More than three quarters (77%) of supply chain executives believe investment in robotics automation will be necessary in order to counter reduced numbers of young people entering the logistics industry, a new study by AI robotics firm Berkshire Grey, in association with Hanover Research, has found.
The study, which surveyed more than 200 senior-level supply chain decision makers in the US, found that close to two thirds (64%) believe that a 'generation gap' is leading to a shortage of young workers entering the industry, citing generational differences in employment preferences.
While 76% said that they believed they needed to increase wages to attract younger workers, and 63% citing the need for higher bonuses, logistics automation is also seen as a valuable means to fill the shortfall.
“In addition to compensation strategies, companies need to utilise robotics automation in order to stay ahead of this demographic shift," commented Steve Johnson, President and COO at Berkshire Grey. "Not only is it a huge attractor for young talent due to the increased safety and specialised upskilling it enables, it is also a game changer in terms of cost reduction, throughput and ROI.”
More than half (51%) said that they were in the process of adopting or planning to adopt robotics into their logistics operations, Berkshire Grey's study found, while a similar number (51%) believe implementing automation will increase employee satisfaction, and 43% believe it will lead to a decrease in employee turnover.
Notably, respondents also believe automation is likely to lead to reduced order fulfilment costs, with 78% expecting to save 10% or more.