The Robots Are Coming – Automation and The Future of Work in Operations

The Robot’s are Coming, The Robots are Coming!

Well, actually…….

Amongst all the talk about operations transformation and disruption lately, there is more than a little hype about the rise of robotics, advanced automation and AI, and the impact these technologies will have on jobs, particularly low and middle skilled jobs in the operations arena.

There’s no doubt that certain role types will be heavily displaced in coming years. Those who earn a living by driving vehicles are one such group that will see their roles heavily impacted by autonomous vehicles. After all, a Tesla in Autosteer mode is already 40% safer than when being controlled by a human.

But aside from specific cases, are we really going to see mass unemployment as manual jobs are replaced by robots?

I don’t think so, and the following talk from David Autor is the most coherent discussion I have heard on the topic of the future of work. Human spirit, and our seemingly endless ability to adapt and create new things, is what will see us through this period of rapid and large scale socio-economic transition.


Tony Broughton



As an operations leader, you may be feeling pressure from all sides – your CEO is asking for year on year savings, your customers want better service, all while business and product complexity continues to rise. As each year passes, the challenge of delivering these gains gets ever harder.

The Operations Transformation Guide summarises 3 foundational practices and approaches to transformation that many organisations don’t do well. These are not the only ingredients of success, but their absence has the greatest impact. In our experience, mastering these foundations will make the difference between incremental improvement and genuine transformation.