Saturday, March 30, 2013

Indian Mars Mission in November 2013 .. Mangalyaan ..

After NASA and European Space Agency's Mars landing probes, India's ISRO will be the third country in the world to send a probe to Mars .. China's Yinhuo launched in 2011, had to be destroyed in space due to malfunction in its firing/burning rockets..

The proud thing is it is being launched on board PSLV C 25 in Nov 2013, probably again with our own Kunhikrishnan in command of the launch at Srikarikotta.

Mangalyaan will reach Mars by Sept of 2014, crash land itself on Martian surface and in the process take some pictures and beam back to earth, how they did with chandrayaan ....


Pioneer 10 .. First man made mission to leave solar system ..

Pioneer 10-11 spacecraft.jpg 

First space craft to leave the solar system .. Launched in 1972, it crossed the Neptune orbit in 1983 , mission was officially called off in 1997, though signals were received from it till 2003, when it was at a distance of 12 billion kms from earth. It is presumed it is either still travelling at 1,32,000 kms/hour speed into the unknown limits of the universe or may have got caught in some planetary orbit and revolving around it.


Pope Francis washes the feet of young juveniles.. great courage and love..

Pope Francis washing and kissing the feet of juvenile
prisoners cutting across race and religion in a Rome prison
Leading by example .. First he shuns the Vatican papal palace as his home  and goes for a modest room at the Vatican Guest House, now he is connecting with the people without the usual bullet proof limousine etc. 


Another video ..

He is trying to bring true virtues of Christianity, humility, peace, love, sharing, happiness, concern back to Christendom .. He may be bringing sleepless nights and frustration to the coterie around the earlier popes, like the Secretary of State of Vatican State, Cardinal Bertone and others and truly to their exasperation.

The Vatican city and its splendour ..

The youth of the juvenile prison included two girls and Muslims .. The other popes may have done on other priests feet .. (including the other conventional Orthodox churchs' High Priests washing priests' feet). This is way different and goes out of the way and has stunned the whole world.

In one swift move he has shamed all disbelievers, made Muslims around the world to turn back and have a look .. He may the new Ambassador for world peace and may be able to bring Iran and the west see eye to eye ..

It is all about love for humanity .. It does not carry any religion's impact. Religion is just one way of serving people on earth and through that reaching a higher plane of living ..

Anyway, the new Pope is poised to shake up the Vatican establishment which has been the subject of much ridicule the past many years !!

His video of the Good Friday service .

News item on Good Friday sermon ..

Reaching out to the Muslim world.. !!!!!!!! Great leadership and statesmanship ..!!


Thursday, March 28, 2013

BRICS Durban March 26, 2013..

Dr Manmohan Singh of India, Xi JinPing of China, Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Delma Rouseff of Brazil and Vladimir Putin of Russia ..

A $100 billion BRICS Development Bank is also coming ..??


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Alibaba story from Jack Ma, CEO ..

Alibaba the B2B site that connects your businesses to some of the best suppliers and manufacturers from one of the most vibrant places in the world, China..  - the story ..

A beautiful writeup in pdf of the Alibaba story .. (from Financial Times..)

Alibaba is also helping in the building of China Smart Logistics network at a cost of $ 16 billion which will ensure that Alibaba's customers get their product anywhere in China within 24 hours and are able to process roughly 72 million orders daily with a value of roughly $4.8 billion .. For Alibaba, logistics is a key bottle-neck for e-commerce growth.

When China does it , it does it in style and BIGGGGGG ....!! With inniovations like alipay and alifianance, it is able to expand its business network rapidly with confidence and trust.

If Alibaba is able to transform the Chinese retail marketplace, it is sure to catapult China to the forefront of world nations instead of by 2020, even by 2015 ..

Is the West listening ?? Walmart has a lot to learn from this ..  A day will come soon when Walmart will also be sourcing its products through's ..


Tuesday, March 26, 2013 .. scaring the world ..!!

