Discussions of change management often focus on IT operations, but there are many segments in which organizations must carefully assess their procedures in a variety of areas and consider implementing change-focused solutions. This requirement is clear in the manufacturing segment, where information and operations technologies often interact in ways that create unique challenges. In manufacturing, there are four standout ways that change management solutions can really pay dividends in areas outside of traditional IT operations.
1. Integrating IT and OT
There are many aspects of manufacturing that require highly-specialized operations technologies to gather data from, or send information to, IT systems. This interconnection between IT and OT goes beyond data transmissions and interacts with a variety of other workflows. As such, any change to the IT configuration can have an impact on machinery, automation and control networks, specialized equipment or other manufacturing tools. Poor change management in this area can lead to major operational challenges, as problems emerging in areas where IT and OT interact can derail operations in a variety of ways.
A change management platform can coordinate adjustments made to both the IT and OT configurations, ensuring organizations are positioned to maintain smooth operations and avoid risk.
2. Dealing with Facility Concerns
The actual facility surrounding manufacturing equipment plays an integral role in industrial operations. A problem with the facility can lead to temperature fluctuations, water leaking and other conditions that can create substantial damages. The end result can be equipment that is rendered useless and potentially hazardous work conditions.
For facility teams, managing day-to-day maintenance options can be a challenging task. This alone can be enough to require a specialized organization system, but the problem is accentuated when emergency situations emerge and sudden repairs become necessary. As such, if emergency facility repairs get in the way of critical day-to-day operations, efforts to deal with an emergency can lead to cascading problems. A change management program can track projects that need to be done, make it easier for managers to prioritize efforts and establish a framework to balance day-to-day facility operations with solving problems as they arise.
3. Automating Processes
Business processes often dictate how efficiently an organization operates. This is especially true when it comes to passing projects along between users. In manufacturing, different departments are often dependent on one another to get the job done. This means that one organization group will frequently need to communicate to other teams when an action has been performed. These types of processes often involve detailing changes between different work silos.
Automating these day-to-day change processes can lead to incredible efficiency gains for just about any organization, but particularly for businesses in sectors like manufacturing that depend heavily on coordinated operations between different teams.
4. Dealing with Equipment with Specialized Maintenance Schedules
Many manufacturers depend on machinery engineered to precision standards and requiring highly-specific maintenance processes. These operations often vary from facility-related functions and can depend on specialized skills. Organizations that depend on such systems have to construct often-complicated maintenance schedules to ensure repairs and other operations are completed on time and before machines experience unnecessary wear and tear.
A change management platform can enable organizations to align their various equipment maintenance efforts to avoid damages and ensure operations continue at peak capacity at all times. This can prove difficult as maintenance tasks must be completed at optimal times based on usage trends. The end result is a situation in which careful coordination of processes is necessary and advanced change management solutions can pay dividends.
Manufacturers face a technological environment that creates a variety of unique challenges. Change management tools can play a key role in enabling industrial organizations to align IT, OT, facility and machinery-related processes.