Innovation in automation technology makes it more accessible and important to business. Learn more about the benefits of automation.
Manual processes take time and resources, introduce errors and often cost more than automated alternatives. When automation technology is implemented well, it can change a business from the ground up. While automation was once a manufacturing option, it is now much more broadly available, with everything from self-checkout lanes to automated IT solutions.
As automation becomes more available for tasks that were once completed manually, the benefits are clear. Businesses that successfully automate routine tasks gain more market agility and resist disruption. Those that continue using out-dated methods wind up wasting opportunities. Here are four ways that businesses benefit from automation innovation in everything from customer service to logistics and supply chain management.
1. Repeatable and Consistent Quality
Whether dealing with a manufacturing process and product development to handling a customer service request, ensuring top quality is critical for a successful business. Automation technology ensures that every action is the same. That means every time a process is automated, businesses can measure the results and ensure a consistent quality. In many instances, consistency is even more important than top quality. By making sure that every customer receives the same quality product or gets the same answer to a customer service query, businesses streamline their process and customer expectations.
2. Save on Time
Any automated task is one that doesn’t require a manual process. Without automation, every task needs more human oversight, introducing more human errors and taking more time. For simple, repetitive tasks, computers and robots do the job better and at a high quality. For example, imagine totaling up account reconciliations without so much as a calculator. While a simple example, calculators are a type of automation that dramatically speeds up business processes. Calculations are one area where computers excel, making invoicing, bill payments and other regular calculation-dense tasks ripe for automation. Payroll, tax filing, regular monthly payments and dozens of other tasks can be set to run automatically, freeing up employee time to handle more complex tasks like collections or reconciliation.
3. Save Money
Cutting costs is a common business goal. There is no department in any business or organization that wants to spend more to accomplish the same amount of work. With innovation in automation, businesses save time, which translates directly into cost savings. After all, for a business, time really is money in a very direct sense. Every minute an employee spends on a task comes with a cost. Since employee costs are often one of the largest budget line items, it makes sense to control these costs whenever possible.
4. Improve End-to-End Efficiency
Not only does automation cut down on the time it takes to complete operational tasks, it also reduces the amount of effort and cost, all of which means a dynamic improvement in efficiency. When one business can deliver the same service with more efficiency, it means that the business can outperform the competition. Cost savings can be passed on to customers, or businesses can spend more on other costs like customer acquisition or research and development.
Automation may have some downsides–it can be expensive to implement, for one–but in the long term, the benefits far outweigh the costs. Once automation processes are implemented and running smoothly, businesses realize incredible gains and can operate with a very lean team.