Automation, according to VMWare, “is the process of creating software and systems to replace repeatable processes and reduce manual intervention.” In other words, software is the key to your business working more efficiently and scaling your systems. It is designed to help lead you to new ways of working. Therefore, it is essential that you match your business needs with the right software package. Ask yourself the following question: What are the goals of your business, and how does software enable you to meet those goals?
Automation is a powerful tool useable by big and small companies to streamline processes, scale a business, provide significant cost savings, speed up operations, reduce errors and delivery times, and much more. Some companies in the glass industry still rely on QuickBooks or Excel spreadsheets to track orders and meet customer delivery dates. All of this change can sound overwhelming, so how can you implement software and automation tools?
Change isn’t easy as pointed out by many of our customers. They would also point out that change is worth it! Change helps us grow as humans and companies. By implementing small changes, you can move your company towards Industry 4.0, which involves the automation of different processes involving machines and sensors throughout the facility.
Advantages of Automation
Increasingly, automation is becoming a necessity for companies to navigate and manage the complex modern business landscape. It has several benefits:
- Quicker operations: Reduce involvement of humans in certain processes, so you can speed up the time order entry and delivery.
- Reduction in errors: Ensure consistency, which is impossible to do with individuals completing tasks manually.
- Data security: Safeguard sensitive information and thus reduce the possibility of breaches.
- Cost savings: Fewer labor hours are required to complete routine tasks, thus increasing productivity, optimizing resource utilization, and decreasing costs associated with human error.
- Saving time: Free up staff to focus on higher-level tasks.
Disadvantages of Automation
There are some disadvantages to be aware of:
- Investment Cost: Investing in software and automation has an upfront cost, which you will make up over time by reducing errors, increasing throughput, etc., but you must factor this cost in when buying the software. How long will it take for you to coup this cost?
- Consequences of Errors: Set up automation tools correctly and test them before deployment, so you reduce the possibility for errors.
So, as you weight the advantages and disadvantages of any purchase for your business, search for knowledge industry professionals, who can help guide you in your journey. Lean on them to help you clarify your requirements in order to expand and develop a business capable of tackling the challenges of 2022 and beyond.
*This blog was originally written for the National Glass Association and was replicated on A+W's website for your reading pleasure.