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Human Resource Issues and Advanced Manufacturing Technology

Strategic Issues

Shorter product life cycles, new market opportunities, and fierce competition have made flexibility one of the top competitive priority. Technology enables flexibility. However, while some manufacturers are successful, not all manufacturers who invest in advanced technologies such as Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines, Direct Numerical Control (DNC), and Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS) are satisfied. Some manufacturers' inability to benefit from advanced manufacturing technology (AMT) can often be traced to human resource problems. Under pressure to get a new system up and running, management often gives a low priority to the time, cost, and expertise needed to ensure a fit between automated systems and the workforce. Brief bursts of training occur initially when new systems are adopted and have, at best, a short-term effect. Indeed most companies do not develop comprehensive human resource strategies