Automating Your Information Factory

Did you sweat today? Are you tired from heavy lifting and repetitive motion? Likely not.

It’s hardly the case for a knowledge worker, someone who moves bits around rather than atoms.

Physical goods (atoms) have weight and space. Bits (information) are virtual and help us communicate, organize and clarify. The faster you can drive clarity, the more cycles and money you can generate.

Ultimately, if you didn’t sweat today, you likely deal in information. And if you are competing in a world where every customer has experienced luxury service, seen a world class site or had an unbelievable speed of delivery from Amazon, you have a problem. You are dealing with a world of snobs. Their expectations are high.

You are not just competing with others in your industry or profession. You are competing with everyone. And we have seen or experienced it all. The standards are high and only increasing.

Manufacturers understood this in the industrial age. They upgraded manual workers on an assembly line fitting widgets slowly together into high speed automation and machinery. Then they moved to computer-controlled manufacturing with PLC’s, statistical controls and six sigma processes. It was about making things efficiently, cheaply and in mass.

We can understand why physical factories need automation because it heightens their competitiveness, lowers costs and increases supply.

Just because you don’t have conveyor belts and heavy machinery around you does not mean you are not a factory. If you have to service customers and get through a set of steps to make that happen, then you have process requirements. And if you have to execute process consistently with high quality, you have a factory.

One of the biggest impacts for revenue and peace of mind is driving efficiency and automating your factory. The better you do this, the higher your value to your customers. You can differentiate from your competition. You can have peace of mind and grow your business.

Think about your factory. How does it work? Is everything hand made and manual? Do you have a lot of headaches and slow parts to your processes just because of tradition?

Factories have to be efficient. You have to be productive. When we have infinite choice, anything less risks obsolescence.

So what part of your factory would you seek to automate if you could?