By | Nishant Joshi
Technology is evolving rapidly, but it’s challenging to implement new and improved solutions in your business at the same pace. This holds for every industry, including the manufacturing industry, where implementing technology solutions can be very expensive.
The survey by AT&T provides testimony to this fact. It reveals that 75% of small business owners look forward to implementing better technology, but about 30% find it hard to adopt them.
Anne Chow, the president of national business at AT&T, advises companies to focus on technology more than anything else. She stresses this by saying, “Tech is not the pipeline. It’s the lifeline.” She further states that while small businesses find it challenging to adopt the best technology, they must never forget that technology has the power to increase the magnitude of their business significantly.
The AT&T survey also found that 38% of participants were late adopters. The primary challenge associated with adopting technology late is that it substantially diminishes the value of the technology investments.
Let’s dig deep to find why small manufacturers are shying away from adopting top-notch technology?
- Small manufacturers want to preserve their sense of freedom.
Most manufacturers like to operate in a free environment that doesn’t put any limitations on them. But modern machines and systems, in a way, rob them of their sense of freedom. They feel as if they become dependent on a few products and services that may not allow them to function as they want.
Nick Haschka, CEO at the Wright Gardner, rang alarm bells by saying, “what would small businesses do if Google decided to increase the price of the GSuite production line by ten times? He further added that depending on technological systems creates a single point of failure, and a minor issue can negatively impact the business.
- Small manufacturers lack resources to conduct business activities.
Manufacturers, especially smaller ones, often lack the resources to implement high-tech systems like CRM and ERP software. So what do they do? They trade efficiency and profitability with their time.
Manufacturers have a unique way of responding to questions like “Why don’t you adopt new ways of doing old things?” They say, “Well, new technology helps save money and increase efficiency. But the main challenge is that there is no assurance of whether we will get those benefits. So we cannot risk trading our available time and resources for something that isn’t guaranteed.”
Small manufacturers do not earn massive profits, so it’s challenging for them to set aside budgets to invest in buying machines.
- Small manufacturers are concerned about technology integrations.
Small manufacturers use traditional machines to run their day-to-day business functions. They are slow, inefficient, not very productive, and in most cases are hand-operated. Simply put, legacy machines fail to provide the automaticity of a modern-day Manufacturing ERP Software which impacts the manufacturer’s bottom line and also restricts them from making robust and long-lasting customer relationships.
Although the market is full of integrative technologies that can significantly improve the performance of legacy machines, there are many challenges that small manufacturers have to face, such as:
- Integrative technologies are too expensive for most small manufacturers.
- Some traditional machines cannot be integrated with new technology. It’s a technical barrier that most small manufacturers neither understand nor are they concerned about it.
- Most small manufacturers are steadily increasing their profits without investing in technology. So, they are least bothered about integrating new and expensive technologies with their legacy machines.
- Small manufacturers don’t have much knowledge regarding new technologies.
It’s one thing not to invest in implementing new technologies because of knowledge or financial constraints.
But it’s an entirely different thing not to adopt technology because of being unaware of it.
Yes, you heard it right.
Many small manufacturers are unaware of new and advanced technologies that are flooding the market these days. We must understand that small manufacturers have limited access to the internet, and most of them aren’t very aware of the technological developments around them.
Another reason is that many small manufacturers are intimidated by the sheer range of products and services available in the market. It’s because they don’t know how to select the right product that suits their business and helps them accomplish their goals.
Small manufacturers find it challenging to adopt new technologies because of many reasons:
- They lack the knowledge on how to select the most appropriate ERP or CRM system for their business.
- They have short-sightedness, meaning they fail to understand how technology will benefit them in the short or long run.
- They like playing safe by avoiding investing in technologies that they are not very sure about.
- They lack the resources to purchase modern-day technology.
It’s high time that new and updated technology finds its place where it is due. Government should educate small manufacturers on the merits of implementing technology. Big manufacturers should help small ones implement business management suites and pay for the upfront cost. These tiny steps will help small manufacturers dispose of their fears and embrace technology with open arms.
Nishant likes to read and write on technologies that form the bedrock of the modern-day and age like machine learning, data science, AI, and robotics. His expertise in content marketing has helped grow countless business opportunities. Nishant works for Sage Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd., a leading business management software provider of CRM and ERP Software to small and mid-sized businesses in India.