Category Archives: Business

Big Retailers And Their “Last Mile” Of Delivery

I run a “promotional” company in Nice, France. Have four folks working for me who you have heard of:

https://penneyvanderbilt.wordpress.com/ Penney Vanderbilt

https://kcjonesblog.com/ KC Jones

https://ancienhippie.wordpress.com/ Ancien Hippie

https://pastachild.wordpress.com/ Pasta Child

We all live in a “cottage” on the street behind the Promenade des Anglais. But we are not on the street. To find us, you must enter a doorway, go past the mailboxes and go into a “courtyard” surrounded by three 6-story buildings.

How do you describe your location to Amazon, Walmart, FedEx and UPS?????

Yes! the phone!! But now I have to stop work and “rescue” the delivery person.

Better idea……a “relais”!!!!

A French word for relay. A “convenience store” I can walk to at my convenience.

Why Did The Penn Central Railroad Fail?

The Penn Central was born amid great expectations and promises on February 1,1968 by the merger of the New York Central System into the Pennsylvania Railroad on that date.

Neither railroad had been forced through the trauma of bankruptcy and reorganization.

With incompatible computer systems ,signal systems, operating styles, and personalities at the top, the new railroad remained essentially two in operation though it was one in name.

1.) PC was forced to pay $125 million for the bankrupt New Haven, which had a negative cash flow.

2.) PC was required to operate well over one half of all the passenger service in the US, which by that time had a monstrous negative cash flow. Amtrak only partly relieved this in 1971, as PC was still saddled with commuter service in the New York and Philadelphia areas.

3.) Freight rates and abandonments were rigidly regulated, preventing PC and others from adapting to market conditions.

4.) The “red” and “green” teams were more interested in “oneupmanship” than creating a viable enterprise. No thought had been given prior to the merger, for example, on compatibility of computer reporting systems.

The merger between the New York Central RR and the Pennsylvania RR was like a shotgun wedding. Both bride and groom hated each other. Yet, there was no other option but to join hands in unholy matrimony, and if this wasn’t bad enough, the bride and groom had to accept the New Haven RR as an unwelcome boarder in their honeymoon suite.

Read More About The Wreck Of The Penn Central Railroad

https://penneyandkc.wordpress.com/penn-central-a-wreck-of-a-railroad/

US Prepares to Ban LapTops On Flights From European Union

If everybody else has to depend on paper and pencil……Then I will be on top of everything!!!

The U.S. is expected to broaden its ban on in-flight laptops and tablets to include planes from the European Union, a move that would create logistical chaos on the world’s busiest corridor of air travel.

Alarmed at the proposal, which airline officials say is merely a matter of timing, European governments held urgent talks on Friday with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The ban would affect trans-Atlantic routes that carry as many as 65 million people a year on over 400 daily flights, many of them business travelers who rely on their electronics to work during the flight.

The ban would dwarf in size the current one, which was put in place in March and affects about 50 flights per day from 10 cities, mostly in the Middle East.

Chief among the concerns are whether any new threat prompted the proposal and the relative safety of keeping in the cargo area a large number of electronics with lithium batteries, which have been known to catch fire. American officials were invited to Brussels next week to discuss the proposed ban, the EU said.

European Commission spokeswoman Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said the EU had no new information about a specific security concern.

U.S. officials have said the decision in March to bar laptops and tablets from the cabins of some international flights wasn’t based on any specific threat but on longstanding concerns about extremists targeting jetliners.

Experts say a bomb in the cabin would be easier to make and require less explosive force than one in the cargo hold. Baggage in cargo usually goes through a more sophisticated screening process than carry-on bags.

Jeffrey Price, an aviation-security expert at Metropolitan State University of Denver, said the original ban focused on certain countries because their equipment to screen carry-on bags is not as effective as machines in the U.S.

A French official who was briefed about Friday’s meeting said the Americans announced they wanted to extend the ban, and the Europeans planned to formulate a response in coming days. The official said the primary questions revolved around when and how — and not whether — the ban would be imposed.

