Gaining better, role-optimized visibility with dashboards and reporting tools feeding off a manufacturing company’s live and historical data can be an empowering experience for CFOs and many other roles in an organization. However, it tends to run into limitations if manufacturers do not also give people the freedom to think and act on the data intelligence they receive.
At an immediate, tactical level, companies are using digital tools to automate everyday tasks and remove drudgery from employees lives. As working from anywhere, generational change, and the need to keep production employees safe prompt companies to reconsider how they recruit, retain, and manage people, CFOs can also take a broader approach to workforce transformation. Manufacturers and others have for years enlisted CFOs to help them win the war for talent, elevating traditional HR concerns to the executive suite and treating them strategically.10 Even before the pandemic, automating routine processes, more innovative talent development, and changing the culture of where and how people work became priorities for many CFOs.
The pandemic brought innovative workforce management to the foreground. It forced many manufacturers to act practically overnight to enable employees to serve customers and keep processes moving from any location. Large numbers of workers retired or lost their jobs, which made new-hire recruitment, training, and empowerment business-critical as manufacturers returned to operations at full capacity. Already in a key position at the juncture of finance, sales, and operations, many CFOs saw a further extension of their roles to also collaborate with HR to perform workforce planning and seed the ground for the right technology investments.