With the technological advances that are available these days, automation all of the processes in the Tequila Industry becomes possible; from the production of the agave plant to the delivery of our packaged tequila. However, although this technology is a reality and available these days, its costs limit the access to it. Discover how we, at Casa Sauza are using this technology.
Which processes can become automated in the Tequila Industry?
An example of the possible automation of processes that could be applied, are driverless tractors, which may be used in the cultivation of the agave. It is important that we constantly stay aware of new technologies so we can gradually incorporate them as a part of the company's development vision.
Another example is the use of robotics and artificial intelligence in our equipments, both distillation or bottling ones, so that the conditions of the materials may auto-adjust themselves.
The use of drones for making video/photographic inventories of our planted agaves could be another example of the automation of processes that could be applied to the tequila industry. Drone-based inventories have a positive colateral impact on the development of other areas of the company, such as: labor security, quality of the information and reduced energy consumption, among others.
With the passing of time, these devices tend to lower their price while they increase their technological flying capacity and image processing. Another benefit is that the human resources who were in charge of making the physical inventories themselves, can now focus on the analysis and synthesis of the information and thus, better diagnose the conditions of the development of the agave and improve its management. By recording the inventory manually, we only get quantitative information on the development of the agave but not qualitative information. This might be seen as a minor advance but it has a high impact on the agave business.
Tools to know which process to automate
To diagnose and prioritize which processes should be automated, using tools such as Value Maps and Makigamis becomes very useful. These tools help us define times, movements and activities in the value of processes in order to eliminate losses, that is, to optimize times and eliminate those movements and activities that do not add value to the production and information flow.
Value Maps and Makigamis must be frequently revised (at least once a year) in order to have all the information needed in case we want to consider the incorporation of new technologies.
It is possible that what was not considered a loss at a time in the Value Map, can now be considered as such. Technological change is usually constant and is increasingly accelerating, so all the areas of the organization must regularly monitor their development, since this will constantly change the activities that need to be carried out in the company.
Master plan in the Tequila production process
We now know that it is possible to automate all of the tequila industry processes and thus, we have to prioritize which ones to automate by making use of Makigamis and Value Maps. The next step would be to design a master plan for the improvement and innovation of the production process. The improvement and innovation of the processes will be carried out by the company's collaborators (employees) which is why, we must constantly educate and develop the human talent of our people. We should constantly introduce them to the new knowledge and abilities that the new technologies require in order to increasingly open the competitive development possibilities of the company.
For example, we currently have no knowledge and abilities for the development of robotics and artificial intelligence, which will in the future become essential for the continuous improvement of our value chain, since it will improve all of the performance indicators of the company, such as safety, quality, environment, moral, delivery, productivity and cost.
This development will have a major impact on our work relationships as well as on the lifestyle of our collaborators which is why, it is necessary to include Change Management as a quotidian process of the company.