We’ve had many businesses contact us to reevaluate their communications in the light to today’s “new normal.” They want to make sure they’re using the best system possible to help protect their operations, their people, and their investment. There’s no dismissing the fact that the COVID-19 virus pandemic has fundamentally, and perhaps, irrevocably changed the way we do business. It’s the “elephant in the room” that cannot be ignored. You must address it head on. It’s not easy, to be sure. It seems weekly, if not daily, that the suggested guidelines and mandates change. It’s important to realize this “new normal” will become business as usual soon enough. The manufacturing, food and beverage, and other similar industries are scrambling to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) new guidelines while still maintaining a productive, safe environment. Additionally, in spite of the news of furloughs and layoffs in many companies, essential manufacturing facilities such as healthcare, paper, consumer products and food/beverage desperately need a consistent, reliable workforce. Training new hires in the safety protocols and equipment operation is critically important.
Clear Communication Still Vital Despite Social Distancing Guidelines
Training and on-boarding new employees and re-training existing staff on new methods and systems are a main concern to sustain and increase efficiency and production. While the importance of training has always been paramount, in times of crisis, it seems to escalate. Most of the calls we’re fielding these days are focused on the communications systems needed to effectively and efficiently carry out employee training. As many manufacturers are adding to or changing their product lines to assist in the “war” against the coronavirus pandemic, training has become a top priority. For example, some distilleries have dedicated part of their process of producing hand sanitizers. Automobile, home appliances, and even vacuum cleaner manufacturing are now designing and building ventilators and other critical equipment to fill the shortfall of these vital medical tools. A small group of new employees, led by a member of the HR orientation team, ensures that facility safety protocols, health standards, and security measures throughout the plant are clearly understood by the new team members.
Digital Communications Systems Overcome Social Distancing Issues
Utilizing digital communications systems is an effective way to conduct Gemba walks, safety inspections, and other vital factory and facility tours. In the past, it was difficult enough to ensure everyone was on the same page during a factory tour. Noisy work environments had many huddling together, just to hear or be heard! Of course, many turned to staff communication systems, comprised of headsets and transceivers. The current social distancing guideline is six feet between attendees. In a noisy environment, such as the factory floor or shipping department, getting your message heard becomes difficult, if not impossible unless you utilize some form of the communication system. Additionally, groups are currently limited to no more than 10 people. If more than 10 participants need to tour your facility, having enough transceivers and receivers with multi-channel capability will allow you to run staggered tours that maintain both the 6-foot and number of allowable attendees guidelines. Given the current crisis and constantly evolving social distancing guidelines, you’ll discover that efficient communications are just as important as always, perhaps even more so. Factory tours for critical information exchange remain as important and necessary as ever. Daily floor meetings and Gemba walks—where management and staff walk the floors of the workplace to identify opportunities for improvement—are crucial in these times. But how do we conduct these and other important factory tours safely, maintaining proper distances, while at the same time sustaining clear transmission of our message? The answer is digital communications systems, specifically designed for your requirements. Depending on the purpose of the tour, you may need to choose between a one-way or two-way communication system. One-way systems are designed for tours or walkthroughs that are guide driven. One example is an investor tour, where your benefactors need to know that you are complying with COVID-19 virus social distancing, employee hygiene, and facility security guidelines and/or mandates. A two-way system, where the guide and the participant can freely interact, are the best choice for the employee training scenarios mentioned above.
Other Scenarios Where Communication Systems Overcome Social Distancing Challenges
Site security at your factory or facility is of utmost importance during the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Many factories have already created policies limiting the number of nonessential visitors. When security personnel have a simple, effective method of contacting management about visitors, the facility’s protection is enhanced. In this case, a two-way comm system is a must. Corporate executives are keenly interesting in the day-to-day operation of the facilities under their charge. By conducting their tours with a limited number of attendees, you’re not only keeping their health protected, but sending a strong signal of your commitment to the welfare of the business and its team members.
A Critical Aspect of Communication Systems – Cleaning and Sanitizing
If there is one benefit gleaned from the coronavirus pandemic, it’s the increased awareness of hygiene and sanitation, both personal and in the workplace. Everything from door knobs to light switches to POS (point of sale) equipment gets special treatment when it comes to cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. The same care and integrity must extend to the cleaning and sanitation of your digital communications equipment. This is certainly no time to be slack or complacent about your health and the health of your factory tour attendees and participants. We’ve always been firm believers in that, right from Day 1. Many companies, communications equipment dealers included, are now scrambling to supply their customers with sanitizing and disinfecting products. It’s just not something they ever considered a high priority. It is now. For Plant-Tours.com, it was never just an “option.” Our products and accessories have always been designed around our customers’ needs. For over 25 years, we have been sending Free Demo Kits and Rental Program orders with our exclusive PT-99 Sanitation Stations included. Ensuring sanitary communication gear for your staff’s and visitor’s safety has always been a critical focus of ours from the beginning. And we have designed and invented every headphone and headset with each system ourselves. All offer easy-to-sanitize and comfortable vinyl earpads for every model and noise level for the ultimate in safety and sanitation. We are the only provider of 100% vinyl earpads in the industry. All the others have foam, unsanitary headphones and headsets; hardly an option given today’s environment. Indeed, these are unique times, especially for companies in manufacturing. The COVID-19 virus has introduced distinctive challenges for many of our customers. Maintaining a safe, healthy environment while continuing production is critical for both your company and customers. Utilizing digital communications systems to overcome the impact of social distancing guidelines is just one tool in your tool kit. To that end, Plant-Tours.com stands at the ready, fully staffed and fully stocked to assist you in your business continuity effort Together, we can help flatten the curve and make progress in our mutual war against the COVID-19 virus pandemic. And we’ll all be better prepared should future crises arise. Has COVID-19 Introduced Unique Challenges to Your Operation? Our Consultants Are Here to Help