A Detailed Guide to Crankbait Fishing For Bass

When it comes to fishing crankbaits, there are always a million questions, with just about as many answers. Some of the common questions of what kind, what colors, when and where to use them, are going to be answered in this guide. There will always be new products and new ideas that may or may not work, but hopefully the following guide will give you the answers to most of the questions that are constantly being asked by the beginner to the advanced angler.

“WHAT ARE CRANKBAITS?”

There are as many manufacturers of crankbaits as there are colors. Some of the more popular makers of crankbaits are Luhr Jensen, Mann’s,Bomber, Storm, Berkley, Bill Lewis, Rapala, Lucky Craft and Rebel. There are of course, many more, including hundreds of custom made crankbaits by individuals and smaller companies.

Crankbaits are minnow imitating lures, that float and/or suspend in the water column, have different sized lips and body shapes, and some have no lips at all. They come in a variety of sizes, colors, shapes, and weights, all of which are designed for a particular action and depth, to closely simulate a fleeing or injured baitfish or crawfish. First we will start with the floating and suspending variety of fat and slim bodied crankbaits.

“BODY SHAPES”

The different body shapes that are offered all have distinct advantages over each other at different times of the year, depending mostly on water temperature, and the size of the baitfish available in that particular body of water. There are always exceptions to the rules, but basically the slimmer, flat sided crankbaits, that float, and/or suspend, are better early and late in the year, when the water temperatures are below 60 degrees. The flat sided crankbaits will mimic a fleeing crawfish early in the year, and the best colors at that time are shades of red or brown.

The proper depth is very important, as you want the bait as close to the bottom as possible to simulate a feeding or fleeing crawfish.

The lures with the flat sides have a neutral buoyancy, which is very important in making the lure perform like a real crawfish. I like to use a bait that has a bill made to bump against rocks and other cover to achieve this result without getting hung up or breaking. The flat sided crankbaits help me do this.

The Bomber Flat A is also a good choice for this, and catch a lot of pre-spawn bass with this bait, using a slow steady retrieve. In the fall, I use different shad patterns like Pearl, or Chrome, for bass that are suspending this time of year. I use a steady, slow to medium retrieve for this, sometimes bumping into objects, but most of the time a steady retrieve has worked best at this time of year.

In a tournament in the fall, I boated a 18 pound stringer, using this method, to win the tournament and take big bass with a 4 pounder.

I like to target the shores that are wind blown first, when working these baits, and a lot of the time, in some of the New York and New Jersey Lakes that have clay or tapering gravel banks, I throw these flat sided crankbaits, because I can catch fish in areas where there is little cover and most people don’t fish! The flat sided crankbaits are more for bass that are holding in water that is about 3-8 feet deep. Most of the flat sided crankbaits don’t work properly any deeper than 7 or 8 feet. Most of the time I don’t fish these flat sides in heavy cover, but there is one that was made by Poe’s, that is called an RC3, that seems to produce well in heavier cover. In open water, I usually use a Shad Rap, made by Rapala, because I found that it produces some good bass in relatively open water.

I use spinning gear most of the time to throw these baits, like the Shad Rap, and I use 8-10 pound test line, with a Shimano reel. I do use a baitcaster in 7 foot, with a medium-action rod, like a Lew’s or G.Loomis, with a Lew’s reel or Shimano geared down lower. I don’t really fool around with these baits as they are mostly made of wood, and they all have their own “personality” anyway. Sometimes I go through 10 or 15 crankbaits before finding 2 or 3 with just the right action. In the colder water I like the Shad Rap and I also like the Bomber Flat A best. When the water temperature is in the 40’s and 50’s I like it to wiggle a little tighter, and these baits achieve this action well.

Baitfish are the main forage of bass in cold water, so I always try to match the bait with the prey. The Flat A seems to look like a Shad or maybe a Bluegill, which is the main forage in a lot of the lakes I fish,and it works well in the lakes that have clearer water. I have used this bait with success over the tops of the Hydrilla beds in some Florida Lakes, as it doesn’t pick up much grass because of the real tight wiggle. I caught several nice bass from Stick Marsh and Walk-In-Water on this bait before. It also produced good in Lake Jackson. I always try to use 8 pound test whenever I can, as it usually allows the crankbaits to achieve their maximum depth, and action.

Recently the best flat sided baits here in the northeast have been the Lucky Craft Flat CB and Mini CB, as well as the new Sebile baits.

These 2-inch master crank lures by Lucky Craft are essential components in the planning of tournament tactics today. To further increase productivity, you must correctly understand the different applications and effects of the Flat Mini SR, MR and DR baits and learn, through actual gripping sensations, the “sweet spots” of the respective lures. The unique screw of water flow generated by the flat side ensures the best luring movements, which are akin to those of the original Flat CB. Indeed, the SR, MR and DR are miracle baits that combine an optimal lip shape designed to quickly reach the strike zone, an effective gravity-center shift for maximal castability, and a longer stroke for attracting bass in a wider area. These Lucky Craft baits are some of the better new Flat Side crankbaits available.

The other new flat side baits that have really produced since they were introduced are the Sebile Flat-Sided Rattslers.

Sébile has only been in business since mid-2006 and the product line is characterized by several unorthodox and exciting bass lures – the three-piece lipless Magic Swimmer swimbait, the swervy Slim Stick and humpy Ghost Walker, the fantastic Flatt Shad series, the unconventional Stick Shad, trumpet-shaped Splasher, unique Onduspoon hard plastic spoon and many other Sébile lures are truly original and unlike any others out there in terms of shape and application.

In 2009, Sebile introduced two crankbait series, the fat-bodied Crankster and flat-sided Rattsler. These are not as out-of-the-box and unconventional as many of Sebile’s other lure designs.

The Rattslers are not only flat-sided but have ultra thin bodies. As a result, Rattslers are a bit light in comparison to their side profile size, since they are so flat and thin.

The flat sides stir and move a lot of water, creating tons of turbulence as the Rattslers wiggle along. The swimming movement can be called tight and frantic, and there is a lot of side-to-side full body flipping motion.

The Rattsler 85 ML and 85 VLL are the two I recommend for average, everyday cranking on decent size bodies of water for decent size fish.

I’d say all three Rattsler 65’s are better suited for finesse cranking situations, for small ponds and small streams or where mainly small bass are found. The Rattsler 65’s are suited to clearer water, smaller waters or finesse situations with light tackle.

The Rattsler 85’s are more of your mainstream crankbait size, even a little on the big size (keeping in mind they are thin). Of the three Rattsler 85 sizes, I’d say the 85 SL would be the least used model overall since it runs very shallow. The 85 SL dives just 1-2 feet, and that makes it good for fishing over thick grass or jumbled shallow wood, through the crowns of dense brush fields and so forth. Those are great sitations where the 85 SL excels. But day in and day out, the most poplar models will be the Rattsler 85 ML which runs 2-4 feet deep and the Rattsler 85 VLL (runs 10-20 feet) for deep water applications.

“FAT BODIED CRANKBAITS”

I like a lot of the fat bodied crankbaits when working shallow or brushy cover, as I believe they come through it better, and have a wider wobble, which at times is just what the bass want. I use these more in the stained or muddier rivers and lakes, and I also like them for running over the weedbeds when the top of the weeds come to about a foot of the surface. Mann’s 1-Minus, and Baby 1 Minus and Lucky Craft are my favorites for this style of shallow running crankbait. Again, I always try to match the forage of the lake, at the particular time of year I am fishing.