The official spoke only on condition of anonymity to discuss the plan.

Jenny Burke, a Homeland Security spokeswoman, said no final decision has been made on expanding the restriction.

But Homeland Security officials met Thursday with high-ranking executives of the three leading U.S. airlines — American, Delta and United — and the industry’s leading U.S. trade group, Airlines for America, to discuss expanding the laptop policy to flights arriving from Europe.

Two airline officials who were briefed on the discussions said Homeland Security gave no timetable for an announcement, but they were resigned to its inevitability. They spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the meeting publicly.

The U.S. airlines still hope to have a say in how the policy is put into effect at airports to minimize inconvenience to passengers. The initial ban on passengers bringing large electronics devices into the cabin hit hardest at Middle Eastern airlines.

Emirates, the Middle East’s largest airline, this week cited the ban on electronics as one of the reasons for an 80 percent drop in profits last year. It said the ban had a direct impact on demand for air travel into the U.S. and it faced rising costs from introducing complimentary laptop loans to some passengers.

Alain Bauer, president of the CNAPS, a French regulator of private-sector security agents, including those checking baggage and passengers in France’s airports, predicted “chaotic” scenes initially if the ban was instituted.

“Imagine the number of people who carry their laptops and tablets onto planes — not just adults, but also children,” he told the AP.

He said it would slow passage through security checks as people try to negotiate a way of keeping their laptops.

“It’s not like losing your water bottle or your scissors. It will take more time to negotiate,” he said.

“You need a lot of time to inform them and a lot of time for it to enter people’s heads until it becomes a habit,” he said. “After a week of quite big difficulties, 95 percent of people will understand the practicalities.”

The head of the International Air Transport Association said recently that the electronics ban is not an acceptable or effective long-term solution to security threats, and said the commercial impact is severe.

An industry-backed group, the Airline Passenger Experience Association, said the U.S. government should consider alternatives. That could include routinely testing laptops for chemical residues associated with bombs, requiring owners to turn on their devices, and letting frequent travelers keep their electronics with them.

The group’s CEO, Joe Leader, noted that airlines have reduced service by more than 1 million long-haul seats in the 10 Middle Eastern and North African cities affected by the March policy. If it spreads to Europe, “it’s simply a matter of time” before laptops are banned in the cabins of domestic U.S. flights, he said.

At the Delta area of the Cincinnati airport, a sign warned passengers that beginning Saturday on flights returning to the U.S. any electronic devices other than a cellphone would have to be placed in checked baggage. The airline flies between Cincinnati and Paris.

A Delta spokesman said the sign was posted in error by an employee at the airport. Asked if Delta had anticipated that the in-cabin ban on larger electronics would go into effect this week, the spokesman declined to comment.

Rail Service In Vermont – Brought to you by David Blittersdorf

From vtdigger.org via California Rail News

A recent state Transportation Agency report says a commuter rail service out of Burlington would cost up to $360 million, but one of the state’s energy magnates says he will prove he can do it for far less.

David Blittersdorf, founder of AllEarth Renewables, has already spent roughly $5 million to purchase a dozen train cars for the transit system he envisions, which he said many Vermonters may be able to ride with no fare…

The routes the rail line would follow haven’t been pinned down yet, Blittersdorf said, but one of them is likely between Burlington and Rutland (Vermont).

Mr. Blitterdorf isn’t planning to make money running trains. He plans to make money from development around the stations. Gee! That is what people did a hundred years ago!

UBER’s Rise From SCAB To Superstar

So in case the term is new to you, what is a SCAB?

The Urban Dictionary defines it as: ” A worker, often temporary, who crosses a strikers’ picket line, going to work in place of the strikers.” An example of usage:
“The scabs had their cars egged when they arrived at the factory.”

SCABS used to be looked down on in America.

Well, this is how UBER arrived on the business scene in 2008.

