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Should your next employee be a robot?

By: Grant King, IndustrySearch Writer
28 October, 2015

"Right, so the job is basically 24 hours a day, seven days a week with no breaks, no holidays, no perks, no salary, no super, and no rights. Happy? Great, you can start today!"

Such is the employment status of a robot and it does sound good on paper, doesn't it? When you compare the job interview of a robot with a needy "Me, Me, Me!" human, it's a no brainer. Literally. Robots are, unquestionably the way of the future for manufacturing. That's if you want to compete, of course.

A global market spinning faster and faster

Today the entire nature of supply and demand bears no resemblance to the dark ages of a decade ago. Back then a product was bought in something called a 'shop' and shops often ran out of products, so they were 'placed on order.' Customers were accustomed to waiting weeks for delivery of their product. Factories were accustomed to letting them wait that long.

Welcome to the virtual world

How times have changed. We now live in The Age of Absolutely No Patience, an age where ecommerce makes supply and demand ecomplicated. Supply chains from manufacturer to warehouse to customer now have to play 'hot potato' with every online item as a two day delivery time can be enough to lose the sale. "How fast can I have it?" is now almost more important than quality and price as a new generation with no interest in the quaint concept of waiting demand faster and faster delivery.

Which brings us back to the robot in our interview. With his 24/7 dedication to the cause he can go a long way to meeting this demand. He can churn out product at pre-programmed rates uncompromised by toilet breaks or sickies. He can work with carbon copy precision. And with a decent maintenance regime he can continue to do this long after his human counterpart has claimed the pension.

The downside of no downtime

People. That's the only downside, because robots have the rather sad tendency to empty staff cafeterias and social clubs. Such is the cold hard reality of automation in the virtual shopping world. Robots replace unskilled workers. On the upside some semi-skilled workers will find themselves in demand to oversee the robots. But the future isn't overly rosy for humans in manufacturing.

Should your next employee be a robot? Survival says yes.

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