It is a sensitive issue in many logistics business cases: calculating the impact automation will have on FTEs. Those involved often feel reluctant; surely we won’t be laying off people? Of course not, quite the contrary! In fact, automation is actually necessary right now in this current tight labour market to retain employees and to deploy them in a more meaningful manner. The level of satisfaction amongst both employees and customers will increase. It serves as the basis for an organisation to achieve further growth.

Anyone looking to further develop their logistics services in this time of structural staff shortages will need to do more with the same people. Far too many companies still manually type information three to four times: from order to internal system, from there to customs declaration, to transport booking and perhaps even more. Performing the same tasks three, four times is really not sustainable anymore.

Cooperate more successfully

Automation is the answer, and not just for the functioning of your own organisation. It also constitutes the basis for far more efficient communication with customers and chain partners, for example through a portal. It puts an end to all random e-mail traffic and endless telephone calls. By properly organising the process and collecting all relevant information from the customer at the front end, the entire logistics chain continues to run almost automatically. Less input and less communication mean fewer errors. Barring exceptions, there is no longer any need for people to call upon each other during the process. And on the rare occasion that this is necessary: all parties have the same information.

Job satisfaction and customer satisfaction

At the same time, our own employees - but also those at the customer and chain partners – are able to work with a greater degree of enjoyment and satisfaction. That is good for them, increases customer satisfaction and leads to improved results. In a tight labour market in which employees can choose from a wide range of employers, it will become increasingly difficult to find new people who are willing to type data all day long anyway. Younger generations in particular hardly know better than that everything is done digitally.

Companies’ business cases for a sustainable future require employees who take pride in their work. It is automation in particular that turns impersonal FTEs into committed employees who enthusiastically contribute to the success of today and tomorrow.