27
Sep

Recorte

Escrito el 27 septiembre 2011 por José Luis Fernández en Lean Services

Hoy me llama la atención el lenguaje. En algunas ocasiones hemos comparado la esencia de Lean con depuración y el virtuosismo en el diseño de procesos con la poesía. ¿Cómo se puede minimizar  el gasto? ¿Cómo una sola palabra puede contener un conjunto de acepciones que puedan en un momento dado resonar de modo conjunto para proyectar una imagen coyuntural compleja?  

En el tema de la tertulia de la radio de esta mañana, se han conjugado las 4 acepciones de “Recorte” que aparecen en la RAE, y que son:

1. m. Acción y efecto de recortar.

2. m. Taurom. Regate para evitar la cogida del toro.

3. m. Méx. murmuración. Murmurar, extenderse el rumor.

4. m. pl. Porciones excedentes que por medio de un instrumento cortante se separan de cualquier materia trabajada hasta reducirla a la forma que conviene.

 Esta mañana, en la radio, se hablaba acerca de recortes;  en los salarios de los médicos, en las dotaciones de los colegios, pensiones  y otros. Unos ya recortados y otros por recortar. En su acepción taurina, de recortes empresariales relacionados y de los recortadores, que parece ser que no sufrían la misma suerte que los desterrados toreros.  Entre las murmuraciones y rumores  se extendía el  recorte de que mientras se practicaban los recortes se gastaban muchos millones en la inmersión del lenguaje y en la parte de excedentes o sobrantes, recortes a la postre, quedaban las libertades, algunos conceptos nacionales, empleo, ahorro y negocio… en fin, se va uno a trabajar “recortando”  sobre  el “recorte”.

El recorte es, en muchos casos, la solución al descontrol en el gasto. La idea consiste en pensar constantemente en como reducir el gasto mejorando así la productividad y evitando pues, el recorte.

24
Sep

HP IDENTITY

Escrito el 24 septiembre 2011 por Jesus Guerro en General

If we said, last week, that Hewlett Packard marked a clear route in its overall business strategy of turning their efforts from selling hardware to the deployment of software services, we can say today that the decision to abandon the PC business has brougth the Board of Directors´ decision to fire at recently appointed CEO and President, Leo Apotheker.

It seems that those intentions have not been understood neither by large HP shareholders nor by its Board of Directors who has not only dismissed Apotheker from his maximum responsibility but It has left him without any chair inside the council. Just struck.!

Apotheker, German, has faced a completely different culture and even an opposite way of doing business that has nothing to do with his background at the other side of the pond. His success at the forefront of SAP has not provided him a guarantee against the shareholders, tired of watching how the market value of the company falls day after day to worrying 50% of its value earlier this year. An unprecedented financial disaster in an  internationally prestigious company as Hewlett Packard.
No doubt, the announcement of abandoning PCs market has meant  definitely the straw that broke the camel after a series of acquisitions undertaken by Apotheker for which shareholders have not found any meaning.

Especially the purchase of Autonomy by 10,000 million dollars which had been already critized so strategically as economically even claimed as a terrible wasteful by some sector in press.

So HP turns back to put things where they were.

The new HP president, Ray Lane, was quick to report on CNBC: “Why we would come out of a business of 43,000 million dollarswhich is the number one on profit margins?”  referring to the PCs business unit.

The charges of President and CEO have been separated again and the position of the latter has been delivered to Meg Whitman, former Ebay CEO and last candidate to Republican Governor of California.

With this move, HP aims to shelter in its core, stepping back to the traditional model inside the house and trying to recover and boost the image and even the Identity through a more conservative strategy.

The financial markets, whi hates uncertainty, after HP announcing the replacement, has brought down another 5% on the share, who  and the company will have to wait for reward,  if it happens.

Now we wonder .. what will be the new strategic value of IT services in this new term? 

16
Sep

IKEA. FURTHER STEPS IN SUSTAINABILITY LEADERSHIP

Escrito el 16 septiembre 2011 por Jesus Guerro en General

The new upcoming IKEA store in Valladolid (Spain),  will be the only one in the world that has the complete package of sustainability measures studied and approved by the Comapny in recent times, as Mercedes Gutierrez, responsible for Sustainability in the Swedish company highlighted this week. She also explained that the new facilities will serve as a pilot project to test and see if it works as expected and then analyze the convenience to extend the model to other branded stores.

The new green measures  will allow IKEA Valladolid  to be out of 20% more energy efficient than the rest of the company stores, bringing savings estimated about 100,000 per year.

