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Brewers Win National League Central

Back in April I predicted the Brewers would rule the league. Tonight proved the first step! Many of you know I prefer scotch, so I will toast them, and many more toasts!

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Cisco gives back the Manufacturing Way

September 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm PST

For those of you who may not be aware, we at Cisco take our commitment to our communities very seriously, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have fun when we volunteer!

Left to right: Andrew Lach, Peter Granger, Kevin Davenport at InnVision

On August 17th, over 20 volunteers from the Cisco Enterprise and Mid-market Marketing group gave their time to support InnVision, Silicon Valley’s leading provider of housing and services for homeless families and individuals:

InnVision is a primary gateway for homeless families and individuals seeking shelter and resources that lead to self-sufficiency. Our comprehensive system of care promotes self-worth and dignity at multiple facilities throughout Silicon Valley, including shelters, longer- term housing options and service centers, each equipped to meet emergency and transitional needs of diverse, at-risk people. InnVision is…the Way Home!

 

Volunteers spent the day sorting clothing for InnVision’s store, prepping food for daily meals, and reading stories to children.

Kevin, Peter and I were tasked with sorting clothing. Being from the Manufacturing team, we couldn’t resist applying the lessons learned from the Manufacturing industry towards our volunteer duties. Recalling Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations“, we quickly broke into teams for a proper division of labor. Safety is a top priority, so latex gloves were distributed to the sorting teams to follow OSHA guidelines. We carefully optimized our WIP to ensure that Bottlenecks --which threatened to shut down our line via the Bullwhip effect — were not created. Additionally, we applied classical queueing theory using exponential distribution to carefully model our Poisson processes. Read More »

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Are Sunny Days Possible in the Cloud?

Yes, but only if there is Trust…

Do you remember not too long ago hopping into your car, driving, across town (when gas was $1- something) to your local retail store and searching the computer department to purchase a cereal box that contained between 2- 8 3.5” (or are you “wise” enough to remember 5.25” floppy) disks?  The disk contained software that would entertain us, make us more productive and educate.  If you don’t remember that, how about going to the record store and perusing the aisles for hours reading the CD boxes that were twice as big as the CD.

Well those days seem long past; and inserting a disk in anything these days….well, seems a bit ancient.

Cloud

We’re now spoiled with the conveniences of iTunes, Salesforce.com, Facebook, Youtube, Yahoo Mail, etc..  In addition, we’re all too familiar with the seemingly millions of applications that run on a myriad of mobile appliances.  None of these programs run on our PC’s hard drive.  They’re browser based applications that are essentially utility services which we share with thousands of users.

So, I began to ponder the question, “What’s the big deal about the Cloud in Manufacturing and Enterprise?”  Read More »

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Gone Fishin’! Both our family, and the Cisco UC Solution family.

September 13, 2011 at 6:23 pm PST

Labor Day has been and gone. Apparently no one can wear white now and the fish have stopped biting. Well, the first bit might be true (not sure why) but don’t tell my son Adam about the second - he’s got the fishing bug! He got it from his mum, not from me. My wife Julie enjoyed fishing with her dad when she was younger, and is converting the rest of us. Not sure I’ll ever be a true aficionado myself, but it looks like our kids will.

Anyway, the video shows Adam’s excitement at being only one of two folks to catch fish that Labor Day weekend on Mickie’s Big Mack  (that’s the name of Mickey’s boat!).  The boat was full of fishermen and fisherwomen and fisherstories. I don’t know much about fishing, but when it came to my turn to tell a yarn folks were surprised that I knew about “superchill” (we had been discussing the Lake Tahoe water temperature earlier, before sun-up). What is it? well…   Read More »

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Machine Builder Business Models, Sustainability and Innovation

So my wife and I recently took a two week vacation to Alaska – without computers or anything but camera’s and our ever important smartphones. I didn’t realize that Marie Hattar, our Segment VP was going to write a blog about the importance of vacations and productivity – see that here. Imagine that, I overachieved via a vacation!

At any rate, back to the vacation – we left on Sunday so Saturday was reserved for clothes washing and packing. Great plan until the motor on the washing machine froze. We ended up Saturday night finishing the wash at her father’s house. Then after the trip (that was fabulous by the way. Everyone needs to take a cruise through the Inside Passage!) we ended up having the repair service visit to confirm the motor was shot (new motor cost more than the washer was worth, so conclusion: buy a new one) and using his washer/dryer for another week. That meant bundling up two plus weeks of wash, carrying it to his house, doing the wash for a few hours, etc.

I was reminded of the challenges a manufacturing company would have due to an unexpected machine breakdown. You have to isolate the problem, get appropriate repairs, possibly upgrade the machine, possibly line up alternate manufacturing capability, etc. I’ve blogged before about the needs for continuing MRO schedules and the importance of properly servicing your manufacturing machines and lines. But how do you prepare for a critical machine that suddenly breaks? Can you rapidly sub out the work? Can you quickly get the machine replaced? What if the newer machine doesn’t fit in the line directly? Read More »

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