More than ever before, key industries in America are relying on robotics to help ease labor shortages, rather than taking jobs away from workers. Because of automation, some construction facilities use assembly lines and robotics to, for example, fire nails into studs with high accuracy that are then packed, by humans with forklifts, onto flatbed trucks destined for development sites. The pieces are then put together, Lego style, to accommodate even some of the nation’s finest hotel properties. What does this mean for manufacturing? Well, it means, ironically, more jobs.
As more and more properties turn to modular work for development, the manufacturing of these put-together pieces has grown tremendously over the last decade. The labor force has changed as well. Instead of students graduating high school and going to a trade school or into construction, more and more are learning to play with computers instead, and this labor revolution has affected everything from the construction industry to the military. Still, there is a need for those with specialized knowledge, even if they aren’t particularly tech savvy.
“The robot cuts the hole,” CEO Jerry Smalley of Blueprint says, “But somebody still has to put the electrical box and pipes in the right places.” This gives a clue as to how the labor market will continue to shift. Automation usually displaces workers. But this sort of automation can actually create opportunities for people who otherwise would never be able to participate in certain industries. Factory floors are more likely to be filled with workers uploading files rather than wearing safety glasses and operating a machine manually.
Now is a great time to examine your core processes. Which can be automated? What can be upgraded? How can you better fine-tune your performance in the plant in order to make the most of both your knowledge your technology base?