How HONO is Driving HR Transformation in Traditional Manufacturing

Traditional Manufacturing has been ailing from a combination of industry specific HR challenges, which have a direct impact not only on ‘people issues’ but also on productivity. Unscheduled absenteeism disrupting work-lines is a primary case-point. HONO, with its industry-tailored and AI-powered full-suite HRMS has been addressing these key pain-points and transforming traditional manufacturing for brands like NBC Bearings, PGP Glass, Eveready and Kohler. Here’s how!

Traditional manufacturing has been the central axis around which all industries have grown ever since the Industrial Revolution. And HR paradigms, including HR reforms, have all been shaped within Traditional Manufacturing, which has been important not only because of its output but also  because of the scale at which it has provided employment to people.

The pressing need of a sustainable HR transformation in traditional manufacturing sector is becoming increasingly evident, owing to the following:

  • Escalating Need Of Human Capital
    More than any other industry, it is traditional manufacturing, which has consistently presented a need for blue-collar employees. This has meant that the geographical expanse and demand has been well beyond the usual geographies of developed nations and metropolitan-centric regions.

    To fulfil this increasing need, brands are forced to expand and diversify HR teams, which can be a huge cost to company. The need of the hour is to have a central intelligent HR system, which can manage the hiring and management of such a heterogenous work-force, without a proportionate expansion in HR teams.

  • Scale Of HR-connected Administrative Work (including Payroll Management)
    Led by Payroll Management, a slew of HR-connected administrative work posits a challenge for the Manufacturing Industry, as they grow.

    This challenge includes the difficulty of collating attendance data from multiple locales – which often is not consistent, addressing of queries from personnel, managing leave & attendance, creating and managing shifts on multiple work-lines and more. All of this, even in a semi-automated state, is a man-hour guzzler for HR teams, and severely reduces their available working bandwidth, which could otherwise be used for business-critical functions, which require ‘human thought’.

  • Compliance Challenges
    Since Manufacturing works on scale, and since it is often present across geographies, HR teams have to frequently deal with the sensitive issue of compliance, no matter which people-process they are dealing with. Starting from leave, attendance & shift management (over-time being a tricky issue), to compensation management, fair-practices and cultural sensitivity, compliance is a legally mandated need, besides being an ethical benchmark every decent brand would like to achieve.

    Yet this is extremely difficult to manage, as HR teams have to keep track of multiple compliance rules across geographies where the company functions, and for multiple kinds of people. This again cried out of an ‘intelligent configurable system’, which can transform the working by cutting down human involvement in a purely ‘mechanical administrative’ process.

  • Time-consuming HR Processes
    HR processes also turn relatively time-consuming in Manufacturing because of multiplicity of HR teams, compliance challenges (as mentioned above), delay in data availability, inconsistent and unreliable data, and huge quantum of HR queries, resulting in high need for manual query-resolution. To make matters worse, a great number of employees are often not digital literate, and to expect them to log into any of the legacy HR systems is asking too much.

    This leaves HR teams constantly under pressure, burning precious man-hours on processes, which could have been addressed by smart algorithms.

  • Scale Of People-Impact
    Any Transformation that is engendered in the Manufacturing promises to have far reaching impact, impact that cuts across industries, as Approximately 5.8 million jobs in other sectors depend on, or are supported in some form by the manufacturing industry all around the world.


  • Bane Of Unplanned Absenteeism
    Brands across Manufacturing run on work-lines, populated by skilled & unskilled blue-collar employees, a great number of which are gig-workers. This can result in frequent and unscheduled absenteeism, disrupting or slowing down work, and significantly impacting output and productivity.

    Of all the challenges, this in our experience has been a major source of difficulty and an important paint-point for Manufacturing.


HONO, one of India’s brightest HR-Tech names, has read the writing on the wall and sees the Manufacturing Sector, as a principal industry, ready for a next-generation HR transformation. Our bespoke solutions have touched and made a positive impact on brands like PGP Glass, NBC Bearings, Yokohama, Eveready, ATG, Krishna Maruti Limited and Kohler in this sector.

HONO’s HR-Tech solutions have been transformative because HONO has taken a consultative approach to deployments on every Manufacturing brand, one of the value-pillars of HONO being one-size-fits-one (as against the one-size-fits-all).

Here’s a look at some of the HR & HR-related challenges these brands from Manufacturing faced and the ingenuity HONO brought to the solution suite:   

Recruitment Challenges

Recent years have seen a decline in available workforce for hiring in Manufacturing, especially in the post-pandemic period. This presents a clear challenge of managing recruitment across employee levels.

HONO solution has enabled brands to hire without delay, being able to anticipate hiring needs and reduce the time and effort required to initiate, process and close a hiring. This has involved integrating the hiring system with Manpower planning process at one end and with career portals on the other end.

