The #1 Way to Increase the ROI of Your Automation System

Written By: Jason Nowak

Employee Training Creates Greater ROI

Educating your workforce on the proper use and maintenance of the automation system is the easiest way to increase your ROI.

So you’re planning to invest, or have already invested, thousands or millions of dollars in your industrial automation system to ensure the long-term growth and success of your company. That’s great!  Now it’s time to make a relatively small investment that will help you maximize the return on investment (ROI) from your new system, and here’s how…

Investing in the education of your workforce with regards to the proper use, troubleshooting, and repair of your automated system will reduce down time, lower the risk of injury caused by improper equipment use, and might even reduce the amount of turnover in your organization.  Plus, it is less expensive than you think.

Here are 3 ways to invest in employee education to help you increase the overall ROI of your industrial automation system:

  1. Utilize the Training Provided by your Systems Integrator

    No one understands the way the individual components of your distribution center or manufacturing operation work together to create a complete system the way the system integrator does.  These experts provide a complete overview of the system design better than anyone.  This training is usually offered with new systems; however, it is always available as a refresher or for new employees.

  2. Take Advantage of the Great Training Provided by the Equipment Manufacturer

    The next step in the development of a true system expert is learning the nuts and bolts of each piece of material handling equipment.  This type of training is best provided by the organizations that designed and built the equipment.  Manufacturers offer specialized maintenance and operations training (sometimes free of charge) to end users.  This training is conducted at the manufacturer’s facility and teaches proper and safe techniques for maintaining and troubleshooting your equipment.

  3. Encourage Internal & Ongoing Training by the System Expert

    The best way to learn something is to teach someone else.  Empower your system expert to bring their knowledge back to your facility and train the organization on the proper use and upkeep of the system.  When the company recognizes the value of the knowledge the system expert has developed, the expert will have the pride of knowing he/she is a valued and trusted employee; which is of course, is one of the best ways to retain your most valued people (your best investment ever).

Additional things to keep in mind when setting up a training program:

  1. Many states offer training assistance programs to offset the cost of training your workforce.
  2. Don’t forget the off shifts; if you run 24/7 you’ll need more than one in-house expert.
  3. There are many intangible benefits to a well-educated work force as Dun & Bradstreet listed in their post:  “The Benefits of Skill-Based Training

What type of employee education programs does your company offer?  What benefits have you seen?

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