Hire Employees Or Buy A Filling Machine?
As a business grows, the owners have to make difficult choices, such as whether to invest in people or machinery. Micro-breweries, nutraceutical companies, and other small to medium-sized businesses face similar challenges. Sometimes they are trying to keep up with demand because their products are selling off the shelves. In other cases, the owner is ready to expand and needs to increase production first.
When Are Automatic Filling Components Better?
Product quality control is easier because, when human hands get involved there will be contamination concerns. If the product requires certain minimum hygiene standards, the fewer people involved the better.
A machine will also be more accurate than a human when dispensing consistent volumes of product into containers. Half an ounce of overfill here and half an ounce of overfill there will cut into the revenue over time.
A machine will work as many hours as needed, at any time of day. Last minute orders, rush orders, and larger orders will be manageable because the filling machine will be there to handle them.
A filling machine doesn’t need training, works very fast, without complaint, for long hours and all without taking breaks. There’s no need to pay overtime, Social Security, worker’s compensation, or provide benefits. Machines are also more reliable. They always show up on time for each shift, and they don’t take sick days.
The Other Side Of The Coin
The downside is the initial purchase costs, the setup process, and the possibility of mechanical failure. Depending on the business needs and available capital, the owner may need to finance all or part of the equipment purchase. It makes sense to set up a consultation with the equipment provider; they will know if you’re buying the right components to meet your needs.
The business workspace may need to be enlarged or rearranged to accommodate the new equipment. If a plant is already tight on space, there might be challenges to overcome, so plan ahead.
A smart business owner understands that a heavily used piece of equipment needs to be of top-quality and needs to have a reliable service technician available. Accept breakdowns as inevitable and keep frequently replaced spare parts on hand.
Envision the Future
In the end, the decision on whether to automate or not will hinge on the owner’s dreams for the company.