Monthly Archives: October 2010

2010 the Year of the Common Sense Voting Revolution!

SPECIAL ELECTION ADDITION

American Writer

We find ourselves wondering if the government is honestly paying attention to the economic experts or the common sense experiences of its citizens.

Common sense seems obvious if you want to simulate job creation the government needs to reduce or eliminate small business taxes. Small businesses in the United States make up over 75% of the new jobs in our economy and this number represents over 99% of all employers. With reduced or eliminated taxes, business owners can invest money back into their business; they can invest in new business markets, invest in new technologies, and invest in honest American job creation.

Reducing or eliminating business taxes is only half the common sense solution, the other half is not spending money our nation does not have. Most Americans budget for what they need and want, and our government needs to learn the same common sense approach to finance. Becoming a nation that is fiscally smart is not a four-letter word. Fiscally smart begins with the government, because common sense folks understand this important lesson.

Common sense folks created this nation, and it appears common sense folks will need to move away from the kings and princes’ the career politicians of the 21st Century. What is interesting is how we have come full circle, and it appears it is 1776 once again. Voting revolutions by the people, is always welcomed in society because they represent positive progress in a political wasteful environment caused by career politicians.

The intent of the founding fathers was a system of citizen politicians made up of common sense folks well-grounded, in reality, and today the financial waste is clearly controlled by the career politicians. The great intellect and scientist Albert Einstein said; “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Common sense folks the voters understand that 2010 the year of the common sense voting revolution!

SPECIAL ELECTION ADDITION

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Future Business Manufacturing

Future

As the business manufacturing market changes, the manufacturing industry must continue to focus on internal evolutionary change. Evolutionary change represents having the business ability to adapt to market change. Adapting with speed comes from having a mindset determined to improve as we go, allowing internal business change as the market demands, and focuses a business’s efforts on becoming the competition. Become the world manufacturing industry’s every nation’s model, and become the manufacturing nation to beat. A suggested area of future research is in (1) job sequencing, (2) developing flexible business processes, and (3) flexible manufacturing sequence loading. These three elements are critical to developing consistent production planning, leading to future advancements of flexible manufacturing systems (Tiwari, 2006). Developing improved job sequencing is important because, in a competitive manufacturing environment shared resources lead to efficiency and reduced manufacturing costs. Developing flexible business processes is important, because every aspect of a manufacturing business contributes to the businesses success or failure. Included in manufacturing, or making parts is the non-manufacturing systems that interact on a daily bases. Finally, the third point is flexible manufacturing sequence loading. This approach connects to the first two points because, in an efficient manufacturing environment shared resources keep the cost of manufacturing low and competitive. Shared resources come in the form of both equipment and people.

With these interconnected variables, (1) job sequencing, (2) developing flexible business processes, and (3) flexible manufacturing sequence loading. All three variables instill a need for future research, because the past internal business connections have been more in the sense of controlling, instead of group or team involvement paradigms, as the means to sharpen the manufacturing businesses competitive edge. How Natalie Waters and Mario Beruvides’ study published in the Engineering Management Journal, best describe this group or team paradigm, regardless what the business is, it has three distinct parts: blue-collar tasks, white-collar tasks, and knowledge or experienced task (Waters, 2009). These three distinct parts mandate the need to establish a future research paradigm that is open to new ideas, to accept that market change drives business change and that without improved understanding of these three parts a business has difficulty with (1) job sequencing, (2) developing flexible business processes, and (3) flexible manufacturing sequence loading. The recommended future manufacturing study described establishes changes in manufacturing system practices, building upon mindsets capable of adapting to new business manufacturing markets, and becoming the competition once again out in world business markets.

References

Tiwari, M., Saha, J., Mukhopadhyay, S. (2006). Heuristic solution approaches for combined-job sequencing and machine loading problem in flexible manufacturing systems. International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 31(7/8), 716-730.

Waters, N., Beruvides, M. (2009). An Empirical Study Analyzing Traditional Work Schemes Versus Work Teams. Engineering Management Journal, 21(4), 36-43.

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A Common Sense Leader Sarah Palin, A Mother’s Time!

Sarah Palin

Determined greatness comes from a Mother’s love. Sarah Palin, who is a Mother first, a citizen second and a common sense leader who leads with grace, dignity, and honor. When she speaks, she connects using simple lines, like “we can see November 2nd from our house.” When she encourages the crowd to elect common sense conservatives, people listen, and it appears from the most recent polls they are really listening.