Also, many days when you couldn’t get a bass to come up out of the Hydrilla for a topwater, such as a buzzbait, or a Zara Spook, you could catch a limit by running these baits just under the surface creating a wake over the grass and Hydrilla beds. Bomber makes a bait called the Shallow A, which is also good for this type of cover.

Another method I use to replace a spinnerbait is a Cotton Cordell Big O, the one I like best runs about 3 or 4 feet deep. It creates a good wake when I reel it slowly, or if I want to burn it, it will run just under the surface and serve as a search bait, covering a lot of water quickly. I like to throw this bait around the edges of the thick weeds in New Jersey’s Union Lake, and others that are similar to it. It really works well there. If I want to make an even heavier wake than normal, I just go to heavier line for the crankbaits, say 20-25 pound test.

The thicker line helps keep the bait running on top. I always like to throw these baits to visible structure such as grass and docks,and most importantly later in the year, SHADE!

In lakes that are really clear, and have little cover, the bass will relate to a shade line.This is also true in Table Rock Lake in certain areas, although Table Rock does have a variety of structure, but little to no vegetation.

When I fish the shade line, I usually burn the bait. The most active fish will always be on the shady side of whatever structure there is. I cast beyond the structure, and burn the bait through the shade as close to the structure as possible. If you fish a lot of lakes that receive heavy pressure from water skiers and jet skies, and pleasure boaters, it generally creates a “Mud-line.” Bass will relate to this very often. It generally is in the upper 3 feet of water, so bass will hold along the mud line so they can see what’s swimming by. I cast parallel to the muddy water and burn the bait back to the boat. I usually use a white or Pearl color for this. I have used this method with success at Lake Hopetcong in the summer months. All these shallow running baits of this type produce bass well in the spring in California and Florida.

Many times a crankbait will run deeper or shallower than it is supposed to according to the manufacturer.

The Suspending crankbaits seem to run a little deeper than the floating ones, I suspect because they are a little heavier. The other places to target for bass with crankbaits in rivers, is the creek channels or bends.

River bends collect structure such as fallen trees and brush, which in turn, creates a great spot in slower current where the largemouth lay in wait of the prey. Differences in materials should also be considered when selecting the crankbaits to use. For example, plastic lures can be abused a little more than some wood lures, but wooden baits have better flotation and action many times. There are differences in the way they have to manufacture plastic baits and wooden baits, and both have their advantages and disadvantages in each situation. Trial and error,experience, and time, are the best teachers in these matters.

You can read all you want, but there is nothing like time and hands on experience to learn what works best and when.

One thing I do with most crankbaits though, is change their hooks. I only use premium hooks on baits such as Gamakatsu, VMC, Daiichi, X-Pouint, or other quality hooks. I replace them after a couple of months or sooner, depending on the use, and the number of fish caught on them.

You really need to understand and have good electronics also, to find the right cover, and select the correct depth. Many times anglers are either fishing above or below the fish. It is very important to have and know how to use a wide variety of crankbaits to cover the proper depth. I never stick my rod in the water to make the lure run deeper, as it causes you to loose contact with the bait. If you are after fish that are deeper, it is better to make a longer cast beyond them, and reel the bait to them. The longer the cast, the better, if you are trying to achieve maximum depth, as it takes a while for the lure to go down. When fishing for deeper bass there are better choices than some of the crankbaits I’ve mentioned above.

“LIPLESS CRANKBAITS”

Many times when searching for deep bass lipless crankbaits are better.Some of the better lipless crankbaits for searching and catching bassin deep water are a 1-ounce Cordell Rattlin Spot, a Rattlin’ Rapala in1/2 ounce, Lucky Craft, the new baits by Sebile or Little George’s.

These baits proved to be a life saver one day on Table Rock Lake, when the bass wouldn’t cooperate on the other crankbaits.

Many times in Delaware Lakes and ponds, I have used similar baits in cold water very early in the year with success. These wil lalso work in the deeper, colder areas of the Nanticoke and Sassafras rivers early and late in the year. I usually stick with the Shad patterns for these baits, or solid chrome, although I have at times caught numerous large bass early with a red or orange color.

Sometimes it is just a matter of presentation.

Before changing the lure or color, I always cover the area at various angles at different retrieve speeds. As you can see, there is a lot to know about using the correct crankbait, and I have just touched on the tip of the iceberg. There are other subtle variations in all of the above lures and presentations that can effect how a bait catches bass. After many years of trial and error, I am still learning new ways to catch more and bigger bass on crankbaits. And isn’t that the way it should be? The experimentation, and anticipation of every cast is what keeps it exciting and fun.



Source by Steven Vonbrandt

North By Northwest Announces New Workshop – Self-Care Strategies for Entrepreneurs & Professionals

As a solopreneur or professional at the helm of a small team, there are a seemingly endless number of tasks that need to be ticked off a daily To Do List each day. The well-being of a manager can slowly fall further and further down that list of priorities.

Spending too many hours on a business venture – and not enough on a personal life and self-care – is the fast-track to burnout.

“It’s Not the Amount of Work We Do that Causes Burnout!” For many entrepreneurs, it’s not the workload that makes people fall off the health wagon. Instead, it’s the feelings that entrepreneurs have around their work – like the overwhelming feeling that they are never off duty; the harrowing guilt that comes up when they try to step away from their business; and the never-ending pressure to achieve and succeed – which becomes overwhelming and stressful.

Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Self-Care Bootcamp for Entrepreneurs was created to get professionals back on track.

In this four-module self-guided course – complete with an Action Plan clients can implement at the end of each module and exercise worksheets to help them define their own self-care plan.

– Start taking care of themselves: mind, body and spirit, so they can transform their life and business (and feel happier and more successful, too)

– Create a strong and healthy body, so they have the much-needed energy and stamina to grow a thriving business

– Nurture their emotional well-being and safeguard against emotional burnout by setting firm boundaries

Module 1: The Whole-Body Entrepreneur

– Why self-care keeps slipping from their grasp (and how to stop the slide) – so they can break their old habits for good and build a sustainable self-care routine.

