November 25, 2013
Have you ever said to yourself, or to someone else, that you wish there was more time in the day? Perhaps you’ve even said you wish you didn’t have to sleep because there never seems to be enough time. If you have had these thoughts or find yourself struggling to complete projects on time, then you might be the victim of poor time management.
Effective time management is the ability to complete tasks within a certain time frame. The best way to achieve effective time management is to plan out each day. At the beginning of every day, you should make a list of how much time needs to be allotted for each task. Time should be budgeted in the same manner as a person’s finances.
If our time is not budgeted properly, it will be difficult for us to utilize effective time management. For example, if you’re busy working and someone calls, you might end up spending 15 minutes chatting. Then you check Facebook and lose another 15 minutes; after that, you decide it’s time to get something to drink. That is terrible time management, because with those three things you have used up nearly an hour of your day.
By planning out your day, it will allow you to gauge how much time is available for each task. No one should focus solely on one aspect of life because it will often cause other parts to suffer. Effective time management is definitely a skill-set, but it is a skill-set from which everyone will benefit.
MBR Consulting Web Site
November 11, 2013
The process of manufacturing items used to be painstaking and time consuming. Before the Industrial Revolution, people would either work on a farm or in a small workshop. Everything had to be created by hand – even the cotton needed for producing clothing. The cloth was created by hand, and was a very inefficient process that resulted in low wages.
However, after the 18th century, machines were created to produce cloth and textiles that were needed for everyday use. This revolution of production created a boom in industry and comfort. This was due to the fact that items could be produced on a much larger scale. This ‘mass-production’ ended up driving down costs of goods and allowed more people to live in comfort.
Now, it is 3D printing that will bring about the next revolution. 3D printing is also called ‘additive manufacturing’ (AM). Additive manufacturing became popular after 2003. Since more businesses are using 3D printing for certain manufacturing processes, the cost of 3D printers have decreased. The decrease in start-up cost for 3D printing will allow more companies to purchase 3D printers, thus reducing costs even further.
In order for an item to be printed in 3D, it must first be created in a CAD program. After the 3D model has been created, the image is sent to the printer. The printer reads the image and produces the object in much the same way as a traditional printer. Using sheet materials, powders, and liquids, various 3-dimensional objects can be ‘printed’ and then used.
The process can be time consuming, depending on the intricacy of the object being printed, but it is so versatile that its uses are nearly endless. Imagine having a machine that can create nearly anything without the need to exchange large pieces of hardware. 3D printers can produce circuit boards, jewelry, and many other products. For manufacturing, the options are virtually limitless and the technology is going to bring about another revolution.
MBR Consulting Web Site
October 28, 2013
Offshoring caused a lot of problems within the middle-class people of America. Many manufacturing jobs were lost to workers overseas that could be paid a much lower wage and with little to no benefits. This shift has caused many Americans to seek work in other industries, namely the service industry. Unfortunately, the pay is less in many other industries, thus leading to a decrease in economic activity for the United States. However, manufacturing jobs are trickling back in to the United States by way of ‘reshoring.’
Reshoring is offshoring in reverse. Many companies have discovered the cost of doing business in other countries is much more than initial estimates. They have also learned that the quality of their products has greatly diminished, thus tarnishing the name of previously well-respected companies.
Reshoring will have a positive impact on the United States. First, it will bring good-paying, lower skilled jobs back to the country which will put many Americans back to work. Second, the products offered in stores will be of a higher-quality and the words “made in China” will start being the exception rather than the rule.
Reshoring was bound to happen. When middle-class jobs get sent to another country, it has a stimulus effect on that country’s economy. Due to the increased labor, there is an increase in demand. That increase in demand then increases the need for supply and thus more jobs. After some time, the people of the country in question will demand higher wages as they acclimate to a higher standard of living. When that happens, businesses find that it’s no longer cost-effective to do business in that country.
Bringing jobs back to America will be one of the best things that can happen – especially manufacturing jobs. The United States used to be the largest importer of raw materials and the largest exporter of finished products, but after the offshoring craze, that role has nearly reversed. With manufacturing jobs returning to the United States, there will be an increase in economic activity which may just pull us out of the recession we find ourselves in today.
December 27, 2011
Caterpillar said, “It was moving the production lines from Japan to reduce logistics costs, improve delivery times, and be able to respond faster to the customers who now use most of these products in the Americas and Europe.”
Welcome news indeed. It seems that the reshoring initiatives are picking up steam. I recently heard of other manufacturers that are bringing their jobs back to the USA. Apparently they all realize that it wasn’t all that good for them. Not too long ago one manufacturer’s rep and I discussed his company’s offshoring by telling me how the labor costs here were too high and the company that he represented had to produce in Asia where the labor costs were lower. This company is a B to C company and sells retail here in the U.S. Now that they have moved back here, their retail prices have actually LOWERED!
If this is indeed a trend, being the optimist that I am, I think that we will start seeing more companies returning to the U.S. I know the logistics of a return are difficult (a building has to be set up for production, machine tools have to be considered, etc.) but they are not insurmountable.
November 21, 2011
Because an Industrial Engineer works on a number of different type of projects: plant layouts, CAD, work measurement, and the like, people will ask me what is my favorite type of project and which one do I like the least. That is a difficult question to answer. While it is true that some projects are more interesting than others, I find that the challenge involved in any particular project is the part to be savored and enjoyed. The old stand-bye’s like work measurement are challenging enough in and of itself. Plant layouts and anything that uses CAD are challenging because of the thought that goes into the layout and translating that thought into CAD. The most challenging, however, is anything new. Social Media management can be the most challenging, right now, because of the unknown paths that I can follow. Every turn can be something new by itself. That leads to great fun!
November 14, 2011
Some of the new techniques that I learned because “I Just Can’t Say No” are:
Data base programming. I’ve written some applications for clients to help them in their day-to-day operations. Some keep track of their sales force and the commissions earned, scheduled machines, and absences. I even programmed some spreadsheets.
Social Media Management. Everyone uses Facebook and Twitter, but there are some techniques to using them effectively. Also there are other places on the internet to get one noticed.
CAD. While I have been using CAD to create plant layouts and piece part drawings, I had to learn some 3D techniques.
Different techniques. There is always something new to learn to keep the old ways fresh. While some things will always stay the same, there will always be new and better ways to achieve them
Whatever the client needs to get their job done. New and improved ways of doing the old techniques are always coming along. If I don’t learn or do them, someone else will. Once learned, I have used these techniques for different clients.
November 7, 2011
As a consultant, I am continually asked to do projects that require me to learn something new. Consequently, if I want the business I have to say yes to almost any project that comes my way. Therefore, I have said yes to some projects that I don’t know how to do at that time. After I leave the client, I have to figure out how to do what it is that they want me to do. Through the years I have learned how to do multiple new things. I have learned how to write data base programs, I have learned how to use spreadsheets to better advantage and some CAD drawings that I wouldn’t have otherwise known how to do. When it comes time to billing the customer, however, I will not bill them for the time that it took to learn the new project. However I will have gained the knowledge how to do it for another time and it has come in handy for some later projects. Have you found this to be true for anything that you’ve done?