February 14, 2020

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Technology in the supply chain – does it threaten jobs? | Technology

Technology in the supply chain - does it threaten jobs? | Technology

We can’t ignore the technological evolution of labor throughout enterprise.

Globally, issues are altering quick, and so is the approach we do issues.

The emergence of ideas influenced by expertise equivalent to ‘drop and collect’, digital logistics that facilitates paperless, excessive-pace, and safe dispatch/supply of parcels via a widespread parcel store community are immediately’s actuality. Ten years in the past, a lot of this progress was solely a dream.

These revolutionary ideas allow us to serve our shoppers higher, quicker and extra environment friendly. They enhance the stage at which we produce and meet demand. They have an unbelievable affect on the high quality of our product and the pace at which we produce.

Technology has additionally helped us handle the distribution of our items and to have entry to necessary insights into our markets and sectors, which helps in staying aggressive. The fact is, expertise is right here, and should you’re not going to adapt you’re slowly dying.

But what sort of affect does expertise have on the labour market?


While companies are actively utilizing expertise instruments to optimise their supply chain with built-in and sustainable options – backside line is, this course of must be price-efficient to make sense. To make investments in expertise in a value-efficient method, companies are inclined to assume the resolution is in chopping down on the labour power whereas nonetheless producing at optimum ranges.

In the previous, enterprise was obsessive about cyborgs and automation methods. Artificial intelligence (AI) was as soon as a mirage. Today, robotics and AI are regular and none of us have the liberty to disregard them. Today I can ask Alexa to order a ebook on Amazon and have it delivered to my handle.

When you have a look at supply chain administration, automation (AI, robotics, bots and so forth.) deal with potential errors far significantly better than people – and require much less coaching. This is as a result of once you construct a robotic to carry out a sure activity, you do it as soon as and it will do the job. Basically, you train it as soon as via coding and it will repeatedly carry out a activity successfully with none retraining required. Just updates to do extra duties.

But is automation our all-in-one resolution? Not actually. In reality, human labour stays crucial to supply chain administration. It actually doesn’t matter how superior the automation is or could also be in the future… there’ll all the time be a necessity for human judgement. For instance, prospects might recognize quick and environment friendly service, however won’t ever smile at flawed orders regardless of how briskly the order arrived.

Think about it this manner, a machine is greater than capable of place an order of an merchandise in a field and direct it to a vacation spot, however may not have the ability to establish sizes, colors (or every other advanced specs of an order as per particular person client order). Here, a human judgement is vital.

So, how will we automate and hold people? We equally make investments in the machine and human beings. Train people in new expertise, particularly these we establish as expertise machines will not be but succesful to carry out. There will all the time be one thing machines will be unable to do. While AI and bots can be utilized to automate course of and productiveness, human labour stay necessary in guaranteeing precision in buyer satisfaction and a extra ‘human’ interplay. This approach, automation can create extra jobs than it can eliminate. As AI turns into a part of our lives, we have to rethink how we educate folks and the way we put together them to work alongside an extremely automated office. The extra environment friendly our industries are the extra alternative to create assist and management expertise to automation for folks.


By Lebo Letsoalo, CEO and Founder of SincPoint & African Women in Supply Chain Association (AWISCA).

For extra info on all matters for Procurement, Supply Chain & Logistics – please check out the newest version of Supply Chain Digital journal.

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