Technology Implementation Challenges

Technology Implementation Challenges

Technology is something that is necessary when it comes to running a business. When it comes to implementing technology, however, there are often challenges. How can companies successfully implement technology and work through the challenges? In a recent chat for USA Manufacturing Hour on Twitter, Host Pavel Stepanov from VirtuDesk, led a discussion about how companies can work through implementation challenges when it comes to new technology.

Typical Issues

The discussion began with participants sharing their thoughts on a few typical issues that companies run into when implementing new technology.

Ruby Rusine from Social Success Marketing in California said, “Companies often have to face several issues when implementing new technology, and the most common ones are related to cost, timing, compatibility, scalability, integration, security, and training.”

Host, Stepanov replied, “This is perfect!”

Beth Bigelow from Home Building Solutions LLC in Michigan said, “The major issue is most of the people in my company barely know how to use a computer.”

Rusine replied to Bigelow with, “Oh no. That's a huge problem, Beth.”

Bigelow replied back “I call it job security, Ruby!”

Brett from FreightPOP said, “Teaching the new technology to team members, security threats that new technology can introduce, and making sure it is actually helping your team be more productive.”

Emily Kite from Obsidian Manufacturing Industries, Inc. in Illinois said, “I think like most people... 1. willingness to change and and try new things 2. understanding how to use the newest technology features without extensive training.”

Dave Meyer from BizzyWeb in Minnesota said, “Adoption issues, lost time and productivity, "quiet quitting" or refusal to use the new tool, insufficient training, unrealistic timelines or budget, so many!”

Dan Bigger from Optessa Inc in New Jersey said, “Buy in from the team, confused on what they actually need, where to get it, who to trust, and what it will be complimentary too.”

Host Stepanov replied, “Totally agree with you, Dan!”

Kati McDermith, the Manufacturing Hype Girl in Illinois said, “learning how to use it, moving from old tech to new tech, just name a couple”

Whitney Koch from Welker, Inc. in Texas said, “Not giving the "why" behind the implementation and not providing adequate training on it.”

Manufacturing Happy Hour said, “Excuses. Trying to point out micro-reasons why a new approach isn't working, even if the new tech is starting to function and yield results on a macro level.”

Kiesche from Aviate Creative in New Jersey said, “Some common issues companies run into when implementing new technology 1. Employee adoption 2. Budgeting cost 3. Finding the time to setup & implement 4. Training 5. Migration of previous software”

Manufacturing Happy Hour replied to Kiesche with, “Solid list. I'd say 3 through 5 impact #1 quite a bit too.”

Nigel Packer from Pelatis Online in Wales, UK said, “Transposing old technology systems with newer systems. Training in the new systems with established staff. This also happens when companies take over competitors and try to synchronise teach systems between both companies.”

Missy Moorefield from Southern Fasteners & Supply in North Carolina said, “Pushback from employees, especially from some of the elder group. Change is scary and people don't want to take the time to learn new programs/processes.”

Host, Stepanov to Moorefield replied with, “I agree with you. Those who are more senior tend to reject changes like this.”

Felix P. Nater from Nater Associates in North Carolina said, “I see a correlation between my consulting work and technology implementation. I see experts who bring experience but lack technical aspects in delivery of the services. Much like managers who are good at guiding the innovation but weak at implementation.”

Host, Stepanov said, “Common issues companies encounter when implementing new technology in business include: cost, complexity, compatibility, security risks, integration, maintenance, and support.”


Preparing for Risks

Next, participants shared how they think a business can prepare for and mitigate the risks associated with implementing new technology.

Kiesche said, “Involve employees early in the process. Choose simple solutions over complicated. Also, test and train.”

Manufacturing Happy Hour replied to Kiesche with, “Team buy-in coupled with keeping is simple is about as good of a combo

 for success as you can find for new tech implementations.”

Rusine said, “Implementing new technology involves risks, but business owners can protect themselves by planning ahead. Have a plan for how you will use the technology & set up controls to monitor its performance.”

She continued with, “Research every potential risk & involve stakeholders in decisions. Set up SOPs & training to ensure everyone follows your processes.”

Smartflow said, “Anticipate the hurdles and plan to respond to them.”

Bigger said, “Prepare, get buy in from staff, do your research, review demos, do a business case or POC.”

Koch said, “Talk about the change well in advance with employees to help them get used to the idea, and then be there with plenty of onboarding/training/support as it's implemented. And don't forget ongoing training as the technology changes!”

McDermith said, “A team of champions and administrators that are responsible for support has proven helpful in my experience”

Kirsten Austin from DCSC Inc. in Missouri replied to McDermith with, “Woot, great answer Kati! It's wonderful to see you here at”


Bigelow said, “Haha, this makes me think of the internet 20 years ago. Call the internet company and first thing out of my mouth "yes, I turned it off, unplugged all 20 cables, this is on your end."

