Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Cyber security risks in the supply chain ..

Information security is one aspect which is not dealt with in great importance at Indian Business Schools mainly because the faculty do not have prior exposure in the area and most of them do not have any idea of what risks are posed by information security compromises.

The risks to the corporate supply chain is further compounded when one realises that any member in the supply chain could be a potential threat to the information security. Mostly it is the smallest player, which is the weakest link. Due to financial considerations the smallest player is unable to maintain a tightly controlled and monitored information surveillance. This leaves their information system to great risk, enabling hackers to attack the weak points, enter the main system to cause great damage..

What are the different types of security breaches that can happen in a supply chain information system ?
1. Cyber-terrorism - the main server of the organisation is taken over by the hackers, asking for huge compensation from the parent organisation to release the server and its contents back to the rightful owner 
2. Trojanisation - Trojanisation refers to the intended addition of improper functionality to a software system by a piece of malware - a Trojan Horse. It infects the software downloads with viruses, that could potentially cause server overloads or leak sensitive personal and financial information of employees, organisation and vendors. 
3. Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) Definition from whatis.com, "An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a network attack in which an unauthorized person gains access to a network and stays there undetected for a long period of time". The intention of an APT attack is to steal data rather than to cause damage to the network or organization. 
5. Outdated security software : Security software needs to be updated as and when patches for new security threats are released. 
4. Poor encryption, using 64 bit encryption as compared to 128 or 256 bit encryption which is more secure. 
5. Denial of service -  Hackers hijacking systems denying the actual users access to the system

How can the weak players be a potential threat to the major organisation which is outsourcing its supply chain functions to outside vendors ?

There are many loop holes that make it possible to hack into organisational security systems. Let us not forget that the system is only as strong as the weakest member in the link is.
1. The smallest vendor may be enabling its employees to access its own mail or operational servers or cloud servers using very weak passwords. 
2. The vendor maintaining the website of the small vendor may be careless about his information security systems and employee access. 
3. Your supplier's supplier may cause a lapse in the system leading to a whole system compromise
4. Manage system security by adapting security procedures to include suppliers, vendors and even customers
George .. 

References : 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Cycle time, takt time game played in class ..

Throughput time is the total time from the beginning of the process to the end of the process. This is defined by the process.

Cycle time is the time interval when successive units of output come out of the assembly line, as dictated by the process.  

Takt time is the time interval when successive units of output comes out of the line, as dictated by the customer demand. 

For example it is said that an automobile comes out of the Toyota assemble line every 2.5 minutes. This is called the cycle time. THE CYCLE TIME IS DICTATED BY THE DURATION OF THE LONGEST PROCESSING STATION / PROCESS. It does not mean that the whole car assembly is over in 2 minutes. Theoretically speaking, it is the duration of the longest process workstation in the assembly process.

The difference between cycle time and takt time is best illustrated by a game we play in the class trying to make a paper plane. 

In the class, a paper aeroplane making assembly line consisting of four workstations  (members) is arranged. 
  • The first workstation cuts the raw material and prepares the paper (metal sheet cutting, dimensioning etc), 
  • The second workstation makes the first two sets of folding (body work). 
  • The third workstation makes the final folding (fitment of engine and wheels etc), 
  • The fourth workstation does the final painting work on the plane.
The paints on the plane are dictated by the customer (customization) and are different. Customer Quality Inspecting agencies (five students)  have the final say on the quality of the planes.

The game is played for four different cycles. In the first cycle, the different manufacturers are free to manufacture how much ever planes they want to manufacture, in the given time of 2 minutes. All work-in-process (W-I-P) inventory and defects add to the cost of the process.

In the other cycles, the customer decides how much to manufacture (dictated by the Takt time) and one can see, how the W-I-P and defects decrease and hence the costs reduce. 

All complete and good quality aeroplane brings in a revenue of Rs. 100,000 while all WIP and defects result in loss of Rs. 50,000 each.

