Automation is helping organizations across industries retain workers by automating tedious, repetitive or even dangerous tasks. The industries most reliant on automaton currently are automotive manufacturers, along with avionics, consumer goods, food and beverage, and medical instrument manufacturing. But these aren’t the only industries where automation can make a transformative impact on the employee experience.
According to QSR Magazine, restaurant workers are looking for:
But how can automation help restaurants realize these outcomes?
Some restaurants have leveraged robotics, with machines taking care of some repetitive prep tasks. And ordering kiosks — a staple of the fast-food category — are increasingly present in dine-in restaurants. By putting customers in control of ordering, these solutions reduce errors and save money on wasted ingredients — and, by offloading tasks from employees, they boost worker satisfaction.
Relieving the mental taxation and physical strain of repetitive restaurant tasks with robotic innovations and self-service solutions improves morale and gives staff the opportunity to focus on more important, fulfilling tasks, leading to chances for upward mobility and better pay. And, these innovations lead to happier customers — who leave better tips and visit more frequently.
The benefits of automation aren’t limited to the dining experience. According to Square Up, automated software for payment processing and back-of-house operations can enhance experiences for diners and employees alike.
Back office automation is especially beneficial when it comes to inventory management. Restaurant managers can receive alerts when ingredients are low in stock and can use data patterns to set up automatic ordering. And, Point of Sale (POS) systems can use the same real-time data to mark menu items temporarily unavailable.
These insights benefit customers as well as employees. For example, a local pizza joint can use intelligent automation to track consumption of toppings across special promotions and days of the week and automatically adjust order volume to ensure proper inventory. That way, there’s plenty of pepperoni to meet demand, and the shop doesn’t over-order less popular toppings (like pineapple). Ultimately, the pizza shop can control budget with optimized inventory forecasting and drive greater customer satisfaction by reliably meeting demand.
Manufacturers face enormous pressure to increase output without increasing costs. Automated solutions like robotics can help, but the cost of implementing them has presented roadblocks for many manufacturing organizations. Larger manufacturers can invest in expensive equipment that automates each step in a production process, but small-to-medium businesses can’t always justify the upfront expense.
Fortunately, the emerging Robotics as a Service (RaaS) consumption model allows manufacturers to lease out robotics technology. In some cases, maintenance is even included in the leasing fees. As a result, RaaS is rising in popularity, and ABI Research predicts there will be 1.3 million RaaS installations by 2026, generating $34 billion in revenue.
Using robotics equipment reduces waste, increases access to raw materials, enhances workplace safety and reduces human errors that can lead to downtime. RaaS extends these production efficiency and safety benefits to more manufacturers, and it also allows factories to continue production more safely during public health events like the COVID-19 pandemic.
And, when robotics equipment is connected to smart devices that provide real-time data analytics, manufacturers unlock insights that can help them innovate processes and track inventory, enabling greater cost savings and freeing workers to focus on complex, meaningful tasks that provide a likelier growth trajectory. Plus, safer factory floors lead to happier employees.
While the COVID-19 pandemic boosted retail business — retail sales grew an estimated 6.7% in 2020, much higher than the five-year average of 4.4% — it also forced retailers to adapt to change and future-proof their businesses with new technology solutions.
As a result, many turned to automation to help scale their businesses and support a wide range of processes, including improving inventory management, optimizing staffing, forecasting sales and delivering a better customer experience.
E-commerce automation has helped retailers adapt to an increase in online sales. Similar to restaurant automation software, retail automation software can streamline inventory management by notifying managers to order items that are running low in stock and disabling online listings for out-of-stock products.
Other retail and marketing automation use cases include:
When these tasks are triggered and executed by software, teammates can focus on tasks with higher-value outcomes, including training, sales and marketing, product improvement and more.
Organizations across every industry and size can realize the transformational power of automation. Investing in strategic, employee-centric automation solutions gives you a competitive advantage in the marketplace — but, more importantly than creating a better bottom line, you’ll also create a more rewarding and desirable workplace.