Should Your Business Replace Manual Work With Machines?


Many manual jobs can now be automated using a machine. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s always a sensible option to replace a manual task with a new gadget or piece of software. If you’ve been thinking of buying machines to improve your business, here are some factors to consider to ensure you make the right decision. 

Is It More Efficient? 

In many cases, using machinery is more efficient, but there are times when it can have the opposite effect. A good time to use technology is when it speeds up a process, allowing you to get more done in less time. Take painting as an example. Having to spray paint lots of individual parts could take hours, whilst investing in powder coating systems could allow you to get the job done in minute. Similarly, there are plenty piece of software that can automate jobs such as accountancy programs for making book-keeping less time-consuming. 

That said, some machinery may require training to use. This may be okay when it comes to staff, but when it comes to customers, you could be making their lives harder by introducing new tech that’s not immediately user-friendly. This may depend on your audience and how tech-savvy they are. A store that caters to senior people for example may be better without self-service checkouts. 

Weighing The Costs 

In many cases, it may be more cost-effective in the long run to use a machine. However, you do have to consider the cost of buying such tech. Some heavy machinery such as die casting machines and construction diggers can cost thousands, which could require taking out a loan. On top of this you have to consider costs of maintenance and insurance. 

Leasing machinery may be a better option if you’re not going to get regular use out of a machine. If you’re a cleaning company for example that only occasionally has to do jobs that require a carpet cleaning machine, you may be better off renting such apparatus when and where you need it. 

Do you still need the manpower? 

Most machinery will still require monitoring. However, you could be replacing someone’s role in some cases by mechanizing a process. This could involve cutting people’s hours or even laying people off if their use is no longer needed. This could be a difficult decision to make and could be met with a backlash. 

The Effect On Your Reputation 

Using machinery to replace manual work could have a positive or negative impact on your reputation. There are some occasions when keeping up with tech trends is vital. However, you may also take away part of the charm of your business by going mechanical. A good example of this is buying a self-service coffee machine in a café. Staff may love it for making their job easier and it may even speed up service making employees happy. However, you could be taking away the hand-crafted aspect, which could devalue your product for some coffee drinkers and possibly make a trained barista feel like their training was for nothing. Always consider your market and your business model first.





I hope you enjoyed this article about whether your business should consider replacing manual work from human employees with new machines.

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Published by Michael J Schiemer
Owner of Bootstrap Business
Money - Marketing - Motivation
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