Critical Communications, Manufacturing, mass notification

How a Critical Communications System Can Save a Manufacturer Thousands of Dollars in One Day

By Shannon Gallo

In manufacturing, every minute the production line is down means lost revenue. According to a survey of 450 service and IT decision-makers, over the course of three years 82 percent experienced unplanned downtime that cost their companies an estimated $250,000 per hour. 

If your company doesn’t have an effective way to rapidly alert workers not to come into work, you could end up paying for their time on top of the lost productivity. Here’s how a critical communications system, also referred to as a mass notification system (MNS), can save your company thousands of dollars and streamline communications across your organization.  

Rapidly Notify Employees of Incidents

Every manufacturing facility is at risk for a wide range of incidents, including severe weather, power outages, accidents, mechanical malfunctions and spills. When these incidents occur, the production line may temporarily shut down, and management must let employees know about any canceled shifts.

Prior to the advent of mass notification technology, a plant manager would have to manually call each person on the next shift and tell them not to come into work. This process could take hours, and if workers are already on their way to the plant, it may be too late. Once they start to show up, the company has no choice but to pay them for their time. These wages can add up to thousands of dollars, with zero return for the company.

A critical communications system enables plant managers to automate calls to every employee scheduled for a canceled shift in a matter of minutes. The system also maintains a record of each call, ensuring the company can prove management made the effort to notify employees. Even if this feature is used only once, the system pays for itself in a single day when you consider the wages saved.

In addition to saving money, the system keeps employees safe by alerting them of potential dangers at the plant, telling them to stay home or advising them what to do if they’re already on the premises. Manufacturing employees don’t typically sit at their desks all day, so text-based alerts or push notifications are often the best ways to reach them.

Additionally, if an accident or spill occurs at the plant, the company can rapidly respond, coordinate dispatch and mitigate damage to ensure the incident doesn’t become a disaster. And with two-way messaging, companies can not only send out alerts to stakeholders, but also receive word back about whether employees are safe or need further assistance.

Keeping employees safe is a top priority for manufacturing companies. A critical communications system can save lives while also preserving property, brand and reputation.

Quickly Fill Shifts with Quota Calling

When employees call in sick or don’t show up for work, manufacturers need a way to rapidly fill those shifts to keep the production line running smoothly. Manually calling hundreds of employees to find someone available can take hours.

Automated quota calling enables plant managers to fill shifts in a matter of minutes with little effort. With quota calling, a prerecorded message is sent out to employees in a predetermined order. Once every shift is filled, the system stops calling workers. The system can be set up to call employees in a specific order to satisfy union rules, or it can call a subgroup of specialized employees who are qualified to fill the empty shifts. 

Increase Engagement with Streamlined Communication

A critical communications system can easily save your company thousands of dollars when you use it to schedule and alert employees. But it can also save money in subtler ways by increasing employee engagement and decreasing turnover.

You can send out messages to all personnel using a variety of communication methods, including voice calls, text and email, for everyday messages that are nonetheless important. Examples include updates to employees about benefits enrollment deadlines, upcoming certification classes and company-wide events and activities. Additionally, the system can translate messages into each employee’s native language to ensure everyone gets the word.

Messages about benefits enrollment deadlines help employees get the healthcare they need, and reminders about certification classes can make workers feel that management cares about their professional development. Company-wide events and activities are a great way to boost morale and make everyone feel part of the community. Sending out well-timed reminders can increase attendance at these events.

High turnover rates cost companies significant amounts of money when it comes to rehiring and retraining new personnel. When employees feel that company leadership cares about them, they are less likely to leave.

Mass notification has become the standard for alerting employees to workplace risks and managing critical events at manufacturing plants, offices and distribution centers. In addition to helping protect employees, the technology has transformed how organizations communicate with all their stakeholders, from employees and customers to suppliers and vendors. All these uses add up to savings that can make a substantial contribution to any manufacturer’s bottom line.

Learn more about how manufacturers can achieve greater ROI with critical communications.