Online Management Training: The New ‘Business Language’

How to Talk Business

Gone are the years in which management training courses were stuffed with more TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) than you could shake a briefcase at. Modern, forward-thinking training courses for managers are increasingly teaching their students that clear, direct language is the way to communicate in the world of work. Here we give you a little online management training to break the hold that nonsense business jargon still has many workplaces.

Business Jargon & Other Demons

Have you got any idea what a lights-on initiative would mean to pre-prepared green-field thinking, especially with gray-sourcing involved? No? Well chances are nobody else does either. All-too-often 'business-speak' is a hindrance and not a help to business.

In general, the main users of this kind of corporate gobble-de-gook are using it to mask their ignorance. It is time that we all shook off the last decade of fondness for business jargon and started using good, concise, clear language – it just makes good business sense. Here are our top management training tips to help you communicate as clearly as possible with your staff, bosses and clients.

1. IAC (In All Cases) LTA (Loose the Acronics)

Never, ever assume common knowledge when you are talking to staff, clients and bosses – in fact to anyone in your working life. Acronics can be a real communication barrier and good training will teach you that using terms that others may not have heard of runs a high risk of alienating your customers and collections. Management training bought to teach you that far from saving time, business acronyms actually waste time because they frequently cause confusion and annoyance.

2. Keep it Simple

Any good management training program will teach you the benefits of using the simplest language possible. Always aim for the lowest common denominator, no matter how silly it sees. It is natural to encompass that the more complicated your language, the more sophisticated and impressive you will appear, but this is the worst kind of business egotism. In a 21st Century market, management training should show you that international business, and even local business, is made far easier when you use clear, basic English. As your management training should have shown you, complicated sentences and complex words can be a barrier to communication, especially if you are doing business with foreign clients and companies.

3. Steer Clear of Business Clichés

If you're not sure why this is so important, settle down with an episode of The Office. People hate business clichés, the BBC's list of worker's least favorite business-speak clichés is evidence of this. They inspire loathing and can make you look like a real office berk. Some prime examples include: "my door is open to going forward with this issue" and "blue-sky thinking."

Top Reasons to Cut the Crap: Linguistic Management Training

When you use overcomplicated, nonsense business language you run a number of risks in business and some good management training can teach you to start communicating effectively. Good communication is essential in business, especially when dealing with large projects, foreign businesses and laymen outside of your area of ​​expertise.

The Importance of Film Photography in a Digital Age

For the average family, a digital camera has become an essential item to record special moments throughout their lives together. Photography has drastically changed over the last few decades, and many of us who still remember the days of traditional film cameras that had to have pictures developed at the local pharmacy might be amazed by how quickly digital cameras took the stage.

And there’s a reason why: compared to traditional photography, digital photographs are easier to print out, sometimes off much higher resolution and photo quality, and can store more pictures than their traditional film camera ancestors could.

Still, there are many photographers, both amateur and professional, who haven’t abandoned traditional film photography or old-fashioned cameras. For them, the simplicity of the cameras and the photos, and the greater care it takes to develop the pictures, makes the process more therapeutic and artful. Particularly for photographers who still use their own darkrooms to develop their photos, traditional film cameras are a hobby that they would never give up for the relative ease of digital cameras.

Regardless of how much technology advances, there will always be people who still appreciate the simplicity of yesterday’s methods.

Using a traditional film camera, especially varieties that are many decades old, requires much more patience, diligence and care, especially when developing your own pictures. And for many photo enthusiasts who learned their craft with older equipment, the comfort of a familiar camera and the process of developing the film themselves can be therapeutic. Just as many people who own a dishwasher still wash dishes by hand because they find it relaxing or meditative, developing your own photos can be a very unique and calming experience.

And the fact that not just anyone can do it, and that it is a skill that must be developed with practice, makes it that much more rewarding.

Interestingly enough, there are still lots of families who go to amusement parks and pay to have their photos taken in an “old-fashioned” manner, with grainy black-and-white prints for novelty and fun. They even sometimes go so far as to dress in clothes from the nineteenth century to make it look more authentic. Ironically, though, most of these novelty old-fashioned photos are taken with modern digital cameras, then altered to appear authentically antiquated.

Understanding why some families find it fun to get their pictures taken in an old-fashioned manner can help you understand why some enthusiasts love collecting antique photo equipment and using the genuine, original camera to take their own old-fashioned pictures. Photography was one of the greatest innovations in human history, and being able to own a piece of that history is an important hobby for many antique collectors and photographers.

So the next time you think that digital cameras have made old-fashioned film photography obsolete and unnecessary, consider the many hobbyists and photographers who still take great pleasure in using and collecting traditional equipment. And if you’re an aspiring photographer yourself, you might want to try ditching the digital camera for a few weeks and have an old pro teach you a thing or two about film and darkrooms.

