Everyone knows the world is changing at an exponential rate. The sheer amount of new technology that enters society on what seems like a daily basis, is becoming almost impossible to keep pace with. Furthermore, that change is not contained in one vertical market; in fact, all new technologies released into the world, whether they be consumer- or business-oriented, now blur together, impacting all sides of the proverbial coin.
So, what does this mean for business in general and for our industry? In many ways, it’s the same for all industries: a highly rapid pace of change that renders existing systems inefficient, unfit and, in many cases, reaching their end of life. After all, if every system will quickly become obsolete due to circumstances far outside our collective control, what hope is there to remain current—or is it just an impossibility?
The good news is, there’s hope—or rather, a solution, one that won’t test people’s patience but instead becomes a new way forward in the planning and execution of how we all do business in the new millennium.
For example, in our industry—gas turbine engine solutions—the sheer magnitude of engine test systems leads to an ingrained perception that it’s nearly impossible to keep pace with rapid or evolutionary change. For many organizations, their test facilities have been the same for years—if not decades. In that situation, how are they to cope with this new, ever-present requirement for improvement?
The answer is not as complex as you might think. In our industry, the secret—if one can call it that—is to create a highly flexible and dynamic testing solution that drives efficient operations, matched with a tactical approach that leads to a new, inherent ability to adapt to continually evolving technology. Let’s call this the ability to “plug and play.” If we can design solutions that allow the obsolete systems to “unplug” and the new systems to “plug-in,” have we not solved the challenge of adapting to a world that’s changing at an exponential rate?
Now, I know that many reading this may be thinking “easier said than done,” and you’re not necessarily wrong. In our industry or any other, having the necessary internal expertise, or even the sufficient bandwidth, to tackle such a monumental change in approach, planning, and implementation, within the context of constant evolution, is often far outside the scope of an internal team—and that’s okay. In fact, it’s more than okay, because that’s why external expertise exists.
Let me be more specific. Given the demands of our industry, we are faced with the constant requirement for improved engine testing measurement systems, and with that comes a parallel demand to improve uptime and reduce cost. So as we watch technologies rapidly change, we need these to come at a lower cost, be much more flexible, and eliminate the risk of obsolescence.
To fulfill this requirement, we need external expertise to operate in unison and across the multi-tiered supply chain. Parameters must be set to establish effective standards that will meet complex challenges. That’s where the title of this article truly comes into play. Patience can be easily tested when implementing a new gas turbine engine test solution standard, but the process doesn’t have to be arduous. In fact, by engaging with industry experts and completing a well-defined rationalization analysis, complete with recommendations for standardizing test facility measurement systems, an approach can be implemented that will enable an industry-wide efficient and cost-effective solution.
The result? An evolutionary step in battling the human need for constant technological upgrading by embracing the mantra of an industry standard, and the mindset that a subtle compromise would bring a revolutionary benefit that embraces innovation and new technologies and that allows industry to “plug and play.”
I know change is hard—indeed, there’s a reason why the old adage “no one likes change” exists. But having the right approach, the right partners, and the desire to propel one’s industry forward, will defeat this antiquated and ingrained human mindset, making for a brighter and much better future.