Order Now

Satisfaction Guaranteed

Contact Us

Custom Writing
Money Back

Management

Management (88)

Friday, 30 May 2014 15:31

Mayo Clinic: Strengths and Weaknesses

Written by

Mayo Clinic: Strengths and Weaknesses


The value chain analysis was introduced by Michael porter in an effort to bridge the gap between a company’s internal capabilities and its opportunities. The value chain allows the identification of an organization’s core competencies and establishes those activities that give the organization a competitive advantage.  Competitive advantage is defined as those factors that give organizations an upper hand over their competitors.  Competitive advantage is derived from doing activities in a better way than competitors; doing things differently from competitors and or creating new benefits. This paper shall analyze Mayo clinic and determine two strengths and weaknesses and their competitive relevance.


 Mayo Clinic

Mayo clinic is a non profits health institution that was established in 1863 at Rochester, Minnesota. The facility was started by William Mayo and later taken over by his sons.  Mayo clinic gradually developed a reputation for the excellent services it offers to patients.  Mayo clinic has skilled and knowledgeable employees who ensure that patients receive quality care.


Additionally, the facility is recognized for its participation in extensive research related to health (Mayo Clinic, 2013). To-date, Mayo clinic has remained among the topic 10 best healthcare facilities in the world. The facility is also recognized by Forbes magazines as among the best 100 companies to work for. Mayo clinic has powerful core values that it has upheld since its inception. These core values focus on providing quality patient care; participation in extensive research so as to understand different diseases and health concerns and lastly, the promotion of education efforts by establishing colleges and medical schools.


 Strengths

The first strength of mayo clinic is its elaborate human resource (Young, & Ballarin, 2006). To-date, Mayo clinic has over 4000 physicians and over 50000 health staff. The broad human resource has been the facilities main strengths as it has managed to serve millions of patients it receives every year. Mayo clinic has a large presence in North America and specifically in Florida, Minnesota and Arizona. Mayo clinic also operates the mayo clinic health systems that comprise of more than 80 hospitals and clinics across North America.


Additionally Mayo clinic is also affiliated to several colleges of medicines across North America. These colleges and healthcare facilities are supported by an elaborate human resource that ensures operations run smoothly. In 2013, Mayo clinic was ranked position 41 in terms of the best employer in the country (Mayo Clinic, 2013). These recognition is proof that the over 60000 employees derive pleasure from working in the institution.


These employees play a significant role in shaping service delivery efforts at the healthcare organization thus making it a preferred choice compared to other health facilities (Porter, 2008). The many employees also enable the facility to bring different physicians and health staff together to evaluate a patient’s condition and determine the right medical approach. Such a strategy guarantees prompt healthcare delivery.The second strength of Mayo clinic is its ability to adopt and integrate technologies that enhance the delivery of services. At Mayo clinic, for instance, physicians and patients are being provided with an alternative to phone consultation. Mayo clinic has adopted technologies that allow for virtual consultation through the use of PCs, laptops and tablets.


Virtual consultation means that both doctor and patient do not necessarily have to be at the same geographical location (Porter, 2008). Mayo clinic has adopted technologies such as SBR iOS application that patients can use to connect with their doctors. The presence of virtual physician-patient consultation has improved service delivery at mayo clinic. Patients can make consultations at the comfort of their homes or offices rather than physically visiting the facility. Virtual consultations have also reduced the number of patients who visit the facility. The risk of overcrowding as patient wait to meet their physicians is non-existent. The technology has also enabled patients have access to their doctors despite working hours.


 Weaknesses

Mayo clinic, like any other businesses, is faced with numerous challenges that stem from its major weaknesses. The first weakness about Mayo clinic is its geographical distribution. Mayo clinic is found in three main states: Arizona, Minnesota, and Florida (Mayo Clinic, 2013). The fact that the facility is located in these three main places means that there are tens of other states that do not have access to this facility.


