The manufacturing industry is undergoing a digital transformation. New technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, cloud technology, machine learning, and advanced analytics are being embraced by manufacturers to enhance automation, connectivity, and innovation as well as boost productivity and customer satisfaction.   

With all the talk of automation, it’s logical to think, are manufacturers trying to minimize the role of people in their operations? The answer? No, not at all.  

One notable finding from my industry research is that most investments that manufacturers currently make are designed to enhance the decision-making capabilities of their workforce. In fact, a Deloitte survey focused on manufacturing Industry 4.0 investments found that manufacturers who are investing in business intelligence technology are seeing the greatest ROI in digital transformation initiatives.  

Why is that? Because people continue to play a fundamental role in the manufacturing process. According to a recent study, 72% of manufacturing tasks are still performed by humans. It’s not robots that are driving the most value – it’s people. Human beings are the only assets that are capable of driving innovative decisions that are fueled by data and emotional intelligence.  

Incorporating the future of work into how manufacturers operate will require a successful integration of digital and human capital. In order to facilitate this process, manufacturers need to ensure their employees are active participants in the adoption and deployment of advanced technologies. One way to accomplish this is by leveraging technologies that have a direct and positive impact on the workforce. 

Leveraging People-Centric Technology to Transform Manufacturing Operations 

When Kronos developed the Workforce Dimensions™ platform, we started by reimagining the experience that employees have with our technology. We wanted the solution to be easy-to-use and provide employees with better access to information. 

And now, we’ve taken it one step further with the introduction of Workforce Dimensions™ Work. Work is our advanced shop floor tracking solution that is designed to help manufacturing organizations empower their workforce by giving them real-time visibility to accurate data. The benefits of real-time data? It helps drive intelligent decision making, leading to improved operational performance.  

How does Workforce Dimensions Work support your digital transformation initiatives?  

Step 1: Define Work 

The first step to effectively using a shop floor labor tracking solution is to define the work an organization needs to manage. Of course, when it comes to defining work, it’s not a one-size-fits-all in manufacturing. Workforce Dimensions Work provides simplistic integration with ERP and MES solutions, allowing manufacturers the flexibility to define the types of activities and data they want to track, such as time spent on job operations, tasks, production orders, or quantities completed.  

Step 2: Collect Data 

We know that collecting this data is critical. Manufacturers need a simple and easy way for employees to interact with the technology that works for their business environment. The good news: Workforce Dimensions Work provides a simplified, seamless experience across all devices, whether it’s is a PC, tablet, smartphone or timeclock.  

Step 3: Support Decisions with Real-Time Visibility 

Now that the data has been collected, front  line managers who are busy running operations, now have easy access to information that is relevant, empowering them to make more informed decisions in real time – not hours or days later. Imagine leaders with tools that enable them to see Work in Process (WIP), understanding what’s happening now and what their employees are working on. Think about the impact this visibility can have on a business when managers can identify if a line is falling behind, quickly identify bottlenecks, and reallocate team members to keep production schedules running on time.  

Step 4: Drive Results 

Finally, Workforce Dimensions Work delivers the tools to help drive continuous improvement efforts. We know how important production metrics are to manufacturers. With Workforce Dimensions Work, manufacturers can easily see how they stack up against critical KPIs and develop accurate labor standards by understanding variances between actual and standard performance, which could have a significant impact on their overall cost structure.  

Bottom-line: with Workforce Dimensions Work, manufacturers can gain real-time visibility into workforce data to power more intelligent decision making – optimizing efficiencies, increasing employee productivity, and improving operational performance. 


Click here to learn how Workforce Dimensions Work can support your digital transformation initiative

Published: Thursday, March 5, 2020