The recent movie, Ford v Ferrari, shined a spotlight on the innovations brought about by competition between American and European car companies (also chronicled in the documentary, The 24 Hour War). But do you know the real extent of how these historical innovations impact not just the car industry, but well beyond today? This article provides insights on the critical developments brought about for companies and consumers alike by Ford, Toyota, and Mercedes Benz.
Three car companies instantly come to mind when you think about how the auto industry has changed in the 19th and 20th centuries. Read on to find out more about these historical innovations.
According to Autodesk, Ford revolutionized the way that cars were manufactured on assembly lines. When the Ford Motor Company was able to reduce the time that it took workers to build a car from over 13 hours to under 45 minutes, cars became affordable to almost everyone. In Ford's early years, the company also managed to cut the number of parts required to build a car to 45. Ford also was one of the first to use slides and trolleys so that parts were precisely where they needed to be for workers to use them efficiently. By breaking down the process of building a car into steps, Ford changed the way that cars were built everywhere.
Toyota revolutionized the industry by coming up with Just in Time manufacturing, which is often called the Toyota Process. The principle behind Just in Time manufacturing is making only what is needed, in the amount that it is required and at the time that it is needed. Toyota, however, was not content to stop there. The company developed a system that purposefully always looks for ways to improve their process. They also implemented the Five Whys Process. The process starts by asking the question of why at least five times. The result is a process that avoids problems and can create solutions. By asking five why questions, mistakes in thinking are often eliminated. These processes have helped to fuel the company's innovation, as seen in its wide range of models. According to Santa Monica Motors, Toyota now has over 70 different models listed under its namesake brand.
Mercedes Benz traces its company history back to the first practical automobile that was built by Karl Benz. More recently, however, it is credited with developing multi-skilled teams, according to Auto Design & Production. The advantage of this approach is that people with different areas of expertise get involved with the car’s design, production and evaluation. Therefore, Just in Time principles often reserved for assembly lines can be built into the process from day one. Application of the Mercedes Benz principle also allows more models to be constructed using the same parts.
These three car manufacturers have revolutionized the way that cars are manufactured. You can take their principles and apply them to your manufacturing facilities. If you are a shopper looking for a new car, then you can be thankful for these manufacturing principles as they allow you to have a new vehicle at a lower price.
Here’s another article you might like: The hottest accessory-friendly vehicles on the road
The challenge of entering the corporate world presents unique challenges for women. Here are three areas of concern for females going into the world of work - whether in their 20's or 50's - and expert advice on how to not just survive, but thrive in today's environment.
Women face unique challenges in the workplace that can hold them back from reaching their full potential. Whether you're in your 20s and just starting out or have finished your degree and are preparing to re-enter the workforce, here are some excellent career tips that are all about empowering you in your professional journey.
Know Your Value
Unfortunately, companies are often invested in their own well-being. They consider employees expendable and have high, fixed expectations that cause employees to question their own competence and self-worth whenever they fall short. Do not play down your talents or abilities in an interview or around co-workers. Although it is intimidating, speak up for yourself when others try to speak for you or tell you what to do. Bullying comes from bosses, too, and far too many supervisors abuse their authority and use it as a way to degrade employees, especially females.
Research the positions you're applying to extensively. Learn about the average salary, and make sure you're being offered what your skills are worth. Do not undervalue the potential of your own contribution to a company, and don't speak passively about your achievements. Even if you are entering the workplace with limited experience, speak strongly about your passion, abilities and greatest strengths.
Safety can be a challenge for women in the workplace. Understand that workplace bullying and sexual harassment is never your fault, but you are not forced to just deal with it. Addressing the last point, by knowing your own value, you can set clear boundaries and know how to respond when they've been crossed, or you've been violated. Workplace harassment, especially of sexual nature, is not always as obvious as you expect. Know what kinds of attention cross the line. Inappropriate comments, off-handed remarks, and flirtatious messages passed off as "jokes" are unacceptable. Avoid going in storage closets, parking garages, or stairwells alone, especially after-hours. Workplace safety for women is a major topic of discussion in every industry, and it improves only when women take stands against unwanted behaviors.
