Is Automation or Technology the Only Way to Improve Productivity?

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, the pressure to increase productivity without expanding headcount is a pervasive challenge across industries. Connors Group stands at the forefront of addressing this challenge, merging innovative solutions with a deep understanding of the workforce, facilities, and materials involved.

Forces Driving Change

Several critical factors drive the push toward efficiency:

  • Evolving Business Conditions: Shifts towards direct-to-consumer models, SKU proliferation, and heightened service level agreements underscore the need for agility and efficiency in operations.

  • The Labor Market Crisis: With average hourly rates climbing and the U.S. birth rate declining, businesses face a labor shortage that compels them to seek productivity improvements through automation and other means.

  • The Automation Landscape: The burgeoning demand for automation, characterized by a compound annual growth rate of over 13% through 2030, presents opportunities and challenges. Implementing automation technologies requires careful planning and execution.

The Foundation for Sustainable Success

At Connors Group, we advocate for an integrated approach to improving productivity. It is not solely about integrating the latest technology; it is about building a solid foundation that enhances your workforce’s capabilities, streamlines processes, and judiciously applies automation where it can be most effective.

People, Place, and Process: The Three Pillars

Understanding the interconnectedness of people, facilities, and processes is essential in crafting a robust strategy for improvement.

  • People First: Engage and empower your workforce. Implementing engineered labor standards and incentive programs can lead to productivity gains of up to 35%.

  • Place (Facilities): Re-evaluating your distribution workflows and infrastructure can uncover hidden opportunities for efficiency gains.

  • Process: Lean methodologies and continuous improvement cycles play a crucial role in enhancing operational sustainability and readiness for future automation.

Assessing Your Options: A Path Forward

Before leaping into automation, it is crucial to assess your operation comprehensively:

  1. Challenge existing paradigms: Encourage a culture that questions the status quo and seeks innovative solutions.

  2. Focus on the 3Ps: Examine your operations through the lenses of People, Place, and Process to identify areas for improvement.

  3. Solve the core issues: Address underlying problems rather than symptoms, paving the way for more effective solutions.

Preparing for an Automated Future

While embracing automation, Connors Group emphasizes the importance of preparation:

  • Smart Automation: Integrate technology to augment, not replace, your workforce.

  • Process Powerhouse: Ensure your operations are lean and efficient before automating.

  • Labor Management: A strong labor-management foundation is critical for successfully navigating the complexities of automation.

Building Your Roadmap for Success

Success in today’s dynamic environment requires a strategic blend of short-term wins and long-term planning. Connors Group specializes in creating customized roadmaps that coherently and comprehensively address people, processes, and technology.


When effectively aligned with the human elements of your workforce, the strategic management of facilities, and the optimization of processes, innovation can dramatically enhance productivity. Connors Group prepares businesses for today’s challenges and sets the stage for tomorrow’s opportunities. As the industry evolves, those who can integrate innovative solutions with a deep understanding of their workforce and operations will redefine productivity and efficiency standards.

For a detailed assessment of how your company can harness the power of this integrated approach, contact Connors Group today.

To learn more about the Connors Group, please contact us at:

Connors Group | | 800.813.7028