Hyperautomation in Manufacturing
Source: Angie Miller, McKonly & Asbury
In the heart of today’s rapidly evolving manufacturing landscape, a new way of doing things is dawning – one that promises to redefine how industries operate and innovate. Enter hyperautomation. Hyperautomation is a holistic approach that goes beyond traditional siloed automation by integrating various technologies to create a seamless and intelligent automation ecosystem. It involves identifying processes that can be automated, optimizing them using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms, leveraging robotic process automation (RPA) to execute routine tasks, and incorporating data-driven insights for continuous improvement. By combining these technologies, businesses can achieve enhanced operational agility, improved decision-making, and streamlined processes.
At its core, hyperautomation in manufacturing is not just about machines performing tasks—it’s a shift that fosters a culture of innovation. A shift that is reshaping factories, supply chains, and entire business ecosystems.
Hyperautomation can manage both routine and complex tasks, freeing up human resources. When employees are freed up from repetitive tasks, human expertise is redirected towards strategic thinking and innovation. Employees are empowered to reimagine processes, explore new technologies, and pioneer alternative solutions. This leads to increased productivity and better resource utilization.
Supply chains, often intricate webs, become tightly woven systems that respond in real-time to market fluctuations. Hyperautomation’ s use of real-time data collection and analysis enable faster and more informed decision-making, allowing manufacturers to respond quickly to market changes and production issues. By automating processes across the supply chain, manufacturers can achieve better coordination, reduce lead times, and enhance inventory management.
Quality control takes on a new dimension. With the precision of AI and the vigilance of automation, manufacturers can intercept defects or deviations in real time before they make the final product, thereby reducing the likelihood of faulty products reaching customers and increasing customer satisfaction and overall brand reputation.
Cost savings find fresh avenues through hyperautomation. Automation can lead to reduced reliance on manual labor and diligent waste management, which contribute to leaner operations, resulting in a healthier bottom line.
As with any change, challenges are bound to surface. Integrating different technologies, coordinating their performance, and ensuring seamless operations require careful planning and expertise. Data security and privacy concerns also arise, underscoring the need for robust safeguards.
In this process, collaboration emerges as a key ally. Manufacturers, technologists, and domain experts must collaborate to navigate this complex landscape and steer hyperautomation towards its fullest potential. The path forward demands not just technical skill but also a visionary outlook—an understanding that hyperautomation is not an endpoint but an ongoing evolution.
In summary, hyperautomation in the manufacturing industry offers a comprehensive approach to process optimization, resource utilization, and innovation. By integrating various automation technologies, manufacturers can achieve significant operational improvements and gain a competitive edge in an increasingly dynamic business landscape.
For more information regarding our manufacturing experience, be sure to visit our Manufacturing Services page and don’t hesitate to reach out to a member of our manufacturing team.
New Member Highlight – Dr. Brown’s Eye Care
Located at 660 W Main St # 1 in Bloomsburg, Dr. Brown's Eye Care has decades of experience treating patient's eyes. Call them at (570) 389-1445 if you are in need of a vision check-up!
PA Senate Sends code bills Back to House
Source: PA Chamber of Business and Industry
The Pennsylvania Senate passed a pair of budget-related bills last week, sending fiscal code legislation back to the House of Representatives where their fate remains uncertain as lawmakers continue to negotiate key components of the state budget.
Although Gov. Josh Shapiro signed Pennsylvania’s main budget last month, disagreements between the administration, Republican-controlled Senate, and Democrat-controlled House have stalled progress on code legislation needed to direct more than $1.1 billion in state spending and other policy priorities.
One of the Senate-passed fiscal code bills, House Bill 1300, includes several important provisions: it authorizes funding for increased reimbursement rates for first responders; provides regular allocations for hospitals and judicial fees; and formally approves already in-progress expenditures related to community colleges, public libraries, and school breakfast programs. The bill also provides a tuition freeze for state system schools.
