How might a manufacturing company improve their business processes?
Although there are many answers, one that might not come to mind is robotics. We know an ERP solution automates many parts of a manufacturer’s business, including accounting, inventory, quoting, shipping, etc. Life is made much easier with an ERP solution doing all the work as opposed to pencil and paper. So, where do robots come into play? They actually do the same thing, but they take it one step further.
For example, a manufacturer would have an ERP software solution in place to better track where a job is in the production processes. When at a welding station, a welder finishes the job and updates the progress in the ERP. There are now robots that can weld faster without sacrificing quality and update the job progress as well. This saves the employee and company time and money because now the employee can do something more meaningful rather than do manual work and manual data entry.
Although this might seem like robots will replace people someday, it turns out in most cases robots are programmed to do tasks alongside humans helping and learning from them, rather than replacing them. In fact, the Wall Street Journal suggested that this actually helps increase a human workers skill.
As issued by the Robotics Industries Association, an average modern robot built for a manufacturing company actually has the capability to do 6-7 tasks. There are also no issues with the machines colliding or interfering with other processes or people either because of updated sensors and cameras installed on the robot. Although this advanced technology may sound expensive, they are available for as low as $20,000, although you can find plenty of $100K+ models.