Post Module Assignment Technology Forecasting: Reusable Straw


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Technology changes and innovation acknowledge as a critical factor in determining competitiveness, and the ability to anticipate future capabilities of technologies products has broad suggestion for organizations. However, the right anticipation of technology change has been of huge importance in strategic planning. To monitoring technology change, technology forecasting is frequently utilized.

Innovation is a fundamental role in the success of many of the world’s leading organizations. Often, the objective of dynamic, competitive company is to innovate as well as to improve the organization and innovation is about more than just bringing new and improved products and services to market. It involves the exploitation of idea by finding new ways to increase the efficiency and most importantly the productivity of the company.

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The globalization and technology changes has been recognized as two mutually reinforcing factors that playing the focal role for competitiveness of organization (Daekook Kang, 2013). A better forecast of technology can help maximize gain and minimize loss for the organizations from a long-term perspective. It is also has been acknowledged as an effective tool to anticipate and understand the effects of technological change, potential direction, and rate. Other reasons for technological forecasting are summarized by a researcher:

  1. Assistance with R&D management
  2. Guidane of resource allocation
  3. Development of strategies or policies
  4. Guidance of staff, capital planning or facilities
  5. Identification of market opportunities or threats
  6. Maximize gain or minimize loss due to internal or external elements of the organization
  7. Evaluation of new products

Technological forecasting permits management to allocate resources better based on anticipated technological trends. If an organization can estimate the future capabilities of technology, then it can better guide staff, allocate resources, or perform facilities and capital planning. Technology forecasting also identify potential new markets and opportunities to exploits a given technology beyond its originally intended purposes. New products can be more readily assessed as to their impact by comparing them with previously introduced products.

Decisions must be decide on who should manage the forecasting process. It is not a task for a junior of staff member. It may need a multidisciplinary teams, or a single individual with adequate authority to co-ordinate across several departments (Ltd, 2018).

21st century technology forecasters use various of methods to predict the future performance of a technology, including methods based on complex mathematics such as simulation and stochastic methods. These methods often depend on the expectation that past behavior will continue. These forecasts compliment techniques based on specialist opinion and committee by providing extrapolative results that are consistent and quantified. However, forecasters attempts to make precise forecasts, insights gained from the technological forecasting process can provide value whether the prognosis are accurate.

In summary, modern forecasters have selection of flexible tools that may be used for a number of business purposes. Although the forecasts some may not be always precise, the insight they help to generate can be valuable and have significant impact to organizations.

Oliver Lane Inman identify of technology as a means of combining structural components to deliver a set of function to a user (Inman, 2004). Martino in 1971 said the definition of technology forecasting as a means “to predict the future characteristics of useful machine”. In these conditions, the term machine refers not only to physical devices, but techniques, procedures, and tools that provide some function to an end user.

In 2016, according to Francisco Gomez article of Thriving in an Exponential Age those primary ways organizations can bolster behaviorally in three ways : (Gomez, 2016) behavior is drives the business output.

  1. Promote greater organizational agility through behavior based coaching
  2. Develop and nurture innovation friendly cultures
  3. Help employees learn faster, more reliably, and fluently

The three areas fall well within the scope of implementing a robust behavior based leadership system. The organizations should embrace behavioral science as the blueprint by which leaders, and the organization as a whole can adapt to rapidly changing environments. Technology forecasting involves many types of elements including but not limited to economic, technologies and social, but it has not attained a set of given laws and rules. These factor greatly affect the adoption, growth, and diffusion of technology.

In a year 1880s, Marvin Chester Stone as the inventor of the modern drinking straw (Thompson, 2018). In a first try, Stone wound paper around a pencil to make a thin tube, slid out the pencil from one end, and applied glue between the strips. He refined it by building a machine to wind a paraffin wax to keep it from melting in bourbon. Stone patented the product in 1888. Today, Stone is considered the godfather of the straw, refer to figure 2.1 the advertisement for Stone’s paper straws.

Year about two decades after Stone’s seminal blow-up over grass getting into his mint julep, Joseph B. Friedman had an idea when watching his little daughter Judith fusses over a milkshake. Judith was drinking out of a paper straw, but since Stone’s papered straw was designed to be straight, little Judith was struggling to drink it up. Friedman had an idea, he brought straw to his home, where he liked to thinker with inventions like “lighted pencils” and other newfangled writing equipment. The straw would be a simple tinker, he inserted a screw into the straw toward the top, can refer to figure 2.2 below. He wrapped dental floss around the paper, tracing grooves made by the inserted screw. Finally, Friedman removed the screw, leaving an accordion like ridge in the middle of the once straight straw. He had created a straw that could bend around its grooves to reach a child’s face over the edge of glass.

