Automotive & Manufacturing

Manufacturers unite: Driving safe operations, together

Among the turbulence and uncertainty created by the pandemic, there have been silver linings — unexpected, positive events that have taken place during this period of history.

Prior to March 2020, manufacturers were heads down, laser-focused on bringing differentiated products to market faster and better than competitors. Then, the forced shutdown put the future of operations in limbo, with supply chains halted and personnel sent home. Rather than continuing to operate in siloes, focused solely on their own survival, manufacturers came together as one, rallying around a common priority: organizational and employee safety.

Organizations typically competing for business joined forces to share best practices and resources to help each other get up and running safely and continue to evolve in a post-pandemic world. A common sentiment emerged: When we work together collectively, the industry is stronger as a result.  

The power of return-to-work playbooks

Just a few weeks after the pandemic hit, we saw collaboration at its finest, with major manufacturing players making internal pandemic-related resources available to the masses. For example, automotive supplier Lear Corporation created a Safe Work Playbook, largely focused on health and safety procedures, operating disciplines and employee training. Recognizing that the outlined practices could help guide other organizations’ plans for resuming operations, Lear made the playbook downloadable, editable and free for other companies to use.

We also saw the emergence of virtual town halls, with manufacturing associations such as Manufacturing Leadership Council (MLC), The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and others sharing resources and advice to inform operational and employee safety. During one of many MLC “Town Hall” meetings in Spring 2020, leaders at manufacturer Greene, Tweed, discussed the organization’s return-to-work guidelines, based on CDC guidance, to support a safe, phased return to in-person operations.

Return-to-work playbooks have emerged as go-to resources to promote a company-wide safety culture throughout pandemic and post-pandemic operations. Whether your organization has created its own playbook or taken advantage of open source, downloadable templates, the key is how you manage content to drive accountability, communications and compliance — regularly modifying, evolving and sharing based on guidance from leading health organizations and internal stakeholders.

Renewed priority on digitization

While the pandemic slowed manufacturing operations, one movement gained speed: the adoption of digitization. According to McKinsey, the move was so rapid that consumer and business digital adoption vaulted five years forward in a matter of eight weeks. This transformation was led by an increase in cloud adoption to support remote working.

Building organizational resilience and adapting to global changes requires manufacturers to seize new digital capabilities. Making return-to-work playbooks digital and mobile-first allows manufacturers to easily capture and update content, track usage to drive compliance and introduce new guidance when and where needed — demonstrating a corporate-wide commitment to employee safety.

Advance your operational health and safety

With a comprehensive enterprise content management (ECM) solution, manufacturers gain a digital foundation to treat return-to-work playbooks as the critically important operating assets that they are.

OpenText is a sponsor of the upcoming MLC Rethink virtual event June 22-24.  Join us there to learn more about returning to work and remote access for the Manufacturing industry.

After all, we’re in this together.

Tom Leeson

Tom is Industry Marketing Strategist for the Manufacturing Sector globally. An Engineer by Trade, and Mathematician by Education, Tom’s entire career has been spent in Engineering, Manufacturing and IT helping customers digitally transform their business and their manufacturing sector. With Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things, Manufacturing lives in exciting times, so there is much to talk about.

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