Many women either have either a passive or aggressive communication style. The former is rooted heavily in frequent apologies, unspoken feelings and not knowing how to say no to something you don't want to do. Aggressive communicators are defensive and always on-guard, prone to conflict and believe they have to "strike first" and stand their ground to avoid being taken advantage of. You do not have to be "nice" to everyone. Being courteous and respectful is important, but your need to be kind to others shouldn't enable them to be unkind to you. Take ownership of your feelings by using "I" statements. Say "thank you" instead of "sorry," and make eye contact when you're talking to or listening to others.
Getting started in your career can be challenging, but there are tools like the ones above that can help you to succeed. You are a valuable asset to companies out there—you just need to be able to help employers see it. Embrace the opportunities you'll have to learn and grow, and don't let anyone take your power and you’ll be able to better succeed as you enter the workforce.
Freight shipping, also known as freight transport, is the transportation of goods in bulk that can be achieved by various shipping methods, including trucking, air carriers, and ocean carriers. Unlike small-parcel shipping, freight shipping often measures the goods by weight or the number of pallets or containers. Freight shipping is responsible for much of how goods get from one point to another and ultimately reach their destination. Here are a few little-known complexities of the freight shipping process that have a big impact.
How It's Packed
How products are packed for the freight shipping directly impacts whether the goods arrive at their destination in good condition. Freight shipping can involve several types of shipping containers, including wood boxes, wood crates, steel containers, wire containers, and bulk containers. If the container is a wood box or crate, then a forklift or pallet jack is used to maneuver the container. Depending upon the type of product in the container, interior protective packaging can be used to provide additional support during shipment.
Testing Before Shipping
Before products are shipped, they can be lab tested to ensure that the freight package items are packed well enough to protect against any hazards. Testing is ideal for type one products, which are factory packaged and involve one type of product. The testing process subjects packages to forces such as compression, shock, vibrations, and extreme temperatures.
How It's Paid For
How freight charges are paid for is complex and often based on weight. The charges can be paid for by either the buyer or the seller, and which one is responsible depends on the Freight on Board (FOB) designation. The designation describes the point in the transaction where the shipment becomes the buyer's property. If the FOB is designated as FOB Freight Collect, the buyer pays for the shipping costs. On the other hand, if the FOB is designated as Freight Prepaid and Add (or FOB Destination), the seller is responsible for the initial shipping costs, which are ultimately passed on to the buyer. Several types of shipping costs can impact the total amount due. Such costs include pickup fees, security surcharges, cargo insurance, peak season surcharge, customs clearance, and container-cleaning fees. Some people prefer freight factoring so that they don't have to worry about it.
The freight shipping industry is complex and has many different facets. Those who use freight shipments often need to consider how the product is packed, whether lab testing is necessary, how the shipment is paid for, and more.
Here’s another article you might like: What does the shortfall of truck drivers mean for the economy?
How can you leverage technological advances to help your SMB be more innovative and competitive? Here are trends affecting small businesses to watch when evaluating what technologies to adopt.
(BPT) - Whatever your small or medium-sized business (SMB), chances are you’re dependent on increasingly advanced technology — or wish to use more sophisticated technology. Recent advances have been numerous and head-spinning, sometimes making it hard to keep up. The truth is, harnessing emerging technologies effectively may be exactly what takes your business to the next level, ensuring success in today’s rapidly evolving, competitive business landscape. If you aren't using one of these emerging technologies in your business yet, it's likely that your business would benefit from doing so in the near future.
How can you leverage technological advances to help your SMB be more innovative and competitive? Here are trends affecting small businesses to watch when evaluating what technologies to adopt.
