From the invention of the cotton gin to the introduction of email, technology has revolutionized businesses across the world. Every business has benefited in some way from technological advances. Thanks to technology, businesses can be run more efficiently, lower their costs and, in the case of manufacturing, work sites can become a lot safer.
The Industrial Revolution in Europe allowed technology to be widely implemented across the manufacturing industry. Inventions such as the cotton gin were used to increase productivity, and mills used machines to manufacture cloth from cotton. These mills also had a direct effect on the transportation system of the local area, as better canals and railways were then built for the movement of materials to and from the mills. The use of railways and canals helped the factories increase their output and consequently their profits.
One of the most prominent advances in manufacturing technology was the assembly line method introduced by Henry Ford in his factories in the 1910s and 1920s. Ford's techniques were so successful that, by 1927, 15 million Model T cars had been sold. The advent of cars also benefited other businesses, such as gas stations and motels.
The ideas behind mass production allowed technology to become widely available at affordable prices. This allowed entertainment-based businesses, such as movie theaters and radio stations, to expand because more people had access to radios and enough disposable income to spend on movies.
Benefits in Manufacturing
Today, technology has greatly benefited the manufacturing industry. Increased automation and the introduction of robots on the assembly line have allowed heavy goods such as cars to be created quickly and efficiently. Advances in technology have also allowed construction sites and factories to become safer. Inventions such as first aid kits and hard hats for construction have helped to minimize workplace accidents and deaths.
The increase in automated manufacturing has also created secondary businesses that build and maintain the robots used in manufacturing. Another example is businesses that supply farms with machines designed to do work formerly carried out by humans, such as milking machines for cows.
Benefits in Offices
The increased use of personal computers has revolutionized office work. Specialized computer programs can work to make all aspects of office life run more smoothly. Programs allow a company to keep track of its income and expenditure, and office suite applications makes drafting memos and presentations simpler.
The increased use of email has had a direct impact on office life. A company can increase efficiency by sending documents quickly over an in office network. Email also allows for quick communication among departments or branches of a business.
Benefits in Retail
Technological advances have had an impact on retail businesses. Mass production allows retailers to buy products such as MP3 players and DVDs cheaply because of lower manufacturing costs. They can then increase the prices before selling them to the consumer, thus increasing their profit margin. The Internet has allowed retailers to reach new audiences.
Technology also increases the efficiency of in store businesses. Supermarkets, for example, make heavy use of the electronic point of sale, or EPoS, system. This allows a supermarket to keep track of its inventory as well as curb shoplifting. By scanning the product at the checkout, the item is removed from the store's inventory and the price of that product is added to the customer's bill. This allows for increased accuracy of inventory.