Uponor, a leading supplier of plumbing, fire sprinkler and radiant heating and cooling systems for residential and commercial spaces worldwide, recently launched Red e App to its manufacturing employees. Uponor’s implementation is the current Insight on Manufacturing cover story, There’s an app for that (in manufacturing).
“We have a fairly sizeable percentage of our workforce that doesn’t have ready access to a computer because they’re on the floor or in our distribution centers,” says Chris Moore, vice president of information technology at Uponor. “We’d really been struggling with how to communicate with these employees.”
Like most manufacturers, Uponor realized the limits to posting information on a bulletin board in hopes of it landing in the hands of workers. But there was something the company noticed which was already in the workers’ hands.
“We thought, ‘Who doesn’t have a cell phone?’ And most people have smart phones. We really need to find an application, at no cost to the employee, that provides a way for us to communicate with them,’” says Moore.
Enter Red e App, a private, secure mobile messaging platform which provides communication via personal smart devices rather than using traditional email. Web applications like Red e App are proving to be a useful operations tool for an increasing number of manufacturers. While the technology isn’t new, the widespread use of smart devices among employees is an element that didn’t exist, to its current extent, a decade ago. That is the factor which opens up a whole new way to communicate, as well as a whole new acronym.
“When people understand how their job is connected to the overall company strategy, every employee becomes a player,” Moore says. After implementing Red e App less than six months ago, Moore says Uponor has seen more than a 30 percent increase in the read rate of company transmitted information.
“Roughly less than 50 percent of our workforce was seeing that information before Red e App,” Moore explains. “Now we have 80 to 85 percent reading the information.”
The direct result of that improvement in communication, according to Moore, is higher employee engagement, which leads to better retention rates in a highly competitive employment market.
Red e App Marketing Director