Employers turn to automation to create the jobs of tomorrow
In 2039, there will be more people retired than those of a working age, which executives have dubbed a “silver tsunami”.
Smart employers at material handling and logistics companies are planning ahead to deal with that labor shortage, along with the labor shortages of today, by moving to automation and warehouse robotics.
Locus Robotics partnered with MHI for the “Jobs of Tomorrow” docuseries that discusses the future of supply chain jobs and the technologies like warehouse robotics that will support them. The episode sponsored by Locus Robotics—Episode 10—tackles the current and future labor shortages of warehouse and supply chain workers.
David Caines, Chief Operating Officer at Kenco Group, says that the labor shortages have “accelerated our move towards automation and robotics, which helps us to leverage productivity. Automation also allows us to train people faster as they no longer have to learn a whole WMS and all the keystrokes on an RF gun.”
Episode 10 of the MHI docuseries further details the benefits of robotics for the supply chain industry, including:
- Rotating associates through the busy peak season
- Recruiting and retaining associates
- Training new associates faster to increase productivity from the start
- Reducing accident rates
“The bots are built in a way that’s very safe with LiDAR to avoid obstacles and people,” says Jasmine Lombardi, Chief Customer Officer at Locus Robotics. “One of our UK customers found that by bringing on Locus Robotics, they were able to reduce their accident rates by over 70%, which leads to happier employees.”
As new technologies come in, even happy employees may fear that their jobs are being replaced. That isn’t the case. Instead, automation like robotics creates room for upward growth for workers by moving the human associates up a level in the workforce chain. The technology is used to upskill and reskill the workforce, which is a strong attraction for both recruiting and retaining workers.
The full “Jobs of Tomorrow” docuseries consists of 12, 22-minute episodes, which features interviews from supply chain and material handling industry leaders, as well as from academics, educators, current college students and others working in the field. They provide their insights on the future of supply chain jobs and the technology that will support them.
Through the insights of these individuals, each episode showcases the latest technologies in action, and includes footage from multiple warehousing and distribution center facilities. Individual episodes cover different aspects of the industry and the impact on the economy and society: From e-commerce to cold chain handling and the innovations and evolving technologies that address today’s challenges. They highlight the broad range of current and future career opportunities offered in this industry.
In addition to raising awareness of the industry and its innovative technologies, the docuseries is designed to inspire greater interest in supply chain careers. “What’s truly unique about the ‘Jobs of Tomorrow’ docuseries is its focus on what happens inside supply chain facilities, a behind the scenes view,” says John Paxton, CEO of MHI. “Most people have never seen the inside of a distribution center, so they often associate them with the low-tech warehouses of the past. This series shows, in action, how the technology has advanced these operations and what the future holds for careers in the supply chain.”
The episodes in the “Jobs of Tomorrow” docuseries are as follows:
- Episode 1: The Extraordinary World of Home Delivery
- Episode 2: Technology in Supply Chain; Testing to Investing
- Episode 3: Cultivating an Innovation Mindset
- Episode 4: Collaborative Automation: Your Future Coworkers in an E-Commerce World,
- Episode 5: How Big Data Drives Big Decisions in Supply Chain
- Episode 6: Remote Work and the Supply Chain
- Episode 7: How to Win Culture and Influence People
- Episode 8: The Calm and the Storm: Building Resilient Supply Chains
- Episode 9: Head in the Cloud: Using Supply Chain Data
- Episode 10: Combating the Supply Chain Labor Shortage, sponsored by Locus Robotics
- Episode 11: Adjusting to the New Normal of Two Times the Output in One-Half the Time
- Episode 12: How the Supply Chain is Keeping it Cool
The “Jobs of Tomorrow” docuseries can now be seen on MHIView. The series will be available for streaming on Tubi, Roku, and Amazon in Q1 2023.
MHI is an international trade association that has represented the material handling, logistics and supply chain industry since 1945. MHI members include material handling and logistics equipment and systems manufacturers, integrators, consultants, publishers and third-party logistics providers. MHI offers education, networking and solution sourcing for their members, their customers and the industry as a whole through programming and events. The association sponsors the ProMat and MODEX expos to showcase the products and services of its member companies and to educate manufacturing and supply chain professionals. WERC is a division of MHI.
About Locus Robotics
Locus Robotics’ revolutionary, multi-bot solution incorporates powerful and intelligent autonomous mobile robots that operate collaboratively with human workers to dramatically improve piece‐handling, case-handling, and pallet-moving productivity 2X–3X, while optimizing labor and making efficient use of warehouse space. Locus helps retailers, 3PLs, and specialty warehouses efficiently meet and exceed the increasingly complex and demanding requirements of fulfillment environments. Easily integrating into large-scale new and existing warehouse infrastructures without disrupting workflows, Locus transforms productivity without transforming the warehouse.
Headquartered in Wilmington, Massachusetts, Locus’s EMEA presence is centrally located in Amsterdam, with APAC presence located in Singapore.
In 2022 alone, Locus Robotics has won more than 17 industry awards, including being named to the Inc. 500 for the second year in a row and a 2022 IFOY Award for its Autonomous Mobile Robot Solution in the Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV/AMR) category.