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Where are you seeing automation or robotics decrease the need for staff?

I was recently involved in a discussion with manufacturers and supply chain partners, and someone raised a question on the impact of emerging and exponential technologies on the workforce. They told us about their client who wants to become a completely lights-out factory with automation only, within a matter of eight months. We had a client that did it over the period of two years and went from 900 staff down to 71. Those staff were supervisors hired only as needed by contract; they let all of the union workers go and got rid of the idea of three shifts. But after a period of time they found that they had to bring some of the more seasoned workers back to the line, because they were missing the body of knowledge required to keep up the level of efficiency. No matter how much process automation or robotics they had put in, they were still having problems in certain areas.

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Anonymous Author
I was recently involved in a discussion with manufacturers and supply chain partners, and someone raised a question on the impact of emerging and exponential technologies on the workforce. They told us about their client who wants to become a completely lights-out factory with automation only, within a matter of eight months. We had a client that did it over the period of two years and went from 900 staff down to 71. Those staff were supervisors hired only as needed by contract; they let all of the union workers go and got rid of the idea of three shifts. But after a period of time they found that they had to bring some of the more seasoned workers back to the line, because they were missing the body of knowledge required to keep up the level of efficiency. No matter how much process automation or robotics they had put in, they were still having problems in certain areas.
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Anonymous Author
Automation only takes you so far, so you still need a human. The problems we're solving involve so much data that no human could handle it in real time but technology can, and people are envisioning the stores of the future. And it's not that companies want to get rid of people, it’s that they can't find people who want to come to work. The pandemic has driven a shift in how people are thinking about that in key areas where humans were critical, because now you may not have as many people on site. There's this acceleration in timelines and some companies think they can pull it off. The pandemic has driven a lot of that out of necessity, but when the pandemic's over and people all want to go back to working on site, what are we going to do? Will we have changed the world in some way we're not happy with on the other side?
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Anonymous Author
When I worked at a logistics company, there was a much greater need for last mile logistics with the surge of the pandemic, so I saw increased adoption of robotics. Many warehouses had a lot of manual labor in which you had to pick up a package that could be several hundred feet away from where you are, for example. Robotics is being deployed in all these warehouses and it’s working. In Mexico, before the pandemic, Amazon had two big warehouses north of the city. Thanks to the pandemic, it has now increased to eight because so many people needed resilient package delivery. Now big companies are implementing and deploying robotics for last mile logistics, and it has to be constantly increasing.
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Anonymous Author
Retail and supply chain most apparently. With the implementation of iot smart stores are becoming more common in major cities. Precise indoor localization via rfid is augmenting warehouse pick and place infrastructure. 
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Anonymous Author
Have seen this happening with the back office processes in one of my earlier companies. We were able to automate a good percentage of the manual work. While a process as a whole might not be completely automated end to end, but we were able to automate over 50% of the manual tasks, thereby reducing the average handling time of each case. We were able to then reskill and redeploy quite a few of such agents to other processes.
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Anonymous Author
As per experience in my organization, automation can only decrease the need for staff when the whole business process is automated. Automating part of the process and leaving another part to be handled by staff will not reduce manpower. Atleast that's what we are seeing.
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Anonymous Author
Everything that can be automated should be automated like backoffice, worklfow. Automation will displace many jobs over the next ten to 15 years, but many others will be created and even more will change. Jobs of the future will use different skills and may have higher educational requirements. 
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Anonymous Author
Automation and robotics in service turns out to deliver different benefits that the deployment of these technologies in manufacturing, logistics and engineering. To date most of the automation and RPA projects I have been involved with have used the productivity increase they enabled in reducing turnaround time and improving customer responsiveness. But that increased capacity also creates opportunities to have the same number of staff do additional or better things. In call centres, for example, increased automation seldom leads to staff redundancies - instead the wait time for someone to answer is reduced. We see the same with mortgage and loans applications, insurance claims processing and other - previously manual - processes.
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Anonymous Author
The question is quite broad. Automation, Robotics, AI and other technology just elevates the industry. Yes, some staff jobs are eliminated but some new jobs are also created. We see areas like book-keeping become more financial management. We see cashiering/order taking move more to supply/demand management. And etc.  
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Anonymous Author
Accounts payable and receivable mostly. We have some new automation that is allowing us to decrease staff in the procurement area as well.
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