Digitisation and the death of the service culture

103 posts in this topic

It will eventually come, as unemployment will rise slowly to 90% or more during this century. The remaining jobs will be entertainment, highly skilled professions and luxury services, for example table service. But as people stop commuting, less services are required, leading to economical downturn.

Most people will just stay home doing nothing. Their function will shift from productive to voting, as with old Rome. And they will vote for those who promise more money.

This whole thing will crease a huge inequality.

 

The only things that can prevent this are:

  • wars
  • pandemics
  • unlimited expansion (space exploration)

I also predict that women will return to housewife/reproduction status, as jobs become scarcer and demographic policies (more kids) will push women back to 1950...

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On 2/15/2020, 1:29:28, fraufruit said:

I never do self checkout. I will when those machines start paying taxes and into pensions.

 

This is a common misconception, in general self checkout (SCO) systems are not taking jobs away.   Mostly,  SCOs are not there to replace employees, they are a service for the customer who is buying little amount of items, so that customer does not have to wait in line with the customers buying a lot.    The cashier will be always much more faster scanning the items that the customer doing in in a SCO, so they will stay there.   

 

In Germany, with or without SCOs the supermarkets operate with a low number of open check outs, in a discounter it is normally just one or two cashiers.   The SCO is just an added service.   In places like IKEA where they have multiple SCOs there is always at least one employee taking care of the SCOs and helping the clueless customers, and again, the number of items you can pay in the SCO is limited.

 

There are other application of SCOs that try to take away the non-core transactions of the cashiers, so that those customers do not have to wait in line, like stamp dispersers in post offices.   Or online-sales return systems (i.e. the automated system in post offices where you put in a locker an item you bought in Amazon when you want to return it).

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17 minutes ago, Krieg said:

This is a common misconception, in general self checkout (SCO) systems are not taking jobs away. 

 

I've researched this and can't find any definitive answer. Some say yes and some say no. I tend to lean toward the logical answer.

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30 minutes ago, Krieg said:

 

This is a common misconception, in general self checkout (SCO) systems are not taking jobs away.   Mostly,  SCOs are not there to replace employees, they are a service for the customer who is buying little amount of items, so that customer does not have to wait in line with the customers buying a lot.    The cashier will be always much more faster scanning the items that the customer doing in in a SCO, so they will stay there.  

The final objective is to pass with the shopping cart and you don´t even need to take your stuff out. RFID on each item...

This was tested 10 years ago, but for now the RFID costs are high and there are still issues with metallic cans.

But when they solve it, by by cashiers.

 

BTW, Simmel was testing another system: you would take a barcode scanner with you, you would scan when you put stuff on the cart, then just pay, without taking your stuff out of the cart. They would then do some random checks to ensure people were not cheating.

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54 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

It will eventually come, as unemployment will rise slowly to 90% or more during this century. The remaining jobs will be entertainment, highly skilled professions and luxury services, for example table service.

Thank God that I know how to tap a beer 🍺.

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.Half the time the barcode is missing or will not scan.  I don't see the advantage of self checkouts.  In my experience they are not faster.  Plus they encourage theft.  

 

I know people have the same reaction to the kiosks at MCDonalds.  I am not sure however, if they are designed to replace employees since now they offer to have the food brought to your table.  Also the damn card readers don't work half the time and you have to go and pay cash anyway.  I like however that I have more time to consider options without annoying the heck out of the cashier and the people standing behind me.  

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I don't think I've ever seen a SCO in Germany outside of IKEA, but in the US they are everywhere.

 

taking it to the next level, Amazon (yeah, them again) started opening shops with no check outs whatsoever.  Just take the goods and leave - there is an app that somehow senses the items you've chosen and scanners on entry and exit that "take care" of...something.  No idea what happens if you are mischarged but whatever.  

 

I can't wrap my head around why they seem to be keeping German style business hours in large US cities, nor why many are closed both Saturdays and Sundays, but again.  whatever :)

 

https://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=16008589011

 

eta:  this is probably an RFID implementation as Mike suggests.  I think this means customers would have to have an NFC enabled phone to shop at Amazon Go but not sure.

 

eta eta:  nope, computer vision.  Krieg by a nose.

 

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Just now, BradinBayern said:

.Half the time the barcode is missing or will not scan.  I don't see the advantage of self checkouts.  In my experience they are not faster.  Plus they encourage theft. 

RFID is the future, just too expensive for now.

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Just now, MikeMelga said:

The final objective is to pass with the shopping cart and you don´t even need to take your stuff out.

 

This bit is correct.

 

Just now, MikeMelga said:

RFID on each item...

This was tested 10 years ago, but for now the RFID costs are high and there are still issues with metallic cans.

 

 

This bit is the problem.  The solution can't be RFID, at least not for cheap items because the cost of the RFID would be massive.  Even if RFID prices went down a lot in the past year, we will never achieve the point where it will be worth to put them on low price items.

 

The solution is cameras plus AI.  So, just by taking the item out of the store you bought it.   But we are still pretty pretty far from that.   Amazon announced a couple of years ago that they had a working solution and at the end it was vaporware.  It works only under limited conditions in small shops with very limited inventory and and overkill amount of cameras and hardware.  But for a while, they managed to scare the retail software world.

 

1 minute ago, MikeMelga said:

RFID is the future, just too expensive for now.

 

Wrong.  Very wrong.

