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How to use technology to increase productivity

Three of the biggest factors that can affect productivity in manufacturing are time, budget and communication. Manufacturing is a global industry and it’s often inevitable that any project involves travel, perhaps to a manufacturing plant in the Far East or to bring together designers, quality controllers and the sales team to discuss how to market a new product. That travel is costly, both financially and in terms of time lost. Of course you can use email or the phone instead, but when you’re communicating over vast distances the message can become distorted or misunderstood, leading to delays and errors.

At Smarter Interactive we often talk to customers about how to use technology to increase productivity. The two products we specialise in are video conferencing and SMART boards and both have great benefits to any business that is reliant on long distance communication, but especially to manufacturers. The biggest benefit of course is that you can reclaim all the time normally spent sitting in a car, on a plane or in the airport – and use that time more productively. You can also reduce the time wasted by your team by reducing the need for them to travel to the office every time you need a chat.

For example, instead of travelling to a meeting overseas you can make a conference call or, better still, arrange a video conference. Being able to see each other and talk in real time makes the conversation much easier because you don’t miss out on any of the body language that is so vital to the way we communicate. You can set up instant person-to-person video conferencing on your computer or laptop using tools like Skype, LifeSize Connections or StarLeaf; alternatively, if you want to include the boardroom in your discussion you can install room systems, either self hosted or using a managed service.

But what if you need to share data, such as schematics, schedules, budgets and snag sheets? SMART technology lets you share your desktop and you and your team can collaborate by writing over the content, highlighting key areas and adding your own diagrams and annotations. You can share anything you can display on your monitor, be it Office documents, 3D modelling software, videos, web content or images. And you can capture your screen and keep your notes, embedded within the source material, and share it with the rest of the team by email.

Even more important for manufacturing companies, you can hook up other equipment to your computer and share the results. For example, you can add a visualiser to be able to show objects in real time; you can zoom in to see the smallest details. Imagine how useful that would be when you’re trying to work out why a part isn’t working, and the manufacturing plant is in China? Instead of travelling over you can hold a SMART conference with the production manager, he can show you the problem using a visualiser and you can diagnose the issue without leaving your office.

To find out more about how to use technology to increase productivity call us today on 0118 336 0010 and ask to speak to one of our experts. We can talk you through the products that will be most relevant to your business, and we can even set up a free demonstration.

 

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