manufacturingtechnologyinsights

Tablets Revolutionizing Mobility

By Daphne Jones, CIO & SVP, Hospira

Daphne Jones, CIO & SVP, Hospira

Challenges in Technology in Manufacturing Sector and its Solutions

Product quality and customer service are incredibly important not just for the success of our business but for the millions of patients and healthcare providers around that world that depend on our products to ensure well-being. Our products save and enhance the lives of patients we serve, which means every unit that rolls out of our facilities must be of high quality and available to our patients exactly when they need them.

A major challenge that we are attacking head-on is the standardization of core processes in all of our plants such that we can connect them via common data and systems. Our new integrated system will drive global visibility and control of operations performance. It will also provide more reliable data upon which manufacturing leaders can make adjustments to improve customer service levels and first-pass quality of our products more readily.

We are looking forward to industry solutions that:

Enable us to reduce our application portfolio footprint, which will drive down our total cost of ownership and reduce our risk.

Provide improved functionality with fewer customizations and interfaces required between multiple point solutions, reducing complexity. • Empower our leaders to access and analyze critical data dynamically with minimal effort from IT resources.

Technology trends Impacting Enterprise Business Environment and Manufacturing Industry

Like most companies, we have leveraged mobile devices (smart phones and tablets) for many years. Until just recently, our use of these devices has been limited largely to leaders in office locations for email, calendaring, and light note taking. Mobility has the potential to be revolutionary for a manufacturing company like ours.

We recently deployed tablets to provide mobile access to necessary quality procedures in a few of our finishing lines. We have found that today’s workers are not only comfortable using mobile devices in their day-to-day work; they find the tablet interface to be a more enjoyable experience than being tethered to a traditional workstation. In fact, as more and more younger employees enter our workforce, they expect the kind of access to documents and data that they get with their phones before and after work.

Despite the demand, the manufacturing industry has only scratched the surface of what mobile applications, real-time data visualization, and simple access to corporate documents can do to produce extreme performance and drive down costs. These are some examples of areas where we see mobility having tremendous potential in our environment:

With the introduction of laptop technology in the mid- to-late 1990’s hundreds of companies chased the industry buzz about a paperless work place.

The tablet is a lower cost, more user friendly alternative to the laptop that could lead us into a truly paperless work place, providing significant cost savings and reducing corporate carbon footprints.Tablet devices can offer major productivity gains for our mobile sales force and repair technicians by providing field access to customer information, product details, repair instructions, and device history records while allowing the real-time updating of corporate databases. Manual entry of field data would be reduced, improving accuracy and controlling workforce costs. Access to electronic notebooks, near real-time dashboards, and data modeling tools in our board rooms, laboratories, production lines, and warehouses could be the area of highest return when it comes to mobility. We envision a day in the near future when our leaders and manufacturing managers are able to walk the floor and interact with our employees armed with dynamic metrics.

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