Why Aren't We Investing In Automation?

POST DATE Jun 05, 2014

AUTHOR Udo Jahn

Every day companies are facing challenges to compete. These challenges range from the ability to deliver on time to providing a competitive price. Being in North America we have some of the highest labour costs on the planet, certainly higher than Asia. We constantly complain about this as one of the reasons we can’t compete. We’ve been told that automation will allow us to compete and yet many do not adopt it. The logical question to ask is “WHY!” I truly believe that many do not invest in automation because of fear.

Many think it’s too complicated, while others think that it’s not flexible, or that automation is too expensive. In fact the more we think about it the more afraid we become. Fear is the driving factor. There are so many owners making up excuses as to why not to invest in automation, but I hear no facts supporting these excuses. The stock market seems to be driven by the same fear that many have when it comes to investing in automation (some days I believe that a burp could make the stock market rise or fall.)

I once saw a YouTube video of John Cleese of Monti Python fame. He was giving a lecture on how to be a better comedian. At one point in the video he said, “In order to be a better comedian you need to kill the fear in your soul!” This statement stopped me in my tracks; it made perfect sense and can be applied to almost anything. An athlete, doctor, dentist, machinist, business person and many more. Can you imagine what would happen to decision making if you had no fear and just facts. We are afraid to make the right decision. Many times it has to do with making the same decision that many of your competitors have already made, yet we are afraid.

We fear of the outcome of investing in automation, but if we don’t make the investment then in our near future we’ll meet with a far worse situation (the inability to compete.) The very survival of your company could be in severe jeopardy. As I like to say, “ Your company will become road kill on the economic highway.”

We need to start making the right investments in automation now and with these investments we will see positive outcomes. It’ll show us that we can begin to be more productive and more competitive. By investing in automation we’ll give our companies the tools to begin to compete on a global basis. We need to start now before our organizations are on the brink of being eliminated. Remember, “Fear is stuff you make up in your mind.”

So as John Cleese said “ In order to be a better ________, you need to kill the fear in your soul!” (You can fill in the blank space). Automation is the key to the survival of the business you work in, so embrace it and don’t fear it.”

Let me know your thoughts.

Author: Udo Jahn

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