BoxLogic’s Matthew Hopkins has featured in a piece for Morning Brew titled ‘What we get wrong about machines taking our jobs’ as part of their Automation Myths series. The piece seeks to dispel the myth that automation will take jobs and instead outlines several examples where Automation creates a competitive advantage, allowing businesses to grow or where automation even protects jobs.
Whilst they are not specific to the logistics sector, they do help to dispel the myth:
- South Korea had 63 robots per thousand manufacturing workers versus the United States’ 19 robots per thousand manufacturing workers, but South Korea employs 17% of its workforce in manufacturing versus the USA’s 8%
- ATMs were introduced in 1969 when there were 200k bank tellers in the USA but over 400k workers a decade later – ATMs made it more efficient to setup more banking locations
Hopkins was used as an example of a new breed of job created by the innovation and adoption of cutting-edge technology. He also referenced how companies in the warehouse sector need to hire experienced professionals in automation to be able to deliver such projects.
In reference to the number of workplace injuries caused by the deployment automation warehouse operations, Hopkins described how systems are designed to ensure that throughput is achieved sustainably. This is a key concern in the logistics sector as businesses are accused of treating their people like robots, a claim that has been made by some workers at Amazon.
Throughput rates are ‘usually just a measure of what’s possible for the machine—not necessarily for humans. As a rule of thumb, his firm advises clients to set expectations at 85% of this throughput figure to account for breaks, slowdowns, and “the realities of being human”.’
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To read the full article, visit the Morning Brew website (link to article) and keep an eye out for the upcoming articles in the series.