AUTOMATION: It Won't Help Everybody

Last fall Pennsylvania became one of the first states to install a computer to issue state payroll checks automatically. The computer, put into operation too quickly, issued checks that were wildly off, left employees payless just before Christmas. The department turned the payroll job back to clerks, called in automation experts to see what had gone wrong.

Many a U.S. corporation has met with equal disaster. A Midwestern auto supplier planned a highly automated plant to make auto frames. But he did not allow sufficient lead time to get out all the bugs....

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