TECHNOLOGY AFFECTING BUSINESS IMPERATIVE DECISIONS
In many markets it is not necessary to invent. Much of the time it is acceptable to innovate with existing technology. Automotive technology uses aerospace ideas and computer technology already utilized in other markets. Areas such as self-diagnostics and digital technology were well understood by the more technical industrial marketplaces before these ideas found their way into consumer products. Some markets move very fast. Consumer electronics, for example, are not so fortunate with handoffs. They are usually left to innovate and invent for themselves. In just about every market today, technology is a major factor in determining the next steps your business needs to take for competitive advantage.
Figure 3.7: Supply chain opportunities.
Once in a while I run into a market that breaks the rules. I worked in a nail factory a few years ago in the Midwest. It was interesting to see the technology used there in these fairly primitive products. The standard nail has not changed much in design since the square nail went round. Applications have, however, and that has greatly affected their market. Newer nail guns require nails to be sleeved to fit into magazines for easy application. Even the simplest markets are affected by changing technology. Getting the right priorities in design and capital spending makes a great deal of sense in high-performance business management. See Figure 3.8.
Asking questions in the technology space requires bringing creative people-into the discussion. Engineers are often ahead of the curve (at least...