Industry 4.0: Internet of Things, Operational Technology, Integration, and Automation

                It is important to note that the source of the article What is Industry 4.0—the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is Epicor, a software vendor that sells ERP software for manufacturing companies; so the author is not an academic source, but they are a knowledgeable industry source.                 Industry 4.0 is the digital transformationContinue reading “Industry 4.0: Internet of Things, Operational Technology, Integration, and Automation”

Checker-playing Managers vs. Chess-playing Managers: Thinking Strategically

                Marcus Buckingham, in his 2005 Harvard Business Review article “What Great Managers Do,” said that average managers play checkers, great managers play chess, and great leaders rally people around what is universal and capitalize on that (Buckingham, 2005).  As someone who prefers leadership to management, I agree with this sentiment.                 The average managerContinue reading “Checker-playing Managers vs. Chess-playing Managers: Thinking Strategically”

A Reminder of How to Suck: BP Deepwater Horizon

            In the Deepwater Horizon disaster of April 20, 2010, BP’s negligence and layered cost cutting and greed-based, risky decisions came to a climax (Meigs, 2016).  In the previous two decades, BP experienced oil spills, refinery explosions, and pipeline leaks.  Nobody at BP seemed accountable for the corrupt company culture.  Chief Executive Officers rotated withContinue reading “A Reminder of How to Suck: BP Deepwater Horizon”

Toyota’s Advantages with the TNGA

                The Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) is a new platform that Toyota has developed to drive several key changes in quality.  The TNGA was engineered to make a safer vehicle with higher performance and lower production costs.  Toyota claims that the platform produces “more stylish cars that are safer and more enjoyable to drive.” Continue reading “Toyota’s Advantages with the TNGA”

Zara and Supply Chain

            Zara excels at the concept of fast fashion.  Located in Arteixo, Spain, Zara designs, manufactures, and delivers garments to stores within 48 hours.  This allows them to respond quickly to custom demand and keep inventories and waste low.  They centralize and control their supply chain and specialize in small batches and agility.  Since theyContinue reading “Zara and Supply Chain”

HP and Minimizing Inventory Costs

                “Is HP’s focus on minimizing inventory costs is feasible for a company operating in a market where delivery speed is an order-winning factor?” My response to this question is based upon the fact that, after reading the HBR article, HP is NOT operating in a market where delivery speed is an order-winning factor.  WithContinue reading “HP and Minimizing Inventory Costs”

Simplicity and Value-Added Services as Competitive Advantage

                Design thinking, the underlying mindset and philosophy behind design:  the mindset of creating something new and useful (DiMeo, 2019).  When designs are complex, they can be overwhelming and confusing.  This complexity makes the design unusable to the consumer, which negates one of the core purposes of design:  to make something useful.  Designs, therefore, shouldContinue reading “Simplicity and Value-Added Services as Competitive Advantage”

Nokia’s Smartphone Market Failure

                Ted James, the author of Operations Strategy, defines operations management as “the management of the processes that produce or deliver goods and services” (James, 2011, p.8).  In the “Burning Platform” memo by former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, he aligned with Ted James’ definition of operations management when discussing Nokia’s failures in innovation, in execution,Continue reading “Nokia’s Smartphone Market Failure”

5 Key Elements of Influence

Leadership is about influence – influence over those around you and influence over the outcomes you want to achieve. Building influence is an essential component of successful leadership, so it’s important for anyone who wants to become a high-performing leader to understand how influence works. I’ve identified five key elements of influence: authenticity, respect, engagement,Continue reading “5 Key Elements of Influence”

The FAA Outage as a Resiliency Test

                The theme of cyber resilience engineering has been reverberating through the last few years, and the resilience gong is sounded again with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) network outage which impacted all airline service and caused thousands of flight delays.  Between concepts of DevOps,  Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), and Cyber Resiliency Engineering, there areContinue reading “The FAA Outage as a Resiliency Test”