Technology Changes Job Roles, Drives Communication, And Requires A ‘Champion’

Dec. 8, 2010
For those companies that find their technology “champions,” the rewards have proven outstanding.
Vending companies that have taken on the challenge of revamping their operations with new technology are learning more about their businesses than they ever expected.Im not talking about the technology itself, which has been addressed at length already.One thing companies are finding is that in order to ask people to do things differently, more communication is needed. In the process, management quickly learns who is and isnt on board with doing things differently.There is no question that introducing technology is expensive and takes a long learning curve for both staff and management.It is managements job to communicate not only what needs to be done, but why.In one company that introduced pre-kitting in the warehouse, the warehouse manager resisted the new system because he feared it would eventually eliminate his job. When the owner realized this, he explained that the warehouse managers role was more important than ever. The manager came on board and expedited the pre-kitting. Everybody won.One veteran of the technology upgrades has made an insightful observation: successful implementation of technology requires someone to be the champion of making these changes.Stewart Lester, support and implementation manager at MEI, says the technology champions role is to ensure that change management occurs at the company within the different departments. A change on the route will affect change in the warehouse and the office. The technology champion is the person who is persistent in making the changes.The technology champion need not necessarily come from management.Lester notes that at one vending company, it was a service tech with the least seniority who grabbed the initiative when the company sought to introduce route pre-kitting. This individual had minimal software expertise to begin with, but he was able to learn. He enabled the company to utilize the numerous benefits of MEIs Easitrax system. The company increased this persons level of responsibility in the process.This is one of many examples of how technology changes employee roles. For those companies that find their technology champions, the rewards have proven outstanding.The end result for companies that successfully change is a more rewarding experience, in performance and in job satisfaction.