Some Senate Democrats criticized H.B. 1300 for not including other measures, such as funding for the Whole Home Repairs program or a stipend for student teachers. Amendments seeking to secure funds for these programs were defeated earlier on Wednesday. The bill ultimately passed in a bipartisan vote of 29-18, with Sens. Lisa Boscola (D-Lehigh) and Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia) voting for it with Senate Republicans.
Separately, Senate Bill 757 addresses other areas of the original budget deal reportedly brokered between Senate Republicans and Gov. Shapiro, including the creation of the Pennsylvania Award for Student Success (PASS) scholarship program and $150 million in new funding for the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program. This legislation passed by a vote of 28-19.
In a joint statement, Senate GOP leaders characterized the passage of these bills as another step in the negotiation process.
“With today’s action by the Senate, it is imperative that the House return quickly to session to complete the work of the people they represent, even if to provide a counteroffer to what has been passed,” Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) said.
The state House of Representatives is currently scheduled to reconvene in late September, though a spokesperson for House Majority Leader Matt Bradford (D-Montgomery) has previously indicated the lower chamber may return sooner “if an agreement is reached.”
Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.
US Department of Labor Proposed Overtime Rule
Source: PA Chamber of Business & Industry
The U.S. Department of Labor announced last week that it intends to increase the minimum salary level necessary for an employee to potentially be classified as an executive, administrative, or professional employee and therefore exempt from the Fair Labor Standard Act’s overtime requirements.
The salary threshold was last increased four years ago to its current level of $684 per week or $35,568 annually. USDOL is proposing an increase to $1,059 per week or $55,068 annually, with automatic increases every three years thereafter.
The PA Chamber is carefully reviewing this proposal as similar increases in the past have triggered concerns among nonprofit organizations, higher education institutions, small businesses, and employees who may be forced to transition from salaried to hourly. Read more.
The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce is monitoring the salary threshold issue very closely. For a deeper dive, read this recommended additional reading from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Member News – September 6, 2023
DRIVE Executive Director Appointed to Workforce Development Board
Jennifer Wakeman, Executive Director of DRIVE has been appointed to Governor Josh Shapiro's revamped Workforce Development Board. Learn more.
Millville Mutual President Elected to State Board
Eric Raski, President of Millville Mutual Insurance Company was recently elected to the Pennsylvania Association of Mutual Insurance Companies Board of Directors. Learn more.
Ken Pollock Ford Dealership Hosting Benefit Car Show
The annual Car Show to benefit Johns Hopkins Stepping Stones Transplant Patient Fund is being held at the Ken Pollock Ford Dealership in Berwick on Sunday September 17, 2023. Learn More.
Arconic Foundation Announces 2023 Scholarships
Arconic Foundation recently announced the winners of the 2023 Scholarship Program. The program awards grants of $5,000 to children of Arconic employees to recognize their outstanding achievements and provide financial assistance to help pursue further educational opportunities. Learn about this year's winners.
Fromm Electric to Celebrate 100 years
Join Fromm Electric on September 28th from 11-1 pm at Fromm's Bloomsburg branch for an outdoor BBQ featuring a catered lunch and amazing giveaways from suppliers such as Milwaukee, Signify, and Eaton. The event is "rain or shine,". Find more details.
Martha Graham Dance Company coming to Weis Center
The Weis Center for the Performing Arts will welcome the renowned Martha Graham Dance Company (MGDC) on Thursday, September 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center. Learn more.
United in Recovery announces SCOPE Trainings
SCOPE Trainings provide evidence-based education for first responders, fire, EMS, police, employees, volunteers, and others affiliated with the agency on SUD, especially OUD. See full list of training dates.
Press Enterprise Commercial Printing Goes Social
Press Enterprise Commercial Printing recently created a Facebook page to bring print to a new platform. Follow them at pressenterpriseprinting to see employee and company news, product and service promotions, and production spotlights. Chamber members who follow the page will be entered into a contest. Learn more about the contest here!
CSIU offers a Community Health Worker Training Program
Community Health Workers (CHWs) are trained public health professionals who know their community and have the heart for helping others and serving their community. Learn more about the program the CSIU is offering here.
