Alpha Software Blog

The Missing Link in Industry 4.0: Manufacturing Employee Engagement

The march towards re-inventing manufacturing using digital transformation continues, as manufacturers spend hundreds of billions of dollars on digital projects en route to Industry 4.0. But no matter how much money they spend, their efforts may be doomed to fail if they ignore one of the most important component in digital transformation —engaging manufacturing employees.

So argues Ted Smith, CEO of the IoT platform maker Corvex, in his article for, “The Key to Digital Transformation: Engaging Workers.” Smith points out that manufacturers spent more than $333 billion in 2018 on digital projects, according to IDC. Much of that money, though, might not be well-spent, he says, because there’s an overall failure rate in digital transformation projects of more than 84 percent according to a survey by the PulsePoint group.

More than 84% of manufacturing digital transformation projects fail. A key reason is lack of employee engagement. Reports:
More than 84% of manufacturing digital transformation projects fail, a survey by the PulsePoint group.

Importance of Manufacturing Employee Engagement in Digital Transformation 

A major reason for that failure, he contends, is manufacturing employee disengagement. His contention is backed up by Michael Gale, a partner at PulsePoint, who told Forbes that digital transformation “Is a fundamental shift in how people had to think about how they interact, how they collaborate and work and if you don't spend time changing people's behaviors, you don't spend time changing culture and how people make decisions, all of this falls flat.”

Smith adds, “We have the technology and we have the investment, but there’s a component missing from most digital transformation strategies today, and that component is the worker themself.  As an industry, we’re beginning to realize that none of these IoT, smart factory implementations will work without engaging the worker as part of the overall strategy. Organizations have to embrace digital transformation from a human perspective, connecting workers to an overall framework that fosters real-time communication, stronger data management, and a safer, happier and more productive team.”

Increasing Employee Engagement in Manufacturing 

There are many ways to increase employee engagement at manufacturing companies, but a key one, says Bulent Osman, Founder and CEO of StaffConnect in a blog post, “Reversing Low Employee Engagement In Manufacturing,” is the use of manufacturing mobile apps. He writes, “With a mobile engagement app that’s specifically designed for the enterprise, not just for chatting, manufacturing organizations can strategically improve engagement of all workers and give on-site workers and non-desk employees (NDEs) more effective tech tools and resources to have a voice and remain engaged in the organization.” 

The result of using such apps, is this, he says: “When the entire workforce is empowered to collaborate with their managers and peers, businesses can at long last reach down into the heart of engagement to increase employee and customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and shareholder value.”

Create Manufacturing Apps that Increase Employee Engagement

To engage manufacturing employees in digital transformation and successful Industry 4.0 deployments, manufacturers need to choose the right platform, and Alpha TransForm is an ideal choice. Users can start with a pre-built manufacturing app that they can customize. Examples include a safety inspection app, a Gemba walk app, a non-conformance report template, an equipment inspection app, and more. If users have a manufacturing paper form they want to turn into a mobile app, they can use Alpha TransForm to craft new manufacturing apps in minutes. All TransForm apps are optimized for one-handed data entry on the shop floor and utilize the latest mobile features (camera, GPS, etc.) for fast, accurate data capture. 

Alpha Solutions for Manufacturing iconHelp Your Employees Build Manufacturing Apps in Minutes:
Try Alpha TransForm with its built-in manufacturing apps free for 30 days.

worker on smartphone in manuf
Additional Reading on Employee Engagement:
Mobile: The Secret to Industry 4.0 Success

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About Author

Amy Groden-Morrison
Amy Groden-Morrison

Amy Groden-Morrison has served more than 15 years in marketing communications leadership roles at companies such as TIBCO Software, RSA Security and Ziff-Davis. Most recently she was responsible for developing marketing programs that helped achieve 30%+ annual growth rate for analytics products at a $1Bil, NASDAQ-listed business integration Software Company. Her past accomplishments include establishing the first co-branded technology program with CNN, launching an events company on the NYSE, rebranding a NASDAQ-listed company amid a crisis, and positioning and marketing a Boston-area startup for successful acquisition. Amy currently serves as a Healthbox Accelerator Program Mentor, Marketing Committee Lead for the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge Launch Smart Clinics, and on the organizing team for Boston TechJam. She holds an MBA from Northeastern University.

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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.