How the pandemic is hastening the adoption of robotics in supply chains?


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought in a lot of challenges to manufacturers, especially to those which depend on workers whose jobs can’t be carried out remotely. Covid-19 has compelled manufacturers to shut down their operations. According to the recent study conducted by one of the big four accounting and consultancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), around 40% of the manufacturers have raised concerns about the reduction in efficiency of the workforce and are looking for robotics technology to supplement the required workforce thereby enhancing the health and safety measures required in this current pandemic. This may enable them to revamp their operations. Even though the pandemic is temporary, manufacturers are looking forward to automation for their operations. As the supply chain and manufacturing process are going through the phase of uncertainty during the pandemic, organizations are establishing their acceptance of robotics. 

Robotics has been reviewed as a key long term investment. The supply chain survey 2020 by the International Data Corporation(IDC) has reported that 73% of the respondents have revealed the significance of robotics in their operations for the next three years. Robots being capable of performing repeatable tasks with little or no human intervention by programming are able to learn from the surroundings and make independent decisions. Thus the warehouse trained robots are capable of delivering inventory throughout the warehouse, reroute themselves based on the requirement, or in case of any obstacle in its environment thereby reducing the time required to get the work done.

Ready Robotics, a start-up that came out of the John Hopkins University empowers the manufacturers to compete through industrial robots. They provide easy software to control industrial robots. Their software enables the worker who has no practical experience in programming robots to use it and get the work done. This robotics technology is expected to be a remarkable part of the recovery period following the pandemic. Also the Robotic Process Automation(RPA), the software which is designed to lessen the burden of repetitive, and simple tasks is becoming increasingly used in manufacturing. This software that helps in automating manual tasks improves productivity, drive innovation, meet the expectation of the customers. It might help manufacturing organizations achieve more with less effort.


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