Effective communication is the basis of any successful business or industry. It allows for efficient teamwork and collaboration, helps identify and prevent problems, and leads to unique and innovative solutions. On the other hand, when it’s lacking, the final product may not be up to par.
And that’s especially concerning when it comes to food. In the food industry, it’s crucial that everything functions perfectly — from machinery to communication. If it doesn’t, the food in question may end up contaminated or spoiled, which in turn leads to great financial and reputation losses.
To ensure that doesn’t happen, food manufacturers should keep an eye on the newest communication tools. When used correctly, these tools can drastically improve teamwork, efficiency, and quality of work. We’ll introduce three of them here.
1. Mobile Phone Communication
Mobile phones are no longer a luxury — everyone has them and uses them daily. As such, they are a perfect communication tool in any industry, and food manufacturing is no exception. They can provide a direct connection between employees and the management, one that requires no special training or effort to establish.
For example, management and workers can communicate using direct messages to give instructions and ask questions. That’s especially useful when neither side has no real need for a long conversation that would justify holding a meeting. But whenever there is a need for additional explanations, it’s best to meet in person or at least use the voice call option.
In addition, the management could take advantage of various group and business communication apps. These apps would make communication even smoother, allowing group chat creation, announcements, and even emergency alerts.
The only downside of mobile communication is that manual workers can’t use it while they work. Mobile phones require employees to focus, thus diverting their attention from work. And in some situations, that can be rather inconvenient.
2. Communication Headsets
We have another solution for those whose hands are too busy to use mobile phones for communication. 2-way communication headsets for noisy environments are a perfect alternative, as well as a fantastic option for anyone working in a loud factory. Their biggest advantage is that the employees can communicate while performing their tasks simultaneously.
What’s more, these headsets typically have a noise-canceling feature, making them a perfect choice for loud factory areas. As long as they are wearing them, the employees’ hearing won’t suffer, and they’ll be able to concentrate more on the tasks at hand. At the same time, they’ll be available for communication at all times.
Luckily, these two-way headsets are rather easy to use. First and foremost, one person will talk into the microphone, and other people who are wirelessly connected through the headphones can hear them. Then, they can respond in the same manner.
And finally, communication headsets don’t have to only be used for workplace communication. Management can use them for factory tours as well — for instance, when investors or partners are visiting the company. After all, they are incredibly convenient for all kinds of communication, so there’s no reason to limit them to just one!
3. Systems With Artificial Intelligence
Even though AI is still an unexplored field, it’s already showing fantastic potential, especially when it comes to communication. AI systems are slowly making their way into various industries, streamlining collaboration in ways we’ve never seen before.
For example, if a manager is tired of constantly answering the same question, they could program an AI system to do it instead. That way, the manager can focus on other, more important tasks and questions that don’t require simple answers.
But AI can take care of even more complicated questions — only, at this stage, it can’t quite answer them on its own. Instead, an AI system can be programmed to forward such questions to an appropriate sector, thus eliminating human intervention and speeding up communication. It does so by picking up on keywords, associating them with various sectors, and then deciding what fits best.
Ultimately, AI can make communication easier, but it can’t ever eliminate the need for human interaction. Now, while AI technology is still quite new, a professional will still need to supervise it and make sure it’s operating properly. But in the future, we expect even such interventions won’t be necessary.
Of course, it’s up to food manufacturers to decide if they want to use these communication methods in their daily operations. They all come with their benefits and disadvantages, so the decision isn’t an easy one to make.
However, we should note that incorporating at least one method could drastically improve communication within a business. Factory communication may seem smooth without them, but it can always be better. And even if implementing these methods takes some time and effort, they will pay off in the long run.