Managing technological changes

Any change is resisted and technological change is no exception . The Management will find that automating a plant is more expensive and more difficult than expected. The following suggestions, however, will help in implementing raw projects with less difficulty and less resistance.

1.Have a master plan for automation .The plan should indicate what operations to automate, when and in what sequence to automate each area of the business ,and how the organization and its products ,marketing and other business units will have to change because of automation.

2.Recognize that there are risks in automation. Two risks which need recognition are the risk of radical obsolescence and the danger that competitors will easily copy new technology.

3.Have separate technology department. This unit will disseminate information about new technology; become an advocate for new technology adoption; lead the way in educating and training others about new technology, and provide the technical assistance necessary for the installation and implementation of advanced technology equipment.

4.Allow enough time for learning how to install, tool, debug programs and otherwise get an automated machine up to production speed. Do not rush through the completion of automation projects.

5.Automating everything at once is not wise .Phasing out installation is advantageous so that what is learnt from one project can be applied to another project .By allowing plenty of time ,the frequency of mixed schedules dates ,organization frustration and pressure to compress the schedule are somewhat reduced.

6.Realize that it is the people who can make automation projects successful .Educating and training of employees must be an ongoing activity .Participation of all employees is a must. Union representative is essential in any automation.

7.Finally, if companies move too slowly in adopting production technology, they are likely to be left behind. Companies need to be cautious about automation, but that does not mean that they must go slow .Any delay in implementation is a sure way of giving in to the competitors.

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