Outsourcing – and offshoring – were feared for the impact they would have on jobs. But with the rise in digital solutions, automation became another ‘threat’ to employees.
The major difference between automation and outsourcing is how ‘gone’ the jobs were. Outsourced or offshored jobs might come back home, but once something was automated, it was probably gone forever. Philip Ideson and Amy Fong discuss the issue in this episode of the Art Of Procurement Podcast.
That uneasy dynamic has been accelerated by labor shortages in all kinds of service roles.
As companies are faced with open requisitions that they can’t fill, automation may be the only way to achieve business continuity. That is likely to fast track more roles down the automation route – never to return. It would seem that no one wants those roles that they were previously so worried about losing.
Some of the ‘Great Resignation’ is being driven by people re-evaluating their life choices or moving into better, similar positions. With so much movement, some positions are destined to go unfilled, and – potentially, automated. The question is what the long term implications will be for procurement professionals and for companies. Will the automated positions make it harder for entry-level people to enter the field? Will they change the way procurement works or interacts with the business? Only time will tell.