– 7 signs of burnout they need to take seriously – and what to do about them

– 6 signs of stress – and how to permanently defuse it

– Why they are stuck in distraction (and how to get out) – because ditching those time drains will free them up to do the things they love

Module 2: A Strong & Healthy Body Makes Good Business Sense

– The dangerous health habits common to entrepreneurs and how to spot them – so they can kick them to the curb today

– The real reason why making time to be healthy never seems to work – and the simple hacks and strategies they can use to fix this

– How to identify their energy drains

– 6 tips and tricks for fitting self-care painlessly back into their everyday life – easy to adopt rituals and habits to help stop destructive practices and strengthen the well-being of their life and business

Module 3: Nurture Your Emotional Well-being

– 6 “emotional well-being” deal breakers-including what they are and how to handle them

– 6 surefire warning signs they may be running into a client from hell – including what to do when their client-to-be is both needy and nice

– 5 painless ways to ditch the energy vampires and complainers – it may be the kindest thing they do for both of them

– Why neglecting their boundaries has a direct effect on business decisions – and how to successfully change this habit

– How to be proactive in handling negative people and situations – and what they can do to help prevent it from happening

– How to create a Emotional Well-being Profile – and use it to strengthen their boundaries naturally and painlessly

Module 4: Creativity Comes from the Soul

– 10 ways to get over negative perceptions and insecurities – and how to start truly, deeply loving themselves

– 5 must-take steps necessary to make any major lifestyle change – including what they should make time for, why they don’t and how to change that, for good

– How to create their own Emotional Well-being Profile – and finally figure out what’s essential for them to maintain confidence, good health, and true happiness

This workshop will enable clients to:

– Get rid of past self-sabotaging habits that drain their energy

– Put a real, practical self-care routine into practice (and finally understand why it’s so hard to stick to one in the first place-so they will never “fall off” again)

– Set themselves up for a rich and fulfilling life and business where their needs are met (and so are the needs of their clients and customers)

– Be the successful, shining entrepreneurs or businesswoman they always wanted to be

Whatever a clients physical, emotional, and spiritual goals are, it’s all possible when they take this first step.

Check out their website for more information on their SelfCare Bootcamp and other workshops and planners:

North By Northwest Pointing you in the Right Direction for your Life



Source by Karin E. Fried

The Importance of CRM Customer Relationship Management

CRM Customer Relationship Management is one of the newest innovations in customer service today. CRM stands for customer relationship management and helps the management and customer service staffs cope with customer concerns and issues. CRM involves gathering a lot of data about the customer. The data is then used to facilitate customer service transactions by making the information needed to resolve the issue or concern readily available to those dealing with the customers. This results in more satisfied customers, a more profitable business and more resources available to the support staff. Furthermore, CRM Customer Relationship Management systems are a great help to the management in deciding on the future course of the company.

As mentioned, there is much data needed for the CRM system to work. These fields include the customer name, address, date of transactions, pending and finished transactions, issues and complaints, status of order, shipping and fulfillment dates, account information, demographic data and many more. This information is important in providing the customer the answer that he or she needs to resolve the issue without having to wait for a long time and without going to several departments. With just a few mouse clicks, a customer support representative for example can track the location of the customer’s package or order. This is infinitely better than the cumbersome process of tracking shipments previously. Furthermore, the customer service representative will also be able to see the previous concerns of the customer. This is a great help especially if the customer is calling about the same issue since he or she will not have to repeat the story all over again. This results in less time in resolving the issue, thus, higher productivity of the support staff.

CRM Customer Relationship Management systems are also important to the top management because it provides crucial data like customer satisfaction and efficiency of service by the frontline crews. A piece of customer relationship management software will also be able to generate the needed reports for product development or new concepts. Furthermore, this system will also be a great help for the top management in deciding the company’s future course of action, whether it involves phasing out one of the products on the shelves or making adjustments to one of the products sold.

The reports generated by CRM systems are also invaluable to your advertising and marketing planners, as they will be able to pinpoint which ideas works and which do not. Because of CRM systems, you will be able to release advertisements or plan marketing campaigns more in tune with your target market. This will also lead to more responses to your advertisement and a more effective marketing campaign.

Successful integration of a CRM Customer Relationship Management system in your company, however, might not be as easy as it seems. The following might give you an insight why CRM systems fail in some companies… Most companies fail to prepare for CRM systems. By this, I mean that most companies fail to integrate all the departments that need to share the information for it to be effective. Furthermore, CRM units scattered all over the company’s departments is often more effective than just making one big CRM department. This will ensure that each department will get the information and data that they need.

A CRM system will also help you a lot in expanding your business. As CRM systems are capable of handling enormous amounts of data, CRM systems will help you a lot in coping with the increased numbers of customers and data. With a CRM Customer Relationship Management system installed and properly utilized, you can be sure that all data is maximized and used to ensure that your business will be successful and your customers a lot more satisfied than before.



Source by Steven R Taylor

Retail Design for Vehicle Showrooms

Why the Right Retail Design is Important for Motor Showrooms

When vehicles undergo constant design upgrades and enhancements to make them more appealing and efficient, it stands to reason that the spaces that market them should do so too. Inspired by new ideas of efficiency and aesthetics that guide the designs of cars and other vehicles, the showroom environment can aspire to the same principles, powered by branding and relevant retail design drawings. In fact, the right retail store layouts can almost immediately and directly impact sales and productivity.

As the corporate branding world is trending in the direction of specific fixtures, fittings, furniture and other collaterals that showcase and reinforce corporate identities in car stores, the role of comprehensive retail store plans in transforming showrooms into bespoke retail spaces cannot be underestimated. This is where 3D architectural modelling and BIM modelling services become invaluable.

To further branding goals, the structure and circulation of the retail space is critical. Once this is decided, ambience can be developed through lighting, sound, materials and branded touchpoints. Brand graphics and their positioning build the confidence of potential customers. Motor showrooms display their products in vast open spaces. Exact positions of each vehicle at the showroom layout is dimensionally represented by accurate retail drawing sets. While preparing the layout plan, the length and breadth of any display systems or racks are shown.

Within the branding purview of structure and circulation, consistency is important. Exterior branding, structural features and signage should follow inside and entice, interest and fortify the product. To ensure this consistency, a dedicated team is essential. Each client employs individual corporate branding, communication, style guidelines and standards. A dedicated team assigned to a client can be trained to deliver each client requirement. These can include:

  • Space planning design
  • Interior design
  • Elevations – exterior and interior
  • Store refurbishment drawings
  • Updating existing designs
  • Detailing of store features, such as signage, mannequin locations and light fixtures

Typically, a project manager is identified, who then undergoes training with a client representative. This training is passed on to a dedicated team of engineers and architects, who study design guidelines and deliver high quality drawings to the client and receive regular feedback. Communication is accurate and issues are resolved quickly.

Motor Retail Design Elements

Standards for each aspect of the showroom experience are planned and designed, from internal and external spaces to entrances to circulation systems. Retail space must allow for both permanent and non-permanent features, such as features that may change when new models arrive. Structural constraints affect overall design; columns, stairways, ceiling height, windows and emergency exists are all factors. In motor showrooms, all available space must be utilised. Floor plans guide circulation, which then inclines the consumer to travel to important displays and, ultimately, to the sales associate. Car showrooms can be quite grand, displaying double-height glazing, bright lights and expensive stone/ceramic floors, but customers require clear routes to the service area/workshop. Also, showrooms must be large enough for the number of cars that need to be displayed. Even service bays in the body shop and the number of technicians must be considered. The use of detailed retail design drawings and BIM technology ensure that the required parameters for all these features are adhered to.

Vehicular display is prime, but there is also a high standard for building services that must be maintained. Effective cooling in customer areas must counteract heat absorbed in highly glazed areas. Sustainable properties could lead to lower energy bills, lowering overheads. With effective MEP coordination, the features to alleviate loads, energy use and carbon emissions that could be planned are:

  • Extended eaves, brise-soleil and canopies, which reduce solar gain, especially on the main façade
  • Roof lights to provide basic lighting needs
  • Enhanced insulation for cladding and roofs
  • Motion-detecting lighting for bathrooms and other areas not always in use
  • Double-glazed glass insulated compact sectional access doors that allow maximum natural light, while being useful for vehicular movement. They conserve air conditioning and insulate the building.