The Strategic Importance of Supply Chain Management (SCM)

1 Introduction:

Logistics supply chain management is one of the most contemporary and challenging concept in today’s business world. Due to increasing global demand of business; transportation, procurement, manufacturing, distribution activities increased tremendously. Now a day, major companies are focusing on SCM to reduce cost and constantly trying to develop new innovative strategy to meet consumer demand to achieve competitive advantage.

2 Definition of Supply Chain Management:

In short, supply chain management means, right product at the right place at the right time at the right measure and at the right quantity. For example, in a supermarket, if the consumer found in a product shelves, there is tag for the product but no product in shelves; what you think? Yes, that is because of poor management of SCM. More precisely, SCM is the management of inbound and outbound logistics process to integrate from procurement, suppliers, manufacturers, warehouse, distributors, transportation, and store in order to meet consumer demands.

3 Why Supply Chain Management is Important?

As global competitions are increasing customer have different choices & needs to satisfy demands. For example, if there are demand for umbrella in rainy season and if you asked supplier to deliver 20,000 umbrellas in summer and expected to receive at the beginning of rainy season; what do think would probably happened?

According to this scenario, say for example, supplier response lately after two weeks, slowly starting procurement and then starting production and supply the goods at the end of rainy season. As a result, in this case the buyer will face tremendous losses.

Let’s just think how can, we change our scenario with an effective strategy: consider the order of umbrella was given at the end of spring to deliver at the end of summer. Supplier response precisely, starting from procurement to distribution utmost efficiently and transported through freight within one week before ending summer. The delivery was on time and arrive within 30th days in summer. The buyer is happy to receive items on time and that allows the buyer to distribute products through distribution channel and, with the right forecasted of demand, buyer captures the market at the right time and making money.

In past manufacturers were known as the drivers of the supply chain as they were scrambling to meet customer demands at rapid pace but now customer is called the driving shots in a long term competitive advantage. To meet the customer demand accordingly, companies are shifting to customer oriented strategy (a bright example would be ‘Dell computer’). Hence, to achieve competitive advantage in the market, it’s necessary to deliver the product at the peak time.

4 Key Drivers of Logistics Supply Chain Management:

From the analysis different journal article, textbook, web research we found the key drivers are differ in according to different perspective, such as Globalisation, Sustainability, Cost-awareness, Customers, Suppliers, Technology and Transportation.

4.1 Globalization:

The external forces (i.e. political, economical, socio-cultural, technological, legal and environmental), local competition, continuous policy and regulations changes, pressure from international brands and all affects to meet the consumer demand in market. Thus, companies are facing huge challenges to meet the requirements globally. Through the product barriers are eliminated, no products are now considering domestic products but due to globalization forces companies tend to change policy and strategy regularly. Besides, with the benefits from globalization now, foreign investor are encouraged to invest in several countries which forces local companies to improve quality of existing products which create huge challenges in procurement, manufacturing, transportation and distribution activities for the companies.

For instance, a company can develop a product in the US, manufacture in China and sell in worldwide, i.e. Apple. This makes a complex and challenging activities for company. Thus, in order to maintain global demand Apple makes strategic choice to build global manufacturing and engineering infrastructure in California, Ireland and Singapore to capture market in US, Europe and Asia. This global strategy from Apple allows the company to take advantages of capturing large market. This strategy, allows Apple to become number ONE innovative company in the world.

4.2 Sustainability:

Creating sustainable chain has a major concern for companies. Constant variable pressure from regulations, geographic in nature, social-economic impact, international policies and principles in general is complex for managing SCM.

For example, green environment (i.e. carbon emission); local government are always imposing regulations which affect on the manufacturer. For instance, production and manufacturing in developed countries like in Europe is huge challenge as because of strict rules and policies of environmental issues compare to underdevelop countries like in Asia. For example, in automobile industry producing vehicles is challenging because of environmental issues in different countries.

4.3 Cost-Awareness:

There are four major decision areas in cost awareness:

4.3.1 a) Location: Convenient feasible location with availability resources including all facilities is the primary step of towards of creating strategic network. However, due to geographical distance and cost, companies often couldn’t able to cope up with customer expectation.

4.3.2 b) Production: Cost fluctuation from production levels are critical issue for strategic decision, such as what product to produce, which plant to allocate and what supplies to get for production.

4.3.3 c) Inventory: Inventory cost varies at different level starting from raw materials to finished goods. Cost is also associated in buffer stock, safety stock or even days of inventory in hands as well as price increases during the periods of inflation affects.

4.3.4 d) Transportation: 30 percent of logistics cost associate with transportation that makes the companies to think about distribution channels about air, ship and road. Air shipment is fast, reliable but expensive while sea shipment is chap but time consuming.

