Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Doing More with Less

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Doing More with Less

Article excerpt

The impact of technology on American business has never been made clearer than during the first quarter of 2002 when productivity increased at its fastest pace in 19 years, according to recent statistics released by the U.S. Department of Labor.

This is certainly impressive but just what does it mean? In layman's terms, it means that during the first three months of this year, U.S. businesses produced more goods and services while using fewer man-hours of labor to produce said goods and services. Economists are attributing this rise in productivity with a role in pulling the economy out of a recession.

According to the Labor Department's report, one reason for the gains in productivity can be found in the increase in technology spending -- a 7.5 percent annual rate -- during the quarter combined with an increase in purchasing industrial equipment -- a 15.6 percent annual rate. Compare these growth rate numbers with the trend of recent years of 2.5 percent per year and the picture comes into focus.

The cover story of a recent Newsweek magazine was on technology and its impact not only on American businesses but also on individuals. In one story, Newsweek spotlighted a number of U.S. businesses that had embraced technology to their advantage. The businesses ranged from an airline company's home-friendly approach to reservations to a 74-year-old metal lobster cage manufacturer who had used technology to expand his products to a wire fence now in use around the world. Talk about some inspiring stories.

These companies were using technology in the simplest terms -- Internet and e-mail services -- to develop technology to meet a specific need for their business to make their companies more successful and more competitive.

Technology is changing how companies reach out and touch their customers and how prospective companies research a company and decide if they're going to do business with that company or not. Technology that in the recent past may have been only available to the larger companies is now accessible by the smaller companies and home-based businesses that have access to high-speed Internet services. …

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