A soothing yet impressive ambience adds extra edge to the showroom experience, and this is a zone where MEP drawings, models and coordination play a major role. Primarily, this is achieved by lighting and materials, but sound and audio also play a key role, providing it appeals to the target market. But to get back to lighting, the right lighting may perhaps cause the greatest dramatic effect in a motor showroom. Functionality and the ability to showcase display vehicles are vital. This involves layered lighting, with a choice of intensities and fixtures. The lighting of the ceiling and roof should cover structural features and direct customers to key areas.

With valuable display vehicles, security is important. Ideally, motor showrooms have access control, alarms and sophisticated internal and external CCTV, with movement tracking and links to remote monitoring centres, yet another feature to benefit from relevant MEP coordination.

Perspective

In the end, a well-executed retail space must be viewed from the consumer’s perspective. Retail design should control the customer’s view of the retail space. All of these crucial factors would be difficult to plan without the necessary elevations and walk-throughs provided by advanced architectural designs, specifically retail store CAD drawings and 3D models by Revit.

Retail Design Drawings for Motor Showrooms

Effective planning for motor showrooms call for exceptional design models and drawings. Preferred drafting stages and services for retail spaces include:

  • Store Concept
  • Floor Design & Fixtures
  • Electrical and Lighting
  • Customized Colour and Material Matching

Designers and drafting service personnel with relevant inter-domain expertise can utilise their experience to coordinate business and retail for a brand. Services on offer are:

  • Zoning, layout design
  • Interior design, graphics and visual branding
  • POS displays and locations
  • Design detailing and seasonal roll-outs

These can be customized with integrated 2D retail drafting for specific client requirements. With BIM modelling solutions, these can also be turned into detailed 3D space rendering, where the entire retail space plan can be visualised by the client. Textures of walls, colour schemes and other details can be viewed in realistic conditions with the use of 3D space renders. This allows modifications before the design is approved for production drawings. A major advantage is that scale modelling costs can be saved.

Seamless project execution can occur using AutoCAD and Revit software. This means project steps can be monitored in real time, projects can be completed and moved to the quality check stage, which can be performed thoroughly based on project scope. The retail drawing sets can be reviewed in its final form by the client and valuable feedback can be implemented. In the final design stages, a final quality check can be conducted. Skilled drafting services by retail space planners are updated with global retail trends, some still in a process of evolution. These services can greatly contribute to maximising potential in a motor showroom and provide customers with the best planned retail environment.

Since retail design drafting services are inevitable in the process, it seems logical to consider how cost-effective and quality-efficient they can be. Global trends lean toward the growing popularity of outsourcing these tasks. The reasons are compelling.

Advantages of Outsourcing Retail Design

Less Costly – Outsourced retail design drawings are competitively priced compared to the same quality and quantity of work executed locally, and since many outsourced firms employ work shifts, drawings or 3D architectural models are delivered faster.

Global Exposure – Outsourcing firms are exposed to retail establishments across the globe. Thus, the technical personnel are well qualified, well trained and well acquainted with international building codes and brand guidelines.

Flexibility – Outsourced firms can generally operate either as a small dedicated team or as a large team of 40 draftsmen or more to execute projects of larger volume or those with quick turnaround times, so work can be scaled to perfectly meet requirements.

Updated Expertise – Outsourced firms employ technical personnel who excel at BIM and are generally well updated on other software, including AutoCAD, Revit, etc.

Extensive Experience – Trusted outsourced firms have been designing and drafting retail spaces for years for clients in Europe and the UK.

Quality outsourcing services provided for retail design include:

Production Drawings Sets

Besides providing complete construction drawing sets from Autodesk (Revit or AutoCAD) to the retail industry, SolidWorks has been used to create engineering drawings. All key drawings, including floor plans, internal elevations, external elevations, construction plans, setting-out drawings, composite plans, finishing plans, lighting and ceiling plans, comprehensive equipment schedules and material and component take-off data are included.

Retail Design

Retail design, documentation, and project management, concept design and layouts are provided.

3D/4D Models

Using Revit Architecture and Revit MEP tools, 3D models and scan-to-BIM services, using point cloud data, are provided, with 4D scheduling added for new site construction.

Retail BIM Data

BIM services provide automated schedules to ensure, accuracy, speed of design output, rendering and visualisation tools to create realistic views.

Manufacturing/Assembly Drawings

Manufacturing and assembly drawings for bespoke retail furniture, fixtures and fittings, using AutoCAD detailing software is provided.

Floor Plans

Colour-coded floor plans and 3D plans.

Computer Generated Images

Computer-generated images for external and internal views are generated, showing images with artistic and watercolour effects.

In conclusion, for the detailed demands of retail design in motor showrooms, the ideal option seems to be the way of outsourced firms, as they offer one-stop shops for creating initial 2D drawings from rough sketches and photos to delivering 3D models for space design and final production drawings. They offer services tailor-made for specific business needs that are easy to execute and flexible to modifications. They employ highly qualified staff with experience, knowhow and talent for retail design drawings and the expertise to use the latest software in the retail design industry. Most importantly, this ultimately helps save time and cost.



Source by Kuldeep Bwail

Logistics Solutions to Distribution Services

Logistics refers to the management of flow of resources and commodities from their manufacturing depots to their point of consumption, keeping in mind the demand of local markets. The idea originally cropped up from the military sector where the need was to keep the armed troops constantly supplied with ration, arms and ammunition, as they moved forth from their base point. Logistic solutions regarding when and how to transport resources to army bases occupies an important place since without timely provisions, an army is as good as defenseless.

Nowadays logistic solutions have gained importance in various other sectors like manufacturing, import, exports, wholesaling, customs and most importantly transport businesses. The concept of logistics as a business came up due to the increasing complexities of supplying commodities to the target areas in a globalised supply chain. It essentially includes planning and implementing activity forecast for business houses regarding an efficient supply chain management based on statistics and market trends. It also provides a cost effective yet result oriented transportation strategy since transportation and delivery of goods is the key element of the logistic process. A warehouse management system forms the central kiosk of such a supply chain, controlling the receipt, storage and movement of materials within a warehouse and involving processes like transactions, shipping, receiving, picking, loading, unloading, etc. Today inventory planning, cost management and communication technology also constitutes a part of logistics solution for transportation businesses.

With distribution costs escalating higher and higher with every passing day, reaching the customer most efficiently with minimum investments is a major criteria to all the manufactures over the world. But for these, a proper market assessment for the local demand of the product in different regions is a prerequisite. Then a slotting analysis has to be done to decide upon the distribution centre design, layout and setup. There must also be a accommodation for re-slotting of distribution centres complying with the changing market statistics. All these have to be accomplished keeping an appropriate balance between cost and availability of space, easy access of transportation and reasonable labour charges. A study of transport logistics is all that is required to come up with the best available solution to the manufacturers in this respect.