With cloud computing, small-business owners can implement sophisticated software using software as a service (SaaS) or desktop as a service (DaaS) models. The advantage of these models is that they update and maintain applications, eliminating the need for on-site servers or purchasing multiple copies of software. This can help reduce costs and increase efficiency. The DaaS model also stores, helps secure and backs up user data. Additionally, cloud computing means never having to worry about software updates. According to a survey by Garner, 63% of SMBs already use cloud computing. To maximize the benefits of cloud computing, you’ll want to have up-to-date PCs and computing devices.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Software that uses AI — or more specifically, machine learning — collects data from tasks, eventually “learning” how to do those tasks more quickly and accurately. AI can thus help your business save time and money by automating certain repetitive, manual tasks that take up too much of your employees’ time. According to a Harris Poll survey conducted for Salesforce, an average of 23% of an SMB team’s day is spent manually inputting data.
Just how popular is AI becoming? Apparently 62% of SMBs are already using technology to automate some processes. And what kinds of AI are they using? Many use tools like Microsoft’s Cortana or Amazon’s Alexa for scheduling and planning, chatbot to analyze customer questions, RPA Express to automate data entry or Salesforce Einstein to analyze data or identify leads — to name just a few. For SMBs wanting to benefit from these technologies, running them on PCs equipped with powerful processors and memory helps ensure they can handle the increased demands on their computing power, such as modern PCs and computing devices powered by the latest Intel(R) Core(TM) processors.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Devices and objects are increasingly interconnected: phones, HVAC systems, security systems, cars and more. To use multiple apps making all those connections, plus tracking products through the supply chain, you may need to upgrade to computers with more powerful processors or more memory (RAM) to help your company use its software more effectively. Perhaps not surprisingly, 78% of growing small businesses already report using more than one business application, while 30% use more than five.
The ability for employees to work remotely has become essential, not just for employee well-being and productivity, but for connecting at client offices, satellite venues or while traveling. The effective processing power, speed and longer battery life of modern laptops provide employees with flexibility that helps them — and your business — thrive. Today’s notebooks, thin-and-lights and 2-in-1s are available with more powerful processors, more RAM and more solid-state storage than previous generations of computers. And today’s portable technology can handle cloud-based apps, making them more flexible than ever.
Because SMBs don’t have the large IT staff and security budgets of bigger companies, they can be tempting targets for cybercriminals. In a 2018 Cyber Risk Report by Hiscox, 44% of SMBs reported suffering a cyberattack in the previous year, and 52% of those businesses had been attacked more than once. In addition, SMBs still using Windows 7 may be at risk when Microsoft plans to stop providing updates and support for Windows 7.11 after Jan. 14, 2020.
Here are some ways you can help improve the cybersecurity of your business:
Be ready for 2020
Whatever your 2020 goals, it’s a good idea to think strategically about technology that could take your business to the next level. Outdated hardware can affect your SMB’s bottom line, so make updating your PCs part of your technology plan this year.
To learn more about options for updating your technology, visit Intel.com/smallbusiness.
 Gartner survey conducted April-May 2017, among 699 U.S.-based SMBs with over 10 employees and annual revenue less than $100 million. The survey excluded nonprofit organizations. Qualified respondents are decision-makers or have significant influence on decisions related to purchasing technologies for their organization. Source: Gartner’s Top Technology Trends for SMBs Survey, cited by Capterra.
 Harris Poll online survey conducted on behalf of Salesforce, Sept. 1–13 2017, among 490 small and medium-sized U.S. business owners and leaders 18 years of age or older, with 2–199 employees. Data points were weighted by number of employees to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population. Source: Salesforce: Small & Medium Business Trends Report.
 2018 Hiscox Small Business Cyber Risk Report(TM) focuses on responses of U.S. small businesses surveyed as part of the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2018(TM) released Feb. 7, 2018. Hiscox commissioned Forrester Consulting to assess organizations’ cyber readiness. In total, 4,103 professionals responsible for their organization’s cybersecurity strategy were contacted (1,000 plus each from the U.K., U.S. and Germany, and 500 each from Spain and the Netherlands). Drawn from a representative sample of organizations by size and sector, these are men and women on the front line of the business battle against cybercrime. While all are involved to a greater or lesser extent in their organization’s cybersecurity effort, over 30% make the final decision on how their business should respond. Respondents completed the online survey between Oct. 12-Nov. 10, 2017. Source: 2018 Hiscox Small Business Cyber Risk Report.
Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.
Microsoft, Windows, and the Windows logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.
Intel, the Intel logo, and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.
(C) Intel Corporation.
Innovations in technology that have allowed the person to try their hand in business have also provided a plethora of opportunities for helping a business to succeed. Today, industries of all kinds rely on technology to maintain a streamlined service for their employees and customers. But is technology that important to business? The following list details some of the ways tech can be utilized to enhance the day-to-day operations of a business.
If you run a retail business, nothing can cost you as much in both your budget and sales than an unorganized inventory system. Thus, one of the most important features a retail business must have is a high tech point-of-sale system. According to Celerant Technology, learning how to use a retail POS is an important investment that can transform your business, so it's essential to utilize all the features available to you. These POS systems allow you to have a detailed and live report on your inventory. Consider introducing training for your employees to use this system as they will probably be the ones interacting with it the most.
Communication Tools and Apps
Communication apps and tools have saved thousands of businesses over the years. This is because information is a highly valued asset in business. Communication tools, such as Facebook Messenger and Instagram, can allow your company to take advantage of minute-to-minute opportunities. Also, video communication tools like FaceTime have provided small business owners the ability to negotiate via the internet with their clients or potential vendors. This alone has provided countless opportunities to less-established businesses, which, according to BroadVision, are opportunities that would not have been there if it weren't for these communication tools and apps.
Often, it is not the lack of marketing or sales that bring down a business, but the lack of accuracy within its financial records. Your own lack of organization can easily create issues with your local county or even the IRS. There are currently hundreds of financial software tools out there that have saved businesses from going through these ordeals. They often provide you with notifications dealing with your taxes and updates on changes to the law that could affect you.
Technology is not something people should fear as a tool that can steal jobs. It can supplement and enhance your team's efforts, opening the doors to a business' growth. Simply follow the list above to begin implementing these technology tools and suggestions into your own business.
The business world sometimes appears full of automatons. Working like a robot has the benefits of keeping an employee away from controversy, but the approach won't help someone wishing to get ahead. Standing out positively often leads people to success. How can you stand out under the bright light of excellence? Here are three ways traits that will help you to do just that.
Innovators and originators can achieve more than copycats. Small Business Trends explains that a business professional who brings something new and exciting to the table could create a trend that reaps incredible profits. Look at Tony Hawk, the skateboarding entrepreneur. Skateboarding remained a popular subculture for decades and spawned many cottage industries. Hawk, however, took things in a new direction and devised a billion-dollar skateboarding empire.
That said, originators will always deal with detractors. Great new ideas regularly face rejection. Radical and revolutionary ideas upset people stuck in a comfort zone. If you believe in your plans, don't let naysayers discourage you. Be flexible enough to withstand constructive criticism, and keep going forward to promote your ideas.
Sadly, integrity isn't always the most common trait among people in the business world. So, someone with integrity garners attention. Honest workers and managers are an asset to a company and the entire business world.
The idea of the corporate whistleblower typifies integrity. Meissner Associates says that finding out that the business you work for is engaging in fraudulent activity can put you in a tough position to decide if you should expose their wrongdoing, or do you remain silent. People with integrity usually make the right decision regarding whistleblowing. Let the image of the whistleblower be your guide.
The stereotype of business professionals focusing only on making money and selfish pursuits isn't always accurate. Unfortunately, many professionals do become self-absorbed and greedy. Would Bill Gates fall under that description? Microsoft's leader spent countless hours raising and donating money for charitable causes. While the average worker can't match Gates' monetary contributions, they can match his passion and attitude. Even doing "little things" for others could paint a tremendously positive picture of you.
The London Business School recommends that you allow your standing in the business community act as a way of doing good things. Explore philanthropical endeavors, and don't always focus on personal gain. Others will notice your selflessness. Ironically, you may experience career success by putting others' needs ahead of your own.
Success in the business world requires that you appear unique. Embracing endearing traits helps with this goal. Each individual has a set of personality strengths. Play to your strengths, and create the best quality work you can produce. Standing out requires more than fits and spurts of effort; apply yourself consistently in the workplace, and you will see good results.
