Thursday, February 18, 2010

Three Steps to Increasing Profit with Help from a Warehouse Management System

You don't need to read an industry report to know that times are tough.

But did you know that difficult economic times can afford substantial business opportunities?

Businesses across many industries are focused on maintaining and increasing profitability in times of modest revenue. The typical response is to stop all process improvement and technology projects and concede that "we just can't afford it now." This line of thinking is a trap. The best time to focus on customer satisfaction, process improvement and perfect order performance is when business conditions require strong profitability.
Perfect order performance is tightly tied to profitability metrics. Improvements in order performance - percentage of orders fulfilled on time, complete, and of the highest quality - yield financial improvements in return on assets and operating margin. The best way to achieve desired levels of profitability is through strong supply chain processes supported by flexible technology.
The fact is supply chain management is a long-term strategy. Smart companies find ways to use technology to do more with less in their supply chain management processes. A 2008 study of executive supply chain management technology buyers reveals that 88 percent of respondents expect to increase or maintain their technology investment in the next year, regardless of whether they expect to see growth in their business. This study highlights the fact that many businesses see technology as a way to increase productivity and operating efficiency. The centerpiece for supply chain execution - the warehouse management system (WMS) - is an excellent place to start planning your strategy.

Those who manage successful warehouses and distribution operations invest in WMS technology in good economic times to manage growth, and in a down economy to cut costs and gain competitive advantage. A well-tuned WMS can help your business reduce labor costs, improve inventory management, attain more accurate shipments, improve space allocation and increase customer satisfaction.

Develop Your Action Plan

Learn how a three-step action plan can help your warehouse or distribution center prosper through a lean economic period.

Step One: Determine if an Outdated WMS Is Dragging You Down

You rely on a WMS to maintain ongoing operations, support changing customer requirements, keep up with new industry regulations and simply get product out the door on a daily basis. But a faltering system may also be constraining your potential. Consider the following examples:
  • Do you find yourself creating workarounds for new business requirements that your WMS cannot support?
  • Does your WMS support a variety of languages for global supply chain deployment?
  • Does your WMS provide the opportunity for robust interoperability of systems worldwide via a services-oriented architecture (SOA)?
  • Are support and upgrades of your WMS becoming increasingly expensive?
  • Can your WMS vendor be relied upon to support your growth over the next five years?
Businesses choose to replace their existing WMS for a variety of reasons. But at the most elemental level, the question is whether your current system strengthens or hinders your ability to execute business strategies necessary to building competitive advantage, responding to constant change, and growing your business. If it doesn't, consider replacing your WMS with an adaptable, flexible system that can help position your business to better leverage your supply chain and take advantage of new business opportunities when the economy recovers.

Step Two: Put Extended WMS Capabilities to Work for You

Following initial implementation, many businesses allow their WMS to fall into neglect. A WMS is not an "install-and-forget" application but rather one that must adapt to changing business conditions in order to remain an effective tool. As customer demands change, WMS capabilities also need to be updated and added in order to stay in step with operational processes. What better time to examine ways to better utilize your WMS than when operations demand has slowed?
Consider which functions within the distribution process could benefit from advanced WMS functionality. Here are just a few key areas to consider:

Labor Management

Did you know that labor is typically the number one cost in warehouse and distribution operations? Periods of diminished product demand present an ideal time to think about adopting a labor management system (LMS) to work in concert with your WMS. Traditional estimates for productivity gains resulting from a labor management program typically range from 10 to 30 percent - which is in addition to existing WMS process improvements. And most companies see a return on an LMS investment in less than a year.
Here are some other key areas in which an LMS can help you cut costs and increase worker efficiency:
  • Improve labor utilization - An LMS enables you to objectively measure employee performance and identify those whose performance consistently exceeds the standard, as well as employees who need assistance. Look for an LMS that provides real-time data on actual employee utilization and performance against your own established standards, so that you can detect inefficiencies and take corrective action.
  • Institute incentive-based work plans - A labor management system can allow you to create individual performance goals tied to incentives, enabling employees to take greater ownership of their own work and benchmark their improvement.
  • Get more out of your WMS - Integrating labor management with your WMS provides you with a comprehensive labor management and planning solution. You'll be able to leverage pre-defined work within the WMS to calculate time and resources required.