Throughout the 20th century traditional methods of transport logistics has been declining, giving way to modern techniques like Just In Time (JIT) system which delivers goods directly from the suppliers to the customers end without involving the intermediary step of warehousing the products. This reduces the cost of transportation, time required to complete the task as well as he security risks involved with the process. But warehouses become an unavoidable necessity in cases that require off shoring activities. A logistic planner thus needs to consider all these factors before suggesting the best locations for warehouses. Also nowadays, the recent version of warehouse-styled retail outlets has gained enormous popularity in the market. This idea of utilising the warehouse dually as storage and distribution depots highly appeals to the modern day manufacturers because besides reducing the end cost to the buyers, it boosts the production sales ratio too. The introduction of internet and e-commerce has also left a strong impact on the development of logistic solutions in the field of warehousing distribution. Internet-based stores do not require a chain of outlets to sell their products; instead, their focus remains on a well-maintained delivery section and in this case again, warehouses serve no more than storage units.



Source by Tulika Sinha

Planning Corporate Events Using the 5 W’s

Many organizations plan events yearly or for special occasions, such as anniversaries or for holidays. These events may be highly successful or they could turn out as a flop when it comes to meeting the goal for holding the event. Event success can often be determined by appropriate planning and decision making. To aid in the success of future events, below are five questions to consider when planning an event.

  1. Why should an event be held? This question helps to determine goals, possible outcomes, and establish an overall theme for the event. Once the purpose of the event is established, a budget must be determined to pay for the event and travel costs must be considered as well. Knowing the event budget and goals before continuing with planning will help to keep the event within the desired scope. Never lose sight of the event goal even if the budget does not allow for everything, there may be acceptable alternatives, so brainstorm along the way to meet all the event requirements.
  2. What needs to happen at the event? Asking this and brainstorming answers is the first step in creating an agenda for the day(s) of activity. The next step would be developing a project plan for event assignments that include pre and post tasks as well as at the event actions. Will there be speakers, announcements, videos, presentations, exhibits, meals, breaks, recognition or award ceremonies, team-building, fun interactive activities, break out training, or discussion sessions? Determine is any particular equipment pr room set-ups may be necessary to facilitate portions of the event. Decide what type of print materials may need to be available for the event then begin putting that together and arranging appropriate copies and communications.
  3. Who should be invited to the event? Is it for a particular department, a set of executives, one or more work teams, individuals who achieved something, or the entire company? Would this event be something to consider inviting key or potential customers and vendors to? Consider whether a keynote speaker or other special speakers should be part of the event. Also whether people with special skills such as event planners, coordinators, moderators, or facilitators are needed for the success of the event or if this can be done in-house. If someone with speaker or special skills is needed determine how arrangements for them get made and how this might this impact the budget. Also decide what communications need to be sent to those attending and working at the event plus what follow-up is required and when deadlines should be.
  4. When would be the best date(s) and times for holding the event? Determine the length of tine required to accomplish the events goals, and then select three preferred date options to allow for finding a location. The event may be a half day, full day, or over several days. Advance planning makes it more likely to get the perfect location for the event during the preferred time period. As soon as the date is set, start sending communications to potential attendees so they can put it on their calendar. Then continue sending monthly reminders with new tidbits about the event to maintain their interest in attending. Be sure to send a final date/time/location reminder two to five business days before the event.
  5. Where is the event to be held? After determining the happenings and attendance, a location that meets all the needs plus catering options can be selected. Consider whether the event should be held in the local area if it is a short time period and where most attendees are located. Be sure to consider travel requirements and communicate any special instructions for getting to location for locals and others outside the area. If the event is multiple days and the selected location is away from the work area, after-hours activities or entertainment may also need to be considered. Before selecting a location, also determine if some activities are to be done outside or if everything will be done indoors.

To make an organizational event successful, whether it is for a special occasion or a yearly event, start with the five questions above when planning. These questions and associated planning should increase the chances of an event successfully meeting the organization’s goal instead of being a flop where people after the event did not know why they spent their valuable time there.



Source by Shirley Lee

The Goal Overview

“The Goal” is a business novel written by Eliyahu M. Goldratt. In the book the author uses an easy-to-read story line to explain the Theory of Constraints (TOC) as it applies to the problems of meeting demand at UniCo, the manufacturing plant run by the protagonist, Alex Rogo. The book opens with the division vice president, Bill Peach, visiting the plant to investigate a late order. His visit brings to light the problems of late shipments, massive backlogs, and production inefficiencies at the plant. The pressure to turn the plant around is exacerbated because it is rumored that the company plans to close one of its under-performing plants to cut costs. Consequently, Rogo has 90 days to turn the plant around to avoid being the plant that is closed. He gets help from an old friend, Jonah, who imparts his wisdom throughout the novel.

Jonah is a physicist who consults with corporations to make process improvements. He is a very busy man who appears sparingly in the book but each time he imparts a little nugget of knowledge for Rogo to use at the plant. Rogo and the reader are forced to figure out how to apply this knowledge to the problems at the plant. In the forward of the book, Goldratt states that he uses the Socratic Method to explain the main points of the book because he believes that it is an effective teaching and learning tool. These occasional pronouncements form the “take a ways” from the book and are what I will attempt to discuss in this paper.

The first point Goldratt makes through Jonah is that the number one goal of an organization is to make money. Everything else that an organization does should be a means to achieve that goal. Accountants express that goal, i.e. making money, as increasing net profit, ROI, and cash flow. For example, Goldratt explains that when UniCo installs robotic machines in the plant that results in a 26% increase in productivity of an operation but does not result in a 26% increase in customer orders, the company is not making any more money. Further, what appears to be a productive piece of machinery is causing inventory to increase with out sales, hence, the company is not making money.

The goal of making money in a manufacturing environment can be expressed in the following three measurements:

(1) Inventory (money already in the system) is all the money that the system has invested in purchasing things it intends to sell, i.e. investment that the organization has already made.

(2) Operating Expenses (money going out of the system) is all the money the system spends in order to turn inventory into throughput, i.e. scrap, tooling, supplies, direct and indirect labor.

(3) Throughput (money coming into the system) is the rate at which the system generates money through sales.

Goldratt further states that if inventory is made but does not sell the firm is not making money. This is what is happening at UniCo. Inventory is going up because the work-in-process (WIP) is increasing for the sake of machine efficiencies as a result of inflated batch quantities. The conventional wisdom is that less set ups (a fixed cost) on the machine results in a lower cost per unit, which accounting equates to improved efficiency. Also the warehouse is filling up with products the firm cannot sell which means throughput is decreasing. Eventually the inventories in the warehouse become throughput. As inventory sits, it increases carrying costs and overhead, there by increasing operating expenses. Further, if UniCo is making inventory/products it cannot sell; those products it does sell have to be made on an expedited basis. As a result the expedited orders cost more then they should. All three of these measurements are interdependent, which means that changing one will result in a change to the others. Thus, to improve an organization’s processes using Goldratt’s TOC one must consider all three measurements at the same time.

This introduces the second point that Jonah discusses with Rogo. The TOC is a principle which provides that all processes have impediments in the system. It is important to recognize the impediments or constraints and develop a plan to minimize their impact on the entire system. TOC also states that the output of a process which consists of multiple and independent operations are limited to the least productive or most constrained operation. The book illustrates constraints on a system with two examples; (1) a linked chain that is only as strong as the weakest link in the entire chain and (2) taking scouts on a hike.

