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5 Ways Businesses Stay Relevant with Industrial Automation

As automation technology continues to evolve in Singapore, businesses find themselves struggling to stay relevant, eventually falling behind their competitiveness in terms of efficiency, quality and cost-effectiveness. Even back in 2019, a Straits Times article has cautioned that robots are set to wipe out some 20 million manufacturing jobs, therefore potentially disrupting old business models. Now in 2023, according to an article in Techwire Asia, generative AI and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are redefining how organisations automate processes.

Integrating automation into existing business processes isn’t easy, but with careful planning, there are ways to ensure minimal disruption in the adoption of these new tech. Here are five ways businesses can still stay relevant in the light of the inevitable industrial automation.

1) Embrace Automation Technology

Barriers to transformation are aplenty, some of which includes skill gaps and cost. It is therefore important that businesses should develop the ability to assess their own processes and define which tasks are best undertaken by a machine. Thus, the implementation of robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics would be more effective, helping the business streamline processes, improve efficiency and reduce cost.

2) Retrain Existing Workforce

Employees are still important even when a business decides to move towards automation. It becomes important that the existing workforce is trained to be more creative and nimble in addressing any issues that may be flagged by AI that is automating their routine tasks, for example. This ensures that employees have the necessary skills to work alongside automated systems, manage the technology, and focus on higher-value tasks that require human expertise.

3) Inculcate a Culture of Innovation

Both innovation and automation come hand in hand. According to Forbes, “automation can trigger innovation by freeing up resources and providing data and insights, while innovation can serve as a spark for automation by leading to the development of new technologies and tools”. To leverage automation technologies effectively, businesses need to invest in upskilling and reskilling their workforce. This ensures that employees have the necessary skills to work alongside automated systems, manage the technology, and focus on higher-value tasks that require human expertise.

4) Adopt a Customer First Mentality

Leverage automation technologies to enhance the customer experience. For example, businesses can implement chatbots or virtual assistants to provide 24/7 customer support, automate repetitive customer service tasks, and personalize interactions through data-driven insights.

5) Develop Strategic Partnership

Forge strategic partnerships with other businesses, research institutions, and government agencies to collaborate on automation projects, share resources, and stay at the forefront of industry developments. Collaboration can lead to synergistic opportunities and mutual benefits.

Adapting to the automation hub in Singapore requires a forward-thinking mindset and a willingness to embrace technological advancements. By leveraging automation technologies, upskilling the workforce, fostering innovation, and adapting business models, businesses can position themselves for success in Singapore's automation-driven landscape.

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