Pundits, politicians and providers of business process services alike wonder what the impact of automation will wreak on segments of employment as we know it today. Are the robots coming to take over? Are wholesale sectors of employment under imminent “attack of the machines”, see here.
Indeed, we have also blogged on this issue, and wondered aloud whether reservations at the “Human Zoo” may be warranted (http://mobileenterprisestrategies.blogspot.com/2014/02/smart-machines-code-halos-and-digital.html).
That’s why we found the following case study from Siemens so compelling and perfectly illustrative of the power of automation as a complement, enabler, and enhancer to business, without the feared, disruptive impact on employment (http://www.usa.siemens.com/en/industrial-automation/industrial-automation-video.htm). Using process automation, Siemens’ customer, Schlafly Brewery was able to increase process efficiency by 30%, while improving product consistency.
At 2:37, the promise and marriage of innovation, process efficiency, and output become quite clear: “No one at the brewery is mad about the automation … No one is losing their job… there is no ‘beer robot’ that has suddenly chased them out of their job. If anything, we have actually hired a ton more people. [Computerization] allows us to be more craft-oriented”.
In a nutshell, those sentiments express perfectly how complementary automation technologies can be for businesses; since time began – seemingly – in the business process services sector, we’ve talked about how external services can help companies focus on their core. And in this instance, the delivery model of automation wasn’t just a game-changer for a small business. The success of Schlafly, in turn, catalyzed investment in a small town in the heartland of America (3:10).
This article is a guest post contributed by Robert H. Brown, AVP, Center for the Future of Work.