Addressing the labour shortage
The ongoing labour shortage is one major impetus for distribution centres to be taking a hard look at robotics.
In a recent survey by enterprise automation software company UiPath, two-thirds of executives said their companies were affected by a labour shortage, and nearly 80% said they will invest in automation to help offset the lack of workers.
“When companies can’t find people, what are they going to do to maintain productivity and product quality?” asked Jeff Burnstein, president of the Association for Advancing Automation (A3), in his response to the UiPath survey.
According to A3, nearly 40,000 robots were sold in North America in 2021 at a value of $2 billion, a record high. This creates opportunities for people to gain new skills and supervise the operation of the newly added robots.
The 2020 World Economic Forum Future of Jobs report said redundant roles will decline, yet emerging professions will grow due to automation.
As more robots come online, people train and get certified into better roles as companies build more offices, warehouses, and branches that require more people to fill jobs.
While some people continue to do manual labour, others are trained on the automated systems.