There is a need for management at mayo clinic to establish other branches across the states and eventually internationally. It is a fact that Mayo clinic offers excellent services hence people far from these facilities have to travel a long way to the nearest health facility. The minimal geographical spread has seen other competitive facilities such as John Hopkins establish itself and offer health services in areas where Mayo clinic is absent. The dismal spread of business means that mayo clinic is losing customers to competitors.The second weakness for Mayo clinic can arise from its large scale operation. Services offered by healthcare professionals attached to Mayo clinic are broad. Whereas this may be seen as an advantage, it may interfere with specialization efforts.


Healthcare facilities are currently specializing in specific health conditions e.g. cancer, pediatric diseases etc. patients tend to visit facilities that offer specialized treatment. The lack of specialization at Mayo clinic may reduce its market (Porter, 2008). Additionally, large scale operational may leave the health facility incapable of making changes that suit the external environment. Any organization that aspires to remain competitive in its market must be open to change hence the need for flexibility. The faster a company can adapt to changes e.g. technological changes or treatment methods, the faster it offers up-to-date quality patient care.


 Conclusion

The analysis of mayo clinic from the value chain and competitive relevance point of view has proven that an organizations processes and functions determine an organization’s ability to position itself against its competitors. Value chain activities such as technology development as found in Mayo clinic boosts the organization’s ability to render quality services. The ability to offer prompt services puts them ahead of competitors who continue to struggle with long queues and delayed service provision. Similarly, the maintenance an elaborate human resource ensures the presence of qualified professionals who guarantee quality patient care. An analysis of weaknesses also sheds light on factors that make mayo clinic less competitive than its rivals. It is essential for any organization to establish its weaknesses and make relevant adjustments so as to correct them.


 Reference

Mayo Clinic (2013). Mayo clinic model for care. Retrieved from http://www.mayo.edu/pmts/mc4200-mc4299/mc4270.pdf

Porter, M. (2008). Competitive advantage. Simon and Schuster

Young, D. & Ballarin, E. (2006). Strategic decision-making in healthcare organization. International journal for health planning and management


 

Friday, 30 May 2014 14:43

Cement Roadstone Holdings (CRH) Plc

Written by

Cement Roadstone Holdings (CRH) Plc


Cement Roadstone Holdings (CRH) is a highly diversified company that deals with the production and distribution of building materials. It is an international organization that operates in over 35 countries and employees over 76,000 people (CRH, 2013). The company was established through the merger of two Irish companies; Roadstone Limited and Cement Limited. Since its establishment, the group has experienced significant growth through acquisition and other strategies. In 2012, the group earned €18.7 billion in revenues, and an operating profit of €1.075 billion (CRH, 2013). CRH focuses on three core businesses; extracting primary materials; adding value to building materials, and distribution of building materials. CRH core products include cement, bitumen, ready mixed concrete, and chemical lime (CRH, 2013). CRH is a public company with its stock listed in the London Stock Exchange, the Irish Stock Exchange, and the New York Stock Exchange.   


 Vision and Mission

CRH vision is to become a global leader in building material, deliver sustainable returns to shareholders and reduce its dependence on a single market through achieving a balance in its product portfolio and geographical presence (CRH, 2013). This vision is the foundation of CRH corporate strategies. The company has established exposures to all segments of the construction industry, enabling the company to diversify its product. The company has also expanded across different geographical regions. Europe is CRH largest market, but the company has operations in other markets including the developing economies.


 SWOT Analysis

Strengths

Strengths are factors within a company that present advantages to the company (Collis & Montgomery, 2008). A strong financial position is a major point of strengths for CRH. CRH has recorded remarkable financial performance in the last decade. In 2012, the firm made revenues of over €18.7 billion and an operating profit of over €1.075 billion (CRH, 2013). Financial resource can be a major source of strength for an organization is it enables an organization to finance activities such as marketing. Financial resources also enable an organization to attract, motivate and retain the best talent. Financial resources have also been a key driver of CRH aggressive growth strategies. In the last decades, the company has acquired tens of companies in Europe and other parts of the world (Jarrar & Smith, 2011).


