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Chapter: 11th Office Management and Secretaryship : Office Automation

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Office Automation: Meaning, Definition, Merits, Demerits

Method or system of using automated or electronic equipment, as word processors and computers, in the operations of an office

Automation:

 

Meaning:

 

Automation may be described as usage of advanced technology with the help of specific devices of communication and control in self-regulation without human intervention. It can also be termed as application of information technology to the typical clerical and secretarial tasks such as communication, correspondence, documenting and filing.

 

Definition:

 

Business Dictionary defines the term office automation as “Method or system of using automated or electronic equipment, as word processors and computers, in the operations of an office”. It is basically application of information technology to the typical, clerical and secretarial work such as communication, correspondence, documenting and filing.

 

The Committee on Automation (1972) defines the term automation as “Usage of technical advancements such as automatic machinery, automatic transfer system or automatic control or feedback through electronic devices”.

 

In simple words automation means “Creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services”.

 

Objectives of Automation:

 

Automation in the office refers to a process whereby sophisticated machines and equipment are introduced in the office with a view to aid administrative process. Automation in the office has the following objectives.

 

1.           Saving Manpower: Automation aims at saving manpower. It eases the process of work and thereby reduces work load of employees.

 

2.           Time Saving: Office automation enables promptness. The work that would take hours can be done in no time with the aid of machines.

 

3.           Accuracy: As the task to be performed is planned well ahead in advance in the form of programmed schedules, automation enables completion of work with accuracy.

4.           Elimination of Monotony: In case of routine or repetitive job the data which is already feed in the system can be retrieved instead of typing again and again. Repetitive processes may sometimes lead to monotony and office machines eliminate the monotony of these repetitive processes.

 

5.           Lesser Frauds: Automation also minimizes the chances of fraud in office work.

 

6.           Storage of Facts and Data: Once the data entered in the computers, can be stored forever. At a time it can store large volume of facts and data for future reference.

 

Merits of Automation:

1.           Automation increases the productivity.

2.           Automation eliminates heavy physical labour. The employees have to work less which in turn increases their job satisfaction.

3.           Automation improves the quality of decision making in business. Computers have become indispensable in certain industries like defence, airlines, insurance, etc.

4.           It improves the working conditions and employees work in safe and comfortable environment.

5.           Automation leads to quick completion of work, which in turn enables the management to serve their customers promptly.

 

Demerits of Automation:

1.           Automation results in technological unemployment.

2.           Automation requires huge investment. Small Business units cannot afford it.

3.           Automated plant cannot be introduced in industries where changes are rapid because of changes in tastes of customers.

4.           Since various operations are interdependent, failure in one part of the automatic plant may shut down the entire plant.

 

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