While automation has been a priority for some time, the mass adoption of automation and robotics systems in primary markets is accelerating and offers promising opportunities for Value Added Resellers (VARs). The pandemic has been a catalyst for the widespread adoption of customer service automation, convincing enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMBs) that automating routine tasks is imperative for future success.
MicroTouch research indicates that nearly half a million automation touchscreens were deployed in 2020 globally, and that rate increases by 12% through 2022. and drive efficiency to be better positioned for future success.
Businesses recognize that automating tasks leads to increased efficiency, productivity and quality. Automation improves their daily workflows while machines can support repetitive work, allowing employees to focus on less mundane tasks and employ more critical job skills.
Many primary verticals benefit from automation. This is especially critical for a thriving hospitality industry, arguably the hardest hit by COVID-19. The pandemic has left hotel and restaurant owners struggling with mandates, closures and a lack of employees. Typically done through software and technology, automation can benefit hospitality businesses and their customers alike, often saving time, money and eliminating stress.
A restaurant owner in Chicago explains, “The customer service kiosks don’t call in sick. They work 24/7 and make it easier for me to focus on what we do best: serving our customers great food and quality service in a relaxed atmosphere.
Build your solutions now for a competitive advantage
When a company declares its automation processes, it may refer to the implementation of a kitchen display system (KDS) in its restaurant or a customer service kiosk in a hospital. While these systems certainly play a role in automation, software vendors are dramatically enhancing these solutions with sophisticated and innovative features that are more intuitive and user-friendly, enabling more advanced automation than ever before.
Now is the time for VARs to capitalize on this trend and take a hard look at the markets they serve to develop the best automation and robotics systems to benefit customers and their customers. It’s a chance to capture market share and strengthen your position as a thought leader. An added value for resellers is that the automation space requires service and maintenance, which can mean long-term customer relationships, high customer lifetime value (LTV), and a healthy recurring revenue stream.
Here are some notable verticals on the cutting edge of automation:
Health care: With the major advantages of robotic technology and the implementation of the 5G network, regional surgical centers can treat patients with fewer healthcare specialists. For example, sophisticated robotic technology allows a cancer surgeon from Summit Health in Morristown, NJ, to operate on a patient 1,600 miles away in Sheridan, WY. Many patients would not have received this life-saving care just a few years ago. These systems can also address the growing labor shortage in the healthcare industry, allowing a doctor to care for more patients in a wider geographic region.
Warehousing and distribution: Automation in the warehousing and distribution industries has exploded in popularity due to COVID-19, dramatically improving the speed at which processes can be completed. Many e-commerce orders are now fulfilled primarily through automated processes allowing managers to reassign employees to higher value tasks.
Automotive and transportation: Self-driving cars are a reality thanks to great advancements in all aspects of technology. Advances in robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and many technologies are enabling innovations that would not have been possible five years ago.
Moreover, these advances are not limited to the family car. Companies are planning to update their truck fleets to gain a market advantage. Additionally, farmers are using fully autonomous GPS-guided tractors and combines. These companies are directly addressing key challenges including regulatory compliance, driver shortages, improving driver performance, and growing demand for goods in remote areas.
All indications point to incredible growth in automation. As you scale your business to take advantage of this growth, remember to create a strategy that will allow you to maintain your current accounts while attracting new customers. Move slowly and deliberately to build the partnerships and expertise you need. Also leverage industry associations for education and networking and trust vendors, such as MicroTouch, for guidance on the best components for your solution.
Investors see the potential in this market, with billions invested in recent years. Use your industry, technology knowledge, and business savvy to help bring automation and robotics systems to market.
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