Archivo de la Categoría ‘General’


Integrated disintegration.

Escrito el 9 septiembre 2010 por José Luis Fernández en General

Wandering around integration concepts I get to some questions I would like to share with you.

Firstly, I would like to know whether same principles applying to integration/disintegration at enterprises are valid to some extent for departments or groups within a firm around operating processes so there would be some kind of fractalization in these concepts.

There were some forces towards integration as; get to scales economy, increase the control in the process and avoid supplier bargaining power.  And some towards disintegration as; changes in the channel, market and/or technological break down and niche competitors. Do these forces actuate inter functional teams?

 Secondly, and from the integration semantic side, I would tend to think on a process as being an integrated one when it is controlled and feed backed, when it has the right metrics to get continuously improved and when agents fully participate with a mutually beneficial approach. So a not integrated one is freer, less predictable, self seeker, and may evolve easier.

 Thus, there could be different combinations like fully vertically integrated systems which processes are seriously disintegrated or systems working with high level of disintegration, that is, multi-enterprise vertical systems and with excellent level of process/function integration with concurrent approach to adaptation

 So, the question could be: are vertically integrated enterprises, with highly integrated processes, more adaptable to changes in the environment than vertically disintegrated systems with highly integrated processes? Or are less? Or it has nothing to do?

 Welcome to the dialogue,



Escrito el 31 agosto 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

Road transport in developed countries, both people and goods, causes a huge amount of used tires each year, representing serious environmental problems.
Initially companies opted for the burning of these tires but the very high CO2 emissions to the atmosphere resulting from tires ´combustion, forced the authorities to restrict this practice dramatically.
During these years have been looking for alternatives to the use of this material to prevent combustion. For instance, the use of these tires in the construction of protective barriers in the circuits of motor sports, but logically, it is not possible to absorb this waste supply through such measures.
Retreading a percentage of these used tires for reuse is presented as a partial solution, but used tires, still represent a subject of debate as to the mechanical characteristics offered compared to those of a new tire. As a consequence, many consumers do not trust in these products nowadays.
Prestigious Firms as the Mercedes Benz Supplier, Continental, says on its website that “The Continental retread CONTIRE ™ Premium, provides the durability and performance of a new tire.”
Retreading basically consists in replacing the worn tread with new ones.
The production of retreaded tires is subject to international regulations for the definitive approval. These regulations require compliance with a range of benefits to retreaded tires produced in certified facilities.
The retreading process begins with a thorough inspection of carcasses for the absence of damage (pores, poor materials, small scratches …) to avoid compromised performance or tire safety.
The proper condition of the shell or cover is therefore a major factor in the quality of the retreaded tire.
The next step is scraping the old band before applying a new one for subsequent vulcanization.
Companies that act as Integrated Management Systems create a network of certified collection centers spread throughout the managing territory, allowing a service to fit its needs.
The tires from the collection centers are then transported to treatment facilities where they are crushed or granulated. The resulting products are used as raw material in a wide variety of industrial applications as well as alternative fuel in cement.
Through the process of retreading, as well as delay the onset of the housing worn, it helps save a significant amount of raw materials, adding only 25% of new materials.
Its price is on average 50% of a new tire.
In 2009, were retreaded in Spain about 50,000 tons of tires but this figure should be higher.
Perhaps a it is urgently required a serious and efficient communication program supported by government institutions in each country to inform about the true performance of retreaded tires and the benefit that their use offers to the Environment.