This acquisition would not be possible without a strong financial base. CRH financial position has provided the organization with a cheap option of financing capital projects and other activities such as corporate social responsibility initiatives. Strong financial performance also increases the credit rating of an organization thus enhancing the ability of the organization to raise funds.A diversified product portfolio is also a key area of strength for CRH. CRH operates a diversified product portfolio from cement, glass, and bitumen to communication systems (CRH, 2013).


Having a diversified product portfolio gives CRH a multiple stream of income thus increasing the company’s revenues. The diversified product portfolio also cushions the organization from risks that affect a given product. For instance, a decline in the price of cement will not have a devastating impact on the operations of CRH because the company deals with other numerous products (Jarrar & Smith, 2011). In addition, the diversified product proposal increases CRH appeals to customers because it boosts the company’s ability to fulfill multiple needs of the customer under one roof.A diversified market is also key point of strength for the organization. CRH has established a strong presence in key European countries such as the UK, Germany, and Poland.


The company has also ventured into developing economies such as India and China (CRH, 2013). CRH has also established operations in the American continent. Geographical diversification has expanded the company’s market thus leading to an increase in the company’s revenues. Geographical diversification also cushions CRH from geopolitical risks. For instance, the economic turmoil in Europe has not had a devastating impact on CRH because the company has operations outside the European region.A large scale of operation is also a major strength for CRH. CRH operates in over 35 countries and has over 3500 operation sites in these countries 9CRH, 2013). The large scale of operation exposes the company to a wide market thus increasing the company’s revenues.


It also enables the company to take advantage of economies of scale (Jarrar & Smith, 2011). This is because the company can acquire goods and services in bulk giving it a massive bargaining power. The large scale of operation also increases the firm capacity to provide materials and services at the lowest price. The ability to take advantage of economies of scale reduces organizational cost thus enabling the firm to offer low prices. The large scale of operation also enables the firm to serve a large volume of customers thus requiring a small profit margin in order to make the desired profits. The large volume of customers will compensate for a small profit margin and enable the company to make the intended profits. A small profit margin also means low prices for the consumer.


 Weaknesses

            A weakness refers to factors within an organization that present disadvantages to the organization. Product diversification is a major point of strength for CRH. However, this organizational characteristic can also become a weakness. Organizations that focus on developing multiple products often fail to develop distinct competency due to lack of specialization (Jarrar & Smith, 2011). Focusing on multiple product lines means that CRH has to divide its resources, and energy among all these product line. This can hinder the organization from achieving the full potential of the company in terms of product development.


Diversification can also hinder innovation with an organization because the company has divided its attention among multiple product lines (Jarrar & Smith, 2011). It hinders the organization from focusing its resources on one product. Product diversification also leads to the creation of complex organizational structure, which increases the number of decision-making channels. Similarly, market diversification also presents a number of disadvantages to CRH. First, market diversification can hinder CRH ability to meet and exceed customer expectations (Burger, 2010). Customer satisfaction has become the ultimate goal of all organizations that intend to survive the modern business environment.


Customer satisfaction can only be achieved when an organization is able to meet and surpass the expectations of customers. Different markets have different characteristics, needs and expectations (Burger 2010). Therefore, products that meet the needs of one market may fail to meet the needs of another market. Thus, geographical diversification can limit customer satisfaction by delivering standardized products to markets that have different needs and characteristics. Market diversification hinders an organization from focusing its attention and resources towards meet the needs of a given market. This is because the company has to divide its attention and resource among different markets.


This can also limit the ability of the firm to deliver optimal satisfaction to customers.A large scale of operation also exposes CRH to various weaknesses. The most significant weakness is that the large scale of operation reduces CRH flexibility in terms of responding to changes in the external environment. Large organizations tend to have complex and bureaucratic organizational structures (Castan & Fariza, 2009). These structures are necessary because they define the relationship between employees thus enhancing coordination and creating order. However, the complex structure may slow down decision making processes (Castan & Fariza, 2009). This may make CRH slow in terms of responding to opportunities and threats in the external environment.


