The potential downside of automation in the warehouse isn’t just about the number of human jobs that it’s poised to erase.
Over the next 10 years, technology could be responsible for an erosion in the quality of warehouse work. That’s the conclusion of a recent study from the Center for Urban Economic Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Among the findings of the report: warehouse workers will be subjected to an increased pace and more obtrusive means of monitoring their every move. There’s also the possibility of new health and safety hazards arising from the expansion of automation within the warehouse. On this episode, we delve into the new report and the future of work in the U.S. with co-author Beth Gutelius, associate at the Center for Urban Development. She discusses the impact on workers of ever-tightening service standards in the e-commerce realm, led by Amazon.com. At the same time, she says, warehouse labor could reap the benefits of technology — as long as operators are willing to share them. Hosted by Bob Bowman, Editor-in-Chief of SupplyChainBrain.