Escrito el 22 agosto 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

The disaster in Pakistan affects more than 20 million victims, 20 million people homeless. The deaths amounts to more than 1,500 people .-
The virulence with which storms have ravaged the country is unprecedented. So much, the flow of the Indus River has increased by 40, causing a flood wave characteristic of a Dante´s episode, even more terrible than an earthquake in Haiti earlier this year, shocked international public opinion.
It is difficult to understand how a body of water of such magnitude had not been foreseen, more than 12 hours in advance, making it impossible for any policy of preventive measures.
Subsequently, and equally as happened in Haiti, the lack of internal organization and International Coordination, avoided to reduce the devastating impact of the forces of nature as would have been desirable with a prompt and effective response.
The poor involvement of the international community is now a breeding ground for reactionary groups which protest the government, biased pro-Islamist unity instead of pro-collaborative with the West and specifically with the U.S. So there are not only fears for the spread of deadly diseases, but by the political instability in Pakistan, which would further complicate the work of reconstruction.
Damage caused by floods are enormous. The British broadcaster BBC reported that the cost of reconstruction could amount to 15,000 dollars (12,000 million euros), according to an estimate of the Islamabad government.
The IMF will decide tomorrow Monday, August 23 if It “helps” Pakistan economically. While the national government seeks to deal with more than four million displaced people and find the ways to repair the extensive damage to crops and infrastructure.
Some observers point out that despite being the greatest human catastrophe in living memory, both the initiative of the leaders and their citizens has not demonstrated a determination as generous as the one shown with Haiti, letting conclude that this is due to the geopolitics position of the neighboring country of Afghanistan.
Where someone saw the misfortune of a poor country in Haiti, now they see the divine punishment of over a sinful country.- In the same resentment towards a country that could have provided shelter and protection to some 11S precursors.
Many very important people seem to forget, and some of the deciders in which our solidarity depends, that children in Pakistan are not aware of policy, they just want to drink water and to return to school someday, although maybe never more accompanied by their mother, father or brothers. Please, never forget that Pakistani Children do no understand about Policy.



Escrito el 8 agosto 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

Spain was committed to the European Union (EU) in 2011 to get 7% of the energy content of petrol and diesel for transport to come from renewable fuels, with several intermediate goals, 3.4% in 2009 and 5.83% in 2010.
The 2009 target was met, but with the current legislation on fuel specifications may not cover the 2010 target.
The paradox emerges from the current legislation, which only allows the incorporation of diesel by 5 percent biodiesel by volume, representing just over 4 percent in energy, while achieving the objective requires 5.83 percent in energy.
This failure will cost in fines, more than 130 million on oil, according to business sources estimate. This production drop also costs money on Spanish Producers. The loss of turnover of the industry between January and July 2010 (for the backlog of Royal Decree) amounts to 270 million euro. 75% of Spanish biodiesel plants are virtually stopped, with an operating ratio 10%.
To meet the objective of renewable fuels would require changing the rules of specifications, but even so, consumers would be protected against possible failures in their vehicles, according to alerts from car manufacturers who add that these bugs will not have warranty coverage in any case.
Industry officials claim, that bio-fuels are designed only for certain “specific” engines.
However, the Action Plan for Renewable Energy 2010-2020, the Spanish Government sent to the EU, provided that 6 percent of the energy for transport was renewable (ie electricity, hydrogen or biofuel), a percentage that would reach 13.6 percent in 2020. This would mean doubling the production of bioethanol in Spain.
Various institutions such as the AOP, APPA and the CNE have recommended to revising biofuel targets to the actual market situation and the amount of biodiesel and bioethanol which can be incorporated safely on fossil fuels.
On the other hand, we must not forget that nowadays Brazilian ethanol is the only biofuel in the world which proves to be cost competitive with gasoline.
The most significant cost to produce ethanol is the raw material, which varies by country, for example, in Brazil is sugar cane while it is corn in the United States. So, Brazil’s energy costs for processing biofuels are practically nil, since the very sugar cane waste is used as fuel in the process..
However, in the United States as in the case of other countries is spent on external energy sources and by-products (carbon dioxide and dried distilled grains) are sold to generate income.
Regarding income, the differences are also very important. While in the United States obtained 3,000 liters of ethanol per hectare, in Brazil can approach the 7,000 l. This makes the U.S. administration has provided subsidies for bio-ethanol production to promote their competitiveness.
This calls for a paradox here, in terms of regulation, performance, competitiveness, productivity and technical suitability of incorporating bioethanol fuel.

This is an important issue that requires collaboration and mutual agreement regarding the objectives to fulfill from the various parties involved, namely producers, energy companies, automakers and governments, not only at nationally but globally scope.  Certainly few markets are so global such as automotive.



Escrito el 5 agosto 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

The heat wave affecting Russia since the beginning of the summer has been considered as the biggest phenomenon of its kind registered in more than a century, according to meteorological institutions.

Last July, has dramatically killed 48 people, cause of the strong forest fires in several areas of the country.

