As an asset management contractor, fulfilling clients demands are very specific and technical due to the expectation. When clients seek to reduce cost, increase revenue, or develop processes to improve performance, there are no simple agreements to any given projects. For a typical project, the client request a total quote . This includes all materials, labor, and/or special cost. All quotes are to include future costs, depending on how complex the project is. Once the quote has been submitted, it is review by the department manager then approved by that managers, the plant manager, and the plant controller. Once a purchase order has been submitted to the contracting company, the project begins on a specific date. From here on, the client expects the project to be carried out with extreme professionalism, top quality, and daily updates to the progression for the project. Unfortunately, there are no universal procedures due to each project being unique, however this is a general idea to what the client expects.
As example project would be the most recent project I've had to develop. The issue is that the plant is unable to focus on its quality reject and scrap reduction program since the facility is still in a launch phase. Due to this, it is costing the facility over $1.6 million every six months. There is a process developed (not named), the main issue is that i isn't being enforced or maintained throughout the facility. In my own development for this project, I simply created everything from scratch beginning on where to collect the rejected materials, how to identify each defects, dissembling each defected product, documenting each part (salvaged or scrapped), and finally gaining approval for salvaged materials. This step by step process would be similar to an Operation Description Sheet (ODS document), (2012). This document creates a standard process for an operation in which team members would need to follow. Applying a Six Sigma and Kaizen philosophy develops and evolves this project and any other.
To maintain a good business relationship between contractor and client, a Total Quality Management System (TQM) is commonly used every day. The basic model for a TQM is customer focus, planning process, process management, process improvement, total participation, (2010). This model is enforced every day. Without it, or anything similar, could lack the professionalism for the contractor to deliver what the client needs.
Personally, I've witnessed many other contractors in the facility that have not lasted very long. Whether it was project management, enforcing quality standards for any project, or simply not improving project development. To put things into perspective, consider the client is offering to pay a contractor to manage and maintain a project. If a contractor fails to do this, then the client is not receiving the results of what they are paying for. The same would apply to anyone who buy a project and the product breaks when used for its designed purpose. Since I've used this type of system, my company has been the longest contractor there for over two year, beginning with 2 employees to now at 22.
TQE.com. (2010). Total Quality Management. Retrieved from, http://www.tqe.com/TQM.html
Acronymfinder.com. (2012). What does ODS stand for? Retrieved from, http://www.acronymfinder.com/Operation-Description-Sheet-(ODS).html
Monday, July 30, 2012 // // 2 comments //
Since globalization has spread throughout the world, businesses of all types, including both large and small, have increased their interest to incorporate operations to outside nations. Such reasons may include saving on material costs, enter a Free-Trade Zone, or simply reduce the cost of labor. For whichever reason, these global businesses help provide jobs to nations where employment is low and also help reduce the prices in the given markets. The most important reason why companies go global, is to develop a business system that can better sustain the livelihood while competing with other businesses in a similar industry.
To better understand why businesses go global, let's consider cost to produce an item. Before producing a final item, certain supplies must be purchased. In addition, there labor to produce is also a necessary cost. Whether nationally purchased, or international purchased, there are business strategies that can lots of money. For example, there is an American company that manufactures and sells airplanes, (2012). If produced nationally, national wages must be considered which can be quite expensive compared to wages in an undeveloped country such as Columbia. However, the cost for materials are much higher in the same country. Therefore the company can save lots of money by purchasing materials nationally then shipping these materials internationally, and finally, manufacturing the product in Columbia at a cheaper wage.
If globalization is a common place between two countries within relevant industries, or countries that seek to trade with each other based on what is produced, the governments may establish a Free Trade agreement where importing and exporting will have little or no taxes, (2012). Just like on the example above where an American company works closely with Columbia, this could be considered a Free Trade zone, depending on the trade agreement. Logically, it would seem accurate being the American company's interest to work with Columbia. Again, if the global business wasn't saving or reducing costs, or to simply find means to increase profits, then there would be no reason to globalize if taxes on importing and exporting where a common factor.
On the contrary to how globalization can reduce prices on products and the costs to make them, it can affect a nation's micro economy. Particularly to domestic jobs, some jobs can be outsourced to underdeveloped countries, much like the example described above. Consider, prior to moving to Columbia, the manufacturing operations where based in America. After going global, these jobs will no longer become available in America. The results are an increase in unemployment- this reduces consumer spending. Overall, consumer spending can greatly impact a micro economy and disrupt markets for airplanes. Some critics even argue that Free Trade doesn't work because there are more failing economies now than before Free Trade, (2010). However, most companies see an opportunity for foreign investment, and can profit in their short-term and mid-term goals.
