Automation has been all over the news lately, and although it’s often spoken of in negative terms, such as being responsible for job losses, it could be a good thing for businesses. Automation has the potential to eliminate lots of small, difficult tasks, so your employees have more time to focus on the big picture. Here are some ways you can introduce or improve the automated processes in your business.
Break down your business processes
Not every part of your business processes will be able to be automated, and in some cases, it simply won’t make sense to add automation to certain areas. When you’re deciding which processes to automate, you should think about how a human would handle the task versus a computer. Is it something simple that rarely goes wrong? Is there the tech available to automate it efficiently? In some cases, you still need the human touch.
Work on improving processes ahead of automation
Even if you aren’t ready to automate a certain process, there are often tools available, such as the software at weaveability.com, that can make things quicker and easier for your workers. As software and hardware get faster and better, you may find that inevitably, the process becomes automated over time.
Automate your admin
One area that’s ripe for automation is administration, which is full of tedious, repetitive tasks that people don’t tend to want to do. Most workers spend a third of their day on admin, so if you take away some of the more mundane tasks, you free them up for bigger projects. From expenses to bookkeeping and credit control, there are lots of apps available to make your life easier.
Ensure quality doesn’t suffer
In theory, automation shouldn’t affect quality, as machines will do the same thing over and over in the same way. However, in some manufacturing environments, certain elements can suffer when robots take over, and it can still be better to do things by hand. You need to ensure there’s still a human element to your quality control for the best results.
Make sure the numbers check out
Automation isn’t a cheap process; it usually means investing in expensive hardware or software, so you need to ensure that the ROI works out. Not only do you have the initial outlay of automation, you need to factor in ongoing maintenance and the potential costs that downtime might bring. However, you may well find that it’s still worthwhile to make the investment.
Automation isn’t a magic wand that cuts down on costs and increases productivity. Although it can do these things, it has to be implemented properly and is usually rolled out over time rather than trying to automate everything in one go. While it can be tempting to automate all your boring, repetitive tasks, there are some things that need a human touch, whether it’s for reasons of quality control or because computers don’t understand the complexity behind them. Therefore, you should be cautious and consult with experts when adding automation to any process.