Have you tried to pursue automation projects only to be roadblocked by this question? Well, it's a legitimate question that we should work to answer. To that end, here is a list of five keystone reasons why you should pursue projects to gain the benefits of automation in your business. I find that the majority of benefits fit nicely into one of these 5 reasons.
Highly Engaged Workforce
For me, one of the most impactful benefits of automation includes fostering a highly engaged workforce by automating mundane tasks, thus enabling your team to concentrate on valuable and stimulating work.
Few people enjoy boring, repetitive work. We need to focus on automating the boring and repetitive work so that employees may concentrate on completing what they love and do best. Let technology take care of the boring parts of the job. Your employees will be happier. They will produce a higher quality of work, produce it in less time, and with fewer mistakes.
Often overlooked, industrial robotic automation can lead to fewer workplace accidents as robots take on jobs that previously resulted in accidents, such as falls or strains.
Increase Work Capacity
Automating a process is ultimately about gaining efficiencies. These efficiencies then give us the option to either remove costs or redeploy labor hours to other areas of the business. Redeploying existing labor can prove to be the key to scaling and is another of our primary benefits of automation.
In 2022, Forrester estimates that intelligent automation will liberate $134 billion in labor value. Companies must learn to master automation. The job market is expected to stay extremely tight and competitive. If you want to grow and scale, you will need to invest in automation - there isn't another option. If your competitors gain the upper hand in automation, you will be at a severe disadvantage.
A good example of this can be seen in recent efforts to implement automation technology to improve lead times and delivery schedules in the restaurant industry. With Covid-19, most restaurants had to pivot to quickly adapt. Many restaurants successfully pivoted to online ordering, delivery only, and take-out business models. Automation technology, such as Toast, was at the core of this success.
Create Consistent Outcomes
Improving the repeatability of processes is key to delivering consistent service for any business. Better Service = More Customers = More Revenue. The benefits of automation become apparent when you observe the enhancement of all three elements.
Successful automation will require you to create a Standard Operating Procedure and supporting documentation. This step alone will dramatically increase the repeatability of a process. Additionally, you will need to leverage some type of technology to put the process on auto-pilot. So, once you enable automation the process will be executed 100% according to your SOP.
We recommend creating SOPs for all repeatable processes in your business before attempting full automation projects. You will be surprised by the benefits gained by this effort. The process of creating an SOP often highlights bad, unneeded, or outdated steps in a process.
When you introduce effective automation we will create opportunities to cut costs. You don't need an MBA to understand you can scale much more cheaply if some percentage of your processes are automated.
So, whether you are a manufacturer or service organization, or something different altogether, you need people to generate revenue. So, if you want more revenue per employee you must invest in automation. Leveraging the "benefits of automation" is essential for improving a company's unit economics, a crucial indicator of business health, as it enables us to produce more with fewer headcounts.
Improve Business Sustainability
With automation, we often gain the ability to monitor a process and the various data that flows through the process. For example, let's say you automate the Customer Onboarding process. When we automated this process we defined 5 unique stages that a new customer goes through to become fully set up in our system.
Leveraging the benefits of automation, we can effortlessly track the number of customers at each stage and the duration spent in a specific stage. Furthermore, we can establish service level agreements to prevent customers from lingering in a stage longer than anticipated and generate reports or alerts to inform management of any SLA breaches.
That manager can then assist with removing whatever roadblock is causing the delay. More transparency in procedures will lead to an increase in creativity in the long run.
Summary - Let's Get On With It.
I hope this information has provided you with some ideas on how to get the ball rolling on your automation project. Still having trouble, please reach out on Twitter, LinkedIn, or email. I'd love to help you if I can.