Has automation impacted jobs? Some use cases
ING , a major European bank, recently announced major investments in the digital transformation in the upcoming years, which will lead to automation, centralization and standardization of processes of the Dutch lender. It is coming at a cost though. Reports suggest that the bank will cut 5,800 jobs and a further 1,200 employees will see their jobs getting changed.
In this article, we capture a list of organizations that have automated a part of their processes or activities, and how it has impacted their respective businesses and whether it has had any impact on jobs.
1. ICICI Bank (India)
What was automated: Introduced 200 software robots to carry out internal transactions.
Impact on business: The response time due to software robots reduced by 60 percent and accuracy increased to 100 percent
Impact on jobs: No reports of any job losses due to software robots Future plans: Increase the number of internal transactions carried out by software robotics by 10 percent. Increase the software robots from 200 to 500. According to the management, it won’t lead to any layoffs.
2. Amazon (US)
What was automated: 13 warehouses have robots to pack and transport items
Impact on business: The “clip to ship” cycle (sifting stacks, picking product, packing it, shipping it) which took 60-75 minutes reduced to 15 minutes Impact on jobs: No direct reports highlighting elimination of jobs in warehouses, though, Amazon has increased its cumulative headcount since the introducing Kiva robots and has been hiring people for full-time jobs in warehouses
3. Washington Post (US)
What was automated: Artificial Intelligence technology, ‘Heliograf’ was used to auto-populate events schedule, results and medal tallies at Rio Olympics 2016
Impact on business: The Post was able to generate more stories when compared to past sport events
Impact on jobs: No journalist was outplaced. It freed up reporters to write in-depth features as Heliograph automatically published event results.
4. Foxconn (China)
What was automated: Work at the manufacturing factory has been taken up by robots
Impact on jobs: 60,000 factory workers will be replaced by robots, and the total workforce size of the factory will reduce to 50,000
5. ING (Netherlands)
Projected automation: Standardizing the bank’s infrastructure, data, and other processes into a “one digital banking platform.”
Impact on business: Save $1 billion a year
Impact on jobs: 5,800 jobs will be cut as a part of “digital transformation.” A further 1,200 employees will have jobs changed or moved. Most impacted regions will be Belgium and the Netherlands, where risk management, finance, HR, and IT functions have been reported to be centralized.
6. HDFC Bank (India)
Projected automation: Bringing in a robot to play a receptionist role in a Mumbai branch. It will show banking options to customers, and based on the selection, will show the floor layout of the bank highlighting the area where that service is available.
Impact on jobs: As of now, there are no reports which say that this robot will replace any employee
7. Walmart (US)
Projected automation: Store back-office processes of accounting and invoicing. “Cash recycler” machines will now manage the store’s daily cash flow or process claims from manufacturers
Impact on jobs: 7,000 back office jobs will be displaced. Most of the displaced 7,000 employees will be deployed in customer-facing roles.