What can a company get out of automation?
It all depends on how the company invests its resources to increase efficiency and profits for their future. Some companies understand the need to keep hardware and software up-to-date but may not consider the returns and benefits of a comprehensive system built to deliver efficiency for the long term. Once installed automation systems must be maintained in order to continue to deliver their value to the end user. Integrative systems built by companies like Gap Engineering, allow for their clients to reduce costs and change the demands of the work place. Many successful companies make their profits from the ease and consistency provided by automated systems. Cost savings are seen not only in the lower labor costs, but also in energy and time. Automated machinery can complete tasks without breaks and without human intervention. Companies investing in integrative automation systems experience increased efficiency, profits, and accuracy.
How is automation changing the way we work?
The experience of the workplace and skills of the workforce are changing. In the not too distant past, most Americans spent their lives committed to learning a certain trade or particular set of skills. A larger number of people were required in offices, facilities, and in the plant. Individuals with specialized knowledge and skills were highly valued and perceived as irreplaceable. American industrial inventiveness led to machines and systems with the ability to complete more tasks than humanly possible. Companies wanting to cut costs and increase efficiency invested in automation systems that utilized these machines and systems to replace human labor. They soon learned that the automation required a new kind of specialized knowledge for maintenance and operation. Introducing technology into the system did not immediately produce the profits and results they expected. Proper planning and integration of automation is the key to creating profitable companies and productive workforces. The retiring generation is often the last link to understanding the process or equipment in a facility. This knowledge is disappearing before being learned by the incoming workforce. There is a gap between the standard of previous generations and the expectations of the newer workers.
Moving into the 21st century, work itself is redefined. Fewer jobs require physical labor, manual calculation, or extremely specialized knowledge. Most information is only an internet search away, therefore, different types of skill sets are now viewed as valuable. With the shift to improved technology and equipment in most industrial facilities, the role of the human is being reduced. There is also the expectation from the younger generations to have a technologically integrated work place. With consumer technology so intuitive and accessible, there is an expectation that work place equipment and systems will also be intuitive and accessible. Maximizing on possibilities by investing in automation is the best way for companies to compete in the growing international market.
Current automated systems do not perform as efficiently as they could; many systems need updates and integration of newer technology. Participating in the global market means competing with countries like China and India, where workforces are skilled and cost of labor is low. The US will need to make a shift to better technology in all fields to stay competitive. Combining the skills of the incoming workforce with the possibilities of technology, the US can make huge advancements and stay a fierce competitor.
Keeping technology and automation effective is one aspect, but humans still play the biggest role in a company’s success. With the same intuitive nature of smart phones, fridges, and cars, we can engineer smart work places. Companies can increase profits and the quality of the work experience by attracting the most knowledgeable workforce with efficient and up-to-date technological systems.
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