• Cisco collaboration technology will offer DFA workforce greater safety, autonomy and productivity during COVID-19 pandemic and beyond
• Plant workers will have real-time visibility into operations, optimizing resources and resolution time.
• This initiative is funded through Cisco’s Country Digital Accelerating program, which is active in 34 countries around the world, bringing sustainable digital solutions to address real societal problems
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – June 18, 2020 — Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) is receiving a critical enhancement to its information technology capabilities thanks to global technology and networking company, Cisco, which has pledged to help optimize manufacturing operations and maintain workforce continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Food producers and manufacturers, such as DFA, are classified as critical infrastructure in the United States for the vital role they play in feeding the nation. With more than 85 manufacturing facilities producing milk and dairy products throughout the United States, it is critical that DFA continues to process milk and operate plants throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As some employees who would typically travel to manufacturing facilities instead work from home, DFA is implementing virtual technology to stay connected and ensure projects progress on schedule.
Donated collaboration technology — such as Cisco Webex room kits, DX-80s, Webex Teams and Webex Expert-on-Demand Software, and RealWear HMT-1 hands-free head-mounted devices — will allow DFA to connect its teams across the country in multiple manufacturing facilities with the highest level of security. This access to experts will help it shift production, optimize resources and increase resolution time as it adapts to changing demand.
“Cisco has been a trusted technology partner for DFA, and we are excited to expand our capabilities through this donation,” says Jeff Hurley, chief information officer for DFA. “As an essential infrastructure, it’s critical to ensure our plants, which produce milk and dairy products to feed families around the world, continue to operate. Integrating Cisco collaboration technology allows our experts to safely connect across the country while staying safe.”
The collaboration equipment and services are a donation from Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) Program. They will provide manufacturing workers with secure, remote access to experts and first-line support teams who are working from home or at other plants. Specifically, they will now have real-time visibility into operations through hands-free video devices, which will enable DFA’s workforce to remain productive and autonomous, while adhering to physical distancing guidelines.
“We believe that when citizens are faced with extraordinary challenges, it is our responsibility as business leaders to step up and offer support,” said Ned Cabot, Director of Country Digitization, Americas at Cisco. “We are proud to lend our expertise and collaboration tools to DFA and are grateful for their trust in Cisco to help them in their critical mission of feeding families across the world.”
The first phase of this donation is being deployed to four sites across DFA’s operations, including its largest processing facility in Portales, N.M., which can process the most milk (roughly 69 million gallons) each day of any DFA plant. Cisco collaboration equipment will be deployed to:
• Portales, N.M.
• Ventura, Calif.
• Zumbrota, Minn.
• Schulenburg, Texas
About Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) Program
Since its inception five years ago, Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) Program has developed strategic partnerships with governments across the world. Now active in 34 countries, CDA projects align with a nation’s priorities and bring digital solutions to unique societal challenges. By helping governments realize their digital agendas, CDA is helping countries stimulate economic growth and create an inclusive digital future where no one is left behind. During the COVID-19 pandemic, CDA has coordinated over 70 relief projects around the world.
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Dairy Farmers of America is a national, farmer-owned dairy cooperative focusing on quality, innovation and the future of family dairies. While supporting and serving more than 13,000 family farmers, DFA works with some of the world’s largest food companies to develop ingredients that satisfy its customers’ cravings while staying committed to social responsibility and ethical farming. For more information, please visit dfamilk.com.
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