May 2018
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US addiction to outsourcing might cost it the Robot revolution

The US’s addiction to off-shoring might cost it a seat in the next revolution of manufacturing.

As robots are rushing to take over human jobs, the US is finding that its own manufacturing base is not taking advantage – mostly because it off-shored its manufacturing ages ago.

Roboticist Matt Rendall said that robotic job displacement will reshape global manufacturing and since America, which has outsourced much of its manufacturing and lacks serious investment in industrial robotics, it will be relegated to a third world country.

In the future, it will be the robot makers which will have the key role in determining how automation expands across the globe.

As the CEO of manufacturing robotics company Otto Motors, Rendall is building fleets of warehouse bots that could eventually replace the many fulfilment workers who are hired by companies like Amazon.  He said that the robots were coming.

“After the Great Recession, there was a fundamental change in people’s interest in automation. People started feeling the pain of high-cost labour and there’s an appetite for automation that we haven’t seen before.”

Rendall believes automation will, in the long-term, improve society and help humans live better lives, but there are changes afoot in the global manufacturing scene that could leave American industries in the dust.

“China is tracking to be the No. 1 user in robots used in industrial manufacturing and the country is driving “an overwhelming amount” of growth.

But China is responding to automation by embracing it instead of shying away from it. This is in stark contrast to industrial advances of the previous century, like Ford’s assembly line, that helped transform American industries into the most powerful on the planet.

The risk is of course is that if the US does not do something fast then that crown will leave it being a nuclear powered also ran on the world stage, dreaming of days when it used to be great.


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Robots threaten $4 billion worth of upcoming Australian outsourcing deals


Paul Smith

Australian outsourcing deals worth up to $4 billion are ripe for disruption in the next three years from a growing move towards robotic process automation and cloud-based options, a leading global consultancy has said.

David Snell the local boss of sourcing advisory firm Alsbridge, which has recently set up operations in Australia and New Zealand, said increasingly intelligent automation software would render thousands of workers on traditional outsourcing deals obsolete in coming years, and advised businesses to reconsider their plans, rather than simply re-signing on the dotted line to renew deals.

Mr Snell said some of the biggest outsourcing agreements coming up for renewal over the next 12 to 18 months include deals at Elders, the Australian Taxation Office, Perpetual, the Department of Defence, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group and Qantas.

He said more than 120 ANZ enterprises have large outsourcing contracts, worth approximately $2billion, due to expire during the next three years, with an additional 500 smaller contracts taking the pool to around $4 billion.

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