Getting It Right

When the new year  rolls around it always seems to come upon us quickly but always brings with it a sense of renewal and excitement. When companies want to implement — or renovate –their inventory systems, they need a plan to set them on the right path for their type of stock. I often find that no matter whether a company stores its stock in one location or has vendors who stock the materials in an array of locations and then deliver to the customer from the nearest one, with a sound and easily-maintainable plan in place, offsite storage and management could be a disaster.

simms_stock managementClick here for more information about the best inventory management software in the world today…

Types of Inventory

There are three basic types of inventory:

1. Raw Materials—raw materials inventory is made up of
goods that will be used in the production of finished products,
e.g., nuts, bolts, flour, sugar.

2. Work in Process —work in process inventory, or WIP,
consists of materials entered into the production process but not
yet completed, e.g.,  subassemblies.

3. Finished Goods—finished goods inventory includes
completed products waiting to be sold, e.g., bar stools, bread,

Most inventory fits into one of these general buckets, yet
the amount of each category varies greatly depending on the
specifics of your industry and business. For example, the types
of inventory found in distribution environments are fundamentally different from those found in manufacturing environments.

Distribution businesses tend to carry mostly finished goods for
resale while manufacturing companies tend to have less finished
goods and more raw materials and work in progress. Given
these differences, it is natural that the accounting choices vary
between distribution and manufacturing settings.

Wisdom of the Ages

One Way To Do Things…
When Albert Einstein and his wife visited the Mount Wilson Observatory in California, Mrs. Einstein pointed to a particularly complex piece of equipment and asked its purpose. Their guide said that it was used to determine the shape of the universe. “Oh,” she said, not at all impressed, “my husband uses the back of an old envelope to work that out.”

As a boy of eight Frank Spellman used to help out in his father’s grocery store. One piece of advice that Spellman Sr. gave his son stuck in the future cardinal’s mind: “Always associate with people smarter than yourself, and you’ll have no difficulty finding them.”

Lady Jeanne Campbell, the granddaughter of Lord Beaverbrook, worked as a researcher on Life and it was well known that Henry Luce was having an affair with her. lt is said that he even went so far as to ask his wife Clare Booth Luce for a divorce so that he could marry Jeanne. Clare replied that, curiously enough, Lord Beaverbrook had been showing considerable interest in her, and if she married him that would make her the grandmother of Luce’s intended bride. Henry Luce decided against the marriage.

Making Work More Fun

kcsi_officefunThere are dozens of ways you can spark up your work environment for both quality and fun. Here’s three right off the bat:

1. Acknowledge small wins, not just big ones.

Most people want to rally behind the huge milestones like reaching a 20-year anniversary or landing a multimillion-dollar contract with a Fortune 500 client. But even small but strong wins for your company should be acknowledged and celebrated. For example, apprentices who are promoted to full-time employees at Rise are presented with over-sized business cards–similar to the giant checks that lottery winners receive–as a special way to recognize their transition.

When managers and senior leaders recognize that small wins lead to big wins, it inspires their teams to bring their A-game. To do so, build an infrastructure to honor those achievements. Set a quota, track one’s progress and offer rewards for a job well done. It can be something as small as a gift card or as large as a free vacation.

2. Create gathering spaces.

Cloud-based services like Dropbox create virtual workspaces, making it easier for teams to share ideas, but face-to-face interactions are irreplaceable. Sure, you can call your business partner via Gchat, but great moments of collaboration can easily happen between two workers at lunch. In short, people need real places to hang out other than a conference room when they are working.

At Rise, we built a café stocked with free food and coffee, an atrium, and a game room. These social spaces allow our employees and clients to meet, strategize, and watch March Madness. Offer your employees safe spaces to be creative, to be vocal, and to experiment.

However, when you’re designing these spaces, you must take mobility into account. In our office, everyone has a laptop and access to wifi so people can be mobile and not feel confined to their desks. If people can’t easily move about, they will stay at their desk, hindering your goals for a collaborative environment.

3. Surprise your employees.

A genuine token of appreciation motives employees and tells them that you care. As an end-of-the-year holiday gift, I offered every Rise employee one of the hottest gifts last season: an iPad mini. The gift was a symbol of our successful fiscal year and how far our digital marketing agency has progressed–moving from my Chicago apartment to our 15,000-square-foot office. What made it impactful was the element of surprise.

