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Saurabh Prakash, Plant Head, Meenakshi Polymers

Image: Meenakshi Polymers

Automation as a strategy “Methods of automation have changed”

May 3, 2018

“Robotic processes and intelligent automation tools can help businesses improve the effectiveness of services at a lower cost and at a rate much faster than current methods” — Saurabh Prakash, Plant Head, Meenakshi Polymers

Do you see any challenges while making automation as a fundamental part of the overall business strategy in the Indian manufacturing enterprises, in both SMEs and corporates?

Yes, it was a tough part to transform yet, it was successfully implemented and adopted in the Indian manufacturing sector and the SMEs sector.

A better approach to automation investment begins with a strategic vision that drives a methodical approach to business improvement. What would be your recommendations?

As the nature of work has changed from earlier, so have the methods of automation. Robotic processes and intelligent automation tools can help businesses improve the effectiveness of services much faster than current methods and at a lower cost, too, but with certain limitations.

How easy/difficult is it to align business and automation strategy in a manufacturing organisation and ensure the two are closely linked in the long term, especially in the SME sector?

Aligning business and automation are two sides of the same coin – success in the SME sector. It will automatically help increase the volume of the product resulting in better quality, lesser cost and high acceptability in the market.

Consumer demand and relentless global competition have resulted in shorter product lifecycles, a need for reduced turnaround time, and a renewed emphasis on quality and cost reduction. Can you highlight the current trends in automation solutions and advanced technologies available that address these areas?

In the present context of globalisation, the product quality, price and shorter manufacturing cycle (reduced turnaround time) are of prime importance. The only way to achieve this goal is by selecting better technology, increasing the volume and quality of the product so as to reduce human error, and improve marketing.

The effective execution of your automation strategy requires the right partner to help guide and drive the process. How can the partnership between automation service provider, system integrator and end-user be more effective to further overall business objectives and ensure consistent ROI?

Strategic partnerships are at the top of the corporate agenda of many global organisations. However, many organisations also encounter difficulties in initiating, developing and managing partnerships. Perhaps the most meaningful and rewarding part of a marketing campaign is the end result although, the ROI of some marketing tactics can often be difficult to prove. But with this certain amount of grey area, there are specific steps one can take to ensure a marketing investment earns the highest possible return. There are four steps to ensure an ROI. These include understanding your audience, conducting a pilot study, launching best-performing concepts and analysing, optimising, reporting, repeat while adhering to the 3 Ps – People, Premises, Process.

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