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Opinion Essay on “As robots slowly take over Amazon’s warehouses, are they causing more harm than good?” in Independent UK

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/robots-amazon-delivery-artificial-intelligence-technology-a9264036.html

Robots are becoming an ever-present reality in companies’ operations – and warehouses would appear to be the perfect place to employ them.

The attached article pinpoints some of the challenges facing humans working alongside their [Amazon’s 200,000!] robot colleagues: stress, incidents and rising injury rates. Recently one COO commented at a dinner table that “Robots don’t get sick, don´t go on holidays and don’t demand a raise”. This is, however a very biased view that overlooks some of the key challenges.

Companies currently shaping the future of their operations are probably considering increasing the quantities of robots and AI technology in their work streams. My strong advice is that they pay serious attention to the three key components of process improvement: technology, processes and people. People are commonly undervalued, but my experience tells me that they are a critical part of the business fabric and disregarding them in any change process is a path to certain failure.

How was your experience? How did you reconcile robots and humans in your organization? Tell us about the key challenges you are facing in reshaping your operations.