Can Autonomous Be The Answer To Better Business?
Contributor: John Thomas Brewster
November 23, 2021
The transportation sector contributes to 29% of global emissions, with shipping comprising 3% of all emissions. In 2018 alone, shipping released 1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. In conjunction with our heavy reliance on global trade, the fuel that these ships run on is the dirtiest and cheapest forms of diesel available on the market. A Norwegian shipping company, Yara, has an answer to this problem. By teaming up with Konsberg, an advanced technology development firm, together they have developed a fully electrical and autonomous shipping vessel.
Not only has Yara created a solution to an emissions issue, but they have also implemented a fully autonomous process. As most maritime incidents are caused by human error or fatigue, using an automated system allows the company to save on money, streamline their system, and avoid accidents.
As important as it is for large companies to be on the cutting edge of emission technology and automation technology, it is just as pivotal for startups and small businesses.
Environmental ethics is a growing subject on consumers' minds. If given a choice between two products, and they believe one to be better for the environment, and better for our world, they will see that product as better for themselves. The trend in industry is moving towards a zero emission model; following this is integral in survival.
However, just because large businesses are moving in a certain direction, doesn't mean the choices they make are right for you. Small businesses are more human organizations; they should leverage their humanity as a selling point to the customer. We know you, we are here for you, we care about you, these are the factors that people look for when they choose a small business. Automation is directly against these values, once you begin to automate processes the customer becomes detached from your services, and it may appear as though you do not care about your customers. There are services that can be automated like stocking and floor cleaning, but interactions that are better with a human touch, always require a human touch.
Innovation is important. When it can save you money, help with the environment, and cut back on waste, innovation should drive your decisions. But when it starts to detract from the value of your organization, that is where innovation can be detrimental. Before implementing automation or other time saving processes, think about how it adds value to your product. If you improve your system, but degrade the value of your product in the process, you are only hurting your business.