Chief supply chain officers expect the labor shortage to continue to grow in their industry, with 64% noticing generational differences in employment preferences that will have a long-term impact on labor availability, according to Berkshire Grey research, conducted in partnership with Hanover Research.
“Labor issues across industries continue to vacillate, but unlike the temporary shortages seen in other industries, continued e-commerce growth and shifts in generational employment preferences are uniquely impacting the fulfillment industry and predicted to lead to long-term labor shortages that will only compound in the coming years,” says Steve Johnson, president and COO at Berkshire Grey. “In addition to compensation strategies, companies need to utilize robotics automation in order to stay ahead of this demographic shift. Not only is it a huge attractor for young talent due to the increased safety and specialized upskilling it enables, [but] it is also a game changer in terms of cost reduction, throughput and ROI.”
From Berkshire Grey:
- With more than half (57%) of executives believing labor shortages have hindered their ability to meet demand, it’s critical for supply chain decision makers to find a way to bridge the gap. 76% of executives believe they’ll need to raise wages and 63% believe they’ll need to increase bonuses to attract and retain workers.
- Nearly three-quarters (71%) of executives believe robotics automation is necessary to counter reduced applications from younger generations.
- Although less than one-quarter (13%) of executives say they are currently using robotic automation, they are keenly aware this is where the industry is headed.
- Over half (51%) of executives believe implementing automation will increase employee satisfaction, and 43% believe it will lead to a decrease in employee turnover.
- More than two-thirds (68%) of executives believe they will need same day or faster delivery speeds within two years.
- More than three-quarters (80%) of executives that saw an increase in return rates in 2020 have needed to increase headcount to accommodate the increase of returns.
- More than three-quarters (78%) of executives expect to save more than 10% on order fulfillment costs as a result of robotics automation.
- Most executives (85%) currently using robotics are planning to increase their investment.
- Executives are most likely to use automation to support packaging/labeling (62%), item sortation (59%), returns (58%) and goods retrieval (58%).