Sarah Palin made a guest appearance at a Tea Party Express rally at the Arizona State Capitol Friday October 22nd, 2010. While holding her son, Trig, and a sign reading, “Party like it’s 1773,” she spoke about freedom, and she urged the crowd to vote for freedom on November 2. Her words carried across our nation; Palin said, “Don’t you just love your freedom? Aren’t you proud to be an American?“. So much joy from the crowd even Trig clapped along with the audience’s cheers.

Mothers have led nations before, such as Eva Peron (Evita), was the wife of the Argentina President Juan Peron. She became powerful within the Pro-Peronist trade unions; her charitable organization built homes for the poor and homeless, and provided free health care to citizens.

Mothers have led nations before such as Rosa Parks was an African American civil rights activist which the U.S. Congress called “Mother of the Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement”. On December 1, 1955, Parks refused to obey bus driver James Blake, who order her to give up her seat to a white passenger, the rest is proud American history.

Mothers have led nations before such as Florence Nightingale who came to be known as “The Lady with the Lamp”, her lasting contribution came in founding the modern nursing profession. She became the shining example for nurses everywhere, focused on compassion, and commitment to patient care. Her name mentioned at every nurse graduation and nurse pin ceremony worldwide, her name provokes compassion, and commitment second to none.

Today in history, we are experiencing a void deep in the hearts of all our citizens, that only a Mother’s love can fulfill, bring joy to, and protect us. History sings out to its citizens. It is truly a Mother’s Time because of a common sense leader such as Sarah Palin is well overdue!

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American Engine is Manufacturing!

American engine is American manufacturing

The force that drives the American Engine is American Manufacturing!

Over the last 50 years, the significance of American manufacturing has taken a back seat to overseas manufacturing, because of lower prices greater accessibility, and those making business decisions more focused on profit and profiteering than doing what is right for the American economy. A generation of profiteers exists today that have focused solely on lining their own pockets with money instead of leaving the country better than they found it. Employment in the manufacturing sector of the United States has been falling for at least 50 years. The portion of manufacturing employment in 1950 was about 35%, in 2004, this number is a staggering 13%, and 2010 this number is 5.95% (Fisher, 2004). The American engine cannot sustain itself without a strong manufacturing base.

Combine this history lesson with the negative effects of NAFTA (Prizinsky, 1997), the industrial foreign trade policy that attempted to balance the trade between Mexico, Canada and the United States. Robert Scott (2001) writing for the Economic Policy Institute addresses on why NAFTA core principles that better supported the 50 years of the strategic industrial growth policies of Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and China. In this Asian model, the mentioned countries protected their industries; they invest heavily in manufacturing process research and employee education, and subsidize R&D investment (Scott, 2001). This strategy represented the complete opposite of what occurred in the United States (Scott, 2001). NAFTA opened up the borders, opened up world manufacturing markets, and the profiteers took advantage of it by driving manufacturing to foreign soils. Unfortunately, for every action, there is an opposite reaction, and when profiteers sole focus is on profiteering, than doing what is right for the American economy, created a catastrophic economic failure that we are experiencing today.

Once in history, a generation of entrepreneurs existed in our American societies, which once always focused on leaving the country better than they found it, these people were called “The Greatest Generation.”. Unfortunately, that philosophy is very rare in the mindset of the American current profiteers; greed is the sole motivation, making manufacturing jobs for American’s is not. We hold this failure to be the responsibility of the American higher education process. Higher academics those institutions training our generation today that it’s okay to want the bigger toys, to make lots of money, to win at all risk and to never look back. There are no rules, no obligation to society, and here we are. This winning-it-at-all-risk philosophy promoted today in higher academics has set up the American catastrophic economy.

The solutions are complex because the philosophy is so deeply embedded today in the top business schools, but not impossible to fix. To turn around and change this philosophy will require a generation of students who will be focused more on leaving the country better than they find it, focusing on long-term results instead of short-term profiteering. This mindset embedded in today’s society will be difficult to overcome, however as long as people are thinking about it, people are writing about it, and people are focused on the big picture. The big picture is manufacturing in this country is important to the sustainability of our great nation, the necessary change will happen. A next Greatest Generation of students focusing on what is right, for the entire community must take precedence.

Short-term solution, place tariffs on all foreign made products, level the world manufacturing markets playing field, this will give American manufacturing a fair chance.

