Archivo de la Categoría ‘General’

16
Nov

HEADHUNTING vs OUTPLACEMENT

Escrito el 16 Noviembre 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

Headhunting and Outplacement are often two terms conceptually located in the environment of Human Resources and more specifically in the area of executive search. However not a few misunderstandings occur when attempting to discern the key features that distinguish one from another service.
Headhunting is a service that comes in most cases at the request of the Company who needs to incorporate a new professional. Ideally, this company has made an accurate job description. The more detailed is this information, the smaller the search range and therefore more restricted and efficient the  identification of suitable candidates. Within this information is not only critical that the headhunter is aware of the technical and functional skills required for job performance but also about the strategic environment. How comes that need, what is organizational strategy and who will be their interlocutors, both vertical and horizontal. In this regard knowledge of the culture of the Organization is essential to consider suitability of personal values of candidates. A good headhunter will know how to obtain this information from this client, moreover he will know to help him to define when necessary. So headhunters must be professionals with high knowledge of Business and Organziational Behaviour.
In the case of Outplacement the process flow is the inverse to the previous. Here, the initiative arises from the professional´s environment . Either privately or by decision of the Company to which the candidate leaves. In this latter case it´s the company who offers his former employee a support as part of negotiation. This does not exempt from the headhunter to receive a fee by the contractor company if it was a position that certainly It needed to satisfy.  Here, the headhunter guides the professional in new steps revealing his/her stregnths and objectives. 
Obviously, the first movement of headhunter is completely different in each case. In both cases it´s required a high level of confidence and trust, however although  missions are different still reamains the same ultimate Goal, which is simply speaking, to make a nice couple.
The input data and research information  is reversed both cases. In the first case, the headhunter knows the needs of the company and its mission is to investigate and seduce similar profiles. In the second, thoroughly known the candidate, the research is aimed to discover in which firms the professional may bring a great value to its strategy, who are the ideal interlocutors and which the network of contacts that surrounds them.

Anyway a fantastic and enriching challenge.

6
Nov

CARS TIME TO MARKET.(II) PROTOTYPE & PRE-LAUNCH

Escrito el 6 Noviembre 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

After having the opportunity to contemplate the design for the first time in 3 dimensions thanks to the clay, the next step is the creation of the prototype which is usually presented with two campaigns, about 24 months before the launch of final model.
Prototypes can range from simple models with no engine or interior elements to real models close to final product. In other cases, prototypes are not even the threshold of a commercial launch itself, but just an innovation exercise that helps to bring prestige to the brand and whose purpose focuses on setting trends of future.
These prototypes are presented to the press and public at the Salon del ‘Automobile, among the most representative ones we can distinguish Paris, Geneva and Detroit.
It is the time to mass production. It is increasingly common for different models to share the same platform, same engine and even between different manufacturers in order to reduce costs. So, on the platform of a compact segment model is also designed the minivan and the SUV of the brand. However, despite these synergies, launching a new model will not require less than 500 million euros in almost any case.
For several months, countless trucks will move components that will make up the entire production line, high precision machines. During assembly,  a particular concept of this sector which is “perceived quality” is tracked, to verify that the components to be used correspond to those described in the initial specifications. The “perceived quality” is closely related to ergonomics and interior design compactness and especially with the materials employed. So, soft plastics are preferred to hard plastics and no gaps or unusable spaces should be permitted.
Despite the huge advances in robotics, direct labor goes on being intensive in the car factories. In some cases people are required to operate the machines and at other times the task can only be developed manually. For instance, some seals and the assembly of some interior elements. This also requires a process of selection and training of operators who will be in charged for specific functions in the future deployment.
Prior to final mass production, the Pre-series are made, which usually comprise about 100 units and will suppose the basis for testing to incorporate the latest amendments to the end.
These Pre-series are subjected to extremes of temperature and other environmental conditions as well as drastic security testing to verify the efficiency of the car in front of circumstances of impact, front, side and rear.
Once the model is launched to the market, production increases progressively from 50 units to 1000 units daily in case of volume segments. Each car is built in about 20 hours, every minute out one, with 4000 spot welds and between 10 and 14 kg of paint.
From here the sovereign client will rule on the adequacy and success of this long 5 years project

31
Oct

CARS TIME TO MARKET- I. IDEA & DESIGN.

