Advancing with Automation

The Weekly Report – May 20, 2024
Most manufacturers know that automation can help them cope with challenges of our persistent worker shortage, but Eric Blaha says that getting it right from the start is critical.

Eric is one of our continuous improvement experts and he says the biggest risk surrounding automation – other than not embracing it – is automating the wrong process. The next biggest risk, which often causes the first, he says, is not involving employees from the very beginning.

He’ll use our May 30 manufacturing workshop to show participants how to maximize the impact of automation by putting employees first.

“By engaging employees in the process at the outset you can avoid implementing something that doesn’t really move the needle in terms of the operation and just turns into a showpiece,” he says.

With specific strategies for seeking employee input, manufacturers can identify the best targets for automation. “By learning to pick their brains and get their insight at the very beginning you make sure you’re automating in ways that make their lives easier,” Eric says.

In addition to showing manufacturers how to involve employees in assessing the best opportunities for automation, Eric will share concrete suggestions for involving people in an ongoing conversation that transforms them into consistent allies and drivers of automation. “We really need to engage our employees in automation as a whole, give them responsibilities, and continue to cultivate our relationship with them,” he says.

Combining manufacturing experience with engaging presentation skills, Eric will walk manufacturers through communicating the benefits of automation to employees and involving them in determining which aspects of their operation are best suited for automation. “Employees appreciate being asked for input on how to improve processes,” he says. “And when they see how automation can boost efficiency and reduce or eliminate tedious or physically demanding tasks, they are more likely to embrace it.”

The workshop is designed to reach manufacturers at any point in the automation journey. It offers a great first step for any manufacturer who hasn’t implemented automation and is just starting to think about it. It’s also an excellent opportunity for manufacturers who have implemented automation in the past but haven’t realized the benefits they expected.

“The workshop is great for anyone who continues to think about automation,” Eric says, “even those with some successful implementation under their belt, because it allows them to think about it in a different way.”

I hope you can join us for Eric’s workshop on Thursday, May 30 from 9:30-11:30 am at Ridgewater College in Hutchinson.

Workshop takeaways include:
•    Understanding the broad scope of opportunities for automation
•    How to engage your employees on automation
•    Connecting continuous improvement thinking, automation, and employee retention
•    The Three C’s – How to drive the highest engagement as you embark on your automation journey

Who Should Attend
Any manufacturer who is considering implementing or boosting automation to improve productivity.

This event is exclusive to manufacturers and is free of charge. Register on the event page here. 

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