Magazine Article | May 26, 2011

Executive Outlook: Finding Cost Efficiency Off The Shelf

Source: Field Technologies Magazine

By Dale Kyle, president, Handheld US

When a military equips its soldiers with technology, there is no debating the requirement for rugged equipment in the field — the need for tough, field-tested products goes back as far as militaries do. But what is changing today is the way that technology is developed. And that change extends to — and benefits — nonmilitary organizations as well. It is revolutionizing the concept of cost-efficient customization for armies and businesses alike.

The military has a long history of building solutions that are specialized and durable. Highly individualized needs for rugged technology has always meant developing customized solutions. Therefore, many technology providers build from the ground up for their military customers. And that's great if those customers have the money and the process runs smoothly. But these products are built in small lots — a process that becomes extremely expensive. So large buyers of military technology, once so fiercely committed to commissioning custom-built technology solutions, are finding that the reality of today's financial climate is forcing a dramatic overhaul of the procurement process. Simply put, armies must find cheaper ways of doing the same things they are doing now.

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