Over the past week we talked a lot about six sigma and how it can drastically improve the way a company does its day to day tasks. One article that sparked my interest was about how a college is going to offer a “Lean Manufacturing” course in which students would have the knowledge to pass the first exam and receive the rank of a Yellow Belt. This of course is if the material sticks and the students show interest in six sigma, but I felt this class was very similar to ours and wondered how a class like this has yet to be offered by DePaul, such as a MGT398 special topics course. One quote that I wanted to touch on is “Lean is not about making people work faster or harder; people are not waste. It’s about how you make those people more effective. It’s about establishing a system so that products or information can flow through processes at the pace of customer demand,” said Merrell. This is a very important point because a lot of people such as in the article about Starbucks believe it is going to turn companies to run more like a factory. Becoming more and more efficient is a must for companies in this economy and companies will constantly keep changing as need be.
1.Do you think you would enroll in a class where you would obtain the knowledge to get your Yellow Belt for Six Sigma?
2.Would this be of benefit to you for your current or future job?
Came across this article last night and found it to be very interesting. The article talked about a variety of different points in why Apple should consider buying Nokia. At first I thought the article was going to be absurd reasons on why they should but after I finished reading it did make sense.
One of the first points that is talked about is how many useful patents NOK has. Because NOK has some of the best wireless patents this could be a giant asset to AAPL. Another point that is talked about is NOK map technology. As everyone is aware Apple Maps “failed” you could say. There were bugs and it was not as user friendly as Google Maps. NOK is said to have just as good map technology and this could aid AAPL because right now they have nothing essentially. The next point on NOK wireless TV technology which may help AAPL if they ever venture into the TV market. Right now they offer Apple TV but they do not physically make TVs yet, although it has been talked about. And the last big point the article makes is that MSFT an NOK work together on mobile so this could give AAPL even more of the phone market if they do acquire NOK.
Overall I think AAPL should consider this move. They need to stay ahead of the game and with everyone working on the next big thing NOK could help me dramatically just with the maps portion of AAPL. Along with the maps, NOK has a wide variety of patents that AAPL would love to get their hands on.
I chose to find an article that was about one of the hottest new gadgets out, the iPhone 5. After all of the preorder hype and now being back-ordered it is one of the hottest products to enter into the marketplace right now and a must have for apple followers. Apple has done a good job on maintaining a steady consumer following with their products. One good example of this is the change from the 3g to the 3gs and the 4 to the 4s. In both cases there were only small a minor improvements but yet still very popular and appealing to Apple lovers. The iPhone 5 is completely different in both looks and the interface. This article points out the exact costs on the $600+ phone and questions how Apple plans to make up on the loss when customers choose to sign a new 2yr contact. This article starts by listing all of the costs that go into making the iPhone 5 16gb phone which caught my eye because some of the features that I thought would have been cheaper to make were actually fairly well priced. The one cost that seemed high was the price to get the phone put together! (kidding) But the main reason I thought the iPhone 5 would be cheaper to produce was because it is made in China and not only does it cost less to produce each piece the labor is dramatically cheaper over there. The article moves on to talk about how the phone without the contract sells for over $600 and that is where Apple will make its money. That markup is normal considering the phone costs $207 to make at the end of the day, labor included. At the tail end of this article it does disclose the cost of the iPhone 4S which (without labor) was $188. I found this interesting too because the 4S compared to the 5 is dramatically different and the screen is just one of the noticeable changes. Hopefully Apple will have a successful launch with the iPhone 5 and there will be minimal bugs. Check out the article when you have a chance it is fairly short but jammed with very interesting information and the full list of the cost of each feature in the iPhone 5.
McDonalds is in my opinion one of the greatest, most advanced fast food establishments that continues to meet consumer needs and wants and continues to make enormous profit while doing so. A few months ago McDonalds introduced a new product that they started to push called McBites. McBites were tiny little chicken bites that were in a creative packaging that allowed for sauces to be placed off to the side of the product.
The McBites were great, they were delicious and then they were GONE! McDonalds introduced this item as a sample/beta product and after a month or so they pulled the test and that was the last of the McBites. Every time I walked into a different McDonalds I would ask if they were available and I would always get the same answer “No”. I went through a struggle when I went up to order not having it together because I would always get the McBites. After some time when I was driving up to Michigan this past weekend and went through the drive-thru I see “McBites” and then view the entire menu and notice “Spicy” in front, they are back! McDonalds now is sampling the Spicy McBites. From the different sets of data they can then go in an analyze the sales and see if they can make profit of this product and they can make it become apart of the menu in towns where they saw the most sales.
Hopefully McDoanlds Corp. can find a place on its menu to keep the McBites for good in the near future! MCD!
(The following post is on Outsourcing)
Outsourcing is one of the most well known and most talked about term in the business world. With increasing taxes and higher wages in the US, outsourcing has been reviewed and considered in a variety of different industries. Outsourcing involves moving production of goods to a low wage cost country somewhere abroad. With such a low cost of production of a product, this leads to higher profits. With such cheap labor and production costs overseas, it results in a dramatic drop in the price of the product. Having an advantage in the marketplace leads to a company’s price on a product to become well known which results in an increase in sales and profit. Although outsourcing keeps a company competitive in the marketplace, it could lead to a less efficient way about processing the products. Depending on the industry it may not pay to outsource because with low wages comes many errors and a lot of waste. For smaller products it is very idealistic because the waste is minimal, but for big-ticket items such as TVS and cars the efficiency level of the workers overseas has to be there or else the company will lose a lot of money. A company that I feel that has done an amazing job with incorporating outsourcing into the company is Apple.
Apple over the past 10-15 years has grown dramatically as anyone who is living today knows. With a majority of people owning at least one Apple product they are hear to stay. One reason why I feel that they are on top is because they do such a good job keeping their overseas operations very efficient. When Microsoft came out with their beta tablet on Monday and they ended up having many problems with different parts on it, the biggest being the track pad on the case would not work correctly. Microsoft wanted to build attention for its product and unveil it to the public but it has now created a race between all companies that are making tablets. Apples operations overseas are vast and have a never-ending supply of material to product products. Outsourcing is here to stay as long as other parts of the world offer cheap and quality labor.