Business owners are battling labor shortages due to a looming recession, continued inflation, more layoffs, and higher unemployment. But according to SHRM, data shows the real worry is tied to a factor not nearly as variable: demographics.
Due to demographic shifts, aging populations, and reduced birth rates, experts are predicting that countries like the U.S. will experience an ongoing shortage of workers, and hiring will remain challenging for years. This has led many organizations to turn to automation to reduce labor pain points.
The Need for Automation
Fast Company suggests that the next generation of automation will dramatically improve efficiency and output while minimizing the need for more workers. And the pandemic only accelerated this trend as business owners started searching for more cost-effective and efficient ways to build products and serve more customers. As a result, restaurants and retailers alike are relying on automation—Chipotle is testing a robot to make its tortilla chips, and Lush Cosmetics reduced expenditures by hundreds of thousands of dollars per year by using SiteSage.
The Benefits of Automation
For foodservice providers and retailers, there are significant advantages to automation. Whether you’re fully staffed or operating with limited resources, here’s how a connected facility can take the burden off a strained workforce.
Prevent Employee Burnout
Employee burnout is real, especially when short-staffed. Using connected equipment will prevent cognitive overload and automate workflow management. This helps employees focus on the things that really matter.
Here are just some of the things a connected facility can do:
- Generate alerts, automated checklists, and reporting
- Help employees remember proper procedures
- Reduce stress and improves operational efficiency
- Send texts and emails to staff about equipment issues
- Automate lighting and heating and ensure compliance with cleaning and safety
Workers want less stress, comfortable working environments, and to feel safe. Automation gives that to them through real-time alerts and reliable data. It also offers long-term relief during labor shortages and high turnover. In addition, by reducing the administrative load on workers, they have the opportunity to focus on customers and more essential tasks.
Improve Operational Efficiency
Operational efficiency is crucial so the business doesn’t suffer. But it’s a challenge when you’re running with a skeleton crew. Connected facilities take the burden off employees by ensuring key equipment stays up and running with minimal effort.
For example, SiteSage makes it possible to remotely control lighting, signage, and other equipment. With the ability to schedule and proactively service equipment, performance improves, energy expenses are reduced, and employees can focus on other tasks. For foodservice and retail establishments, Open Kitchen controls energy use and temperatures (which helps optimize HVAC performance) so workers are comfortable and less distracted.
Ask a member of our team how automation can help your business eliminate labor woes and improve operational efficiency.