The idea of business automation is simple; make a robot do monotonous tasks so that you don’t have to. It may be an expensive initial investment, but it allows you to free up a lot of your precious time so that you can work on other important tasks while a piece of hardware or software takes care of repeatable tasks. It’s a fairly simple concept to understand, but there are times when automation can be implemented incorrectly which leads to a number of issues.
So in this post, we’ll be taking a brief look at the right and wrong ways to implement automation and how you can streamline the process to ensure that it’s more efficient.
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What do you actually plan to automate?
Ask yourself what you need to automate in your workflow. Is it a hardware-related thing such as automated packaging, or do you need to automate something like email marketing so that you can free up your time for other sales and marketing-related tasks?
Automation is a great way to speed up tasks and create more free time for you and your employees, but you can’t just throw in some automated processes to your workflow and expect it to work. You need to plan around what you want to automate, you need to consider how it’s going to work, and you need to be mindful of potential issues that could ruin your productivity.
Automated systems don’t mean zero maintenance
An automated system is typically going to require maintenance if you want to ensure that it’s working properly over a long period of time. Don’t just assume that an automated system is going to function correctly at all times; it’s eventually going to break and you’ll need to change a few settings to get it to work correctly again.
There are a number of reasons for this. Sometimes a piece of hardware can “drift” off its settings, such as an automated robotic arm or a printing device. Make sure you’re checking these machines on a regular basis to ensure that they’re calibrated correctly and are following the right instructions. For software, bugs can happen and your automated system may need its instructions changed now and then to accommodate for different processes.
Automation needs more training than you might think
Lastly, don’t forget that training is also important for growing your business and adopting automation. You and your staff should be trained so that you understand how to calibrate, configure, and modify automated systems so that they fit your needs. Failing to do this can result in inefficient systems and bad maintenance habits that will ultimately make it hard for your business to profit off implementing an automated system.
Training can be expensive, but it’s essential if you want to improve the efficiency of your automated systems. Make sure you and your staff are well-trained in the use of your automated systems so that you can handle everything from repairs and maintenance to configuration and upgrades for the future.