Arts is Bloom welcomes Shayna Steele
Powerhouse vocalist Shayna Steele will kick off the 2023-2024 Season of Arts in Bloom at Commonwealth University-Bloomsburg. Steele, at home singing soul, jazz, and blues, will perform Friday, Sept. 15, at 7:30 p.m. in Haas Center for the Arts, Mitrani Hall. Learn more.
PA CareerLink, Columbia Montour hosting Job Fair Oct. 5th
The 2023 Columbia-Montour Fall Job Fair will be held on Thursday, October 5th at the LCBC Church campus, 2421 Columbia Blvd., Bloomsburg, PA. The event will begin at 11:00 a.m. and close at 2:00 p.m. Businesses interested in attending can register here. Space is limited.
Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak Opens New Office in Wilkes-Barre; Welcomes Attorney Stacey Acri
Steinbacher, Goodall & Yurchak, an elder law firm with current locations in State College, Williamsport, Wyalusing and Wysox, Pa., is pleased to announce the opening of its fifth office, located at 273 East Northampton St. in Wilkes-Barre. Additionally, SGY welcomes Attorney Stacey Acri to its staff as an associate attorney. Learn more.
First Columbia Bank Photography back in 2023
SBDC Fall Training Events
In-person and virtual events are happening at SBDC this fall. Check out the full schedule.
Covered Bridge Festival happening October 5 - 8
The 41st Annual Covered Bridge & Arts Festival will have something for everyone! The Festival is one of the largest craft festivals on the East Coast, and four-day annual attendance is typically near 150,000 visitors. Learn more.
Bloomsburg Community Luau
Bloomsburg Community Luau, Saturday, September 9, 2023, at the Bloomsburg Town Park starting at 6PM. Enjoy live music and entertainment, great food, fun tropical activities, enter the Tiki Lounge decorating contest, and see Elvis on the outdoor big screen in the classic film Blue Hawaii. Bring a chair or blanket to relax and enjoy the entertainment at the corner of Market Street and Fort McClure Blvd.
Geisinger Environmental Service Department receives National Recognition
The Association for the Health Care Environment (AHE) announced recently that the Environmental Services (EVS) Department at Geisinger Medical Center has been honored as Environmental Services Department of the Year among U.S. teams operating in facilities of similar size. Learn More.
Central Susquehanna Opportunities' Financial Workshops open for September
CSO offers a variety of free workshops to help you develop new skills and achieve your life goals. At our Community Action offices in Shamokin, Sunbury, and Bloomsburg, you can learn about budgeting, getting organized, improving your credit score, and more! See the full schedule here.
BTE To Offer Matinees and Workshops for
Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ in September
BTE’s production of William Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ features special school matinees and workshops for middle and high school students in several regional venues. See venues here.
Glen Brook teaming up for Estate Planning Seminar
Glen Brook Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center is hosting a free seminar on estate planning with Eric Young from Steinbacher, Goodall, and Yurchak on September 19th. Learn More.
Bloomsburg Fair September 22 - 30th
The 168th Bloomsburg Fair will begin on September 22 with a preview day from 2:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Grandstand, admission, parking, and ride tickets are all on sale now! And don't forget to get your exhibits entered. Learn more about the Bloomsburg Fair.
Camp Victory Community Open House Happening September 10th
NEPIRC Manufacturing Day: October 13
Join NEPIRC on Friday, October 13th to celebrate the many contributions of our region’s manufacturing industry! At Manufacturing Day, you’ll be able to see product demonstrations; learn more about the cool products made right here in our local communities, and more!
Press Enterprise Commercial Printing Gets Social
Press Enterprise Commercial Printing recently created a Facebook page to bring print to a new platform. The social media presence will allow them to communicate with businesses, employees, and the public in a whole new way. Follow them at pressenterpriseprinting to see employee and company news, product and service promotions, and production spotlights. Follow them on Facebook and they will follow your business as well.
