The labour shortage is one of the greatest challenges we face today. If you want to attract and retain the right employees, you'll need to offer more than just a good salary. People want to do fun work that gives them a sense of purpose – something they can feel proud of and enjoy telling others about at a birthday party.

Doing more with the same people

When it comes to logistics, automation offers a two-fold advantage. It allows you, as a company, to do more with the same number of people while simultaneously making the work much more enjoyable for your employees. As time goes on, you'll no longer be able to find workers who are willing to do the same rote tasks – data entry, follow-up calls and tracking down shipments – day in and day out. Younger generations are used to doing everything online. Smartphones are used for any task you can think of... except making phone calls.

Time to digitise!

Yet in real-world practice, automation is no simple matter. Despite their desire for more meaningful or purposeful work, many people tend to resist change. “It's worked fine like this for the past twenty years, so why change how we do things now?” That's why successful automation is a matter of effective people management. Make sure your people are on-board with the planned innovations from the very start. And not just your managers and IT staff, but the intended daily users as well. Arrange for them to share ideas and give their input in a project group. By doing so, you can cultivate support for your automation project while also ensuring it is aligned to daily practice. How many times, after all, have you seen digital projects hit a dead end because users were simply unable or unwilling to use a new tool.

Make ease of use a top priority

In other words: you should put people first when starting any kind of automation project. Ultimately, that's what will make the difference. That goes for the implementation, too. Let employees experience the benefits in their day-to-day work by offering them real-time insight and oversight. For example: that could mean web-based dashboards that individual employees can set up according to their own wishes and needs. That way, they can take pro-active measures or adjust course – and ultimately offer a higher level of service to the customer – from any location. By making ease of use a top priority, you can ensure efficiency and work enjoyment go hand-in-hand. In an increasingly tight logistical labour market, this is a vital advantage when it comes to retaining good employees.

Firm basis for cooperation in the chain

Web-based automation also simplifies cooperation within logistical chains. This is because it allows all parties to connect easily via the internet, meaning everyone is working with the same information in real time, at any time. Gone are the days when people had to email Excel sheets back and forth – sheets that were often outdated by the time they were sent. Automation eliminates the need to manually enter data twice, reducing not only the amount of work but the chance of errors. Everyone is working based on the same data and can take pro-active steps on that basis. This makes work more enjoyable for your chain partners’ employees, too, not to mention improving their output. Which is in your best interest as well. The result is an improvement in not only your own operations, but those of your entire logistical chain!

In this way, automation can be so much more than bits and bytes. The social component is just as valuable, if not more so. And in the fight for the employees of tomorrow, that value will only grow as time goes by. Join us in leading the charge and put people first in your automation projects from now on. Plan yourself a smile!