Create a Competitive Edge with Automation

  • (Sometimes) the less manual the process is, the better...

Batch automation is a process that simplifies the manual labor of an enterprise with automated processes. It consists of three basic steps:

  • Define the rules and logic that define how the batch process should work so that it can be executed by a machine,
  • Create a system to automatically monitor and enforce compliance with these rules and logic,
  • Implement a system for monitoring progress events so that management can maintain control over the system.

What are some common tasks that can be automated?

Using a system such as JAMS batch automation leads to cost savings, reduced cycle time, and higher-quality products. However, to fully realize the benefits of automation, companies must be able to monitor key aspects of the batch process, such as quality control and productivity.

Some of the most common processes to be automated include:

  • Processing credit card transactions
  • Order processing
  • Billing transactions
  • File compression
  • System backups
  • Voicemail archiving
  • Telephone support services

To be able to interpret the data and make appropriate decisions, managers need to have a good understanding of the batch process. Managers must know what information is useful for creating automation rules.

Some examples include:

  • The number of items in the batch
  • The value of each item
  • The current time
  • The time required to complete a task
  • A comparison between two different batches

Once rules are established and the data is collected, an automated system can be designed using current technology.

How can batch automation help save time and money?

Batch automation allows companies to do more with fewer resources. While the initial costs of implementing an automated system are high, these costs are typically paid back quickly. This is due to the increased efficiency and reduced cycle time of batch processes. Also, the implementation of automation typically leads to a lean enterprise that can respond rapidly to marketplace changes.

What are some disadvantages?

The greatest risk of implementing an automated system is that one or more rules or conditions governing the batch may be violated by a human or machine error. There must also be someone involved in maintaining control over how the rules are enforced and how much flexibility is permitted in enforcing them.

What are some challenges of implementing batch automation?

The greatest challenge for batch automation is the interaction between humans and machines. If too much flexibility is given to the machines, the systems may not function as expected. This can lead to errors and possible downtime of the automated system. To prevent this, automation should be implemented in phases. A company should implement batch automation so that only certain tasks are automated. These tasks should be those that are most risky or costly to perform manually.

Organizations need to realize that batch automation is a tool for creating a competitive edge. Managers must consider human constraints on the use of automation and automate only those tasks that are most likely to benefit from it. It is also important to keep in mind that batch automation is part of a larger Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Batch processes should be driven by the ERP system and vice versa.