 

Opportunity

Opportunities are factors outside the organization that present advantages to the organization. One of the opportunities for CRH is the rapid growth within the developing economies. CRH has ventured into developing economies such as China and India (Jones, 2013). These countries have recorded remarkable economic growth in the past decades. Rapid economic growth in correlated with increased construction activities, which present an opportunity for CRH. The rapid economic growth has also led to growth of the middle class within these countries. This is likely to increase the demand for improved housing facilities thus increasing demand for residential construction. This also presents an opportunity for CRH.  Currently, India accounts for 4% of the global construction market share while China accounts for 18% of the market share (Jones, 2013).


Growth is also anticipated in other emerging economies such as the Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia.Another opportunity is the rebound of the US housing industry. In 2012, United States sales contributed to 45% of CRH total revenues (Catts, 2012). This figure marks a significant improvement in the US market. The number of new houses that were started in the month of October 2012, rose by 3.6 percent. The US market has begun to lift itself off from the economic crisis that devastated the housing industry. This trend presents an opportunity for CRH to expand its influence in the American market and increase revenues. Jones (2013) has projected that the three markets; India, China, and the United States, will account for 60% of construction growth by the year 2025.


Urbanization, especially in developing economies, also presents a significant opportunity to CRH. Urbanization refers to the movement of human populations from rural areas to urban centers (KPMG, 2012). Urbanization is on the increase in many countries around the world. It is projected that over 70% of the world’s population will be living in urban centers by the year 2050 (KPMG, 2012). This trend presents immense opportunity to CRH. This is because urban growth is likely to increase demand for residential houses. This will, in turn, increase the demand for construction products. Urban growth will also increase demand for office and business space leading to a further increase in the demand for construction products. 


 Threats

Threats are factors outside the control of the company but which present disadvantages to the company. Environmental concerns are among the major threats facing the construction industry. Emerging fears of climate change and environmental degradation are piling pressures on societies to implement strict environmental laws and policies. For instance, there is increased pressure on governments to reduce greenhouse gas emission by 50% (Moule, 2013).  Implement such an environmental policy will have a significant impact on CRH production. The company will incur huge expenses in trying to develop production technologies that will minimize greenhouse gas emission from its factories.


Environmental policies can have a significant impact on CRH since the company deals with extraction of primary products.Inflation is also a significant threat to CRH’s operations. Inflation refers to the increase in the prices of commodities. Inflation will affect the activity of CRH in various ways (Moule, 2013). First, inflation will increase the cost of acquiring materials for the company. This is likely to increase the cost of production, increase prices of the firm’s product, and/ or eat into the company’s profits. Similarly, inflation will also increase the cost of labor. Currently, CRH employs over 75,000 people (CRH, 2013). Inflation will increase the cost of living for these employees compelling the company to increase their salaries.


This implies that the company will incur large labor costs thus affecting prices and profits. In addition, inflation will also affect the purchasing power of potential consumers thus reduce the demand for housing. This will, in turn, reduce the demand for construction products thus affecting the company’s revenues.The economic condition in Europe is also a significant threat to CRH. The European region has been largely affected by the Eurozone crisis (KPMG, 2012). Most economies in this region have declined. The economic crisis has affected CRH in various ways.


The crisis has led to low purchasing power of consumers thus decreasing the demand for houses. This has, in turn, affected the demand for CRH. Europe is CRH major market and, therefore, a reduction in the demand for CRH products is bound to have a major impact on the company’s performance. There are fears that the economic crisis in Europe will persist further affecting the demand for CRH products.


 Company and Industry Success Factors

The construction industry comprises of suppliers of construction materials, and firms involved in constructing, demolishing, and renovating buildings and other structures. One the critical success factors in the construction industry is leadership (Kivark & Arslan, 2009). Leaders provide an organization with a vision and a sense of direction. The inspire confidence among other members of the organization and inspire them to work towards the goals of the organization. Without good leadership, an organization is likely to pull in different directions. Leadership introduces synergy into the organization thus enabling the organization to succeed. Leadership is closely related to management. Management refers to skills in planning, organizing and coordinating the activities of an organization (Kivark & Arslan, 2009).


