view shift availability and contact coworkers if they need to swap shifts, all within pre-approved company guidelines. This also opens the door to cross-location labor sharing, which improves labor utilization within regional labor pools.
Not only is flexible scheduling a benefit for employees, it will also help in efforts to maximize productivity depending on the organization’s needs as they arise. Giving workers more control over their schedules reduces no-shows and streamlines the process for finding a replacement.
The pandemic forced many manufacturers to close their doors either temporarily or permanently. Those who remained open survived by remaining nimble. They were able to train on new health and safety standards right away, guaranteeing that their employees would be informed and safe.
A digital training tool makes it possible to train and upskill employees quickly. A mobile system allows employees to access training materials such as content and videos, take quizzes, track completions and receive digital badges certifying completion. Employees can also be digitally trained to accurately report resource shortages.
A digital system allows for the storage of employee records in one place, where they can be accessed instantly when proof of documentation is required for site walks and audits. The process can significantly reduce the time it takes to prepare documentation, saving time and money while boosting worker productivity.
Although the Biden Administration’s executive order created new regulations for supply chains and manufacturers, organizations can prepare by implementing a complete digital workplace platform. Digitally transforming operations can help the frontline to work more efficiently. Techniques such as open communication, flexible scheduling and digital training will help businesses to meet compliance requirements and support employees through any organizational changes.
Will Eadie is chief revenue officer with WorkJam.
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