Automation tools designed to help managers gain more from each hour of employee labor have transformed the manufacturing sector. And they continue to do so every time developers introduce a new app or back office management system that helps improve processing efficiency, control warehouse inventory, or decrease waste and error rates on the shop floor. But the benefits, risks and drawbacks of automation aren’t just limited to the manufacturing sector. Every automated shortcut has the potential to transform a given business model, from a tool that guides the text editing process to a crane used to load shipping containers. Before you implement an automated system to support employee productivity in your own workplace, keep these considerations in mind.
1. Don’t just use your own data streams to generate a cost benefit analysis. Of course you’ll need to collect strong data points that suggest your investment in the new system will pay off within a certain timeline, but look past your own workplace and your own business model. Collect information and gather success metrics from business models that reflect your own and similar businesses in the same geographic area. Factor this information into your decision.
2. Be skeptical. Don’t become mesmerized by the magic of our digital age. Just because a new system relies on a promising platform or dazzling algorithm doesn’t mean its implementation will yield solid financial returns. Don’t confuse “long term payoff” with no pay off. And of course, calculate the cost of yearly future upgrades, expansions, and scaling mechanisms into your initial estimates of ROI.
3. Develop a feasible training plan. The methods you use to train current employees on the system will need to be incorporated into your calculated ROI, as will the training strategy you apply to employees within your pipeline. How will this training take place? Will you conduct the process in house or rely on an outside contractor?
4. Work the automated system into your hiring, screening, and candidate sourcing processes. How will you start seeking candidates who are trained or licensed to use this system? Will you need to tap into a new recruiting network or gain access to new communities and organizations within you industry to find talented candidates who can help you make the most of your new investments?
For guidance with the tasks above, and answers to any additional questions you may have about automation options within your industry, reach out to the Little Rock staffing and business management experts at CSS.