It used to be that outsourcing – and offshoring – were feared for the impact they would have on jobs. With the rise in digital solutions, automation became another ‘threat’ to employees. As Philip Ideson and Amy Fong discussed in a recent AOP podcast, 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.
That uneasy dynamic has been accelerated by labor shortages in all kinds of service roles over the last year and a half. 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 too 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 reevaluating 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.
Listen to the conversation in full, here: