The idea of automation isn’t anything new. Automation is an integral part of our lives and the more we use it, the easier it will make our lives.
What is Automation?
Automation is the use of systems to control processes, whereby reducing or eliminating the need for human intervention. Put simply, automation is having technology do things for us a lot quicker and easier, so we don’t have to do them ourselves.
From the time we wake up, automation via technology, plays an important part in our lives. A lot of activities in our homes are automated such as lighting, ventilation, heating, and home appliances such as washers, dryers and refrigeration.
In the business world, automation is often a key part of improvement and efficiency initiatives. These may include software programs and new equipment.
While there is always concern about having too much technology and the impact it will have on our overall lifestyle, it’s hard to argue automation does make our lives easier.
In my previous career in manufacturing, automation was a critical part in getting things done better. At one time, I had a logistics role, which involved keeping track of inventory and raw materials.
When I first started in the role, the tool that was being used to keep track of stock was Microsoft Excel, but everything had to be manually updated or adjusted after monthly stocktakes.
I remember the process of updating stock figures used to make me over an hour to get done, and it was a tedious process, that was prone to human error.
As a way of automating that process, I created a macro within Excel that would automatically update figures after every stocktake. As a result, a process that used to take me an hour would now take me seconds, with just the click of a button.
5 Ways Automation Makes You More Effective
- It brings consistency to what you do. Automation will ensure the right steps are done every time. That will give us confidence that what we’re doing is reliable and being done the same way every time.
- It eliminates manual processes. Whenever there is a manual process, it is prone to human error. Automation reduces or eliminates the need for human involvement, thus reducing mistakes.
- It will speed up processes. Some days we operate at our best whereas on other days, we don’t perform as well as we can. Automation makes us less reliant on how we feel on a certain day in order to get our best work done.
- It will reduce costs and save you money. If automation speeds up processes, it means we’re saving time. As time is our most precious resource, the more time we save, the more time we’ll have to get other things done.
- It will be easier to track how you are performing. As automation often involves the use of technology, we can set up workflows and measures to track how we are performing. Sometimes the technology itself can inform us how we are tracking, which can help us continuously improve.
Automation is something we should take advantage of as much as we can because it does make our lives easier. The more we can free up our time from doing mundane things to focusing on things that really matter, the better our lives will be. As we automate more things, we’ll want to continue automating more things as we recognise its benefits.
Question: What is another way automation can make us more effective?
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