Escrito el 31 Octubre 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

The life cycle of a model on the market before the design is renewed lasts about  6 and 7 years. At half of its commercial life, the well known restylings start to appear, with lightly updating modifications, until finally a completely different newly model replaces the previous.
Although new models maintain in most cases their previous name, they do not usually have much to do with their predecessors. The decision on whether to change or maintain the name of a certain  model, is related to the success of previous versions, with the conceptual idea  the model was positioned in the consumers´ mind and with the extent this idea agrees with the strategy the Company intends to run in the near future.
The launch of a new name represents a significant investment for the manufacturer, but It can be very particularly useful in refreshing the brand image when it is required.
In the decision process of creating a new model, the manufacturer studies in detail what the needs of each of the markets will be targeted, what the segment to which it will belong and therefore its measures, as well as the different sub target Markets we try to seduce which will include the number of engines and body styles (Sport, SUV, Familiar..).
The space of time since the Company decides that It will need a new model until that moment it is available in dealerships, so that the Time to Market, is 54 months as average. This means that during the second year of commercial life of a model, the company is already working on its replacement.
In the New Model Creation Process, The Company establishes waht will be its Order Winners and Qualifiers, in one hand those parameters that will permit differentiation from competitors and those in which standard elements will seek economies of scale and high reliability.
Having decided the strategic framework of the new model, the Company will decide the strategy of alliances with suppliers on one hand and with competitors / partners on the other. Sharing elements between manufacturers is becoming more common. Some even think that in future each manufacturer will specialize in certain elements and cars will be the product of the assembly of the developments provided by each manufacturer.

In this phase the Company will also decide the location of the production centers responsible for making the new model.
With all these ideas being clear It begins the design phase itself. First ideas are drawn in pencil tracing the external guidelines that will distinguish the new model as well as the shapes of the dashboard, door interiors and seats.
Design proposals are received from different design centers, generally located in diverse countries around the world providing ideas about preferences of each socio-cultural environment where the needs and tastes, and ultimately, the trends can vary significantly. These variations occur on many occasions over those elements with important impact on the visual idea of the car such as headlights, sport or family versions and the profile of the engines in relation to its Power, Consumption and CO2 Emissions whose values vary significantly from one country to another.

Among all the proposals, two finalists use to be selected. This is when the manufacturing on clay takes place. Thus, the car that has been drawn on paper, takes all its dimensions in a real scale unit made of clay. This will be the first real conceptualization of design and when latest modifications before mass production will be decided.

The Design is then ready to become a reality.

26
Oct

GREEN IT. REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF SYSTEMS.

Escrito el 26 Octubre 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

The data we present below can be striking and certainly should be subject of analysis in the Companies.
It is estimated that only 3% of the electricity consumed in a Data Center, is actually used to process information, the rest is wasted in redundancy and inactivity. So that 97% of electricity is not leveraged.
Information Technology Systems represent 10% of electricity consumption in United Kingdom, and Datacenters have multiplied by 5 its consumption in the last 5 years.

The electricity consumption in Data Centers increases a 12% each year and is estimated that, at present times, it supposes 2% of total electricity consumption in the United States. It is similar to that in the aviation industry.
This country was pioneer in this aspect and It has worked since 1992 with the birth of the directive “Energy Star” for using technology and delivery models that would reduce the impact of generation, transmission and processing of information in the environment.
The growing institutional pressure in reduction of CO2 emissions today, has highlighted the role of IT in contributing to this ecological mission.
However, according to research, Green IT is not considered nowadays among the 10 strategic priorities of Spanish CIOs . The green projects are not priorities, products and service are not taken into account and therefore its benefits are not valued.

About 85% of IT departments do not know their pollution levels and 20% are not aware about the electricity costs that systems bring to the P&L.
Doubtless, there is great effort ahead by companies selling IT to convince ant to implement Green IT strategies.

Here, the concept of Cloud Computing and Software as a Service (SaaS) aims to unite to the advantages of lower costs, those derived from the contribution to sustainability, given that they are built up on virtualization infrastructures, sharing of resources ( Datacenters) policies and flexible provision of services as major arguments in support of that goal.
Only time will confirm us whether cloud computing models will eventually be integrated into the IT strategy in large companies overcoming the cultural obstacle of acquiring and physically possessing their own Data Center Machines inside their facilities being only used by the property.

23
Oct

CLOUD COMPUTING – GOOD RAIN FOR SAP?

Escrito el 23 Octubre 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

According to recent research in the field of Technology Industry, 73% of CIOs are manifested

skeptical facing the IT fashion each year emerges.

Among the latest trends we should highlight the concepts of SOA, Cloud Computing and Green IT.
The latter are driven socially in the context of web 3.0 from  it 
intends to manage digital assets, both hardware and software, in a partnership between various companies for the purpose of

 optimizing their capacity and establish network models that allow the “Billing by Use” concept while reducing global energy consumption per transaction.

