This paper develops an outlook into the automated businesses in companies, the advantages and merits of adopting such a policy in the running of the factories and the possible consequences that may be experienced as a result of the same. There is a bias taken towards the critical analysis of the factors that may lead a company into adopting automation of its systems. A comparison of the traditional methods of running business and the modern technologically savvy approach is also given preference in as far as the business automation is concerned. There is also the analysis of the consideration to be made when adopting this technological approach in the factories or companies in question. Furthermore a look into how technology makes automated business is explicated in the essay. The challenges of adopting the automation of business systems is also given, thus comprehensive approach is developed in as far as the incorporation of technology in business is concerned.
The use of Technology in Automated Businesses
Automated business technology refers to the use of advanced technological changes in the running of daily business in the organizations. Automation here may include the use of computer systems and other gadgetry which boost the functionality of the processes of production in the companies’ concerned Kavathatzopoulos(2003). Automation may range from the simple sensing devices in companies to the most sophisticated systems such as robots and line production in factories. There are different reasons behind the adoption of the automation status by companies. MyService Monitor (2003) notes that there are many companies that have developed new mechanisms in the use of technology to improve production efficiency, and the management of the systems of processing and developing products.With the advent of new innovation in the technological field, there have been massive efforts from different companies and organizations to adopt a more technologically fit working space.
The computers have led to increased service delivery and product quality enhancement while at the same time reducing the costs of production (Jamail, 2010).This has therefore had a very big impact in the outsourcing of the computer services in companies and organizations. Of greater influence is the internet. The internet as speculated by Boyadjieff (1999) has been one of the major factors behind the adoption of automated business status of various companies. This has been adopted especially in the management and reduction of workforce in form of communication experts. Companies now days are able to communicate with their clients several miles away all over the earth without physical contact, and therefore reducing the costs of physical contact. The e-mail services, social sites, online video conferences and chat portals have increased the automation in business. Companies save a lot of money in convening physical meetings in various parts of the world. With this developed technology, companies are able to convene online meetings with unlimited number of attendees. This automates the business thus cutting the operation costs by the company. This therefore makes business work in those companies that have embraced the technology. Business automation processes have taken into consideration various factors before eventually adopting the status. Some of these factors qualify to be the reasons behind the adoption of automated status. Kavathatzopoulos (2003) observes that some companies automate their systems of production in order to increase production while reducing the risks of production. Factories and organizations that handle high precision gadgets in production, especially of electronic nature face a lot of hazards. This therefore means that automation by use of robotics or highly intelligent systems analytics presents the best solution to their problems. The use of computer synchronization in boosting the production quality, through reduction of hazards and ensuring high quality production has made business thrive for companies who have incorporated the technology.
Many scholars like Boyadjieff (1999) note that business automation may be undertaken in order to reduce the operational costs. Some factories would spend millions in the production capacity if they were not to adopt the automation processing of products. VanDoren (2006) observes that one of the reasons behind the automation is to reduce the time of production and improve on quality. The human error and capacity is seen to be slow in developing products. Therefore as the companies are grappling with the global market demands, it only becomes logical if it adopts a fully automated status in order to reduce the time of production and improve on the efficiency and quality of production. The desire to increase flexibility in production is also another reason behind the automation adopted by a company. Many managers of companies will agree that automation is adopted so that the company can remain flexible in its production capacity. This enables increased production potential depending on the market demands. If the market demands are much, they are then forced to electronically configure the machinery and computer systems to automatically increase the rate and pace of production and processing unlike using human labor which may be cumbersome in cases of urgency. The need to eliminate human error is also another reason behind adoption. As earlier discussed in this essay, human error is reminiscent in some types of work, but automated systems have a greater precision in the processing of product. They are also faster therefore making it more advantageous to adopt rather than the traditional manual styles of production.
Types of technological automation in Business
There are a number of automation options that can be undertaken by a company. Most of the options available will depend on the company’s preferences and the developmental potential that it forecasts. If the company is small and is still in its early stages of development, it will certainly not adopt the sophisticated plant line automation systems that are often used by giant vehicle and computer manufacturers. Some of the automation types include IT, CAM (Computer aided design, the numerically controlled equipment, FMS (known as flexible manufacturing systems), robots and computer integrated manufacturing (MyService Monitor, 2003).
The IT encompasses a greater variety of computer technologies used in the storage, retrieval and dissemination of information in the company while CAM refers to the use of computers in various functions of production and planning. Gorbach (2002) advances that CAM includes the use of numerically controlled machinery such as robots and other automated systems in the manufacture of products. He further states that this computer aided manufacturing combines different processes which include the CAPP(Computer aided process planning) and GP( group technology).While this is the case, individual groups of business people could adopt the NC(numerically machines) for their working. These ones are cheaper and easy to implement in small businesses that do not require a lot of production manpower. Most of these systems may contain their own computers which they use to manipulate figures and other business processes.
