Sun | Dec 17, 2017

Tech won't work if we don't

Published:Thursday | August 24, 2017 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

I write in response to Doug Halsall's article, 'Technology and inventory management', published on August 13, 2017.

Doug, very good proposals. Of course, it stands to reason that the inventory management systems based on technology will only be as effective as the people

who efficiently operate those management systems. The systems will also only work reliably depending on the integrity of the technology.

I say this, for as an ex-pat, I have experience of trying to access certain documents in Jamaica. There was one occasion when I had sent the paperwork, paid the fees for a certain document, when after many months, I couldn't get that particular document.

I physically came to Jamaica to the department that was supposed to be processing the document. When I got there, I was told: "it inna di system, man, just wait". I had already waited well over six months.

On another occasion, in trying to obtain some other document, I travelled again from abroad to another office in Jamaica. At that office, I witnessed a whole lot of foreign letters on the desk of the official; some of the letters had date marks from the previous year. What the office had been doing was dealing with the newest stuff first, while the earlier matter were stuck in 'File 13', so to speak.

Contrast these record keeping and delivery systems to this one: My uncle had died. I was tasked to bury him. He wanted to be buried with his wife who had pre-deceased him by 30 years. I went to the undertaker. I told him about my uncle's wishes. He asked me his deceased wife's name, and approximate date of her death. I told him. Right away, he rifled through this big old register which had been kept in a safe. In no time, he found all the details about her: the plot number of the grave - everything - in an instant from his old ledger which was in very good condition. I was amazed. No computers or anything. All this information came instantly from the hard copy in which was also listed the details of hundreds of others who had passed. This last incident took place in Harlesden, London.

So the point is this: technology, whether with modem computers or by the old-fashioned book-keeping method, is as efficient as the people in charge of those systems.

George S. Garwood