Gone are the days of the oil sheikh and the yankees ..

The Chinese are here to stay .. I was surprised to read in The Economist of March 29 that at $170 billion e-commerce portal of (b-b), (c-c) and (b-c) are seven times as big as and www.ebay combined. It is 1700 times the size of It is presently two times the GDP of Dubai, an emirates in UAE.

By 2020, it is believed, just the e-commerce market in China will be combined markets of US, UK, Japan, Germany and France.

The figures coming out of China are mind boggling and it creates fear even among Indians, forget the puny West !! has 6 million registered vendors at its sites.. ( offering an escrow service which allows customers to release payments to vendors only if they are satisfied with the products) and ( a micro lending site helping small vendors grow big offering micro finance) are the other fallouts which the world is very eagerly looking to ..

Value of Apple in 2009 was $ 80 billion and in 2013 it is $ 420 billion ..
Value of in 2013 is $ 120 billion and in 2017 ..??


India and China over 2000 years..

The world Super Powers over the years ..

The only fear the west has is whether the days of 2000 years back will dawn once again on the world horizon, given the way India and China are growing in spite of the recession hitting parts of the world.


Friday, March 22, 2013

In Toyota Bidadi with MDP participants..

Getting ready for the shopfloor visit ..
With R. Ramesh San, (centre), VP Manufacturing, Toyota , Bidadi plant.

Have to admit that our visit to Toyota Plant II, world class, was the best event of the MDP. Getting a chance to see the assembly of the latest Camry, Etios and Liva from the initial lines to the final assembly and inspection lines was simply mind-boggling.. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Titan hosur, TN...

Tata Nano in Gold, from Titan Jewels ..

With Mr Sukumaran (centre), the SC Head at Titan Jewels after a lecture on
Theory of Constraints ...

It was great to hear Mr Sukumaran talk to us about Theory of Constraints practiced in Titan which has helped Titan Industries increase its turnover from INR 5,000 crores in 2009 to INR 10,000 crores in 2012.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

EOQ model is celebrating 100 years this year ..

Ford W Harris first proposed the Economic Order Quantity Model in 1913. This year we are celebrating 100 years of the same..

See the original paper here titled " How many parts to make ??"


Monday, March 18, 2013

Green Buildings - LEED Certification ..

How can LEED certification benefit organisations and their employees ??

 The six major environmental categories of review include:  ( as put up by US Green Building Council)
1. sustainable sites, 
2. water efficiency, 
3. energy and atmosphere, 
4. materials and resources, 
5. indoor environmental quality and 
6. innovation and design. 

Green buildings are able to increase the productivity of the employees and also help employers retain more talent because of better office environment.

The certifications comes in Platinum, Gold, Silver and simple LEED certification. (as per USGBC standards)

GE Jack Welch Research Centre Bangalore is a LEED certified building.

Rediff article  is here ..

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Logistics Performance Index - World Bank metric on country logistics ..

Watch this video

Logistics Performance Index (LPI) is the weighted average of the country scores on the six key dimensions:
Efficiency of the clearance process (i.e. speed, simplicity and predictability of formalities) by border control agencies, including Customs;
Quality of trade and transport related infrastructure (e.g. ports, railroads, roads, information technology);
Ease of arranging competitively priced shipments;
Competence and quality of logistics services (e.g., transport operators, customs brokers);
Ability to track and trace consignments;
Timeliness of shipments in reaching destination within the scheduled or expected delivery time.
The scorecards demonstrate comparative performance - the dimensions show on a scale from 1 to 5 relevant to the possible Comparison groups – all countries (World), region and income groups.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Playing the Theory of Constraints game at Alliance University, Bangalore...

"A chain is no stronger than its weakest link .."

An exhaustive link on Theory of Constraints 

It was interesting playing the Theory of Constraints inventory accumulation game in the assembly line. The game has been adapted to be played in a classroom setting. Coloured plastic coins were used to depict the RM / WIP / FG inventory in the system. Three production settings representing three teams were finalised to demonstrate that inventory accumulation can occur at any station .

