Growth is exciting, especially for small businesses who want to make a name for themselves. But when growth happens, you must rise to the challenge of increasing demand for your products. Integrating automation into your packaging system is one of the easiest ways to push inventory faster and get your products out there. But how do you know when your business is ready to start using automation? Automation can be expensive, so you’ve got to carefully weigh the pros and cons of using it for your specific application. Here’s how to tell if you’re ready to start using automation in your packaging strategies.

You Can’t Seem to Keep Up

When your packaging system can’t keep up with the demand for your products, you might want to consider automation. Figure out what’s slowing down the process of packaging goods and see where automation can fit into the picture. For example, if your workers are simply not able to apply twist ties at the speed you need, maybe a semi-automatic twist tie machine will eliminate the hold ups. Or perhaps your employees struggle with getting tape cut and applied to boxes at the end of the line. A tape dispenser will certainly speed up this process. Automation is a great tool for speeding up the process and eliminating setbacks on your packaging line.

Your Competition is Ahead of You

When your competition starts using automation, it’s time to get on the bandwagon. The company who can meet the demand will control the market. Consumers are no longer willing to wait for the company with the best product to emerge. Whoever delivers what they need the fastest will win their business, especially if there is little to differentiate your products from the competition. In today’s market, timing is key. You can secure the majority of your segment by simply delivering items faster than someone else.

Your Labor Costs Just Keep Rising

Labor costs can increase exponentially without automation. If you notice your labor costs are rising consistently and growing more and more demanding of your budget, automation is likely the next step. While you can continue to hire more workers instead, they require a lot more from you than a machine will. You’ll need space for workers to operate, money to pay them every two weeks, and benefits to keep them happy. Machines are a great solution for increasing demand, especially for companies who can’t maintain the required amount of manual labor it takes to run the business.

Your Employees Are Suffering

We all know happy employees are better employees. If your demand is causing workers to feel overwhelmed and stressed, their performance is probably declining. Even your best employees will fail under too much pressure. When production speeds go up due to high demand, employees can only increase their efforts up to a certain point before they become severely fatigued. Give them some well-needed relief with entry-level automation. You’ll decrease their stress and increase your overall productivity. Employees are the foundation of your entire operation, so it’s important that you take care of them.

All of these signs point to a need for automation. Your company must focus on adapting to growth in the most effective way possible, and often that includes turning to automation for some relief. The benefits of automation far outweigh the costs when you’re trying to stay competitive and maintain your position in the market. If you’re experiencing anything like what we’ve discussed, you’re ready to start exploring automation for your application.