Plant Insights

Manufacturing in a Crisis: Enhance Communications with the Right Operational Tools

17. Juni 2020

“One of the reasons that humans can achieve so much is our ability to share ideas, information and instructions.” Dr. Andy Brazier, Human Factor and Process Safety Consultant, in “crisis communication” April-2020. Read full whitepaper on "Crisis Response for Manufacturing Teams in the Process Industry".

Manufacturing in a Crisis: Enhance Communications with the Right Operational Tools

crissi response

The strongest and richest form of human communication is face-to-face. Until the COVID-19 pandemic occurred, most people took this form of communication for granted.

Companies have contingency plans for a variety of circumstances and challenges – even calamities – that might occur. But very few, if any, contemplated a scenario like this pandemic with it hitting the entire world simultaneously and with great speed. As such, the resultant challenges along the entire value-chain also appeared simultaneously with some of the challenges interacting with one another and amplifying their seriousness and complexity.

In the process industry, we use face-to-face meetings for the shift handover, for morning meetings, for continuous improvement meetings, for Lean meetings on the shop floor, and for many more instances where communication between involved parties occur. With the pandemic and the requirements associated with social distancing, those meetings can no longer take place with people in close quarters for any extended period of time. As such, everybody must quickly determine and adapt to a new “normal”.

This pandemic offers the opportunity to clearly demonstrate how much we can immediately benefit from the digitization of communication processes; especially for those who haven’t done it yet. And although the pandemic is an extreme case, there will always be the opportunity for some localized crisis which will require you to be agile, resilient, and engaging with great speed and clarity. However, by adapting to this new normal, your operations will be more efficient than before. In addition and considering the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) as it penetrates deeper into and across our businesses and its operations, AI will only reach its full potential if we incorporate human intelligence. This is especially true in the process industry where hazardous and complex processes are operated by highly skilled and experienced experts.

If data is the new oil, communication is the new jet fuel.


Technology can help overcome changes that affect communication, but only if managed properly to support business processes. Introducing technology in a crisis without proper control can be catastrophic. This whitepaper has been comm.

  • Communication is critical to manufacturing at all levels
  • It is the way that messages are understood and acted on that matter
  • Assessing risks dynamically during a crisis
  • During a crisis stable remote access to key information is vital to management


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Felix Michler

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