As businesses move faster into a changed economy, technology leaders face a critical mandate and opportunity; adapt and innovate.
Connected solutions have proven their worth in today’s crisis. In the 2020 Metal and Mining Industry Summit hosted by ASSOCHAM and SAP, the business leaders came together and shared insights on the comeback roadmap in the post-pandemic world. One of the key sessions in the summit was by Mr. Vikash Srivastava, Head IT, Business Intelligence & Data Visualization, TATA Steel, sharing his perspective on how a connected workforce ensured worker safety and improved productivity amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
Previously, organizations had thin, umbrella-like policies that could sustain small impacts but failed to transform into a solution in a crisis like now. Today, technologies must provide the much-needed support for factory and front-line workers to collaborate effectively, as physical distancing becomes the new normal. Digital tools are primed to play a significant role, enabling a connected ecosystem with high safety and productivity management standards at the center.
Find how the manufacturing industry is mastering ‘shorter time to value’, focusing on insights and total workforce management integration. Embedding digital collaboration in workspaces Manufacturing industries are in for a big change with their workforce’s safety and security of paramount importance. They face a few challenges broadly:
- Create zones so that no employee goes to a zone where he is not permitted
- Employees can be located immediately in case of any distress
- Contact tracing to protect staff in-case of infection and control the spread
TATA Steel, the 113 year old leading steel manufacturer, took a big step in this direction with its tech-based initiative for safe working inside their manufacturing plants and mines in the COVID situation today. With a high workforce footfall (approx. 30-35 K), huge amounts of data get captured every single second across plants and mining sites. To make sense of this digital data trail, they used SAP HANA that confirmed maximum gain from multiple data points, increased productivity, and operational efficiency in real-time, along with ensuring the safety of their workforce. The database was further integrated with an IoT based tracking system called ‘Suraksha Card,’ that can monitor all its employee movements in real-time. The technology enabled a crowd sensing solution that detects and alerts a violation of social distancing at floors. A COVID risk profile assessment is done with scientific contact tracing and social-distancing checks enabled through AI.
The data is captured in real-time, transforming into solutions and quick actions – STRONG RESPONSE PROTOCOLS. The HANA platform is integrated with different applications in TATA Steel, including the SAP HANA modules, employee attendance, and biometric systems. A real-time data analysis of every single employee gets captured, which ensures the complete safety and security of each person. If an employee’s profile doesn’t fit the profile required for that area, or he is a COVID positive patient or even been in close proximity of a +ve patient, then the turnstile will not open. With multiple checks and balances in place, it supported in controlling the spread of the disease and improving the productivity of every employee.
Business technology platform for confident decision-making
Manufacturing industries need data-driven, real-time decisions, and actions. The SAP HANA in-memory database embeds intelligence into applications and analytics, helping find answers in just a few clicks. The solution is both scalable and replicable and adapts itself to the business requirements. It can process billions of records in a few milliseconds, helping the operation control center minimize the number of unauthorized movements or unwanted movements inside a floor. The big data platform also further ensures compliance to over a hundred statutory related to worker attendance or working time, considerably reducing the time and effort to manage it manually.
9 in 10 survey respondents say their end-user computing systems and technology have led to productivity improvements within their organizations.
It further improves the compliance system’s reliability for duplicate gate passes and dormant gate passes, highlighted by the inbuilt analytics module. With the connected workforce platform powered by SAP HANA, TATA Steel was able to have:
- Near real-time big data platform, with 100 billion rows processed per second
- 20% reduction in issued gate passes
- 30% reduction in near-miss cases
- 100% workforce coverage
The result for implementing SAP HANA has proven highly beneficial for TATA Steel. The workforce is now reporting to work with higher confidence levels and is better prepared and informed about the tasks at hand. With all the information readily available, employees can act more independently and quickly. This amounts to high productivity, jobs getting done speedily, and employee health safety is taken care of at the highest level. TATA Steel asserts that the overall experience of employees has improved. As manufacturers face an urgent need today to ride the next wave of productivity in operations and workforce management, digitally enabled architecture offers a solution. Businesses can experience scalability, speed, and performance to have a significant competitive advantage in the post-pandemic world.
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