Manufacturers and industrial enterprises across industries have long embraced the benefits of mobile computing and smart devices for better performance on the production floor, efficiency on the assembly line and heightened communication across the supply chain. However, with the inherent benefits of mobile technology on worksites comes serious responsibility.
Jobsite technology has evolved, but the hazards of industrial work environments have not. From tripping over loose cables to falling down the stairs, injuries are most likely to occur when workers are focused on their mobile devices and not fully engaged with their surroundings. Simply put, technology is great until it’s not.
Studies confirm that a majority of employees use their devices for an hour a day or more on non-work-related activities. Additionally, employees are 28% more likely to make a mistake after getting a phone call and 23% more likely after getting a text.
These stats should raise a major red flag for production floor managers, plant supervisors and operational leadership as mobile device distraction may be creating safety issues, as well as diminishing productivity. If abused, these devices can also lead to increased liability issues and significant financial loss associated with matters beyond poor productivity – injury or death of an employee.
Thus, employers are faced with the challenge of finding ways to provide employees access to devices so they can adequately engage with the technology needed to complete their jobs more efficiently, while combating time-consuming interruptions that compromise safety.
What’s the solution?
Let’s start with determining what the solution should accomplish. An effective mobile device management platform must:
- Be device agnostic.
- Be contextually aware and able to adjust to changing conditions.
- Intelligently enforceable
This is where Contextual Mobile Device Management comes into play. CMDM manages the functionality of mobile devices in contextual “zones,” which informs acceptable use and defines intelligent usage policies. For example, contextual AI can sense when an employee is using heavy equipment, operating large machinery or working in a high-risk area on the factory floor. Leveraging such technology allows industrial organizations to proactively eliminate liabilities while improving employee productivity rates.
How does it work?
The CMDM platform is comprised of both a mobile app on the worker’s device and a management console. The app utilizes contextual indicators – location, proximity or movement – to intelligently detect high-risk work zones. Selected mobile applications and functions are then either made available or blocked to fit job requirements.
CMDM assists with improving safety and productivity by enabling workers to use mobile devices in the right way, at the right time, in the right place. For example, CMDM may remove the use of social media, web browsing and game applications, but allow workers to access email, and receive and make phone calls when in safe work zones.
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How is CMDM different?
The contextual ability of this technical solution is reason enough to differentiate it from the rest. Unlike more restrictive policies that require completely locking down a device or prohibiting usage altogether, CMDM operates to fit the needs of a company’s policy only when and where it matters most. Once an employee has exited a high-risk work zone, they have full access to their device. As more companies begin to embrace their workers bringing their own device to work, having a solution that acts like an automatic safety switch provides employees peace of mind knowing their privacy is protected. In fact, 50% of organizations report having a BYOD policy in place, so this feature is mission critical.
How does CMDM empower organizations?
CMDM technology isn’t about controlling end-user devices. It’s about helping industrial enterprises create safer, more productive jobsites that enable their employees to do their best work, ultimately boosting bottom line. Rather than banning mobile devices, employers need to embrace technology to reinforce productive behaviors and optimize resources to safely and efficiently complete tasks. Simply put, CMDM is a pillar for a smarter workforce in an increasingly connected world.
The most substantial takeaway is this: CMDM helps production floor supervisors, plant managers and operational leadership improve safety, productivity and policy compliance by allowing employees to use their mobile devices in the right way at the right time in the right place. By allowing smart devices to be as smart as possible, industrial organizations can embrace solutions that strategically utilize mobile technology across their organization, empowering employees to do their best and safest work.