However, the same sources point out that 63% of IT managers admit to not knowing what cloud computing can bring to their business and 32% recognize to not knowing exactly what it  really is and how it differentiates from the well-known client-server structure.

Certainly Cloud Computing does not bring a new technology, but rather a new model for managing IT assets.
Let us note here the 5 pillars on which the notion of Cloud Computing is supported:
1) Approach to Services. The assets are managed by the service provider and shared by all its customers.
2) Accessible via the Internet. “The cloud” is the unique channel for input and outputs.
3) “Billing by Use”. Partners pay for what they use, for example based on the number of transactions and / or their volume.
4) Share Resources. Companies do not buy assets, no longer interested in the acquisition, management and maintenance of IT assets as well as their associated costs.
5) Flexible and Scalable: Allows easy access to new scales of work both functionally and regarding capacity terms.

 

There are two significant challenges to Cloud Computing succeed in Organizations. On the one hand, Information Security and on the other, the difficulty of standardizing services. This last goal will not be so difficult when it refers to hardware components, such as large data centers, but it becomes more complicated when we talk about software applications such as ERP, CRM and Reporting Tools.

 

By this way, It opens up an opportunity for large ERP as SAP as its cost and size becomes inaccessible to the vast majority of companies and their capacity far exceeds the use to which an important section of their purchasers do once installed the ERP.
So that, we could think in a unique SAP machine shared with several companies through the cloud, requiring a similar Business Plan and architecture in terms of functionality they want to extract from the ERP.

By this strategy, customers may share acquisition and implementation cost among all them in proportion to the use each of them makes the system.
This would allow medium-sized companies to access to a complete SAP technology underestimating other midmarket solutions as “SAP Business One” or “SAP Express” designed for medium size companies, which have not proved such successful for both customers and SAP Company, as they had expected.

7
Oct

The value of Aluminium Waste Recycling.

Escrito el 7 Octubre 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

The recycling of materials with significant content in aluminum, high volume of waste coming from the automotive sector, is an industry whose  finality is the production and sale of alloys (secondary aluminum)  that, in majority of cases, return to the automotive industry for the manufacture of components or delivered to the Construction sector as second principal destination.
The mixture of water and impurities that are removed from the bauxite in the process of extracting the metal, is considered highly harmful by the Normative on waste at  international scope.
 
Unfortunately, last Monday, in Hungary, a tailings pond of an aluminum plant broke and caused the deaths of four people and more than a hundred injured in seven different locations.

The cleanup of the spill corrosive that drowns west of the country, will last at least one year and it will cost tens of millions of euros, according to the Hungarian Ministry of Environment. The Government has declared a state of emergency.

 The biggest concern now is trying to stop the red tide of toxic mud (which has come to reach 2m deep) before it reaches the Danube, causing a water pollution sweet unprecedented.
Many people have suffered burns and eye irritation caused by lead and other corrosive elements present in the sludge. Three others are still missing.

For every ton of aluminum produced, the process generates approximately 24 kg of waste. In most cases, only partially reused and the rest of cases, It is discharged, so contributing to the problem of saturation in landfills.
The Spanish company BEFESA, is a world leader in the treatment of not only aluminum but of secondary waste processing, aluminum oxide and salt cake. In this way the company belonging to Abengoa Group aims to reduce the contamination risk arising from these processes and to introduce new industrial materials from waste, never considered as raw material before.
During the past year 2009, BEFESA collected and processed in its plants 240,000 tons of waste. These residues were subsequently converted in full into useful raw materials for industry (aluminum salts and aluminum oxide fluxes). This activity of salt slag recycling has prevented the extraction of 267 100 t of non-renewable raw materials (oxides, salts and minerals), while avoiding the dumping of 224 200 t of hazardous waste.
The objective of this industry is therefore clear: to eliminate an entire medium-term disposal of solid waste that this industry generates, directly and indirectly.

