Imagine that you have just hired a very experienced and skilled expert. Shortly after you hire the expert, you encounter your first few opportunities to explain how you want him to do certain things in order to facilitate how your team and your business operates. His reply is, “I don’t want to do it that way.” Your expert continuously makes things difficulty, which makes life harder, instead of better, for you and your team. What would you do?
New York City Major Michael Bloomberg recently proposed a ban on the sale of sugary beverages in quantities greater than 16 ounces in the city’s restaurants, delis and movie theaters as a direct response to the obesity epidemic. The proposal is one of the most recent attacks on the nation’s soda industry, which has struggled as consumers turn to healthier beverage options.
Luckily for distributors, the ongoing evolution of enhanced ERP and workflow technologies has helped them better fulfill some of their basic needs; most notably allowing them to closely manage each and every step of the distribution process. These are also helping distributors to better manage warehouse workflow, automate purchasing, streamline work process, and improve inventory management.
Numerous times in my career I have longed to be able to share the great elements of the many designs and projects with a greater audience. When I was younger, I admit, there was some desire to show off the really innovative discoveries and inventions our teams had created. As a more mature engineer, the motivation was more a desire to share discoveries that might make things easier for other teams if the lessons could just be effectively shared.
I know I’m preaching to the choir at this point, but where has our enthusiasm for innovation gone? It is a frightening day and age when kids are more interested in becoming Snookie than an astronaut. This isn’t to speak for all, as programs like FIRST and the ASC have remained steadfast and continue to inspire the next generation, but it can’t be denied that there is a blanketing deficiency in the progression of discovery in the United States.
We need to remember our past in order to learn from it. I’m a big advocate for remembering your roots – but, embarking in the development of the archaic predecessors to little-known designs may not be the best route. This device may unveil some of the mystery behind computer technology, but the shear cost outweighs the learning value. Besides, we have 3D printers you could probably create a scale model quickly, and without such encumbered costs.
There’s no question: It’s an employer’s market. With unemployment high, workers are willing to take more demanding jobs for less effective pay than at any point in recent history. Skilled laborers suddenly finding themselves out of work are looking for unskilled jobs in the food industry out of necessity, and employers can pick up needed labor for bargain prices.
AEDs are medical devices, aren’t they? And so they must go through the same rigorous Food and Drug Administration qualification and inspection tests as other medical devices, mustn’t they? Well, not quite, it turns out. AEDs are in a kind of legal gray area that allows manufacturers simply to say that their product is “substantially equivalent” to other AEDs.
In a recent article, it was stated that “Law enforcement agencies in the U.S. made more than 1.3 million requests [to cellphone carriers] for consumers’ cellphone records in 2011,” which was a huge surge from previous years. The requests required “customers’ locations, text messages, and call details, frequently without warrants,” which forced carriers to create detailed guidelines of what information could be provided – and for what price.
Nothing’s worse than being put on prescription after prescription while your physician attempts to find a cure all of your symptoms, right? Wrong. In reality, there is something that is worse than ineffective medicine: drugs that not only don’t work, but also cause serious harm. The current counterfeit drug crisis is nothing short of an epidemic. And, although this epidemic doesn’t seem to be growing, it doesn’t seem to be slowing either.
The drone market is booming and taking in more than $6 billion each year. Over the next ten years, the market could nearly double to $11 billion, with police departments potentially accounting for a significant part of the growth. Have you ever noticed how much easier eyes go blind when billions enter the equation? Morality’s glass ceiling must top out around a half billion, though it has come much cheaper in the past.
Resistance is experienced in most teams as they struggle with the concept of change. The purpose of creating teams is to tackle difficult issues and tough organizational problems. Invariably, the solutions teams develop results in active transformations that disrupt the status quo and personal agendas, which also tends to remove personal positions of power. Consequently, there is a natural tendency for individuals to resist pending changes.
While I understand and appreciate the benefits and advantages that all the advancements in technology have provided us, I am annoyed with all the texting, poking, voxing, and foursquaring. Oh, there’s an app for that? I don’t care. Yes, I am guilty of it all, and as much as I want to disconnect from the grid, I find myself suffering from withdrawal every time I attempt to put my phone away. I’m helpless, and it’s absolutely ridiculous.
Often it is the simple and basic question that unlocks the mystery of our business or process problems. What’s more, we don’t have to be trained experts in process improvement techniques to ask the all-important, all-powerful dumb questions. So, here are some dumb questions that we can keep handy for the next time that the means to solve an issue isn’t readily apparent.
Like all design engineers, Thom Haubert is a problem solver, but one of his latest projects offered the ultimate challenge in solving a puzzle with literally billions of pieces.
If foreign engineers are well-educated and less-expensive, does that give these countries a competitive advantage? Not necessarily. I just returned from a trip to Europe where I talked about entrepreneurship and open innovation (OI) with various groups in the Eurozone, and have come back with a mixed bag of predictions about the probabilities of success for well-educated but low-cost engineers.
Google's recently-announced Nexus Q has a gorgeous, unique design, with a sphere shape bisected by a ring of glowing lights. It looks downright futuristic. Initial reports and reviews were tepid, but then reporters at the The New York Times reporters started to notice some interesting branding on the device’s back: “Designed and Manufactured in the USA.”
Cyberattacks are following a well-trodden path down which earlier forms of militarily useful technology passed decades or even centuries ago. The trend is from discovery to initial, usually rather amateurish, experimentation, and then to serious funding and adoption by all sides in a conflict. With regard to cyberwarfare, we are now beyond the amateurish-experimentation phase and well into serious adoption.
When pointing to the characteristics (or price) of your products, never assume that these “benefits” are a no brainer. Some plant personnel have told us in recent years that their biggest impediment to spending has to do with their current staff. One operations manager told us he would wait for his personnel to retire because they knew how to fix the current machinery and it wasn’t worth it to re-train them in the ends of their careers.
It’s been confirmed. Nothing is sacred anymore. First, residential homes and churches, then parks and playgrounds, now this? Graveyards? I’m afraid it’s true. Hydraulic fracturing (or the abbreviation thereof, known as fracking) companies are now targeting the final resting places of your loved ones for plundering the earth in the name of natural gas. Why not?