The head of Russian Atomic Agency, Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko, said on Wednesday it was removed all radioactive material from the Federal Nuclear Center in Sarov (east of Moscow) in order to avoid any accident or leak in view of the intensity forest fires.  This issue has been particularly polemic.

However, the director of national emergencies recognized that some of the devastating fires in the West were totally out of control. Meanwhile Government fears not having enough resources to fight back.

President Medvedev confirmed these claims later on, inside a meeting.

Particularly serious situation remains in Nizhni Novgorod, about 400 kilometers east of Moscow. The smoke caused by fire around the capital covered the metropolis. “We are preparing for the worst consequences,” said civil defense minister, Sergei Shoigu.

The economic losses to date are estimated at 200 million euros.

The weather due this week will not help the fight against fire near Moscow, the south and east temperatures will raise up to 38 degrees Celsius (100 F).

Discussing about the consequences of climate change, maybe it is not a question of opportunism or far future. In any case, these terrible situations reveal that we are not prepared for them.

The balance of our actions never compensates.

 People die, Nature dies, wealthy dies.



Escrito el 28 julio 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

Arthur Cecil Pigou, University British Professor settled, at beginning of last century, with his book “The Economics of Welfare”, the pillars of what is nowadays called, “Environmental economy”. The main principle enunciated is “economic activities whose toxic waste prejudice others must not be prohibited but discouraged” –
The same principle that aims the environmental directives suited by the European Commission: “The polluter Pays” principle, expanded later on to “extended producer responsibility “by which polluters comprises all those who obtain profits thanks to that economic activity. So that, manufacturers do not become the unique responsible for polluting but distributors do it,as well. The consumer does it for a long since he pays municipal taxes.
Pigeu proposed to impose a tax on companies, directly proportional to the amount of waste disposed by them and suffered by third parties. Even today this type of taxes are called “Pigeuians Taxes”. The experience has shown that this measure does not always reap the desired results. Tax increases for products such as diesel oil or electricity have barely provoked consumption drops.
Today the impact of CO2 on global warming is obvious, average temperatures rise and melting at the poles is more than evident, not only showed by photographs of the great ice caps, but in raising the sea level in some areas such as southwest France where water has reached some villages once away, far from the reef.
In the words of Nicholas Stern, a British expert, author of an environmental report requested by the Government “The emission of toxic gases and CO2 is the biggest mistake of the Humanity the world has ever known.”
James Hansen, a leading climatologist argues that much of the climate change problem is caused by burning coal, adding that the climatic equilibrium of the earth will not be maintained at present coal combustion rate, beyond the year 2030.
There is no factor that affects more forcefully on the conduct of the natural elements than the Sun. Small deviations in the solar impact parameters cause major climate disruptions. The gradual removal of layers of the atmosphere to filter its rays is an extremely pernicious phenomenon.
It was internationally accepted the system of CO2 Credits, by which governments set up redeemable for pollution credits. So who pollutes more must buy more credits and if you decrease your pollution you can sell them to other companies receiving cash on return.
This allows payments for pollution are not captured in government hands but is re inserted in the industry.
 Critics of this system argue, not without reason, that the beneficial effect is limited because the sum of all credits is always the same, so no overall profit remains.

On the other hand refer the moral problem of “purchasing with money the destruction of the earth. ” Some governments have shown to feel very comfortable in the system, so some of the largest U.S. and Chinese multinationals are the major investors in CO2 credits.
It is not an easy task, to find the formula for reducing pollution through punitive measures. Rather, the only solution and hope lies in Public Opinion, a change of human behavior of consumers requiring a correction in business practices. Possibly, only loosing sales, will force polluters to change their practices.
So education and social awareness will be again, the secret of a really successful Environmental Economy.



