What does Technology Scouting mean?
Technology plays an increasingly important role within companies, especially manufacturing. In fact, all functions within an organization, from design, production, project management, marketing and so on, can no longer work without the tools that technology makes available to us.
The simple use of the Cloud to send emails, for example, or 3D modeling are now technologies taken for granted. However, those with a few more years of experience will undoubtedly appreciate the benefit of sending emails instead of letters or designing using CAD rather than drafting.
Technology scouting therefore becomes an essential activity to identify, develop and implement the most suitable technologies to meet business needs, improve productivity, quality, reduce process costs, and consequently be more competitive on the market.
What is Technology Scouting?
Technology scouting is a recognized key function in the Technology Management process. The purpose of technology scouting is to screen the external environment of the company in search of technologies or solutions that can satisfy a need or requirement that the company has or, in some cases, to find technologies that compete with technologies that the company itself offers.
Therefore, those involved in technological scouting must:
- find new solutions or technologies already on the market and which can be implemented guaranteeing a competitive advantage
- find new emerging solutions or technologies that could become relevant to the company in the future. These technologies could become:
- a future source of supply
- an investment opportunity
- a competitor of the company’s technologies that moves in the same market segment
- incorporate identified technologies into the company’s R&D planning process, for example to ensure that new technologies are represented in the technology roadmap and reflected in the R&D portfolio and budget.
Why Technology Scouting?
As pointed out at the beginning of the post, knowing how to take full advantage of the possibilities that the market offers us and anticipating competitors in the use and adoption of some key technologies is a fundamental element in today’s business. In fact, technology allows us to:
- reduce the costs associated with everyday operations, especially the most repetitive ones, especially thanks to the decrease in costs associated with new digital technologies
- reduce recurring costs associated with low value added labor
- facilitate the product design process
- improve process quality, from strategic planning to production
- reduce the risks associated with innovation, for example through the use of simulation and virtual reality
- solving problems otherwise impossible to solve, for example the use of additive manufacturing allows the creation of extremely complex parts that are not feasible (or extremely expensive) with traditional technologies.
What do you need to do a good Technology Scouting?
Professionals who deal with Technology scouting typically have a similar profile, although their area of technical expertise can vary widely:
- they have a strong scientific or technical background
- they have innovated and hold one or more patents
- they have several years of experience, preferably international, in the development and implementation of technologies
- they are familiar with the initial steps of the TRL and MRL process and with Intellectual Property issues
- they are familiar with the company’s products, services and technology portfolio
- they have an innate curiosity for everything new and different
- they are excellent networkers and communicators (in written and spoken contexts)
- they are patient and resilient if their suggestions are not initially considered and are not afraid to explain the technology over and over again
- they are available to travel, work in remote locations and move from one location to another
- they possess high personal integrity and ethics (e.g. when signing confidentiality and NDA agreements)
Where to start?
In this short post we have described the importance of knowing how to identify, choose and implement the most appropriate technologies to make the company competitive on a global scale, improving productivity, quality and reducing costs.
In this sense, Accialini Training & Consulting is the ideal partner for the technological scouting of manufacturing companies:
- We provide Training to develop a structured approach for the management of technology;
- We act as Temporary Manager and CTO for your company and implement a medium-long term strategy
- We do Technology Scouting: we identify, select and implement the necessary technological solutions and innovate your workshop
- With a 4.0 perspective, we help you save time and money in choosing the best technology and optimize your investment.
For more information, contact us to discuss your needs together in detail.