Labour, Labour and Automation
The new Labour government’s announcement that they are targeting a $20ph minimum wage by 2021 has been met with a tidal wave of feedback, opinion and conjecture. On one side of the coin you have those championing the need for a “living wage” and fairer compensation for hard work and, on the other, those that bemoan the inevitable escalation of flow on effects and business expenses. But one thing it has certainly accelerated among packhouse management is the concern over wage expenses and the need for increased automation.
One customer told me recently that, as of April 1st 2018, their wage bill is set to increase by over $3k PER DAY. This is before factoring in re-assessing relative wages for supervisors and people with extra responsibilities. Add to this the unreliability of some staff, and the variable quality of performance by shift, and the labour component of this particular packhouse starts to become a concern.
Finding good people to assist the packing process, and keeping them, is a major issue across the industry. When looking to supplement this process with automation it is crucial to consider not only “bang for buck” but what aspects of the chain are most variable, what range of options are available and what the payback looks like. Without “preaching to the converted”, here at Jenkins Freshpac Systems we can certainly lend an ear and help find the best solution for your needs.