Advanced Facility Slotting

Looking to positively impact your fulfillment and distribution activities? Start by looking for ways to maximize your staff productivity, equipment, products and available storage space. Two components critical to this optimization are where products are slotted and the distance people have to travel to pick them-especially when it comes to fast-moving items. Here are just a few ways advanced facility slotting can boost your efficiency levels:
  • Maximize space utilization - Slotting products according to the way inventory flows in and out of your warehouse operations helps to ensure no storage space is wasted.
  • Improve worker safety - Slotting products in the "golden zone" reduces visual search time and minimizes the amount of movement required for retrieval.
  • Minimize travel to maximize efficiency - By reducing the distance your pickers travel on a daily basis, you can improve fi ll rates and increase accurate shipments.

Yard Management

Considering the significant efficiencies to be gained through a yard management project, it's unfortunate that the yard is often one of the last areas to be addressed after an initial WMS implementation. Better managing your yard operations can help ensure the continuous movement of goods needed to achieve strategic cost savings. Here are just a few examples:
  • Visibility of trailers and their locations - Tracking trailers at any point in the process helps you avoid detention charges for overdue equipment, proactively identify and resolve bottlenecks and locate empty trailers and containers for quick turnaround.
  • Maximize yard space utilization - In many ways, the trailers in your yard are like the inventory in your warehouse: you need to know the exact location of what you have on hand as well as how much space it requires. Reducing wasted space gives you additional room for temporary and permanent trailer storage-and can eliminate the need for facility expansion.
  • Leverage a single point of yard command and control - Look for a yard management system that features a graphical, Web-based interface to enable you organize inbound and outbound shipments easily with drag and drop trailer moves that generate RF-directed work dispatched to yard drivers.

Voice Picking

Voice picking opens a dialogue between your WMS and your pickers. Instead of using a handheld device display screen or paper for instructions, your team leverages the most natural form of communication - voice - as they go about their everyday tasks. Utilizing voice picking can result in:
  • Greater productivity
  • Increased workplace safety
  • Increased focus and fewer picking errors
  • Reduced training time
  • Rapid return on investment

Step Three: Integrate Your Extended Supply Chain

Economic downturns create tremendous business opportunity for forward-thinking companies. During these times many businesses embark on strategies to acquire competitors, identify new low cost suppliers and enter new geographies with more favorable competitive dynamics. If your business executes on these strategies, will your supply chain operation be able to support it?
A global economic downturn is arguably an ideal time to align your global supply chain operations with new business strategies. Too often firms concentrate on supply chain execution only as it relates to internal locations, without considering their opportunities over a much larger geography.
Most supply chains today consist of complex global relationships. Perhaps this is the time to look outside the four walls to address weak links within a larger supply chain which will, when acted upon, increase the overall efficiency of your supply chain.
Better enabling suppliers, improving vendor performance programs or updating advanced transportation and last-mile delivery strategies are but a few examples of creating an improved, extended supply chain interfaced to WMS.
Here are some common solutions that provide additional supply chain visibility:
  • Supplier enablement
  • Advanced transportation management - inbound / outbound
  • Advanced "last mile" delivery management
No single component of your supply chain operates in isolation. This is especially true for the WMS, as it is both a contributor to, and beneficiary of, improvements made to the extended supply chain affecting global collaboration, transportation and last-mile delivery. While enacting one-off point solutions for business goals may provide some improvements, you will achieve the greatest value by adopting a comprehensive, integrated strategy that optimizes the entire supply chain.


We may be in a period of challenging economic times, but smart businesses will use this as an opportunity to scrutinize operational efficiency and best practices in order to both weather the current economic downturn, and reap substantial benefits once the bull market returns. Your WMS, an established and vital component of the supply chain execution suite, should be a key contributor and starting point in the search for cost saving efficiencies as well as the integration of your global supply chains.

About HighJump Software

Forward-thinking companies entrust HighJump Software to power their supply chains. HighJump Software simplifies the art and business of creating, selling and moving products across global networks. HighJump Software helps more than 1,300 customers worldwide drive growth and manage change.

About Cornerstone Solutions, Inc.

Cornerstone Solutions, Inc. is an independent supply chain management consulting firm, specializing in supply chain planning and execution. With over 200 years of combined distribution experience, Cornerstone has the expertise to help you significantly improve customer service and reduce supply chain costs.

source: TEC

Friday, February 12, 2010

Open Your Arteries with a Bowl Full of These

Silhouettes and waist circumferences represent...Image via Wikipedia

Your heart and arteries will be pretty thrilled if breakfast always has you craving a bowl full of oats.