29
Sep

CHEP. BLUE PALLETS, GREEN INNOVATION

Escrito el 29 Septiembre 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

CHEP pallets, commonly known as “blue pallets” supposed some years ago one of the most innovative ideas of doing business and It was a brilliant initiative to process materials recovery and reverse logistics optimization.
Traditionally, pallets were purchased from manufacturers and shipped to customers as transport bases of goods sold. Any customer accepted increase in the price of the goods purchased due to receiving pallets in the pool. Thus providers always tried to keep track of the pallets delivered to each of their customers to organize collections of lots of palettes regularly. These collections permitted the recovering the pallets periodically but losing the opportunity to use the back trip space for the return of finished products from customers or raw materials from suppliers.
In other cases, companies reached agreement with their customers so that they had to deliver the same number of empty pallets to the supplier in exchange of those supplied along with the goods. This fact extremely complicated direct logistics as required to be continually moving the pallets up and down along the distribution route.
There were not infrequent disputes between client and supplier about the quality of pallets delivered in exchange or by the pallet state of balance due.
Any strategies discussed above, even with the shortcomings identified, were relatively viable when the transport was directly managed by the supplier. Logically, these strategies became strongly complex when the transportation services were provided by an external carrier or a 3PL, a trend that has grown over the years to make those practices with pallets nearly impossible nowadays.
Chep revolutionized the management of pallets between suppliers and customers providing an innovative solution to put an end to these always uncomfortable and contentious face to face management.
The solution basically consisted in offering to the market high and homogeneous quality pallets and, easily identifiable which were not necessary to purchase. Thus introducing the concept of “rent a pallet.”

The system was simplified to the administration of a single accounting of blue pallets based on the units received from suppliers and shipped to customers who also belonged to the “Chep Cycle”. This balance was only maintained with Chep and not with each supplier or customer accounts, eliminating disputes at this regard.
The Chep billing system was brightly studied as it encouraged the blue pallets consumption as the price that the company should pay to the matrix depended on the number of pallets that it interchanged between customers and suppliers during the period. So, by an accurate scale of rebates, the greater the movement of blue pallets pushed by the company, the lower the final unit cost to pay.
With this system, Chep has a “salesperson” inside each customer, since each account will induce its suppliers and customers to also work with blue pallets, to encourage their rotation and thus reducing the pallet´s unit cost.
A brilliant idea that over time, has been proved profitable for their creators and very efficient for their users.

27
Sep

KODAK. Reverse Processes Virtuosity

Escrito el 27 Septiembre 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

One of the best known is the recycling of products introduced by Kodak  to recycle

their single use cameras (Tie One camera Recycling Program) (OTUC) in 26 countries today.
KODAK has established alliances with other competitors that are accepted as their own

cameras and are exchanged.
Since 1990, Kodak has recycled around 1,000 million cameras have speeds of more than

100 million in each of the past few years, failing to discharge more than 50,000 tonnes of waste.
After receipt of the cameras, this is the Process Flow:

(1)They are separated by manufacturer (2)They are classified by models (3)They are prepared and

 sent to processing centers (4) Lenses and Batteries are separated. (5)New Lenses and Batteries Replacement (6) Flashes are inspected and reinserted in production (7) Plastics are recycles to manufacture new cameras.

In order t succeed Kodak had to rethink the design of their cameras so that their treatments were simple.

Kodak´s performance is better shown in numbers:
– Recycling Rates above 90%
– Resuing Times: 5 as average per camera-
– Lead Time from Collection to Sale: 30 days.

 KODAK was aware of the perception of low quality on this product category. Kodak´s Bet by this business line led the company to invest more than $ 50 million in advertising and had the great idea of organizasing Photo Contests with these cameras.

This is the one of the best example of sustainable preactises. Iw we are able to make recycling process cheaper than acquisition process we will have built the first milestone on Sustainability. Re-inerting materials, reducing natural extractions.

17
Sep

Reverse Processes on Wine Sector. II.The Market.

Escrito el 17 Septiembre 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

Dealers do not accept the purchase of white wines of past vintages, because neither are in turn supported by quality establishments. Over time, white wine loses its level of acidity, freshness and aroma that characterize their quality.
Surplus bottled white wine therefore bring a considerable problem for wineries.
Sometimes they are sold out through the second main sales channel, Hypermarket Chains. In these cases the reception processes are not rigorous and wineries take advantage of this circumstance to sell their vintage excess. Knowledge and experience of the consumer, in this case, lack thereof, will determine whether these outputs are adequate and profitable.
It is therefore advisable to always check the vintage when buying a white wine in linear, ebing aware about these destinations as explicitly determined by the wineries.

In other occasions the winery agrees a discount price to foster rapid sales. When doing at time, it cloud result an efficient decision, but being late, the brand image might be considerably wounded.

