Choosing New Technology Can Be Stressful Or Invigorating

If the calls I get from readers are any indication, the level of operator interest in technology has picked up in the last year.This is good news, because the industrys professionalism rests largely on the adoption of new management tools. But the process of getting there can be tough.Those of us who pontificate on the importance of technology sometimes fail to recognize how stressful the task can be. I plead guilty.The investment in new technology is a big one for most operators, and there are several providers from which to choose.But these questions arent new. Whats changed is the level of technological capability now available.As potential benefits improve, more investment is needed.Like the vending management software systems introduced decades ago, there are different systems available, and customer satisfaction varies. Each system provider can point to their own successes.The comfort level in introducing new technology depends a lot on the personal rapport that develops between a provider and a customer. Individual personalities come into play in a big way.And thats not all.The operators own technical capabilities certainly play a big role in which providers he should consider. For the operator who needs a lot of support, the providers support capabilities will be more important.When operators ask me what I think of the software and hardware choices they are considering, I encourage them to assess their own capabilities in these areas in addition to the providers capabilities.I also suggest they speak to operators who have selected one or another system. I tell them to ask not only how satisfied they are with a given system, but what caused them to choose that particular system.It is also important to recognize not only current needs, but future needs. You may be looking at pre-kitting in the warehouse today, but will you be interested in dynamic scheduling next year?These are hard decisions to make, and they require a lot of homework.And while the final decision may be yours, the burden doesnt have to be yours alone. An operation large enough to invest in new technology has more than one person capable of offering insight.Are you tapping all of your available resources as you head into the future?The process can be more exciting and invigorating than stressful.

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