Chris Giglio, from Rovere Media in New Jersey said, “Proper planning would be the first and most crucial step in my mind. Making sure you're financially prepared and that your staff is ready for a major change. Implementing new technology without a plan could be catastrophic.”

Packer said, “Plan Go and see another company that has taken on the new tech and ask them what their issues were. Learn from others mistakes”

Chase Bodor from Plastics Plus Technology, Inc in California said, “Careful planning that includes objectives, training plans, timelines, milestones, risk assessments, budget restrictions, potential roadblocks and more.”

Austin replied with, “Chase = Smart! I like that about you!”

Kite said, “Research first and confirm it is a necessary change that will help the team. Provide research on how it will help to the team. Will help the team buy into the idea more.”

Manufacturing Happy Hour said, ” I think the default answer here is "culture" but to be more specific, I think you need leaders on the factory floor and at the exec level that are helping folks understand, well in advance, that new technology is going to make everyone's life easier.”

Then continued with, “I should add that it will make life easier while making the company more productive, profitable, etc.”

Bigger said, “Prepare, get buy in from staff, do your research, review demos, do a business case or POC.”

To which Koch asked, “What is POC?”

Bigger replied “Proof of Concept. It is a test to make sure that it meets the needs or goals you are looking to achieve.”

Julia Gardner from Hourly – Insurance & Payroll in California replied “Do some practice runs, nothing like a little low stakes prep!

Moorefield said, “If possible, start holding training classes before the new system roll out. Create easy to understand/follow "instruction manuals." I've been known to make print screens for different processes here to help people.”

Koch said, “Oof, that's a loaded question! I think the first thing is to not assume that your staff is that familiar with modern technology. Then it would be wise to provide training and education to help bring them up to where you need them to be.”

Nater said, “I am finding myself sensing many similar approaches between my consulting practice and questions related to technology.”

Host, Stepanov said, “In order to prepare your business and mitigate the risks associated with implementing new technology, you must do the following:

  • Assess your business situation
  • Develop a detailed plan
  • Discuss the plan with your stakeholders
  • Train your employees
  • Test the new technology
  • Monitor its performance
  • Establish policies for its use
  • Develop a contingency plan”


Staff Education

Participants then shared their thoughts on how a company can make sure that its staff members are adequately educated on how to use modern technology.

McDermith said, “set up live training sessions with representation from the developer. I do weekly live technical demos for our users, and they love it! I can even do one on one sessions. For 10+ yrs this has been successful for @MfrsNews”

Koch said, “Oof, that's a loaded question! I think the first thing is to not assume that your staff is that familiar with modern technology. Then it would be wise to provide training and education to help bring them up to where you need them to be.”

Host, Stepanov replied to Koch, “Lovely. This is so true.”

Austin said, “I think training is the most important piece of the puzzle. Also going through a test run before you go live with new technology is very important. Team members should be able to do their "day in the life" on the new technology with ease.”

Rusine said, “Educating staff on modern tech is key to success! Companies should invest in training programs that ensure employees are up to date with the latest tech trends.”

She followed up with, “Regular workshops & training can help keep everyone informed & help them gain the skills they need to stay competitive.”

Bigger said, “I'm going with the easy simple answer, JUST ASK THEM.”

To which Rusine replied, “It all boils down to proper communication, Dan. Something we always need to have and do.”

Gardner said, “Offer demos or training sessions, maybe send a newsletter or make them aware of professional development opportunities if there’s a need!”

Bodor said, “First, I'd probably measure competency and do a needs-based assessment. Does the staff demonstrate that they are capable of using new technologies? Do they have a need to adapt to new technology? Have they outgrown their current tools and want to be better?”

Host, Stepanov replied, “Great set of questions. Love this!”

Packer said, “Create a technology skills matrix of all the staff who will be using the system. identify training needs and deliver it. Do not assume because someone can use some technology, they can use all technology.”

Host, Stepanov said to Packer, “Great point, Nigel. Even young ones who are knowledgeable on tech still needs training.”

Manufacturing Happy Hour said, “a) INVEST in education! b) Look for the early adopters, both on your existing team or ones you can hire. I find "peer adoption" to be one of the top ways to get people motivated and educated to use modern technology (rather than a decree from "up top" for example)”

Host, Stepanov shared:

Ways to Ensure Employees Are Trained To Use New Technology:

  • Develop a training plan
  • Make the training accessible to all
  • Conduct hands-on training
  • Provide ongoing support
  • Encourage employees to ask questions
  • Set KPIs for effective training


Assessing Effectiveness

How can a company assess the effectiveness of its use of technology? Participants shared their thoughts

Koch said, “Borrowing from Dan Bigger -- ask! Your employees will hopefully share any challenges or hurdles they're experiencing in using it.”

