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Old habits die hard

Discrete manufacturing companies are facing a radical shift in their approach to the business of engineering. The cycle of going from a hot new idea into a product that needs to perform in a global (and glutted) market is incredibly short and competition is fierce.

The shift will be especially hard for companies with IT strategies, processes and connected technologies that go 5, 10, or even 15 years back.

The hard truth that these companies will face sooner or later is that the old legacy systems they have implemented 5, 10, or even 15 years ago do not support modern business demands.

Those conditions require modern enterprise backbone systems. Product Innovation Platforms. Systems that are engineered to support today’s dramatically short time-to-market cycles. 

But if it ain't broke, why fix it?

Well. You could participate in a car race, driving a tractor. Will you win? Absolutely not!

I have talked to so many company leaders who had the opportunity to prepare their organization for future demands but instead chose not to do so. For no good reason other than the unwillingness to change.

Nobody likes change because it is generally painful. I get that.

But you must ask yourself; if you have done something in the same way for greater than a decade – with the dynamic global business environment in mind – don’t you think it is time to evaluate your current processes, at the very least?

Remember the good old Einstein-reference: It’s often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result

Can you really expect to keep up with the competition if you keep doing the same thing?

Gone are the good old days

It is evident that we will never return to a state resembling anything like business as usual. If you have been hanging on, just waiting for the return of the good old days, you are going to be waiting a very long time. With your competitors way ahead of you.

As a business matures, things need to change to support that evolution. Old patterns that worked at one stage become obsolete and limiting factors moving forward. We all have aspects of our companies that are holding us back. We may see them clearly or they may be hidden. Putting a schedule in place to review how and why each business area is being addressed is critical.

Each of us has areas in our business that are limiting our progress. It is not the market but our limitations. Technology is a great enabler and disabler. It needs to be evaluated, not just the systems and software being used, but our approach. How we engage, leverage, measure and fund.

The best time to deal with a problem is before you are forced to and before the business experiences a negative impact.

So, the million-dollar question is; do you leave your cave to see what the rest of the world looks like or do you stay put inside the cave?

Suicide by stubbornness?

So how open to change are you?

Do you cling stubbornly to old methods and outdated systems because they always worked for you? Do you assume the circumstances will right itself eventually, and things will go back to where they were? And if so, why do anything radical about it now, right?

My guess is if you look around your business you will uncover a good number of things that either need an update or needs to be removed.

Some things will never change!

I know old habits die hard. But I am sorry, my friends.

Old habits do not have the right to exist just because they’ve always been existing inside the company. If you want to grow your business, it is time to quit doing things just because they are easy. Or because it is the way it has always been done.

  • It is time to take on new solutions. It’s due time for the old habits to die.
  • Is it time for you to evaluate your current systems and processes?

Have you been staying in your cave for too long? Are you ready to step out into the world and join the rest of us? I would love to know your thoughts.


About the author

Leon Lauritsen

Leon has worked with multiple IT systems from ERP to BI and PLM. His experience ranges all the way from programming to business consulting, project management and business development. Leon started his career in IT development and has further earned a diploma in IT and Economics at Copenhagen Business School and an Executive MBA at Henley Management College.  

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