Automating your facility’s processes may seem like a one-and-done project at first glance, but we’ve found that mentality can lead to broader problems later on. When you’re looking for an automation consultant, you’re not just looking for a partner who can help you today; you need someone who’s also prepared to help you tomorrow.
In a previous post, we discussed the importance of continually refining your automation platform. Otherwise, you end up with a less than adequate system over time and a hefty capital expense when you finally decide to upgrade. That’s why finding the right automation consultant is essential to helping you maximize the potential of your automation systems.
In this post, we’ll examine some of the traits you should be looking for in an automation consultant to help guide some of the questions you should be asking.
A Grounded Approach
The right automation consultant isn’t immediately looking to automate every single process at your facility—unless, of course, that’s what you want. Instead, they’re willing to take a more realistic approach and pinpoint exactly which processes can benefit from automation. While many processes can benefit from automation, that doesn’t mean all processes will benefit from automation.
The right automation consultant will begin by determining whether a process should be automated in the first place. This generally involves performing a cost-benefit analysis. Automation comes with additional capital expenses, downtime, and varying levels of efficiency gains. Even if automating a process can increase efficiency, that doesn’t necessarily equate to a net benefit. The right automation consultant will work with you to weigh the costs and benefits, so you can make the best decision for your business. Before choosing an automation consultant, make sure to ask how they determine if a process is worth automating.
A Broad Toolset
When it comes to automating your manufacturing processes, there are no one-size-fits-all tools. Thus, the right automation consultant will be able to leverage a variety of automation tools to find the best one for your needs and operations. While automation skills and knowledge often overlap, having an understanding of the nuances different automation platforms offer is essential if you want to maximize productivity and deploy a long-term solution. As you interview potential automation consultants, be sure to clarify which automation systems they’re familiar with and how they go about determining which one is right for your organization.
A Vision for the Future
As we’ve already mentioned, the right automation consultant isn’t just looking to automate a process today; they’re developing an automation platform that’s preparing you for the challenges of tomorrow. Because automation processes demand continual refinement to drive business growth, you need an automation partner with a vision and direction for the future. As you work with potential consultants, clarify not just how they can help you on short-term projects, but also how they can help you achieve your broader organizational goals.
Your Manufacturing Automation Consultants
At HEXA, we strive to be everything you’re looking for in an automation partner. If you’re ready to start exploring how an automation platform can streamline your operations today while preparing for tomorrow, contact our team of automation engineers today. We’ll work with you to pinpoint which of your processes are ripe for automation to design and deploy a customized solution around your day-to-day operations.