How technology makes automated business work
The use of technology in business has seen the adoption of the automated status in businesses. It is ideally technology that makes any automation work, and without its incorporation in business systems and mechanisms success will not be achieved. The most advanced technological use in the automation is the use of robots (MyService Monitor, 2003).Robots are a type of automated machinery that handle job or projects that are normally handled by human beings. The operation of robots is normally managed by human beings who control its operation through a control system that has all the software that runs the entire process. Robots for instance can be used in the handling or assembly of parts of a product, welding loading anddownloading from a tanker, or even dislodging of finer details from the places where they cannot be easily removed by human hand.
On the other hand computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) system is adoptive of many manufacturing functions being integrated in one system (VanDoren, 2006).This could be line production of products such as bottling or measuring quantity of product to be implanted in a particular area, CAD(Computer aided designs, shop floor control, quality control and computer aided manufacturing. These combine to lead to a highly automated system business installation in a company. Companies will therefore choose the best mechanism to adopt for the best results that they anticipate or the changes they want. The technological expertise that is adopted by the factories in operation especially in the running of the automated business goes a great extent in ensuring that that the business is a success. This is through the increased output and efficiency that is brought about by use of new technology in production. Increased production means that there’s increased returns for the companies, therefore translating to success due to the technology adopted.
The use of technology in the management process of companies and organization has improved the overall functionality of the organization at hand. McMahon (2007) argues that technology has become like oxygen to business transaction and management of the same. He notes that the management process of organizations in terms of process control, co-ordination and communication to a larger extent is well managed through the use of technological expertise in computers. The process of management in the traditional sense has been reappraised to a larger extent. One area where the use of computers and technology has had significant results is the communication part. Olsen (2005) observes that unlike in the traditional sense where managers had to grapple with the issue of communication, the current technology has eased departmental communication and even to the corporate world. The internet has had greater effects in this particular cadre. For instance clients and the general public can give comments about the production of a particular good or the process of management in the company through online systems such as twitter or facebook. The management can then be able to change the administration or running of business depending on the market demands or the best procedures that are advanced by the external community. This will improve the business, and therefore it will grow. Through the analysis of the comments given pertaining to a particular thing, the manager is able to initiate the strategic measures that will help reduce the impacts of the developing crisis. Employees can also be gauged on their satisfaction on their jobs through online submission systems where they give relevant information that is required by the company. This way the company is able to occasionally improve its overall output. Adopting this technology will therefore have a positive effect in business, hence the assertion that technology makes automated business work or achieve greater success candidly holds.
The use of technology also improves the trading partnership relationship between clients and the company or organization in question. This is acknowledged through the various mechanisms that have been advanced in communication. The clients are also free and at ease to order the goods they want through online portals and systems that have developed over time (Jegher, 2007).This reduces the costs of travelling or logistics that would be involved in the traditional methods. Automated functionality of organizations ensures that resources and information concerning the operation is available in line, and therefore the question of access is removed completely. This ensures that members are inharmony and at ease in accessing any information from the system. This is supported by Edward & Leon (1999) who argues that this improves the management as issues dealing with information access and performance of duty are removed. Every employee will know their role therefore making the management easy for managers. The adoption of technology in business therefore has great positive impacts in ensuring success through the various explanations advanced in this essay.
Implications of embracing technology in automated business
The implementation of business automation has had some implications on the business running of organizations. As Boyadjieff (1999) notes, the admissibility of the advantages of business automation cannot be used as a reason to overlook the dire implications that can be impacted on organizations due to adoption of such a proposition. There are consequences that are affiliated to this type of approach. McMahon (2007) notes that most organizations and companies do not pay more attention on the uncertainties that may influence or that may be reminiscent of adopting a fully-fledged automation of their business. They normally concentrate on the factors that make the automation concrete and therefore fail to take precautions in case of any mishaps or issues that may cause bottlenecks in the operation of the company. This issues include lack of support from the top management, lack of motivation, under investment information or lack of technical expertise in the in the overall implementation of the project. Boyadjieff (1999) asserts that when the top management fails to support the system implementation, there may emerge problems, in financing the projects and this may lead to eventual relapse or slumping of the project.
When this happens the company may lose a lot of resources and profit margins will definitely be reduced due to the interference.
