Supply chain pains, container scarcity, chip shortages are plaguing the global economy. Retail pundits and news reports teem with expressions like “inflation” and “empty shelves”. And the truth of the matter is consumers may get to feel the full impact of this situation when they do their Christmas shopping. So, do we have to cancel Christmas this year because of the global logistics woes?
“The way to get out of this is by investing in the blue collar worker,” says Andreas Koenig, CEO for ProGlove. This assessment of the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer is based on data that suggests many blue collar, shopfloor, and delivery worker jobs cannot be filled currently.
Effectively, many workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic are not coming back. Koenig says the way to address this is, “By showing more appreciation for the human frontline worker.” This certainly goes beyond pay. People are looking for a long-term perspective.
He adds, “It starts with technology investments that strengthen the human worker because they are what keeps supply chains going.” As experts are demanding more resilience, Koenig claims: “We need to find the right kind of balance, and we need to understand now that many of the debates that position technology as an adversary for human workers have done substantial damage because they generate feelings of distrust and alienation, so that now they tend to be seen as part of the problem when really they are part of the solution. Technology needs to support the human worker”. Because this is what will provide more flexibility to our global supply chains and thus give us all more room to breathe.