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Posted November 23 2018
Written by Guy Martel

Process or Technology - Which Comes First

We are currently living in a constantly evolving era, where improving operational performance is a matter of “survival”. In this respect, the ability of an organization to keep up with the pace of technological change, such as Industry 4.0, poses great challenges.

For example, let’s take the management of a company's assets, including equipment, buildings, and tools. It would be very useful to deploy an application capable of managing, among other things, work orders for these assets’ repair or maintenance, their life cycle, and geolocation. Indeed, wouldn’t it be great if all the data relating to this area of management was consolidated in a technological solution, able to integrate with other components of the organization such as the financial and procurement modules? These solutions exist. Let's just look at Maximo from IBM.

Process Before Technology

But, where do we start?

Too many companies make the huge mistake of approaching these decisions on primarily technological criteria, without thinking too much about the main constant of any change, that is, the process. However, no matter if the execution is manual or automated, the process cannot be neglected. It goes hand-in-hand with the implementation of a new technology.
Without process, the technology implemented does not work; unlike the latter, which can still work without it!

Avoid repeating the same mistakes!

Implementing technology alone does not significantly improve efficiency and effectiveness. In fact, although the solutions currently available on the market are becoming less expensive, the budgets of technological projects are constantly increasing. Why?

…Because organizations usually use new technologies to try to replicate their current, wasteful processes. To achieve this, they spend huge amounts of money customizing solutions. This situation puts at risk the full potential of integration with other applications and the operational gains necessary for their longevity.

Finally, let us remember that to take advantage of the full potential of technological applications, we must first think about processes. In this way, it is appropriate to take advantage of a technological project to review and simplify processes, or even to make a clean slate. We can then decide to implement the best performing and those that are standardized, already integrated into the applications. This is a guarantee of improved operational performance!

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