The final revenues per plane are calculated for each cycle (n * 100,000 - x * 50,000 ) / n, where n is the number of good quality planes produced per cycle and x is the total of all WIP and defects produced.
Analysis Questions :

1. Which system incurs the lowest rate of defects ? Why ?
By playing this game and calculating the average revenue per unit of output, it is found that the average cost per unit of output is lower in the case of pull system than the push system.
When the customer demand was for 4 items per shift of 1 minute, the output was fairly uniform and of good quality for every team, all could get the output through, with zero WIP and zero defects.
When the customer demand rose to eight per shift of 1 minute, the teams could get uniform good quality output of just 4-6 units. That was not an issue. But all the 4 - 6 units produced were of good quality.  
2. Find which system of production incurs the lowest cost and comment. 
If the costs and revenue are calculated, it is found that the Pull system of production incurs, the lowest cost as the output is of uniformly good quality with least of WIP and defects.
Findings of the game :

1. The output in the push system was found to be of a low quality and majorly had to be rejected.

2. The output in pull system was based on the customer demand.
In case (b), the customer demand production target was for just four units, which all teams produced this FG successfully with the best quality.

3. In case (c), pull system with customer demand production target of 8, majority of the teams produced between 4-6 units in a shift. There were some WIP, but no defects. All the FG was found to be of the best quality.

If we look at the costs of the final products, it is seen that the pull system gave
1. lower production costs per unit compared to the push system.
2. better quality of output and
3. low returns due to low defects.


George Easaw

P.S. : The author wishes to acknowledge the efforts of the students of sem 4, MBA, Alliance University Bangalore, 2016-18, for playing the game.  

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Largest transport aircraft ..

The Antonov An-225 Mriya is, quite simply, the largest airplane in the world. At 275 feet in length with a 290 foot wingspan and a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tons, it dwarfs 787's. When it debuted in 1988, the An-225 was 50 percent bigger than any airliner ever built before it.Jun 6, 2013  www.gizmodo.com


he An-225 utilizes six Progress D-18 turbofans, each producing 51,600 lbf of thrust to haul its massive loads of cargo. This massive plane holds the world records airlifting a single-item payload—a gas power station generator weighing 418,834 pounds—and for airlifting a total payload of 559,577 pounds.
The An-225 loads and unloads through its nose—the rear ramp and cargo door were removed to save weight—and actually kneels using its retractable nosegear, allowing deliveries to drive directly into the cargo bay and more easily position loads. The Mriya also differs from the earlier Ruslan in its tail assembly. The An-225 uses a split, twin tail—rather than the single vertical fin—that allows it to carry large external items up to 440,000 pounds. - www.gizmodo.com

A3 thinking ..

The A3 thinking is based on the Deming Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. 

A3 is a structured problem solving and continuous improvement approach, first employed at Toyota and typically used by lean manufacturing practitioners.
 It provides a simple and strict approach systematically leading towards problem solving over structured approaches. (www.wikipedia.com)

The A3 approach is divided into a number of steps which can vary. Most often, eight (8) problem-solving steps are used.
Some examples of A3 Problem Solving Steps are:
  1. Problem description, Initial Perception (PLAN)
  2. Breakdown of the Problem, Problem Clarification (PLAN)
    • Mapping out for this step can be driven by a set of questions. For example, the "5 W's (whatwherewhenwhywho) and 2H's" (howhow many).
  3. Point of Cause, Setting Target (PLAN)
  4. Containment (PLAN)
  5. Cause and Effect, Ishikawa (PLAN)
  6. Follow Up Action, Corrective Actions (DO)
  7. Effect Confirmation (CHECK)
  8. Share the successfully implemented actions (ACT)
These steps are followed by follow Up actions.
Planning gets pride of place and it shows how important is planning in the whole quality improvement process. It is said that on an average a Toyota executive spends about 70% of his time planning and only 30 % in execution and monitoring.
Click here for my earlier writing on the PDCA cycle ..
George .. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

From market capitalism to surveillance capitalism ..