The company leaders must also posses the skills required to plan for strategies that will lead to the realization of the company’s vision.  In this competitive environment, organization must make long term plans on how they intend to compete against fierce rivals.Another critical factor is the financial condition of the firm. Construction is a capital intensive business (Kivark & Arslan, 2009). Construction companies require a large financial outlay in order to manufacture construction products or undertake construction projects. Thus, a company must have the ability to mobilize financial resources in order to succeed in this business. The third success factor is favorable economic condition. The construction industry is highly sensitive to the economic conditions within the market (Moule, 2013).


Poor economic conditions result in depreciation of property value thus discouraging demand for housing products. Similarly, purchasing a house or property is a significant investment that requires significant financial investments from consumer. Poor economic conditions affect the purchasing power of consumers that causing a significant drop in the demand for construction products.Operational efficiency is also a key success factor in the construction industry. Inflation has been identified as one of the significant threats to the construction industry (Kivark & Arslan, 2009). Inflation has threatened to increase the cost of production, therefore, increase the prices of the final products.


Similarly, inflation affects the purchasing power of consumers. In order to sustain demand for construction product, construction companies need to ensure that these products remain affordable amidst inflationary pressure. The only way this can be achieved in through increase operational efficiency. CRH has invested in plants, equipments, and technologies with the aim of improving its operational efficiency.Employee development is also a critical success factor for construction companies. The construction industry has become extremely competitive (Kivark & Arslan, 2009).


Players within this industry have to find sustainable sources of competitive advantage. Short term sources of competitive advantage such as price are easily replicated by competitors thus eroding the firm competitive edge. The easiest way to develop distinctive advantage is by investing in employee development. Human resources strategies are difficult to replicate since they entail cultural and behavioral elements, which are difficult to copy. Similarly, human resource development can support other distinctive advantages such as innovation, superior customer service, and efficiency.


 CRH Driving Forces

One of CRH driving forces is an aggressive growth strategy. The company has adopted a rigorous cash generation and capital allocation strategy in order to fuel the company’s growth (CRH, 2013). CRH focuses on reinvesting it existing assets and acquiring well-run businesses in order to gain access to new development activities and create a platform for future growth. The company has made various vertical and horizontal integrations in the developed and developing economies in order to enhance the company’s position. In 2013 alone, CRH has completed takeovers worth over $ 513 million (CRH, 2013). CRH acquisition strategy has enabled the group to establish a strong production and distribution network in different geographical locations.


Accessibility to primary material is also a critical driver for CRH (CRH, 2013). The group runs integrated primary material businesses that own long-term reserves in CRH major markets. The company’s integration strategy has exposed it to long-term permitted building materials reserves totaling 15 million tons. Availability of primary materials has been a key feature in CRH growth.Ability to deliver a wide range of quality products has also been a key driver of CRH success. In the modern business environment, customers prefer an organization can provide quality products in the most convenient ways. CRH manufactures a wide variety of products for use in commercial and residential construction projects (CRH, 2013).


These products include building systems, construction accessories, clay bricks and blocks, aluminum glazing systems, architectural glass, architectural concrete products, communication, and transportation systems. CRH’s ability to deliver a variety of products enhances the firm’s ability to fulfill multiple needs of clients thus providing the client a convenient experience.  In addition, CRH has made investments in modern plants and equipments in order to improve the quality of its products. This has enabled the group to improve the levels of customer satisfaction.A highly motivated workforce is another driving force of the organization. CRH employs over 75,000 people across 35000 locations (CRH, 2013). CRH has adopted a decentralized structure and entrepreneurial environment in order to empower its employees and foster innovation.


The company is also committed toward developing the skills and leadership capabilities of its workers. CRH has a strong succession strategy that aims at promoting the values of the organization and supporting the careers of its employees. The company’s human development strategy focuses on assigning challenging tasks to employees and providing targeted mentoring and coaching. The company also provides formal education and training programs to its employees. This environment has enabled CRH to attract, motivate and retain the best talent.Corporate social responsibility is also key part of CRH operations. CRH recognizes that it is part of societies in which it operates and has remained committed towards fulfilling its responsibilities towards these societies (CRH, 2013).


