Smart Manufacturing – Smart Supervisors

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As technology accelerates, many producers are embracing smart manufacturing.

Smart manufacturing looks to integrate the information technology and production technology to improve productivity. Share on X

As enthusiastic as you might be about implementing the new technology, not everyone will feel the same way.

Involved in the process will be people such as continuous improvement coordinators, engineering staff, or IT people to accelerate the supply chain and reduce cost. Your front line supervisors might not be able to keep up. In fact, it might appear threatening to them. Supervisors who feel threatened can get defensive and slow down some of the changes.

Engineers, project managers, and continuous improvement coordinators sometimes forget that people will be driving the systems and processes that they’re focused on improving. This can cause confusion and resistance from your team.

How can you help your front line supervisors support the investments that you’re making in technology and smart manufacturing?

Since most supervisors and team leaders are promoted from within, they need to get onboard first with the changes that you’re rolling out.

Interaction with the end-users and their leaders is important. Technical specialists that come from the front office to the shop floor need to spend time building relationships with the supervisors and front line workers. The supervisor will be receiving a lot more data. The specialists can teach them how to interpret it in order to make decisions, provide feedback to their team, and coach their team to improve performance.

Focus on getting the buy-in from the supervisors so that they can, in turn, get buy-in from the front line workers. That will help your company extract even more return on its investment in smart manufacturing.

Everyone knows we need to change and move forward, but getting everybody on the same page is crucial to extracting the maximum profit that you can generate from those ventures.

How have you invested in your supervisors to help them get better at adapting smart manufacturing?

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