As concluded in The World Development Report 2019, technology brings opportunity, paves the way for new jobs, increases productivity and delivers effective public services.
For employees, there are age-old fears that robots will reduce the number of jobs available but it is a fear that appears to be unfounded. Rather, technology and automation bring opportunity and evolution.
Firms can grow rapidly thanks to digital transformation, expanding their boundaries and reshaping traditional production patterns, the report said.
Technology is also changing the skills that employers seek. Workers need to be better at complex problem-solving, teamwork and adaptability as robots and digitalisation take over more traditional tasks.
Here are five ways businesses can benefit from automated equipment:
1. Time saving
Saving time on tasks is one of the most obvious reasons to consider automation. Taking a step back to consider what processes within your business demand the most time may be a useful place to begin seeking areas to automate.
Agricultural wheel and tyre manufacturer D&S Factors, for example, was able to cut the time one fundamental process took by up to 95 per cent when it sought an automated solution from specialist in surface preparation. This increased productivity is an outcome that is possible to replicate in a vast array of industries with the right automation solution.
2. Error reduction
The days of retail till operators recalling and manually entering product prices feel archaic and the use of the barcode technology that replaced that process continues to grow.
Barcodes are one of the ultimate examples of automation contributing to error reduction and are now used not just by retailers but in things like storeroom management.
Any area of high error risk in a business is a likely contender for automation.
3. Freeing staff from manual tasks
Accountancy is one profession where automation and technology is having a huge impact on the evolution of the tasks workers actually perform.
Where once accountants might spend many hours compiling and extrapolating information from a spreadsheet, now many of those processes can be done in a fraction of the time thanks to computerisation.
Accountants now have more time to use and develop more advanced skills to interpret the results of the reports they used to be tied up producing and advise clients on solutions. It is an evolution with lessons for all industries.
4. Data analysis
Automation of data generation and analysis allows for far enhanced opportunities in terms of the breadth of information that can be collated and the ability to drill down into it.
Human resources (HR) is one area relevant to all industries - especially those with numerous staff - where automation is a clear opportunity. Systems that track and highlight issues such as peaks in absenteeism, perhaps within particular teams, can highlight issues early and allow activity to address them.
5. Efficiency savings
Amazon, America’s fastest growing employer, is leading the way in utilising automation for efficiency.
Worldwide, Amazon has installed over 100,000 robots to work in partnership with people in its warehouses and has plans to install many thousands more. Newsweek reported the robots are said to save the company $22 million annually.
Any process that is stilted or troublesome at present may benefit from automation assistance if not complete automation.
Published by Lavismichel Inkel