Automation is here to stay and for companies across industries, that’s a very good thing. One automation company recently shared information about how they automated 306,000 hours of work on an internal basis while growing their workplace globally at the same time. It seems like all those concerns about robots taking every human job are yet to come true.
When you break down the numbers, that 306,000 hours might be larger than you think. It’s the equivalent of moving forward 12,500 days into the future. Automation through robots is a great way to create sustainable growth.
With a fully automated company, all automatable work is handled by robots, which gives employees the ability to focus on only strategic, fulfilling, and valuable work. It also democratizes automation to create citizen developers and offers tons of opportunities through building artificial intelligence (AI) across all types of verticals.
The History of Robotics in the Workplace
The very first robot for use in the workplace was built in 1956 by an inventor named George C. Devol and an engineer named Joseph F. Engelberger. The robot was called the Unimate and was used to extract die casting from various machines as well as handling vehicle spot welding at General Motors.
The unprecedented success of this robot led to further developments into robots for labor. As a result, it wasn’t long before companies started to buy robots to incorporate them into various workplaces.
Today, robots can do many demanding and repetitive tasks reliably and quickly. For instance, robots can move huge items from one location to another, paint products, and put together components on an assembly line.
Robots are also useful for increasing workplace safety since they can handle tasks that would be hazardous to humans. For example, a robot can work with extremely hot materials or handle corrosive acids.
In addition, robots rarely cause workplace accidents. When the accidents do occur, it’s typically during maintenance and programming processes. Most accidents are a result of workers not being privy to their movements.
So, how does it work? Read on to learn how the process is implemented and could work for you.
Assign Any Work That Can Be Automated To Robots
Whether your company regularly takes on automation projects or not, you can choose to do so and work toward scaling global automation to benefit the company, workers, and even your clients or customers.
One of the most critical things to take back hours is assigning robots any work they can do. This involves identifying the best processes for automation in every department, considering robot options, and then tracking the impacts of automation.
Having scaled automation can work in one of two ways: federated or centralized. With a federated structure, the automation strategy is delegated to specific business units. They will, in turn, decide which goals they want to work toward.
In the centralized model, digital transformation is united under a single team that makes strategic decisions for the entire company.
These approaches can also be blended, depending on the needs of the company. For instance, there might be automation experts and developers across each team who help departments assign the right work to robots.
Allow Employees To Focus on Valuable and Fulfilling Assignments
Saving 306,000 hours might not be possible for everyone, but saving any time lets employees focus on the things that are important to them. For instance, these employees could have various apps and automations available on their computers to use as they see fit.
This allows anyone to deploy a robot through their work computer. The automations available can range from controlling a voice presentation to building sales quotes or taking text from an image using optical character recognition.
When there are prebuilt robots available, employees can take their attention and move it toward things like building better relationships with customers rather than filling out time-consuming forms.
Communicate Regularly and Democratize Automation
The company we mentioned earlier that managed to save 306,000 hours uses what are known as citizen developers. They are useful for automation efforts and can be found on product teams, customer success teams, pre-sales teams, and more.
These individuals can save hours and increase the value of the company. Citizen developers can also offer benefits in less obvious departments like procurements, marketing, and sales, as well.
The developers need to be given the tools needed to succeed to see the results a company wants.
In this situation, the employees have access to an automation assistant program and hub, a studio software that lets them create low-code automations, a program to create special interfaces for the automations, and a final program that determines who can use these tools.
Communication is essential when it comes to having developers who work within the company. In addition, all automation attempts require transparent communication because otherwise, teams will operate as small groups, and automation opportunities that span departments might be missed.
Some of the communication options include:
- A hub for all automation – This is an asset that works well for exploring and sharing automation ideas.
- Slack or other business communication applications – Employees can be added to a special channel where announcements can be posted.
- An intranet page – Built into the home page, employees can see information about automation, look at testimonials, and submit ideas.
This type of system creates good two-way communication between developers and the business as a whole. The inclusion of several channels lets people submit ideas, see what robots are doing, and get updates on coming changes.
Introduce AI Across All Forms of Work
AI capabilities can and should be introduced across the company, from software that can help determine where AI can be used to programs that let robots see the same computer screens that human workers do.
While testing these items, the developers can create and use AI-based automations. Depending on a company’s needs, these could be used to optimize help desk services, discover new business processes, or speed up the processing of paperwork like invoices.