In conclusion, some companies go global because they seek an opportunity to reduce production cost and product prices, and an area of Free Trade. Depending on the industry, competition can push companies into globalization, such as the aviation industry, or electronics as another example. Although going global may seem great a company, this can potentially have negative effects on an economy where jobs are outsourced for cheaper labor. This disrupts consumer spending, affecting nearly all industries
Cobb Jr., J. (2010). Free Trade does not work. Retrieved from, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=20379
AIU Online. (2012). MGMT410: Unit 1: Global Operations Management [Power Point Presentation]. Retrieved from AIU Online Virtual Campus. Global Operations Management: MGMT415-1202A-06 Instructor Files
Investopedia.com. (2012). Free trade area. Retrieved from, http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/free_trade_area.asp#axzz1q5BUFqxS
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 // // 2 comments //
Innovation is define by a product of means to which it introduces a breakthrough in performance, quality, price, and general purpose. Depending on the industry, innovation may be common, or may be very rare to see such products. In regards to the technology industry, with a focus on mobile technology, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is among the most famous and the most innovative phone for the worldwide consumer market in current times. Before details on the S3 are provided, let us see how and why Samsung has been able to produce such innovative technology, that can threaten other markets in the desktop and laptop areas.
It began with the Samsung Galaxy S, which was a smart phone provided by most major carriers. Although at the time, the Galaxy S performance wasn't better than the Apple iPhone 4, yet it succeeded the iPhone 3 and 3G. The first Galaxy S performance was similar to the iPhone 4 (GSMareana.com, 2012), however with the success of the Apple iPhone 3G, many consumers stayed loyal as an Apple consumer with 75 million units sold worldwide (Kumparak, 2010), compared to the Galaxy S at 30 million, (Albanesius, 2011). Not to forget, Blackberries line of smartphones. However with the lacked development to mobile apps. (applications for short, and often a common term), Blackberry's sales have been lost to the Apple market and Android (Google Play in current times).
As Samsung uped their competition to the Galaxy S2, as did Apple with the iPhone 4S, the comparisons between the two, gave the Galaxy S2 almost a 50% higher advantage, (Compare-cellphones.org). Now with the Galaxy S3 out on the market, this phone is tremendously outperforming the Apple iPhone 4S, (Compare-cellphones.org, 2012). Apple is expected to release the iPhone 5, but no set date has yet to be released. With Samsung Galaxy series, there is little doubt that this company will abandon this product for quite some time. Their continuing to upgrade and develop new technology will bring in no doubt bring more innovative products to consumers.
The only downfall to technology is how quickly new and more advanced technology is updated within a year's time. If Apple decides to release the iPhone 5, this could threaten sales potentials for the Galaxy S3. Many predict these two companies to be rivals in the mobile technology industry, as each fluctuates in leading sales, but this is not uncommon in the technology sector. Moreover, as the smartphone are becoming more and more powerful, with new technology almost every year, this could also threaten the laptop and desktop industries, since these smartphone are becoming more like mobile computers rather than a phone.
Albanesius, C. (2011). Samsung Galaxy S Sales Hit 30 Million. Retrieved from, http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2394782,00.asp#fbid=yJL_Tc-aX7ll
Kumparak, G. (2010). Apple sold 14.1 million iPhones last quarter, over 70 million since launch. http://techcrunch.com/2010/10/18/apple-sold-14-1-million-iphones-last-quarter-over-70-million-since-launch/
Compare-cellphones.org. (2012). Apple iPhone 4S VS Samsung Galaxy S II. Retrieved from, http://www.compare-cellphones.org/Apple-iPhone-4S-vs-Samsung-Galaxy-S-II
Compare-cellphones.org. (2012). Apple iPhone 4S VS Samsung Galaxy S III. Retrieved from, http://www.compare-cellphones.org/Samsung-Galaxy-S-III-Quad-Core---32-GB---International-edition-vs-Apple-iPhone-4S
GSMarene.com. (2012). Apple iPhone 4. Retrieved from, http://www.gsmarena.com/apple_iphone_4-3275.php
GSMarena.com. (2012). Samsung I9000 Galaxy S. Retrieved from, http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i9000_galaxy_s-3115.php
Saturday, July 21, 2012 // // 6 comments //
The details below provides a guideline on how to reduce your monthly living expenses, by making some simple sacrifices. Although some of the sacrifices may not be suited for most, nevertheless, the intentions for the passage is to provide readers with a perspective on where and how to save on your monthly living expenses.
