Reducing Labor Challenges with Automation

Whether the pandemic, the subsequent labor shortage, or what’s being dubbed The Great Resignation are to blame, the current job market is like nothing business owners have ever experienced before. Today, it’s not only increasingly difficult to hire, but equally challenging to retain employees, which has further left the foodservice and retail industries struggling to stay afloat in an already teetering economy. In addition to hiring incentives, merit increases, and other perks, restaurants, and retailers are seeking innovative, technology-driven ways to improve their ability to stay stocked and staffed. Solutions such as connected equipment are proving that automation is key to reducing labor pain points.

Find out how connected equipment from Powerhouse Dynamics can provide relief from the labor challenges your business is facing.

In 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that turnover reached a new high when 4.5 million workers quit their jobs in November, and according to economists, the rapid exiting and hiring is expected to continue in 2022. With this outlook, there are endless advantages to automation for foodservice providers and retailers. 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 Burnout for the Workforce You Do Have

These days, every business is learning how to do more with less. However, the constant hustle is leading to employee burnout and high turnover rates. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America found that 72 percent of people have daily stress and anxiety that interferes with their day-to-day lives. Many businesses are struggling to find ways to keep employees happy and engaged. Lessening their workload in whatever way possible is a great first step.

Using connected equipment to prevent cognitive overload and automate workflow management helps employees focus on the things that really matter. Connected equipment can provide alerts, automated checklists, reporting, and more. This helps employees remember proper procedures, reduces stress, and improves operational efficiency. Connected equipment can do things like text and email staff about equipment issues, automate lighting and heating, and ensure compliance with cleaning and other safety practices through the use of a mobile app and workflow templates. Employees can even better manage protocols like capturing and automating Covid-19 checklists, which can alleviate a lot of worry.

Improve Operational Efficiency When Short Staffed

No matter how hard you try to support employees, there might be days, weeks, or even months when there’s only a skeleton crew. During these times, operational efficiency still has to be maintained, so business doesn’t suffer. 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® can control energy use and temperatures (which helps optimize HVAC performance) so workers are comfortable and less distracted. It can also alarm workers when food is not being stored or prepared at the proper temperatures or for the right amount of time, which reduces their stress level.

Create an Environment With Less Turnover

The year 2021 currently holds the record for the highest rate of turnover in history. With employees quitting in droves, business owners are under immense pressure to improve workplace conditions. Employee happiness has become about a lot more than cafeteria snacks and casual Fridays. Workers want less stress, comfortable working environments, adequate safety precautions, and more. Connected equipment can increase employee satisfaction in many ways such as automating tasks that workers view as cumbersome, or providing peace of mind with real-time alerts and data.

The shift in hiring and retaining employees is making it challenging for business owners, especially in the foodservice and retail industries. However, automation offers some long-term relief for the labor shortage and high turnover. By reducing the administrative load on workers, they have the opportunity to focus on customers and more essential tasks.

Find out how a connected facility can help your business eliminate labor pain points and improve operational efficiency. Chat with one of our experts today.


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