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Lessons on Life

There was a man who had four sons. He wanted his sons to learn not to judge
things too quickly. So he sent them each on a quest, in turn, to go and look
at a pear tree that was a great distance away.

The first son went in the winter, the second in the spring, the third in
summer, and the youngest son in the fall.

When they had all gone and come back, he called them together to describe
what they had seen.
The first son said that the tree was ugly, bent, and twisted.

The second son said no it was covered with green buds and full of  promise.

The third son disagreed; he said it was laden with blossoms that smelled so
sweet and looked so beautiful, it was the most graceful thing he had ever seen.

The last son disagreed with all of them; he said it was ripe and drooping
with fruit, full of life and fulfillment.

The man then explained to his sons that they were all right, because they
had each seen but only one season in the tree’s life.

He told them that you cannot judge a tree, or a person, by only one season,
and that the essence of who they are and the pleasure, joy, and love that come
from that life can only be measured at the end, when all the seasons  are up.

If you give up when it’s winter, you will miss the promise of your spring,
the beauty o f your summer, fulfillment of your fall.

Moral lessons:
Don’t let the pain of one season destroy the joy of all the rest.
Don’t  judge life by one difficult season.
Persevere through the difficult patches and better times are sure to come some time or later

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006 Posted by | Jokes et al | 1 Comment

Logistics Performance Measurement and the 3PL Value Proposition.

Excerpts copied from Logistics Quarterly the official magazine of the Logistics Institute. For the whole article, click here

The case for logistics performance measurement
The five most recent studies published by the Council of Logistics Management on the subject of performance measurement in logistics had three significant findings in common (Kearney 1984; Bowersox et al 1989; Byrne and Markham 1991; Global Logistics Research Team at Michigan State University 1995; Keebler et. al. 1999):

(1) Most firms do not comprehensively measure logistics performance,

(2) Even the best performing firms fail to realize their productivity and service potential available from logistics performance measurement, and

(3) Logistics competency will increasingly be viewed as a
competitive differentiator and a key strategic resource
for the firm.

There are three major reasons why firms measure their logistics performance. They are to (1) reduce their operating costs, (2) drive their revenue growth, and (3) enhance their shareholder value. Measuring operating costs helps to identify whether and where to make operational changes to control expenses and to discover areas for improved asset management. To attract and retain valuable customers, the price/value of products offered can be enhanced through cost reductions and service improvements in logistics activities. The returns on stockholder investments and the market value of the firm are impacted by the performance of firm logistics. These seem to be obvious reasons why companies should want to be competent in performance measurement.

The 3PL value proposition
Third party logistics providers enable firms to achieve reduced operating costs and increased revenues in new and existing markets. 3Pls provide firms an opportunity to enhance their market value by reducing ownership of assets, which translates to a higher return on remaining assets and greater return on stockholder investment. 3PLs also bring to the relationship their specialized expertise in managing logistics with contemporary technology and systems. The COO’s decision to outsource company logistics operations to the 3PL is often justified solely on the favorable difference between the more efficient 3PL’s price for the services and the firm’s higher costs of existing operations. The chief marketing officer views the enhanced services and distribution reach of 3PLs in existing and new markets as translating into increased sales and better long-term relationships with customers. CFOs are delighted to see assets — property, plant, equipment, and even inventory — disappear from the firm’s balance sheet, freeing up cash for more productive uses, instantaneously and “permanently” improving the company’s returns on assets. CIOs are often very pleased to have access to the 3PLs systems and technology resources, avoiding the cost and trauma of upgrading their own. Reliance on the 3PL alliance frees up company employees to focus on their core competencies, doing more of what they are good at and less of what can be done better by the 3PL. Chief logistics officers begin to realize that ownership of resources is not necessary to achieve control over the results.

Conclusions
In today’s competitive market place what distinguishes winners from losers is the ability to differentiate themselves through their service and product offerings. For many firms, the service differentiation is accomplished by how well the logistics process is managed. To achieve excellence in logistics, successful firms ensure that the key logistics processes are aligned with the firm’s business strategy and measured against predetermined performance objectives. Additionally, the top firms are jointly defining the specifics of each measure with their trading partners (customers / suppliers / 3PLs) to create a common understating of expectations. While some firms are developing their measurement capability internally, a number are turning to 3PLs to support their needs. As focused service providers, 3PLs are ideally positioned to bring the systems, process design, and managerial expertise to aid in establishing and implementing a comprehensive logistics measurement effort. The 3PL is also often in the position to act as a catalyst for meaningful dialogue between trading partners to establish a level of service performance that truly adds value.

Regardless of the approach a firm takes in establishing logistics measurements, the real value comes when the information is acted
upon to align the effectiveness and efficiency of the logistics process performance to a level that is valued by customers. How well is your organization meeting your customers’ logistics expectations? What
role can the 3PL have in your success? Now may be the time to start measuring your logistics performance.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006 Posted by | Supply Chain | 5 Comments

A new job?

Quite a few of my guys are looking to move on to something new. I mean, it’s in the air. Springs almost here and guys need new vistas and for the wanderlust, new territories. What with Banks hiring again (albeit descretely), and businesses looking to expand as they always do this time of year.

