US Job Loss- Robotics, Not Offshore Outsourcing

August 24, 2016 5:29 pm | Updated 2 months ago.

“US manufacturing jobs are being taken over by robots and not offshore outsourcing”

The American election is likely to continue on for some months – and outsourcing continues to be the cynosure of all discussions so far.

Initially whenever the term “global competition” was people generally thought about “offshore outsourcing”. Companies based in America are constantly looking for means to cut down cost by relocating manufacturing jobs to places with low labor cost. It is fairly convenient for some companies to send work offshore and there are some who are thinking in terms of technical innovation.

The Robot Revolution

The robot revolution is taking over and in a matter of sometimes will transform the entire process from finance to manufacturing. Meanwhile, writers on Nasdaq have been looking at it and realizing that the problem is not about Offshore outsourcing ,as a lot of jobs (it cites natural gas) are going to be returning to the US. As a matter of facts, robots taking over, as various pieces of minimum wage regulation start to push the price of labor up. The article cites a toothbrush manufacturer that brought its manufacturing of 13,000 toothbrush heads a day back from China but ended up not re-shoring any actual jobs, as they all went to automation.

Automation is offering US manufacturer’s efficiently by pushing up sales and eventually profit.It is being predicted that even with conservative estimates; about 5 Million jobs will be lost by 2020 due to automation resulting from developments in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). Most job losses will occur in the routine white collar office functions, whereas there will be significant new jobs in the areas of computer, architecture, mathematical and engineering related fields. In general, it is predicted that the innovations in Robotics and AI will, in fact, boost the salaries of high-skilled workers and will have a negative impact on the earnings of workers with low to medium skills; we’d also add that the impact is not just going to be limited to manual or physical work. Transactional contact center staff and others are all under threat from automation.

In D2E’ opinion, the management focus of the large companies, therefore, needs to shift from putting restrictions on offshore outsourcing and/or actively pushing re-shoring; to re-skilling and up-skilling of their staff.

Robots will take over dangerous jobs: – It has been observed that often dangerous and highly repetitive jobs are being taken over by the robots. Jobs that are interesting and are career- oriented in nature are moving to employees. The Offshore Service providers need to proactively work with the management and HR team of their clients to upgrade the skill sets and also add  new skills to the customer’ staff.

In the Global Human Capital trends 2015 report, Deloitte has clearly identified that only 40% of the organizations participating in the survey rated their organizations as either “Ready” or “Very Ready” in learning and development. Deloitte has also developed a maturity model relating to skill growth and career advancement of front line workers that could be used as a guideline to measure the progress of the re-skilling and up-skilling initiatives jointly undertaken by the management teams of the customers and the offshore vendors. The offshore vendors can work with their customers in redesigning the training environment by leveraging new learning technologies and the array of new learning tools that are now available, both for on-premise as well as distance learning. In addition to providing learning resources, the offshore vendors can also participate in institutional partnerships, measurement and analysis and rewards and recognition programs jointly with the management team of the customer’ organization.

In conclusion, the Offshore IT vendors can play a significant role in collaborating with the management of the customer’ organization in putting in place a robust training and development platform for re-skilling and up-skilling of their staff, specifically in skills like testing and QA of IT and mobile applications, where manual interventions may be needed. An Aggregator platform like D2E’ can contribute significantly in this space of re-skilling and up-skilling by bringing together partners with technologies in digital training platforms and digital training techniques.