The landscape of the warehouse industry, like just about every other industry, is changing quickly as automation is mixed into our workforce. With this technology, come questions about the future of warehouse jobs and whether robots will replace human workers.
You are not alone if you are worrying about the state of your job and the demand for your skills. The impact of automation is changing the face of the warehouse industry and its workforce. Staffing agencies like Complete Logistical Services (CLS) can become your most important ally as you navigate this brave new world.
Current Major Layoffs: Is It Because of the Robots?
Recently, we have witnessed major layoffs in the warehouse industry, most notably by e-commerce giant Amazon. Despite the continued rise in online ordering, thousands of jobs have been slashed. While automation and robots may have contributed to these Amazon layoffs, they’re not the only reason. Several factors contribute to job reductions.
Companies often decide to reduce their workforce when they expect the country’s economics to decline. Recession fears can lead to cost-cutting measures, including reducing expenses to employ workers.
Weak Consumer Demand
Changes in consumer demand can also affect warehouse workers’ jobs. During periods of weak consumer demand, companies may experience a drop in orders. Companies end up having too many workers and make job cuts to align their workforce with the market.
Rapid Rate Hike
Changes in interest rates and other economic and financial factors can influence businesses’ decisions about their workforce. When interest rates increase quickly, this can increase borrowing costs for companies and causes them to cut expenses, including the cost to employ workers.
Automation and robots have contributed to cost-cutting measures in the warehouse industry. Companies can reduce their expenses for labor and increase productivity by replacing tasks done manually by humans with machine tasks.
Automation and Robots in Warehouses
Automation and robots are transforming the warehouse industry, increasing efficiency and productivity. Let’s explore some of the vital robotic technologies used in warehouses today.
Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)
Automated Guided Vehicles, or AGVs, are driverless machines that navigate warehouses to transport goods from one location to another. These vehicles can efficiently handle repetitive tasks, such as moving pallets or bins. This reduces the need for human workers in these specific roles.
Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs)
Autonomous Mobile Robots, or AMRs, are intelligent robots with sensors and advanced algorithms. They can navigate warehouse environments, pick up and transport items, and collaborate with human workers to optimize workflows. AMRs are especially effective in tasks that require high accuracy and precision.
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RS)
Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems, or AS/RS, are robotic systems that manage how inventory is stored and collected. These systems combine robots, conveyors, and racks to automate how goods are moved within the warehouse. AS/RS systems enable warehouses to make the most use of space and simplify order fulfillment.
Articulated Robotic Arms
Articulated robotic arms, that have bendable joints, can perform various warehouse tasks in a warehouse, including picking, packing, and sorting. These robots have advanced grippers and sensors to handle different products efficiently. They can work alongside human workers, enhancing productivity and reducing physical strain.
Inventory, Cleaning, and Security Robots
Warehouses also adopt specialized robots for inventory management, cleaning, and security. Inventory robots can conduct stock audits and track inventory levels accurately. Cleaning robots automate sweeping and mopping warehouse floors. Security robots patrol warehouses and monitor for potential breaches or safety hazards.
Top Warehouse Skills in Demand and How To Improve Them
Despite the rise of automation, some human skills will never be replaced. Robots can do many things, but they can’t do it all. By acquiring and honing the following skills, job seekers can enhance their employability in the warehouse industry.
Loading and Unloading: This skill involves safely handling packages, operating equipment like forklifts or pallet jacks, and organizing shipments effectively.
Packing: Developing skills in packing techniques and utilizing appropriate packaging materials can significantly affect warehouse operations.
Heavy Machinery Skills
Forklift Operation: Forklifts are widely used in warehouses for material handling. Obtaining a forklift operator certification and gaining expertise in operating forklifts safely and efficiently can open doors to various job opportunities.
Pallet Jack Operation: Pallet jacks are essential for moving palletized loads within the warehouse. Employers highly value proficiency in operating pallet jacks and understanding load capacities.
Troubleshooting Machinery: Diagnosing and troubleshooting common issues with warehouse machinery is a valuable skill. Being able to address minor problems can prevent downtime and increase operational efficiency.
Vendor Management: Strong vendor management skills, including effective communication and negotiation, can contribute to successful warehouse operations.
Microsoft Office: Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications is valuable for data analysis, inventory management, and report generation tasks. These skills increase your chance of being hired in warehouse administrative roles.
Inventory Management: Skilled inventory management ensures accurate stock tracking, reduces errors, and minimizes inventory carrying costs.
Teamwork: Collaboration and effective communication within a team setting are essential in warehouse environments. Working well with others, sharing responsibilities, and contributing to a positive team dynamic can significantly enhance job prospects.
Time Management: Warehouse operations require workers to manage their time effectively to meet deadlines and optimize productivity. Excellent time management skills are highly valued.
Self-Motivation: The ability to work independently, take initiative, and stay motivated in a fast-paced warehouse environment is crucial. Employers appreciate individuals who can work efficiently without constant supervision.
Local Warehouse Jobs Still Need Workers
Warehouse workers have been challenging to find since the pandemic. Since many people prefer to work from home, more on-site warehouse industry jobs are available. This provides perfect entry-level opportunities to gain logistics, data analytics, inventory management, and report-generating skills.
Compared with their larger counterparts, local warehouses tend to be smaller operations. They generally have fewer employees, so integration of automation and robots is not as feasible. As a result, local warehouses rely on human workers to manage inventory, fulfill orders, and ensure customer satisfaction.
Why Using a Staffing Company Puts You Ahead of the Competition
Finding the right warehouse job can be daunting, especially for job seekers who need more industry connections. Staffing agencies like Complete Logistical Services (CLS) can make a significant difference. Staffing agencies have existing employer relationships and can match job seekers with suitable opportunities. They simplify the hiring process, provide support, and increase chances of finding a rewarding warehouse job. Their connections with local technical schools also help get you access to the right programs to enhance skills you need and gain new skills.
The Importance of Using an Employment Agency To Find Quality Warehouse Workers
Employment agencies like CLS can help companies connect with talented and skilled individuals with the necessary skills and education. Job seekers can upload a resume or apply directly for a job on CLS’ website. A recruiter will respond to the applicant in one business day. No bots and no ghosting.
For employers, finding quality workers is crucial to staying efficient. These agencies thoroughly vet candidates, conduct screenings, and ensure that the workers they provide meet the employers’ requirements. Using a staffing agency can also provide a level of protection during times of economic uncertainty, with staffing agencies carrying the burden of employment costs, and recruitment efforts. This will allow employers to scale up and down as needed without having to go through the effort and costs of hiring or layoffs. These features save time and resources as well as increase the likelihood of finding competent warehouse workers.
CLS Get To Work Fast Guarantee
Automation and robotic integration in the warehouse industry is inevitable, but it is unlikely to ever replace human workers completely. Warehousing jobs still require human skills. The warehouse worker job description may start including the ability to work with robots. Ultimately, the demand for warehousing skills remains high.
Complete Logistical Services understands the urgency and importance of connecting job seekers with warehouse job opportunities. With CLS, you don’t need to take time to manually search for warehouse openings and “jobs near me.” You can simply upload your warehouse application and resume on CLS’ website. At the same time, employers looking for warehouse workers can quickly find the right personnel.
Our recruiting and staffing team members are ready to find the right full-time, part-time, long-term, or short-term placement for you. CLS takes pride in its commitment to providing a human touch. Jumpstart your warehouse career now!