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What happened? First of all, UBER started using a computer “APP” to order a taxi (or whatever you call it in UBERese).

Uber had some financial problems like trying to break into China. But some smart financial persons solved their money problems by modifying their business plan. Now they are in the “self driving car” business.

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Now they are in the “tech elite” of America!

No word about “scab labor” anymore.

They even got invited to Donald Trump’s “tech conference”. This is the same Donald Trump who counts on support of organized labor embracing a “scab company”.

California could not handle testing of self-driving cars, so they relocated to Arizona

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The CSX Railroad Must BE NIMBLE!

Coal likely won’t be a major traffic/revenue for CSX anymore. Coal revenue losses, which have been mounting since 2011, are expected to total $2 billion by year’s end.

So, the Class I needed to develop a strategy to radically change the structure and operation of the coal-dominant railroad for the long term. Enter the “CSX of Tomorrow.” Formally launched in late April and expected to take several years to implement, the strategy calls for realigning the network to de-emphasize coal traffic and optimize the volume-growth potential of the more promising intermodal sector and solid merchandise segment; deploying more high-tech equipment and information systems; pursuing service excellence; and developing a workforce of the future.

csxmap

The idea— and hope — behind the CSX of Tomorrow (CoT): help spur volume growth and increase profitability in the intermodal and merchandise franchises, and yet preserve the business value of coal as it becomes a smaller part of the company’s portfolio.

The Class I aims to develop a Team of Tomorrow (ToT), or a more diverse, versatile and highly skilled workforce. CSXers believe such a team can up the ante on working collaboratively, making decisions quickly, embracing new technologies and finding ways to boost productivity.

The Network of Networks: You Mean THE CLOUD

Today I spent on a project from 2013: Supply Chain Control Towers

Far greater minds than mine have defined Supply Chain Control Towers? There are many definitions but Capgemini offers a good, broad definition that many would agree with: “A supply chain control tower is a central hub with the required technology, organization, and processes to capture and use supply chain data to provide enhanced visibility for short and long term decision making that is aligned with strategic objectives.”

Yes, I wrote about Supply Chain Control Towers and Transportation Control Towers

First thing today I get a message from India. Company wants to know more about Supply Chain Control Towers. Then I read mail (uuuggghhh). Get a blog from Lora Cecere, The Supply Chain Shaman.. She knows more about Supply Chains than I ever will. But she is allied with ALL the vendors in the industry. I trust them as far as I can throw them.

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But she has a great idea: A Netword of Networks

I simplify that to “THE CLOUD”

Back the Control Towers. She and I agree on a lot. Difference simply is I want EDI to be the main communications tool (other than voice-to-voice). She wants to also introduce many existing communications tools from her great vendor community. I feel EDI is proven and can communicate ANYTHING. She wants to introduce things like HADOOP, SPARK, BLOCK CHAIN to the process. ADOBE may be her great friend. All I know about them is their opening remark if I contact them. “What is your credit card number?” Still confident in the international banking system to think BLOCKCHAIN is a lot of B..S We use BNP Paribas and know it’s capabilities.

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I am sure Lora and I will work out our differences. So confident that I have signed up for her Webinar in January.

This is a guest blog from my boss, Ken Kinlock. He is “The Man” about Control Towers

Star Wars: Galactic Constraints Of The Empire: Sounds Like Supply Chain Management

Using some ideas from stories on “business constraints” we find some areas of intersection between Star Wars and Supply Change Management:
(1) Business Model deficiencies
(2) Processes/Organisational structures
(3) Leadership
(4) Culture

BUSINESS MODEL DEFICIENCIES

If you have a wrong business model, you will fail. If you have a wrong strategy in place, you will ultimately be doomed. Look at Apple and Samsung versus Nokia. Look at what happened to Eastman Kodak’s “FILM” Business Model.

