A huge and important industry like the plastic industry stands to gain from the tremendous potential and opportunities in store, by upgrading to the new digital technology.
There are normal risks such as teething problems as it will take time for the staff to comfortably operate the new system. The operation in the initial stages will have to be put under high alert with round-the-clock supervision by skilled personnel to undertake troubleshooting and rectify errors. Wallace has not been manufacturing moulds, so the project of manufacturing moulds will present new challenges and risks. The software must be guarded against hackers and virus attacks.
Reactions to the changeover to the new technology could be expected from customers and competitors. Most customers are already aware of the great strides the new technology is making into every strata of economy the world over. The competitors too have no alternative except to follow suit.
Innovation will be costly. Not only the hardware and software, but training and recruitment of trainers and engineers, training of staff on the new technology will call for proper planning and budgeting. The company has to work out the best source and mode of funding the transition.
The company has not been able to secure higher profits from its equipment for several years. Obviously, the equipment currently in use are either outdated or on the verge of obsolescence. Hence, the company has been correct in working on a development in the area of production automation that it believes would provide considerable value to its customers. Customers currently buy complete moulds, which are handmade, from specialized suppliers. They are expensive and late delivery and teething troubles often lead to major delays for the plastics producers.
Under the new innovation, Wallace would produce the moulds for use on its machines. Its customers would be provided with software that would enable them to specify the mould and transmit the specification to Wallace. Wallace would then produce the mould to the customer's design and deliver it by courier. This innovation is geared to reduce costs and increase the speed with which the company could respond to each order from its customers. Moreover, it would enable them to increase the variety and sophistication of product shapes that they manufacture.
2. Should Wallace embark on the new innovation
Every industry has turned over, or is on the verge of turning over, to the new technology of computer aided designing and manufacture. The plastic industry is an important industry of mass production. With its colossal usage the world over, and its tremendous resource in terms of finance as well as raw material, it has the wherewithal to garner the needed resource to find ways and means to incorporate cutting edge technology to boost its efficiency and output. Wallace is no exception.
3. What are the risks involved
The technology is still in its infancy stage and is likely to be expensive. It also involves Wallace from simply supplying equipment to selling moulds on a