 

And not only the costs of putting an RFID in a 35 cents tomato can will make it difficult.  People are starting to become sensitive about wasting resources.    You have right now the massive amount of complains because of the introduction of the new fiscal rules in Germany this year that make a must to print a fiscal receipt for every commercial transaction, including that 15 cents brotchen you buy in Thoben.   Massive waste of paper.

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12 minutes ago, lisa13 said:

I don't think I've ever seen a SCO in Germany outside of IKEA

 

There are 3 or 4 in the new Rewe by us. I think they will be in all the new stores or added when they renovate the old ones. The smaller stores just don't have room.

 

I find it funny that the lines are often longer waiting for a SCO than they are in the normal checkout lanes. 

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20 minutes ago, BradinBayern said:

.Half the time the barcode is missing or will not scan.  I don't see the advantage of self checkouts.  In my experience they are not faster.  

I do not find that when shopping at my grocery store in the US.  And whether or not they are faster is often a function of what's going on in the cashier lines.  I am always free to choose which option I want to use, and I like that.

5 minutes ago, fraufruit said:

I find it funny that the lines are often longer waiting for a SCO than they are in the normal checkout lanes. 

That was the case when they first came into use in the US, but that has since changed in my view because people have become much more accustomed to sizing up the situation and making a better choice accordingly.  At first it was awkward, but like evrything else I adapted. 

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1 hour ago, BethAnnBitt said:

I do not find that when shopping at my grocery store in the US.  And whether or not they are faster is often a function of what's going on in the cashier lines.  I am always free to choose which option I want to use, and I like that.

That was the case when they first came into use in the US, but that has since changed in my view because people have become much more accustomed to sizing up the situation and making a better choice accordingly.  At first it was awkward, but like evrything else I adapted. 

Link down. 

 

Was supposed to be to a study showing that self checkout is not faster.

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1 hour ago, fraufruit said:

I find it funny that the lines are often longer waiting for a SCO than they are in the normal checkout lanes. 

 

Not sure how they work in Germany, but if it is like the UK, the queue is people keen to key in their avocados as potatoes, etc.

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1 hour ago, Krieg said:

 

The solution is cameras plus AI.  So, just by taking the item out of the store you bought it.   But we are still pretty pretty far from that.   Amazon announced a couple of years ago that they had a working solution and at the end it was vaporware.  It works only under limited conditions in small shops with very limited inventory and and overkill amount of cameras and hardware.  But for a while, they managed to scare the retail software world.

For cameras you still need to take the stuff out. Either that or the camera has to be in the cart, so it sees it  as you place it in.

 

 

1 hour ago, Krieg said:

This bit is the problem.  The solution can't be RFID, at least not for cheap items because the cost of the RFID would be massive.  Even if RFID prices went down a lot in the past year, we will never achieve the point where it will be worth to put them on low price items.

 

 

1 hour ago, Krieg said:

Wrong.  Very wrong.

 

And not only the costs of putting an RFID in a 35 cents tomato can will make it difficult.  People are starting to become sensitive about wasting resources. 

RFID prices are low enough for it. Problem is that if you have metallic objects in the middle, you need to use more expensive RFID chips, then it becomes expensive.

The tomato case is simple: either you stop selling cheap things individually or you accept a loss. Because not having a cashier would be the expensive alternative. Also without cashier, the stores can be made smaller, which saves a lot of money, as buildings inside expensive cities can be very expensive.

1 hour ago, Krieg said:

  You have right now the massive amount of complains because of the introduction of the new fiscal rules in Germany this year that make a must to print a fiscal receipt for every commercial transaction, including that 15 cents brotchen you buy in Thoben.   Massive waste of paper.

 

This is Germany being German... in Portugal you can skip it for anything below 10€.

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3 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

RFID prices are low enough for it.

 

So they are cheap enough for it.

 

3 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

Problem is that if you have metallic objects in the middle, you need to use more expensive RFID chips, then it becomes expensive.

 

But they are not.

 

3 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

The tomato case is simple: either you stop selling cheap things individually or you accept a loss.

 

That's not how the real world works.  Because nowadays prices are so cheap that most of the items in the supermarket that are sold regularly are cheap items.   So according to you, the now master of retail business, supermarkets has to assume a lost in more than half their catalogue.

 

3 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

Because not having a cashier would be the expensive alternative.

 

I guess you wanted to write than having a cashier is more expensive.  Again, wrong.  The whole point of using all these technology is not saving on the salary of a couple of employees.   It is offering a better and potentially safer service (theft is much more expensive).

 

3 minutes ago, MikeMelga said:

Also without cashier, the stores can be made smaller, which saves a lot of money, as buildings inside expensive cities can be very expensive.

 

While it might help, it is not that relevant.  It only helps partially, the self checkout systems are not tiny.   And we are not yet in the times of fully cashier-less supermarkets, so we don't really know.

 

Sometimes you are so full of it.

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I get the impression SCO is here to  stay, and I guess it will mean less people employed by he supermarket.

 

When I was younger, I used to go to the bank to get my money and pay bills, then came ATM's - which I got used to - then came internet banking - which I got used to.  We now see bank branches closing everywhere and the jobs going.

 

SCO is just another step of reducing the number of people you need in a shop and thus keeping prices down, its interesting that SCO is used in Edeka and Rewe, while not at Lidl or Aldi.  not sure why there is a difference.

 

Sure the lines can be longer, but in my Kaufland, there are 6 SCO's - so the line tends to move more quickly.

 

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Maybe there will be some sort of RFID deposit?  Bring them back and get your money back?  To be reusable, however, they would have to be more robust.

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