ISO 9001:2008 Surveillance Audits

By Mary McAtee old dog new tricks ISO 9001:2008 Surveillance Audits Old Dog, New Tricks

Last week was our annual ISO 9001:2008 surveillance Audit. Thousands of companies have depended on us for advice and support in achieving and maximizing the value of their registration efforts. It was to be expected that we would do well and we did. Lapses in compliance could not be blamed on ignorance of the requirements or not understanding what the auditor’s expectations would be. This was a particularly challenging year for IBS as a company.… READ MORE

Sony and the Hackers

A lot of film industry folks are upset that Sony caved to hacker threats, presumably from North Korea, and cancelled release of the new Seth Rogan movie The Interview. The problem, say the critics, is that caving to terrorists might embolden future hackers to do more of this sort of thing. Maybe someday it will be hard to get a movie made if it has any controversial elements.

Keep in mind that Sony execs have been deeply embarrassed by the release of emails and there are probably more gems that could be released.… READ MORE

Downside Protection

By Jeff Speakes

Tony Robbins has a terrific new book on winning the financial game (“Money: Master the Game”). The highlight of the book is a series of interviews with famous investors, in which Robbins extracts valuable insights into the strategies of the successful. The primary lesson is “don’t lose money” and the second “don’t forget lesson number 1.” The fundamental lesson of financial theory is that the best strategy for accomplishing this is to diversify your portfolio across asset classes and individual securities.… READ MORE

Give New Answers to Bridget

By Lora Cecere listen1 Give New Answers to Bridget

It was a stuffy, hot day, and I found myself sitting by Bridget. The supply chain team was attempting to explain their demand-driven project. They were asking for funding; and Bridget, the treasurer, was not buying the message. On my way back to the train, I struggled with what had just happened. I had worked hard to teach the team presenting the language of demand, but it was not understood at the board-room level.

Bridget, crossed her arms and asked why the project that they had just implemented on improving demand planning was not sufficient; and Lee across the table chimed in to say that the new processes of Integrated Business Planning (IBP) would do the trick.… READ MORE

Does Science Work?

Earlier this year I worked with Dr. Carmen Simon at Rexi Media to create a memorable SlideShare presentation of my latest book. Did Dr. Simon's double-doctorate and fancy brain science make any difference to the outcome?

Today I learned that out of millions of presentations on the SlideShare site, our work was picked as a Best of 2014.

Given that my book was not a best-seller or even close, one has to assume my sparkling content was not the reason for the achievement.… READ MORE

Boring Little Story About My Windows Computer

I wouldn't bother reading this if I were you. I'm just venting.

The story goes like this…

Bought a Gateway computer from Best Buy

It breaks, as electronics do when near me.

Independent computer repair guy replaces a bad board.

Windows thinks I have a new machine because it doesn't see the same hardware mix. I have learned that Windows checks the hardware for that reason.

Windows starts its “pesterware” process to bug me into buying a legal copy, which I already have.… READ MORE

Real Estate

By Bill Watkins Picture11 300x224 Real Estate

Previously published on December 12, 2014 on The California Economic Forecast

Real Estate National Markets

Since the recession began, we’ve said that residential real estate markets would not recover until the homeownership rate (the percentage of households owning the home they live in) fell to the 64 percent to 65 percent range.  We also said that residential markets would recover when the homeownership rate fell to that range.  We may have been wrong about the second part.

Before we get to the why we may have been wrong, we need to be clear on what a recovery looks like.  We consider a recovery to be when normalized housing starts are near normal.  That is, when housing starts per thousand population approach their long-run average.… READ MORE

iPhone 6: Apple Supply Chain Revisited

By Justin Wong iphone 6 announcement resized 600 iPhone 6: Apple Supply Chain Revisited

By Justin Wong and Tim Kachur. When the iPhone 5 in was released in September 2012, we commented on some of Apple’s supply chain capabilities. Now that the iPhone 6 has been available for a few months, with a staggering 10 million units sold in the first week, let’s revisit the discussion to see what Apple has done this time around to ensure a successful launch.

Apple continues to forge strategic supplier relationships.

New features require new components, technology, manufacturing capability, and suppliers.… READ MORE

Perfecting the Picking Process

By tinasna

Last month we looked at ways to improve inventory accuracy and receiving activities.  This month we are going to look at some best practices in picking.

One of the most effective enhancements to your picking process is to implement a warehouse management system (WMS) with either bar code or voice pick capabilities.  Advantages of these systems include:

Verification that the picker is selecting the correct product from stock inventory Directing the picker to the bin location that holds a sufficient quantity of the product to fill the order (if you are trying to minimize picking time) or the oldest inventory (if you are trying to maximize stock rotation) Continually updating the specific location of each piece of each product in your computer system.  This facilitates the reconciliation of cycle counts and physical inventories and keeps track of quantities of an item stored in surplus and bulk storage locations.… READ MORE

Ineffective Government

Nearly 100% of the well-informed and honest citizens of the United States agree that the Federal Government should not be in the business of weed-policing in states that allow medical marijuana.

That's an easy law to change, right? I mean, if something like 80% of voters agree on an issue, it's a no-brainer.

But our ineffective government couldn't pass a law that had overwhelming support because, I suppose, it is bad for reelection if someone labels you pro-drug.So instead, Congress quietly just removed funding for the FBI's weed-chasing efforts.… READ MORE