On the hike Rogo is the leader of a bunch of boys that need to get from point A to point B in time to make camp for dinner. On the first half of the hike the boys get spread out over time because the faster boys are way out in front and the slower ones get farther behind. The boy who is restraining the whole operation is Herbie. He is overweight and carrying more then his physical capacity allows. Rogo realizes the whole scout troop is only as good as the weakness link in the entire chain which is Herbie. By placing the bottleneck, Herbie, at the front of the line and off loading some of what is in his pack to other boys with more capacity, Rogo can level the load on the whole system. The result is that the whole group makes it to camp in time for dinner. Rogo takes this knowledge back to the plant and applies it to the production process from one operation to the next.

The third major point that Jonah imparts are the two phenomena found in every plant. The first phenomenon is that there are always dependent events in any process flow. This is an event or series of events that must take place before the next event can happen. Thus, each successive event or downstream event is dependent on what has already occurred. The second phenomenon is statistical fluctuation. This is when different outcomes occur even though the same process is followed. Thus the results or the process are not absolutely predictable, but rather they are within a range of outcomes that can be forecasted to get a general idea of the most probable outcome. Unfortunately, most of the factors critical to running a plant successfully cannot be determined precisely ahead of time.

Fourth, Jonah instructs that there are impediments within the process flow of dependent events, which are called bottlenecks. A bottleneck is any resource whose capacity is equal to or less than the demand placed on it. Conversely, a non-bottleneck is any resource whose capacity is greater than the demand placed on it. The plant should not balance individual resource capacity with overall market demand for its product. Rather, it needs to balance the flow of product through the plant with overall market demand for its product. To be more precise, the flow should be slightly less than the demand. If the flow is equal to market demand and the market shrinks, then the plant have too much excess capacity. Fundamentally, the bottleneck(s) should be on par with the market demand. Additionally, working at maximum efficiency can result in excess inventory, and a plant that is working at maximum efficiency all the time is very inefficient. Use of plant resources means taking into consideration the entire system when making process decisions.

At UniCo, Rogo finds that he has two bottlenecks in the middle of the process. Unlike the hike example where Herbie can be moved to the front, Rogo is unable to move the bottlenecks at the plant to the front of the chain. Instead Rogo must find other solutions to improve throughput at the two bottlenecks. The first bottleneck is at the NCX-10 machine. The potential solutions to improve process flow and capacity at this operation are: (1) place quality control upstream from NCX-10, which will ensure that all work being done at this operation is on known good parts; (2) use old machines to increase capacity, which are not as efficient but which prove their worth by getting parts through the bottleneck; (3) assign a full time set up crew, to the NCX-10, which eliminates any downtime on the machine; and (4) mark orders to be processed through a bottleneck, which makes all the upstream operations aware of the order’s importance. The second bottleneck is at heat-treat. The solutions to improve process flow and capacity at this operation are: (1) use outside venders for extra capacity; (2) use time during baking cycle to set up parts in queue for the next run; and (3) remove heat-treat routing from parts that do not need it.

Focusing on these bottlenecks is the key to solving a lot of what is wrong with the processes at the plant. Jonah tells Rogo that to increase the capacity of the plant he must improve the capacity of the bottleneck. If it loses one hour in the bottleneck, it is lost forever and may not be recovered elsewhere in the system.

Jonah also instructs that Rogo can get into trouble by focusing too much on the bottlenecks and ignoring the rest of the process. He explains that activating a resource and utilizing a resource are not synonymous. Utilizing a resource means it is being use in a way which mirrors the overall goals of the whole system. Activating a resource means turning it on and running it without regard to whether it is needed. Activating a resource and increasing throughput can cause additional bottlenecks to appear. However, most plants have enough extra capacity that the increase would have to be large to make an impact.

In the book, both bottlenecks provided Rogo and his team a place to focus their energies and refine some of the plants’ processes. One of these processes is the four stages that a work order goes through when it travels from one operation to the next. These stages are:

(1) Setup is the time the part spends waiting for a resource, while the resource is preparing itself to work on the part.

(2) Process time (run time) is the amount of time the part spends being modified into a new, more valuable form.

(3) Queue time is the time the part spends in line waiting for a resource while the resource is busy working on something ahead of it.

(4) Wait time is the time the part waits, not for a resource, but for another part so they can be assembled together.

Also, the economic batch quantity (EBQ) is a critical decision made by the shop planner. However, the EBQ only takes a single work center or operation into consideration, not the whole system. A large batch will reduce set up time and increase inventory. The small batch size that Rogo switched to has several benefits, such as; smoother work flow, decreased inventory, reduced process flow times, improved machine utilization, and increased product quality.

Jonah points out that cutting order quantities increases the flow of product through the system which increases throughput and the company makes money. The additional set up time that a non-bottleneck performs because of the smaller batch size would not add to the overhead cost because the non-bottleneck has idle time anyway. An hour saved at a non-bottleneck is an allusion. With the increase in throughput a company can market its significant cut in lead-time, to obtain new business.

The easy sell to sales and marketing is a hard sell to accounting. The accountants are used to the traditional method of accounting, which is a total of the raw material costs, direct labor costs, and burden (which is direct labor times a determined factor). With the decrease in batch sizes the part cost increase using this method because the additional set ups have added to the direct labor charge. But this thinking does not take the entire process into account. It assumes that all workers in the system are working at full capacity all the time. Hence, the added set up time does not require additional workers as accounting would have you believe.

The result of the smaller batch sizes is a reduction in finished and WIP inventory and increased sales, which means more money coming in. Consequently, the same direct labor cost spread over more product. By making and selling more products with the same costs the system makes money and the shareholders are satisfied.

By following Jonah’s advice and addressing the bottlenecks Rogo was successful at turning around his failing plant. He improved throughput, cut inventories, and reduced operating expenses, which translated into making money. He got the promotion to run the division and, most importantly, his wife moved back home.



Source by Peter Foehl

The Challenges of Human Resource Management

Introduction

The role of the Human Resource Manager is evolving with the change in competitive market environment and the realization that Human Resource Management must play a more strategic role in the success of an organization. Organizations that do not put their emphasis on attracting and retaining talents may find themselves in dire consequences, as their competitors may be outplaying them in the strategic employment of their human resources.

With the increase in competition, locally or globally, organizations must become more adaptable, resilient, agile, and customer-focused to succeed. And within this change in environment, the HR professional has to evolve to become a strategic partner, an employee sponsor or advocate, and a change mentor within the organization. In order to succeed, HR must be a business driven function with a thorough understanding of the organization’s big picture and be able to influence key decisions and policies. In general, the focus of today’s HR Manager is on strategic personnel retention and talents development. HR professionals will be coaches, counselors, mentors, and succession planners to help motivate organization’s members and their loyalty. The HR manager will also promote and fight for values, ethics, beliefs, and spirituality within their organizations, especially in the management of workplace diversity.

This paper will highlight on how a HR manager can meet the challenges of workplace diversity, how to motivate employees through gain-sharing and executive information system through proper planning, organizing, leading and controlling their human resources.

Workplace Diversity

According to Thomas (1992), dimensions of workplace diversity include, but are not limited to: age, ethnicity, ancestry, gender, physical abilities/qualities, race, sexual orientation, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, military experience, religious beliefs, parental status, and work experience.

