Resource efficiency is a complicated concept in the business landscape and something that often gets overlooked by many market leads.
The idea behind resource efficiency is that you continuously search for new and improved ways to accomplish more significant results with minimal output. One way is adjusting your processes so that you’re using fewer materials to create your products.
Resource efficiency strategies can also include setting technology in place so that you can more easily track what’s happening in your workforce. For instance, IoT systems could pick up on potential problems with manufacturing equipment and alert engineers before a critical failure occurs.
Let’s take a closer look at how companies can achieve resource efficiency by investing more into the right technology solutions.
Creating Smarter Production Lines
Research tells us that using more resource-efficient models for the business operation could generate billions in potential cost savings. For many organizations, the path to success will begin with smarter production lines.
Creating intelligent production lines means that you don’t just think about your end product and how much you produce, but also what you use each day to create your products and services.
IoT, or the Internet of Things, can embed sensors into the production line. These sensors, when connected to sophisticated systems for artificial intelligence and analytics, pick up on bottlenecks in production.
Your sensors might inform you that there are parts of your production lines that slow down at certain times of the day. If that’s the case, you might need to invest more in having additional hardware up and running at those points.
Sensors can also highlight potential problems as they emerge. In a production line where an overheating machine can cause both downtime and dangerous safety risks, a sensor can deliver an instant alert, letting your engineers know to jump into action.
Reducing Waste in the Business Landscape
When people think about efficiency in business, they often consider things like electricity and fuel usage.
However, while these factors do play an important part in how efficient your company is, you also need to think about other aspects of your company operations that could be increasing your environmental impact.
For instance, how could you cut costs and reduce waste in various parts of your company’s operations?
Some automotive companies like Rolls Royce allow other brands to pay to use or rent an engine, rather than buying the device outright. Hiring equipment can be an excellent way to cut down capital costs and eliminate the issues of regular maintenance.
Here are some ways businesses can redesign their production lines according to the ideal of resource efficiency:
- Reducing process steps: Reducing the number of machining steps involved in creating a product can also reduce the amount of waste generated. 3D printing is becoming an increasingly popular technology in the manufacturing world. That’s because 3D printers can create products without cutting or drilling, creating additional waste.
- Designing reusability into products: Manufacturers are increasingly building for resource efficiency from the ground up. Creating products that can be disassembled and reused in other ways can be an excellent way to reduce the impact of the business on the environment.
- Improving manufacturing processes: Efficient manufacturing processes help to guide employees through the various steps they need to take each day. This reduces the amount of wasted time and mistakes made.
Improving Resource Efficiency with Communication
It’s not just machining and production that has an impact on the resource efficiency of a business today.
While tools like micro-robots in the food industry that learn how to pick only the ripest produce from the product line make a considerable difference in reducing waste, it’s essential to think about your people too.
One of the most valuable resources any business has is its employees. These professionals have unique skills that they need to use daily to deliver results for your company.
Unfortunately, if your team members are constantly engaged in repetitive and monotonous tasks, they don’t have enough time left over to be their most creative.
Tools like artificial intelligence and IoT devices that can automate things like productivity checks and machine maintenance could make a huge difference to the efficiency of your team.
Going forward, intelligent machines may remove the need for manual product checks entirely. This frees human staff members to focus on other issues that devices can’t handle.
With automated systems, or “robotic process automation” as some industries refer to it, we can give our team members the freedom they need to thrive in their roles.
Improving Asset Management
One of the greatest benefits of resource management and efficiency is that you can reduce the amount you spend on assets and boost the bottom line of your business.
Poor asset management can lose companies a lot of money in different ways. If you don’t have the right assets in your company at all times, then productivity comes to a halt.
Innovative asset management services can help you keep track of the assets that you have in your business while also showing you where certain properties need to be repaired or updated.
You could even couple it with things like sensors and artificial intelligence to detect when a machine is about to break down.
Asset management tools can also highlight some of the more outdated equipment in your business that might use excess power and make your operations less effective. This could give you an insight into how much you could potentially save if you upgrade to something new.
Embracing the Future of Efficiency
The most successful businesses in the modern landscape aren’t just the companies that have the best products or the most productive teams.
If you want to survive and thrive in today’s competitive marketplace, then you need to ensure that you’re taking full advantage of your resources.
Resource efficiency is easier to achieve when you have the right technology to guide you. With a myriad of options in today’s tech landscape, it’s easier than ever to find the one that will give your business a boost.
Heather Redding is a content manager for rent, hailing from Aurora. She loves to geek out writing about wearables, IoT and other hot tech trends. When she finds the time to detach from her keyboard, she enjoys her Kindle library and a hot coffee. Reach out to her on Twitter.