Regularly eating oatmeal appears to boost people's endothelial function. That's a fancy way of describing their arteries' all-important ability to dilate and keep blood flowing freely to the heart and other body parts.
Relax Those Arteries
Unfortunately, endothelial function often deteriorates in folks who are overweight or obese or who have glucose intolerance and insulin resistance. But in a 6-week study of overweight adults, a daily bowl of oats helped improve the way endothelium -- that thin layer of cells lining the inside of blood vessels -- functioned. Researchers speculate that the phytoestrogens and beta glucan in oats had something to do with the effect.
Artery Benefits for All
Maintaining good endothelial function helps reduce the risk of heart and coronary artery disease down the road. And overweight adults aren't the only ones who need to be concerned about it. Normal-weight people can have impaired endothelium, too. So whether you're big or little, oatmeal is a smart breakfast choice. Here are some clever ways to yummy-up your oatmeal:
Source: Real age

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Top Ten Mistakes Managers Make With Email

Many of us think we use email well. We don't.

Too many of us rush, causing confusion and requiring more time to clarify misunderstandings later. We miss chances to build relationships, motivate others, close deals and convey important information.

Avoid the following ten mistakes.
1. Using vague subject lines. "Meeting," "Update," or "Question" provide no value as subject lines.
Maximize the subject line's message. PDA users will get the message quickly; everyone will appreciate the clear summary. You can communicate plenty in a five to 10 word subject line: "Your Action Items and Minutes from Last Week's Meeting" or "Sam: See You at 10:00 Tuesday with Report In-Hand?"
2. Burying the news. Convey the important points first: put dates, deadlines and deliverables in the first one to three lines of the message (if not also in the subject line). PDA limitations, time pressures, cultural distinctions and value judgments keep many readers from reading further.
3. Hiding Behind the "BCC" field. At best, the 'blind copy' field is sneaky and risky. At worst, it's deceitful or unethical. Plus, blind recipients sometimes hit "reply all," revealing the deception. Instead, post the initial message and BCC no one. Then forward your sent message to others with a brief explanation.
4. Failing to clean up the mess of earlier replies/forwards. Few readers will wade through strings of previous messages.
§                             State your position clearly, even if context follows below in the email string. "Yes" helps less than "Yes, you can have the extra funding to hire 5 temporary workers."
§                             Summarize the discussion to date: "See below: R&D is looking for more time but Sales risks losing customers if we don't act now."
§                             Force focus when necessary: "Let's focus on cost now and revisit the morale and equity issues at our staff meeting next week."
§                             Change subject lines cautiously. Tighter, more relevant subject lines work best, but even one letter's difference upsets inbox sorting mechanisms.
§                             Cut extraneous or repetitive information.
5. Ignoring grammar and mechanics. PDAs have granted us certain sloppy flexibility, which means you'll impress readers even more when you write precisely.
§                             Follow standard punctuation, capitalization and spelling rules.
§                             Think carefully about the tone different punctuation conveys. "Dear Betty," is standard, neutral; "Dear Betty:" is professional, perhaps distant; "Dear Betty!" is personable, perhaps excessively so; "Dear Betty." prefaces bad news.
§                             Avoid over-stylizing with high-priority marks, disorienting color or complex backgrounds.
§                             Avoid all-caps and excessives (like "!!!!" or other strings of punctuation).
6. Avoiding necessarily long emails. Longer messages sometimes work best; they can help avoid attachments' hassle and security fuss. Don't fear long emails but outline your structure and motivate reading up top.
§                             Provide a 'mapping statement' to allow readers to skim for key information: "I've included information, below, on the background, costs, implementation schedule and possible problems."
§                             Emphasize the specific response you seek: "Please let me know, before Monday, how this project will impact your team."
§                             Indicate an attachment's presence and value: "I've attached slides that I need you to review before our meeting; those slides identify total costs and break down the budget.
7. Mashing everything together into bulky, imposing, inaccessible paragraphs. Length does not discourage reading; bulk does.
§                             Keep your paragraphs short, ideally no more than three to five lines of type.
§                             Open each paragraph with a bottom-line sentence.
§                             Use section headings (in all-caps) to facilitate skimming.
§                             Include blank lines between paragraphs and section headings.
§                             Avoid italics, boldface and other typeface changes which do not reliably carry across email systems.
8. Neglecting the human beings at the other end. Email travels between actual people, even though we don't see or hear each other directly.
§                             Praise, precisely. "Great job" takes little time and space but can work wonders. Quickly wishing someone a good weekend, at the end of an email, might perk someone up without cluttering your message.
§                             Avoid conveying blame or delivering negative feedback over email. Talk to the person instead.
§                             Avoid sarcasm, caustic wit, off-color humor and potentially inappropriate remarks —all of these elements tend to confuse, disorient or fall flat over email.
§                             Consider using emoticons and exclamations ("!" but also "ha, ha" or "just kidding") when they convey useful emotional context.
§                             Adjust your style to suit your audience. For people who don't know you, a terse style might seem rude; a wordy style might seem unfocused.
9. Thinking email works best. Email is not always the best way to communicate.
§                             Need a quick answer from someone nearby? Stop by for a visit.
§                             Want a reply to several unanswered emails? Pick up the phone.
§                             Looking for more gravitas? Mail a letter.
§                             Need to explain a complex or sensitive situation? Arrange a meeting.
10. Forgetting that email lasts forever. Most of us read, send and discard emails at lightning speeds. But don't forget that emails remain on a server somewhere as easy-to-forward proof of any error, offense or obfuscation we made.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Preparing for Product Development in Process Manufacturing

