Thursday, April 1, 2021

Manufacturing CFO Challenges with Automation - Part 1

Jack Wagler
Jack Wagler, Treasurer & VP of Finance

The job of a CFO has grown and evolved over the years. Many CFOs now have responsibilities that go beyond the traditional role of accounting and financial statements—to risk management, financial planning and analysis, expense reduction, treasury, human resources, mergers and acquisitions, technology, legal, etc.

For CFOs at manufacturing companies, supporting and growing their business, often with a finite budget, while limiting risk can be challenging.

US manufacturing companies exist in an environment where many positions go unfilled—hampering growth and production.  Adding to the challenge is the high turnover due to the often repetitive and monotonous nature of these positions. 

The pressure to reduce costs, or risk losing sales to cheaper and/or overseas manufacturers is stronger than ever.

Manufacturing companies know that to stay competitive and grow, they need automation. Although a company may be profitable and have been in business for generations, automation introduces new risks—at Formic we have seen many smart and successful management teams struggle with implementing automation—resulting in increased costs and increased risks to their business.  

As a manufacturing CFO, if you answer “yes” to the following questions, you may want to consider Formic:

    • Does your business have trouble hiring operators for manufacturing positions?
    • When you are able to hire, does high turnover result  in increased costs and reduced productivity?
    • Is your business under cost pressures--potentially losing key current business or in winning new business?
    • Do you see the potential value of automation and robotics, but wonder whether that is the highest return on investment for your valuable capital?
    • Are you worried that automation will come with hidden and/or unforeseen costs which will further stress your budget and potentially turn an automation solution into an automation problem?
    • Are you concerned that you may not have the right expertise to successfully spec, install and manage automation (without hiring expensive engineers)?
  • And finally, do you want all the benefits of automation and robotics, paid for as an operating expense, and with someone else bearing all the risks?

At Formic, we see the value and benefit of automation, but we also understand the risks, challenges and how to successfully implement and manage automation and robotics. Our highly experienced robotics team has decades of experience successfully implementing and managing automation and robotics. 

If you are interested in learning how automation and robotics can help your company be more successful, and if you answered “yes” to the questions above click here to set up an application review and see if automation can start improving your bottom line immediately. 

If you're curious about what types of tasks are good for automation, click here for an overview from our co-founder and VP of Robotics, Misa Ilkhechi.

Click here to read part 2 where we dive deeper into the framework for thinking about rent vs buy, or read this post to see a real-world ROI comparison.

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