The Press Enterprise encourages their fellow Chamber members to follow their Facebook page and would like to give each member a chance to win a FREE AD (Valued at $500) in the Daily Newspaper. For your chance to win, FOLLOW their page, SHARE and TAG them in one of their recent posts, and send a DM to say you are a member of the Chamber.
The contest ends September 15th. The winner will be announced on September 20th in the E-Biz Newsletter and contacted about the ad details and information.
In addition to their new social media presence, they recently updated their website, www.pecommercialprinting.com and welcome you to check it out to learn more about how they can provide print solutions and services for your business.
Embracing AI: What Leaders Must Know for Successful Adoption
Source: McKonly & Asbury
Dale Carnegie isn’t new to AI. We’ve been writing about it for years, looking to help leaders better implement it for success. With the advent of technologies like ChatGPT, there’s been a lot more buzz surrounding AI and there’s a lot leaders should know about it. Luckily, we’ve already got you covered.
Here are 8 resources with important truths about AI that can help prepare leaders for using it successfully.
- Change management is critical for successful AI implementation. AI is transformational to businesses. But successful implementation takes a solid change management plan to ensure leaders are communicating, building trusting relationships, and encouraging employees in their training and use of AI.
- AI significantly impacts employee engagement. You can’t take people out of the equation when it comes to AI, meaning maintaining person-to-person interactions is critical. When it comes to the employee-manager relationship, leaders need to inspire trust in AI and teach employees to utilize it to the best of their abilities.
- Employee attitudes will make or break your AI strategy. Employees are the ones pressing the buttons to make AI work, so they had better have a healthy attitude toward it. Trusting in leadership, having transparency surrounding the programs, and earning confidence in their skills are all ways employees can take a more positive attitude toward changes involving AI.
- Employees need to be confident about using AI. A Dale Carnegie survey found that 65% of employees are concerned that AI will take their job. The best way to inspire employee confidence in AI is to train them not just to use it, but also train them in soft skills that only a human can master.
- Senior leaders must inspire employee confidence. Directors have strong confidence in senior leaders, but this decreases as we travel down the chain of command. Managers have about half as much trust as directors. And employees have about half the trust that managers do. Senior leaders must inspire trust and confidence to successfully implement AI.
- Preparation for human and machine partnerships is key. As the Girl Scout motto goes, be prepared. Employees and companies better adopt AI when there is proper preparation (we all know what that prevents). This includes readying employee mindsets to work with AI, modifying job descriptions or task lists, and much more.
- Don’t overlook the details when using AI. AI will affect everything from employee workload to end-user experience. So, as leaders embark on “The AI Revolution,” they need to think of every angle and every detail. In the end, AI is only useful and successful when integrated with your workforce properly.
- Generative AI is making big waves. With generative and predictive AI (like ChatGPT), it’s more crucial than ever that leaders help employees remain agile, be resilient, and positively work with AI to enhance their success.
If you want to set yourself and your company up successfully when using AI, then view our latest panel talk — Leading Change: AI and the Future of Organizational Culture. Hear from experts who discuss the impact AI has on employees, how leaders can ensure productivity, the steps necessary to adopt AI practices, and much more.
As an owner of the Dale Carnegie Mid-Atlantic franchise, McKonly & Asbury is able to offer an extension of services to our clients and friends of the firm, expanding our expertise in the areas of leadership, team building, and people development as Dale Carnegie offers programs in leadership, management development, customer engagement, service, sales, communication, and more.
Dale Carnegie’s Professional Training Courses offer endless options and unlimited opportunity. You can use their event finder to explore the right fit for you and your organization or take a look at some upcoming classes on our website by clicking here.
Arconic Foundation Announces 2023 Scholarships
Arconic Foundation recently announced the winners of the 2023 Scholarship Program. The program awards grants of $5,000 to children of Arconic employees to recognize their outstanding achievements and provide financial assistance to help pursue further educational opportunities. The number of scholarships is limited to 25% of the applicants received. Therefore, of 64 applications, 16 awards were given to Arconic facilities with Kawneer Bloomsburg receiving two of the scholarships. Congratulations to this year’s recipients, Maggie Stauder and Kylie Kingston. Each of their fathers are employees at Kawneer, an Arconic Company.