There are two versions of the game. 

Our game was a bit different in that we gave each of the 5 players 10 coins (representing inventory) each, which indicated the WIP at each of the player. The game was played with  the first player having almost 100 units of RM inventory to start with and the final inventory being gathered at the last player in the assembly line.  The players were asked to sit in a straight line and spreadsheet random generator function (randbetween(1,6)) was used to generate the random numbers between 1 and 6 for each player sequentially and was spoken out loud. As the prodn/assembly went ahead, we noticed inventory piling up at one workstation more than the others.

Next we asked the players why this happened when all players had equal probability of inventory pileup. Improper machine maintenance, worker training/skills, material quality, timely supplier delivery issues etc were some of them.

The second version is when all the inventory is kept as RM inventory and none with the players. With each throw of dice, the production/assembly happens at each workstation. We find the inventory flowing from the first workstation to the last. In between at some intermediate station WIP piles up. 

The game, whichever version, gives players a good feel of the dynamics of the assembly line and he/she is able to experience for himself the inventory accumulation.

The followup of the game is to find the area where inventory pileup happens and why it happens so. Instead of having to work all around the shop floor, if only that w/s and its immediately surrounding area is attended to, we find our actions are very much directed and results in immediate benefits.

Possible reasons for inventory pileup are - 
1. poorly maintained machines resulting in high downtime - have effective maintenance policies, compute OEE.
2. poorly trained workers who are not productive on the shopfloor - depute them for training and skill upgradation
3. poor quality of raw materials resulting in defects and work stioppages - get supplies from relaible sources or give more training to the vendors
4. no timely deliveries of RM / WIP inventory at the different workstations resulting in stoppages
5. poor infrastructure and efficiency of logistics and transport / material handling equipment - improve the efficiency by proper design, capacity and physical layout of infrastructure.

Once the inventory pileup is removed, we find inventory pileup happens at another w/s and then we need to attack it. 

Difference between Lean methodologies and Theory of Constraints : 

Lean Methodologies try to give the best output from the existing setup by bringing in discipline, work place organisation, standardisation of processes and systems, early detection and correction of errors and defects with clear visualisation by motivating people and continuous improvement. It is a reactive approach. Theory of Constraints on the other hand is a proactive approach. It works to improve the existing setup itself by identifying reasons for inefficiencies and inventory pileups (bottlenecks) and eliminating them at the first instance.

Brief description of the game is here ..

Real Game Analysis :  

On 15 Feb 2014, the game was played the second version of the game ( all initial stock only with the first workstation and none with the intermediate workstations) for 10 rounds by 9 assembly lines in the Operations class at Alliance University, Bangalore.

 Each of the first workstations of the nine assembly lines were given an initial stock of 30 units of inventory. The production at each of the five workstations in each of the assembly line ( or in other words the machines which were working at each station) was randomly chosen from 1 to 5. The production from each workstation was decided by a random number generator between 1 and 5. In the initial round, only the items passed from upstream stations were passed to downstream stations,

The equation which guided movement of raw material from each work station was this : 
items produced at each workstation = min(machines working, items passed from upstream station). 

As the game progressed, each station started accumulating stock and thus the items despatched from each work station changed over passage of time. 

Items passed from station i to station j = min ( items passed from upstream station i, stock at station i + machines working at station i ).

The game was played for ten rounds. The data is given below.

Assembly line   Final O/P    Bottleneck Stn     Inv. bottleneck        Throughput rate
I                          19                 2                         16                     19/30 = 0.633
II                         17                 4                           5                     17/30 = 0.58
III                        18                2                            3                     18/30 = 0.6
IV                          -                -                     - ( no team)
V                         18                2                           19                    18/30 = 0.6
VI                        17                2                            3                     17/30 = 0.58
VII                       17                2                           6                      17/30 = 0.58
VIII                     14                4                            11                    14/30 = 0.47
IX                        16               4                             6                     16/30 = 0.53
X                         18               4                             9                     18/30 = 0.6

The analysis of the game :

Assembly liners I had the highest throughput of 19 units, rate =0.633 while lines III, V and X had a throughput of  18 and a rate of 0.6.