An automated tracking system was deployed to track applicants and to shortlist the ideal candidates with best skill-fitment, ensuring recruitment which is seamless. This HONO  Hire2retain system is backed by AI, which helps in filtering candidates and reduces manual intervention significantly.

Employee Retention

Employee retention is clearly a function of multiple complex factors among which chief are: Employee satisfaction, Right Compensation, Cultural Fitment and Growth Opportunities.

The HONO suite has ensured that the HR has an automated system – powered by a conversational technology, easy to use mobile-first interface – to constantly modulate the mood and sentiment of the workforce. The solution (HONO PULSE) is run by regular internal surveys (transactional, life-cycle), which provide HR and team leaders a clear picture of employee mood & sentiment (by employee, team, location, level etc).

Complementing this are robust features, which ensures that employee experience during employee-tenure is a happy one:  from an automated 100% paperless onboarding portal which sets up employees for success from day one to an automated leave & attendance system, which is integrated with payroll and HRIS.

Training and Development

An upskilling suite integrated with Performance Management System, ensures that employees in need of upskilling are identified before it is too late, and the required training provided, both online and through classroom teaching.

The HONO suite also comes with a configurable Reward & Recognition system, which allows the HR to allocate budgets for the same, plan the programme and run it.

Negatively Impacted Productivity (Due to Absenteeism)

As mentioned earlier, the problem of unplanned absenteeism is rife in the Manufacturing sector and has a significant impact on productivity. What makes the problem more acute is the butterfly effect unscheduled absenteeism has on the process of roster management and shift management – not only increasing the manual effort of HR, but making it impossible to

Take any rear-guard action even when details of the ‘absent personnel’ is brought to light.

So, HONO has designed and deployed an ingenious solution suite called HONO ARASMUS or the HONO (Auto-rostering & Shift-management System), which is backed by AI and addresses the impact of absenteeism on productivity. It’s a smart suite that helps warn line managers and HR of any impending absenteeism within work-lines well in advance, helping foresee serious gaps that could impede productivity. The suite also performs the important function of re-allocating resources to critical work-lines to ensure optimum productivity wherever priority positions or work-lines are likely to be disrupted or affected by absenteeism.

What’s more, the solution also ends up creating an invaluable exhaustive database of work-lines and ‘positions’ on the work-line, along with corresponding skill-sets. A similar database is created of all working personnel, mapping them to their positions.

Here’s a look at the ARASMUS feature-set:

  • Creates a full database of work-lines, personnel-positions and skillsets mapped to each other.
  • Allows absentee to inform system by a simple mobile message.
  • Uses AI to identify replacement from available personnel and informs personnel by an auto-generates system message (besides informing absentee of the same)
  • Creates shifts and rosters automatically, keeping track of leaves, over-times and compliance.
  • Uses an advanced attendance-marking system called HAPACS (HONO Attendance And Personnel Access Control System), which uses facial recognition & AI to automate attendance process and provide real-time attendance data.

Automation (For better Efficiencies & to free HR bandwidth)

Ideally, an HR team would like to perform ‘human functions’ of decision-making, culture-building, people=connect, instead of being focussed on dealing with tasks like basic query management, attendance data collation and regularisation, application scanning, personnel-exit-processing and the likes.

Most of the afore-mentioned challenges exist owing to lack of basic automation and the difficulty of manually putting together data that resides on multiple platforms.

The HONO suite for Manufacturing addresses all of these challenges elegantly by using a Single-source-of-Truth, a single platform where all data resides, processed by Artificial Intelligence and controlled by HR.

What HONO’s HR Transformation looks like for Manufacturing Brands:

  • Minimized productivity loss, where productivity was negatively impacted by absenteeism
  • Highly reduced time and effort of HR Teams on Shift & Roster Management.
  • More accurate strategic & tactical manpower planning, since data is real-time and allows analyses based on advanced reporting schemas.
  • A ready database of mapped skills, work-lines & personnel, which helps in recruitment, budgeting, upskilling programmes
  • 100% Mobile Adoption within weeks of going LIVE
  • Flexibility of Custom Workflows, as all systems are configurable and allows HR to work in multiple compliance frameworks
  • 100% Employee & manager Self-Service, which translates into high engagement, since the interface is multilingual and supported by ‘conversational technology’
  • 100% Real-time Attendance Reporting

    Request a Demo Now!

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Senior Industry & Consulting Leader, Rajesh Padmanabhan Appointed As Chairman, HONO

Senior Industry & Consulting Leader, Rajesh Padmanabhan Appointed As Chairman, HONO

Senior Industry & Consulting Leader, Rajesh Padmanabhan Appointed As Chairman, HONO