Parsable Blog

What Is Operational Agility and Why Is It Important?

Parsable Team

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Operational agility is an organization’s ability to adapt its regular processes and technology to accommodate changes in the market. Companies with an agile culture can quickly respond to changing customer needs and stay ahead of the competition.

Why Operational Agility Is Critical in Manufacturing

Manufacturing operations involve many moving parts, and any disruption can affect the organization’s success. Operational agility can help manufacturers cope with: 

  • Supply chain disruptions
  • Shipping delays
  • Shifting customer demand
  • Natural disasters
  • Seasonal market shifts
  • Political instability
  • Changing technologies
  • Competition

Agile manufacturing workers can rapidly alter their procedures and technology to surmount these obstacles with minimal disruption. This enables the workers to deliver quality products ahead of the competition.

How Companies Benefit From Operational Agility

Agile operations take a customer-centric approach. By focusing on trends, companies can anticipate demand and deliver products that serve their customers’ needs. The advantages of operational agility in manufacturing include:

  • Flexible, well-trained workers
  • Quicker decision-making to meet customer demand
  • Improved market reach
  • Timely process reviews and adjustments
  • Resilience to turn market challenges into competitive advantages
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Understanding What Drives Operational Agility

Achieving operational agility requires a multipronged approach. Company leadership, managers, trainers, and employees all contribute to the creation of an agile culture in manufacturing. Take the following steps to ensure a successful transition.

Review Existing Processes and Identify Ways to Enable Operational Agility

The first step toward establishing operational agility in manufacturing is reviewing your existing processes. Identify existing bottlenecks and potential pitfalls. Consider every aspect of your operations, including:

  • Materials and parts sourcing 
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Technology and equipment
  • Packing and labeling materials
  • Assembly
  • Shipping and distribution

A thorough review can help you anticipate and address potential issues before they arise. For example, establishing multiple sources for parts or raw materials can help you remain in operation during an unexpected supply chain disruption.

Create Standard Operating Procedures to Encourage Agility

Based on your process review, establish standard operating procedures (SOPs) that apply to all employees throughout your organization. By establishing standard procedures, you can ensure a smooth transition in the event of a market shift or some other unforeseen event. 

Digital SOPs allow leadership and employees to access the same policies from anywhere. In addition to helping manufacturers handle emergencies and unexpected disruptions, digital SOPs can:

  • Speed up new product development
  • Facilitate quick equipment and tech upgrades
  • Streamline daily operations
  • Reduce the risk of human error
  • Promote continuous improvement 

Establish Training Programs to Ensure Workers Understand Their Roles

Communication is key to ensuring a successful transition to agile operations. Keep your employees well-informed through intensive training. Clear, accessible SOPs ensure employees understand their responsibilities and how their roles fit into the larger scope of the manufacturing process. 

Periodic training keeps workers and management apprised of changes to policies and procedures. Digital SOPs can streamline the training process. Confident, informed employees can complete their tasks quickly and accurately. 

What’s more, an innovative approach encourages employees to exercise problem-solving skills. Clear SOPs help them understand and correct issues as they arise. 

A Digitally Enabled Workforce Facilitates Operational Agility

 

Parsable offers digital workforce solutions to enhance your operational agility. Our state-of-the-art connected worker technology allows manufacturing organizations to rapidly switch from paper to digital SOPs, so you can create and manage workflows with ease. As a result, our clients enjoy quicker training, fewer employee errors, and continuous operational improvement. 

Digital workforce solutions like Parsable encourage operational agility in the following ways. 

Enhanced Communication

Communication is at the core of operational agility, and connected worker technology facilitates it. A digitally connected workforce has access to the latest SOP updates. Frontline workers can easily access step-by-step instructions and actively contribute to process improvement.

Real-Time Visibility

Connected workforce technology keeps workers informed of errors, omissions, safety concerns, and productivity issues in real time. Real-time insights help prevent expensive errors by anticipating outcomes, identifying patterns, and reducing downtime.

User Access From Anywhere

Workers, managers, and remote support providers can access digital workforce software from anywhere. This allows workers to seek immediate assistance when issues arise, thereby reducing downtime.

Equipment Monitoring 

With connected workforce technology, workers can observe equipment and notice issues before they create serious complications. Workers can conduct maintenance and repairs before equipment breaks down, reducing downtime and improving productivity.

Learn More About Parsable’s Connected Worker Solutions Today

Streamline your manufacturing processes and enhance your operational agility with actionable information directly from your production line. Parsable’s Connected Worker® mobile app does away with cumbersome paper SOPs by collecting frontline data and delivering it directly to the workers who need it. 

Get in touch to find out how Parsable’s cutting-edge technology can help eliminate paperwork, improve productivity, and enhance safety in your manufacturing operations. 


Ready to revolutionize your operational workflows? Experience the power of Parsable’s Connected Worker® software firsthand. Schedule a demo today and discover how our solution can streamline your operations by digitizing your frontline.