While automation is often touted as the best way to boost productivity, it is not for everyone. Some operations could actually get bloated up by too much automation, which could make you reluctant to move towards more automation in your business. In other cases, you might not see the immediate benefits of spending on automation. But there are sometimes very clear signs that your business should move in that direction. Here are some of the signs that it might be time for your business to embrace automation even more.
If your employees can’t keep up the pace, this will end up affecting your business in many ways. First, they’ll be much less efficient, which will lead to more errors. These errors will start adding up and affect productivity. Overworked employees also have lower morale, and lower morale leads to more turnover and more absenteeism. Another underlying issue is that overworked employees are more likely to make crucial mistakes that could lead to injuries, which could end up costing you more in workers comp and open you up to litigation.
Automation will allow you to redirect workers assigned to menial tasks such as box erecting and sealing, so they can provide help somewhere else on the production line. If you don’t want to completely automate your packaging line, you could always benefit from adding a box erector that will allow you to free up some of your workers so they can help take off some of the load on more important tasks.
If you have to deal with a variety of different products with different packaging shapes and sizes, then implementing more automation might not be the best option for you. Small operations with these kinds of products often don’t see a favorable ROI from automating these tasks. However, if you’ve recently switched to a standardized and steady product stream, automation becomes more interesting.
Adding new machinery to your packaging line is a serious expenditure, not to mention additional maintenance costs that comes with it. So, you have to make sure that it makes sense for your business and that you can get an actual ROI from your purchase.
If your packaging needs are variable, or you have fairly low labor costs, then automation is not always the best option. However, if salaries or employer mandated costs like unemployment insurance, workers comp, healthcare and other benefits are constantly going up, then you might want to assess your cost-benefit analysis a second time to see if it would be profitable for you. In some cases, adding one piece of machinery could replace the wages for one single employee over a year, and allow you to recoup on your investment fast.
Automation is not for everyone, but in many cases, it could lead to more productivity, lower overheads, and a more efficient workforce. Make sure that you keep these factors into consideration before you move towards more automation if you want to actually benefit from it.