Bigger replied to Koch with, “It's so simple it just might work Whit”

Bigger then answered with, “It is solving the problem. Are you getting the results you are looking for? Are you measuring the right KPI's related?”

Rusine said, “Companies can measure the effectiveness of their technology use by tracking key performance indicators, analyzing customer engagement & satisfaction levels, and conducting regular reviews to identify areas for improvement.”

Host, Stepanov repleid, “Very specific. Well said, SSM team.”

Smartflow said, “Caution should be exercised because sometimes solutions take longer than you think they should if the learning curve is steep”

To which host, Stepanov replied, “Good point.“

Brett said, “You can compare performance and certain statistics to the months prior, and you can also see how the new technology is affecting employees. If they are happier and more productive, that's a win!”

Kiesche said, ““Depending on the technology... But, if it's being used or avoided by employees or clients is very telling. Time tracking can be helpful. Understanding your finances and how it has been impacted is also important.”

Meyer said, “You need to look at reports, identify what's working and what is slowing your team down, look at the drawbacks of task switching and so much more”

Manufacturing Happy Hour said, “The guests on my podcast always say that technology is the LAST step in achieving results. First, know what results you're trying to achieve, and get the people and processes to make the tech a success. Set up KPIs for the tech that align with desired RESULTS.”

Giglio said, “When in the planning stage for the technology determine which areas the implementation is supposed to help. Formulate a way in which your company can measure the success of the project and look at the results every month.”

Bodor said, “Did you succeed in doing what you set out to do? Did the change allow your team to be more efficient, faster, detailed, cost-effective, simple, or fulfilled? All this can be captured throughout the project. Then feedback can help you determine how effective.”

Nater said, “There would need to be some form of tracking of problems, challenges and those employees who might not be making the transition as expected. So, look back documentation would be helpful in reviewing strengths and weaknesses of the effort.”

Host, Stepanov said, “You can measure the success of your technology implementation by tracking your KPIs, conducting employee surveys, analyzing the data, calculating your ROI, and monitoring usage.”



Participants then discussed their thoughts on how a business can ensure that its technology implementation is cost-effective and provides a good return on investment.

Meyer said, “Don't DIY for starters, unless it's a super-simple, easy-to-google tool. Use a pro. We insist on onboarding and training all our clients when they begin working with us on CRM/Marketing Automation/Sales software (HubSpot is our preferred tool)”

Host, Stepanov replied to Meyer with, “Great suggestion, Dave. you can't fully utilize technological potential if companies will DIY. Let's turn to experts for advise and supervision.”

Koch added in, “I'm sure there are many companies out there that need to take your advice! They're experts for a reason--use them!”

Rusine said, “To ensure cost-effective tech implementation & maximize ROI, businesses should plan ahead, consider long-term value instead of just short-term needs, and measure outcomes to make sure progress is being made.”

Keische said, “I'm not a numbers guy, but we try to calculate the process, time and the expense of what we are currently doing vs. the what it would be with the technology solution. Then we try to assess the time and expenses after implementation (with enough time)”

To which Koch replied, ” I like your method--makes sense to me!”

Packer said, “Look at the bottom line.”

Brett said, “Make sure you have data from before implementing the new technology so you can compare future data with past data.”

To which, host, Stepanov replied, “Yes, yes. So you can see progress.

Host, Stepanov shared:

Steps to Ensure Technology Implementation is Cost-Effective:

  • Conduct a cost-benefit evaluation
  • Find ways to cut expenses
  • Set definite objectives and goals
  • Monitor and evaluate
  • Review and improve


Not Getting Left Behind 

The discussion wrapped up with participants sharing their thoughts on how a business can stay up-to-date with the latest technology trends and ensure that it is not left behind by its competitors.

Meyer said, “You need to foster a "tinkerer" mindset and let your team explore, play and try things. It's a balancing act between "shiny object syndrome" and getting left in the dust. We're playing quite a bit with ChatGPT right now, and AI is going to be big”

Rusine said, “1. Monitor tech news & research to spot new trends; 2. Invest in training for employees to ensure they understand how to use new tech; 3. Partner w/ external experts to leverage their knowledge & expertise”

Austin said, “One thing that is important is to continue upgrading your software solutions. That way you can take advantage of newer features, security updates and technology. Everyone detests upgrades, but well thought out ones are your friend.”

Koch said, “What a great question! Keep reading, learning, networking--that way you'll be aware of new trends and can implement them if they make sense for your business.”

Host Stepanov shared:

Some Ways to keep updated with the latest trends: 

  • Attend industry events and conferences
  • Follow industry influences
  • Use social media 
  • Follow tech media outlets and subscribe to tech email newsletters
  • Join professional tech associations
  • Invest in employee training 




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