Maggie Stauder graduated from Southern Columbia School District and will attend Messiah University where she will study Sustainability. Shown in the photo from left are Mindy Stauder, mother; Maggie Stauder, scholarship recipient; Jim Stauder, father and Kawneer Take-Off Technician/Programmer; Bruce Schlichter, Kawneer Plant Manager and Andrew Knipfer, Kawneer Human Resources Manager.
Kylie Kingston, a recent graduate of Central Columbia also received a scholarship. Kylie will extend her studies at Bloomsburg University majoring in Early Childhood and Special Education. Gathering for the photo from the left are Angie Kingston, mother; Damion Kingston, father and Extrusion Crew Supervisor for Kawneer; Kylie Kingston, scholarship recipient; Bruce Schlichter, Kawneer Plant Manager and Andrew Knipfer, Kawneer Human Resources Manager.
Boost Your Productivity with These Practical Habits
- Batching tasks allows you to group similar tasks together and focus on them for a specific period of time, improving concentration and allowing you to monotask rather than multitask.
- "Eating the frog" is a productivity hack that prioritizes the most difficult task first, leading to feelings of accomplishment that can carry over into the rest of the day/week.
- Automating your attention by turning off notifications, putting your phone on silent, and using online scheduling helps avoid distractions.
- Power napping for 10-20 minutes before 2pm (or 5pm for night owls) can improve cognitive function and boost creativity.
- Incorporating these habits can help increase productivity and make you more efficient - practice proactively to see real results
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Although productivity is an essential component to work and life, it’s not a subject most people learn in school. At first glance, the ability to stay focused, get organized, and finish tasks on time seems to be a talent bestowed at birth on the lucky. Thankful productivity experts have another view. Your productivity does not manifest from your genes but from your habits. The following productivity hacks will help you take control of your time and transform the way you work.
Batch Your Time
Time batching is a technique where you set aside specific timeframes for certain tasks. Instead of jumping from one task to another, time batching allows you to group similar tasks together and focus only on them for a specific period. For example, instead of reading emails throughout the day, you schedule a specific time to read and respond. Likewise, you might set aside specific times each day for returning calls or scheduling appointments. Time batching improves concentration and allows you to monotask rather than multitask, which research has shown to be ineffective. We all wish there was more time in a day. By batching your tasks, you'll be able to work more efficiently, save time, and minimize distractions.
Eat the Frog
American humorist Mark Twain once wrote, “If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first.” Productivity experts have latched onto Twain’s metaphor to address the way many people avoid hard tasks. Unfortunately, that avoidance has a cost. Stress, anxiety, and low-energy happen when we put off important work. Much like ripping off a band-aid, ‘eating the frog’ means prioritizing difficult work. Once you've conquered a challenging task, your feeling of accomplishment will carry over into the rest of your day, even your week.
Distractions can significantly affect productivity. Edward G. Brown, an efficiency and workflow consultant, argues that our biggest time bandits come from momentum loss, starting over, and do-overs because of errors. Nir Ayal, author of Indistracible: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life, recommends using technology to automate your attention. Simple habits like turning off notifications during work hours, putting your phone on silent, and having clients book appointments through an online scheduler keeps your attention on your most important work and saves you time throughout your day.
Can sleeping in the daytime really make you more productive? Just ask some of the world’s most successful basketball players like Lebron James or Derrick Rose, who have relied on naps to boost performance. Research shows that it’s not just athletes who benefit from napping. Power naps, defined as a 10-20 minute daytime sleep burst, can help recharge your energy, improve cognitive function, boost your creativity, and improve your work performance. When’s the best time to power nap? Sleep experts recommend before 2pm for most people or as late as 5pm for night owls. When you find yourself reaching for afternoon caffeine, you’ll know it’s time for a quick nap.