4.4 Customers:

Customers are the most unpredictable variables to determine demand. Frequent changes of demand, new expectation, changing approach of existing product, influential behaviour attitude towards products are all determine to develop a customer-product innovation strategy. For example, Apples starts it business on the bases of computers but after understanding demand of consumer, they launched iPhone, iPad, iPod as means of innovations strategy which satisfy customer but not merely makes the customer delight but introducing facilities like ITunes, music, software application gradually capture the market the whole market.

The example here provides a key learning tool ‘how the company understand its customer to achieve competitive advantage’ which makes us to think what strategy they are following. In Apple strategy most of the iPhone and iPad items (i.e. parts) are outsourcing. More precisely speaking, very few components are created by Apple, hardware is supplied by contract manufacturer and software is supplied by millions of software developer to build various applications for the devices which minimize the cost.

4.5 Suppliers:

Supplier’s motivation is important for quality, cost and delivery expectations of producing product with value as they have greater influential aspect of supplying item. For example, Dell’s direct strategy requires processing orders direct from customer. Dell’s pull strategy to build computers o customer’s specifications and deliver within time. To support this model, Dell asked suppliers to keep inventories within 15 minutes of the manufacturing locations. Virtually all products are made to order. Every two hours, the factory planning system sends out a computerized message to suppliers detailing what parts the plant needs. That means there is almost no inventory of parts or products in the factory and this happen only because of healthy relationship with suppliers.

4.6 Technology:

With the benefit of technology, customer are now becoming more technological oriented focusing on online trading, online shipping, online payment, online information, online virtual chatting, and so on. This technological process has a greater impact on customers and now a day customers are constantly willing to get more information, answers, about their choice, preferences. Dell’s could be an ideal example, how technology impact on business and increase revenue. The success of Dell’s direct sells strategy depends mostly on continuous development of technological aspect as the customer willing to become more connected, assist them to develop cost effective quality product strategy.

4.7 Transportation:

Transport system is the most important economic activity among the components of business logistics systems. Around one third to two thirds of the expenses of enterprises logistics costs are spent on transportation. Beside good transportation is challenging issue to deliver product at right time. Thus, to enable flow of goods from one destination to another and to ensure on time delivery; companies needs to understand the right strategy of supply chain. However, unorganized transportation system, labour force, policies, laws and regulations, uncategorized rooting system is a big hindrance for supply chain solution. If there is suitable transportation network, delivery of the product to the market not ensured supply chain activities will be at risk.

5. Companies Prospective of Strategic Importance of Logistics Supply Chain Management:

5.1 IBM

IBM faces challenges on future supply chain are on cost containment, supply chain visibility, supply chain risk management, customer requirements and globalization. Here cost containment relate to shifting cost of operation rapidly, supply chain visibility includes information and collaboration with external partners where supply chain risk management describe as forecasting customer demands and higher costs, customer requirements influence to identifying customer demands, approach, attitudes towards of product and globalization relates to global issue like geographical distance, cultural barriers, transportation system, feasibility of resources, rules and regulations and so on. Thus, to tackle those issues IBM developed strategy on future supply chain based on “instrumentation”, “interconnectedness” and “intelligence”.

5.1.1 Instrumentation:

Developing RFID (i.e. radio frequency identification) tag, meter, GPS system, tracking reduce the inventory cost and increased visibility. That allows to witness actual fact occurred in supply chain activities. Besides, forecasting of demand becomes much easier as tracking production level and sales level estimated through technology. Again, production, distribution and transportation are controlled and monitored with smart devices to eliminate waste and increasing efficiency. So, with the force of technology IBM creates a sustainable global supply solution by focusing more on customer.

5.1.2 Interconnectedness:

Interconnect with global network i.e. suppliers, manufacturer facilities collaboration with external partners and bodies reduce global issues. Besides, shared decision making with and determine regulatory constitutes from local, regional and international enable to share the risk.

5.1.3 Intelligence:

Effective sophisticated modelling and simulation capabilities allow designing sustainability model, network transportation system, and distribution strategy for IBM. Thus, smarter supply chains allow intelligent modelling to the key driven force.

5.2 Woolworths

Woolworths is an Australian’s largest retailer faces multiple turbulences to find an effective solution of supply chain at the beginning. It faces challenges on sustainability (environmental issues), customer focus, suppliers, transportation system and technology. However, after removing those barriers, it builds strong supply chain strategy not only to meet customer requirements but also expanding business in Australia and New Zealand and to achieve competitive advantage over the market.

The success stories build up with collaborating and strong networking relationship with suppliers, adopting policies, rules and regulations, technology and new innovation (i.e. fresh foods).

