Automation: Does Removing the Human Element Really Save Money?

Companies in today’s energy markets are continually looking for ways to streamline processes to control costs and successfully compete with other businesses.  One option to increase cost-savings could be automating processes and eliminating the need for human involvement as much as possible.

There is no debate that advanced solutions — like the OATI smart energy suite of applications — can automate processes by allowing systems to react more efficiently than an employee. As a result, the organization receives immediate cost-savings by removing the need for a person to monitor, react to, and perform the manual tasks associated with each situation.

Even so, anyone who has worked in the energy business can tell you that every situation is different and the unusual changes in daily system operations can yield several causes and solutions. Automated processes can respond to and make the changes required by the situation, but they cannot anticipate possible next steps, brainstorm new and original ideas, or use previous experiences in the same way as an employee.

Essentially, organizations who utilize automation to eliminate the human piece of the puzzle are missing one of the most significant opportunities that automation brings to the table. In working with companies who utilize an OATI solution, I have seen the most success from those who, by allowing automation to free up employee time, empower their employees to use their knowledge and experience to better forecast possible opportunities and solutions.

So, the answer to the question is, yes, automation does save money, but companies who use the automation to encourage their employees to utilize their expertise gain the most benefit from the automation. While a machine can perform a given task, often more efficiently than humans, what it lacks is the uniquely human ability to cater to the needs of the individual. 

OATI webSmartEnergy™ A Solution for The Future
Focus on decision making by automating your process with OATI’s webSmartEnergy™  suite which offers precision, accurate information and secure transaction management, and provides the security needed to support higher penetrations of Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) by fully integrating with field equipment, operations, and enterprise systems for end-to-end functionality. The OATI webSmartEnergy suite offers seven different applications that cover all aspects of your business, whether it is data management or distribution grid management.

To learn more about what OATI webSmartEnergy™ and other OATI solutions can do for your business, contact

About the Author
With over 30 years of experience in the energy industry, Mr. Jim Thomas brings extensive experience in energy trading, analysis, scheduling, tagging, asset optimization, load and resources modelling, and strategic planning. As Director of Account Sustainment at OATI, Mr. Thomas is responsible for maintaining and supporting current customers and ensuring OATI has the tools to address ever-changing industry needs.