4 Ways Automation Can Help a Business

4 Ways Automation Can Help a Business

Anyone who runs a business likely knows all about automation. Automation means you’re using machines and processes to create products or services. You can also use it for all kinds of other tasks that humans once needed to do themselves.

Some workers might not like to hear about automation in their industry because it could render their jobs obsolete. It’s true that some positions no longer exist because of automation. 

However, there’s no stopping progress. Any worker who knows that automation will cost them their job should start looking for other work now since they can probably read the proverbial writing on the wall.

While automation isn’t always great news for individuals in some professions, company owners usually love it. Let’s look at four ways that automation can potentially help businesses.

It Can Save Manufacturers Money

73% of manufacturers believe automation is business-critical. To put it another way, nearly three out of every four manufacturers understand how much automation matters to them, either now or in the near future.

If you purchase a product in a store, you might not think about the manufacturing process that led to you holding that object. You likely don’t consider the raw materials that went into that product or how it traveled down an assembly line before it ended up in a box on a truck, headed for the store shelf where you found it.  

That’s manufacturing in a nutshell, and at one point, very few machines existed that could assemble products, especially ones with delicate components. Human workers had to do that instead. It was monotonous work, but it let these employees put food on their tables and keep a roof over their heads.

Automation can save a business money because if machines exist that can put these products together, the company does not need to hire as many workers who need to do the job by hand. Again, it’s unfortunate for the employees, but the company can then allocate the money they once paid human assembly line workers toward other things. They might use that cash for research and development, advertising, etc.

Self-Driving Trucks Can Reduce Driver Errors

Automation can extend beyond assembly lines and to other business aspects. For instance, automating trucks can save companies money because they no longer need to pay human truck drivers to carry goods from place to place.

It’s true that truck drivers will lose their jobs, and they will need to find other occupations, but truck drivers cause many accidents every year. They’re driving massive eighteen-wheelers that weigh several tons in some instances. Regulations dictate how much time truckers can spend behind the wheel, but not every driver or company follows those rules.

Several companies are hard at work right now trying to perfect self-driving trucks. Some report they’re not far away from getting it right. When that happens, the AI that drives these trucks will gradually phase out human truck drivers.

Again, it’s unfortunate to think about anyone potentially losing their job and having to find another career path, but virtually anyone can do it if they set their mind to it. Also, if companies can perfect the technology that allows self-driving trucks to take over for humans, that’s automation that can save lives by eliminating human error that causes far too many deaths on America’s roadways.

Chatbots

You can apply automation to businesses in many other scenarios if you stop to think about it. Chatbots are another popular example.

A chatbot is a relatively simple, AI-infused program that you can add to your website or app as a business owner or operator. You can purchase a chatbot from a company that makes them, or you can even hire someone to create a proprietary one if you want it to answer unusual questions.

Say that you set up a chatbot on your business website or app. You won’t need to have as many human operators standing by to answer questions if someone wants to buy one of your products or utilize one of your services, but they have some additional concerns your FAQ section does not address.

If you own a huge website or app like Amazon, with which millions of customers interact every day, it’s easy to see a chatbot’s usefulness for your business endeavor. Instead of having hundreds or thousands of human workers sitting at phone banks, ready to answer questions, you can have the chatbot handle it instead.

This automation form means you can shrink that workforce. You can’t completely get rid of human workers since you’ll need at least a few to answer unusual questions the chatbot can’t handle. However, you’re using technology to save you money on your bottom line, and it’s an easy way to expand your business model.

Automated Email Marketing Lists

You can also use automation as a business to market to potential or former customers. Imagine if you have someone who visits your website. You use an eCommerce business model. The customer buys something from you.

When they do that, you automatically add the email they gave you during the checkout process to your email marketing list. The customer can always opt-out of that list, but few of them bother to do it.

From that point forward, you can send them promotional emails whenever you’d like. You know they probably like your products or services because they bought something from you before.

You’re using automation to let a former customer know that you have a sale coming up or that you’re running a special promotion. Even if someone visited your site but didn’t convert, meaning they didn’t buy something, you can still use targeted marketing to show them ads for your products.

If they see those ads enough times during browsing sessions on their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, they might convert this time. You’re using automated marketing strategies to make it more likely that you’ll get a sale, and you can do that without lifting a finger.

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