Incorporating productivity habits like time batching, prioritizing hard tasks, avoiding distractions, and power naps are practical ways to increase productivity and become more efficient. By adopting these habits, you'll be able to work smarter, not harder. Start by trying one or two habits for a few weeks and track how your productivity improves. Remember, productivity is like a muscle you develop, so practice everyday to get stronger.
The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce is a private non-profit organization that aims to support the growth and development of local businesses and our regional economy. We strive to create content that not only educates but also fosters a sense of connection and collaboration among our readers. Join us as we explore topics such as economic development, networking opportunities, upcoming events, and success stories from our vibrant community. Our resources provide insights, advice, and news that are relevant to business owners, entrepreneurs, and community members alike.
What You Need to Know About Credit Card Processing
Source: US Chamber of Commerce
The best way to learn if credit card processing is right for your business is to weigh the pros and cons. Here's what you need to know if you're on the fence about opening a merchant account.
Consumers prefer credit, debit, and digital payment methods
According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, “93% of U.S. consumers 18 and older” have a debit or credit card. It said people “rate cards highly for convenience.” Credit and debit cards are easier to carry and use and allow for control over payment timing. Indeed, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta stated, “In every year from 2015 to 2021, credit and debit cards were ranked first and second for convenience compared to other payment methods.”
Likewise, 25% of Paysafe survey respondents said: “They're using digital wallets to pay for online purchases more often than they did a year ago.” Since many credit card processors support mobile payment options like Google Pay or Apple Pay, opening a merchant account can allow customers to choose their preferred methods.
Credit card processing applications and acceptance rates vary by provider
While merchant account providers like Square or PayPal have a relatively quick application process, others require more information. Typically, flat-rate solutions take less time to get approved. They don’t negotiate rates for small businesses with credit card processing volumes under $250,000 annually.
In contrast, merchant providers like National Processing base their rates on a company’s average transaction amount, monthly sales volume, and more. An interchange plus pricing model can be cheaper for businesses with higher processing volumes. It’s a good idea to know common credit card processing terms before comparing providers and rates.
Small companies can recover some credit card processing fees
Yes, swipe fees take a chunk of your small business sales. Fortunately, several well-known credit card processing solutions (Stax, Square, and Elavon) allow merchants to add a payment card surcharge or checkout fee to online and in-store purchases. Business owners must inform customers of the surcharge and follow certain rules. Additionally, there are several ways to reduce your payment processing fees.
Merchant account providers offer various payment processing solutions
Today’s credit card processors understand that businesses and consumers need flexibility. As such, most offer various payment and hardware options. You can decide which methods suit your customers best or add new solutions as your company grows. Partnering with a merchant account provider is a way to expand into new markets and attract a diverse customer base.
Here are some merchant account services offered by credit card processing companies:
- E-commerce: Payment processors provide gateways for accepting online payments through your existing website or online shop.
- Contactless payments: With RFID (radio frequency identification), small businesses can let customers tap to pay at the register or curbside.
- Buy now, pay later (BNPL): Some payment solutions provide BNPL services, allowing customers to pay their bills in installments.
- Virtual terminal: Many credit card processors offer a free, web-based terminal for processing card-not-present (CNP) sales, like phone or mail orders.
- Mobile: Digital wallets like Apple, Samsung, Google Pay, PayPal, Venmo, and QR (quick response) codes facilitate payment from a customer’s cell phone. Alternatively, most processors provide mobile apps so business owners can process credit cards from smartphones.
- Automated Clearing House (ACH): Most merchant service providers charge small fees for electronic, bank-to-bank money transfers for recurring subscriptions.
- In-store hardware: Payment processing companies may sell or lease physical card readers, all-in-one point-of-sale (POS) systems, and pay-at-the-table devices.
The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce is a private non-profit organization that aims to support the growth and development of local businesses and our regional economy. We strive to create content that not only educates but also fosters a sense of connection and collaboration among our readers. Join us as we explore topics such as economic development, networking opportunities, upcoming events, and success stories from our vibrant community. Our resources provide insights, advice, and news that are relevant to business owners, entrepreneurs, and community members alike. The Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce is a proud member of the US Chamber, the source of this article.