Not everyone likes technology. Some are fearful of what it might mean for their job. Some are afraid they might break it and not be able to fix it. Some like the way things are now and don’t see a need to change. However, change is the only thing that’s certain, and technology not only increases efficiency but can also help us better serve our customers.
If I’m working with a customer and they are apprehensive about adopting new technologies, it’s important to listen and to try and understand the source of their concerns. As one who is encouraging people to embrace technology, I’ve found five common fears that must be overcome.
Fear of not being in control.
With automation sometimes comes uncertainty. Because the operator is not physically controlling the process, he or she may not know exactly what is happening. In our world, this is a big issue. An intelligent control system takes the human element out of the operator’s treating system. When you go fully automated, you are limited in the input you can give.
Fear of not being able to troubleshoot or fix it on my own.
As the equipment manufacturer, we recognize that we are the only one who can fix it. The systems are advanced beyond general maintenance. We stand behind our equipment and work to service our customers in a way that is timely and effective. If we didn’t do that, we couldn’t sell automation technology like we do today.
Fear of additional transparency into my job.
New technology not only brings better automated control, but it also provides increased tracking and recordkeeping. There’s more data available to your boss and management about what you’re doing. Accountability is not a bad thing and it helps organizations to be more sustainable. This means doing the best you can with the tools given to you. Automation helps to minimize mistakes.
Fear of losing my job, or dumbing it down.
There’s an art to the seed treatment process that the operator lives and breathes. New technology makes it less of an art and more of a science. Technology brings repeatability. If we are giving a new system to operators, it comes with training and support. We will walk beside you as you go through that learning curve.
Fear of having to learn something new.
It can be a steep learning curve to take on a new system. However, the more readily someone adapts to technology and learning, the more it advances their skillset and improves their marketability. They learn how to work through the challenges of working with more sophisticated control systems.
It’s important for us to remember that the end user needs to see value in the system. If the operator doesn’t want to use it, it impacts everything from how the treatment goes to servicing and support. We work with operators to help them see and understand the value of automation and the power of embracing new technology.
We truly take into account the operator. We try to make their day easier and their job better. We want the operator to like using our product; it’s not just about the bottom line for the purchasing company. Embracing technology better positions us for future opportunities.
Remember: Part of our world is being able and willing to adapt to change and technologies. The pressures continue to increase, and the competition continually changes. We work to deliver the best end product and to do that, we must adopt new technologies.