Although appreciation can diminish over time, strive to do the unexpected–from handing out free Chicago Cubs tickets to spot bonuses at company meetings for excellence in internet marketing. Constantly surprising your employees will carry more momentum within your organization than one-off gifts.

When people come to work, it shouldn’t be about waiting until the clock strikes five or working to receive a check. Treat your employees as if they are your biggest client. You’ll see more satisfied workers and more people playing pinball when they have free time.

Technology Quiz

1 Foods will not brown in what type of oven?
2 How is Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation better known?
3 How is Radio Direction and Ranging better known?
4 If CD in LCD stands for Crystal Display; what does L stand for?
5 In which decade was the Sony Walkman stereo launched?
6 Modulator-Demodulator is usually shortened to what?
7 The first artificial satellite was launched on the 40th anniversary of which country’s Revolution?
8 The Sony company originated in which country?
9 The Three Mile Island nuclear leak in the 70s was in which country?
10 The wide-bodied passenger carrying Boeing 747 became known as what type of jet?
11 What did Lazlo Biro invent in the 30s?
12 What does the B stand for in IBM?
13 What does the G stand for in WYSIWYG?
14 What kind of codes did American supermarkets introduce in the mid 70s?
15 What touches the surface of a CD when playing?
16 What used to go round at thirty-three and a third r.p.m.?
17 What was. the world’s tallest building when it was opened in New York 1931?
18 Which Bill formed Microsoft?
19 Which Clarence pioneered quick freezing in the food industry?
20 Which country collaborated with Britain building Concorde?
21 Which fruit gave its name to a desk top computer in 1984?
22 Which German make of car revolutionized car ownership and has a name which translates as ‘people’s car’?
23 Which type of aircraft was produced by Sigorsky in the US in 1912?
24 Which ‘unsinkable’ craft sank in 1912?
25 Who with Muller perfected the Geiger counter?



1 Microwave
2 Laser
3 Radar
4 Liquid
5 70s
6 Modern
7 Russian
8 Japan
9 United States
10 Jumbo
11 Ballpoint pen
12 Business
13 Get
14 Bar codes
15 Nothing
16 Long·playing records
17 Empire State Building
18 Gates
19 Birdseye
20 France
21 Apple
22 Volkswagen
23 Helicopter
24 Titanic
25 Geiger

Warehouse Criteria

simms_storagerulesGood Shipping & Receiving Criteria:

• Driver(s) should be given delivery instructions prior to departure for high-value cargo.

• Incoming-shipments should be inspected for count and
condition. Differences should be noted at once, with notes made on the delivery carrier’s documentation.

• Inspect seals to ensure that integrity has not been compromised. Verify seal numbers against shipping documents. The seal or lock should be physically removed by security or warehouse personnel, not by the truck driver.

• Outbound-shipments should have seals affixed, with seal numbers entered on shipping documents. Driver must verify count with warehouse staff.

• Out-turn counts should be verified by two employees and should match shipping documents.

• Prior to loading, conveyances (trailer, railcar, or ocean container) should be carefully inspected to ensure they are clean, dry and free of mechanical/structural defects or holes in roof, sides or floor.

• Seals should be kept secure, and access limited.

• Security seals or locks of trucks entering/leaving the facility should be inspected to ensure numbers match shipping documents and integrity is intact.

• There should be no loaded trailers or intermodal containers left overnight at the facility. All inbound-shipments should be unloaded the day of arrival; outbound-shipments loaded the day of departure. If loaded trailers/containers must be stored, then they should be disconnected from tractors, secured with pin
locks (5th wheel locks), “glad hands” (air brake locks) or other immobilization devices. Also, the trailers/containers should be sealed/locked and backed-up against the loading dock, another trailer or a fixed object so the doors cannot be opened.

Ideas for Improvements

Here are some ideas for making monthly improvements in either your life, your business, or both:

January: Meditation

February: Healthy eating

March: De-cluttering

April: Exercise

May: Unprocrastination

June: Learning/studying

July: Debt reduction (saving/investing)

August: Quitting a bad habit

September: A good start (waking early, yoga or MITs)

October: Gratitude

November: Creating

December: Letting Go