Long-term solution, promoting philosophy change in higher academics, that will encourage a generation of students who will be focused on leaving the country better than they find it (Savo, 2004).

References

Fisher, E. (2004). “Why are We Losing Manufacturing Jobs?” Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Economic Commentary, July 2004.

Savo, P. (2004). Holistic Business Solutions (HBS)™. Mont Vernon Group’s ROI Five Step Process from http://www.montvernongroup.org/business-fix.htm

Scott, R. E. (2001). Fast Track to Lost Jobs: Trade Deficits and Manufacturing Decline Are the Legacies of NAFTA and the WTO. Briefing Paper. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute.

 



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Change Warriors, the Next Iron Lady

Iron Lady

Change Warriors such as Sarah Palin, Nikki Haley, Michele Bachmann, Christine O’Donnell, and Jan Brewer. These women are changing the rules, bringing forth a firestorm of political transformation, which the Democratic Party left and the Republican Party right is frantically strategizing to capture the fever of change. The fever of change that the new Female Change Warriors bring with a vengeance to the political fight of the 21st Century, which has also over-flowed into the world’s political movement. The female political frenzy is not simply a United States (US) event, Julia Gillard the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Belinda Stronach a member of the Canadian Parliament, and Sitrida Geagea is a Lebanese politician have taken front stage and are making new rules in the 21st Century landscape, perhaps it is well overdue.

In the 1980s we witnessed a glimpse of things to come with Margaret Thatcher, who dominated international headlines and sustained the reputation as the Iron Lady. The Iron Lady was tough, a toughness clearly missing from today’s political leaders. During the Falkland Islands War, Margaret Thatcher threatened to use nuclear weapons, unless French President Francois Mitterrand gave the British the missile deactivate codes used by Exocet anti-ship missiles, that France had sold to Argentina (Magoudi, 2005). On May 4, 1982, two French-made jets in the Argentine air force attacked the British destroyer Sheffield killing 20 crew members and injuring 24, and the Iron Lady was not allowing it to happen again (Magoudi, 2005).

Our modern political world is in the need for the next Iron Lady, a female politician ready to lead, and protect her country from modern-day enemies. An Iron Lady not focused on political correctness, unless it favors her country. Our job as voters is to encourage the next Iron Lady, and with our vote create the vision to protect and place our country first, above-all-else!

Reference

Magoudi, A. (2005). Rendez-Vous – The psychoanalysis of François Mitterrand.

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Small Business Bleeding Can Be Fixed

wisdom

Small Business Bleeding Can Be Fixed (The Key To Success Series)

Holistic Approach to Winning Business and Avoid “Quote-Everything-itis Syndrome”

A New Hampshire October Sunday afternoon, the lawn neatly cut, hopefully for the last time this year. The leaves have almost reached peak autumn’s brightest colors, that we do so look forward to each year, and we do not look forward to raking leaves, yet such a small price to pay for New England’s seasonal beauty. The wood stove lit, warming my office; and now we turn to write about small business bleeding, a very important subject in today’s poor business market economy. Small business bleeding occurs when a business spends more money than the money it collects for conducting business for any given moment in time. Small business bleeding is the result of three critical negative business variables.

The first business variable is business quality in the form of mistakes leading to rework, scrap, and serious deficits in promised delivery to the customer. When a small business quotes customer’s work, what is clear is that rework or scrap is never calculated into the cost for conducting business. When a business performs do-over-work because of rework or scrap, all hope for profit is gone forever, and a small business bleeds dearly for delivering the customer’s needs. The natural by-product from rework and scrap is late delivery and very high business costs.

The second business variable that is contributing to the business bleeding is representative of incorrect quoting. An area that is often difficult to nail down because a business is focused on the ultimate goal of higher sales, the business loses sight of a tactical part of being in business, making a respectable profit, for that reason revenue potential must match a business’s core reality. Tactically achieving higher sales becomes the target, and not our true business core reality of hopefully lots of money left over after completing the work. It is not uncommon for businesses to become caught up in “The Quote-Everything-itis Syndrome”(Savo, 2009). Quote-Everything-itis Syndrome is a common disease that businesses find themselves engaged in when they forget revenue must match their business core reality to deliver products and services. Businesses do not even realize they are doing it; the only clear sign is that profit goals never seem achievable, and great frustration tends to be the routine because you do not have enough time to quote everything efficiently and smartly.

