When & How Can Procurement & Supply Chain Jobs be Automated?


Automation progress and how it is going to affect the working world is at the top of everyone’s minds at the moment. The digital and technology age have brought about a kind of second industrial revolution when it comes to speeding up the processes that we complete every day. But will machines and automation help our current jobs or take them over completely? Is the automation process something to be admired or feared? These are all questions that we are going to dive into today. So, when and how can procurement and supply chain jobs be automated? And if so, will they do so and make jobs obsolete or just help the existing workers? Let’s have a think.


Who Will be Affected By the Automation Age?

Not even the medicine and healthcare sector is immune to the effect of automation. Hardly any sector, from manufacturing and food service to law and medicine, is immune to automation. So in short, everyone will be affected by the progress of automation. But the extent of the ripple effect within industries will be different between industries. Constance Green, a recruiter at Revieweal and Stateofwriting, commented, “Although the growing effect of automation progress will be present everywhere, the extent to which an industry will be effected has a lot to do with how much human intelligence and personal skill is required within the jobs in the industry.”

For example, even though a machine can be programmed to diagnose certain conditions and can be used to conduct tests and scans, there is still a lot of medicine which cannot be done without a qualified doctor, a nurse to conduct tests, and people to keep the whole system running. As medicine grows, any machines that are being used will need to be updated and changed with no knowledge and information. In short, the extent to which industries are going to be affected by automation is all down to the type of industry they are.


So, Let’s Talk About the Procurement World:

As we talked about before, the extent of automation’s ability to not just support but replace people in their roles has a lot to do with the kind of labour that is involved. As Taylor Larva, a business writer at Eliteassignmenthelp and Ukwritings, noted, “A lot of researchers have found that manual labour is the most susceptible and vulnerable to complete takeover by automation. Now, why is that? It is, simply put, a result of predictability.” For example, a PS4 is always going to be built the same until the company develops a new one. So, for thousands of products, the process is exactly the same. There is no need for intellectual work, complex decisions, or negotiation. The same parts go together the same way, every time. It is these types of jobs which are susceptible to complete automation. Because all you need to do is teach a computer to do something once, and it does it the exact same way, every time. All you need is the push of a button. Crazy right?

However, when you look at the procurement and supply chain profession, there is a lot more than just the supply chain itself that comes into play. Although the actual making of the item can eventually be replaced with automation, robots are not trained and capable to have interpersonal skills, negotiate difficult situations, maintain professional connections, and navigate relationships. Not yet, that is. So while parts of procurement could potentially be substituted by automation, I don’t believe that the industry itself is fully under threat. Even if parts are replaced, you will still need people in and around the industry to keep the cogs oiled and add the personal touch by doing things only people can do.


At the end of the day, the conversation on automation has a lot more to it than just, ‘can automation happen’ in a particular industry. Automation is only possible if there is enough money and if technological progress has extended far enough for a certain industry. Similarly, you cannot fully say if people who potentially had their jobs made obsolete would be left without a role. Automation could actually open up other jobs and opportunities elsewhere in the industry and in others too.


About the Author:

Madeline Miller is a writer and a tutor at Best essay writing services and Studentwritingservices, who constantly provides assistance to her students on different subjects and skills. She also writes for Via Writing.