 Environment and climate change are some of the major areas of concern when it comes to corporate social responsibility. CRH focuses on developing the highest standards in environmental protection. The group has developed extensive programmes that seek to improve energy efficiency, increase recycling, reduce waste, and optimize water use. CRH is on target to meet its pledge to reduce carbon emission by 15% of its 1990 levels (CRH, 2013). The company has also established programs for rehabilitating worked-out queries and pits and maintaining biodiversity in areas where these operations existed. Also at the heart of CRH corporate social responsibility initiatives are people and communities. CRH supports local communities through the provision of employment opportunities and support for community enterprises and projects.


 Use of International Strategic Alliance in CRH

Strategic alliance is a partnership created by parties to pursue a common objective but remain separate entities (Wakeam, 2013). Use of strategic alliances has been a key strategy for growth in CRH. CRH has entered into strategic alliances with various companies in order to gain access to new markets and opportunities. Joint ventures enable the company to establish its operations in a new market within a short time and minimize the risks associated with operating in strange market. CRH has entered into strategic alliances with companies such as Semapa leading to the creation of joint venture known as Secil (CRH, 2013).


 Conclusion

CRH is a major player in the global construction industry. The company manufacturers and distribute diverse construction production to various markets around the world. Europe is CRH major market. However, the firm has operations in other regions including the US, South America, India and China. The company has various strengths including a strong financial position, large scale of operation, and a diversified product portfolio. The company is also presented with a number of opportunities include growth of developing economies and rebound of the American market. However, CRH has to overcome various weaknesses and threats.


 References

Bryson J. Ackermann F. & Eden C. (2007). Implementing the Resource Based View Strategy. Public Administration Review.  

Burger A. (2010). Conglomeration versus Strategic Focus. November 12, 2013. http://fic.wharton.upenn.edu/fic/papers/99/9929.pdf

Castan J. & Fariza A. (2009). Determinants of Organizational Structures. International Comparative Management. 10 (3): 566- 577

Catts T. (2012). CRH Wields $ 1.9 Billion for M&A as U.S. Housing Rebounds. November 12, 2013. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-20/crh-wields-1-9-billion-for-m-a-as-u-s-housing-rebounds.html

Collis D. & Montgomery C. (2008). Competing on Resources. November 8, 2013. http://hbr.org/2008/07/competing-on-resources/ar/1

CRH (2013). Annual Report 2013. November 12, 2013. http://www.crh.com/reports/2012-Annual-report.pdf

Jarrar N. & Smith M. (2011). Product Diversification. Journal of Applied Management and Accounting Research. 9 (2): 43- 60

Jones J. (2013). Global Construction to Jump 70% by 2025. November 12, 2013. http://www.asce.org/cemagazine/Article.aspx?id=23622327424#.UoIOIXDQnfI

Kivark  S. & Arslan G. (2009). Critical Factors to Company Success in the Construction Industry. Journal of Human and Social Sciences. 4 (8): 561- 564

KPMG (2012). The Great Global Infrastructure Opportunity. November 12, 2013. http://www.kpmg.com/Global/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/global-construction-survey-2012/Documents/infrastructure-opportunity.pdf

Moule J. (2013). The of Construction. November 12, 2013. http://www.integrity-software.net/news/the-future-of-construction-five-threats-revealed/

Wakeam J. (2013). The Five Factors of a Strategic Alliance. November 12, 2013. http://iveybusinessjournal.com/topics/strategy/the-five-factors-of-a-strategic-alliance#.UoIh8nDQnfI


 

  Improved Automation of Network Management Operations


 Network management is fundamental to the well-being and operation of modern networks (Verma, 2010). It accounts for 80% of the budget allocated to IT services (Marshall, 2008). It is also responsible for 62% of system outages (Ibid). However, network management operations rely on relatively rudimentary technologies. Network changes are performed mostly via command line interfaces that are archaic and low-level. Computer networks continually become large scale, complex, and dynamic. The result is that human operators become short-handed at a similar rate. To be able to manage these networks, companies, schools, information centers, and other organizations require a large number of people to perform daily activities related to network management. Examples of tasks include registering new devices, configuring routing policies, assigning network addresses, trouble shooting, setting up firewalls, and maintaining reliable and efficient network connectivity.


