Unless you’ve been completely out of the loop, you’ve heard how chatbots are making things easier for customers and help desk representatives alike.
However, you might not yet be aware of how they could specifically enhance things in the manufacturing sector within the years to come. Let’s look at four feasible scenarios.
1. Make It Easier to Engage With Vendors
Supporters of chatbot technology say it could remove some of the friction associated with transactions by promoting “conversational commerce.” The idea is to cut out the tasks a human would do on their own and use bots to do them instead.
Theoretically, then, if an executive at a manufacturing plant needs to order parts in bulk, they can do that by talking to a chatbot used by a preferred vendor. There would be no need to pick up the phone or even browse the company’s website to request the products.
2. Perform HR-Related Tasks
Like many other industries, manufacturing is heavily driven by demand. There are certain periods of the year, such as the holiday season or just before a hot new product is set to launch, that warrant hiring additional staff members. In some instances, chatbots are already used for recruiting and answering the top questions candidates have about open positions, which helps them get filled faster.
There are other chatbots that facilitate communications between workers and management personnel, so if a manufacturing employee needs to know something about workers’ compensation coverage, they might ask a chatbot instead of going to the HR department within the facility.
Overstock.com even reduces the burden on the HR staff by using a chatbot called Mila to help with scheduling. Mila takes information from workers who call in sick and assists them with requesting time off or checking their hours.
3. Help Maintenance Crews Verify Environmental or Workplace Conditions
It is also likely that someday in the not-too-distant future, chatbots will play a definitive role in maintaining smooth operations for manufacturing establishments by making sure the environmental conditions are optimal. Seemingly small things like temperature can negatively affect equipment efficiency and make productivity drop.
For example, a chatbot could sync with already existing platforms that check and report equipment metrics. Rather than consulting delving into those metrics independently, employees could ask a chatbot to take a reading and respond accordingly. Typing “What’s the ambient pressure reading for Floor 2?” is a lot easier than logging into a software programing and finding the information yourself.
Plus, you can use a chatbot easily from any mobile device — something that can’t be said for data-heavy software programs.
4. Aid Manufacturers Assessing the Need to Recall Products
There is a complicated process manufacturers and distributors are urged to go through to facilitate recall procedures if there are suspicions something went wrong and made a product contaminated, faulty or otherwise harmful to consumers.
A voluntary recall often results. In the case of a consumable product, the Food and Drug Administration alerts people about the potential issue as a public service.
Think of how handy it could be if an innovative and tech-savvy food manufacturer set up a chatbot people could use to mention problems with things they bought.
If there were a sudden surge of communications from people complaining they found metal fragments in candy bars, the factory officials would know there is likely a severe issue and be able to deal with it before large amounts of people got injured and the brand’s reputation became tarnished.
Now that you’ve gotten a glimpse into how chatbots might change the manufacturing industry, perhaps you’re even more excited about what the future holds.
Whether or not you work in this sector, you’ll likely experience improvements facilitated by chatbots before long.
Image by Jack Moreh
4 Innovative Ways Chatbots Could Break Into The Manufacturing Industry was originally published in Chatbots Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
Source: Chatbots Magazine