A unique application of automation has been applied within car manufacturer Toyota, as detailed in a recent post by Fast Company. “Humans should produce goods manually and make the process as simple as possible. Then when the process is thoroughly simplified, machines can take over…”.
The premise for manufacturing companies in general stays the same, but in Toyota the focus is now on seeking further efficiency gains, and maintaining and improving quality. Unlike many companies who adopt automation technologies, Toyota isn’t looking to reduce its workforce, but is aiming to enhance it. And instead of cost saving across the workforce, they are now able to downsize their plants and reduce costs in overheads such as construction and heating.
Automation, when utilised well, releases an already knowledgeable workforce to go and improve the process even further, for automation to be able to take hold of. It’s an important cycle in any business, find a process, automate it, and have more time to highlight issues in another process and optimise that too. Allow your employees to work smarter.
The key here, to really embrace automation as a business, is to look at the complex processes you have and work with an automation provider than knows and understands your nuances, and can support them with their technologies. Many businesses focus on just one technology; RPA, OCR, AI, Cognitive computing. The supply chain however is a complex engine, and is the lifeline for businesses which need a variety of solutions to ensure automation success.