Automation is one of the big words flying around just about any business, with businesses trying to find any way they can to automate processes to save both money and time. One issue that comes up often is businesses trying to over-automate, and other businesses failing to realize they may be able to automate. For business owners still skeptical, a question that is often asked is this: why should I automate my business?
Completing Tasks More Efficiently
One of the big advantages of automation is just how fast the process goes compared to most human workers. Not that human workers are inefficient, but in a lot of situations, having the process be done automatically tends to be much more efficient.
Mind you, not all tasks are going to be something like automated assembly or automated delivery, as automation may also be done through phones and computers. For instance, instead of having to have someone individually send marketing text messages to prospective customers who signed up to receive such text messages, they can instead write template text messages to send through an automated text messaging system.
This is a much more efficient solution and is a great tool to get your business out there. Just be cautious that you don’t go overboard with text messages; if you text message without them signing up, or if you send too many, your business may get a bad reputation for spam.
Allows Employees More Time to Breath
One of the biggest issues that face employees in the workplace is the expectation that they do 110%. While this mindset is very common, it is not necessarily right and can lead to both burnout and injury. Automation helps with that a lot, ensuring that employees have time to take a break due to there being more time to do the tasks that automation cannot. While there is certainly an opportunity to put more work in their lap, you shouldn’t use this opportunity to keep them overworked if they are. Instead, use that opportunity to allow them to get their work done throughout the day at a reasonable pace.
Makes Tasks Safer
When all is said and done, one of the biggest issues in the workplace is safety for those working there. Some places are downright negligent with respect to the kind of environment they expect their employees to work in, but even a place that has a lot of care and concern for their workers may slip up from time to time. For certain jobs and tasks, automation helps reduce safety issues. Some industries have situations where employees are made to deal with chemicals, extreme heat, extreme cold, etc. That is where automation really helps (where it can), as it ensures that workers don’t have to be put in these situations in the first place.
Yet, immediate safety issues are not the only thing that are avoided through automation, as automation can help avoid injuries that occur from prolonged action. For example, automation in the assembly line ensures that assembly line workers are less likely to experience repetitive stress and back injuries over time. It also ensures that exhausting jobs don’t wear employees down with fatigue where automation can play a role.
Is Automation a Good Thing?
There is a degree of controversy surrounding the increased use of automation involved in a variety of industries, particularly where automation does not provide much value. This controversy comes in the form of concern over workers losing jobs to automation. Now, it is entirely true that there may be situations where automation results in people being unnecessary for the positions. Yet, when done properly, automation often leads to more work opportunities for current and future employees. For example, automation will still require maintenance and some degree of operation. Additionally, some businesses may also find that the extra time afforded through faster automation means that they are able to do more work in a day or allow employees more time to rest than they normally would be able to.
There are also certain jobs that should not be automated (or, at the very least, are not going to see the best result from the automation process). For example, if you had a fully automated customer service system, you would run the risk of frustrating customers. They may either be frustrated by the fact that they cannot get a clear answer, or that they are unable to speak to a human. Jobs that require a human touch, or jobs where they are expected to keep others safe, may also not be the best thing to solve with automation.
Text that is written by artificial intelligence, however, may come off as strange and inhuman, and while a robot may be able to keep things safe in most situations, it may also have difficulty discerning how to do that. For example, self-driving cars are able to detect potential risks and react to them, but they are presently struggling with weighing the risk-benefit situation where avoiding one threat creates another threat.