Training at your fingertips on the manufacturing floor: Stanley Black & Decker

Stanley Black & Decker developed a modern solution to a common manufacturing problem in the digital age thanks to an innovative partnership with Apple and Jamf.

December 6 2022 by

Laurie Mona

For almost 200 years, Stanley Black & Decker has been in the business of manufacturing tools. Today they’re the world leader in the tools industry, a diversified industrial company with a portfolio of tool brands, outdoor brands and industrial solutions.

Key to their success at turning their family of brands into household names: world-class innovation. In today’s fast-paced digital age, that means embracing technology, and collaborating with strategic partners to develop game-changing solutions for digital transformation within the manufacturing industry, using data and analytics to drive efficiencies.

When challenged with the need to give shopfloor employees access to mobile devices to deliver digital training and productivity applications and make their jobs more efficient, they partnered with the leaders in the field, Apple and Jamf, to develop an innovative distributed device solution.

Love and trust: Apple and Jamf

In the manufacturing world, when it comes to technology use and adoption, there has long been a disconnect between office workers and those standing on the production floor.

The latter often have not used personal computing devices like laptops or tablets as they go about completing their tasks. They haven't needed their own network credentials to access distributed application pools or mobile technology.

But if employees on the manufacturing floor don’t have network credentials, how do you enable them to use mobile devices to take advantage of new digital solutions? And how can employers not only provide the proper tools, but encourage their adoption, manage their use, and keep them secured?

Last year, Stanley Black & Decker piloted a digital transformation program in six of their North American manufacturing facilities to develop, test and refine a distributed device solution, with the following framework in mind.

Step One: Start with the user. For any new program to be a success, you need employee buy-in and adoption. When you want employees to embrace using mobile devices on the job, you can make it easier by giving them the tools they already love in their personal lives – Apple devices.

Sharing the love for Apple wasn’t just excitement over access to cool, user-friendly tech, but the IT team’s recognition of the value of Apple device security, clear documentation and standards, ease of updates and even the device retirement resale value.

Bringing Apple onboard as a partner ensured they could make the most of Apple technology.

Step Two: Choose a mobile device management (MDM) solution that can be trusted to reliably handle and secure devices shared between employees and between shifts.

They found the answer in Jamf Pro, offering the key features of Jamf Setup and Jamf Reset, which enable the easy, secure, zero touch hand-off they wanted. Along with every management and security capability and streamlined workflow needed for maximum productivity.

Experts from Jamf joined the team to continue developing the most effective solution.

“It’s critical to have partners like Jamf and Apple, not only for the thought leadership that they can provide, but also because their expertise is invaluable. They help make sure that the configuration that we’re deploying is utilizing all the best features of both the Apple device and the Jamf platform.”- Audrey Van de Castle, Director of Digital Transformation, Stanley Black & Decker

Look for the answer within

When it came to identifying a solution for the physical secured storage and distribution of the iPads, Stanley Black & Decker’s answer was found right within their family of brands – the DevLock high security charging locker manufactured by CribMaster.

This access-controlled locker solution secures and charges durable electronic items like cellphones, tablets and laptops. Each individual locker is equipped with a USB plug and universal power outlet.

By incorporating solutions from Jamf, the team really moved the needle on employee autonomy.

In answer to the typical pain point of IT support for operational technology, by using Jamf Setup and Reset, they can offer Tier Zero support, mitigating potential service calls.

If an iPad isn’t working right, they simply plug it back into the CribMaster unit so the device can be automatically reset and set up again to self-repair. Meanwhile, they simply grab another iPad and get back to work. All without the need for a call to IT, and IT ticket or hands-on IT support.

The pilot team’s continuing evolution of the product solution and technology integrations promises even more innovations in the future.

Efficiency in action

The successful rollout of the pilot program in select manufacturing facilities should lead to eventual expansion company wide.

While this solution is still being refined to further automate device management, participants in the partner program are already experiencing rewards.

For employees, they’re able to easily grab a device they can reliably count on.

For plant management, they’re able to give their employees access to the digital solutions that not only make their job more efficient, but safer and more fulfilling.

Being able to have employees access databases which enable data collection and analysis can be transformational for organizations, in terms of efficiencies and cost savings.

From a company standpoint, this project brings digital solutions to employee populations that have not always seen their benefits. Success means empowering all employees at the same time they’re improving processes, finding efficiencies, cutting costs, and ultimately delivering on their core operating model: bringing people and technology together.

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