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Labor Shortage & Automation Part 2: Replacement or Empowerment?

This blog is part of the Labor Shortage and Automation series. Click here to read Part 1 and Part 3.

If you track the history of automation, you can find some version of automation back to Henry Ford. Occasionally, some have blamed automation for taking jobs from people, but this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, automation almost always is meant to empower technology, not to replace the workforce. Especially now when labor shortage is a challenge for almost all employers, can automation fill the labor gap?

In a warehouse, automation may be the answer to the labor shortage. In the past, businesses have used each new automation development to become more efficient and effective. In the Henry Ford example, the assembly line increased production which lowered the overall price of the automobiles and increased consumer demand. Like the assembly line, which is still used today, automation such as automated retrieval systems, sortation systems, and collaboration software is increasing order accuracy and process speeds. These new capabilities open doors for higher product flow and consumer demand growth.

Businesses should not fear automation, but rather use automation to empower existing labor to become more productive. Historically, automation was never intended to replace people. It was intended to help do more with the staff you have. It was intended to empower your people and improve their situation. Ask yourself, could my warehouse be better with automation?


If you're curious about automation or would like to know how your warehouse can benefit from automation, contact Gary Walker.

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