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Automation costs have decreased in recent years and it clearly helps manufacturers’ bottom line, so why aren’t more companies investing in it? The short answer, according to a survey by L.E.K. Consulting, is they don’t have the money.

In a survey of 200 decision makers across seven manufacturing industries, 34 percent said lack of capital was the biggest obstacle to automation, followed by “unattractive ROI” (31 percent), lack of trained employees (29 percent), and incompatible assets (28 percent).

As Shafali Kapadia at Supply Chain Dive wrote recently, “The soft benefits to automation are evident, including increased efficiency or better working conditions for employees, and these gains come quickly after implementation. But lowering costs remains a top priority for more than half of manufacturers, according to L.E.K.’s survey. While many investments in automation will ultimately reduce costs in the long run, monetary gains may take time to be realized.”

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