Blog · 05 Apr 2022

Bridging the knowledge and skills gap with remote support

With changing workforce behaviours, how do organisations today find a way to retail and distribute critical knowledge?

Dean Woods
Senior Vice President - Global Sales at Librestream Technologies Inc

Employees are rich sources of experience and expertise and, when they move on, your organisation can be badly affected.

People who stay with one company for their entire career are a rarity these days. In fact, 2021 studies have found that the average job tenure can be as low as 1.8 years.

It’s very different from my father’s days. He joined BT straight from school and went on to have a fulfilling 40-year career with the company. I used to go to work with him during the holidays and saw firsthand how his years of knowledge were vital to monitoring, supervising, managing and training BT teams in the field.

However, given today’s turnover rate, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for organisations to pass on vital and hard-earned information from one employee to the next. That’s why, across all verticals, knowledge loss and retention are significant issues. Changing workforce behaviors, increasing technological complexity and a global shortage of 85.2 million skilled workers, are all making it harder for organisations to share already limited skills and experience across their business.

The consequences of losing knowledge

Without reliable access to senior-level technical skills and longstanding expertise, many organisations experience increased training costs, a need for external maintenance support and even extra occupational health risks from an inexperienced workforce.

And, since the pandemic, the challenges around knowledge distribution have intensified as distancing restrictions have made it even harder to get expertise into the right places and maintain business continuity.

Many retailers, for example, have relied for decades on travelling auditors and inspectors moving around their supply chain network to assess each individual store or factory. Suddenly, this way of working was impossible, as public health measures set up barriers between employees and locations. Businesses couldn’t carry out face-to-face training or fly staff in to help with maintenance. This new reality boosted interest in solutions that can help companies overcome those barriers to provide remote support and maintain business continuity.

So, how are organisations tackling these challenges?

Overcoming barriers and distances

Many organisations are turning to advanced augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI) and IoT solutions to collect and distribute knowledge effectively across their global and distributed workforce. In the field, this technology connects field workers to remote experts to get the information they need no matter where they are, whether it’s for onsite training, maintenance support or carrying out safety inspections. These capabilities offer an immersive experience in real-time by allowing users to capture and share live video, audio and data with their remote experts. And, if experts aren’t available for support, solutions such as smart glasses can use AI computer vision for intelligent, real-time object detection and safety monitoring, or guiding workers through digital workflows using earpieces.

In fact, these remote solutions are already accelerating decision making, reducing costs and increasing productivity and safety. Without the need for travel, one major retailer we’ve been working with is now carrying out multiple site audits a day - as opposed to one – significantly reducing their carbon footprint and costs. Plus, because inspectors no longer need to enter hazardous environments, the technology is helping them to meet their commitments to improve onsite safety.

The right knowledge, at the right time

Librestream is proud to offer solutions alongside BT which can help you overcome your barriers to getting knowledge into the places you need, at the right time. We built our Onsight AR platform to transform workforces by providing access to remote experts who can diagnose, inspect and troubleshoot assets in the field.

Our platform incorporates AI capabilities such as computer vision to automatically identify assets. Also, it connects to IoT platforms to display relevant safety and workflow data to staff when operating in the field. And it can run on a range of different devices to suit your individual use case and environment - whether that’s mobile phones, industrial wearables or traditional computers.

Please speak to your account manager to learn more about Onsight and its features.