In year 1939, Friedman founded Flex-Straw Company. He was manufacturing flex-straw with his custom built machines in the 1940s. In first sale not to restaurant, but to a hospital, where glass tubes still ruled. They realized that bendy straws could help bedridden patients drink while laying down.

In many respects, Friedman can considered his innovation of bend straw as being quite similar to market or economic forecast. Flex-straws were first sold to hospitals, where their advantages over glass drinking tubes were especially important (Davidson, 2011). They were shatterproof, sanitary, heat-resistant, disposable and flexible which they could be used easily by immobile patients. In the 1969 the plastic straws were starting to be introduced after selling its patents and licenses to the Maryland Cup Corporation, including the expandable thermoplastic flexible straw, with corrugations that make a noise when the straw is bent.

Today, the successor straws of the ideas of Stone and Friedman are used by millions around the world due to millions of users it is also caused the problem of plastic waste. It also introduces of biodegradable materials, but has also inspired a return to paper with today technologies following the original design of Stone.

Plastic straws are made of plastic, the pollute landfills and affect marine life. The process of developing straws that are zero waste and edible. The mission FinalStraw is to decrease plastic straw use by giving people an appropriate, collapsible, reusable alternative. To make the public more aware of the devastating effects of plastic pollution and use that awareness to pressure restaurants to stops serving straws.

“Plastic straws can’t be recycled. They don’t decompose, and they pollute our land and our oceans” by Emma Cohen founders of FinalStraw. FinalStraw is the world’s first collapsible for reusable straw evolution. 1.6 straws per person per day in Americans use enough to wrap around the Earth 2.5 times every day (FinalStraw, 2018). Straws is so lightweight and blow into waterways, where they head out to sea and harm wildfile. Singapore finding analytical work and an extensive survey of over 260 people based in Singapore to provide a fact base on plastic straw consumption and attitudes towards possible solution to descrease plastic straw use (Alphabeta, 2018). Millions of people in Singapore use drinking straws every day. By 2050, plastic will take up space in landfills and more plastic in oceans than fish, if don’t have and ends up in the oceans where it injures and kills marine life.

Based on figure 2.4 above shown the plastic production is forecasted to grow 50% in 10 years, with ocean plastic level set to reach 250m tons by 2025. Source of ocean plastics by country in Asia is share of annual plastic marine debris in year 2010 graph figure 2.5 below.

The resident population in Singapore consumes over 2.2 million straws per day, more than a third of them in food centres. It is based on a survey of 261 consumers. The figure 2.6 shown percent of total plastics straw consumption per day in Singapore over 2.2 million straws, more than a third of them in food centers.

Consumers would feel positively about businesses offering sustainable alternative to plastic straws. In survey report by AlphaBeta, the Final Straw and the Cyan Project respondents, regardless of venue the result said they would be willing to go without a straw or use an alternative to plastic (“The Final Straw. Tackling Plastic Straw Consumption in Singapore”). There are a number of online retailers that sell straws made of alternative materials, such as metal, paper, bamboo, glass, corn paste and potato. The target of timeline FinalStaw project to ensure in 2032 straw free earth will fulfill the mission. One FinalStraw can save 584 plastics straws from entering oceans and landfills every year.

The specs of FinalStraw its fits on individual keychain. FinalStraw it is self-assembles like magic and can enjoy the bevy with the warm fuzzy feeling that accompanies waste reduction. It cleans, compact, and badass for everyone who wants to rid their lives, and the planet of single use plastic.

Technological change and technology are both drivers and results of complex interactions in the context of social, political well being and economic. Anticipating and understanding the course of technological change is a challenge for decision makers in both government and corporations. Based on research of survey and analysis of finding from reports from a large company perspective, innovation increasingly depends on collaboration on aspects ranging from researcher to product development to customer service (“On the Future of Technological Forecasting”). The demand more external information than in the days of greater vertical integration and will require sensible use of technology forecasting to inform technology strategy.

Every scientist working toward eventual innovation, production manager, technology marketing professional, product developer and each design engineer should become informed on where the related technologies are likely to be heading (V.Coates, 2001). The information will pay-off in avoiding dead end initiatives and deadly surprises and in seizing technological opportunities in the competitive marketplace.

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