Don’t Fear New Technologies

This byline in a recent Industry Article on five things you need to know about material handling is an article in itself. It’s bad enough that most companies think they can’t afford new technologies and put upgrades off until they’re so far behind the curve that the upgrade is a multi-million dollar effort because everything has to be upgraded, and usually all at once, resulting in a big bang project that, more often than not, blows up in their face. It’s even worse when they fear new technologies. Good technology saves time, money, and enables the identification of opportunities that would never be noticed otherwise.

This isn’t to say that you should buy every module that a sales person will throw at you, but that you should look for the solutions most appropriate to your needs, buy them, implement them, and profit from them. Becuse, without the right technology, as the article points out:

  • you’ll never know you have too many lift trucks
    which results from not optimizing fleet management for maximum uptime and efficiency
  • you’ll never know that some trade-offs are only illusions
    and disappear when you use optimization to identify a third transportation option that saves time and money
  • you’ll never know that capital equipment can be more than capital equipment
  • and that it can be an ongoing expense as the initial cost of most equipment these days is only a fraction of the total lifetime cost when maintenance and operation is factored into account, and this is as true for computing technology as it is for lift trucks; an average PC costs much more to operate over its lifetime with today’s energy costs than it costs to buy it

So don’t fear new technology. However, remember that a commodity is a commodity and you’re not looking for a partner. I have to disagree with the author, who works for a vendor, on this point. Sometimes you just need a PC, or, in this case, a lift-truck.