Implementing new technology is difficult - most companies forget the 'people factor'

Ole  Damgaard

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People factor

Implementing new technology is difficult - most companies forget the 'people factor'

Unfortunately, often the meat companies do not receive the expected return on their investment from the new equipment, and sometimes the production efficiency becomes even worse than before the automatic processes were installed.

From an engineering point of view, the equipment is fine and is supposed to function without defects, but the reality is often completely different. The organization as a whole does not have the competences to operate the new technology to the necessary uptime, and the company may lose capacity as well as yield and may even experience serious quality problems. Implementing new technology is difficult, and most companies forget the “people factor”.

DMRI has developed a tool called the Technology Step Model. The idea is very simple. New technology can be very sophisticated, and sometimes it is difficult for a company to recognize what is actually the realistic need. The Technology Step Model introduces systematics that help the company to make the right decisions before major investments are made. The analytics part of the model also pinpoints where the challenges will be when the new technology is introduced, both in terms of the classical engineering challenges and more importantly, what it will take to run the new technology in an optimal way.

By using this approach, the success rate can be increased considerably, and the time before reaching optimal operations will be minimized. Therefore, the right choice of technology, the right preparation of the organization and sufficient management attention are the key ingredients in this quite simple tool.