The Small and Medium Manufacturing Study: Robotics and Technology Engagement conducted early last year confirmed that the top organizational challenges faced by manufacturers today are labor costs and problems hiring and retaining production workers. Although every manufacturer is unique, the implementation of robotics and technology can often directly address these challenges.
Advanced technologies such as robotics and automation have innovated the workforce in many ways and continue to do so. Automation can improve your manufacturing workforce by automating repetitive tasks and directing business procedures using technologically advanced tools. However, the recent integration of automation in the workplace has led to skepticism.
Below are some ways in which automation can help solve workforce challenges and accelerate your adoption of advanced technologies.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR MORE INTELLECTUALLY STIMULATING JOBS
The primary worry about implementing automation in the workforce is the reduced demand for existing jobs. Automation can reduce the need for human services where tasks are mundane and repetitive. Different positions, such as assembly jobs, data entry, or customer service representation, can require little to no human labor.
This poses serious concerns as employee retention is essential for company quality and success. However, relying on automation to complete these repetitive jobs can allow your employees to undertake more challenging and intellectually stimulating tasks, ultimately increasing employee retention.
Rather than dedicating time to entering data, conducting manual calculations, or repeating tedious industrial tasks, automation opens the doors for other opportunities to benefit your business and enhance the workday. Whether it be creating relationships with new clients, helping existing customers, or creating quality products using greater detail and precision, automation allows your employees to improve your company's services and products.
REDUCED COSTS AND RELIABILITY
Automation brings with it many benefits, one of which is reduced costs. Using machines for different jobs costs less than paying individual workers and produces more results. Machinery and technology don't need to account for breaks, vacation days, or other conditions that employees typically factor into their job. In these ways, machine or technologically operated systems can provide reliability in ways that employees cannot.
Additionally, automation produces a greater output in both quality and quantity, increasing your cost/benefit. Robots and cobots perform tasks at a higher rate than people since it is programmed to repeat activities. While it is true that machine and technologically operated systems come with their price, the consistency, reliability, and productivity supplied, if implemented correctly, can outweigh the operational costs. With these reduced costs and dependability, your company can direct funds to other areas.
Reduced costs bring many benefits and opportunities. With newly directed funds, your business could afford to hire more employees with higher quality training (OR invest in developing high-quality training or apprenticeships internally] which increases your business efficiency in work and services. Automation is essential to workforce development and employee retention as it provides different avenues for your business to grow in both quality and quantity.
It's safe to say that repetitive manual labor increases margins of error. Monotonous tasks can result in less attention to detail and a wandering mind. No matter the competence or ability of your employees, by repeating routine tasks throughout the day, they are prone to error. Since robots and cobots are programmed to complete a specific task repetitively, the margin of error decreases significantly. Machines and technology don't make the same mistakes manufacturing workers do. Automation ensures an accurately generated product through consistent programming production and thoroughly followed procedures.
Automation also provides quality assurance in many ways. Through generating a higher range of more intellectually stimulating jobs, margins of error are reduced, more predictable, and more preventable. With fewer margins of error and more time to focus on employee work, you can better supply your employees with the necessary tools and support to increase productivity. Better oversight of employee production can allow you to identify issues with processes, monitor results, and implement better procedures.
INCREASED WORKPLACE SAFETY
Automation also increases safety for employees in the manufacturing workforce. Those who work in factories with heavy machinery or hazardous equipment are subject to dangerous encounters. Repetitive tasks can lead to complacency, increasing the potential for personal injuries and workplace accident claims. Workplace incidents can result in injured employees, liability claims, and loss of funds.
Not only this, but employee safety concerns can also turn potential workers away from your business and present a negative image. Automating these jobs can provide employees with a greater sense of safety by preventing them from engaging in high-risk situations. Fewer workplace injuries mean decreased accident and liability claims and increased safety.
HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY AND INCREASED QUALITY
As mentioned before, automation increases productivity. By transitioning to machine and technologically operated systems, employees can focus on more comprehensive and challenging work and provide better services. Automation can produce higher quantities of products or services and reduce your employees' workload. This, in turn, allows employees to focus on more specific and targeted areas. These improvements, coupled together, increase productivity in sales and service while ensuring employee retention.
Through reduced costs, increased opportunities for different jobs, and higher productivity, automation also allows your business to promote its overall quality of content and services. The bottom line is that automation enables companies to generate a higher volume of goods. Producing substantial sales opportunities and sustained growth increases the need for a highly trained and growing workforce. As automation is here to stay, so is the need for a quality workforce to move your business forward.
While many believe automation takes away available jobs, replacing jobs with automated systems provides opportunities for potential hires in other areas. Successful businesses need successful strategies, which are highly attainable through implementing automation in your workforce. With improved quality and quantity production, your company can generate significant employee retention and workforce development through better time management, increased workplace safety, and necessary employee support.
Automation has taken the workforce by storm, integrating innovation and technology into different jobs and businesses. Though many are skeptical of the use of automation in the workplace, it’s evident it poses many potential benefits to increase workforce development. Reduced costs, increased workforce safety, higher productivity, increased quality, and opportunities for more challenging work are just some of the many benefits automation has to offer your workforce.
If your manufacturing business is interested in learning more contact Impact Washington here