Several of the world’s leading manufacturers of Robotics use Visibility ERP.  In the last ten years, we have seen dramatic increases in their development and use.  Robotics are now replacing human functions in places like China, as the Chinese Labor Costs continue to rise and the government looks to keep productivity advantage.

A new government project in China is called “Replacing Humans with Robots” and has the goal of cutting employment in half at China’s major manufacturers.  Is this a good thing?  Will these robots replace most humans?  Will employment suffer?  Will there be a Robot instead of a new hire next to humans on assembly lines and doing service repairs?

Stephen Hawking warns us that thinking machines pose a threat to our very existence.  A Boston Consulting Group study predicts that by 2025 over 25% of all US Manufacturing jobs will be taken over by machines. The Terminator movies describe Judgement Day when machines take over the world and go on their mission to annihilate humanity.  Is that day coming? When?

My opinion is that the answer is no. Job functions done by humans will certainly change dramatically.  Humans will design and build robots, operate and maintain them, and will be alleviated of many dangerous or monotonous functions.  Education is the key to employment and will continue to be the key for young people.  

Technology will find its role, but humans will drive it.

We all need to accept that technology allows humans to do more complex functions and do them better. Technology improves efficiency by eliminating redundant and labor intensive tasks and allowing humans to focus on using their intellect. Here are some of the ways technology allows people to do more:

  1. In the ERP world, Business Intelligence allows us to make more informed decisions and to do various analytic what-ifs to data that was consolidated and summarized into measures and dimensions by the BI engine.  Work that humans used to attempt manually on spreadsheets.  It doesn’t eliminate the job of the CFO by any stretch – it improves their ability to analyze and make informed decisions and adjustments.
  2. Automated invoice generators email pdf versions of invoices to customers and purchase orders to suppliers.
  3. Mobile technology give the mobile worker full access to the power of the ERP system and data. 

Robots will not replace humans. But they will allow humans to move up into more useful roles and to take advantage of technology to improve their efficiency.  We all need to accept change and embrace it, not fight and avoid.  ERP software companies that are agile to adapt and willing to adopt technology as it changes will be the ones to succeed.  The days of five year detailed product plans are over.

To learn about some of the ways Visibility stays agile in a rapidly changing world click here


Topics: Technology

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