Luminus has an interesting feature on his blog where he posts jobs that come to him from several contacts or some who just happen to come along his blog. if you want to make a job offer, you may want to send him an email and he will post it for free. Please note that Luminus does not do a job search for anyone, he only posts what is sent to him.
Now, there’s this intersting job offer from workpermit.com for those of you who want a contract job. Click here and just scroll down the list and see if there’s something for you.

Most Job sites require you to register before you can get a job and then theyfind a way to make you pay for their service. if you cannot pay, you could try him.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006 Posted by | Careers | Leave a comment

Tickle Me Elmo

A women desperately looking for work goes into Erwin. The personal manager goes over her resume and explains to her that he regrets he has nothing worthy of her. The woman answers that she really needs work and will take almost anything. The personal manager hums and haws and finally says he does have a low skill job on the “Tickle Me Elmo” line and nothing else. The woman happily excepts. He takes her down to the line and explains her duties and that she should be in for 8:00 AM the next day.

The next day at 8:45 there’s a knock at the personal manager’s door. The “Tickle Me Elmo” line manager comes in and starts ranting about the woman he just hired. After screaming for 15 minutes about how badly backed up the assembly line is the personal manager suggested he show him the problem.

Together they head down to the line and sure enough Elmos are backed up from here to kingdom come. Right at the end of the line is the woman just hired, she has pulled over a roll of the material used for the Elmos and has a big bag of marbles. They both watch as she cuts a little piece of fabric and takes 2 marbles and starts sewing them between Elmo’s legs.

The personal managers starts to kill himself laughing and finally after 20 minutes of rolling around he pulls himself together and walks over to the new employee and says, “I’m sorry. I guess you misunderstood me yesterday. What I wanted you to do was give Elmo two test tickles.”

Monday, February 20, 2006 Posted by | Jokes et al | Leave a comment

Opportunities in May & Baker

May & Baker has posted a few vacancies on their webpage. The site frames-based and poorly designed so one cannnot bookmark the vacancies page properly.

To get to the Vacancies page, you must first go to their home page, locate the Careers link on the menu bar and click on it. From here, you can then see a sidebar with links to the vacancies page, submit or upadate your resume, or view applications.

Monday, February 20, 2006 Posted by | Careers | Leave a comment

Mother of all gags

This has got to be one of the funniest things in a long time. I think this guy should have been promoted, not fired. This is a true story from the Word Perfect Helpline, which was transcribed from a recording monitoring the customer care department. Needless to say the Help Desk employee was fired; however, he/she is currently suing the Word Perfect organization for “Termination without Cause”. Actual dialogue of a former WordPerfect Customer Support employee. (Now I know why they record these conversations!):
Operator: “Ridge Hall, computer assistance; may I help you?”
Caller: “Yes, well, I’m having trouble with WordPerfect.”
Operator: “What sort of trouble??”
Caller: “Well, I was just typing along, and all of a sudden the words went away.” Operator: “Went away?”
Caller: “They disappeared.”
Operator: “Hmm. So what does your screen look like now?”
Caller: “Nothing.”
Operator: “Nothing??”
Caller: “It’s blank; it won’t accept anything when I type.”
Operator: “Are you still in WordPerfect, or did you get out??”
Caller: “How do I tell?”
Operator: “Can you see the C: prompt on the screen??”
Caller: “What’s a sea-prompt?”
Operator: “Never mind, can you move your cursor around the screen?”
Caller: “There isn’t any cursor: I told you, it won’t accept anything I type.”
Operator: “Does your monitor have a power indicator??”
Caller: “What’s a monitor?”
Operator: “It’s the thing with the screen on it that looks like a TV. Does it have a little light that tells you when it’s on??”
Caller: “I don’t know.”
Operator: “Well, then look on the back of the monitor and find where the power cord goes into it. Can you see that??”
Caller: “Yes, I think so.”
Operator: “Great. Follow the cord to the plug, and tell me if it’s plugged into the wall. Caller: “Yes, it is.”
Operator: “When you were behind the monitor, did you notice that there were two cables plugged into the back of it, not just one??”
Caller: “No.”
Operator: “Well, there are. I need you to look back there again and find the other cable.” Caller: “Okay, here it is.”
Operator: “Follow it for me, and tell me if it’s plugged securely into the back of your computer.”
Caller: “I can’t reach.”
Operator: “Uh huh. Well, can you see if it is??”
Caller: “No.”
Operator: “Even if you maybe put your knee on something and lean way over??”
Caller: “Oh, it’s not because I don’t have the right angle – it’s because it’s dark.”
Operator: “Dark??”
Caller: “Yes – the office light is off, and the only light I have is coming in from the window.”
Operator: “Well, turn on the office light then.”
Caller: “I can’t.”
Operator: “No? Why not??”
Caller: “Because there’s a power failure.”
Operator: A power failure? Aha, Okay, we’ve got it licked now. Do you still have the boxes and manuals and packing stuff your computer came in??”
Caller: “Well, yes, I keep them in the closet.”
Operator: “Good. Go get them, and unplug your system and pack it up just like it was when you got it. Then take it back to the store you bought it from.”
Caller: “Really? Is it that bad?”
Operator: “Yes, I’m afraid it is.”
Caller: “Well, all right then, I suppose. What do I tell them??”
Operator: “Tell them you’re too f*%king stupid to own a computer!!!!!”>>>

Friday, February 17, 2006 Posted by | Jokes et al | 2 Comments

How’s this for a gag reel?

