Part of The Labour Shortage's Solution Has Nothing To Do With Employees

According to Statistics Canada, nearly 900,000 jobs were vacant in August 2021. In other words, this is a problem that concerns the majority of businesses and all areas. It is important to look into this since it is estimated that the situation will peak between 2030 and 2035.

If you thought the pandemic was the worst thing for your business, you’ve greatly underestimated the labour shortage problem… And even for businesses that fully realize the consequences, they are probably considering non-viable long-term solutions to fix it.

Indeed, to counter the labour shortage, the first instinct of many management teams is to try to find employees in other ways: either through immigration, students or other types of workers, or by offering better conditions and/or higher salaries in order to attract people currently employed elsewhere.

But all these are only temporary solutions. It is time to think about resolving this problem definitively. It is time to involve innovation, automation and artificial intelligence.

The Right Way To Fill Positions With Technology

First of all, we must stop being afraid of technology. The goal is not to put 500 employees out of work but to refrain from limiting the growth of our companies because of the lack of personnel. Quit being afraid our employees will leave for the competition which, out of desperation, offers the three-day week or no longer considers overtime as a healthy measure to fulfill customer orders.

Technology is an ally for the prosperity and growth of our businesses, and by 2035 it will probably be the difference between those who make it through this shortage and those who have to shut down definitely. The right way to fill positions with technology, and therefore need fewer employees, is to automate repetitive tasks and leave the value-added ones to humans. Meaning:

  • Put exactly 150 screws in a box, 2,000 times a day = automatisation
  • Judgment, creativity, decision-making, necessary empathy, etc. = human

By doing things this way, you will find that your current team is more than enough and that in addition, you no longer need to fear for the retention of your employees.

How Can Predictive Maintenance Help A Company With Labour Shortage?

There are a multitude of technologies that can help you counter this shortage. In this article, we will focus more specifically on predictive maintenance.

Attraction and retention of staff

It is a known fact that any type of innovation attracts and retains competent personnel. In the case of predictive maintenance, all teams that directly or indirectly work with operations are positively affected. The work environment will be healthier, with less stress, less overtime and much less pressure on the maintenance team.

An employee does not leave a company for the list of tasks for which he/she is responsible since it is a safe bet that he/she will perform substantially the same in his/her new job. By changing employers, an employee leaves a work environment, working conditions, unhealthy pressure, a heavy workload, etc.

Predictive maintenance allows you to offer a productive but relaxed work atmosphere, to reduce the frustration of the different teams during unplanned shutdowns, to have smaller but more efficient teams.

Your current team is probably already enough

If your operations are running smoothly, if you are able to predict any production and/or machine stoppage over time, if the visual inspection time of your maintenance team is greatly reduced, there is much to bet that your current team is already quite sufficient and that you do not need to hire.

I Understand The Benefits, But It's Not For My Business Because...

The “false excuses” need to stop now! The most frequent are the lack of money and the lack of time… but in fact, they hide only one thing: fear.

Today, refusing innovation and technology is the equivalent of refusing to learn how to use a computer 20 years ago. If your business becomes the “new tech illiterate”, do you think you can thrive and grow in the long term? These words may seem quite harsh to you, but ask any expert: our society, the markets, our customers and our suppliers have come to this.

Why are the lack of money and time just fake excuses? Because there are a multitude of resources available to all managers, regardless of the field in which they operate:

The lack of money

  • What is the real cost of your current maintenance? If you do not have predictive maintenance, it is a safe bet that the hidden costs (loss of raw materials, overtime costs, loss of production, etc.) related to your maintenance represent an additional 10% to 15% to your “known” costs.
  • Innovate without initial investment. Several companies, such as Soralink, now offer solutions with a monthly subscription that does not require any capital on your part to start. Thus, they make innovation accessible to all.

The lack of time

  • You are already wasting that time. How much time would you save by eliminating your unplanned breakdowns and downtime? How many overtime hours does your production team have to work to meet delivery deadlines following a breakdown? Knowing that innovation creates a phenomenon of attraction and retention of competent employees, how much time do you currently devote to hiring?

To learn more about all the gains and benefits that predictive maintenance can bring to your business, we suggest this other article of Soralink.

The labour shortage is such a big problem that it cannot be solved by hiring and the ability to find new employees. We must explore all the possibilities offered by innovation, automation and artificial intelligence.

While you hesitate and wait, your competitors dare and get ahead of you. You don’t want to be tomorrow’s illiterates!

If you want to know how predictive maintenance can apply to your business, write to us, we will be happy to help you with your project!