In the early days we hand packed all of our products. That was when our work force could keep up with the demand. Then when sales took off, we had to find a way to package more product in a shorter amount of time. The system of pick and place robotic case packers we had installed took care of our problem. We have hired more human workers, and the robotic systems actually are part of the reason we can support keeping the extra human resources we have. We have automated a large portion of our packaging, but the volume is so great now that we still had to add some workers.
Some say that robotics takes the place of people. Here is how I look at it. We had a few people doing all of the packaging. We had to choose between being able to meet demand or stay where we were at. We went ahead and attempted to meet demand by installing automated packaging systems. We then were able to sell more product. Those sales permitted us to staff with people the positions in the warehouse and packaging that are best left to people no matter what automation is available. Those added jobs are a benefit to people. Ones that would not have existed if we were not able to meet demand by packaging huge numbers of product.
In our business, automation actually opened up some human job positions. Is it like that in all industries? I would say not. However, for us, that is how it is working out. We are community minded and want to hire local people giving them a good wage. In order to do that we have to sell a lot of product. In order to sell a lot of product we need to keep up with manufacturing and packaging. Even the amount of our raw materials have increased. It is good for people all the way around.