18 October 2007

Journalist inside:: Grooming the Ravana

It's Festival season all around and the shops and malls have been lit up across the country to mark the festivals season onset, in where countrymen shop in bulk for sweets, gifts and other items which they find to be auspicious and cheaper on price, due to lot of Dushera and festival dhamakas and bumper sales. Buying something for half the price than any other time of the year, will definitely make it look auspicious though even if god doesn't mind or bother giving it a thought.

The exchange of sweets, utensils, clothing has found its way since the civilization inception which symbolizes prosperity and happiness. The history of exchanging gifts can be traced back with the birth of Christ when three Magi blessed the Lord with some precious ones. Studying the tradition on a deeper level tells us that even Christians have borrowed this custom from the Germans and Dutch. Also the christians started exchanging gifts with each other's families to mark the occasion, dressing up the christmas tree and exchanging good-luck gifts called Stenae (lucky fruits). These would also be hung to the tree which would remind them that spring would come again and reap them the same good times and fruits they saw. In India, in earlier times, people would give more value to love token given as gifts and families would enjoy those moments with their neighbour and friends and gift them lot of items which in turn adds a human touch and value and also mutual exchange would add love and sharing inculcated into the society. The same tradition would set roots for helping each other during times of needs and that where the people in villages and small towns are more glued together when it comes to festivals or natural calamities. In olden times, people would prepare lot of sweets and those would be distributed across to all. Most of the emphasis was given to Dried fruits and sweets.

But with times gone by, those traditions have caught dust and now look gloomy from where we stand. Gone are the days when that home made sweets and hand made gifts used to hold importance. For specially the festivals, new product ranges are launched into the market and the upper brass finds it quite an offence to deal with anything below certain standards. It has to be a costly affair and the gifts received from others are also kept under the tight scrutiny so that the favour can be returned with the came price or same in kind. A thalli of laddus and dry fruits has already been exchanged up with chocolate hampers, suit length gift hampers and holiday packages, gift
coupons worth thousands which can be spent over a mall near you. Certain section of the society also makes sure to not let any stones unturned when it comes to show off during these seasons. Babus, ministers and other section which sits on a strong position in govt. body are often have people queued up to gift them their love which is normally in cars, land acquisitions and also in favours which can go up to any level. Due to the festival season, people get a reason to present something worthwhile to the other party so soften and getting their work done, be it a pending land case or a management seat for their kids in near future....

Vijayadashmi, called as dashera marked the win of truth over mighty falsehood and evil and teaches us that its not long when one's ego and evil inside will reap similar results but in spite that, we have commercialised the whole festival and expensive gifts and favours may have shine and luster in them, but lack lot of love and harmony which was inculcated long back by our scriptures and holy books. have we lost the human touch or have the colors or our festivals going bright because ostentatious us, is still unanswered...But true, somewhere we are only grooming the Ravana inside all of us, inside our society and try to burn its effigy ever year and rebuild it through the rest of it.

My Management collection: what is Supply Chain Management?

Supply chain management (SCM) is the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the operations of the supply chain as efficiently as possible. Supply Chain Management spans all movement and storage of raw materials, work-in-process inventory, and finished goods from point-of-origin to point-of-consumption.

Problems addressed:

Distribution Network Configuration: Number and location of suppliers, production facilities, distribution centers, warehouses and customers.
Distribution Strategy: Centralized versus decentralized, direct shipment, Cross docking, pull or push strategies, third party logistics.
Information: Integrate systems and processes through the supply chain to share valuable information, including demand signals, forecasts, inventory and transportation etc.
Inventory Management: Quantity and location of inventory including raw materials, work-in-process and finished goods.
Cash-Flow: Arranging the payment terms and the methodologies for exchanging funds across entities within the supply chain.
Supply chain execution is managing and coordinating the movement of materials, information and funds across the supply chain. The flow is bi-directional.

Supply chain management is a cross-functional approach to managing the movement of raw materials into an organization and the movement of finished goods out of the organization toward the end-consumer. As corporations strive to focus on core competencies and become more flexible, they have reduced their ownership of raw materials sources and distribution channels. These functions are increasingly being outsourced to other corporations that can perform the activities better or more cost effectively. Less control and more supply chain partners led to the creation of supply chain management concepts. The purpose of supply chain management is to improve trust and collaboration among supply chain partners, thus improving inventory visibility and improving inventory velocity.

Different models and groupings:
Several models have been proposed for understanding the activities required to manage material movements across organizational and functional boundaries. SCOR is a supply chain management model promoted by the Supply Chain Management Council. Another model is the SCM Model proposed by the Global Supply Chain Forum (GSCF).

Supply chain activities can be grouped into strategic, tactical, and operational levels of activities.

Strategic network optimization, including the number, location, and size of warehouses, distribution centers and facilities.
Strategic partnership with suppliers, distributors, and customers, creating communication channels for critical information and operational improvements such as cross docking, direct shipping, and third-party logistics.
Product design coordination, so that new and existing products can be optimally integrated into the supply chain, load management
Information Technology infrastructure, to support supply chain operations.
Where to make and what to make or buy decisions.
Align overall organizational strategy with supply strategy.

Sourcing contracts and other purchasing decisions.
Production decisions, including contracting, locations, scheduling, and planning process definition.
Inventory decisions, including quantity, location, and quality of inventory.
Transportation strategy, including frequency, routes, and contracting.
Benchmarking of all operations against competitors and implementation of best practices throughout the enterprise.
Milestone payments

Daily production and distribution planning, including all nodes in the supply chain.
Production scheduling for each manufacturing facility in the supply chain (minute by minute).
Demand planning and forecasting, coordinating the demand forecast of all customers and sharing the forecast with all suppliers.
Sourcing planning, including current inventory and forecast demand, in collaboration with all suppliers.
Inbound operations, including transportation from suppliers and receiving inventory.
Production operations, including the consumption of materials and flow of finished goods.
Outbound operations, including all fulfillment activities and transportation to customers.
Order promising, accounting for all constraints in the supply chain, including all suppliers, manufacturing facilities, distribution centers, and other customers.

