Return on Investment (ROI) refers to the rate at which an investor recoups the cost of an investment. ROI can be high or low and is often calculated based on future projections of income. If the ROI is high, it makes sense to invest. However, a low ROI discourages investment.
With the consistent global technological innovations, most entities have adopted robotic automation because of the significant benefits they bring to a business. Process automation involves computerizing and mechanizing industrial and company processes such that there is little to no human involvement in production. It involves using a robot and a collaborative robot with a robotic arm to perform specific business tasks. A collaborative robot is an advanced version of a robot with greater flexibility and performance. They have sensors, enabling them to operate alongside humans without causing bodily harm.
One great challenge that businesses experience with the use of collaborative robots is the implementation cost element. Implementation costs incurred are mainly direct and comprise costs of license purchase, machine configuration and rollout, information set-up and control, continuous maintenance costs, and employee training costs. All these costs are major and can discourage a company from automating.
However, for those that choose to automate their processes, they come to realize that it is worth doing so because you get to recoup your investment cost in the shortest time possible, translating to higher ROI.
Ways Cobots Increase ROI
Collaborative robots promise higher Return On Investment in various ways, as explained in this article.
1. Increase production
Process automation through collaborative robots guarantees increased productivity. Productivity increases because of various factors. First, automation ensures a faster production process. Unlike humans, cobots operate at greater speeds and can produce more in a very short period. That way, a company can meet market demands faster and at anytime.
Automation through collaborative robots ensures 24/7 productivity, especially for unattended robots. You can always program the cobots to perform their tasks non-stop without worrying about anything going wrong. Collaborative robots operating unattended can always determine the tasks requiring human involvement and set them aside. Hence, the 24/7 production results in high productivity.
Also, automation of repetitive, tiring, and life-threatening tasks means the human workers are let go to concentrate on the jobs they enjoy and those requiring a human touch. Human workers commit their all to doing what they like, which results in increased production. Therefore, with a guaranteed increase in production, automation results in a high and faster Return on Investment (ROI).
2. Reduce wastage
Collaborative robots are known to be precise and constant. They operate via software, which is programmed to perform as desired. Given that they are exact and do not make mistakes in their production, you can be guaranteed minimal to zero waste in production materials.
Production materials are expensive, more so if you source them from abroad. Human labor can get tired and miss the measurements or certain specifics of production. Hence, there is a lot of wastage that a business has to contend with.
Any waste in production resources increases production costs, resulting in slower and diminished ROI. However, a cobot saves on cost by cutting down on wastage, implying a higher ROI.
3. Minimize errors
Automation of processes means a reduction or total elimination of errors. Collaborative robots operate on programmed software, meaning reduced probabilities for error. Also, cobots are precise and consistent within their operations. Cobots can operate round the clock without demanding sleep or rest. They work non-stop unless they malfunction or are stopped to be done for maintenance.
On the other hand, the human workforce can commit errors and blame it on getting tired, sick, or forgetfulness. Errors can be very costly to a business, especially those in the production niche. A slight oversight can result in an irrecoverable error, costing businesses billions. Hence, a business saving a lot from not having to chip in for errors committed in production or any other business process translates to a faster ROI.
4. Increasing customer base
Automation helps guarantee a large customer base for your business. Automation results in quality products and services. Given that collaborative robots operate via programmed software, they produce precisely as programmed.
Moreover, you can easily customize or tailor your products according to your customer preferences. The surety of getting products exactly as ordered ensures satisfied and happy customers.
Also, with automation promising high production speeds, you can meet customer demands without fail. A customer can trust you to deliver on your word. Hence, you satisfy your customers and benefit from the good word your current customers will put for you. Hence, with an increase in and retention of customers, you can be sure of generating more income for your business, which translates to a higher ROI.
5. Increase product quality
Process automation ensures quality products by producing exactly as per input specifications. The product or service you get is as instructed to the collaborative robot. There is no room for errors or mistakes.
With increased product quality, you can be assured of selling to the highest bidders. Customers prefer quality to quantity. Hence, by focusing on quality, you can sell your product at any price and be sure of selling out. Quality produce creates loyal customers. Hence, you are always sure of selling your products and services, which means constant and high returns, translating into high and faster ROI.
6. Minimize labor costs
Process automation takes over most business processes from employees, meaning you cut down on wages and salaries for employees handling those tasks. You can then take the money you save from employee wages or salaries and reinvest it into the business. That generates more income for the business and translates to higher and speedy ROI.
7. Diminish or Eliminate employee compensation
Most industrial work involves dangerous and life-threatening processes. Hence, a business has to provide insurance cover for its employees and provide huge compensations in the event of injuries or deaths on the business premises.
However, the automation of processes eliminates the need for huge compensation for employees as collaborative robots take over dangerous and life-threatening processes. The savings from such occurrences translate into higher and speedy ROI.
8. Saves time
Automation of processes saves time for business. That is illustrated through the speedy production processes and responses to customer orders and queries. Time saved translates into costs saved. For instance, if a customer makes an urgent order for a large product quantity, a company is confident of delivering the order in good time since the automated processes operate at greater speeds.
9. Saves company space
A business whose processes are automated does not require renting extra space for the storage of produce. They only produce in response to an order. Since they are sure of meeting urgent demands regardless of when a customer places an order, they do not see the need for renting out extra warehouses or storage areas. The costs saved from renting storage space can be reinvested into the business to generate more income, hence, a faster ROI.
It is now clear that process automation results in faster and higher ROI for the business. Hence, if you are thinking of investing in process automation and feel the cost is too high, you can rest assured that you will recoup your investment fast, given the benefits accruing from the automation of processes.