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How to Reduce Manufacturing Costs with Rugged Tablet PCs

Hopefully, by now you’ve instituted an array of technology-based solutions to improve your production and supply chain processes. No doubt you’ve deployed a cadre of rugged tablets to keep remote and mobile personnel connected with overall enterprise resource management or more process-specific applications.

manufacturing warehousing rugged tablet pc supply chain 275x182You have far greater visibility. But it seems as if there should be more you can do to reduce manufacturing costs. And uncovering further productivity improvements would help you sleep better at night, too.

You’re right. There is more you can do.

The rugged tablet PCs your folks are already using to streamline their work can also be used to monitor and improve their own performance. For many enterprises, labor is the single-greatest expense; for others it’s just high. What would it mean to your bottom line if you could significantly reduce or even eliminate waste in this important area?

Do you even know how much you’re losing in unnecessary labor costs?

You know things aren’t going well when:

  • Your payroll routinely surpasses your budget.
  • You frequent lose out to lower-priced competitors.
  • You don’t compare well to industry stats for per-employee net income.

Rugged tablets are already equipped with GPS that allows location-, time- and date-stamping. You know who’s using which device. So you know where they are, what they’re doing, and when they’re doing it. It’s a short step to connecting them with labor management software, too.

Automating workforce management provides the same streamlining efficiencies and productivity benefits you’re already seeing in other areas. You can control worker hours, overtime, monitor attendance, schedule more appropriately and ensure compliance with labor, union or internal requirements and guidelines, all of which can save money.

Monitor timekeeping and attendance.

A system that automatically captures worker hours and computes pay instills confidence in your employees as much as it guarantees you aren’t paying more – or less – than you should be.

For some companies, absenteeism isn’t a serious expense, not just an annoyance. Missing employees can disrupt your ability to maintain production or delivery schedules, with costly results. But you can monitor how often people are absent and also track non-work paid hours for sick leave, vacation, etc.

Studies show that “buddy punching” – clocking in or out for friends who aren’t really there – accounts for millions of dollars in overpayments each year. Are you one of the victims? Using rugged tablets to automate timekeeping will let you know, and help you correct the situation. You’ll have less fluffing and more work product because employees can’t bypass your new system.

You can ensure that by incorporating identity verification procedures – requiring fingerprint signatures, PIN codes, swipe badges or personal details for access. Nothing is foolproof, but you can work around potential sharing of PINs or badges by combining those with a secondary requirement.

Automation makes everybody more efficient.

Install a computer in your break room that employees can use as a self-help desk to look up personnel-related information. You can restrict access to your official handbook, but you can also enable employees to check their own time-and-pay records to see how many vacation days they have left, etc., insulating your HR staff from time-wasting questions employees can answer for themselves.

So put those rugged tablets to full use. The more data you’re able to gather, the better you can analyze how you’re using your labor resources, to find additional efficiencies. Lean manufacturing and Six Sigma® type continuous improvement procedures can apply to people, too. You’ll be more effective when you can apply the rules correctly and consistently. And you may be shocked at the money you save.

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