We may use the word “automation” frequently, but what does it really mean to automate workflow processes in our organizations’ everyday tasks?
Automation refers to the use of technology and machines to execute specific tasks without the need for human intervention. The goal of all automation is to increase productivity, efficiency, and accuracy while reducing the physical and mental load and the risk of human error. And between the frustrating labor market and supply chain disruptions that have continued since the COVID-19 pandemic, automation is becoming more critical than ever.
The benefits of automation are clear: increased productivity, better quality of products, heightened safety, enhanced ability to gather and analyze data, and ultimate cost savings. According to an article in Forbes entitled “Why Manufacturing Automation Should Dominate The 2022 Business Agenda,”:
“McKinsey predicts automation could raise productivity growth globally by 0.8-1.4% annually.” Worldwide, automating manufacturing can increase consistency and speed, which leads to increased profits.
Read on for four ways automation is making waves in manufacturing.
4 Ways Automation is Making Waves in Manufacturing
1. Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) refers to user-friendly software that automates repetitive tasks. Automating software learns, mimics, and executes rules-based business processes to eliminate the manual, mundane tasks that infiltrate your workers’ everyday workflow. With RPA, you eliminate the opportunity for human error, expand productivity by processing tasks 24/7, and free up your employees to work on your business’s most valuable, revenue-generating, and profit-boosting tasks.
In the manufacturing world, RPA tasks that can assist Human Resources departments and Customer Support teams are often the most helpful. RPA can automate lengthy, repetitive hiring and onboarding processes by sourcing applicants, screening candidates and resumes, and automating onboarding tasks like sharing benefits information. RPA can also answer many of the questions your customers may ask and expect immediate responses for, including technical support, billing, or sales questions.
2. Document Workflow Solutions
Document workflow solutions help eliminate your organization’s dependence on paper documents while simplifying and streamlining your workflows. If you have difficulty finding the documents you need when you need them or you’re struggling with managing documents across multiple locations, then automating your document workflow should become a priority.
With document workflow solutions, your business documents are stored in a central repository, ensuring your team can access critical business data anytime and anywhere. Custom workflows integrate with core applications like Microsoft Office 365, Salesforce, and Oracle E-Business Suite, making it easier and more efficient for you to process important documents like invoices, health records, contracts, or emails.
When it comes to manufacturing, you’re already juggling facilities, machinery overhead costs, and plenty of questions and troubleshooting concerns. Why add more to your plate by trying to organize and file documents when you can use automation to make things quicker and easier?
3. Data Extraction
Manufacturing is all about numbers: the number of items created, the amount of time it took, the number of items per shipment — all the numbers matter and need to be organized and accessible at any time.
Extracting this data can be very time-consuming, but automating data extraction allows your organization to identify, classify, and extract critical data from your documents without your staff lifting a finger. Some systems deliver one platform that accurately, consistently, and securely processes all types of documents and information from virtually any source. Once the essential data is captured, the information collected is automatically passed to your desired destination.
4. Secure File Storage
Paper records take up expensive real estate, are often left unsecured, and can take a lot of time to organize and find what you need. Automated scanning services can help you make records less wasteful, more secure, and easier to find by converting critical business documents into easy-to-manage, secure digital files — quickly, accurately, and efficiently.
Manufacturing makes up 10% of waste in the yearly gross world product. This refers not to physical waste but to efficiencies lost through mistakes, repetition etc. Your employees already spend their time on mission-critical manufacturing tasks; don’t let them spend more minutes or hours digging through filing cabinets for important documents. When files are organized and indexed in one secure location, you save time and money.
Applied Innovation’s automation experts have helped companies of all sizes reduce reliance on paper documents and streamline repetitive processes. Contact one of our automation specialists in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, or Tampa, Florida to take the next step in setting up processes that will save your company time and money.