Surveillance capitalism is a term first introduced by John Bellamy Foster and Robert McChesney in Monthly Review and later popularized by academic Shoshana Zuboff that denotes a new genus of capitalism that monetizes data acquired through surveillance. - wikipedia.org
During the dawn of the automobile age, we had Ford capitalizing on the concept of Mass Production and benefiting from it, building plants and dominating the world by means of the products that came out of these assembly factories.

Nowadays we see a similar revolution of a new economy and power centre, this time though not with physical assets or products, rather with access to tools that can collect vast volumes of data and then analyse / process them to generate information that could be used for the benefit of society or otherwise.

What does Google do to all the data it collects on all our physical and virtual life movements ? If we have an Android phone or a Google phone, all our movements are tracked to the minutest detail and monetized.

Click here to find how Google gets our complete data and monetizes on it .. 

The technologies to capture data and the tools to analyse this data have helped us move from the centuries old Market Capitalism model to the new Surveillance Capitalism model ..

Click here for the article - The new Surveillance Capitalism

The Harvard academic Zoshana Zuboff has been at the forefront of research to understand the dynamics of surveillance capitalism and has come up with exciting papers, the more important one titled - Big Other - Surveillance Capitalism and the prospect of an Information Civilization

Hope this field emerges stronger over the years with sufficient research and knowledge to understand how data will influence our lives in the future.

George..

Reference :
1. Zuboff, Shoshana. "Big Other: Surveillance Capitalism and the Prospects of an Information Civilization." Journal of Information Technology 30, no. 1 (March 2015): 75–89.

Where are gun laws taking US to ?

17 teenagers from a school in Miami lost their lives on February 14 to a shooter Nicholas Cruz.

The government is still silent on why they are unable to control the free handling of guns by the citizens.

Why is the US government unable to control the great craze among US citizens for carrying or possessing personal firearms or other lethal weapons for ensure their personal safety ? Does the govt have the duty to ensure the personal safety of its citizens by default and why is the US government abjugating that responsibility from itself onto the people to carry it out themselves bringing great risk to society and its members ?

This is a very recent BBC article which gives excellent statistical data on the American gun culture in 10 charts. Of all the developed communities in the world, we observe it is the American people who are at greater risk of the use or misuse of guns in their own societies. While offering oneself, a good control over ones' own security, it also makes the whole society very vulnerable to misuse as everyone, sane and insane, is carrying one or possesses one and could use or misuse it for good or bad.

It is indeed shocking to understand how guns are being misused by a small fraction of members in the society making the lives of everybody in the society at great risk. in the US alone, it is estimated to have 280 million guns as per latest statistics for a population of 315 million. ie. almost 88% of the population have legally licensed firearms.

The problem with carrying so much of lethal firearms is the very high risk of a misuse happening by an insane person and which results in so much of pain, shame, suffering etc to the members of the society.

while proponents of gun culture, argue that guns can instill a fear in the minds of the people that it could be used on them, opponents of gun culture argue that an insane person with a gun can indeed cause great damage to society and innocent young lives, like what happened in Florida over the past four days.

What could be a permanent solution to this crisis gripping US society and the people living there ? Should the government further relax gun control laws and give everyone the right to protect themselves or prevent its widespread use and limit the use to only licensed sane people.

Another point that could be discussed across US communities is should the US government think of having yearly wellness / soundness of mind checks on gun holders to ensure there is less misuse and less attacks on innocent civilians in revenge attacks ?

Whatever happens, the issue of gun control is a grave issue the US government finds itself caught in these days and unless some drastic measures which restrain the freedom of individuals to protect themselves in taken up, the issue could become quite serious and grave for the rest of the population. This is a matter of grave concern not only for the US citizens, but also for the innumerable visitors who keep coming to US on business, personal and study reasons and who in turn stand at a great risk of being subject to such attacks and atrocities.

