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October 26, 2012
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Increased Use of Technology is a Growing Trend for Manufacturers


Cost Containment SolutionsAn increasing number of manufactures across the industry spectrum see the addition of technology to be crucial to their operations. In the aftermath of the recent economic downturn there has been a marked increase in the amount spent on automation systems. A recent study done by the American Machine Tool Distributors Association shows that orders for manufacturing technology rose 108% between 2010 and 2011. This interest in advanced technological solutions coincides with a similar trend in seeking advice from procurement consulting companies

Manufacturers express a real desire to upgrade part, or even all, of their operational facilities with a myriad of technologies including robotics. This positive trend is a result of huge advances in specific systems that help provide needed cost containment solutions. Mostly, company management is looking to reduce the amount of human work that involves overly monotonous tasks or hard physical labor. Often, a machine can perform a particular task in a fraction of the time it would take for a human to do so manually. It’s amazing how quickly things have changed since the 1980s. When robotics were first introduced in the workplace, 90% were used in the auto industry. Today, that industry accounts for only 50% of advanced technology use. 

These days, you’re likely to find some form of high-performance technology in manufacturing operations of all types and sizes. The reason for this drastic turn to automation mainly comes down to cost savings in all areas of productivity, energy and warehouse space savings. However, there are some companies that are still hesitant to make the switch to more efficient technology models because of concerns about cost or flexibility. In spite of the very real benefits of reduced labor costs, increases in speed and accuracy of order fulfillment, there are legitimate issues that need to be addressed.

A company needs to consider how much of an upgrade is desired and how much they can afford to spend to get the maximum benefit the fastest. New technology requires a significant investment and should be considered carefully. You don’t want to invest in robotics only to discover they’re not the right fit for your company. Also, some companies really need to keep their operations flexible. Outfitting the whole warehouse with one type of processing hardware may leave you in the lurch if you cannot switch to another method of order fulfillment when needed.

A cost management consultant from a reputable cost management consulting company can sit down and work out the details of what exactly your company needs. Today’s technology for warehouse operations is pretty impressive. It’s fast, sleek and highly effective. However, you’ve got to think through exactly how it can be applied in the best possible manner. This smart planning is what makes it a wise investment.