Reaping the Benefits of Automation

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Automation is becoming a feature of manufacturing and distributing businesses and with good reason. You may even think that ‘the benefits of automation’ is a misnomer with regard to your staff as, traditionally, it has been thought of as the cause of putting people out of jobs and doing away with critical thinking. In this article, we seek to present a different argument than the status quo, one where you will discover the benefits of automation for your staff and business as a whole.

Job creation

Contrary to popular opinion, automation can actually be a driver for job creation. Automation may well replace people doing repetitive work that can easily be done by a machine or robot, but it also creates the opportunity for more jobs that require critical thinking. For these, only humans are eligible to apply.

An example of this is with the introduction of ATMs that certainly resulted in a lesser need for bank tellers. However, the lower cost of operation, resulted in the ability to open more branches which in effect, increased the overall need for staff.

Similarly, an IFR report in 2017 found that in the period from 2010 to 2016, both in the US and German automotive industries, significant increases in robotics in manufacturing was met with tens of thousands of added jobs.

Increased employee satisfaction

Sometimes, doing a task that’s mundane and routine can help you grind through the day. However, anyone doing mundane tasks for the full day is bound to feel dissatisfied and unchallenged.

This is where automation in the workplace comes in. It provides a reliable and cost-effective way of getting the monotonous manufacturing tasks done, thereby freeing valuable staff resources (read: experience, skills and wisdom) for the complex, critical-thought-requiring tasks that only humans can do. Invariably this kind of staff management will increase satisfaction levels which has a myriad of subsequent benefits.

Increased quality and throughput

Automation, with its incessantly compliant, efficient and reliable nature, results in increased throughput and quality of the product.

In manufacturing and technical industries, consistency and efficiency with minimal error and downtime are of utmost importance. Automation and robotics in manufacturing negate human error and provide a reliable and consistent way to manufacture which increases throughput of a quality product. Every single time.

Promoting a safer workplace

Automation is also a fantastic way to protect staff and get them off the repetitive jobs that come with attached high risk such as fatigued staff working with blades, chemicals, or even simply the risk of repetitive strain injury (RSI). Any chance to improve workplace safety should be taken and implemented whole-heartedly and automation provides a wonderful opportunity to do just that.

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Melanie - Unleashed Software

Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.

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