In the mean time, the only prayers we could offer to the US and rest of the world is let better sense prevail and let people look at the long term impact of their short sighted actions and not just work for immediate economic and political gains.

George..

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Alliance Uty Bangalore students implement RFID ATT ..

What is RFID tech - a primer ..
Great news from Operations !! Alliance Uty goes Hi-Tech, with great support from students ..

The fourth sem and second sem MBA Operations students in their class now have 125 Khz passive RFID based automated attendance tracking system implemented by the students in the class. 

As part of a mini-project / mini- challenge, the project was posed to the students. The biggest challenge for the students, being from Business Management classes, was not only to identify the technological aspects, but also to identify the best technology / vendor combination that could offer the best VALUE-FOR-MONEY ..

As we understood, there were three phases in the project implementation.
Phase I - identifying the relevant technology, the correct accessories for the design, evaluating the design 
Phase II - identify the suitable vendors to give the different components and evaluate the software at the best cost and the earliest delivery date and 
Phase III - implement the technology in the classroom in the shortest time available after doing the analysis and required programming etc.
The students had to identify the best RFID technology available, design the suitable frequencies to work along, design the complete system, including the software or purchase it. After completing phase I, the students had to identify the vendors, talk to them, talk the financials and thirdly, plan the implementation project in as short a time as possible.

Wide and varied RFID real-life applications ..
Since the Shivarathri holiday came in between, the students had enough time to work around with the system, test its implementation, fool-proof it and get it ready for field application, ie. to be taken to the classroom.

Being Management students, all along we have been stressing on the second most important constraint, after technology, COSTSto reduce item costs and implementation costs of this high-tech Asset Tracking Technology (ATT). As of our information, no other business school or central or state government funded academic institute in Bangalore has accomplished this feat through the students.

The following five second semester MBA students, (2017-19 batch)
Vignesh Kumar S,
Jai Kiran Kumar,
Chandan S
Dinesh Pasupathy
HariGanesh Shekar 
carried out the RFID tech job (incl software) in just under a week at a cost of Rs 1400/-, total expenses less labour and transportation. They did it for a class of 70 taking the subject of Logistics and Supply Chain Management. These students deserve all kudos and motivation to continue their efforts to master more advanced technologies and their practical field implementation.

We shall seriously look at automating the attendance recording in other operations classes and the whole Uty too. Having understood the different aspects and facets of this technology, scaling this technology to other streams and Colleges, including ACED in the University is quite  tractable.

 George.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Top international passenger aircrafts in the world ..

Boeing 787, Dreamliner .. Carbon composites materials make it economical
for capex and opex aircraft costs ..
Supply Chain Management is not only concerned about purchasing and storing raw materials and finished goods, it is also interesting to know how these goods are moved. A peek into the growing commercial airline market is very necessary for the time being.

Here is a list of the top ten international passenger aircraft in the world ..(Click here..) listed in terms of their capacity, uninterrupted flying distance, no of engines.

As we know most of the top aircraft manufacturers of the world use aircraft engines from three major manufacturers of the world, namely, Rolls Royce, Pratt and Whitney and General Electric.

The top 11 passenger aircrafts of the world are like this  - in terms of distance covered on a single fuel charge and passenger capacity (www.aviationcv.com)

11. Airbus A330-300     335 (2 classes)       11750 km          (2 engines)
10. Airbus A340-300     295                         15000 km  / 2011 (discontinued)
(4 engines)
09. Airbus A340-500     372                         15725 km  /2011 (discontinued) 
(4 engines)
08.  Airbus A350-900    325 (3-class)           15000 km        (2 engines)
07. Boeing 787-9           280 (3 class)           14100 km        (2 engines)  
(Dreamliner)                                                              (My addition ..)
06. Boeing 777-200       440                          14,260 km       (2 engines)
05. Airbus A340-600     400                          15,725 km / 2011 (discontinued)   
(4 engines)
04. Boeing 777-300       550                          11,135 km        (2 engines)
03. Boeing 747-400       624                          13,446 km        (4 engines)
02. Boeing 747-B          700                           14,816 km       (4 engines)
01. Airbus A380-800     880                          15,200 km        (4 engines)

