From an entrepreneur's point of view, each implementation of a new IT technology introduces modifications to the company's current production process. The production process is an orderly set of activities (operations, activities) aimed at producing specific products and as a result of which the consumer (user) receives products or services.
Fig. 1 shows in a graphic form the division of the company's production process into its sub-processes, i.e.:
- research and development process,
- manufacturing process,
- distribution and customer service process.
When implementing a new IT technology project, one should take into account the potential impact of a given implementation on individual elements of the company's production process, including:
- an implementation of new IT technology may result in the necessity of organizational changes as part of the research and development process, eg designers receive new work tools and have to design prototypes in new software with much more functions and possibilities.
- an introduction of modifications to the production line requires a number of additional activities, incl. staff training, updating technical documentation, analysis of possible technological downtime related to implementation, etc.
- when implementing a given technology, the correctness and adequacy of auxiliary processes should always be reviewed. For example:
- the purchase and installation of a new server also requires access to possible supplier's support in the field of technical service (to be included, for example, in a contract for external support),
- launching a new product in an application supporting the sale of loans requires training of the telephone sales support team in the scope of changes.
- the manufacturing support process may require improvements, e.g. due to the need to update the method of documenting technical activities, as a response to the launch of a dedicated sub-process of control, auditing, cleaning, required by changes in the law, etc.
- when adapting a new IT technology, it is often necessary to change the distribution and customer service process, resulting, for example, from the implemented product innovations. For example:
- the marketing team must include in the new advertising campaign additional information resulting from the implemented changes to the website intended for customers (due to e.g. functional limitations of technology),
- the need to monitor post-project expenses may require the launch of a dedicated sub-account for settlements (e.g. due to the settlement of subsidies).
Examples of impacts of IT projects on the production process (as above) can be multiplied. It is important to be aware that an implementation of IT technology in a company does not only boil down to the simple purchase and launch of an application, but is an element of the broader adaptation of the technology, to a large extent influencing the entire production process of the company. As part of IT projects carried out by INNOKREA, we always broadly analyze the potential areas of impact of a given implementation (including risks).
In this understanding of the improvement of the production process, it should be remembered that each IT implementation requires a certain period of adaptation of the entire enterprise (or a given part of the organization) to the introduced change. We are then dealing with the phenomenon of the so-called stabilization of production, i.e. the period after which the company returns to the previous or better level of effectiveness of the modified production process.