Motivation should also play a big part in the implementation process. This can be achieved through a number of ways. Rio & Cardinali (1993) argue that acquiring employee support is one way of supporting the project and therefore this will accord it all the technical support necessary in implementing it. Technical expertise is another issue that the companies implementing the system will have to grapple with. Most of technological inventions and gadgets used in automation require that the members operating them have the relevant expertise. Unless there is the required experience in the running of the system controls and processing that is adopted by the company, there will be problems in ensuring proper management of the projects. Jegher (2007) notes that one of the reasons behind lack of embracing the automation of business in some companies is the lack of technological skills in running some of the machinery’s earlier discussed in this paper, the programs will often differ in the different levels of operation. While some automation machines require cheap and lowly skilled manpower, others like the robotic construction of vehicle parts or computer chips in industries require high precision expertise both in the design and implementation of the program. This therefore means that the company has to hire very experts at very expensive rates which may not be feasible in the company’s stand. Therefore technological knowhow is very influential in determining the success of the program being implemented.
Another concern during the implementation of the automation systems is the issue of financial constrains Olsen (2005) argues that most of the systems automations require enormous amount of money in the purchase, installation running and maintenance of the machinery. The huge sums of money may not be readily available for the maintenance of the program, and therefore most companies will normally shun the implementation of such plans. Perhaps one of the major reasons behind the shunning of the automation by companies is that most of them figure out the automation in terms of the costs and the benefits that they will gather from its installation. In most cases the organizations do not figure out how much it will cost to maintain the projects and the overall running of the systems. This therefore leads to conflict in the interest when it eventually comes to the maintenance of systems. If the members do not rectify the situation in time, they will often find the system jamming. This may have serious implication which may eventually halt the process of production. When this happens, then the essence of including system automation in factories fails to beat logic, and consequently may be disbanded if rectification measures are not taken care of.
Another issue that adopting the automation may have on an organization is the issue of rigidity. Sometimes when the system is synchronized in a particular pattern or way so as to function on particular product, the system may not allow for flexibility, especially in time of urgency. This may be a problem as sometimes there is need to change the modes of production of adopting new mechanism or products. For instance a system that was designed to automatically refill the beverage in a certain container may need to be changed and use a differently designed bottle. When this happens the company cannot ideally immediately replace the bottle with a new design. There must be a process of change so as to accommodate the changes. This as Edward & Leon (1999) observe, will lead to the interference in the production cycle of the company and therefore may lead to possible reduction in profitability at the overall tally by the company.
Education and training is another issue that has to be dealt with in the initial stages of initializing the automation adopted in a company.
There are a number of factors that must be paid attention to; in as far as the design of the training is concerned. For instance the members must be taught how to operate the machines depending on their level of expertise or professional qualifications. Training may take cognizance of the gender affiliation of individuals due to the nature of the work that is to be done. Factories for instance, according to Edward & Leon (1999) prefer male employees especially in the production plant since they can withstand pressure better than women. This therefore means that adopting such a preferred stance will lead to better performance in the e company as members are trained according to the requirements of the system being adopted.
Challenges faced in the use of Automation in business
While the implementation of technology in the business industry is highly advantageous, there are numerous challenges that have to be faced once a company or organization adopts one. Security issues according to Gorbach (2002) pose the greatest challenge to young companies who are still grappling with the issue of running the new systems and monitoring their functionality. Security threats such as the disclosure of messages, modification of the company’s message sequence and sender masquerading and repudiation of message origins or receipt are greatly experienced. These ones are often experienced in the online use of computers in transacting businesses and communication systems. Security threats as this one may pose serious consequences on the organizations operational secrecy as members of malicious intent can decide to jam the network therefore interfering with the overall system. The company therefore needs to install highly defined security systems so as to prevent any eventualities that may occur from the intrusions explicated above.
Another challenge faced by the use of technology in the automation of businesses is the ever changing technological functionality of different systems. Edward & Leon (1999) describe this as application-centric and device-agnostic. With this he means that the automation systems have a competitive technology which may not be available with passing of time. In short he means technology expires. This therefore means that there is a plethora of new and better ways of system automation which will require newer technological expertise that is relevant and up to date. Moore (1999) notes that this means that the company of business entrepreneur must always be in a constant revitalization of the skills required in the running of the systems, otherwise the company will experience slight decline in the quality as other competitors are busy making progress. Therefore the factories involved will occasionally find it hard to cope with the ever-changing demand in the functionality and reappraisal mechanisms of the program. Moore (1999) speculates that even though this program or automation of systems may be expensive, it normally has the required advantage by the company. This therefore leads to greater profitability due to enhanced economic production of goods.
The use of technology in businesses has a lot of advantages as has been expostulated in this research paper. Therefore the nature of automation adopted in a company must be cognizant of the factors of relations and issues of operation in the company. There must be an understanding of the levels production of the company, the needs and the vision being envisioned by the company. After a thorough consideration of the factors discussed in this essay, then the company will adopt the most appropriate mechanism for production. This way, there would be better utilization of the use of technology in the organization. Factories which use technology cast more profit than those that use the manual production, therefore technological embrace is pertinent in ensuring quality and quantitative production, hence high company returns.
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