A390, the 6 engine prototype is ready, but are the passengers ?
The Airbus A390 can accommodate 1760 passengers and can travel upto 16000 km in one go, but it is still not commercially released ..

China is slowly entering the commercial jet engines
passenger plane market with the 2 engine Comac C919
The 3 engined McDonnel Douglas DC 10 could carry 380 passengers max upto 10,000 kms but was discontinued in 2007. It was known as the death trap, it has not been very popular.

The Chinese jet passenger aircraft Comac C919 is expected to enter Chinese airlines by 2020. It can carry upto 165 passengers for a distance of 5555 km and is twin engined. Being priced at just 50% of a comparitive Airbus or Boeing plane, will it bring great disruption in the international aviation market that is presently dominated by Boeing and Airbus.

If the reliability of the C919 now running on GE engines and Honeywell hardware can be improved, it surely will give a run for money for both Boeing and Airbus. If Asian countries decide to switch over to the low cost reliable C919, it can make air travel very much affordable for the masses, jumpstarting the aviation industry in Asia.

Comac C919 - will it disrupt the global aerospace market ?
Concern over low passenger load factor : Because of the low passenger load factor, between 72 % in Africa to 82% in US and Europe, airlines find it difficult to get larger planes loaded to capacity even on heavy traffic routes, even after deploying their best marketing and pricing strategies.

This is the reason why all private airlines in US are slowly selling off their Boeing 747 aircraft and taking recourse to small Boeing 737s and Boeing 787s, which is easy to have full capacity and offers better fuel economy.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner, built majorly using Carbon composites, is lighter than other aircraft of equal capacity and hence gives better fuel efficiency and more profits for the airlines. It is the recent darling of airlines world over ..

Will HAL or Mahindra aerospace or Tata be ready with their first commercial aeroplane in the next ten years ?

ge..


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Jobin Chadar trek pics ..

Circular (endless) runway airport, design and environmental advantages ..


Is this a realisable plan ?
Most of the airports around the world, since the days of start of commercial flying around the 1950, are designed lengthwise along the runway. As the runway had to be around 4-5 km long in modern airports this necessitated acquiring land in excess of actual airport requirements on a 4000m long x 500m broad stretch of land.

India has become the third largest aviation market in terms of domestic passenger traffic, beating Japan, an industry report has said.
India’s domestic air passenger traffic stood at 100 million in 2016 and was behind only the US (719 million) and China (436 million), Sydney-based aviation think-tank Capa Centre of Aviation said in its latest report. - Livement.com, March 2017.

Circular airport design which is being tired in Netherlands is a very interesting idea that needs serious consideration from aviation experts around the world. The debate on circular airports is quite interesting and raises many fears and apprehensions. More than all the fears, the benefits to the environment are mind boggling, leading to less infrastructure costs, accidents and damage to the environment.

The circular endless  runway airport planned in Netherlands by 2050 AD in comparison would be about 2376 acres (3500 m diameter) in area. Since at any time three flights can take off or land from the circular airport (of 3.5 km diameter), considering a minimum of 2 minutes between two successive aircraft movements, the airport can handle almost 90 takeoffs or landing every hour. 

