Need for food businesses to implement ‘best practice’ for new technology

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 29th June 2016

ChangeThey say change is as good as a holiday, but is it really for a food business trying to implement new technology or software systems?

According to Stephen Canning, Chief Executive Officer of cloud enterprise resource planning software company, JCurve, change requires a strong focus on planning.

“Any business needs to do its homework,” Canning told Australian Food News.

“The business needs to understand what the needs are, what the problem is that you are trying to solve, to make sure you select a solution that will meet your business requirements.”

Canning says there is no room for “winging it” when implementing any new technology into a business and employers need to make sure their employees have the time to manage the change.

Employee involvement is key

“Planning also means ensuring that you have planned your employees time to be involved in the implementation. The people in the business must have time put aside to be trained, to come to meetings, and to be informed about the processes,” Canning says.

“We have seen across the industry there can be really poor experiences with implementations that have dragged on for months, which become years.”

Helpful hints for successful implementation

Likening the introduction of a new technology to a preparation for surgery, Canning says businesses have a greater change at success if they prepare right. His recommendations include;

  1. The business should appoint a project manager who can coordinate all of the change
  2. Accept the need to plan training in advance. Don’t organise training for the new system as an afterthought
  3. Begin by rolling out the technology to a department or those employees you know really need it. These employees can then advocate for the system and help encourage others to get behind it
  4. Often employees are resistant to change as they have a fear of the unknown. If they can feel more in control they may feel more comfortable with the change. Also try and show employees ‘what is in it for them’, what their reward and benefits are from the system
  5. Good communication with everyone within the business about the changes is extremely important