Procurement Technology Improves Office Morale
A common concern surrounding any emerging technology is the effect it will have on the existing workforce. Many fear automation, claiming it will destroy jobs as it makes certain tasks unnecessary.
While recognizing this concern, it’s important to also recognize the type of tasks that will be eliminated. A job or task that can be accomplished by automation is likely not fulfilling or morale-boosting. Many jobs require some work that is manual, and some that is engaging and empowering. Eliminating the wrong kind of work can be the door to a happier workplace.
Automation for a Happier Workplace
A recent study from MIT demonstrated how robots in the workplace increased morale by eliminating boring, manual tasks. Results indicated that workers preferred tasks to be performed totally autonomously.
“In our research we were seeking to find that sweet spot for ensuring that the human workforce is both satisfied and productive,” says project lead Matthew Gombolay, a PhD student at CSAIL. “We discovered that the answer is to actually give machines more autonomy, if it helps people to work together more fluently with robot teammates.”
For example, a nurse may have many tasks that could be accomplished by a machine. Nurses are often overworked and experience burnout in a very demanding position. As manual tasks are re-assigned to robot counterparts, the nurse gets back time for more important work. Being released from their manual tasks hardly means their jobs will disappear.
Companies everywhere constantly need to seek higher productivity and improve morale. AI and automation are promising technologies to make both a reality.
Procurement departments are often burdened with painfully manual processes that cost time and money. Manual processes are expensive in processing costs, and mistakes like paid duplicate invoices can easily cost companies thousands of dollars.
These issues burden businesses, but also burden to procurement individuals that could focus their attention on innovative strategies to improve business spending as discussed in this recent Ask Shaz article, What are the Biggest Challenges in the Advancement of Procurement?