You may wonder how the everyday workplace is automating nearly everything using automation and robotic technology.
Well, there’s not a business on earth that doesn’t want to a) increase productivity, b) lower labor costs and c) minimize errors.
These three operational goals are universally coveted among a few other prized objectives. For businesses big and small, fulfilling these core drivers, i.e., reducing costs and errors while improving productivity, could result in unprecedented growth, but how does one achieve such lofty targets?
The answer is with technology and, most notably, automation.
Before considering how systems and processes use AI and automation, let’s consider how building automation systems have evolved to reduce costs.
Building Automation Systems (BAS)
Building automation systems have been around for decades, and they’re getting smarter with technology.
A building automation system (BAS) is an automated control system that monitors and controls mechanical equipment in a building. A BAS automates lighting control systems, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, , security, fire alarms, and other functions. They also provide remote access to these systems through a web interface.
“building automation” refers to systems that control lighting, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, security, fire alarms, sprinkler systems, elevators, and other functions inside a building. These systems are often referred to as BMS (Building Management Systems).
Three types of BAS
There are three main types of building automation systems: centralized, distributed, and hybrid.
- Centralized BASs – typically installed at one central location, such as a utility room or basement
- Distributed BASs – usually installed throughout a facility, with each unit connected to a network
- Hybrid BASs – combines elements of both centralized and distributed BASs
All commercial workplaces Once upon a time, industrial sector workplaces were characterized by endless production lines populated by warehouse and factory workers performing repetitive (and, for lack of a better word, mindless) tasks.
Today, such tasks are usually performed automatically using automation and robotic technology – this is how modern businesses in those industries can drive productivity, save on the costs of labor, and minimize human error elements in their processes. Vitally, it means that a business can focus on other high-value areas while some of the more menial work carries on in the background.
Workplace automation – where’s it happening? Everywhere including:
- Marketing and advertising
- Accounting, bookkeeping
- Customer service
- HR (human resources, recruiting)
- Production Line
Using automation for administrative tasks
One of the most common ways that automation helps modern workplaces is their administrative processes.
HR, Health & Safety
Automation has been a major boon for HR procedures, health and safety regulations, internal and marketing communications, and more. Numerous software packages help automate payroll procedures, for example. From QuickBooks to Xero, automated payroll tools do away with manual payroll tasks and many accounting tasks that were previously very time-consuming. There are even automation tools to help new staff with onboarding.
Email marketing requires an email list that comprises opt-in subscribers. Automation is used to capture subscriber data. Businesses can grow their email lists to promote services and share news (all while adhering to GDPR compliance).
Plus, automation is used to deliver email messages. Email automation is one of the more common forms, enabling businesses to send hundreds of personalized emails simultaneously – as you can imagine, a monumental time-saver.
Administrative tasks have long been known for their somewhat repetitive nature, so businesses can reduce labor in these areas and spend that time elsewhere with automation.
Machine learning for more important administrative tasks
Automation has proved hugely important for HR processes, from the menial to more important work like business acquisition and recruitment. Countless businesses worldwide are using machine learning to sift through large amounts of data to highlight potential candidates. This, combined with traditional recruitment strategies, can help the recruitment process.
Customer service assistance
Due to digital transformation, businesses use chatbot assistance to help users with straightforward help and guidance pre and after online sales.
From general inquiries to ongoing delivery updates, a chatbot can handle all kinds of queries without a human at the end of the line. Of course, chatbots can also direct customers to a human should they need specific help that a chatbot can’t provide.
There are countless benefits for businesses with chatbots, the most significant being 24-hour availability and giving customers instant responses. Both examples save companies vast amounts of time and money.
Digital signature technology
For many large-sized modern businesses, day-to-day operations are on a global scale. Or, at least, across vast towns and cities.
The introduction of digital signature technology means that one business associate can sign a form from halfway across the world. Not only is this a location benefit, but it also helps reduce approval times which can delay the whole process. If a small form prevents a valuable deal from being completed, you’ve got a big problem.
As a form of corporate automation, technologies like DocuSign can expedite previously lengthy processes, helping companies do business faster while adhering to all due diligence.
Manufacturing and production line automation
For businesses in manufacturing and other industries, robotics and automation make it possible for menial and repetitive tasks to be carried out by carefully controlled and hyper-accurate technology. This way, you can focus on other areas of your business that may warrant closer concentration.
Automation is improving ROI
Take companies like Junair Spraybooths, for example. Using sophisticated automated spray systems, they can maximize productivity and speed up processes while maintaining the same high-quality paint finish. Like countless others in the industry, automation has proven instrumental in demonstrating value and ROI.
How is automation occurring in your business? From building automation to business automation. Increasing productivity on the factory floor, in the office, and online is measurable with automation and another emerging technology – Artificial Intelligence. Watch this space as we will continue to let you of developments in automation, AI, Natural Language Processing, and more.