I was mulling my current employment situation over yesterday, and I thought of something that I think not many people have realized yet. Dare I say this is a bold prediction?
Big manufacturing companies are notorious for being late adopters of technology. From my experience, technology tends to happen to them instead happening for them. Allowing this to continue is fast becoming a dangerous approach to business.
Manufacturers (especially the large ones) prefer to dictate the market (especially the labor market) instead of adjust to it. When the market changes, most adjust slowly and reluctantly. They’ve been successful thus far with this strategy, especially when dealing with their production work force. But they are quickly falling behind in dealing with their IT work force.
Why are they falling behind and why is this dangerous?Â Because IT is becoming more and more integral in measuring and locating the biggest threat to manufacturing margins–inefficiencies.Â The cost for entry into efficiency analysis technologies is becoming cheaper and cheaper, which allows smaller manufacturers with more agile and hungry management to tool up with the same resources as BIG manufacturers.Â As a result, the demand for those with the skills to implement these technologies is growing.
Many big manufactures haven’t tooled themselves to the point of realizing that their old methods of measuring inefficiency are themselves inefficient.
By being late adopters, many BIG manufactures are getting a late start to using the technology available to them, and even those who catch on early run the risk of losing their talent to market forces over which their control is diminishing because of their “business as usual” mentality.
Want to see what technology can do to big industries that try to maintain the status quo in changing marketplaces?Â Check out what is happening to some other “bigs”–namely BIG music and BIG newspapers.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that I’m completely wrong.Â Time will tell.