Supply chain management Scenario
Organizations increasingly find that they must rely on effective supply chains, or networks, to successfully compete in the global market and networked economy.
During the past decades, globalization, outsourcing and information technology have enabled many organizations such as Dell and Hewlett Packard, to successfully operate solid collaborative supply networks in which each specialized business partner focuses on only a few key strategic activities (Scott, 1993). In the 21st century, there have been a few changes in business environment that have contributed to the development of supply chain networks. First, as an outcome of globalization and proliferation of multi-national companies, joint ventures, strategic alliances and business partnerships were found to be significant success factors, following the earlier "Just-In-Time", "Lean Management" and "Agile Manufacturing" practices.

15 October 2007

Journalist inside:: Terrorism: Road to killing people and fighting over religion

Terrorism has been doing lots these last six months and we have been at our best in discussing and cribbing behind the politicians. The minister declared 2 lakhs per person to the families of who have died in the blast and well till date we hear about such money being declared by the ministers in front of the media, but getting that money by that family in exponential time and inversely proportional ratio is just another equation which is unsolved yet.

I was shocked to read about the comments from various communities and also the responses of the online community over the blogs and news sites was even more disheartening. Today i was just going through an article over Rediff which talks about how secure are the malls and cinema halls around us and how these places become easy targets for the antisocial elements. Even i do agree and i end up feeling and discussing with my friends as to how everything is moving on, and that's all based on trust. How many times i have felt that railway lines are all exposed and one can do damage at any place as most of the times it crosses from very isolated places. Planes hijack, anything is not a unknown threat as we are all aware of what happened to Mr. Rippin Katyal and during that phase of time when lot of hijacks happened. Today too when i travel by planes, as i happened to be a frequent flier, i have noticed, that security may be tight from where the passengers entry and board the planes but the ones left for the staff, the outlets for food and luggage are left completely on the trust and mercy of the staff and not much can be done if one of them turns out to be an unscrupulous one. Anytime things can go out of hands and this is the same case in discussion these days with all the news hounds going Gung-ho. The malls have clearly been a soft target for the visitors never been put under scanner. As a matter of fact, the pass way which is supposed to be the metal detector machine, is used in scanty and when the malls have huge rush, even the authorities would ask the visitors to detour the pass way and go ahead.

Terrorism has always been able to take the best out of us due to some of our own mistakes in society and that will continue on the same path, if we do not stop complaining about our politicians, and start acting on the least we can do towards it. The politicians, i believe have not played their parts yet and the maximum we can do is by either participating in campaigns like LEAD INDIA by times group to nurture the best among us and make the field of politics more wanted and urged, or we can expect a better government in times to come where we see young scindias, gandhis and pilots taking the battle fields with their legitimate corporate looks, huge qualifications and strong backgrounds promising a future which will belong to the youth of our country. I read an interview in the news paper yesterday, where Shahrukh khan, rightly quoted that "politics is something for which one needs to be selfless". Quite true. We need politicians who are self less and are motivated to take the country to greater heights, not the ones who fry their kebabs when bomb blasts happen and try get their subtle group of followers to get more fan followings but distributing few sympathetic words and some bucks. Sometimes i wonder that with such coalition government we have been doing so well, with sensex crossing 19Ks and economy going Atlas, what if the goose group of our politicians turn to be likes of rajiv gandhi.We have the best mix of talent to beat anyone anywhere.
Talking about our responsibilities, i am sure we always happen to shun them and end up giving reasons for why can't we contribute or how are we took weak to contribute. But, i am just trying to figure out if we really are that bad. In this world of technology and Internet, we can always try to play our part if we can not go out and fight with the terrorists. we can help people by supporting the views and add to the strength of the agenda. But we move off the responsibilities by lot of ways. We tend to read about discrimination and think, "O god, how does these people do that...Thank lord, we never did so" but do we tend to send across that message to other people. I am sure you may have been born and brought up in such a way that you never felt the heat of racial or religious discrimination but you got to understand that lot of people read and make perceptions out of it. Just on that article on rediff, I felt very sorry when i read couple of comments. One of the fellows was shouting out saying that people should not only put Muslims terrorists responsible for everything, as this time it can be sikh militants too. This is sad and funny too when youth of today, having access to Internet and all that around them, start discriminating among castes and religions and fail to understand the basics. Militancy in any form can have no reason to be justified and the militants will never belong to any religion. People have not even known the meaning of word "JEHAD" but have been associating with militants and supporting them. We have to understand that the religion is only one, that's of humanity. Now you may sign prayers and lit candles at St. martins church, take holy dip at darbar sahib at Amritsar, may be singing the evening aarti at Ganges or fulfilling a life long dream of visiting the shrine at holy city of Mecca, they all will teach you to love the people and help the poor. They will never label the as Hindu or Muslims. they will always label as Evil and Fair. When we label the people with their castes and religions and hold them responsible, aren't we disrespecting our religions, or can we say that such a youth will promise a better India.
We need to put more of contributions towards the betterment of our nation by writing and reading more and supporting the voice. The youth needs to be understanding the basics right under the umbrella of Humanity and then can they become the torch bearers for the future. Till the time, we do not understand our own responsibilities, start acting on them and send strong vibes across the society, We would have more events taking off the best among us and keep us divided when still we all stand up to the hymes of JANA GANA MANN...