Escrito el 17 julio 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

The Lawson report explains about the evolution and environmental and social effect of illegal logging.
Here I wanted to stress the highlights of he report as well as the terrible impact of this practice on Earth and Humanity.
The report starts showing some feeling of congratulation on the fact that global production of illegal timber has fallen 22 percent in the last 8 years, thanks basically to coordinated international efforts to curb the beneficiaries of this practice and thus mitigate the effect of deforestation on climate change and the sustainability of a natural resource essential for life.
The study focuses the analysis in five countries, Brazil, Indonesia, Cameroon, Ghana and Malaysia, which represent about 40 percent of global illegal logging.
The lives of over one billion people, among the poorest in the world depend on forests, thus reducing illegal logging is essential to protect their minimums on quality of life. Similarly, this practice seriously endangers the survival of animal species unique and highly appreciated, as the African gorilla, which could disappear in less than 15 years
Therefore, illegal logging is not just an environmental problem but also a serious social and political issue because it often leads to violence, corruption and social conflict.
Only the reduction of logging in Cameroon, Brazil and Indonesia, has allowed the three countries avoid degradation of more than 17 million hectares of forest, an area greater than the combined area of England and Wales.
It has also helped curb the release of 14,600 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, equivalent to half of the annual emissions caused by human action in the world!
The report notes that if there were no illegal logging, the governments of these three countries had entered this year up to 6,500 billion dollars (5.072 million euros), more than double what the world spends annually on primary education.
Despite the overall reduction of logging in 2008, companies of the major wood-consuming countries (USA, Japan, Britain, France and the Netherlands) acquired up to 17 million cubic meters of illegal timber worth of some 8,400 billion dollars (6.555 million euros) in the form of processed products, mainly furniture manufactured in China.
Although the problem of illegal logging has been reduced significantly, it remains a serious disease. Thus, Lawson calls for control measures in producer countries and the implementation of laws in consuming countries expressly prohibiting the purchase of illegal timber.
In this regard, he praised the progress driven by the European Union (the main importer of illegal timber in the world) with Control Procedures such as the New Directive Timber Certification through the adoption of the Voluntary Partnership Agreements and the fact that U.S. also approved in 2008 a law expressly prohibiting purchase illegally logged timber.
In the case of the European Union, is still estimated that 20% of wooden products sold in their territory come from illegal origin. So Commission has introduced stricter rules of traceability for operators to respond at any time of origin and destination of the timber and thereby give consumers more assurance on the provenance of the products they buy.
Therefore, it is essential to not only reduce illegal logging, but to encourage continuous re-use of recycled wood, because it is a material very easy for degradation and with high yields from secondary processes.
As we have seen, Its impact is overwhelming on the welfare of Humanity and rest of living beings. It is crucial to learn best practices, moreover considering that global population will grow 30% reaching 10,000 million people in 2050!.


A por la Copa…

Escrito el 7 julio 2010 por José Luis Fernández en General

Entre alineaciones, titulares, clasificaciones, pichichis, lágrimas, himnos, oráculos octópodos y paquidérmicas bubucelas, es prácticamente imposible sustraerse al futbol en su más amplia expresión de deporte de masas en estas semanas. Pero en fin, de todo se aprende.

Además,  hoy nuestro equipo, el de España, escribe una página de éxito en su historia al batirse contra la poderosísima selección de Alemania que tratará de arrebatarnos la final tan ansiada por todos.

Esta mañana, en la radio, escuchaba unas declaraciones de Iniesta, nuestro modélico jugador,  tanto por su personalidad como por su capacidad de crear en el juego,  en las que decía: “Cada momento tiene sus características. Estamos ante una situación única. Vamos a jugar una semifinal y no me entra en la cabeza pensar sólo en este partido, sino que también queremos llegar también a la final y levantar la copa”.

¡Claro que sí!, grandes palabras que reflejan una visión, un objetivo grande, campeones del mundo, ni más ni menos.

Palabras que calan más porque vienen avaladas por hechos, por un equipo unido como una piña, un gran entrenador, una ilusión,  un sufrimiento, un enfrentarse a obstáculos y superarlos, un eliminar barreras y pensar en el conjunto, en la afición, en el logro colectivo impulsado por la felicidad de las personas que les evalúan diariamente, en pasar a la historia. Cuanta energía y realimentación positiva, llega a enternecer.

El contrapunto lo ponen algunos de nuestros políticos, el desacuerdo, la zancadilla, el inculparse, el vocear los fracasos, el retrasar lo inevitable, el rechazar los hechos, el insultar a la afición, los ciudadanos,  impregnándoles de culpa y necedades en lugar de cumplir sus responsabilidades. En definitiva, en jugar a que el otro pierda aunque pierda el conjunto.