A very interesting article by P.J. Jakovljevic published in 2009 @TEC

As seen in such articles as Product Life Cycle Management in Process or Process Manufacturing Software: A Primer, what the process manufacturing industry lacks in glamour, it certainly makes up for in complexity. Traditionally, manufacturing is divided into two categories: process and discrete (if one is not counting hybrid, mixed-mode environments). Many differences exist between the two environments, but most differences can be grouped into one of two areas: 1) those differences derived from material issues, and 2) those differences derived from production issues.
Process manufacturing materials (ingredients and finished products) are different from their discrete counterparts. Process materials are customarily powders, liquids, or gases, which must be confined and which are more difficult to measure accurately. Process manufacturing materials are typically also processed close to their natural sources (e.g., farms, mines, oil wells, etc.). In addition, the materials are of inconsistent quality, which means extensive quality procedures, segregation (lot control), restriction of use (i.e., "this lot is OK for one customer but not for another"), and, usually, the inclusion of quality attributes as part of their inventory definition needs to be implemented.
Process materials can also vary over time. They can get better, they can get worse, and they can even completely change their identity down the track (e.g., owing to the aging process or a limited shelf life). In addition, ingredients often come in a variety of grades and specifications, which can impact the properties of the produced goods. This additional inherent variability leads to both product lifecycle management (PLM) and production or supply chain operations challenges.
It is the differences in production issues between process and discrete environments, however, that reveal the simplest definition of process manufacturing: once one produces the finished product, one cannot distill it back to its basic ingredients. Process materials often involve irreversible mixing, blending, heating, melting, and other operations, while the duration, operating conditions, and sequence of production steps can have a dramatic impact on the yielded material. Has anyone ever attempted to turn orange juice back into its original water, sugar, sodium, and, of course, unpeeled oranges; extract crude oil from derivatives; or extract the pigments out of paint? Conversely, one can disassemble a finished car into its original components, such as tires, spark plugs, axes, chassis, carburetor, and engine block. Thus, where with discrete manufacturing one talks of parts or components, with process manufacturing one speaks of ingredients. Similarly, formulas take the place of bills of materials (BOMs), and convertible units of measure (i.e., pounds, bags, boxes, ounces, and liters) can be related to units.

