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Manufacturers are adapting, innovating and inspiring during the crisis

  • Posted on March 24, 2020
  • Estimated reading time 3 minutes
Manufacturers are adapting, innovating and inspiring during the crisis

The world is a pretty worrying place right now. But amid all the COVID-19 concern, I’ve been inspired by the human condition. The sacrifices being made and the genuine passion to make a difference across all walks of life. Especially the heroes on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19 – healthcare workers, the emergency services professionals and the military reservists. 

But there are unsung heroics going in other sectors. Manufacturers – in particular – are adapting, innovating and inspiring solutions that help to reduce the stress on our public services.

We often talk to manufacturers about the need to be future ready. Over the last few weeks, it has become clear that being ready for the uncertainty of today is vitally important too. Because, right now, we need to survive before we can look to thrive. And this is when we see human ingenuity, resolve and determination at its finest.

In the manufacturing sector, there are fantastic stories and solutions appearing on an almost daily basis. Companies, teams and individuals are collaborating to address the human and economic challenges of protecting workers, keeping the economy moving and producing new products to address immediate resource shortfalls.

Here are three trends I’ve seen in the manufacturing sector, during what’s undoubtedly one of the most difficult periods in our recent history. 

1) Awesome adaptation 
Manufacturers have always been quick to harness tech to help employees work better and more effectively. The last few weeks have meant they’ve had to embrace new technologies to adapt and keep workers safe through remote working. 

Remote working technology is now being stress-tested from an infrastructure and employee adoption perspective. Microsoft helps manufacturers on the infrastructure side – this blog with security tips for CIOs is a great example. On the adoption side, one of the biggest challenges for any industry is getting employees to embrace new technology and solutions. 

Manufacturers and resources firms have had to roll-out remote working to vast numbers of employees at speed. So, it was great to see the CEO of BP share his current remote working situation. In addition, Avanade is supporting clients with remote working best practices produced by Teams expert Stephen Tong

2) Inventive innovation 
Manufacturers are experts at unlocking new ideas to disrupt their markets and decrease time to market for new innovations. And the global challenge of COVID-19 has brought out the best in the sector. 

Just think about how manufacturers are changing production processes and innovating to address the immediate need of supporting our health services with more ventilators. An article from The.Manufacturer.com highlights how companies have adopted a war footing to use their collective knowledge to help

Once this awful situation is over, companies like JCB (who have mobilised and changed their main production processes) and Hamilton (who have stepped up their production cycles) can rest assured that they have played an important role in defeating the virus.

3) Illuminating inspiration
Evolving the workplace experience and innovating production processes are two tangible ways manufacturers are helping the economy to keep going and assisting the health service in meeting resource challenges. 

The stories of two socially conscious manufacturers, LVMH and BrewDog, provide inspiring examples of how manufactures can adapt to support the pandemic fightback. LVMH – which normally produces scents for companies like Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton – said in a recent press release that it will now produce hand sanitiser at its factories in France, for distribution across 39 hospitals in the region. Similarly, the Scottish craft beer firm BrewDog has started making hand sanitiser as well as its core products and plans to distribute it free to those in need. 

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary manufacturers
The manufacturers I’ve listed above share a common trait. They’ve all adapted, innovated and inspired to help our immediate public service challenge. It’s heartening and reassuring to see so many firms channelling their industry expertise to help deliver human impact at a time when that’s needed more than ever.

For resources and advice on mastering remote working, head to our dedicated content page. 

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