Automate Now with Your Automation Roadmap

JHFoster engineers solutions to automation problems. Regardless of your industry, we guide you through your automation journey. From repetitive tasks to leading-edge technologies, we help you stay ahead of the competition and reach your productivity goals. John Henry Foster assists you in discovering new ways to automate every process within your company. We can help you wherever you are on the automation roadmap because there is no pre-determined starting point. In short, we meet you at any phase in the automation lifecycle and process. 

The Automation Lifecycle

Automation Roadmap: Don’t get left behind

Roadmaps prioritize and determine where improvements will fit into the timeline of your production goals. They maximize performance while minimizing costly downtime. However, knowing what you need and want from your automation project may not be as simple as it sounds. Your company’s departments need to brainstorm, collaborate, communicate, and analyze to create a successful project.

An automation roadmap gives a detailed diagnosis of your operations and current automation systems. This helps you plan and prioritize upgrades you need to make over a set period. These upgrades boost quality, productivity and efficiencies, consequently resulting in exceeding production quotas. Your competition has this roadmap in place, or at least they will soon. We can help you beat them to it. To start, use these suggestions to define your goals and begin creating a more efficient production line.

12 Key Steps to Consider Before Starting Your Automation Project

Define Your Objectives

The sooner you define your goals and objectives, the better chance you have that your project will end up successful. Similarly, clearly defined objectives optimize the values and resources of your project. Make sure everyone on the team agrees on what the project needs to achieve before it starts. Things to consider;

1) What will your business gain from this project?

2) Similarly, how will this project impact operations (i.e. greater efficiency, better quality, compliance, etc.)?

3) Can other systems use the generated data?

4) What are people’s objectives? What about skill development? Above all, how could this ease work pressures?

Realize the Power of Positive Visualization

Visualizing your project as a success can help determine any issues or problems that may occur before the project begins. View your project from different perspectives of those who will be directly involved. How will it affect them? As a result, you realize any shortcomings of the project, and find necessary workarounds.

Get Input from Others

Get input from multiple departments. This input guides your decision-making based on the most important motivations for the project. Justification is often the most challenging aspect of planning. Before placing an order, management and the project team must be willing to commit to the value of the investment.

Ask Yourself…Who Will This Help?

The goal of any automation application is to have technology help create a more efficient production process, so that you can assist human workers and enhance overall company output.

1) What outcomes or desired results does your project team want to achieve?

2) What do they want the project experience to be like? (i.e. no production shut down or communication via email, etc.)

3) How will you define quality? Such as on time/on budget or increased production volumes or zero downtime, at the end of the project?

Clear Definition is Essential

Have a clearly defined starting point. Creating clear and concise project goals, and verifying how the project will answer needs, moves you on your way to a successful project.

Get a Second Opinion

Get a second opinion from an informed outsider. Before finalizing your project, look for a system integrator that can offer insight and if your project needs adjusting and/or if the costs are comparable. 

Communication Rules

Decide what parameters are expected surrounding communication for the project such as; what, how and when things should be communicated to the team. 

Get Others Involved

Create a team to examine the project and implement a strategy, so you can get additional feedback. Ideally, members of the team includes employees from every department involved in the project.  

Set Clearly Defined Ground Rules

Spell everything out in advance, and assign all responsibilities for the project to specific people in order to avoid confusion.

Write Down All Requirements

State up front all the requirements and plans for the project, and write them down. As a result, you can avoid confusion and miscommunications.


It’s very important to put together a scope that reflects both the well-defined areas of the project, as well as, the gray areas that indicate when project reassessment should occur. After goals have been agreed upon, it’s easier to integrate a finely tuned automated system into a business to streamline work processes and increase worker safety. Further, you enhance overall company output and productivity. 

Have questions? Need help defining your automation roadmap? Contact our team of automation engineers today at 800.582.5162 or e-mail to learn more about how we can help with your automation challenges.

Automation Roadmap FAQ's

What is the cost of an automation system?

The cost of an automation system varies depending on the project, materials, etc. John Henry Foster's specialists can come take a look at your project and help you determine the solution right for you and your budget. Contact us for more details.

Can someone come out in person and talk to me about my project?

Our automation experts are ready to answer your questions. Our experts are able to meet you at your site, and discuss possible solutions to your struggles. Give us a call at 800.582.5162 or email us for more information.

What type of support can you offer my company after sale?

John Henry Foster offers support before, during and after your project. We have automation specialists ready to assist you over the phone, or we can send our automation experts out to your site to help you from there.