Among the most pioneering solutions, we can underline the following:

a)      The system called “Trigeneration”, a method that will “generate power for air conditioning of the building and electricity supply. This revolutionary system, also called CCHP (combined cooling, heat and power), refers to the simultaneous generation of electricity, useful heating and useful cooling from the same original heat source such as fuel or solar energy. So, mechanical energy is converted into electrical power by an electric generator. Waste heat which is insufficient in energy as input to the electric generator is then recycled for other purposes such as heating or cooling of facility or as input to other energy demanding processes.

b)      The lighting system will be composed exclusively by low energy light bulbs and LED technology. In addition, the lighting control mechanism will be built upon programs that will manage intensity depending on the occupation of the shop, a practice that is expected to reduce between 20% and 30% of energy consumption.

In this vein, Ikea Valladolid have installed high-efficiency skylights on the roof of the building and that will mean a saving of up to 70% as well as a new system that will remove hot air from the upper to the ground reducing a 25% of consumption.

c)      Following the same principle, the new air conditioning smart system will adjust the power according to the occupation of the store at any time.

d)      On the field of Construction, materials have been carefully selected. So that, IKEA has carried out a striking and innovative way for building up the store. Thus, PVC elements of ground and cover have been completely removed and they have been replaced by low polluting materials.
Valladolid Ikea will also make a call for the Electric Car because the parking will contain electro -chargers for this type of vehicle. The battery collection points, the classification of waste or the gradual replacement of wooden pallets recycled cardboard complete other sustainable supply store in Valladolid

 Once again, IKEA makes a pioneering step forward setting the path for Sustainability in Retail Market.

15
Sep

De sostenibilidad y emprendedores (II)

Escrito el 15 septiembre 2011 por José Luis Fernández en General, Lean Services

Sigo a vueltas con estas cuestiones, tratando de profundizar un poco sin ninguna pretensión más que la de tratar de comprender los posibles mecanismos y fuerzas que las relacionan.

  • ¿Cuáles son los motivos que hacen que haya menos emprendedores hoy que hace 20 años?
  • ¿Cuáles son los motivos que hacen que un ecosistema desaparezca?

Pienso que los emprendedores entran en un círculo vicioso, menos emprendedores, menos casos de éxito, menos cultura, menos financiación, menos formación, menos capacidad de emprender en nuevos entornos o de adaptar los actuales.. menos emprendedores

He visto algunos informes en internet que relacionan las plantaciones de monocultivo de árboles en zonas fértiles de todo el mundo con la pérdida de recursos hídricos, cuanto más grandes son, más necesidad tienen de agua para realizar sus funciones vitales con lo que el ecosistema que había anteriormente, rico en especies y variedad y que alojaba a muchas especies animales simplemente desaparece. Pasaría algo parecido con las grandes empresas especialistas en categorías que se instalan en ecosistemas sectoriales como consumo, muebles, restauración, ropa y accesorios..en ese entorno el emprendedor, el pequeño, normalmente desaparece.

Recuerdo que no hace mucho, pudimos apreciar el trabajo de Los microcréditos de Mr Yunus  como una de las herramientas más eficientes que tenemos en este momento para ayudar a combatir la pobreza y que consiste en crear riqueza. Además el hecho de que el capital sea devuelto la hace además mucho más eficiente que una donación que es más gasto que inversión. Microcréditos, minicréditos. En ese contexto una posible adaptación consistiría en buscar áreas difíciles para esos grandes monocultivos y una fuente de agua capaz de abastecerlos en el tiempo, o una estrategia blue ocean y  un financiador que no tenga prisa por los euros rápidos (Fast bucks) sino por generar riqueza en un entorno.  (¿El capital extranjero?)

Los otros aspectos que, bajo mi punto de vista, pueden motivar la desaparición de estos ecosistemas productivos podían ser los siguientes:

Su difuminación o desaparición por evaporación o por traslado. Me llevo la fábrica, me llevo la compra a internet y la saco de la tienda,  con lo que su personal y  el de todos los servicios que entorno a ellos prosperan se difuminan o desaparecen, es en estos entornos donde toca alentar a emprendedores internos (dentro de las empresas) para conseguir una ventaja en la diferenciación que se pueda sostener plantando cara a otros sistemas con los que entramos en competencia. Es en ese contexto en el que nos alegrábamos de la continuidad de Almussafes.