A very compact design ..  Click here for video 

A.  Area covered : An analysis of some of the more popular airports in India and the world :. Airports need lot of open space for the buildings and the runway and that is one area where circular airports can make a huge difference. Green airports could be beneficial for the environment ..
1. Kochi International Airport, the only 100% solar energy powered airport of the world, THE ONLY COMPLETELY GREEN AIRPORT OF THE WORLD, with its own waste treatment, rainwater harvesting and organic vegetable farms, running on a 27 MW solar power plant, is spread over 1213 acres.
2. Mumbai Chatrapati Shivaji International Airport is spread over 1450 acres.
3. Hyderabad RG  international airport is spread over 1500 acres.
4. Bengaluru KG international airport is spread over 4000 acres.
5. The world's most busiest, HJ Atlanta international airport, US is spread over 4700 acres.
6. New Delhi IG international airport is spread over 5106 acres.
7. New York's JFK International airport is spread over 5200 acres.
8. World's largest, Saudi Arabia's King Fahd International airport in Dammam is spread over 1,92,660 acres .. ie. 48x Bengaluru and 384x Kochi !! This airport is larger than the country of Bahrain and 10% bigger than the city of Bengaluru. 
B. Benefits of Circular airports : 
1. Runway length : While most of the great airports have their longest runways about 4-5 km in length, the circular airports have minimum 11 km long (pi*diameter of 3.5 km) real runway and virtually an endless one (as one does not come across the problem of coming to the end of runway and having to rise again or facing and accident). 
2.  Airport area : A 3.5 km diameter airport will take just 40% area of a conventional airport, helping save the environment in a big way.  
3.  Flying in and flying out : Ability to fly in and fly out from any direction avoiding huge fuel costs of circling the airports and approaching in only one direction 
4. Efficient use of resources in the airport - the circular design helps efficient use of resources like parking lot, toilets, resting & waiting area, eating area, ATC tower etc 
5. Subway approach : approach roads could be built from different sides enabling quicker access to airport and departure from the airport for passengers.
C. Future growth of Air Transportation industry and scope :

Given that the air travel industry is growing year on year at a rate of 8-10 %, the concept of one large airport meeting the demands of the population of a major city is impossible and like in the West, we need to build more and more medium size airports. Airports of the future could be using these designs to save land, costs, fuel and time for passengers and efficient utilization of resources by adopting such compact and convenient designs ..

George

Monday, February 12, 2018

Human multi-tasking..

Multi-tasking, efficient ??
Human multitasking is an apparent human ability to perform more than one task, or activity, over a short period (1 hour). - wikipedia.org

An example of multi tasking is attending to a telephone call and at the same time trying to type a letter. The problem with such activities is that we often fail to do our best in each.

There are some questions being asked on the efficacy of multi-tasking. They are : 
1. Do lean systems advocate multi-tasking or single tasking ? 
2. Is multi-tasking effective in the long run ?
3. Are people who resort to multi-tasking more efficient than others ?
4. Does multi-tasking lead to better or worse output and quality ?

Though it is difficult to get answer to all of these questions through a classroom experiment, we can try to find whether multi-tasking does lead to longer processing times than single tasking. If indeed multi-tasking does take more time to complete tasks, what is the approximate percentage of this increase ?

Let us take this example of multi-tasking. Take an A4 page, tear it into two equal halves, A5. 

To illustrate the waste of time in a multi-tasking environment as against an environment with no task sharing, let us play a simple game. On one paper, write these four exercises one after the other. 
A. Start the stop watch 
1. On the top left corner, name it A, write the digit 1 in words, One
2. Turn to bottom right, bring it to top left, name it B, and write Roman numeral of 1.
3. Turn the paper to the other side, behind the A side, write C and make one hash mark
4. Turn to the bottom right, bring it to top left, mark it D and draw a small five cornered star.
5. Repeat this for digit 2 on edge A, Roman numerals II on edge B, two hash marks on edge C and two star marks on edge D.
6. Repeat this till numerical 10. 
Stop the Stop Watch .   This is multi-tasking. Note the timing in seconds.
Take the other half fresh A5 sheet. 

