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Tuesday, June 15
Tue, Jun 15, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Understanding, Assessing, and Transitioning to Mixed Mode Collections

Lessons Learned in a National Survey of Robotics Use Among U.S. Manufacturing Companies (308137)

Ipek Bilgen, NORC at the University of Chicago 
Nancey Green Leigh, Georgia Institute of Technology 
*Holly Hagerty, NORC at the University of Chicago 
Benjamin Kraft, Georgia Institute of Technology 
Vicki Pineau, NORC at the University of Chicago 

Keywords: Establishment surveys, robotics, manufacturing, incentives

The 2018 Survey of Advanced Technology and Robotics in U.S. Manufacturing (SRM) was conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology, with multi-mode survey data collection by NORC at the University of Chicago. SRM collected information on U.S. manufacturers’ use of robotics and automation technology to assess implications for employment and manufacturing competitiveness. The authors discuss challenges, and strategies to overcome them, in developing a high quality sample frame of up-to-date contact information for the SRM. Among these were inaccurate email and address information, identification of knowledgeable personnel within an establishment, gaining gatekeeper cooperation, and ascertaining appropriate incentive protocols. The construction of the final sample frame involved the use of a national frame, supplemental email lists, and lookup services from Dun and Bradstreet (D&B). SRM employed differential sampling rates to obtain approximately equal sample sizes among small, medium, and large size companies within three key industry groupings: computer and electronic companies, automobile companies, and other industries. The authors describe the usage of responsive design methodology and evolution of the incentive protocol for the SRM and the findings of the survey. Data collection included mail, Web, email, and telephone modes with offers of incentives in the form of Amazon electronic gift cards to encourage survey participation. At the close of the survey, an interactive dashboard was developed to view key survey findings and provided to responding establishments. The paper concludes with a discussion of key insights from all steps of the survey than can inform development of multi-mode establishment surveys.