Some wineries have a policy not to start selling the “new” wine until completely selling out the stocks of the previous vintage. The purpose is to prevent excessive stock of ending product which is particularly complex to treat as we shall see later. However, this same policy can be very counterproductive in the face of sales targets, as the “old” wine in the market can “plug” out those forecasted for the new vintage and expected sales slow during that period. Even by implementing strong promotions and reducing profitability, selling “old” wine is certainly complicated in quality channels. Basically, because the experimented customer does not want it.
By contrast, other wineries prefer to remove all the “old” wine “out of distribution channel. Then, launching the new vintage capturing the share market and selling at a better rate. This, however, involves increasing the logistical costs of collection and post sale treatment that wine requires when returning from the market.
At this point, there are two alternatives. To find secondary markets and re-labeling with a second brand or to completely empty bottles and mix the content with new wine tanks. The index of mix permitted depends on the decision of the “Council of regulation” ruling the appellation of Origin. Usually it varies between 10% and 15 % of “old” wine mixed with the new wine. Even, it is advisable to do it during fermentation, but it takes place in November, very early to know what will happen with sales.
Production reverse processes in wine are time consuming and costly. The replacement of the label is a very slow process and the casting itself, which in many cases is performed manually.
Thus, wineries opt to produce in two phases. In the first stage, the wine is only bottled and stored in cages. Thus, a single bottle can be used later for various brands if it become surplus. Labeling with a second brand protects the image of the primary brand.
Emptying bottles means losing the price paid for all “dry” raw materials dry. Wineries will not have opportunities for reuse. Some companies have equipment for the cleaning of the used bottle but they are expensive and space-consuming, so rarely used.
In the case of red wine, market pressure is much lower. The wines aged in oak barrels have sufficient longevity for a chance to adjust to new productions based on the results of the previous. The overlap of different vintages of the same red wine in the market is not penalized as it occurs in the case of white. Even a young red wine that has not been aged in the winery, has a market life of 2-3 years, so 2 or 3 wineries to adjust productions to past inventories. Even some consumers think, the older the wine, the better it is. But this belief rarely works.

Controlling the evolution of sales to consumers, thanks to a proper support and monitoring, is essential to run these strategies efficiently. Some wineries and companies commit the mistake of considering the sale to distributor as definitive. If the distributor doesn´t sell the product, he will return it, probably at the end of the season, when the product has lost past of its value and the company has shorter time to reaction.

 
Both confluent and very particular as in the case of white wine, that sales forecasts not only help to maintain profitable sales price during the life cycle of the product, but at the same time, to avoid the cost of reverse logistics, which can represent a dramatic cost for business.

17
Sep

Reverse Processes on Wine Sector. I. The Colour.

Escrito el 17 Septiembre 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

Reverse Logistics is very present in different processes, both production and commercial,

within the wine sector. From the production viewpoint, the first thing we find remarkable

 takes place at the end of the pressing phase.

The wort (juice) is transported to the fermentation tanks and the waste of this process,

which calls “pulp” made from the skin of grapes, is withdrawn from smaller deposits,

usually of wood, which will then subject ingredients for making high-grade liquor, also called “marc”.
Using waste from one process as raw material for another is the most profitable channel to dispose of these elements, which have the qualification of “dangerous” and there are strict regulations about their storage and disposal methods, which generally implies a concern for wineries. It is not always possible to make this transformation as there must be enough demand to absorb the new product.
As in all sectors, it is essential t accurately estimate the sales on the annual period avoiding surplus “dry” material.”

For dry material we mean those components that are part of the final product which are not properly grapes. Basically, bottles, corks, labels and boxes of different formats, the most common of 12 and 6 units.
The wineries must standardize those materials that can be applied to that taking part on different vintages. So, packing boxes do not usually refer to the vintage. On the contrary, this is not possible in relation to the labels in which vintage must be printed when elaborating wines that belong to an appellation of origin and therefore require a special effort in estimating the sales of the product and consequently, their purchases. The corks, while having a durable life, require a rigorous output FIFO to production because they will eventually dry out and lose some of their properties.

In the wine sector, there are two main sales channels. On the one hand the sales aimed to restoration, ie restaurants, coffees and catering establishments. Such establishments and due to the geographical fragmentation and consumption of each point of sale, require the participation of specialized distributors who distribute the brand under exclusive basis within a certain area.

It is convenient to distinguish here between white wines and red wines. The former call for greater accuracy in estimating sales and therefore the quantity of grapes to buy and therefore of wine produced. This is because white wine is really just one year of life in the market.

The grapes collected in September will be transformed in wine and released to the market on March and April although, in order to stay ahead of competition, some wineries decide to launch their white wines in February and some even in January, by putting in some experts doubt about the adequacy of their elaboration.

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