Respecto a que los seres vivos que habitan esos ecosistemas se hacen más  prescindibles, el otro día leía sobre un premio en gestión de operaciones a  Primark, por lo visto es el retailer de fast fashion con un crecimiento más rápido en Europa y su modelo es parte fundamental del mismo ya que la empresa mueve con sólo 8 personas una supply chain de £2bn. Sus tiempos de respuesta son increibles, los productos en el desfile de la London Fashion week pueden estar en sus tiendas en una semana. La capacidad que proporcionan las mejoras en integración y depuración de procesos, la gestión de los datos, la tecnología y los sistemas de información reducen la necesidad de personas. Si las plantas de los ecosistemas no necesitan a los animales para abonarlas, sanearlas, y polinizarlas, los convierten en simples parásitos a expulsar…

2
Sep

De sostenibilidad y emprendedores

Escrito el 2 septiembre 2011 por José Luis Fernández en Lean Services

El dinero es  a las empresas como el agua a las plantas les permite crecer y sobrevivir.  Las plantas, como las empresas, se organizan en ecosistemas o conjuntos formados por un lugar con unas condiciones físicas, por los seres vivos que lo habitan y por las relaciones y el equilibrio que hay entre todo ello.

¿Cuáles son los motivos que hacen que un ecosistema desaparezca?

Un emprendedor es quien identifica una oportunidad de negocio y organiza los recursos necesarios para ponerla en marcha. Ser emprendedor implica la capacidad de asumir riesgos y la orientación al crecimiento y es una de las cualidades esenciales de un empresario, junto con la innovación, la capacidad de organización y gestión.

Si la sociedad prepara,  premia y  admira al emprendedor al empresario, al que asume riesgos al flexible, creativo en innovador, ¿Cuáles son los motivos que hacen que haya menos emprendedores hoy que hace 20 años?

Sobre esta segunda cuestión, habíamos hablado en este foro de una falta de cultura local pero no planteábamos el problema a otros niveles.  El Sr Farrell en Business Week sostiene que el motivo es la prisa por el dinero rápido http://www.businessweek.com/finance/failing-at-innovation-bank-on-it-08282011.html  Es particularmente interesante el comentario sobre el reenfoque de los responsables de las asignaciones de créditos de una entidad financiera de Cleveland. A principios del siglo 20 dedicaban bastante tiempo a escuchar a los emprendedores locales y prestarles dinero para sus negocios, pero pronto pasó a ser más interesante enviar el dinero a Nueva York para especular lo que generó un florecimiento y posterior caída de la economía local.

Sobre la primera cuestión ¿Cuáles son los motivos que hacen que un ecosistema desaparezca? se me ocurren algunas respuestas como:

  • Alteraciones del equilibrio. Los motivos pueden ser que aparezca una especie depredadora de recursos finitos, como el agua, o de alguno de los eslabones del ecosistema.
  • Que el lugar se difumina o desaparece.
  • Que los seres vivos que lo habitan se hacen más  prescindibles.

Os invito a reflexionar sobre estas dos cuestiones.

31
Ago

IT Management. Trendlines of Evolution

Escrito el 31 agosto 2011 por Jesus Guerro en General

The boom in IT consultancy is currently serving for about 15 years. The astounding growth of trade of these services had been driven basically within 3 fields:

The first could be called Communications & Networks and thus related to the infrastructure required to take advantage of new technological highways of information as well as data security and protection systems against third parties.

The second would have to do with the development of Operating Systems and DataBases providing a new scenario that allowed the user to parameterize, organize and archive the information in an intuitive and comfortable way.

Lastly, the third and maybe the most important one, in terms of turnover, the development and implementation of Management Applications based on principle of Single Data. In other words, having one and only one homogeneous Box in which the different departments interact on the same database and over the same operational transactions. These Information Systems are going to withdraw the technological weakness derived from maintaining external links (interfaces) among various heterogeneous systems that once guarantee the safety and accuracy of the information, avoiding break downs of communication and duplication of data, so that, inconsistencies in the business information.
Moreover, the implementation of ERP Systems also put Taifa Kingdoms to the end, those that often characterized the organizations where each department controlled its proprietary information system.

The momentum and the desire of large companies to implement their ERP, led to commercial expansion of IT applications consulting, especially within SAP frame, doubtless the big winner in the global battle for dominance in this wealthy market.

The Consulting model of implementing modern Information Systems has been successful to date. This model is based on strategic and technological duality. So the consultants have been clearly divided at the same time, into functional consultants and technical consultants. The former (in the jargon, front office) are considered closer to the enterprise business and therefore better able to communicate with the client and understand their particular requirements. The latter, (in this case, back office) with deeper technical knowledge of the tool but farther away from the client, focus on algebraic solution to the functional needs transmitted by the analysts. Technicians are therefore, the responsibles for handling the real gut of the system.

