The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

CEOs Embrace Robotics

Survey: 64 percent of top execs believe robotic technology can innovate their businesses.

CEOs are increasingly looking to robotics to improve productivity in their workforces and innovate their businesses, according to a recent study from PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Ninety-four percent of CEOs polled for the survey who already have adopted robotics claim it increased productivity within their companies, and 64 percent said robotics will bring new innovations to their business models.

“I see robotics as a consistent way of saving cost and having more efficient processes, especially in the logistics and operational areas,” said one CEO who works in industrial products.

Over the next five years, CEOs expect a fifth of their workforces to have some element of robotics to them, while 58 percent expect to reduce headcount in this period because of robotics, according to the PwC survey.

Which leads to the big question: How much will robotics replace workers versus augmenting a company's workforce?

"While a general fear persists as to the extent to which robotics and computerization will impact the workforce, 69 percent of CEOs polled disagreed that robotics will make some high skilled jobs obsolete," according to the survey. "Instead, there is a wider belief that robotics will help create new and exciting opportunities for their workers by automating repetitive tasks."

Either way, the rise of robotics in manufacturing and distribution is sure to have an impact on employment. Companies that don't replace workers with robots will require more skilled employees to handle the technology, and a growing talent gap is already a major point of concern for many in the industry.

For more, see The Rise of Robots in Distribution, part of MDM's special report on Disruptive Technologies: The Future of Distribution.

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