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A Guide to Digitizing Factories for SMEs

As we covered in a previous post, businesses of all sizes can benefit from a customized automation solution that’s built around their goals and processes. Gone are the days of automation technology being reserved for only the largest enterprises. However, you may still be wondering what exactly automation may look like for your organization. In this post, we’ll lay the groundwork for some fundamental principles to keep in mind as you move forward on the journey towards an Industry 4.0 factory.

It’s a Journey, Not a Destination

The first thing you want to keep in mind is that the path to automation is exactly that: a journey, not a destination. With that being said, you definitely want to start on the journey with concrete goals in mind. What exactly does your organization wish to achieve by adopting an automation platform? Be mindful that these goals may change during the development process as your team responds to continually evolving Industry 4.0 technology. As long as you’re using automation systems to elevate productivity and protect your bottom line, there’s no wrong way to do it. From there, it’s about continually refining your processes to drive growth both today and tomorrow.

Recognize Your Strengths

When transitioning towards an automation platform, don’t make the mistake of throwing out the baby out with the bathwater. Use this as an opportunity to assess and audit your organization’s existing strengths and weaknesses. What machinery do you already use that works really well for your operations? Where are there opportunities for growth? One of the key benefits of adopting automation is that it allows you to capitalize on your existing strengths to further elevate productivity without forcing you to start from scratch.

Attract the Right Talent

Although automation systems allow you to make the most of your existing assets, there will inevitably substantial changes to your day-to-day operations as you begin digitizing systems. Prepare your team for that change by cultivating talent with the willingness to be retrained and contribute positively to these advances. Transitioning to automation will cause disruptions to your operations for the sake of growth; having the right people on your team can significantly minimize those disruptions and allow your organization to keep moving forward.

Prioritize Your Customers

While automation is about focusing on your internal operations, make sure to prioritize the customer experience at every stage of the development process. Ultimately, one of the most significant benefits of automation is that it allows your team to prioritize your customers again. Don’t forget about them for the sake of automation.

Find the Right Partner

As an SME, you likely don’t have the internal resources to develop a digitization strategy and deploy the requisite infrastructure to enact such changes. That’s where finding the right automation partner comes into play. When you partner with a team of experts, your team can stay focused on mission-critical operations while helping your partners understand your processes from the inside out. Once you have the necessary foundation for an automation platform, you can explore the possibility of hiring your own internal team to further refine your processes.

Your Automation Experts

At HEXA, we specialize in helping SMEs adopt automation platforms that align with their growth goals while making the most of any budget. If you’re trying to decide whether or not automation may be the right fit for your operations, get in touch with our team today. We’ll help you explore your options, and if you decide that automation is right for you, we’ll help you develop an automation roadmap that prepares you for the future while driving growth today.