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Last One Leaving, Please Turn Out The Lights . . .

By Art van Bodegraven | 01/12/2018 | 11:47 AM

Please enjoy the thoughts and musings of our friend, supporter, and long-time contributor Art van Bodegraven Jr., who passed away on June 18, 2017. Art was a prolific writer and had amassed a collection of unpublished blog posts he had planned to run well into the future. To honor his memory, we will continue to post these remaining blogs as he had intended. If you’ve been a fan of The Art of Art blog, check out our tribute.


The March of the Robots is turning into a stampede.  Mall stores are shuttering at a record pace.  More middle-class pople are out of work, possibly terminally. Dave Blanchard in Material Handling & Logistics asks if robots are her to help humans, or take away their more mundane jobs.

MIT's (and BU's) scholars have discovered that wherever robots are deployed in visible totals (and roles), wages tend to go down.  And, employment to population ratios  get cut in half.  Today's leader needs to have his or her communications ratios in order; the next question is most likely to be along the lines of: "Is my present job going to get automated out of existence"?

The ultimate automated warehouse/DC solution is one in which humans can be removed from the tedia of inventories, order picking, and material transport.

Elon Musk's reassurances that jobs will be better, and better paid, than ever before ring hollow, given the evidence.

Meanwhile, Marble, a co-branded robot, has quietly been making a stir.  It now partners with Yelp for automated food delivery.  Marble has been far from the epicenter of robotic delivery, with a European counterpart that has been ahead of the game.  Domino's is offering pizza, and Zume Pizza applies and spreads the sauce, while another drone slides the pie into the oven.  Marble's founders sharev a vision of improving life for all of its urban neighborhoods.  Yeah, right.

And, we're now at the place at which the first generation of robots needs automation education, creating a first-generation of automated robotics operators.

So long, carpenters and jointers.  Adieu, auf wiedersehen electricians.

News flash!  Training former drivers to replicate driving tasks simply postpones the inevitable.

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About Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven

Art van Bodegraven (1939 - 2017) was Managing Principal of the van Bodegraven Associates consultancy and Founding Principal of Discovery Executive Services, which develops and delivers supply chain educational programs. He was formerly Chair of the Supply Chain Group AG, Partner at The Progress Group LLC, Development Executive at CSCMP, Practice Leader with S4 Consulting, and a Managing Director in Coopers & Lybrand's consulting practice. Concentrating in supply chain management and logistics for over 20 years in his 50+ year business career, he has led ground-breaking strategic, operational, and educational projects for leading US and global clients. Art was principal co-author of DC Velocity's Basic Training monthly column for a decade, and was the principal co-author, with Ken Ackerman, of Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management, the definitive primer in the field. His popular blog, The Art of Art, has been a staple of DC Velocity's web site since its inception.


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