For manufacturing businesses that regularly manage remote employees and delivery agents, establishing the right video conferencing infrastructure is crucial. Why? Because manufacturing today involves real-time collaboration and troubleshooting, and video conferencing can connect everyone across the business — from the production and factory floor to the research and development department to the sales and marketing teams. Here are five infrastructure requirements your business should have in place before adopting this technology.
1. A Fast, Reliable Internet Connection
As technology advances, your internet connection must keep pace. Using HD video creates a sharper image, which is useful when conducting training on new products or machinery, or troubleshooting an issue with a client or supplier. HD video requires more bandwidth, however, than standard video streaming, so ensure your internet connection can handle the extra load. You need at least 5 megabits per second for HD-quality video streaming from one device. Consider how many video streams your company may have at any given time to calculate how much overall bandwidth you'll need.
2. 21st-Century Mobility
Gone are the days of sitting at a desk to conduct client calls, monitor activity, check and verify orders, track shipments, and generally keep tabs on your manufacturing business. You can now do all of those things from your smartphone or tablet, and you can also participate in video conferences while on the go.
In today's fast-paced world, manufacturing teams need to be mobile. Consider those employees who walk the floor with a smartphone connected to the company network, or your sales team that takes calls while traveling. Your technical teams that travel and remain on site for an extended period of time, perhaps for a new installation, upgrade, or training, also use mobile devices to stay connected with HQ.
To enable the best internal communication, you need cloud-based mobility that allows your team to access streamlined video conferencing solutions. Your team can make and receive video calls with the touch of a button. And with mobile video capabilities, if a client or supplier has a question about your product, or how to fix a part, you can show them the product in real time. In this way, mobility is an essential requirement of video conference infrastructure.
As part of your video conferencing infrastructure, UCaaS streamlines all of your communications so everyone is always on the same page.
3. High-Quality Webcams
Being able to read someone's body language and facial expression through face-to-face communication is essential, even in today's digital age. Video conferencing for smartphones, laptops, and tablets can aid that connection.
Before adopting your video conferencing infrastructure, consider installing high-quality webcams for your employees' laptops. Doing so allows them to see who they're interacting with on conference calls or training sessions, and helps your employees build relationships with each other, as well as with clients, suppliers, and anyone else who interacts with your business.
If you're wondering how to implement web conferencing, there are a few factors to consider. Depending on your setup, you can buy monitors with webcams built in or standalone webcams that you can connect and disconnect as necessary. Consider features like resolution (at least 1080p), frame rate (at least 60 frames per second), noise cancellation or reduction, background removal, and low light or automatic light correction.
4. Unified Communications Applications
Video conferencing infrastructure is built around communications applications, like audio, video, and web conferencing, as well as phone management.
Unified communications as a service (UCaaS) is a way to tie all of your communications applications together. Whether your manufacturing business uses Salesforce or Netsuite to manage leads, the sales pipeline, and client interactions or Prodoscore to measure employee engagement, your applications are essential to your internal productivity and communication. As part of your video conferencing infrastructure, UCaaS streamlines all of your communications so everyone is always on the same page.
The centralized platform makes it easy for team members to contact one another with one click and pull up past video calls to access critical information. If you have offices spread across the globe, you won't lose track of any communications with a UCaaS platform. It also offers robust reporting features so you can collect and analyze meaningful data about your company's video conferences.
5. Employee Training
Finally, you'll need to train your employees on how to use the video conferencing infrastructure. Advise them on video conferencing best practices, such as where to stand and how to adjust lighting, as well as technical details, such as how to share screens for presentations, how to record meetings and trainings for future reference, and how to access call stats and other valuable information. Taking time to train employees before implementing video conferencing solutions can make all the difference in a successful adoption.
Enabling proper communication is just as crucial to your manufacturing business as the machinery and tools you use to create your products. With video conferencing, you create effective opportunities for teams to stay on the same page, even when they're on the go. And to get the most out of your video conferencing solutions, be sure to have the right personnel and technology requirements in place prior to implementation.