CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- While investment in automation is seen as vital for companies to remain competitive, supply chain leaders of American companies still envision a strong need for human capital in the workplace, according to a Honeywell (NYSE: HON) study.
Most companies that responded to the 2020 Honeywell Intelligrated Automation Investment Study indicate that automation in supply chains can lead to opportunities for new jobs within the workplace. Two in three companies see opportunities for new and different jobs in customer service, distribution centers and warehouses.
"E-commerce and e-retail fulfillment growth are pushing traditional warehouses and distribution centers to their limits, and automation is critical to any operation that wants to remain competitive," said Christine Feuell, Chief Marketing Officer of Honeywell Intelligrated. "These automation and robotics advancements are shifting the workforce away from physically demanding, strenuous and monotonous tasks to more skilled tasks."
The study revealed that 8 in 10 companies see the highest potential for new jobs in in-house maintenance roles. Forty-two percent of respondents mentioned frequency of maintenance as one of the biggest areas of concern in their company's further investment in automation.
As infrastructures within warehouses and fulfillment centers become more automated, Feuell said maintenance technicians will play a crucial role in helping limit downtime. Companies can leverage data-driven insights from a connected architecture of software and sensors through solutions like Honeywell Intelligrated's Connected Assets to perform preventative maintenance to maximize uptime.
Direct-to consumer e-commerce sales continue to transform the way manufacturers and retailers operate because they must now compete for buyers by speeding up processing and shipments in order to offer same-day, next-day or two-day delivery. Automation allows companies to remain competitive by limiting their reliance on manual labor for repetitive tasks, improving productivity and accuracy. Automation investment will continue to increase in the future, with 65% of companies planning to increase their investments within the next two to three years, the study reveals.
More than half of companies surveyed are investing in automated material handling systems – including robotics, automated storage and retrieval systems, conveyors and sortation systems – to keep their operations competitive. The consumer-packaged goods (63%) and third-party logistics industries (60%) are utilizing these technologies the most to help grow their businesses now, the study reveals.
"Even though machines are getting smarter, humans are still needed to program, build and repair them," said Feuell. "Human intelligence is still essential to identify problems and mobilize computers and people in tandem to get the job done."
Honeywell Intelligrated has products and solutions to help in-house maintenance teams quickly diagnose and troubleshoot critical issues within the supply chain to maintain productivity. Its industry-leading Lifecycle Support Services team offers technical support with expert service engineers who troubleshoot issues and prioritizes resolution schedules for optimal system operation and reliability.
Augmented reality technologies, including Honeywell Intelligrated's TechSight smart glasses, enable remote audio and video collaboration with experienced support experts who can provide step-by-step instructions and augmented reality overlays.
Voice solutions such as Honeywell's Voice Maintenance and Inspection can direct technicians through checklists with information from host data systems using voice commands and technician responses to help eliminate cumbersome, inefficient steps traditionally associated with paper-based or manual procedures.
From concept and integration, Honeywell Intelligrated draws on its expanding portfolio and deep industry expertise to help warehousing, distribution and fulfillment companies optimize and manage their processes. The business offers integrated end-to-end automation solutions, warehouse execution systems and analytics solutions to improve throughput and keep workers safe. For more information, visit intelligrated.com.
The 2020 Honeywell Intelligrated Automation Investment Study was conducted April 21 to May 7, 2020, in collaboration with KRC Research, an independent third-party research firm not affiliated with Honeywell or its business groups. The 434 U.S.-based professionals polled work full-time in senior roles for companies that directly manage warehouses, DCs or fulfillment centers; have insight into the operations of those facilities; are familiar with automation; and make or influence purchase decisions for their company.
Honeywell Safety and Productivity Solutions (SPS) provides products, software and connected solutions that improve productivity, workplace safety and asset performance for our customers across the globe. We deliver on this promise through industry-leading mobile devices, software, cloud technology and automation solutions, the broadest range of personal protective equipment and gas detection technology, and custom-engineered sensors, switches and controls.
Honeywell (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 technology company that delivers industry specific solutions that include aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings and industry; and performance materials globally. Our technologies help everything from aircraft, buildings, manufacturing plants, supply chains, and workers become more connected to make our world smarter, safer, and more sustainable. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit www.honeywell.com/newsroom.