Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 18


MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
Coupled with good
technology and sound
business strategies, a
healthy organizational
culture becomes a
powerful enabler.

Ignoring the
people side of
a business and
gambling on
technologies
and processes
to unilaterally
deliver success
is a bad bet.

Technology is for Sale,

Culture is Not
IT'S NOT UNUSUAL to hear businesses
tout the fact that technology sets them
apart from their competition. While
excellent technologies and processes are
an integral part of a successful business,
betting a company's future on this belief
can be a dangerous proposition.
With capital "T" technology evolving
exponentially, products that are worldclass today could be commodities
tomorrow. The fact is, there will always be
suppliers that are smarter, better funded,
or hungrier, and poised to capture a niche
in the market. As end users, we must
recognize that technology is mercenary
and available to anyone with a large
enough checkbook. This is equally true
of manpower and expertise. So, how does
a company truly distinguish itself in the
market for the long term?

Think 'culture'
We hear a lot about culture these days.
Organizational culture is a system of
shared assumptions, values, and beliefs

18 |

MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY

that governs how people behave in
organizations. These shared values have
a strong influence on the people in an
organization and dictate how they dress,
act, and perform their jobs.
But organizational culture is a
double-edged sword. Coupled with good
technology and sound business strategies, a healthy organizational culture
becomes a powerful enabler. Conversely,
no amount of technology and sound
business practices can compensate for an
unhealthy culture.
Companies recognize that loyalty and
performance represent an important
factor in success. Many of them, though,
fail to recognize that people are loyal
to the organization's culture, not to its
technology and business strategy.
During my career, I've seen two major
mistakes made repeatedly. The first
is trying to solve a cultural issue with
technology. The second is introducing
the right technology to the wrong culture.
The inevitable result of either scenario

Joe Park, Global Director
Reliability, Novelis Inc.

is wasted money, loss of technology
credibility, and unsolved problems.
The following examples illustrate those
two primary mistakes. At best, these
types of solutions lead to millions of
dollars in unnecessary costs. They're also
prone to failure, since the root cause of
the problem goes unaddressed-because
it's cultural, not technological.

Mistake #1
Here are three examples of trying to solve
cultural issues with technology:
■ A manufacturer spends $1.5M on a
quality-inspection system because
people repeatedly fail to follow procedures, leading to quality excursions.
■ A retailer spends $75,000 on a swipecard and camera-surveillance system
to prevent chronic storeroom theft.
■ A facility houses a massive overstock
of spare parts because of a lack of
proactive machinery maintenance.
One reason companies turn to
technology is because people issues are
OCTOBER 2016



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology October 2016

Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 1
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - Cover1
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - Cover2
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 1
Maintenance Technology October 2016 - 2
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