Covid-19 has accelerated automation and digital transformation process of businesses
Like other breakthroughs that have emerged at challenging times throughout human history, the COVID-19 pandemic, despite its consequences, offers an opportunity for businesses to accelerate their automating and digital transformation process.
Covid-19 accelerates automating and digitalizing businesses’ workflow
One of the reasons why COVID-19 will accelerate technological transformation is the current health crisis. Companies are actively innovating their operations to minimize health risks for workers and customers. Many businesses have allowed remote working, which requires further digitization (and automation) of the workflow. Many other companies choose to replace worker-worker interactions with worker-machine interactions, or even more, with fully automated production lines.
The “new normal” phase requires a faster production speed as well as higher quality from manufacturing enterprises. In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, factories face both high and low demand scenarios.
Demand for high-tech equipment has increased, and demands for computers, peripherals, communications equipment, and semiconductors have reached a record high. Automakers are filling backlog orders. In this case, manufacturers need technology solutions that can help minimize metal waste, reduce cycle time, and facilitate quick switching between models.
However, some sectors are seeing a significant reduction in demand such as aerospace and energy sectors due to the frozen tourism industry and travel curb. This situation needs different strategies, namely the limitation of production disruption and the ability to run production automatically.
In these above situations, the end goals are both to accelerate the production phase and improve quality. As we all know, the key to effectively leverage automation systems and maximize profitability lies in establishing the best tools and the knowledge of accurate applications.
How do businesses adapt?
Research by Deloitte found that 68% of business leaders globally used automation to cope with the impact of Covid-19. Currently, 73% of organizations worldwide are using automation technology, an increase of 25% from 2019.
Automation is the lifesaver for businesses during a pandemic because it helps increase processing capacity, productivity, accuracy, and adding new processes to support more quick responses and improve customer and employee experience.
The majority of manufacturers surveyed in the Digital Factories 2020 report (PwC) said they plan to “deploy a variety of technologies that will help workers get more jobs faster and improve the process” and “worker-machine collaboration is a major growth area”. If manufacturers want to thrive from the COVID-19 crisis, they must not overlook the importance of retraining their workforce for optimal economic recovery.
Therefore, the solution is that companies must invest and train their employees to make the most use of the latest technologies such as SCADA and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. Also, they can ensure the automation future will provide opportunities for employees of different skill levels by upskilling (employees gain new skills to enhance their current role) and reskilling (employees need abilities to take on different or completely new roles). Industry 4.0 and data-based technologies will be the keys to facilitate vital collaboration between workers and machines.
Read more: Automation is the foundation for Vietnam to enter Industry 4.0
The Covid-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on manufacturers everywhere, but with a little help from technology, businesses were able to tailor their operations successfully. Many manufacturers have been forced to transform their operating models and change supply chain strategies to stay active during the pandemic.
Turn difficulties into opportunities
As we move into the second year of the pandemic, businesses tend to be prepared to respond to upcoming pandemic situations as well as future pandemics.
What makes Covid-19 so unique is its effect on the entire supply chain and all sectors of the economy. It is urgent to quickly put the right technological levers in place. Yesterday, digital transformation may have been merely a new-born idea, we are now witnessing a rapid development of important tools and technologies being applied in all sectors.
Like other breakthroughs that have emerged at challenging times throughout human history, the COVID-19 pandemic, despite its consequences, offers an opportunity for businesses to accelerate their automating process.
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