How Schneider Electric Is Equipping The Changing Workforce With Digital Solutions
The global industrial workforce is changing, and it is critical to discuss how this is already driving new business and supply chain dynamics. One of the factors driving this change is COVID-19. The pandemic has brought an awakening to businesses more so the supply chains across the globe. Most companies today are resolving to stepping up investment in digital strategies; Automation and AI to help overcome COVID-related business issues and manage the fluctuating needs of today’s workforce.
Digital strategies birthed during the pandemic continue to dictate how, where and when work is and will be done. Today, study has shown that more than 20 percent of the workforce across all sectors, is moving towards working remotely. According to McKinsey study, “that would mean three to four times as many people working from home than before the pandemic,”
The recent changes in the workforce has also seen a younger generation taking up roles in companies with an aim to make a difference. As it would be, the traditional workforce consisting of older folks has had to give way to the “purpose driven” generation either by co-working with them or fully giving them departments to run.
Speaking to Carol Koech, Schneider Electric, the Country President says that arming this generation with the tools they need to thrive and find fulfillment in the workplace is the way to go.
“An important part of our vision is to support the evolving role of people within the plant and operation, helping to change the way they work and succeed.” said, Carol Koech.
The electric company operating in Kenya and many other countries across the globe seeks to give companies a snippet of what it is like equipping change and not resisting it.
According to Carol Koech, President Schneider Electric, customers willing to address the changing workforce must clear three hurdles;
- They need to transfer knowledge from one generation of workers to another.
- They need to upskill younger workers who are expected to replace the highly experienced and specialized workers who have departed.
- And they need to figure out how to get the most out of the younger generation to ensure these workers can both add value and find fulfillment in their roles.
“We achieve this vision through our Schneider Electric EcoStruxure technology. Take as an example EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor, an AR solution that enables operators to super-impose current operating data, links to documentation and virtual objects onto a cabinet, machine or plant using their tablet’s camera.” said Ms Carol
This system provides information augmented over a real-time view of the machine and, more importantly, provides the latest set of schematics and documentation for that particular machine.
A new maintenance technician can walk up to a piece of equipment and quickly determine if a cylinder has retracted inside the machine, without opening it. This tool supports efficient, targeted knowledge transfer and upskilling, and the user won’t ever have to spend time digging through a panel looking for the print manuals.
EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor is deployed in more than 80 Smart Factories, including the Schneider Electric Lexington, Ky., Smart Factory, which was recently recognized by the World Economic Forum as a Sustainability Lighthouse (one of only three in the world).
Globally, the solution has led to almost a 20 percent reduction in maintenance time and a 40 percent reduction in machine downtime. It’s indicative of how our EcoStruxure platform can help our customers equip their entire workforce for success, not just the new digital-native workers.
“We are on the cusp of making that vision a reality across any operating environment, even within proprietary installations.” Concluded Carol Koech, Country President, Schneider Electric