The strategy for sustainability point they come up with ‘fresh foods’ and carbon emission. For example, “announcing 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions on project growth levels by 2015, managed 13 percent reduction. This is an estimate saving of about 500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide again 25 percent minimum reduction in carbon emissions per square meter for new stores Woolworths has now on average reduces in 25.08 percent carbon emissions per square meter” (Our planet, n.d). Besides, introducing new products in the market like Woolworths Pet Insurance, android application applies sustainability in market.

From supplier driving force, Woolworth’s key strategy is to build strong and committed relationship with suppliers that involves in communication, continuous feedback to ensure quality product for customer.

In customer point of view strategy, they are more customers oriented to provide most enjoyable, quality shopping experience to fulfil the demand at the right time at the right place. For this, they focus on centralized distribution model for all inbound and outbound logistics.

In technological point of view, company adopted new technology with keeping pace of technological advancement. For example: EFTPOS system.

5.3 Procter & Gamble

Proctor & Gamble faces challenges on global alliances, constructive network distribution channel, healthy transportation system, inbound and outbound logistics support. For this, they build a supply chain strategy, first to understand target customer according to their satisfaction and loyalty level and then optimizing supply chain (i.e. ensuring product availability at all time). Side by side, focusing on technology like RFID which increases product visibility for better supply chain management. Besides, maintain strong relationship with retailers like Wall-mart and implementing online web support allow the customer to be connected with customer its build premium foundation for sustainable environment.

6 Conclusion:

Thus, globalization, sustainability, cost-awareness, technology, customer, suppliers, transportation are all related to supply chain activities. Now, opportunities of barriers has been minimized which encourage foreign investors to invest, implement and operation. Side by side, in terms of sustainability; collaborating, adopting policies, rules & regulations, technology, transportation allow to build constructive communicative strong relationship with external partners which could be an ideal solution for sustain in global market. Most importantly, focus on customer is vital to enhance growth and for this choosing right strategy for supply chain is essential to ensure right product at the right time at the right order with right measurement.

History of Exercise Equipment

The history of exercise equipment dates back to the time of early civilization. Before that, the need for survival kept people in pretty good shape regardless of whether they were hunters, gatherers, or farmers. When they started living in large groups and specializing, their day-to-day workload changed and for many, the need for exercise was born. Fitness training began with the early Greeks when Hippocrates wrote “that which is used develops, and that which is not used wastes away.” In other words, use it or lose it.

Physical training was introduced by way of two kinds of competition that arose between groups of people — games and war. Military conflict and athletic competition between city-states created the need for gymnasiums, calisthenics, strength training and exercise equipment.

Early exercise equipment consisted primarily of weights and tools for gymnastic training. Stones, sandbags, water jars, various yokes and bars made up the components of early weight training equipment. Early gymnastic tools were precursors of modern equipment consisting of swings with bars, ropes and rings. A variety of solid balls were used for coordination and strength training as well. Running and calisthenics were commonly used to develop coordination and stamina. Extra power and speed was developed by running up and down hills and mountains.

Much later, the Greek physician Galen described strength training using an early type of dumbbell. But the history of exercise equipment doesn’t really begin until the late 19th century with the appearance of the barbell. Early barbells were made with hollow globes filled with water or sand. About the same time, modern gymnastic training equipment came into being in Germany with Friedrich Jahn’s equipment that included wooden horses, balance beams and parallel bars.

Serious exercise equipment started appearing in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The first stationary bicycle was produced in the 18th century and was a large machine that worked both the arms and the legs. The first rowing machine appeared in the mid 19th century, and looked like the midsection of a boat.

Later in the early 20th century came machines to improve physical fitness. Many of the machines were adapted from earlier applications. The treadmill, for example, was initially invented with industrial applications in mind, during a time when steam engines were not practical and before electric motors were in widespread use. Later it and other weight and pulley systems were adapted for use in gymnasiums as exercise equipment and as features to improve safety for strength training. By 1933 the treadmill was in widespread use and in 1952 was being used in medical applications.

Also in the 1950s, Jack LaLanne created several new exercise machines including the cable pulley machine, the Smith machine, used in weight training, and the leg extension machine.

The step treadmill hit the market in 1983. It was a revolving staircase, similar to an escalator and called the stairmaster. Modern step machines with individual foot platforms came shortly afterward with the development of the stairmaster 4000 in 1986. These machines provided an excellent cardio workout along with lower body strength training.

Finally, the history of exercise equipment comes to the development of modern home gym equipment including universal machines like the Solo-flex and Bowflex, along with devices like the mini-stairstepper. The mini-stairstepper is a device that provides all the advantages of the step treadmill in a small portable device that can be easily moved and stored.

After the Bowflex and the mini-stairstepper, what new wonders will be added to the history of exercise equipment? No doubt, there is a cadre of inventors all working diligently to show us, and to take their place in history.