No es mi intención hablar de teoría de juegos sino resaltar el gasto tan enorme que supone a un colectivo, bien sea una selección, una empresa o un país ir contra el propio sistema al que representa.  Hace ya varios años, un conocido decía que uno de nuestros principales problemas a nivel pais era el haber perdido el espíritu de la transición, pienso que influye notablemente y que ese espíritu es una ilusión, una visión, una bandera que nos permite pensar en levantar la copa aunque para hacerlo tengamos que sufrir por el camino.

A por la Copa…



Escrito el 6 julio 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

U.S. President Barak Obama this week announced the approval of a federal guarantee of $ 1,450 million for the construction of a solar plant in the desert of Arizona, a project of the Spanish company Abengoa.
This solar power plant will be the tenth to be built by the company FROM Seville and will mean the largest in the world in this technology, being able to generate 280 megawatts of electricity, namely, the equivalent to the consumption of 70,000 homes a year.
Replace this energy from this renewable source will prevent the emission of 475,000 tons of CO2 annually and is expected to be able to employ about 1,600 employees during construction.
In the words of Obama himself, regarded as an achievement to have been able to attract a company capable of generating a significant number of jobs in a sector of the future such as Renewable Energy is.
The construction of this magnificent plant, that has been named Solana, will begin this fall, once we obtain the local and national permits and it is estimated to be up and running in a period not exceeding three years.
Obama wanted to emphasize in his speech, broadcast on the Internet, that Solana will not only mean the first Plant of large-scale solar energy in the United States but also the fact that it will be able to store thermal energy up to 6 hours, which will produce energy during cloudy intervals and even after the scorching Arizona sun decays into decline. This is a great innovation in energy management, allowing to balance the usual divergent flows of supply and demand.
The Obama Administration thus confirms its strong commitment to transforming the U.S. energy model based on a growing role of renewable energy compared to fossil waste.
This also bolsters Obama in the public denunciation of the British Petrolium disaster and presents a program with real measures to prevent environmental disasters such as that currently suffers from the Gulf of Mexico.
The Renewable Spanish companies must move fast and indeed they are doing so in favor of championing its know how U.S. policy and gain position in a market of almost limitless potential.



Escrito el 6 julio 2010 por Jesus Guerro en General

It is an indispensable matter in Marketing and Operations programs to introduce the concept of Product Life Cycle and usually everyone in business has heard about its known four stages: Introduction, Growth, Maturity and Decline.
I wanted here to make a thought transferring this issue to the field of professional life considering what supposed the launch of a new product into what means every professional challenge we face in our career.
I guess It particularly becomes appropriate nowadays when the debate on Employment Law Frame is really on hot at the scene.
So, It would be a something like below,
A) Introduction: As every commence It is plenty of Illusion. But at the same time it is hard at work. It is the time to understand environment, liking new relationships, some of them, crucial to success. Adapting you to the audience and gaining share with your innovation. Certainly It is also the time to demonstrate you are a great bet, your skills and profile begins to fit with expected goals.
B) Growth: Things go well. You are in the network and your performance improves day in day out. You start to be trusted and your stakeholders buy you. Your strengths resulted valuable and you feel lighted on.
C) Maturity: You bring cash. The benefits of your work come easier now. For a moment you think it is time to rest at last. Your sponsors are proud of you but this is only the beginning at this stage. During this phase you feel the competitiveness and you have to feel it. Otherwise you might end feeding your competitors. Then you realize it is time to make some changes to maintain positioning. You are a clever guy and you know how to do it.
D) Decline. You meet your worst devil, bore. The goals you dared at your entrance are accomplished. The novelty of relationships become routine and your performance drops slowly. You look around and feel that some type of divergence occurred between the environment and you. The fit is not so clear right now. You turn confused. The missions of the company do not seem to be the yours, maybe you even forgot you had them. Definitely something happened and It is time to think about. A new investment, a new project, a new beginning.
It is inherent to human beings with professional expectations and continuous improvement spirit, to grow on a challenges sequence which maybe does not always remain at the same statement.
Decline should be always short, never an armchair where sleeping asleep.
Working on Project Basis should characterize new Organizations. Different Professional Profiles are adequate at certain stages, aimed to certain goals and rewarded according to performance on objectives. They are the firsts who must understand it.

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