Public sector decision makers are under enormous pressure to deliver results in difficult and uncertain times. In late 2010 and early 2011, the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) conducted in-depth interviews with more than 100 senior public sector executives from around the world—at the city, regional, and national levels. Responses from these officials were remarkably consistent regarding the key challenges they face in a world undergoing significant economic, political, environmental, and social transitions.
Some of these public leaders expressed concerns about their organizations’ capacity to respond to new policy and service demands, budget reductions, and the need to engage new technology platforms for innovation and service delivery. Other challenges related to the public sector’s ability to help cities, regions, and countries navigate the current uncertain and volatile environment. Read More »
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 »
This week the U.S. celebrated Labor Day, a holiday that, according to Wikipedia, celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers. To my mind, that translates to productivity. But interestingly, on the holiday that marks the end of summer, I came across this interesting piece: “Hey, America: Take a Vacation!”
The takeaway: compared to other countries around the globe, Americans not only get less vacation time from their employers, they don’t even use up all their allowances. And yet, as CNN Reporter Fareed Zakariah notes, “America’s growth historically has been fueled mostly by investment, education, productivity, innovation and immigration. The one thing that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with America’s new growth is a brutal work schedule.” It really makes you pause.
So this leads me to a series of What Ifs: What if, instead of logging the extreme hours that we do, we used that time to revitalize ourselves—to become more productive in our family relationships; to explore hobbies or creative interests that train our brains to work in new ways; to pursue volunteer opportunities that can contribute to the betterment of others. What if we took time to do things that truly brought us together as fellow citizens to help build stronger communities?
Although federal agencies have made tremendous progress in reversing a sustained decline in telework participation, the objective of creating a more productive, inclusive, sustainable, and resilient federal workforce remains a work in progress.
The U.S. Telework Enhancement Act of 2010 dramatically improved the odds of success by creating Telework Managing Officers (TMOs) responsible for telework policy development and implementation in every agency. The first cadre of TMOs faces an exciting-and daunting-opportunity to create lasting impact in their agencies. They should interpret their roles broadly, to include not only the promotion of traditional telework arrangements, but also the development of mobility strategies that contribute meaningfully to agency business objectives such as productivity, inclusion, resilience, and sustainability.
Doing so will require engaging agency leadership on a range of different topics to develop an integrated plan.
There’s been a lot of buzz on the Internet about the way Continental Tire of the Americas has vastly improved its manufacturing process. They adopted an innovative solution based on a Cisco architectural networking approach provided by Cisco Partner Applied Group combined with AeroScout’s asset tracking solution and a inventory management system from Global Data Sciences enabling their manufacturing facility achieve a 20 percent reduction in component tire losses. Now that’s significant!
Chet Namboodri interviews Peter Granger about the benefits Continental Tire is achieving from the Cisco Unified Wireless based manufacturing/wip solution
It was a real pleasure for me to take part in the Customer case study event organized by Cisco, AeroScout and Global Data Sciences for me to speak about the Cisco contribution. The video gives a short summary as Chet Namboodri, Cisco Industry Blogger-in-Chief and Global Managing Director of Cisco’s Manufacturing Industry Marketing interviews me about what was said, and the benefits Continental expects.
That event is where I met up with folks from Continental, AeroScout and Global Sciences to hear from the customer first hand how the solution is increasing production and efficiency in its North America manufacturing plant. That plant is located in Mount Vernon, Illinois, and it produces more than 1,000 different tire SKU’s in its 60-acre (2.6 million square-foot) facility.
The implemented solution leverages Continental Tire’s Cisco Unified Wireless Network to add a Real-Time Location System (RTLS) and automated Work-in-Process (WIP) tracking without having to install a proprietary network of readers and sensors. That’s key. Cisco provides standards-based solutions that work well with a customers backhaul, which, for most customers is also Cisco. Cisco’s Architectural approach means networking elements and processes work well together with ‘compatibility’ tested solutions such as those from AeroScout.