The highest bottle neck at any workstation in any assembly line was observed as 19 and 16 on lines V and I respectively.

As per Eliyahu Goldratt's Theory of Constraints, we now have to turn our attention to the bottleneck stations (instead of concentrating on all the stations at the same time) and remove the bottle neck by way of better machines, techn, better training to workers , better quality of raw materials etc. etc. 

After the initial bottle neck is removed ( bring the inventory to zero) continue the game for another ten rounds. Now another workstation may become the bottle neck.  Work to remove the bottleneck for this station also. As the bottle neck is removed we find the throughput rate also improves, which is the success of the assembly line. As time was limited, we could not play the game for another 10 rounds and hence could not demonstrate to the students how the average throughput rate (for two rounds) increases.


Monday, March 11, 2013

Dr. Thimmappa Hegde at narayana hrudayalaya ..

Dr. Thimmappa Hegde talking to the MBA students ..
In his simple lucid style ....
Not missing the finer points ..
What passion Dr. Hegde shows in his talk on the importance of values and virtues in life ? It was a great opportunity for the MBA students of Alliance University, Bangalore to visit the healthcare facilities of Narayana Hrudayalaya , Bangalore and get an opportunity to listen to one of the top neurosurgeons in the country. The main point he was stressing throughout the talk was of the need to be content and thankful to God for the many blessings we have received from God ....

On our visits to Narayana Hrudayalaya Dr Thimmappa Hegde, humane to the core, spared time on two occasions during Feb 2013, to talk to students of Alliance University. At the philosophical level he exhorted them to be not just ordinary but extra ordinary individuals. He also wanted them to understand how blessed they were in comparison to the other thousands of patients inside the hospital and outside who do not enjoy most of the gifts given by God. 

In fact, the self of the students got really sublimed on hearing the words of moderation spoken by Dr Hegde with such great passion and conviction. The students were amazed to realise that they have nothing to complain or voice concern as they were so fortunate to be blessed with all gifts of life, good health, brain, parents, what not ... They should only be thanking God for all the good things showered on them.

Dr. Susheel and his colleague took great pains to take the students through the many facilities inside the hospital and explained the business aspects of health care operations and cleared all their doubts.

The students were thankful to the doctors and Narayana Hrudayalaya in particular for giving them insights into the expansion plans of the hospital and for letting the students understand that in order to excel in quality and to do things profitably, they need not look only at the top rich sections of the society, the fortune is actually at the bottom of the pyramid. In the process, they also have the satisfaction of serving the needy, poor and less fortunate in our society.

Thank you Doctor for teaching us lessons in simplicity and humility and still make it  possible to do things world-class and on global scale.

An experience the students will never forget for a long time..

Some snaps are here .. 

Report of an earlier visit of Dr Hegde to Alliance University ..


Narayana hrudayalaya visit ..

Friday, March 01, 2013

26/11 at Taj Hotel, mumbai.. narration at alliance..

Mr. H  S  Srinivas, the Exe. VP , HR, Taj hotels taking the class on Employee engagement  at the MDP at Alliance on 1 March, 2013.

He was explaining the incident of the terrorist attack Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai and how the employees gave more than their lives for the guests at the Hotel. They do not call this employee engagement, it is much much more.. No words to decribe such a state of mind..

Both HBR and Rand corp have come up with excellent cases on the terror attack .. 


Data Visualisation Presentation..

Dr. Sukanya explaining the finer aspects of Data Visualisation in R Today 19 July 2019, Business school and Engineering school of Alli...

My popular posts over the last month ..