Travel Centre
Customer: “I’ve been ringing 0700 2300 for two days and can’t get through to enquiries, can you help?”.
Operator: “Where did you get that number from, sir?”.
Customer: “It was on your door”.
Operator: “Sir, they are our opening hours”.

Samsung Electronics
Caller: “Can you give me the telephone number for Jack?”
Operator: “I’m sorry, sir, I don’t understand who you are talking about”.
Caller: “On page 1, section 5, of the user guide it clearly states that I need to unplug the fax machine from the AC wall socket and telephone Jack before cleaning. Now, can you give me the number for Jack?”
Operator: “I think you mean the telephone point on the wall”.

RAC Motoring Services
Caller: “Does your European Breakdown Policy cover me when I am traveling in Australia?” Operator: “Doesn’t the product give you a clue?”

Enquiring about legal requirements while traveling in France
Caller : “If I register my car in France, do I have to change the steering wheel to the other side of the car?”

Directory Enquiries
Caller: “I’d like the number of the Argoed Fish Bar in Cardiff please”.
Operator: “I’m sorry, there’s no listing. Is the spelling correct?”
Caller: “Well, it used to be called the Bargoed Fish Bar but the ‘B’ fell off”.

Then there was the caller who asked for a knitwear company in Woven.
Operator: “Woven? Are you sure?”
Caller: “Yes. That’s what it says on the label; Woven in Scotland”.

On another occasion, a man making heavy breathing sounds from a phone box told a worried operator
Caller: “I haven’t got a pen, so I’m steaming up the window to write the number on”.

Try this one
Tech Support: “I need you to right-click on the Open Desktop”.
Customer: “OK”.
Tech Support: “Did you get a pop-up menu?”.
Customer: “No”.
Tech Support: “OK. Right-Click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?”
Customer: “No”.
Tech Support: “OK, sir. Can you tell me what you have done up until this point??
Customer: “Sure. You told me to write ‘click’ and I wrote ‘click'”.

Or this one
Tech Support: “OK. In the bottom left hand side of the screen, can you see the ‘OK’ button displayed?”
Customer: “Wow. How can you see my screen from there?”

Or even this one
Caller: “I deleted a file from my PC last week and I have just realised that I need it. If I turn my system clock back two weeks will I have my file back again?”.

Friday, February 17, 2006 Posted by | Jokes et al | Leave a comment

Outsourcing Logistics

As most large businesses move towards lean operating methods, outsourcing logistics requirements can help to reduce your company’s costs, improve your customer service quality, and increase the synchronization of activities throughout your supply chain. It can also help to identify opportunities to generate savings in your transportation, warehousing, and private truck fleet operations.

Sometimes a mix can be a better deal. By determining where your strengths lie, a Third Party Logistics company, – acting as consultants – can help you choose which part of the supply chain to outsource. Therefore you need only outsource parts for which your current solution is deficient. Thereby improving your competitiveness with much larger companies with seemingly boundless resources.

These third party logistics services can be as simple as brokering out and managing freight flows for the customer to more complex and difficult set-up and operation of major warehouse or distribution center operations.

Some 3PLs are internet based, and they offer load brokerage and freight matching services, or act as a hub to present to users a whole host of companies and services need by logistics and supply chain professionals as well as the information they need to do their jobs.

Thursday, February 16, 2006 Posted by | Supply Chain | Leave a comment

Son’s Prayers

One night a father overheard his son saying his prayers “God bless Mommy and Daddy and Grammy. Goodbye Grampa.”

Well, the father thought it was strange, but he soon forgot about it. The next day, the Grandfather died. About a month or two later the father heard his son saying his prayers again “God bless Mommy and Daddy. Goodbye Grammy.”

The next day the grandmother died. Well, the father was getting more than a little worried about the whole situation. Two weeks later, the father once again overheard his sons prayers. “God Bless Mommy. Good bye Daddy.”

This alone nearly gave the father a heart attack. He didn’t say anything but he got up early to go to work, so that he would miss the traffic. He stayed all through lunch and dinner. Finally after midnight he went home. He was still alive! When he got home he apologized to his wife. “I am sorry Honey. I had a very bad day at work today.” “You think you’ve had a bad day? YOU THINK YOU’VE HAD A BAD DAY!?”, the wife yelled, “The mailman dropped dead on my doorstep this morning!”

Thursday, February 16, 2006 Posted by | Jokes et al | Leave a comment

Valentine

This Valentine…. My first since I got married! Yeah, I’m still trippin’.  I’ll just take my babe on a leisurely stroll. Don’t get to do so much of it these days. We can just talk about things. But it going to be passé because every day is Valentine or honeymoon as soon we are both home together.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006 Posted by | Me & Mine, Other Blogs (or watchamaycallit) | Leave a comment