The Challenges of Workplace Diversity

The future success of any organizations relies on the ability to manage a diverse body of talent that can bring innovative ideas, perspectives and views to their work. The challenge and problems faced of workplace diversity can be turned into a strategic organizational asset if an organization is able to capitalize on this melting pot of diverse talents. With the mixture of talents of diverse cultural backgrounds, genders, ages and lifestyles, an organization can respond to business opportunities more rapidly and creatively, especially in the global arena (Cox, 1993), which must be one of the important organisational goals to be attained. More importantly, if the organizational environment does not support diversity broadly, one risks losing talent to competitors.

This is especially true for multinational companies (MNCs) who have operations on a global scale and employ people of different countries, ethical and cultural backgrounds. Thus, a HR manager needs to be mindful and may employ a ‘Think Global, Act Local’ approach in most circumstances. The challenge of workplace diversity is also prevalent amongst Singapore’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). With a population of only four million people and the nation’s strive towards high technology and knowledge-based economy; foreign talents are lured to share their expertise in these areas. Thus, many local HR managers have to undergo cultural-based Human Resource Management training to further their abilities to motivate a group of professional that are highly qualified but culturally diverse. Furthermore, the HR professional must assure the local professionals that these foreign talents are not a threat to their career advancement (Toh, 1993). In many ways, the effectiveness of workplace diversity management is dependent on the skilful balancing act of the HR manager.

One of the main reasons for ineffective workplace diversity management is the predisposition to pigeonhole employees, placing them in a different silo based on their diversity profile (Thomas, 1992). In the real world, diversity cannot be easily categorized and those organizations that respond to human complexity by leveraging the talents of a broad workforce will be the most effective in growing their businesses and their customer base.

The Management of Workplace Diversity

In order to effectively manage workplace diversity, Cox (1993) suggests that a HR Manager needs to change from an ethnocentric view (“our way is the best way”) to a culturally relative perspective (“let’s take the best of a variety of ways”). This shift in philosophy has to be ingrained in the managerial framework of the HR Manager in his/her planning, organizing, leading and controlling of organizational resources.

As suggested by Thomas (1992) and Cox (1993), there are several best practices that a HR manager can adopt in ensuring effective management of workplace diversity in order to attain organizational goals. They are:

Planning a Mentoring Program-

One of the best ways to handle workplace diversity issues is through initiating a Diversity Mentoring Program. This could entail involving different departmental managers in a mentoring program to coach and provide feedback to employees who are different from them. In order for the program to run successfully, it is wise to provide practical training for these managers or seek help from consultants and experts in this field. Usually, such a program will encourage organization’s members to air their opinions and learn how to resolve conflicts due to their diversity. More importantly, the purpose of a Diversity Mentoring Program seeks to encourage members to move beyond their own cultural frame of reference to recognize and take full advantage of the productivity potential inherent in a diverse population.

Organizing Talents Strategically-

Many companies are now realizing the advantages of a diverse workplace. As more and more companies are going global in their market expansions either physically or virtually (for example, E-commerce-related companies), there is a necessity to employ diverse talents to understand the various niches of the market. For example, when China was opening up its markets and exporting their products globally in the late 1980s, the Chinese companies (such as China’s electronic giants such as Haier) were seeking the marketing expertise of Singaporeans. This is because Singapore’s marketing talents were able to understand the local China markets relatively well (almost 75% of Singaporeans are of Chinese descent) and as well as being attuned to the markets in the West due to Singapore’s open economic policies and English language abilities. (Toh, R, 1993)

With this trend in place, a HR Manager must be able to organize the pool of diverse talents strategically for the organization. He/She must consider how a diverse workforce can enable the company to attain new markets and other organizational goals in order to harness the full potential of workplace diversity.

An organization that sees the existence of a diverse workforce as an organizational asset rather than a liability would indirectly help the organization to positively take in its stride some of the less positive aspects of workforce diversity.

Leading the Talk-

A HR Manager needs to advocate a diverse workforce by making diversity evident at all organizational levels. Otherwise, some employees will quickly conclude that there is no future for them in the company. As the HR Manager, it is pertinent to show respect for diversity issues and promote clear and positive responses to them. He/She must also show a high level of commitment and be able to resolve issues of workplace diversity in an ethical and responsible manner.

Control and Measure Results-

A HR Manager must conduct regular organizational assessments on issues like pay, benefits, work environment, management and promotional opportunities to assess the progress over the long term. There is also a need to develop appropriate measuring tools to measure the impact of diversity initiatives at the organization through organization-wide feedback surveys and other methods. Without proper control and evaluation, some of these diversity initiatives may just fizzle out, without resolving any real problems that may surface due to workplace diversity.

Motivational Approaches

Workplace motivation can be defined as the influence that makes us do things to achieve organizational goals: this is a result of our individual needs being satisfied (or met) so that we are motivated to complete organizational tasks effectively. As these needs vary from person to person, an organization must be able to utilize different motivational tools to encourage their employees to put in the required effort and increase productivity for the company.

Why do we need motivated employees? The answer is survival (Smith, 1994). In our changing workplace and competitive market environments, motivated employees and their contributions are the necessary currency for an organization’s survival and success. Motivational factors in an organizational context include working environment, job characteristics, appropriate organizational reward system and so on.

The development of an appropriate organizational reward system is probably one of the strongest motivational factors. This can influence both job satisfaction and employee motivation. The reward system affects job satisfaction by making the employee more comfortable and contented as a result of the rewards received. The reward system influences motivation primarily through the perceived value of the rewards and their contingency on performance (Hickins, 1998).

To be effective, an organizational reward system should be based on sound understanding of the motivation of people at work. In this paper, I will be touching on the one of the more popular methods of reward systems, gain-sharing.

Gain-sharing:

Gain-sharing programs generally refer to incentive plans that involve employees in a common effort to improve organizational performance, and are based on the concept that the resulting incremental economic gains are shared among employees and the company.

In most cases, workers voluntarily participate in management to accept responsibility for major reforms. This type of pay is based on factors directly under a worker’s control (i.e., productivity or costs). Gains are measured and distributions are made frequently through a predetermined formula. Because this pay is only implemented when gains are achieved, gain-sharing plans do not adversely affect company costs (Paulsen, 1991).

Managing Gain-sharing

In order for a gain-sharing program that meets the minimum requirements for success to be in place, Paulsen (1991) and Boyett (1988) have suggested a few pointers in the effective management of a gain-sharing program. They are as follows:

  • A HR manager must ensure that the people who will be participating in the plan are influencing the performance measured by the gain-sharing formula in a significant way by changes in their day-to-day behavior. The main idea of the gain sharing is to motivate members to increase productivity through their behavioral changes and working attitudes. If the increase in the performance measurement was due to external factors, then it would have defeated the purpose of having a gain-sharing program.
  • An effective manager must ensure that the gain-sharing targets are challenging but legitimate and attainable. In addition, the targets should be specific and challenging but reasonable and justifiable given the historical performance, the business strategy and the competitive environment. If the gain-sharing participants perceive the target as an impossibility and are not motivated at all, the whole program will be a disaster.
  • A manager must provide useful feedback as a guidance to the gain-sharing participants concerning how they need to change their behavior(s) to realize gain-sharing payouts The feedback should be frequent, objective and clearly based on the members’ performance in relation to the gain-sharing target.
  • A manager must have an effective mechanism in place to allow gain-sharing participants to initiate changes in work procedures and methods and/or requesting new or additional resources such as new technology to improve performance and realize gains. Though a manager must have a tight control of company’s resources, reasonable and justifiable requests for additional resources and/or changes in work methods from gain-sharing participants should be considered.

