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Connectivity: The Key to a Millennial-Run Factory

The new decade welcomes millions of millennials to the workforce. In fact, the generation, born between 1981 and 1996, is now the largest labor force in the U.S., according to Pew research. Many millennials grew up with the World Wide Web and are used to using mobile apps and services to support them in their daily routines.

As more millennials make their way into the manufacturing industry in 2020, facilities can improve efficiency and cut training time by making systems more approachable for millennials. According to an article from Forbes that offers five trends arising in the manufacturing industry, 19% of the generation are “smartphone-only internet users,” meaning one-fifth of millennials use only their mobile devices compared to desktop computers or laptops. As apps integrate more with our daily lives, manufacturing is working to accommodate the largest generation in the workforce with one of the industry’s top emerging trends: connectivity.

Digital technologies that function in real time form the foundation of connectivity. As digital natives, millennials are the first generation to enter the working field with a solid understanding of connected apps and systems, as opposed to the older working generation. With the flood of millennial employees comes an opportunity for manufacturing companies to digitize their facilities, and in turn optimize production, ease the transition for newcomer employees and create a data-driven factory.

Adding a digital element transforms factories into a connected, well-oiled ecosystem. Today, plant floors run as efficiently as ever with systems like the Ingersoll Rand INSIGHT Connect app that manufacturers use to monitor and analyze records. The app connects to smart tools to make data as accessible as possible. Millennial operators in the motor vehicle, heavy truck and bus, appliance, heavy equipment and aerospace industries can now control torque and angle configurations remotely on their smartphone, exactly how they’re used to doing.

Most members of Generation Y need minimal training when it comes to this kind of mobile software, and therefore it makes their lives easy as they transition into the workforce and then eventually go through their workday. For managers, the easy-to-learn systems help reduce training time for newcomers in a place where productivity and time savings are essential.

As the manufacturing world becomes quicker-paced and larger in scale, companies can ring in the new decade with cutting-edge technologies that pertain to its next generation of employees: the millennial user.