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Flipping the Skills Gap on its Head

MAV3K autonomous mobile robot for material handling

If you work in manufacturing,  you most likely are feeling the labor crunch.  You have opportunities in front of you but struggle to find or keep good people who can help your company meet rising demand.

With recent trends in automation such as improved technology and lower costs, you may be taking a closer look at these options to make up for your labor shortfall.  But in the real world, you must consider all costs including ones that extend far beyond equipment and set up. Adding new processes or technologies typically require training, consultants, new hires and factory downtime that many manufacturers just can’t afford.

So how can you compete if you can’t find the right people to hire and are unable to disrupt your operation for new tech that will improve productivity?

Technology that Closes the Gap

For technology to make an immediate and lasting impact on your operation, it must be designed specifically for the people who will put it to work. Workers should not require weeks or even days of training to utilize a new tool to make improvements to their work flow. When advanced technology achieves this and is truly simple to set up and use, that skills gap is eliminated.

To illustrate this, let’s look at material handling and the dreaded “long walks” to move materials. These functions are essential to the business, but relatively low value in terms of utilizing the talents of the workers. We have repeatedly heard from them that they hate doing this part of their job, because it’s beneath them intellectually, physically exhausting, and a waste of resources at an individual and company level.

Mobile robots can take the burden off the worker. But if these robots require infrastructure changes or an engineer to set up and train workers, many small or mid-sized manufacturers often cannot afford the full cost required for the return they need.

An autonomous mobile robot like the Waypoint Vector or MAV3K™ that can be easily deployed in 15 minutes and easily reconfigured by the operators will enable workers to rid themselves of tedious cart pushing tasks…without downtime or intense training. They can get more done and focus on higher level operations.

Happier Employees

On a minute to minute basis, workers who spend their time doing more valuable tasks are prouder, happier, and more fulfilled by their work. On a day to day basis, those workers go home with more energy for their families and friends. On a year to year basis, the workers have longer, better careers because their bodies aren’t worn out by the heavy lifting associated with material handling.

Waypoint Robotics CEO, Jason Walker expanded on this in a recent interview with Industrial Sage:

The Snowball Effect 

For the companies that provide better tools like Waypoint autonomous mobile robots to their employees, it’s much easier to attract and retain talent, it shows a commitment to the workforce by including them in the automated future of the company, and they get all of the easy to measure ROIs along with the earned loyalty of a dedicated workforce who notices the company’s investment in them.

If you are looking to streamline production, minimize wasted time and energy and improve productivity, turn to advanced but simple to use tools designed FOR your valued workforce. And as always, reach out with any questions or requirements you may have.

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