To find out more about what this means for your average small business, I polled nine business owners from YEC on the following question:
How do you see the rise of the robot affecting your company?
1. With automated manufacturing
We are planning for a point in the near future when the vast majority of product manufacturing will be done by robots. This will have a significant impact in how we design our products and our costs for manufacturing. This reality will disrupt China’s manufacturing advantages, and we’ll see a lot of manufacturing come back to the states as machines can replace even inexpensive Chinese labor. – Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Doorbell
2. Free time for more knowledge-based work
The increase in automation over the last five years has already resulted in a consulting team that’s lean and mean. We almost exclusively spend our time on work that requires extensive knowledge and expertise because business processes within the IoT handle most of our everyday administrative, financial and organizational tasks. We’re excited to continue on this path. – Alexandra Levit, PeopleResults
3. Evolving management skills
One of the most difficult jobs as an entrepreneur is effectively leveraging all of the resources at your disposal. With robots coming in to replace jobs, I see this as an opportunity for me to evolve as a leader. While I feel I’ve become an effective communicator with my staff, I’ll need to learn how to best manage robots to improve my business’ overall productivity. – Firas Kittaneh, Amerisleep
4. Not Much Change
My agencies build relationships with our clients, and you just can’t do that with a robot. So I don’t see a huge change for my companies. On the other hand, as more tasks become automated, I see efficiencies helping to grow my companies exponentially. I’m a huge proponent of automating as many tasks as possible, so perhaps robots could help on that front. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
5. Time to focus on other things
I see robots affecting a lot of aspects of our business, but not necessarily the way we do business. For example, robots may help with mundane tasks such as cleaning and scheduling appointments, but they will not be able to build a relationship with our clients. Robots will help us automate some processes and give us time to use our resources to focus on other things. – Jayna Cooke, EVENTup
6. Increased demand for certain services
My company provides IT infrastructure hosting, and demand for our services will only increase as the use of robotics gains greater traction. Modern robotics requires off-device processing with substantial computational power for everything from big data analytics to computer vision. This means infrastructure providers are well placed to provide services tailored to robotics platforms. – Vik Patel, Future Hosting
7. Our lives will be easier
As a web agency, I do not see my core team being replaced by robots. At our core, we are still a problem-solving team that needs to create something unique for each client. There will be tools to make our lives easier for marketing, development and perhaps design. But they will not be entirely replaced by robots. It may be an opportunity, though, to assist in marketing these new robots. – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design
8. No effect
I don’t think robots will affect my company. Our skin care products are made daily. Robots working daily might be hard to maintain and manage. We take care of our customers personally, and robots don’t have a heart to empathize with them. By 2020, I still see my team working with me in our advocacy to banish skin blemishes and feelings of inferiority. – Daisy Jing, Banish
9. Freeing us for creative and strategic work
My company embraces the potential of automation to reduce routine and mundane work, thus freeing employees to focus on higher level tasks that require unstructured creativity and emotional empathy. We’re excited for artificial intelligence to boost efficiency and productivity and allow us humans to focus on strategy and higher value-add work. – Adelyn Zhou, TOPBOTS
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