In Star Wars, the Galactic Empire and the Emperor had a strategy to wipe out the rebellion and establish themselves as the ultimate Lord. Their business model was a simple one – build the Death Star and use it to wipe out rebel planets. The Empire spent countless resources, including crazy amounts of manpower, money and effort to build the Death Star. After successfully destroying only one planet, the Rebels destroyed the Death Star. After the destruction of the first Death Star, neither the Emperor nor Darth Vader decides to relook at their “failed” business strategy. Instead, they decided to rebuild a bigger, newer Death Star. Again, the Rebels managed to destroy it.


PROCESS/ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURES

One of the biggest mistakes organisations make is to focus on people.
The key to successfully getting your employees to high performance is to focus on “process”. You can still care and love them, but your emphasis must be on building institutional processes. One of the biggest mistake the Empire and its leadership made was to rely on their “top talent”. This was also the same issue that Enron had. They hired really smart people and focused entirely on these “special” people making the organisation great. Initially, Enron had stellar performance. But like the Empire, it ultimately blew up. In Episode IV: A New Hope, the Emperor disbands the Galactic Senate and handpicks a few regional governors. By Episode VI, even those are gone and only Darth Vader remains as his bastion of leadership. Mentoring was a key part of the process. Yoda explains the mentoring process of the Alliance as “always two there are, no more, no less; a master and an apprentice.” Everything has to be a process. Processes and structures are key to ensuring a high performance organisation. Just ask Darth Vader and he will share the perils of focusing solely on people.


LEADERSHIP

When I talk about leadership being a constraint, it not only means the quality of leadership at the top of the organisation but also the quality of leaders all across the different layers. If you glance at the Empire’s leadership, there were very little processes involved in building the leadership DNA. It was pretty much Darth Vader and the Emperor who ruled (after they wiped out all other leaders along the way). The Jedi Rebels, on the other hand, not only had a leadership development process, but their leadership continuality was being built at all levels. When there was a gap, as we saw in Episode IV, Master Yoda steps in to train young Luke Skywalker. The Jedi Council itself spent an enormous amount of time on leadership development issues. Even at the stage of young Padawans (akin to management trainees at organisations), the Council reviewed each applicant and measured progress. And there is a clear mentor-mentee system to ensure all young Jedi are given leadership exposure and coaching. In Episode I: Phantom Menace, young Obi-Wan is sent by the Council on a diplomatic mission to Naboo accompanied by his Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. If you look at all the top organisations in the world, a key part of their success is leadership. Great leaders and managers are needed at every organisational level. It is very hard work to develop and grow leaders at each level.

CULTURE

The hardest part of any change initiative is to ensure it becomes part of the organisational DNA. It requires cultural alignment. People and organisations are creatures of habit, and changing habits is harder than changing structures or systems. Cultural impediments:
(a) Lack of trust or accountability between groups, including turf issues or internal competitiveness.
(b) An “observer-critic” culture that kills new ideas or a culture reluctant to accept new ideas.
(c) Groups formed under the protection of a politically connected individual which distances themselves from your initiative.
Your organisational culture is constantly evolving. If you are not intentionally designing it, someone else will.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Read More

 

 

 

 

 

 

So How is the 124-Year Old “Start-Up” Company Doing?

In Greenville, SC; G.E. makes gas turbines.(pictured above)  Because of digital technology and other improvements, the production time of 5 years has been cut in half.

In 2009, Jeffrey R. Immelt, CEO of General Electric, realized how much DATA was being collected by jet engines. It could be a lot of value, but G.E. was not really using it. G.E. needed to be more capable with SOFTWARE. G.E. was a manufacturer (turbines, locomotives, jet engines, medical equipment) but needed to treat Amazon and IBM as competitors.

At that time, G.E. was returning to its industrial roots, dumping GE Capital. In 2011, G.E. opened a Software Center in San Ramon, CA. The Center’s biggest mission is to build an “industrial-strength” computer operating system. You know, like ANDROID or WINDOWS! The aim is to realize this goal by 2020.