Well, certainly this pattern is changing. This duality is becoming more blurred every day and Customers begin to demand from technology professionals, whether they are outsourced to consultants or staff hired internally, both faculties together. In short, the ability to understand the business strategy as well as the technical knowledge to move their own conclusions to the design of systems and the teams lead.
It is striking to see how IT executive positions claim not only experienced professionals in team management or project negotiation, but every day take better power those professionals with strong technical background built in parallel while promoted their managerial skills.
There is still a misunderstanding according to the concept of Progress in Technology Careers that bears to forget and even banish the technical spectrum to evolve into management responsibilities. Some professionals even eliminate from their Curriculum their early stages when they worked in the trenches as programmers. So many of them get surprised when in a job interview are examined in-depth about their technical expertise and wonder how they are asked about aspects such as programming when applied to a position of CIO. The answer is simple. Employer wants to make sure no one will pass you over the right. They know that Command on technical architecture of the projects will provide you with more accuracy when planning milestones, resources and deadlines. That if a subordinate must be corrected you are able to do it by first hand and you will not have to postpone a response when that is crucial to trasnmit confidence and poise at the moment.

In some countries such as Spain, It does not happen in all, functional tasks have been more respected and appreciated than the technical ones, but as I reiterate, this trend has begun to change.

Therefore, technical profiles evolution have to care about understanding the business administration, the impact of some actions over others and to foster empathy in the relationship with customers and teammates. On the other hand, functional consultants would do well to strengthen their technical skills to continue to prosper.

Who is best positioned in this new career depends only and exclusively on the endeavor and commitment of each one…

21
Ago

HP Leaves PC market to focus in Services

Escrito el 21 agosto 2011 por Jesus Guerro en General

Hewlett Packard has shaken the technology sector and consequently the financial world by announcing his departure from the PC market. It might be confusing if we consider the news come from the current a Global Leader in the field as is the case. But HP’s decision is far from innocent, much less unexpected.
The hiring of Leo Apothenker as head of the Company, the same person who had taken SAP to a progressive and overwhelming leadership into Applications market, revealed the clear intention of the Board to give a radical strategic shift in the business model of the prestigious American Firm.
It probably did not escape their managers the announcement would cause confusion in the Financial Markets and consequently and immediate drop in the shares vale as indeed it happened. The valuation of HP fell after the announcement, 20% out of its capitalization, added to the 20% which had already lost in the last 6 months. This mean, the stock value of HP today is almost a half It was at the beginning of the year. So, with this decision, HP seems to implement the holder of that movie “9 ½ weeks” “if something is on fire let it burn” and that’s what HP has done, fire to be reborn from its ashes.
However ceratinly It is not, and following the parallelism, a total burnout or a “jump without a net”. With a clear goal to cover a larger Customer Share, the American company has formed in the last decade, a Division of IT Applications Consulting with more than 10,000 consultants worldwide, most of them, as you could imagine, professionals belonging to the SAP Universe.

The HP strategy that underpins today could recall that which IBM started 15 years ago, also former leader of the computer industry which became to a Services Company from the hall to the roof based on Technology Services and Information System Applications.

Nevertheless it is not a sudden trend. We have seen in recent years how large firms traditionally known as world’s leading manufacturers such as Siemens, FUJYTSU, or TATA worldwide, nowadays participate in Consulting  Tenders of IT Applications  to become first-order competitors facing Accenture, Deloitte, PWC or IBM itself.

HP also abandons the evolution of its operating system for mobile terminals webOS acquired a year ago after buying Palm, perhaps in view of the temerity to compete in this field with Google and Apple, preferring to invest in the acquisition of Software Services Company “Autonomy “  by 10,000 million dollars.
The trend of the transition from product center to service center is being accelerated day after day. The brands apply its best resources to provide a careful and complete service to the customer, keeping a continuous interaction to participate in definition of strategic plans achieving the best position. PCs or printers do not allow such scope. This work is subcontracted; the brand is not longer resting on the metal.

10
Ago

Lean Body? Lean humans?

Escrito el 10 agosto 2011 por José Luis Fernández en Lean Services

These days I have been thinking about a guy who states that he has not eaten for years. It sounds lean, doesn´t it?

It seems, the interview has to do with the promotional campaign of a film/documentary  that shows a kind of social movement related with meditation and yoga . Their practitioners says they are  able to change to some extent,  through a process, the kind of raw material from food to light or a similar source of energy.

http://www.lavanguardia.com/lacontra/20110728/54192074989/llevo-nueve-anos-sin-comer-alimento-solido-alguno.html

http://www.zappinternet.com/video/WiRlYocRod/TrAAiler-de-ampquotVivir-de-la-luzampquot

To be honest our feeding process is not lean at all. Most of us stock fat, some even over-stock. All of us absorb a minimal amount of energy from food, producing a lot of waste. And many of us spend time and energy trying to eliminate this overstock through exercise and in some cases surgery.

