#WhoNeedsEmployees?

With over 6,000 stores, Walmart plans to significantly change over half of them. Walmart introduced, “Smart Assistants” and they consist of: Auto-C, Auto-S, Fast Unloader, and the Pickup Tower. What are these next generation homewreckers? Let’s talk about it.

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What’s makes me cringe and a little speechless is what Walmart titled their article introducing their upcoming futuristic technologies. “#SquadGoals” is the first thing they want everyone to know and see as they released their groundbreaking article. In my conclusion I will talk about why the title alone is a slap in the face in my opinion, but let’s get to the guts. What exactly does the technology do that’s listed above? Here they are:

Auto-C: “Cleans floors autonomously to save associates time”

Auto-S: “Scans shelves for outs and sends info to associates in real time”

Fast Unloader: “Scans and sorts inventory to get products onto shelves faster”

Pickup Tower: “Dispenses online orders with lightning speed”

Walmart started testing their new technologies in 2018 and ended their testing phase by making more to distribute throughout their stores. The reason for this big change is, “it allows them time to focus more on selling merchandise and serving customers, which they tell us have been the most exciting parts of working retail.”  According to John Crecelius, senior vice president of Walmart’s Central Operations.

Link: https://news.walmart.com/2019/04/09/squadgoals-how-automated-assistants-are-helping-us-work-smarter

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Let’s bring back why I think the title of their article is a slap in the face in my opinion. Introducing the new “squad” of technology, there are no humans in the visuals of the new technologies. Which tells me Walmart is planning to have a massive layoff within the next five to ten years, and they let everyone know through a hashtag. Even though I don’t work for a department store anymore, I can already hear the break room conversations about this. The worrisome energies about what happens next and how they will support their families come to mind as it fills the break room I would think. Not to mention the subtitle of the article says a lot too. “How Automated Assistants Are Helping Us Work Smarter”. The article comes from the Walmart website and not actual employees, meaning the “automated assistants” are helping the company itself “work smarter” and not the employees. Take another look at the descriptions of their new robot toys above, what do you notice? They’re basically the whole store except getting the products on the shelves and the produce section, but if they have robots to unload the trucks, sort, and roam the aisles, then without a doubt they’ll find a way to fill those needs. Lastly, Mr. Crecelius, I’m not sure if you do that undercover boss type of thing, but if you did, you’d notice that no Walmart employee ever sells anything or serves the customers. I’ve been to a lot of Walmarts and It’s pretty common to not see an employee for a while until you get to the checkout lanes. Also, the part about the employees “telling” you that selling merchandise and serving customers is the most exciting part about working retail, tells me you found that information through a few MANDATORY surveys the employees have to finish every month which most of them lie on. You’d understand, Mr. Crecelius, if you ever worked a shift a day in your life which I highly doubt.

What do you think about Walmart’s new move? Let me know!

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