Executive Information Systems

Executive Information System (EIS) is the most common term used for the unified collections of computer hardware and software that track the essential data of a business’ daily performance and present it to managers as an aid to their planning and decision-making (Choo, 1991). With an EIS in place, a company can track inventory, sales, and receivables, compare today’s data with historical patterns. In addition, an EIS will aid in spotting significant variations from “normal” trends almost as soon as it develops, giving the company the maximum amount of time to make decisions and implement required changes to put your business back on the right track. This would enable EIS to be a useful tool in an organization’s strategic planning, as well as day-to-day management (Laudon, K and Laudon, J, 2003).

Managing EIS

As information is the basis of decision-making in an organization, there lies a great need for effective managerial control. A good control system would ensure the communication of the right information at the right time and relayed to the right people to take prompt actions.

When managing an Executive Information System, a HR manager must first find out exactly what information decision-makers would like to have available in the field of human resource management, and then to include it in the EIS. This is because having people simply use an EIS that lacks critical information is of no value-add to the organization. In addition, the manager must ensure that the use of information technology has to be brought into alignment with strategic business goals (Laudon, K and Laudon, J, 2003).

Conclusion

The role of the HR manager must parallel the needs of the changing organization. Successful organizations are becoming more adaptable, resilient, quick to change directions, and customer-centered. Within this environment, the HR professional must learn how to manage effectively through planning, organizing, leading and controlling the human resource and be knowledgeable of emerging trends in training and employee development.



Source by Alvin Chan

7 Different Types of Milling Machines

Milling machines come in various types with a variety of functions based on certain standard specifications. Some of the most commonly used machines are the following: column, turret, C-frame, horizontal, bed type, planer-style, and tracer controlled.

A milling machine is a tool in the metal industry that has numerous functions. Each machine has a cutter that operates at a various range of speed so you can form the required shape. With its adjustable spped feature, each milling machine can be regulated for a more precise cut. The machine is capable of handling multiple tasks such as carving, threading, milling, drilling, and cutting. There are several several types of milling machines, each with varying functions based on standard criteria. Manufacturers often name the different machines according to the kind of control, number of axis present, orientation of the spindle, size of the tool, its purpose, and source of power. While there are several varieties of milling machines available today, they essentially serve the same functions but use different terminologies. Below is the list of seven types of milling machines.

Column

This is the most common milling machine, which has 5 basic components, They are the work table, saddle, head, knee, and over arm. Considered as the simplest machine type, its cutting device is vertically suspended to allow drilling of metals. This is typically used when creating car parts because it is small and handy.

Turret

The turret is also known as the Bridgeport-type and can be repositioned anytime you want making this machine very functional. Its versatility makes it more practical since a variety of products can be made in addition to car parts.

C-frame

Because it is sturdier than a turret, this type is popular in industrial settings. It comes with a hydraulic motor, which makes it very powerful.

Horizontal

This machine runs parallel to the ground. The table from which the object to be worked on is placed moves sideways while the cutting device goes up and down.

Bed type

The worktable is located on the bed itself, instead of being paced on top, its usual position. The knee part of the machine is omitted to allow movement in a longitudinal direction.

Planer-style

This machine type is basically the same as the bed mill. However, the planner-style includes cutters and heads that allow for a wider range of milling actions.

Tracer controlled

This type of machine has the ability to reproduce parts based on a master model. Most of the industrial sectors, especially the automotive industry, choose this type of machine because it make production and specialization of machine parts easier. With the vast classifications of milling machines, you need to choose the one you need according to how you intend to use it. However if you find it difficult to decide, do not hesitate to seek the help of a specialist who can help you select the one that will give you maximum benefits.



Source by Patricia Strasser

Maintenance Planning 101

Making the Best of Your Time and Resources

Congratulations! You’re the new maintenance manager of Megamonolith Corporation. Although you’re exited about the position, you realize you have your work cut out for you. Megamonolith recently bought out another company, and you’re assigned to the site. During your first six months, you conduct a facilities audit and discover that the prior maintenance program consisted only of breakdown repairs. (For information about facility audits, please refer to my white paper “The Facilities Audit” available through my website at http://www.fps-fm.com.)

One of the first things you need to do is establish a work coordination and management program that helps you and your staff identify, prioritize, plan, and track corrective actions. The same process must be used by everyone involved in maintenance, and at every location. How can you do this?

The system we propose provides these important benefits:

1.Easy retrieval and dissemination of information.

2.Ensures immediate response for emergencies and safety related issues.

3.Avoids wasted time.

4.Provides easy to follow guidelines and standards.

5.Uses off the shelf software.

6.Establishes procedures.

7.Highly cost effective.

The central point of a maintenance planning system is the Work Reception and Coordination Center, or WRCC. Depending on the size of your facilities, it may be a group of personnel or a single specialist who may even be an outsourced service provider. The WRCC is a single point of submission for all work requests; prioritizes and coordinates all work requests, and provides a current status of all work in process. Through use of database applications, the WRCC provides critical information including priority, lead and assist shops or contractors, and ensures that standardized forms and processes are used.

A word about priority. Regardless of the final form of your maintenance planning program, you must ensure that work requests are responded to in the proper manner. Here’s a suggestion:

Priority 1: Threat to life, health, or security. Requires immediate, on-site response.

Priority 2: Impairs working conditions, affects ADA/handicapped access or code requirements but does not meet Pri-1 criteria. Requires acknowledgment within 1 business day.

Priority 3: Highly desirable, will improve productivity, customer service and/or work conditions.

Requires acknowledgment within 2 business days.

Priority 4: Desirable, routine work or improves community relations. Requires acknowledgment within 2 business days.

Some companies establish another high level priority for work requests from C-level personnel, which could be listed following either Priority 2 or 3 in the above matrix.

Here’s a flow chart for the work request:

1. Incoming work request –> Priority 1?

Yes- notify Facility Manager and send work order immediately to lead shop. Lead shop begins work.

No- go to step 2.

2. Decision- does job meet criteria for planning?

Yes- request goes to maintenance planner and then to Facility Manager for approval. After Facility

Manager approval, the work order is sent to the lead shop or filed for later use when funds and

resources are available.

No- If within WRCC authority, work order is generated and sent to lead shop for action. If request is

outside WRCC authority, work order goes to Facility Manager for approval and scheduling.

The Facility Manager has authority to reject and/or schedule all work orders.

Under normal conditions, the work request would be submitted by the manager of the originating department. Priority 1 requests are the only ones that should bypass this important step.

The WRCC decides if the job meets criteria for planning to ensure that manpower, budget, and equipment resources are available. Routine work that is within the scope of WRCC authority results in a work order that is sent to the lead shop. Other requests go to maintenance department personnel and then to the facility manager for final approval before being issued as work orders.



Source by Richard Buzard