Company Culture Impacts the Application of New Automation Technology

The company culture that is in place in an organization that is about to acquire new automation technology may have well-defined impacts on the success of the addition. It is wise for a company to set up a plan for implementation of the automation technology with the objective of easing the major changes into the corporate culture so that success can be realized. The target objective of the addition or changing of automation technology in a company should be to increase the productivity and reduce costs of operation while improving the corporate profits.

There are certain types of company culture that are adept at incorporating changes in automation technology. The most accepting culture is one that is not as structured with less rigid departmental definitions. This culture usually spawns more cross functional cooperation between departments. There is less protection of information and ideas from one department to another. Employees are readily able to share technical solutions and ideas across department barriers. Since this type of organization supports the sharing ideas more readily, it is far more likely to support the addition or change in automation technology. The organization as a whole will have the temperament to successful support the changes. There will be a far greater likelihood that such significant changes in production operations will be successful. Those companies with very structured departments can also be effective in implementing and supporting changes in technology. It has been noted that less structured organizations, in comparison, find it easier to get the full potential of automation changes in place.

The move for a company to go from a non-automated manufacturing environment to one that utilizes automation is usually taken in a small step toward numerical control devices. These have a limited amount of flexibility when it comes to cooperating with other automation equipment to create fully automated production. The company culture that allows for the more aggressive approach to implementing new technology will have the best chance of succeeding. Such changes do require a certain amount of immediacy in responsiveness when dealing with dealing with adjustments that need to be made. For instance, when new technology is put into place, the best scenario of automation parameters will be initially configured. There may be a case where such a combination of parameters do not allow production to be optimized and yield the expected production rate. There would need to be a change made in the parameters to get the optimum production rate. An example of this can be seen in the part feeding that might be set up for the assembly of a product on the production line. The number of parts that are fed to the assembly process does not allow the production of the expected amount of end products. The rate of feeding would have to be adjusted to get the production rate to what is expected. The less structured organization would be readily able to respond to the change and allow the adjustment.

A company whose employees have a greater appreciation of the usefulness and capabilities of information technology are usually much more responsive to the changes that are made by automation technology. The employees will be aware of the benefits that this technology can do for the profits of the business. There will be more employees in such a company who have skills in the information technology area and be able to apply those skills to set up and support automation. Such an environment produces a proactive attitude when it comes to the application of technology in any area of business operations. There will be a larger pool of employees that engineers, technicians, and other technical experts that can be called upon to move into roles of support or implementation. This pool can be a major factor in the success of a change in automation.

Management of a company that is successful in setting up new manufacturing automation will be very forward-thinking and be able to embrace the technology as a tool for creating profits and optimum results in manufacturing. Management must be willing to take a risk in order to take on the task of automated the business. Managers must be steadfast in seeing that the automation is built to get the greatest benefit for the company. Management must have an excellent rapport with employees, communicating the positive attitude about the end result of automation for manufacturing. This will help employees to continue to see the benefit of automation, while the company may be going through a lot of change that will be disrupting daily tasks.

The organization that is typically most successful in implementing new automation will pursue the change in an aggressive fashion. Management will have a positive attitude toward technology and relay that attitude readily to employees. The employee population will technically savvy and supportive of the change in technology. The pressures that usually can cause the move to new automation come from the need to replace old technology. Also that new technology can be used to do away with old inefficiencies. Competitors may have set up new technology and there is a need to keep up to stay in the marketplace.