When To Change Your Monitoring Device, And How To Justify That Decision
New technology is thrown at us every day. When that new technology arrives, we are asked (and sometimes forced) to update to it. If we don’t get the most recent version of the Galaxy S, or if we don’t have a Blu-Ray player, we are left behind our more technologically savvy peers.
When speaking to personal tech, this might seem obvious. But on the business side of things, not so much. Too often, businesses stay rooted in old technology, whether that be an ERP system, a communication platform, or a monitoring system, businesses have a tendency to move slowly onto new processes, even when that reluctance is harmful to their bottom line.
Why? Well, it probably has something to do with the difficulty of switching a business to a new technology, and the repercussions of doing so. Unlike personal technology, switching a technology fundamental to a business does have direct and far reaching consequences: for employees, products, and customers.
So how do you know when you should make the switch to new technology? With regards to our industry, the data logger and chart recorder one that is, we have found a few key indicators that are easy tells that you need to switch to a new monitoring device. They are . . .
- You Currently Use A Chart Recorder
- Your Regulations Have Been Updated To Require Data Loggers
- Your Competitors Have Made The Switch To Data Loggers Or A Remote Monitoring System
- New Technology Has Gone Down In Price
- Your Company Is Expanding It’s Facilities, Or Updating It’s SOP’s.
Do any of those sound like your current situation? If so, it’s time to make a switch.
We are obviously proponents of companies making the switch from chart recorders to data loggers, and with that, data monitoring systems. Data loggers are better in every way than chart recorders. (Really, unless you absolutely love alterable data, unnecessary consumables, and failing audits. If, so keep on keeping on with your chart recorders.)
But, switching to new technologies in a business is a bigger decision, and thus the switch is put at the bottom of the to-do list. It’s met with resistance, and a lot of “next quarters” or “next years.” This is a problem: eventually the long game creeps up on you. If you think your company is in desperate need of a technology upgrade, we’d like to help.
Below we outlined three ways in which you can justify your decision to switch to a new monitoring device. Monitoring devices are our specialty, which is why we’ve chosen them as our example. However, these arguments can be applied to almost any new technology you’d like to see your company change over to.
1. Justifying On Compliance
The easiest way to prove that your company needs to switch over to a new monitoring device is by saying, “Look, we actually HAVE to switch over.” If you are audited by a regulatory body (like the FDA, USDA) or by an accreditation organization, you may be surprised to find out one day that your old monitoring device just isn’t cutting it anymore. For our customers, that usually means the switch from a chart recorder or a temperature log sheet, to a data logger or a data monitoring system. Auditors have started pushing more and more for the switch to data loggers, and more specifically, the switch to alarms on those data loggers.
The biggest hurdle to this justification: regulations are wishy-washy and slow. They will rarely tell you exactly what you need to monitor with. Rather, regulations tend to make broad, sweeping generalizations about what technology you should be using. Our best advice is to contact and talk with your auditor. They will usually be more concrete in their answers.
2. Justifying On Budget
Our second go-to argument is cold hard cash. This may seem strange, because a new, 72 inch 4000X HD TV Screen cost more than your current 27 inch regular TV Screen, right? But with monitoring devices, data can be pretty easily generated that will show you your old technology is actually costing you more money throughout the year, than a one-time purchase of a new system. For our customers, chart recorders can be really expensive to maintain. The consumables (charts and pens) must constantly be ordered on a weekly or monthly basis.
Then, there is the upkeep. Chart recorders force someone in business to go physically change out charts and pens on a daily or weekly basis. Those personnel hours can really add up! Switching to a new monitoring device can automate many of these headaches. For example, a wireless data logging system allows users to get all their environmental and product data delivered to them. Plus, they don’t have to buy charts every month.
3. Justifying on Safety
For our customers, safety is their top concern. Today, product contamination is widespread. For professionals in the food, pharmaceutical, or medical industries, you can hardly go a day without hearing of a new Salmonella outbreak, Listeria scare, or drug recall. There are companies that we could mention here, that when read, spoken, or muttered, elicit a sickening feeling from our customers. Those companies failed at safety. Many times, that’s due to improper product production, storage, or distribution.
Monitoring with the human eye, or with a device that doesn’t provide alarms and secure data, is a sick customer waiting to happen. If you have to justify your companies switch to a new monitoring device, or a new process in general, one of the arguments you can hang your hat on, is that the switch to a new technology usually means your customers will be safer, and a lot less sick.