Who can blame a company for going tech? With all the goodies and regulations like Onomacare, it's better to use machines. A machine will work non stop, never demand extra days off, never demand longer vacations, never demand more money, and never demand better health care.
Machines will work and be happy. People won't.
I understand completely why robotics have become so popular. A business today would be crazy not to let machines do the work that people won't do without complaining.
Unless employees start to show some gratitude for the jobs they're given, I see robotics being in high demand. They're better - They're easier. They're smarter. They're cheaper. They're easier to get along with.
My previous employer, General Dynamics, outsourced their production inventory. The new company looks into the MRP, Material Resource Planning system and brings in the inventory for that day. They stock it. They also (mostly) buy it, inspect it and guarantee it. The idea was to eliminate buyers, inspectors, inventory clerks and save floor space. It has worked spectacularly well.
My present employer (Im a contractor) uses mostly no benefits contractors regardless of how important the position is. Much of the inventory is dispensed from vending machines owned by Fastenal. These include virtually all of the consumables; welding rods, helmets, special overall suits, etc. Again, the purpose was to eliminate full time jobs. Now, you might say, well, those fulltime jobs have simply moved. No, theyve mostly been eliminated by technology. The Fastenal stuff is ordered and drop shipped automatically. There are only a few really young kids who come and fill the machines. I spoke with one and he said he didnt qualify for any benefits.
My employer doesnt own the vending machines, which are in every area. They dont pay for the dispensed product until the employee uses his ID card and buys an item.
Complaining is the least of the problems with the modern workforce. Lawsuits, absenteeism, sick leave, workers comp, unemployment insurance, recordkeeping, OSHA, slackerism, theft of service and goods, going postal, security, et al.