A business suffering from “The Quote-Everything-itis Syndrome” quotes just about every request for proposal (RFP) and request for quote (RFQ) that comes across their sales team’s inbox, even if it’s something they have never done before. Have you ever heard or said this phrase? “Don’t worry if we win the job, we will figure out how to get it done.” An old culture out there believes that increased sales are a result of quoting everything; however, increased profits have a direct positive correlation for staying within your business core reality. When we quote work well below cost, a business performs the work at a loss and business bleeding occurs.

Occasionally, businesses will take on work at a loss as an incentive to bring in a new customer. This approach is strategic. The problem occurs when the remaining work for this customer is quoted well below cost as well, and the bleeding continues. Taking on unprofitable work also leads to delivery issues, cash flow issues, and the first business variable of poor business quality always creeps in, mistakes, needed rework, and scrap resulting in a dynamic negative domino effect, making it very difficult but not impossible to recover.

The third business variable is unjustified paid over-time, leads to business bleeding, and is negatively affecting the business’s profit margin, and contributing to a weakening or none existent cash flow is the mere fact that the work quoted, is never quoted with paid over-time. Over-time defined as paid wages in the form of time-and-a-half or any paid variable more than one times X for any work performed over a standard 40-hours per week. When over-time is not quoted into the job, the business bleeds and runs at a loss.

The three business variables are quality, incorrect quoting, and unjustified paid over-time. These variables do have proven implementable and sustainable solutions that this author will share with you:

Business’s quality solutions are a regimentation of using the business’s established Quality Management Systems (QMS) Procedures and Processes that are in place today, and enforcing these systems. Empower the business’s employees with accountability, teach and encourage self-audit, empower employees to act like owners, and the business’s owners must treat the employees as owners as well (Howard, 2000). With quality, new ideas are needed from every employee on the business’s payroll, regardless of having owners’ equity in the business or not. Regardless of the size of the business, employees’ minds are an unlimited wealth of experiences, ideas, and stop the bleeding common sense, so listen and learn from these minds.

Business’s incorrect quoting solutions, do not quote any work until all the cost elements involved in the work is clearly documented, and always quote work at a level that the business can make a minimum of a 10% profit. In business, today 10% historically is minimal conservative profit normality, so better yet, strive for 15% to 20% profit, which gives you a buffer in the event that you do have rework and scrap. Insuring profit means your business will have a lower quoting win ratio; the by-product from this quoting strategy is higher business profit margins, greater cash flow, and little to no business bleeding (Bourne, 2002). Quoting work that a business can make a profit on, that is well within the business core reality, and well within the business’s level of expertise, is very difficult to do but not impossible in a hungry business market economy. To achieve quoting success, requires the need to be honest, to allow viewpoints outside the sales group, establishing a natural business’s core reality buffer. Resulting in business bleeding significantly reduced when a business quotes work within its business core reality.

A business’s unjustified paid over-time solutions is cultural related, more than business related. What this means is that the employees have become accustomed to the overtime, and see it as part of their base salary, as an entitlement for working at this business. The new focus must have a structured work hour’s rate and that overtime is only used in the event of an absolute emergency to bring benefit to the business. Overtime is only justified when it is actually quoted as part of the job. Overtime must never become the normal work schedule for any employee in the business. Compensation by using overtime set up a very devastating precedence for any business. A book called Measurement of Productive Efficiency: Techniques and Applications published a study involving the workers hours’ verses worker efficiency. The research concluded that workers efficiency and performance dynamically reduced after 50 hours (Fried, 1993).

This by no means represents the final business solution required to stop business bleeding, but a written beginning to encourage the reader to develop and implement new better solutions, one idea at a time. Understanding what clearly represents true business core reality in a modern market economy is important; your small business survival will depend on it.

References:

Bourne, M., Gregory, M., Mills, J. (2002). Strategy and Performance, Creating a Winning Business Formula: Cambridge University Press

Fried, H., Lovell, C., Schmidt, S (1993). Measurement of Productive Efficiency, Techniques and Applications: Oxford University Press

Howard, H., O’Conor, D. (2000). Managing Quality: Scitech Educational

Savo, P (2007). Holistic Approach to Improving Quoted Business Awards. genonow.com, 172(1),6

Savo, P. (2009). Holistic Approach to Winning Business. Holistic Approach to Winning Business and Avoid “Quote-Everything-itis Syndrome”, from https://pietrosavo.wordpress.com/2009/12/12/holistic-approach/

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