Contextual AI Improves Safety & Productivity Across the Supply Chain

Over the years, technology has assisted with enhancing productivity across supply chains to lower costs and improve profit margins and customer satisfaction. The increased usage of mobile technology and smart devices has granted organizations real-time, on-demand visibility of mission critical data for issue containment and to reduce cost risks and improve delivery to customers. While technology has improved the efficiency of supply chains and manufacturing operations, companies are working to address the challenges of creating and implementing device policies that support a safe, productive environment for workers.

To ensure they are providing workers a jobsite free of serious hazards, manufacturers and top-tier suppliers have often tried to develop and implement mobile device policies that support an engaged and focused workforce. Although technology assists employees with streamlining daily tasks, the distractions created by constant notifications, along with improper usage practices, can result in increasingly hazardous working conditions, time consuming supply chain issues and lower productivity rates on the manufacturing floor. In fact, a study found it takes nearly 25 minutes for an employee to return to the same working capacity pre-distraction. To recover from these distractions, employees often work faster which increases the chance of errors and causes additional delays in completing timely tasks.

Image courtesy:

Image courtesy:

Coupled with the fact that a majority of employees admit to using their devices for an hour a day or more on non-work-related activities, the loss of production hours for an organization of any size is alarming. As technology has become a driving solution for simplifying complex supply chains and distributed manufacturing networks, implementing a mobile device policy that restricts an employee’s access to key applications or banning device usage altogether is not an option. Employers need a workplace solution that empowers their organization while keeping distracting and dangerous pitfalls at bay.

Industrial and manufacturing companies need an approach that supports the use of mobile apps necessary for the business while mitigating distractions and that also meets the following business requirements:

  1. It must be device agnostic.
  2. It must be contextually aware and able to adjust to changing conditions.
  3. It must utilize non-defeatable technology.

A policy that harnesses the intelligence of Contextual Mobile Device Management (CMDM) differentiates itself from traditional MDM and BYOD policies. A CMDM platform manages the functionality of mobile devices in contextual “zones,” which allows companies to develop intelligent usage policies according to their individualized needs. Based upon these zones, smart devices then adjust to application usage settings to ensure employees comply with company policies – selected applications and functions are either made available or blocked to proactively eliminate liabilities and improve productivity rates.

By utilizing contextual indicators based on location, proximity or movement to intelligently detect and adhere to predetermined policies for certain work zones, CMDM reduces the amount of time employers spend addressing policy violations. Simply put, CMDM makes a smart device as ‘smart’ as possible, limiting access to distracting apps and functions only when and where access needs to be managed, including when an employee is around large machinery, operating heavy equipment or behind the wheel of a company or grey fleet vehicle.  Outside of these riskier work environments, the mobile device continues to have full access and functionality.

This capability reaches beyond maintaining productivity – it also reduces health risks and significant financial loss associated with the personal injury or potential death of an employee. The negligent actions of one distracted worker can seriously harm another, dramatically affecting not only the entire operation but a coworker’s life.

What further sets the CMDM platform apart from other mobile device management solutions is that it enables employees to continue to leverage the advantages of their devices while reducing interruptions. CMDM also remediates privacy concerns, as the technology only manages applications and device functionality in the workplace and does not access or record personal data.

Technology advancements create endless possibilities for companies, while equally creating new challenges. CMDM empowers both companies and employees to confront those challenges for a safer and more productive work environment. Instead of policies based on blocking and controlling mobile devices, companies must embrace solutions that intelligently enable them to remain competitive in today’s global market.

2 comments on “Contextual AI Improves Safety & Productivity Across the Supply Chain

  1. nathandavidson
    July 18, 2019

    For this reason, I'm actually really excited to see just how much AI is able to help some of these systems. I mean, having an experienced supervisor to oversee what's going on and make sure that everything is on track is one thing, but humans are infallible in certain situations. Having computerised monitoring and with actual though put into automated decision making in this way could really be a game changer!

  2. MelBrandle
    July 22, 2019

    We are already able to see just how much AI has been complementing various processes in different ways, be it in the corporate field or on an individual scale. It really does lighten the workload of many, thus saving time and costs in the long run. This is exactly what businesses need in order to take advantage of technology to improve their overall infrastructure. In due time, AI is just another worker down the line.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.