Tech, it’s a tool not a process!

I spent a couple of days last week attending a Manufacturing Conference in Melbourne. Met some really knowledgeable manufacturing professionals who really know their stuff. Over the course of the two days the presentations and discussions were quite diverse, however there were a couple of trends that kept coming up; one of the was the use of and the integration of technology in business, and in particular manufacturing.

Now, I am a card carrying member of the geek squad. I love new technology, what-ever it is. One thing I took away from the conference was the unfortunate use of technology to either 1) Control our processes; or 2) Be our process. There was an overwhelming opinion within the room that as manufacturers, they have technology thrust upon them rather than supporting them. This technology then becomes another burden.

Quite simply, the introduction of any new technology should be no different to the introduction of new capital equipment; it needs to add something.
– A reduction in costs through improved efficiencies
– An improvement in safety
– Improved quality through tighter tolerances or increased repeatability

This list can be long, but the point is it makes no difference if it’s equipment or technology. It has to add value otherwise why make the investment of capital and time. Before you introduce your next technology, ask some simple questions:
– What value is this new technology providing me?
– Is there a current gap this is will close out?
– What are the risks / negatives to introducing this new technology?

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