On top of it, part of our social evolution,  and  problems of our specie, comes from our need of food; fights,migrations, social distribution in big communities and cities around stable sources of food, which in some cases generates the need of differentiation through consume,  etc.

Our homes require specific infrastructures to keep, prepare, consume process and evacuate food. Most of the rubbish we generate daily has to do with our feeding habits and great part of the energy we require have to do with them too.  

It seems that after some time practicing this discipline some of our functional parts get atrophied as they don´t use them, this makes me think about a trend of evolution towards subspecies that can be more adapted and sustainable, probably with less need to move.

We are trying to get rid of the petroleum as energy source and we are making transformations in our vehicles in order to change the kind of energy they require, we are recycling components to replace  our raw material historical sources in many sectors..  it may have sound stupid some time ago…So the question is: why don´t giving a chance to change or at least to think about optimicing the input energy required by our bodies?

29
Jul

RETURN TO MATRIX

Escrito el 29 julio 2011 por Jesus Guerro en General

All of us have some friends or colleagues that have decided at some point in his career to create his/her own business, in majority of case leveraging the knowledge acquired in his/her profession, sometimes making the step alone, sometimes accompanied in the adventure with some partners. 

Some of them jump from companies, some others from unemplyment, attemping to create theis own solution. 

The trend is definitely growing, particularly in IT frames ,where many of them feel personaly and professionaly pleasant after taking their decision.

In other sectors is not always an easy task .Indeed, the case we would like to discuss here is that situation in which the adventure ends falling after taking the rest, and those professionals involved in the Odyssey, intend to return to the job market, being hired by a company as an internal employee.

Some people think this is a non return way revealing the nature of these guys who dare. This could mean that people who make the decision to work on his behalf, has lost his/her capacity to work under a pre-defined structure with a clear line of command or even, the reasoning goes beyond that point, coming up the doubt whether these type of fellows never had that willingness and will try it again to escape from there sooner or later.

On the other hand, others interpret that these guys have demonstrated Courage, capacity of decision and determination to go for it, business development initiative, clear expertise, relationship gifts, open mind and strategic focus, all of them strongly appreciated managerial skills.

However, as we mentioned before, not everybody agrees with this latter vision and some observers tend to to see in these profiles, something like a free verses or a revel souls. They saw Real Life, they took the blue pill and moved away from Matrix..

This is why we open this discussion here.

To know about your opinion from the outside or by self experience.

What do you think about the impression of HR Managers when they receive these returners?

In your opinion, is this initiative valued positively or does it raise more doubts than certainties becoming a handycap?

Maybe ,does it depend on the professional nature or result of that experience? 

Which is your viewpoint?

Thank you.

28
Jul

Digital & mobile case studies are coming..

Escrito el 28 julio 2011 por José Luis Fernández en General

As Operations professor I am trying to prepare next course´s classes.  I have started to leaf through two big paper reams thicker than Tolstoy’s War & Peace which holds all technical notes and practical Cases. That is why when I have read this article  at BW:  http://www.businessweek.com/business-schools/the-bschool-case-study-gets-a-digital-makeover-07252011.html I have tried to figure out the implications from the users standpoint.

Headline is: “The B-School case study gets a digital makeover”

Main message states that Harvard Business School, among others, is in the process of converting 3,500 of its files to tablet-enhanced formats during this school year and expects to finish converting its library of 17,000 titles by 2013.  Tablets would transform case studies from straightforward narratives into complex and changeable multi-option stories.

The initiative on going digital & interactive is not new; at ie I have contributed to some cases since 2004 and depending on the design, usability and interaction scenarios it can provide some pluses for case preparation and understanding.

Regarding the mobility, let´s imagine a MBA candidate with a demanding position in a company, with a demanding & in some cases growing family, frequent traveler and with hundreds of cases to prepare in a constrained timeframe…this guy needs availability. Availability can bring productivity which is a must for getting the most of such investment that an MBA is. On top of it, we have to consider that tablets are big kids´ toys nowadays and also that learning by playing could even be long lasting.

Apart from enhanced case holder with editing capabilities some key functionalities should include the relation capabilities; access to a platform, online classes, forums, chats, working sessions and email and file transfer.

In any case, I stick to the comment of Mr Rowe  at the end of the article “”I’m not really concerned if cases are consumed by tablet or hard copy,” he says. “When students get in the classroom, the ‘Aha’ moments occur to most of them in the thrust of debate and discussion.”

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