Automation: The technique of making an apparatus, a process, or a system operate automatically. Anyone could argue that they want things faster, easier and of course cheaper, but where will that line be drawn? Kelleher explains how businesses change their operations based off the amount of customers complaining or making suggestions, but should this always be a rule? I think we have finally started to see a flaw in the system of the customer always being right especially when it comes to grocery shopping. Automated machines are cash registers that do not need a trained employee to run due to their mechanical and technological advances they are made so simple a customer could use them. I think these machines will totally disrupt the future of consumer and public relations for grocery chains. When removing the human element from any situation, you see confusion start to snowball into consumers becoming so frustrated in the situation that they let their anger get to the best of them and leave the store for good, while spreading the bad word to 20 friends.
What happens when an item doesn’t scan, or the price is wrong, the customer has children they are trying to control, they are handicapped, not technologically in touch? Those are just a few of the things that can go wrong there are plenty more and when the grocery industry is already as competitive as it gets with the smallest profit margins in business, there should be no margin for error. The other large issue with public relations will be that the consumer will think “this company doesn’t care about jobs, they don’t care for paying a teenager minimum wage.” The thought process can transform from the customer thinking the company doesn’t care about their relationship, but they don’t even care about the well-being of their community or country in general. These machines can also lead to break downs and other mechanical troubles that will take away from operating time, also known as non-accounted for time that will turn into lost profit. When a machine is down employees can then get put into longer lines which could make them think this company is unorganized, not interested in our convenience and so on.
My point is that we may be moving too fast in terms of technology, we haven’t really had a time to stop and smell the roses and say “that’s good enough.” With this constant buildup of improving and innovating although it is great for keeping America competitive and strong it may be throwing us all for a loop.