A recent BDC study reported findings from two surveys from entrepreneurs and Canadians in May and June 2021. Our clients are feeling continued pressure from the labor shortage.  Read the study and the article below to understand more about the factors that contribute to Canada’s ongoing labor shortage.

This month we will be giving you insights on each solution the BDC has outlined to help entrepreneurs endure and thrive in this persistent labor shortage.

Adopt new technologies and automation

Businesses that automated certain areas of their business are 2.04 times more likely to find hiring easy and 1.89 times more likely to see growth above the industry average, compared to companies that had not automated.

The BDC study makes it very clear that SMEs will have to endure labor shortages in the next few decades.  The traditional fear around automation replacing workers and creating mass unemployment is unrealistic.

To mitigate the effects of the labor shortage, businesses can use automation throughout multiple functions. Most business owners are aware of automation for marketing, bookkeeping, process automation and Human Resources. Some ways to think of where to implement automation is to take a cue from the robotics industry and apply automation for jobs that are “dull, dirty and dangerous.”  One company UiPath states, “We make software robots, so people don’t have to be robots.” In your business, identify the repetitive and boring tasks and seek out technology or automation to help.  When looking for areas to automate, this article lays out 5 identifiers to look for in employees. The biggest successes with automation processes occur when employees are no longer managing a high volume of repetitive tasks regularly and when they are meeting deadlines due to shortened and highly automated workflows.

Below you can see a breakdown of challenges that entrepreneurs identified in adopting new technologies and automation.

challenges in adopting technology

Of the SMEs that have automated, 43% reported that their biggest challenge was the high upfront cost.  For some robot systems the initial cost is less than the salary of the job they are trying to replace with no additional expenses after implementation.  These systems don’t take vacation or overtime pay.  Automation allows workers to focus on tasks that require intuition and creativity.

Many SMEs could investigate new cloud-based software that is often more accessible than robot systems.  HumanEdge is seeing businesses that implement this technology get ahead of their competition and combat the labor shortage.  The businesses that will thrive in the post pandemic era will be where technology and people work together to improve their productivity and safety.  The welding industry is effectively using Robots-as-a-Service to “hire” robot welders by the hour and perform the routine and repetitive tasks. This allows professional human welders to focus on priority projects.

Reach out to HumanEdge on how your business plans to use automation and technology this year.