Thus, food, beverages, chemicals, paints, drugs, and many consumer packaged goods (CPG) are produced quite differently than their discrete counterparts. This is because process manufacturing typically produces products (including coproducts, byproducts, and recurring materials) based on formulas or recipes that detail the ingredients, production steps, and processing parameters, as opposed to on precise BOMs and routing operations, which is typical when making and assembling discrete items.
There are also more subtle differences between the two types of manufacturing. One of these differences is the fact that process manufacturing is scalable. For example, if the formula calls for 1,000 pounds of cake flour, but one only has 500 pounds, one can still bake cakes, just not as many. Conversely, in discrete manufacturing, one missing part means waiting for it to arrive before the finished assembly unit can start rolling off the production line. With process manufacturing, one also tends to make products in bulk or batches, as in a vat of coke or a 500 gallon tank of solvent, and then pack it off to fulfill customer orders. On the other hand, in discrete manufacturing one would expect to see one appliance or car at a time coming down the production line.
The Challenges of Process Manufacturing
For decades, enterprise applications vendors have used technology to automate the business processes that are found in the more straightforward discrete manufacturing setup, where much of the complexity lies in coordinating the great number of widgets that are assembled into computers, minivans, and television sets. The capacity needed to assemble the multitude of intermediate parts and subcomponents into finished goods is a simple function of the number of assemblers brought to the task, which can be increased or decreased according to demand.
Conversely, it is not easy to make changes in process manufacturing. For example, the amounts of chemicals that a plant can produce are fixed by the design characteristics of the tanks and reaction vessels it uses to make them. Adding capacity is a costly endeavor involving months of design work, followed by multimillion dollar construction projects. Disposal of off-spec material is another costly operation, even in cases where the material can be sold to another plant. Rework of unused material is preferable, but requires careful planning so that production of premium-grade products is not adversely affected.
Additionally, unlike with discrete manufacturing, switching from one product to another in a process plant involves significant downtime during which maintenance is performed and vessels and piping are cleansed to prevent product contamination. A classic example is a brewery, which has to mix and brew a variety of product flavors, handling hundreds or thousands of actions involving the complexities of pipes, tanks, and supplies. When one type of beer is being made, the tank being used to produce it is no longer available for other operations. Effective process enterprise resource planning(ERP) software needs to be able to control how long it takes to fill the tank, determine what ingredients will be used, and determine how long the beer needs to brew. Once the brewing is completed, the software must schedule when the beer will be pumped out to be bottled, and arrange for the tank to be cleaned. When one extrapolates from this simple one-product example, one can see that scheduling an entire plant to meet customer demand for a variety of products is too complex a process for ordinary mortals. It requires specialized software with high-level mathematical capabilities.
Product Development for Process-oriented Industries

