Power Talks Ep. 1: How to Prepare Your Workforce for Automation

Resonant Link
April 16, 2024

In Episode 1 of our Power Talks interview series, Jake Walker, Manager of Accelerated Digitalization at DHL Supply Chain, talks to host Kevin Lawton of The New Warehouse about how operations leaders can prepare their workforce for automation. 

Walker covers how DHL thinks about industrial automation, how companies can leverage automation to gain competitive advantages, how DHL decides what to automate, DHL's process for evaluating new technology, and change management strategies companies can leverage to get everyone comfortable with automation.

This episode of the Power Talks interview series was filmed live from Resonant Link's booth at MODEX 2024. Subscribe to receive email updates when new videos are released. You'll get actionable insights from logistics and warehouse technology leaders on how to solve labor, equipment, space, and other logistics challenges.

Click play to listen to Walker’s interview or continue reading to get the interview highlights.

85% of supply chain professionals say they are planning to deploy some form of automation within the next twelve months and yet many organizations say limited resources and difficulty managing change have caused them to delay automating. So how can operations leaders view automation strategically? 

Automation as a Competitive Differentiator

According to Walker, they should focus on where automation can give them a competitive advantage, like DHL has done. Experimenting with and implementing the latest technology is a key way in which DHL works to become the provider of choice in the marketplace.

How to Evaluate Automation Opportunities

Given the myriad of options available to automate and how overwhelming the process can be to resource-strapped warehouse operators, prioritization is key. For DHL, this means focusing on ways to automate work that’s dangerous or unengaging for their workforce, as well as improving processes that drive significant value for the business.

Automation Change Management Strategies

Operations leaders can leverage DHL's change management strategies to get teams comfortable with automation. To do so, early and frequent communication is key. Walker says that when DHL is looking at a new automation project, they communicate with the site operations team and the associates on the floor about what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and what will change. Including them in the feedback and design process helps reduce skepticism and ensure buy-in.

Want to Learn More?

To hear more insights and recommendations from Rill, watch the full interview.

Check out our whitepaper, Big Little Things: How Warehouses of All Sizes Can Automate Operations, to learn about common challenges warehouse operators face and how to overcome them with automation.

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