Implementing automation for manufacturing might sound complicated, but it’s really not. That’s because you only need to replace your repetitive actions. In essence, by making use of automotive machinery, you can completely overcome the pitfalls of human intervention and make your manufacturing more streamlined.
In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about automation. As well as 5 key steps to optimize your efficiency.
Whenever you’re ready to start this journey in business improvement, keep reading.
A Short Note On Automation
Automation is the easy and quick way to achieve the desired outcome efficiently with accurate and consistent results the first and every subsequent time.
When should a business consider automation? Why does a business need to adopt automation?
When there is a repetitive process to implement a series of tasks, it is usually managed manually with a bunch of files or, at the best with the trust combination of email and spreadsheets.
However, that’s outdated. Automation helps in streamlining the process with lessened degrees of human involvement, thereby removing the potential of human error. Business process management allows you to acquire better visibility of your tasks, suggest areas of improvement, pinpoint bottlenecks, and increase overall productivity.
Now with all of this in mind, how exactly does a business determine the steps necessary to reach maximum efficiency with a fully automated workflow?
Before a business even moves to automation, the management must perform a necessary evaluation with the team to answer these questions:
- Is the company ready to work smarter?
- Once automated, can the company work with less manpower and still deliver the services and products with better or the same quality?
- Are the employees prepared to move from a regular method of work to a new technical methodology?
Having answers for the above will determine the decision that the management makes and the necessary application workflow to make a smooth transition from tradition to an automated approach to work.
The automated workflow that your company selects should only automate repetitive actions. It should still provide you with enough flexibility to make necessary changes in the future.
The new automated workflow should never be forced-upon the company and system. It should be an improvisation upon the required specific areas of your repetitive workflow. It should not require users to become masters in programming languages or technical skillsets to operate the system.
1. Repetitive Tasks Identification
The first thing you should is task yourself with identifying the areas with the most repetitive tasks. To do this, a deep understanding of your business is necessary. The best way to do this is to make a visual representation of your current workflow with diagrams and try to understand your workflow more than you do now.
After this, you can develop an ideal workflow that will improve your current one and may even simplify the process via automation. This is a crucial step that must be done in conversation with key stakeholders and actual process users.
You can even consider the net savings in terms of effective cost and time. This will help you present a clear business case and solution to support the integration of automation in your business.
2. Business Goal Definition
Once you identify the issue, the next step is to define your goals using your current workflow as the benchmark. You can go for various targets, such as reducing cycle time on processes. But also improving throughput, or optimizing productive task resources.
You might also want your employees to deal with fewer data and focus on more productive activities. Your business goals can be anything, but you need to be able to justify them and how they will be achieved with automation.
And also how you will be able to measure them.
3. Workflow Automation Selection
Next, you need to determine the means to the end. How do you wish to achieve your business goals? To arrive at the solution, you need to find the most appropriate workflow automation solution for you.
Find the right software to get an idea of how to select your solution provider. There are many options available in the automation tool market, but it’s always best to custom-tailor for your business.
If you’re in manufacturing, you should look into automotive machinery with automated features. More and more agencies are moving to cloud solutions that come with lower costs and greater flexibility.
So ask yourself if that would work for you, how important data security is, and do you need a vendor that is compliant with regulations like DoD or HIPAA.
Based on your needs, you might need a shortlist of vendors and then communicate with each of them to identify the pros and cons of their solutions.
You should consider cloud-based for secure and safe software that can allow you to create a workflow in minutes, but this might not be the solution for everybody.
Based on the goals that you have identified, select the automation tools that fit your needs. The selected workflow should be user-friendly and simple, as well as easily adapted to by your clients and employees.
4. User Training for Automotive Machinery
For the fourth step, you should train your workforce to make use of new software and technology. Any new change brought in is always met with resistance because employees don’t see it as necessary.
So you must involve your end-users and employees from the first step by including them in discussions. Allowing them to be an integral part of your decision making. This makes the end-users accountable and brings the best ideas to the front.
Providing a clear transition from the current tradition to the new automated workflow and giving people proper training to help them get up to speed will go a long way in making this process successful.
5. KPI & Workflow Improvement
After you are done with that, you can move to the final step. Your business clients will always have feedback on the process. All based on usage and it’s important to fix any issues at this point.
To do this, you need to integrate powerful key performance indicators, allowing you to improve your workflow based on data, not just guesswork.
Continuous measurement and monitor of your automated workflow will allow you to recognize bottlenecks and find areas of improvement. Continuous analysis of your newly developed workflow will allow your team to achieve greater efficiency, so don’t miss out.
Manufacturing Automation for You
Now that you know important automation is for the automotive machinery industry. You are well on your way to begin your journey towards greater automation. No matter how hard you might resist automating your business, it’s going to happen sooner or later.
Automation is the key to success nowadays, so don’t miss out. If you’re interested in a full-fledged system integrator for automotive machinery, get in touch with us and we will happily accommodate your needs.