Saturday, May 17, 2014

If Your Job Became Automated Today, What is Your Next Move? (A Pragmatic Analysis to the "Living Wage" Protest)

Fast Food Self-Ordering Replaces Cashiers Video

(updated at 1118 hrs) 

Cause and Effect
Protests and walkouts are taking place around the world where the fast food workers were "demanding" a "living wage" ($15/hr).  

Some people have claimed that this action accelerated the adoption of this technology.  It is coming. ...  McDonalds Europe purchased 7000 touch screen cashiers in 2011

Click here on a previous "living wage" protest.

Automating Fast Food 
Robots are slowly taking over the jobs in the fast food restaurants and the other low paid labor niches. ... We predicted that this trend of fast food eateries replacing their human  workers with robots  in 2010.

Do not be surprised if some of your favorite fast food eateries are preparing to employ a conveyor belt type of machine to serve their products.  ... 

Mobile technology is also slowly changing the restaurant terrain.  It was only a matter of time that this niche is going to be automated. 

The Perspective
Since the costs of health care and employees benefit are rising, the smart employers are taking initiative to reduce costs while increasing their revenues. 

To be operationally efficient,  the implementation of robotics and data automation are some of their current choices. Idealistically, it could start by deploying a robot who does the work of 10-20 employees, one employee to check on the performance of the robot's and a part time employee to maintain the operating standard of the robot.  Some people might not like this example but this is the future.

The negative side of most macro technological advances is that more jobs are being destroyed than the number of jobs that are created.  The after-effects of the zero-sum economy continue to burn the lower end of the 99%.

The robots and the drones are also taking over other avenues of blue collar work

The Foxcom Conversion
In 2011, Foxcom, the chief manufacturer of Apple iPhone knew the days of human labor were numbered and decided to pursue the route of the robotics.  Early this year, they announced that they were moving  their capital-intense manufacturing projects  to the USA.

Interestingly Google is helping them in amplifying their robotic process.

Automation Rules 
According to, going into 2013 78% of the 600 U.S. small business owners surveyed plan to automate to cut costs and streamline operations, 49% plan to create a new e-commerce website and 87% do not plan to hire additional employees. This tends to show that small business owners are seeking ways to operate within the difficult economic climate.

63% Expect the Economy to Remain Unchanged or Weaken Further
It would seem that with the majority of small business owners that were surveyed by stating that they expect the economy to stay the same (33%) or worsen (30%) in 2013, that their optimism about their own business revenue for 2013 would suffer. But, that was not the case. Of the 600 small business owners that were surveyed, only 21% expect lower revenue, while 46% actually expect an increase in revenue (the remaining 33% are uncertain). This supports the reputation of small business owners and entrepreneurs being eternally optimistic and always looking for ways to make lemonade when given lemons.

Click here for more stats,  As mentioned before, this is the beginning of the end for the low end jobs

Before you decide to automate your business, spend some time assessing the configuration of your situation.  Identify the possible problems and the obstacles. Then, determine whether you have the resources to adjust to that specific situation. It would be a smart move on your part.

The After Effects
Think about it, when the utilization of machines becomes the operational norm of the working world, where would the "real" blue collar jobs be? ... Do you think that the economic value chain becomes shorter?

Connect this dot of information with this dot.  Continue the connection  process with this dot, this dot and this dotNow, look at the Big Tangible Picture.

After identifying the specifics of your position, connect it to all of the above-mentioned dots. Finally, ask yourself, are you currently ahead or behind the "social-economic" curve?

Click here on a MIT's view of how the technology will replace the majority of the blue collar jobs in the global economy.

Second Thoughts
What would happen to the immigrants who are holding those jobs now?

Retrospectively. do you really care?

The Compass Solution
To stay ahead of the "robotic and outsourcing" curve,  one focuses on becoming "innovative and inventive."  While being aware of one's own settings and beyond,  focus on one particular act of inefficiency and ask these two questions - can that task be optimized?  Based on the given data, what is the best approach for minimizing the timeline and the resources?

The other approach is to anticipate the inefficiency by others and to capitalize on it.

Stay centered, observe quietly and learn.  

Have a good weekend.

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