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Risks that Potential Customers May Perceive
Customers always think about both the advantages and the risks that come with particular power plants. They will only be sure of engaging with an automation company when they are sure about the quality of their services. Therefore, before agreeing to the terms of Atlas Automation, the Visy Recycling Company will also consider the advantages and risks that may accompany the services their power supplier will provide. The probable risks may include:
Experts in the automation industry argue that as much as automation reduces the cost of production by replacing human labor with complex machinery, the machinery still needs human beings to operate. Other than the engineers, machine operators must also learn how to run the machines without much support and supervision. Many companies that have installed these machines have experienced extensive failures in the first days after installation. They only normalize after some time: when their employees are able to run the machines.
Inquiry into the matter attributes the failure to a number of reasons. When the researchers interviewed the employees in these companies, the employees attributed the failure to the lack of proper orientation on the functioning of the machines. They argued that their employers often install and ask them to continue using the machines without taking them through proper training on how to use the machines. On the other hand, experts argue that the employees do not know how the machines work and are not willing to learn how to operate them.
They insist that it is not their fault that the employees cannot operate the machines. According to them, the employees lack the interest to learn the skills needed to run the machines. Therefore, the Visy Recycling Company will be reluctant in adopting Atlas Automation’s power plan. They will be afraid of incurring losses or complete failure due to their employees’ ignorance on the operation of the machines (Parasuraman, Sheridan & Wickens 2000, pp. 287)
Interfering with Business Operations
Change is always inevitable in any system. No company can ever operate without adopting changes within their operations at some points. Many companies always experience many difficulties after the introduction of changes in their operations. Often, such changes cause breakdowns in the operations of systems in the companies. Whenever such changes occur, operations must start afresh, and many managers fear starting over from where they were many months or years back. The disruption of business costs many companies lots of resources.
They lose lots of money and customers. Often, managers have to use lots of money to reclaim their companies’ positions in the market. Worse still, the companies lose many customers due to the breakdown in their operations. Many customers prefer getting other service providers to waiting for the resumption of business. The Visy Recycling Company will have to think about these inconveniences as risks to its operations before making a decision. On the other hand, Atlas Automation will have to interfere with existing machinery and power before installing their power and machinery for Visy Recycling. They have no choice (Robinett and Wilson 2011, pp. 22).
Revealing Trade Secrets
Customers need to provide all the information regarding the operation of their control systems to the engineers. Revealing such information is a very risky step. It exposes copyrighted information, which should always be personal and confidential, to other people. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, such information should be under strict protection to create a good environment for creativity and a flourishing industrial invention (What Is Intellectual Property? 2014). Therefore, exposing it to second and third parties is a great danger to creativity and invention as it may encourage duplication of what other people and companies have done.
In the case of Visy and Atlas Automation, the Visy Recycling Company may fear telling engineers from Atlas Company about its operations for the fear of losing its monopoly to very significant information. The managers are aware of the danger they face in case their secrets leak. Most companies in this century are adopting technology in all their operations. Hence, each of them protects its secrets to avoid duplication by other companies. The Atlas Company must produce documents that assure them of the security of their intellectual property (Salas 2002, pp. 9).
Automation is a very important step in the progress of modern companies. It improves the efficiency of many industries. However, it comes with various disadvantages. The disadvantages include increased power expenditure and greenhouse emissions, both of which are costly to the company. Efforts to reduce these negative effects are likely to arouse lots of fear among potential customers. Customers may fear breakdowns of their new equipment due to their employees’ inability to handle them, interfering with the operations of their business activities and exposing important information about their operation. The Visy Recycling Company puts these factors into consideration when analyzing the suitability of Atlas Automation’s proposition of a new way of automating that cuts on the amount of electricity and greenhouse emissions.
Parasuraman, R, Thomas, S, & Christopher, W 2000, “A model for types and levels of human interaction with automation.” Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Part A: Systems and Humans, IEEE Transactions, Vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 286-297.
Robinett, R, & David, W 2011, Nonlinear Power Flow Control Design, Springer, London.
Salas, E 2002, Automation, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley.
What Is Intellectual Property? 2014, World Intellectual Property Organization, Web.