If this last year has taught us anything, it’s that the availability of our labor force is easy to interrupt. Yet, the labor force is still one of the manufacturing industry’s most important commodities. Even in today’s age of more automation, we still need people in manufacturing to perform tasks which machines are not yet able to accomplish. Combine the labor shortage with issues of the current economic conditions and a shifting labor force that are seeking out higher-paying less labor-intensive jobs, and you have a recipe for a labor shortage which will likely continue for years to come. Here’s some ways that implementing more automation can help fill gaps in labor shortage now and in the future.
Change Your Perception
Before this last year, even if you did implement some automation, it may not have been because you were expecting to replace a single worker’s job. Now, you may need to consider doing just that. Warehouses of the future will operate more agilely with machines and automated processes doing much of the work while the labor force makes sure everything is running smoothly.
Change Their Perception
The next step is to ensure your employees understand their role in the automation process. Unfortunately, automation improvements come with the stigma that they are replacing human labor. In some cases, this is true, as machines can replace manual laborers. However, this can open up more spots for engineering, machine operating, and repairing crews. The labor force will shift to more skilled positions. Building in programs which teach and educate manual laborers in these positions can alleviate some of the negative perceptions that automations have on your workforce.
Shift to Automation Now
Warehouses and manufacturers which make the change to more automated systems will be ready to step up when the market demands a lighter and faster manufacturing and delivery process. That can certainly give you an edge over the competition if they are not prepared to do the same.