For decades now, science fiction writers have been eagerly awaiting (and in some cases, warning against) the rise of robots and artificial intelligence (AI). While these technologies still have a long way to go, we’re now beginning to actualize some of the concepts and pipe dreams conjured up 50 years ago. No matter how you feel about it, our lives are becoming more and more integrated with machines. The Budd Group has begun to pursue more robotic equipment to augment and assist our various teams in the field, and to great effect. These robotics range from simpler commercial floor cleaning machines to more complex facility management software solutions.
If you’re not familiar with some of these modern technologies, you might worry about their impact on the labor market, efficiency, and human connection (no one likes robo-calls or automated answering machines, after all). Upon closer inspection, however, you’ll find that there are many benefits to integrating more automation into your facility’s operations. Here are some key things to consider regarding the rise of robotics so you know what to expect and how you might benefit from it.
One of the main concerns regarding robotics and AI is that these technologies will leave little for humans to do. On the contrary, investing in automated systems allows staff to focus on more vigorous, complicated, and/or manually driven tasks. Simple, mundane tasks don’t always need human oversight – this is one of the key advantages of a computerized facility management system (or computerized maintenance management system: CMMS for short). An integrated CMMS will store and analyze data, automatically schedule maintenance tasks, set and deliver reminders to staff, control inventory, track assets, manage budgets, and so much more. Meanwhile, equipment such as commercial floor maintenance machines speed up daily and periodic maintenance tasks, giving workers more time to handle other matters. All of this technology amounts to a more streamlined, efficient, safe, and productive workplace.
We all know that humans are prone to error. Machines have their flaws too, but because they’re designed for specific purposes and not riddled with emotion, they’re not susceptible to the distractions that so often throw people off course. With machines, you don’t have to worry about sick days, lunch breaks, or tardiness – the equipment, whether it’s for commercial cleaning, packaging, handling, etc., shows up on time every day. Better yet, modern machines can be programmed to follow specific routes, collect and report key data, and more. Any task that requires a consistent, clockwork approach is often best performed by machines.
Robotics offers consistency, but even the best machines can fall short. Indeed, the robotics we deploy at The Budd Group are not the stuff of science fiction movies or books (not yet, anyway) – they’re well constructed, intelligent, and efficient, but they still require some level of human oversight to set up, monitor, maintain, and repair. It’s important to know a thing or two about the limits of the machines used in your facility so you don’t become overly dependent on them. Your building maintenance plan should feature contingencies to account for the event of a damaged or broken piece of equipment, malfunctioning software, data loss, and so on. Otherwise, you might find yourself in a situation where neither you nor your employees know how to complete a certain task or reset a crucial machine. As time goes on, the robotics available to us and our clients will improve in durability and efficiency. Until these machines have become indestructible and sentient, however, a human touch will still be required here and there. When you think about it, that’s probably for the best, too.
Automatic machines are built to operate on their own, but this doesn’t mean that integrating them with your facility just happens without proper intervention. Whether you’re seeking commercial cleaners, maintenance staff, facility support, landscaping services, or some other specialty, you want to work with providers that know what they’re doing thanks to years of experience – the same goes for setting up robotic systems and equipment. At The Budd Group, we’ve been testing and using robotic equipment since 2019 and know how to properly integrate it into various facility management processes (including cleaning) and how to manage it. Every facility is unique, of course, and yours may or may not be a prime candidate for autonomous equipment at this stage of the game. Our experts will get to know your operations and facility to help you determine which (if any) automated solutions are right. From there, we will begin the process of integrating robotics with your existing operations.
The emergence of new technologies has always set some people on edge and excited others. We understand the apprehension regarding automation, but we’ve also seen firsthand what a positive difference robotics can make for a facility’s bottom line. If you’re looking to streamline your operations, remove human error from important tasks, and give your business a competitive edge, it might be time to integrate robotics into your facility. If so, The Budd Group is happy to help you every step of the way.
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