Product development can also be a challenge for process manufacturers, as product development requirements differ widely between the two styles of manufacturing. Because process PLM systems revolve around recipes and formulas (for more information on what constitutes a full-fledged PLM system, see Critical Components of an E-PLM System and The Many Faces of PLM), and because of the aforementioned variability in ingredient quality, product designers often must experiment with multiple formulations before they achieve the desired result.
Defining and formulating recipe-based, industry-tailored products can be a complex process, involving developing, perfecting, and protecting franchise products, their potential successors, and even the failed prototypes that preceded them. Often, as part of the development process, materials have to be provided to customers free of charge so that the customers can evaluate the product's performance in their process. This back-and-forth between customers and developers may be reiterated multiple times. Thus, many producers are still struggling to balance development and production costs (while factoring in the impact of manufacturing capacity and supply chain speed) against the potential value of a new product.
Furthermore, product development is steadily becoming more about customer service than about mere product and process innovation, involving, for instance, developing unique products for preferred customers. Customers are increasingly demanding services that go far beyond mere delivery and replenishment. This is particularly true when it comes to specialty chemicals, where product development is often more about a one-to-one relationship with the customer and understanding its needs than it is about building a better molecule, since in this industry brands matter much less than in, for example, the retail or automotive sector.
Nevertheless, by combining process industry—oriented PLM capabilities with process manufacturing—oriented ERP ones, it may be possible to produce a unified sample management solution that would allow product samples for evaluation purposes to be delivered in the same manner that commercialized products are delivered. Further combining these PLM systems with process manufacturing—oriented supply chain management (SCM) solutions could provide additional recipe optimization capabilities, such as the evaluation of current inventory to develop least-cost or best-fit product formulations or recipes. Such evaluation would accelerate the new product development and introduction (NPDI) or new product development and launch (NPDL) process, help lower development costs, and shorten time to market for globally compliant products.
This would be particularly helpful in the specialty chemicals sector, where the NPDI process wins more business by recognizing and exploiting customers' needs (e.g., for adhesives, flavoring or scenting agents, polymers, etc.) than by trailblazing a new market with a purely technological innovation. In many chemical companies, but particularly in specialty chemical companies, every order might represent a new product, since it is often sufficient to tweak an existing formula or replace this chemical ingredient with that chemical ingredient. Thus, the faster the time to market and time to volume, the greater advantage these companies have over their peers, and the greater chance of gaining market share.
Regulatory Requirements for Process Manufacturing
Process-oriented industries may also benefit from the recent focus on regulatory management within the product development context, which parallels a general industrial trend toward better management of global regulatory requirements and environmental impact (see Atrion User Conference Highlights Need for Regulatory Compliance in PLM). This is because process manufacturers face different regulatory requirements than their discrete counterparts, which places additional demands on their software. The problem is in addressing compliance in a cost-effective manner. All of the benefits of PLM (including faster introduction of products to markets; reduced product cost; increased product sales; higher product quality; reduced waste; and more valuable product portfolios) can be quickly erased by significant, noncompliance events that impact the company through fines, penalties, negative publicity, or a prohibition on selling a new product in key markets.
In fact, regulatory management is only becoming more important as many regulatory bodies have renewed their focus on product compliance. Because these regulatory requirements vary from industry to industry, as do many other PLM requirements (see PLM Is an Industry Affair—Or Is It?), and because PLM functionality is becoming an essential element of an enterprise application portfolio, industry-specific functionality is increasingly critical to buyers of enterprise applications.
For instance, certain discrete manufacturing sectors are facing new regulatory requirements. Automotive companies, for example, must address the new requirements of the Transportation Recall Enhancement Accountability and Documentation Act (TREAD) in the United States, while electronics and high technology companies in the European Union (EU) must meet the demands of the Waste of Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE) legislation.
On the process manufacturing side, food industry regulations range from developing nutritional and allergen information for product labeling, to the definition of control points to prevent contamination through a hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) process. Rising fears over bioterrorism and concerns with product safety and integrity are generating new government regulations that require food and beverage companies to track products throughout their life cycle. This means technology that tracks the original genesis of the food supply is of paramount importance. Thus, government regulations are driving the sector to invest in technologies that synchronize product labeling with formulation systems. For more information, see Process Manufacturing: Industry Specific Requirements Part One: Introduction and Food and Beverage.
The manufacture and use of hazardous chemicals are also governed by strict regulations, especially in North America and the EU. Thus, the chemical industry and companies that rely on chemicals within their plants must address a myriad of regulations, including Restrictions on Hazardous Substance (ROHS) and other regulations that require compositional analysis, the development of material safety data sheets (MSDS), environmental analysis, and hazards identification. The chemical industry must also deal with the impact of European Classification and Labeling Inspections of Preparations, including Safety Data Sheets (ECLIPS); Registration, Evaluation and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH); Science,Children, AwarenessLegislation, and Evaluation (SCALE); and Global Harmonized System for the Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS). For more information, see Process Manufacturing: Industry Specific Requirements; Part Two: Chemical.
But it is the life science and pharmaceutical manufacturers that face possibly the toughest restrictions of all, requiring strict adherence to good manufacturing practices as well as to comprehensive and highly enforced Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations. Implementing and ensuring compliance with employee safety guidelines, possible food contact rules, monitoring emissions (which are often delineated by regulatory permits), and even validating the origin and composition of products are all mission-critical processes that contribute to the cost of doing business.
For such manufacturers, a further layer of complexity is added by the introduction of hazardous materials and dangerous goods that are closely regulated and must be reported. Software can greatly simplify this in two ways. First, when creating a new formula or modifying an existing one, that formula must be analyzed for the presence of hazardous materials. Performing this check requires a continuously updated and current list of regulated materials that are considered hazardous. It also requires knowledge of the percentage of these materials relative to the other ingredients.
Secondly, the reporting of hazardous materials must comply with a specific format, namely MSDS. These MSDS will usually accompany the customer's bill of lading (BOL), and therefore must be integrated with the billing process. While copies of MSDS can be kept on file and manually matched with the BOL, most companies will not want to risk noncompliance and would rather seek an automated remedy. Likewise, most companies will not want to rely on manual procedures to determine when a formula or product requires an updated MSDS. Instead, these companies will seek to have update notification incorporated into their enterprise-wide software, in order to automatically generate new MSDSs when needed. Thus, it is apparent that programming hazardous material compliance is not a trivial matter, particularly when one considers that it involves list processing and matching, percent of total analysis, scheduling, and formatting.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

The Mayonnaise Jar.

48-ounce (1.Image via Wikipedia

I know this has been published a lot of times and circulated 'n' number of times thru email, but good things have to be read and looked at every now & then. So here goes. 

The Mayonnaise Jar

When things in your life seemalmost too much to handle,
When 24 Hours in a day is not enough,
Remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.

professor stood before his philosophy class
 and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar
And proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students, if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full.  They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

'Now,' said the professor,   as the laughter subsided,
'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.
The golf balls are the important things - family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions 
Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, Your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car.

The sand is everything else --The small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,'  He continued, there is no room for  the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff,
You will never have room for the things that are important to you.


Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your partner out to dinner.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

'Take care of the golf balls first --
The things that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled. 'I'm glad you asked'.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem,
there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.'
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