Want to learn more ways to make your business stand out and thrive? Check out more content like this from our Video Ideas for a Better Business Life!
Toxic employees drag everyone down with them. Bad attitudes and inappropriate conduct make other employees feel uncomfortable. Managers find themselves constantly distracted dealing with disasters these troubling hires cause. Firing them may put an end to current miseries, but the effects of toxic employees can linger long after they are shown the door. The best way to deal with toxic employees is not to hire them in the first place. Here are three ways to avoid making a regrettable hiring decision.
Look at Employment History
Horrible employees likely have a long and dubious track record of poor performance. Look closely at an applicant's prior employment history for any red flags. Was the person locked into low-level work for years without any promotions? Did he/she jump from job to job frequently? According to Palmer Group, this can show that an employee could have a behavior issue. Probe these areas of concern, and see what the full story is. Taking the employee's word for everything might not be enough, though. Contact references and past employers to confirm any explanations. Remember, the past may be a good indicator of the employee's future.
Put Them Through an Attitude Test
Not every human resource department relies on an attitude test when screening would-be employees, but their inclusion could be helpful. According to The Hire Talent, attitude tests look for signs of toxic traits like blame, dishonesty, unsupportiveness, criticism, and negativity. Once these traits reveal themselves, a personnel manager can make a more informed decision. Hire someone to train HR in effectively administering an attitude test if no current managers possess the skill. In an office environment, teamwork can be crucial for success. If an attitude test reveals someone is argumentative or hostile, then he/she may not be the right match for the team. Look over the results of the test carefully when weighing different hiring choices. Anyone with toxic traits is not likely a good fit.
Screen Social Media Feeds
According to Law Depot, approximately 70 percent of employers screen a candidate’s social media when making hiring decisions. People reveal a lot about themselves on social media. Sadly, many show shockingly negative personality traits. Inappropriate or adversarial behavior on social media may spread to the workplace. Don't ignore how someone acts online; he or she probably acts that way everywhere. An employee becomes the face of a company to others. When that person acts outrageously on social media, he or she may drag the company into an embarrassing position. A business might even need to hire a PR firm to dig it out of an employee's social-media-created hole.
Toxic employees create havoc wherever they go. Make sure you are confident you aren't hiring one the next time a position opens. By following these tips, you can be less likely to hire an employee that will cause you problems.
Enjoy this article? Check out this other article on ways to increase your employees’ attention to detail!
Most large businesses have an IT team that is responsible for protecting data and networking the computers used by employees. In many cases, the IT department can be ignored or isn't given enough attention from upper management. If you manage or own a business, there are a few things that you need to know to get the most out of your IT team.
How Much to Budget
Depending on the industry, good IT can cost a bit of money because the technology likely affects your customers. Technology is a key driving force in every business market, which makes IT teams more in demand. IT teams can also cost more because they're responsible for accommodating the re-occurring wave of change while embracing technology as a partner rather than a commodity. Companies that sell technology as a product will likely have lower costs than those that sell products like tacos or buildings. Investing more money in IT may be a sacrifice but can have a positive impact on each department and aspect of the business.
If you make the mistake of getting hooked on buzzwords as a business, then you will quickly find yourself bloated with useless hardware and incompatible software, which can make your IT team confused and ineffective. Do you know the difference between ITIL and ITSM? Using confusing acronyms can only lead to issues and complications that occur down the road.
Many businesses fail to have an IT plan or strategy, which is critical to the operation of their business with the type of software that is used. Many businesses often assume that technology can compensate for mistakes that are often made, but it is actually a force multiplier for the business. It can save money, attract more business, and boost the productivity of your team. You'll need to work closely with your IT team to develop a strategy and research the top software that can be utilized. Work with a professional that can help you to identify that IT structure that is needed to support the business and also plan for the future.
Businesses that understand the importance of their IT team often succeed because they utilize what the department has to offer. With the right software used and a plan created, you'll likely obtain more success in the industry.
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