Industry 4.0 and the Importance of How-To Video

Two workers using an enterprise video platform to solve company issues

We are currently in an era of rapid technological change, where artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and automation are quickly becoming the norm in the working environment. Within the manufacturing industry, this new landscape is referred to as Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution.

Industry 4.0 relies on sophisticated technology including Big Data, Industrial Internet of Things, AI (artificial intelligence) and others to help create efficiencies throughout organizations, from design to assembly, to distribution.  Industry 4.0 also represents a significant shift in how employees in manufacturing work and prepare themselves, and given the rapid change in the manufacturing landscape, it is more important than ever to provide the workforce every opportunity for success.

The manufacturing industry is also one of the most culturally diverse work sectors, with employees distributed across multiple locations and sometimes even continents. This diversity can present language challenges, which subsequently can impact employee performance. Manufacturers need to ensure that all employees are skilled to handle their roles and responsibilities, and that they are capable of managing the evolutions in the workplace.

Manufacturers today have an increased responsibility to not only attract top talent, but to also upskill existing employees to harness the power of new manufacturing technologies. The more knowledge employees have access to, the more they can contribute.  One way organizations can begin this process and enhance collaboration is through the use of short interactive presentation videos, otherwise known as how-to videos.

What is a How-To Video?

We’ve all watched how-to videos; perhaps after you failed on your first attempt to build your new IKEA cabinet (in spite of having tried to decipher the enclosed instructions). Or maybe you’ve seen your kids watch an interactive how-to video on how to make slime. Whatever the case, a how-to video is quite self-explanatory. But as you may have also noticed, today’s how-to videos are nothing like the long boring ones you may have watched in the past.

Modern day how-to videos differ in that they incorporate elements of micro-learning into the mix.  And while the trend may have started with many of the instructional videos you see on YouTube, brief, impactful How-To video is becoming the preferred way to transfer knowledge and continuously onboard employees in the manufacturing sector.

By combining video with documents, audio, webcam, screen captures and embedded hyperlinks, organizations can enable content to be broken down into bite-size chapters for increased and more efficient comprehension.  And perhaps most importantly, these videos can be included in an organization’s digital library of business know-how.

Video and Industry 4.0

There are many ways to transfer knowledge in the workplace including: live classes, textbooks, in-person peer session etc. Each of these offers a unique experience, however none offer as many advantages as video.  

Not only will frequent and continuous delivery of these interactive how-to videos enhance productivity within the workplace, they also will ensure accelerated onboarding for new employees. In both cases, videos will address common frustrations and fill any knowledge gaps that exist within your workforce.  

Further, since the manufacturing sector requires a digital solution that can proactively improve resource knowledge bases, delivering such materials in a scalable, personalized, and flexible manner helps organizations adjust to the dynamic needs of today’s firms. As such, a modern video solution that meets the needs of industry must provide an easy and quick method for capture and distribution of best practices.

Preparing for the future

Many manufacturers incorporate processes that have been in place for years; processes that in spite of technology improvements haven’t required changing. In many cases, those jobs have been manned by senior technicians, who in some cases are nearing retirement age.  

According to the AARP, 10,000 baby boomers are turning 65 every single day, and this is expected to continue into the 2030s. This also means that approximately seven baby boomers are turning 65 every minute.  

The loss of the skills and knowledge held by those individuals could seriously and negatively impact a manufacturing business should those people leave their positions — therefore implementing a system through which knowledge could be shared would be of significant and material value.  

Many of us still associate video technology with millennials and younger demographics, but the reality is that every age group can benefit from interactive how-to videos. By incorporating video into their operations, manufacturing organizations can scale their knowledge sharing and unlock internal expertise. An interactive video knowledge sharing solution can empower employees to create quick and dynamic content.

This technology puts knowledge and content creation in the hands of those performing the jobs, rather than training designers, allowing for quick sharing of critical and relevant information. In just a few minutes, employees can capture and record detailed tutorials and explanations to assist employees, both now and in the future. Employees can effortlessly record incidental and unexpected educational moments.

Because video is so easy to create, any employee can easily record presentations, discussions or demonstrations to share as a piece of informal content to help a colleague perform their job better. Even older generations of employees can easily record and share their knowledge.

To stay competitive, organizations must arm their workforce with the right tools and technology. Manufacturing is rapidly, so it’s more important than ever before to provide your team with a How-To video knowledge transfer solution and ensure your business is ready for Industry 4.0.