1 January 2002
Push all the right technology buttons
By Greg Hale
In today's economic environment, it is obvious manufacturers' traditional customers are not dropping boatloads of money on new products.
As you sit in the driver's seat admiring the interior of your brand new car, your eyes wander around the dashboard. You notice a button that controls the outside temperature readout. "What's it for?" you wonder.
After a quick look through the owner's manual, you realize by flicking that button once or twice, you can tell how many more miles you will get on your current tank of gas. A nice gadget, you think, for when you tool around town.
After another couple of flicks of the button you realize you can get real-time data on how many miles you are getting per gallon, as well as your fuel economy when you accelerate and when you are cruising. At that point, you realize you haven't been using your technology to the max and, therefore, are not getting the most out of your car.
"Now," you say to yourself, "I can improve the car's fuel performance."
I'll bet you and your customers are doing something along those same lines. In today's economic environment, it is obvious manufacturers' traditional customers are not dropping boatloads of money on new products. Unlike previous years, when a strong economy kept your company's new products rolling out the door, in today's climate, keeping your revenue stream moving in a positive direction is a major challenge.
You can't afford to wait it out, so it's time to find new ways to use your existing technology assets. Get creative.
"Companies don't always use their [technology] properly," Craig Llewellyn, president of Performance Technologies at Emerson Process Management, said at ISA 2001 in Houston. "It's all there, but there are many people who don't change their business processes," so they don't totally utilize their technology.
In an industry spiraling down, Llewellyn sees asset utilization as a growth spot for his company.
How about your company? Are you thinking of ways to utilize your technology and assets? One suggestion: Look into the collaborative manufacturing market. Did you ever consider opening up your manufacturing plant to a competitor so you could make money making their product? Industries such as pharmaceutical, semiconductor, and computers are already open to the idea of maximizing their plant assets. How about companies in your industry? Is your company up to the challenge?
Our industry has been in a recession for quite some time, and growth will not come easy. So it's time to press all the right buttons and totally utilize your technology assets today.
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