The Pros and Cons of New Technology
The Advantages of New Technology in Your Business
REDUCED WASTE will lead to lower costs. Today, the amount of waste produced by technology can be the difference between strict environmental regulations and closure (but of course, also profitability).
INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY where properly assessed, increased production, through efficiency and better planning, can also result from the introduction of new technology.
LESS WORKFORCE may be needed if jobs that previously required personnel can now be automated, further reducing costs. This is an added advantage if you have few employees already, otherwise you may face redundancies.
HIGHER PROFITS due to the increased efficiency which produces less costs. It may also be that new technology allows jobs to be completed quicker so that cash flow is more fluid.
A HIGHER INCOME can be yours if your business is making more profit. You may even decide to give your employees a bonus that could increase their motivation.
ADVANCED COMMUNICATIONS such as the use of e-mail, computer networks and mobile phones allow information to be sent/received instantly. This is especially useful for long distances where documents and information needs to be passed on quickly. Remote work-force employers (employing travelling sales, home workers etc) have instant access to staff from mobile phones, web cams from PC's and on-the-road lap tops.
MORE COMPETITIVE as you can afford to lower the price of your product/service if your profit levels increase, without lowering your standards.
The Disadvantages of New Technology in Your Business
THE MANAGEMENT of new technology can be extremely difficult. If the decision of purchasing new technology is down to you, do you buy now or wait for the next technological advance? Also, you have to decide if the technology is really needed as some things can be expensive. Integrating the technology into your workforce is another task in its self.
NEW SKILLS may be needed to operate the new technology and so you will have to re-train your employees.
MAINTENANCE of the technology will be required to keep it efficient. More importantly, if it is a piece of machinery on a production line: what if it beaks down - will it put a stop to allproduction?
COSTS are something that will be reduced if integrated properly. You have to consider if you have the finance to purchase the technology in the first place. Secondly, if it is to replace employees, will you have to issue redundancy pay?
TIME can be lost if you have to reorganize the workplace to set up the new technology. This could be an important issue if your business works to tight deadlines. If you have a network of PC's (even two) you will have to know something about computers to ensure quick resolvement of IT issues.
Working Without New Technology
It may not be your business that uses the latest technology but in some way, your business will still be affected by its introduction. Those who you have connections with may be integrating new technology (example, suppliers) and therefore have a 'knock on effect' onto your business. There are literally hundreds of examples that can illustrate this, but to help you understand in the simplest terms we will just outline the more general issues.
For an extreme example, your supplier may also be the manufacturer of your product, and by implementing the latest technology it is making their costs much lower through increased efficiency. Although they may keep their selling prices the same, if you have good relations, they may offer you their service at a lower rate.
Related to the example above, the delivery costs of stock/materials will be reduced significantly due to the introduction of new technology such as better transport storage facilities. f your business uses transport services to deliver your products to locations around the country, than you will further benefit from this advance.
If your competitors modernize their operations and products/service with technological advances, this is where you can suffer. By making their own operations more efficient through reduced costs and speed, they can offer their products/service at lower prices which you may not be able to compete with. Also, little things such as the packaging of their products with new lighter and stronger materials (example, polystyrene) will give their product a significant advantage in the market.
New Technology is being introduced all the time making it more efficient to what is currently available. What you have to decide is whether you need to upgrade to the latest technology in an attempt to be more profitable/operational/competitive, or if you can push your business forward without it.
You further have to take into account where this new technology is heading: will it dominate the future way of doing a task, or is it something that customers will lean towards when buying a product (for example, a new material)? If so, you have to consider if your business will be 'left behind' in terms of new advances which could damage your image.
Introducing new technology does have its disadvantages which may be short term caused by it's initial integration (re-organizing, re-training, etc). It is a task of weighing these up against the advantages to see if you will benefit from its use.
You may come to a conclusion that your business won't benefit from new technology and this is fair to say. If your business doesn't need to rely on the latest technology to help push forward and remain competitive, then this is a decision you may have made from reading articles like this, word of mouth, or that un-convincing salesman. To others, you may have realized that new technology can benefit your business in some way.