Now do each of the activities independently, (SINGLE TASKING). Finish each task completely, before going to the next task.
B. Start the stop watch 
1. finish writing the digits 1 to 10 in words on edge A
2. Go to edge B, write Roman numerals of numbers one to ten
3. Turn around, go to edge C, do hashes, progressively from one to 10 and
4. go to edge D, draw small five edge stars progressively from one to ten.
Stop the Stop Watch .        Note the timing in seconds 
Improvement in % = (multi-tasking time - single-tasking time) / multi-tasking time x 100% To be more exact, the experiment could be repeated three to four times and an average value taken.
Exercises :  
1. Write down your observation in two or three sentences..
2. Find the average percentage improvement in time moving from multitasking to single tasking.
3. Is single tasking tasking efficient than multi-tasking, all the time ?? Comment ..
I was surprised to find in the class an average improvement of time by at least 25% and a maximum improvement of upto 45% .
Learning :  
1. Single tasking any time is better than multi-tasking especially if the job is repetitive and time consuming.
2. When there are many jobs to be carried out, it is always better to complete them as single tasks than to attempt to complete them by multiple tasking. This improves quality of the output, reducing the time spent on rework or defects.
3. Multi-tasking is tiring and unless very carefully done, can cause errors in the job, resulting in poor quality and high rework or error correction costs.

Click here for a Forbes article on why single-tasking makes one smarter ..

george ..

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Zoomcar Pedl - IoT bicycles ..

Youngsters at 7 am waiting to take the cycles
It was a very enjoyable experience to use Pedl at Pune, while staying at Pune.

Pedl from Zoomcar, the Internet of Things (IoT) bicycle, has come up free cycling experience for the people to start using bicycles, both for pleasure and health. 

When I went at 7 am on sunday morning to take a bicycle, the whole place was crowded with youngsters, 18-21 age group wanting to use the cycles for short rides. At just Re. 1 for 30 minutes, it is almost free. All were busy linking their Zoomcar/Pedl account on the smartphone with the Paytm payment account.
Great to be cycling again ...

At 7.30 am, by the time I got the two accounts linked, all cycles were gone. After a quick breakfast back at the hotel, along with Prof. Ramana Shetty we took two cycles and went for short rides. It is the experience that is most important. 

It is great that Zoomcar has taken this initiative to offer free cycle ride to Pune residents - a healthy alternative to motorized two wheelers and four wheelers. 

Thank you Zoomcar !!!!

Procedure :
1. Download the Zoomcar app, click on Pedl
2. connect with your Paytm account.
3. Scan the QR code on the bicycle, which will automatically open after deducting Re 1 from your Paytm account.
4. The cycle lock will be automatically opened and you can take the cycle for the ride. (PS : Do not close the screen, keep it open.)

Enjoy the ride .. After the ride,

5. Use the app to park your cycle and lock. Automatically the cycle is locked.

PS : The cycle has to be left in select parking spots across the city which can be found on the Zoomcar app. (not anywhere one likes)

If more civic and health conscious people give up private transport and take to public transport or such shared public utilities, while ensuring our health, the quality of our life can improve considerably.

George.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Energy Supply Chain ..

Green energy comes from natural sources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, plants, algae and geothermal heat. These energy resources are renewable, meaning they're naturally replenished. In contrast, fossil fuels are a finite resource that take millions of years to develop and will continue to diminish with use.  Source : www.mnn.com

Energy and the Supply Chain - Bloom box ..

K R Sridhar's invention of the bloombox is set to replace the grid as it is cheaper than the grid - Bloom Energy Fuel cell, made from Silica available in plenty in beach sand .


The major customers are FEDEX, Walmart, Staples, GOOGLE, EBay and other 15 major global customers.

The modularity available in stack like configuration and the concept of the Bloom energy server, stacks of bloom boxes arranged one over the other and together can power the shopfloors and factories of the future. More power requirements mean just adding more boxes to form clusters, as simple as that. A cluster as big as a motor car can power a super market , 7 days a year for 365 days.

