What is the state of retail and e-commerce? When it comes to order fulfillment, it’s clearly gone into bots, and there’s no going back.
This is the new conclusion Industry Status a report Berkshire Gray. The reason will be familiar to those who have tracked industries like durable goods manufacturing, agriculture, and commercial trucking: a new generation of workers who don’t want jobs with low wages, low stability, and great burnout. While this can be framed through a number of lenses (the one that always makes me laugh is “They’re lazy!”), the indisputable result is a major shift toward automation, especially robotics.
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“Labour issues across industries remain fluctuating, but unlike the temporary shortages seen in other industries, the continued growth of e-commerce and shifts in employment preferences between generations uniquely impacts the demand fulfillment industry and is expected to lead to long-term labor shortages that will not In addition to compensation strategies, companies need to use bot automation in order to stay on the cutting edge of this demographic shift,” said Steve Johnson, president and chief operating officer of Berkshire Gray “in the coming years.” Not only is it a huge magnet for young talents due to the increased security and specialized skills it enables, but it is also a game-changer in terms of cost reduction, productivity and return on investment.”
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Nearly three-quarters (71%) of CEOs who responded to Berkshire believe bot automation is essential. This is partly driven by changing business dynamics and partly by consumer trends putting pressure on online retailers. For example, free returns are becoming the norm, with a similar percentage of executives (72%) believing that they will lose customers if they do not provide them. Add to that the demand for faster delivery speeds and a significant increase in rates of return (80% of CEOs saw an increase that required an increase in staff), and it’s clear that retailers are in some kind of trap: they can’t hire easily and simultaneously need to cut costs and increase efficiency. .
These, friends, are fertile conditions for robots. There has been a massive increase in the number of CEOs who believe automation is now the norm in fulfillment (growth by about 43% since 2019). Among those using bots, almost all (85%) will invest more in automation.
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Here’s why this is so important to the consumer: in the short term, it will provide comfort and convenience that has grown in demand so quickly. However, in the long run, no one has a clue what the increase in automation in sectors as diverse as warehousing, fast food, construction and manufacturing will do to the blue-collar role in a national economy that has always employed in modern times a large number of low-wage workers.
Optimists argue that increased productivity due to automation will lead to new opportunities, but this only works in a relatively fair market, not one where abundance tends to accumulate at the top. With the country facing a potential recession, the growing shortage of low-wage jobs may soon catch up to the strength that labor market workers have had for several years. Automation that hatches in relatively sunny times can create a real predicament in the turbulent times ahead.
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In a way, there is general agreement that e-commerce will continue to grow at a record pace. The market is set to Increase from $3.3 trillion to $5.3 trillion by 2026.
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