Manufacturers are particularly focused on using video conferencing to improve productivity, with 62% citing this as a key driver for implementing the technology. 48% of respondents reported that the majority of their colleagues are based in a different office, either overseas or in the same country, and video conferencing is clearly critical to supporting productivity and collaboration.

Commenting on the findings, Kevin Bernitz, VP of product management at StarLeaf, said: “Manufacturers readily work to tight deadlines and respond quickly to customer requests. However, traditional ways of communicating, through emails or voice calls alone, are no longer sufficient to address the challenges of today’s fast-moving manufacturing. The ‘always-on economy’ has dramatically transformed work patterns with office-based staff who are constantly in dialogue with on-site operations managers and suppliers through the supply chain.

“However, with growing pressures to meet production schedules, the requirement for intuitive collaboration solutions is greater than ever. Streamlining production is vital to ensure finished products are delivered on time and to specification. While video conferencing is becoming increasingly popular within the manufacturing industry, many businesses in the sector still view technology as a barrier to communications due to reliability issues, rather than as a platform helping employees to communicate more effectively. These issues are hindering collaboration, which – in turn – is impacting on productivity levels.”

Manufacturing companies rely on their employees to work efficiently and deliver the highest standards in products and services. Being able to collaborate in an instant is a necessity for a fast-paced business with global operations and stakeholders located across multiple production sites. Manufacturers, therefore, need to have the right solutions in place to ensure their employees can work in the most efficient way possible.

“When communicating with customers and partners, who themselves use a variety of video conferencing systems, the manufacturer’s collaboration platforms must operate seamlessly with any third-party meeting systems. Also, there should be no need to immediately ‘rip and replace’ old equipment when deploying a new service, which would increase the cost and complexity of deployment. By moving to suitable cloud-based solutions, manufacturers have the freedom to utilise existing equipment while enjoying the full benefits of a modern solution, which still provide a secure, collaborative environment,” Bernitz concluded.