The superior advantage of this technology is the availability of raw material of beach sand or silica  which is easily obtained in different parts of the world near the oceans. Though the technology and the exact composition of the materials applied to both sides of the silica plate are proprietary, this technology can really make a difference if and when it can be brought to commercial application at the earliest. The deadly combination of oxygen and beach sand can produce energy as claimed by Mr. Sridhar ..

George..

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

RFID vs NFC tags ..

NFC (Near Field Communication) is a high frequency RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) application.

NFC operates in 13.56 MHz while RFID operates from 120 KHz to 10 GHz. 

NFC is more than often contact, within a range of 5 cm, while RFIDs are also contact (passive ) or active, upto 200 m.. 

Read the diff more clearly from How Stuff works ..

Monday, February 05, 2018

How many squares ?

What gets Jack and Bezos, the Titans of retail, do great things ?


What is retail ? As per Oxford Dictionary definition,
Retail - The sale of goods to the public in relatively small quantities for use or consumption rather than for resale.
In the Indian context B2B is wholesale and only B2C is considered retail. Retail has caught up all over the world of late primarily because of the following reasons.
1. the availability of almost infinite variety
2. assurance of high quality products from renowned vendors
3. availability at very competitive prices
4. availability of a home delivery policy
5. availability of a very reasonable returns policy for goods damaged or disliked
6. availability of an easy payment interface / Cash-on-delivery option
7. excellent reach covering almost the entire country
8. reasonably quick delivery
9. assurance of reasonably good after-sales-service
10. availability of good cash return policies
As per Businesswire mag (June '16)
The global retail sector is estimated to have achieved revenues of US$ 22.6 trillion in 2015 and should continue to rise to US$ 28 trillion by 2019, with average annual growth rate of 3.8% since 2008. The sector represents 31% of the world's GDP and employs billions of people throughout the globe.
Jeff Bezos and Ma Yun (Jack Ma)
Two individuals lead the world in this retail revolution. Jack Ma from China leads Alibaba ($485.6 billion, 2016) and Jeff Bezos from US leads Amazon. ($136 billion, 2016). Though Alibaba is approximately 3.6x Amazon, Jeff Bezos of Amazon over the years has accumulated enough wealth and stock in his company to be designated as the richest person on planet earth with an estimated life savings of $ $118.8 billion dollars while Jack Ma leading an organisation Aliababa, 3.8x of Amazon, is worth just $40.1 billion.

Entrepreneurs around the world have always marveled at how these individuals have crafted their success story.

Watch this video of Jack Ma at WEF 2018 at Davos. He says he always tries to find and employ smarter people than himself. Why ? Because they know the technology, trends and future growth patterns much more than anyone. Ma says upto age 30 on has to make mistakes and study, 30 to 40 engage in business and make mistakes and learn, from 40 - 50, consolidate, from 50 - 60, handhold juniors and youngsters. As per Ma, after 60, everybody should relax and  enjoy life ..

Amazon's CEO, Jeff Bezos Shared His 3-Step Formula for Success.
1. Surround yourself with the right people.
2. Have a learn-it-all mindset.
3. Be ready to play the long game.
Click here for Jeff Bezos's formula for success..

Do you notice similarity in approach of the two great retail Titans, Jack and Bezos ??
1. Belief in smart people and
2. the right attitude to work and challenges .. 
Retail industry is nothing but getting the right thing to the right person in the right form at the right place and time through the right mode at the  right cost and in good safe condition. 

Retail industry as we know is both labour and technology intensive, with each complementing the other strongly.  As technology develops and matures, only smart people with the right attitude can change and reorient themselves to the challenges.

Considering the growth and expansion in retail @ 3.8 % globally, it has to be seen how much the retail sector would grow now in India and other developed and developing countries of the world. 

George

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