Automating work processes goes beyond the investment made in employing the right tool as it is a long-term initiative. Source: Shutterstock

Automating work processes goes beyond the investment made in employing the right tool as it is a long-term initiative. Source: Shutterstock

Automation requires more than just choosing the right tool

BUSINESS leaders are realizing the benefits of automation and the necessity of the technology. As the call to ‘go digital’ gets louder, there is no better time to automate your operations.

By now, many available tools can be employed to support work processes and take over manual tasks. The market always has something on offer to cater to a variety of operational needs and support industrial work processes.

Albeit, choosing the right tool is actually the easy part, whereas the considerations that must be factored in when deciding to automate are almost always missed. Many business leaders fail to plan out the right course of action when employing and deploying the technology.

The gains from automating work processes are lucrative. From boosting productivity, increasing efficiency, saving time, reducing cost, improving work quality, to reducing human errors, the promises of automation tools are certainly inviting.

However, bear in mind that failing to plan is planning to fail. So, to fully optimize the overall experience, businesses must consider analyzing the feasibility, strategizing the implementation, and phasing in the deployment.

Feasibility analysis

Leaders must analyze the relevant and necessary work processes that need to be automated instead of blindly deploying the technology on all parts of the operation just to establish a ‘move to the digital world’.

Not only that, the overall cost must be calculated and the benefits must be outlined to fully understand what is being invested and what are the expected returns.

Here’s a tip: draft out a milestone to keep track of progress made and measure the effectiveness of the tools.

Implementation strategy

Shifting manual operations to be automated must be accompanied by a clear execution plan and well-defined objectives so that all parties involved have a practical sense of direction.

Knowing what the next steps are is important and allows the operation to function smoothly amid the shift.

Leaders need to understand that the technology basically takes over repetitive, monotonous, and menial tasks so that employees’ time and effort can be channeled into doing jobs that are more meaningful.

Hence, they need to leverage that to the operation’s advantage so that productivity and efficiency can be boosted effectively.

Deployment phase

One thing that leaders must remember is that they must avoid going ‘wild’ with automation. It is important to deploy the technology in phases, automating work processes one stage at a time, instead of rolling it out for all repetitive or manual tasks.

Clearly operations can’t go big or go home when it comes to this particular technology. It is important to scale the implementation since the investment is not small, however, it is essential to pilot the shift before changing the nature of the operation.

After all, it is impossible to go digital in the blink of an eye and expect it all to go well without properly running through the evaluation phase. So, leaders must see which areas can best be automated in the initial stage.

At the end of the day, it is all about making the most of the investment, and automating operations successfully. At the pace that the digital world is going, mature decisions must be made.