1. Begin with the necessities of life (food, drink, housing)- 76% reduced.
The necessary means to live is to eat and drink, and to sleep. Most of us, probably already have a place to call home, so this section will mostly how to reduce the monthly expenses for food and drink. Beginning with drink, water is the most vital source we need to survive, moreover it is also the most abundant and easily attainable from most developed nations. However, not all public accessible is satisfying or safe for us. Sanitary chemicals from water treatment plants are a normal process to produce clean water. There, the public accessible water, is 100% clean for a natural taste. This is one reason why bottled water differs from treated water. For the readers who are more concerned with healthy living, consider buying a water filtration system, such as Pur.
With water in perspective, do we really need any other drink? No. The purpose of this, is to eliminate the luxuries we take for granted in life. Colas, juices, teas, etc., are all considered luxury items unless medically prescribed by a physician.
Next, food is topic. Again, just as water was previously detailed, food applies to the same when it come sto luxury items. There are only a few vitamins and minerals the body requires in order to function properly, without getting sick. Mineral grains are among the best to help supply sources. Rices, noodles, and other such grains can be sufficient enough. Moreover, if certain person need more vitamins/minerals, a multi-vitamin can help meet the standards for the body.
With food in perspective, do we really need that 12 oz. rib eye? No. All other foods can thus be defined as an luxury item, expect sources of sugar. The body also needs adequate amounts of sugar as well as protein to maintain proper functionality. The question again is, do we need a 1 gallon tub of ice cream? No, cheap sources of sugar can be obtained from discount brand sugar cookies. For protein, eggs are a perfect sources.
To put some numbers on the table, I, a single male, was previously spending $120+ per month on food and drink. My diet consisted of sandwiches of turkey and provolone cheese, spicy Italian sausages, chicken wings, pasta, ice cream cakes, beer, green tea, and a few more items. After taking into consider the above philosophy, I was able to reduce my monthly food expenses to a mere $28.8 per month. This does not include the price for multi-vitamins. See figure 1 for example.
2. Carpool, walk, public transit, etc- 100% reduced.
Considering I live right beside work and most stores that I daily shop from, I was debating on if I needed my sports car or not (2012 370z). Since I drove the car for pleasure, my thoughts were that this car was a necessity in my life. Therefore, I decided to eliminate this extra cost and walk, use public transit (not necessarily needed), or carpool with friends.
By eliminating my cost, I was able to write of my car note, insurance, and the unpredictable price in gas. My car note alone, was $504/month, insurance was about $151/month - full coverage with Progressive, and gas was estimated at around $50/month since I like to drive super fast. Therefore, my total monthly cost for having a car, was about $705/month. By selling my car, I was able to reduce 100% of my car, and still manage to get where I needed. See figure 1 for a visual example.
3. Adjust the circuit breakers in your home- 30% reduced.
When electricity comes to mind, I often wonder why electric companies are continuing to charge me electric cost, while I'm not even there, despite everything in theory is off. However, when I considered everything was off, I was referring to the tv, lights, and HVAC. Little did I think about the refrigerator and hot water heater. So, again, there question here is, do we really need this? For most of us yes, and some no. On the contrary, for those who do need these expenses, at what times?
Keeping the same philosophy, I considered to turn off the power to certain areas at certain times so that that a majority of all electricity will be eliminated through my home while I'm not there, or not using it. While I'm away, I turn off the complete breakers to everything except the refrigerator. This is to insure that food will not become spoiled.
In regards to the water heater, how often do you need hot water? For most of us, when we shower, wash dishes, clean, etc. Not while we aren't there. So why pay for unused electricity?
On a minor note, my apartment is very well insulated, and can maintain a constant 76 degrees Fahrenheit, so I absolutely never use my HVAC.
Also, when using an oven/stove, consider how many more times you will use it. On my current diet, I eat boiled eggs every morning for breakfast. If I know I am going to eat eggs in the future, wouldn't it be logical to cook several eggs at once, instead of cooking one or two eggs each time?
After implementing this expense reduction philosophy, my power expense went from about $50/month to about $35/month. Although this amount may not seem like much to many readers, however ever dollar adds up to every final expense. See below for the chart.
In conclusion, the above provides some tips on how to help reduce your monthly living expenses. Although the tips may not be suited for everyone, but for those who choose to participate can expect some financial gain through the results. In figure 4, is the total to how much I was able to reduce.
If you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions, feel free to contact me, and thank you for taking the time to read my blog.
Monday, July 16, 2012 // // 0 comments //
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