Instead of just dumping money into San Ramon, G.E. is involving the WHOLE COMPANY. Many of the 300,000 employees are traveling to San Ramon to “soak up the culture”. The goal is to move the digital wizardy of Silicon Valley into the rest of G.E. and into industrial manufacturing.

The big goal is to incorporate the “Internet Of Things” into something that helps manufacturers. For example, how about using sensors to decide when a machine needs repairs?

It will be a transformation. G.E. will sell “business outcomes” not just machines to it’s customers.

Google and Facebook revolutionized advertising. Amazon changed retailing. G.E. will change manufacturing.

Could be that the all the data and analysis will be worth more than the actual machines!!!

Starting out, GE Digital had some early reluctance to efforts to hire software engineers and scientists. But G.E. has always been great with advertising.

The “digital revolution” is already hitting railroad trains. At this week’s InnoTrans 2016 transportation trade show in Berlin, for example, GE is unveiling a “superbrain” platform for locomotives that transforms them into mobile data headquarters—helping make trains smarter and faster. “A decade from now, digital tools will take railroad productivity and efficiency to unprecedented levels,” says Seth Bodnar, chief digital officer at GE Transportation. “The whole network will light up like a brain.”

It’s about time. Bodnar’s train brain will help railways boost locomotive horsepower, improve operations and burn less fuel. “It’s really about enabling self-aware trains in a smart ecosystem,” he says.

Written by Ken Kinlock

Port Everglades and the Panama Canal Authority Renew MOU of Long-standing Relationship

Port Everglades joins the Panama Canal Expansion Celebration in June with Chief Executive Steve Cernak (middle), joined by Port Tampa Bay CEO Paul Anderson (right), presenting a plaque on behalf of the Florida Port’s Council for a presentation to Oscar E. Bazán V., Executive Vice President, Planning and Business Development, Panama Canal Authority (left).

BROWARD COUNTY, FL – Port Everglades and the Panama Canal Authority (ACP) have renewed their long-standing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to promote trade opportunities for another five years.
This renewal will extend their strategic alliance to 2021. The MOU solidifies both entities’ dedication to growth and best customer practices. The ACP and Port Everglades first signed an MOU in August 2009.

Areas of cooperation between the ACP and Port Everglades include joint advertising programs, data interchange, and competitive market analyses of the shipping industry. This alliance will also continue to promote the route to the West Coast of South America as well as the “All-Water Route,” the route from Asia to the U.S. East Coast via the Panama Canal.

The MOU encourages collaboration between Port Everglades and the ACP, which translates to providing our South Florida residents and visitors increased access to the growing global economy,” said Steven Cernak, Port Everglades Chief Executive & Port Director. “We continue to share information on our modernization efforts that complement each other and to discuss ways to pursue joint marketing activities.”

Port Everglades Chief Executive & Port Director Steven Cernak attended the recent grand opening ceremony of the Panama Canal Expansion Project in June. At that time, the Panama Canal Administrator Jorge Luis Quijano provided an update on the Expansion Program and its impact on U.S. East Coast ports. The Canal Expansion drew worldwide attention to the significance of global trade and the critical need for infrastructure investments to handle today’s modern fleet of larger cargo ships.

The Panama Canal Expansion involved the construction of a third lane of traffic allowing the passage of bigger vessels, which doubles the Canal’s capacity and has an important impact on world maritime trade. It has been the largest enhancement project since the Canal’s opening in 1914.

Port Everglades, a leading container cargo port in the United States, provides service to more than 150 ports in 70 countries and is the number one U.S. gateway for trade with Latin America. The Port has the shortest, straightest entrance channel on the Southeast U.S. Atlantic coast, which saves ships fuel costs and time. The Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) opened an Intermodal Container Transfer Facility (ICTF) on the Port two years ago to provide even greater ship-to-rail connectivity from South Florida to points throughout the United States. Cargo can reach 70 percent of the U.S. population from Port Everglades via rail in four days.