The problem of complexity of modern networks is heightened by strict deadlines. This increases the probability of human errors (Farrel et al., 2011). Therefore, network misconfigurations are common, creating profound effect on global high-value services and computer infrastructure. Misconfigurations degrade networks or render them completely nonfunctional. These challenges are costly, depending on the security of information. The challenge related to misconfigurations has increased with the advent of new hosting platforms such as cloud computing that provide data center resources to customers. These are platforms that are increasingly becoming popular for running business applications and internet websites.


The common, principal aim of network operators is to minimize the negative impact of misconfigurations, which depends on several factors, including network size, problem duration, time of the day, and others (Verma, 2010). Production systems may require prevention of misconfigurations from occurring rather than minimizing the impact. The problem is that this not always possible owing to dynamic network-changes. In order to address the overwhelming complexities of network management and the overwhelmingly high demand for reliable networks, improved automation systems are needed to provide assistance to network management operators through a reduction in operator workload and prevention of the always undesirable network configurations. 


In order to improve the efficiency of the automation support, I propose two automation system changes to network management operations. The first involves the introduction of a system that facilitates the design and execution of automated network operations while integrating network-wide checks that prevent misconfigurations. The second proposed system allows more automated network configurations and prevention of misconfigurations while making operator workload minimal. These system proposals are based on an assumption that the key to building accurate, automated network management systems is utilizing formal abstractions to capture domain knowledge, in order to direct management operations and incorporate network-wide property checks.


The aims of the proposed network management changes are to contribute to the protection of information from accidental modification or destruction, to improve the protection of information from deliberate modification or destination, and to improve availability and efficiency in sharing information or data to authorized users.In summary, network management operations are naturally and increasingly difficult to timely and correctly manage. However, with abstractions such as database and others, new systems capable of capturing domain knowledge and reducing human involvement through automation of network management operations can be developed.


References

Farrel, A. et al. (2011). Network Management Know It All. Burlington, MA: Morgan Kaufmann Publishers

Marshall, P. (2008). Link Data: Global Mobile Forecast. Retrieved on November 19, 2013, from www.yankeegroup.com/search.do?searchType=author&id=9BF06CED75694D52

Verma, D.C. (2010). Principals of Computer Systems and Network Management. New York, NY: Springer


 

Friday, 30 May 2014 12:19

Qualities Of An Effective Manager

Written by

Qualities Of An Effective Manager


There are ten main elements that define the characteristics of an effective manager. Under knowledge category, the elements include; Organization, Efficiency, Vision ability to plan and control. Under value category, the characteristics are trust, Sense of Perspective, Respect, positive attitude and ability to motivate. An effective manager can take these elements and these characteristics do define them as being effective leaders. The characteristics under the tow categories on value and knowledge helps managers to successfully carryout their business. For example, a manager with vision is an individual with the role of overseeing his employees and ensuring that their work is directed towards the business goal and success (Weth 2007).


Employees have to be directed in all stages of their work through ensuring that they are in the right track and that they receive the guidance they needed. The manager plays a significant role in a company by being responsible of ensuring that there is a smooth running of the business and that the business is efficient. They have the role of ensuring that all elements of the business are well organized such as data is well stored and can be easily received. Equipments and other machineries are in the right location, and that he knows when and how to use them. A company with a manager who is organized will experience the benefit of saving time and preventing clumsiness.


Control is another essential element of a manager.A manager needs to control employees and know the jobs they are doing at any given time. He or she assigned tasks and responsibilities to the managers and ensures that work do not get out of control. A manager also needs to be a good planner by having a schedule that n shows a set of tasks to be done and the time to do these tasks. This helps the company complete its top priority projects and have plans for future goals of the company.A manager also needs to motivate employees. This begins when he is motivated about his work and will be able to extend this to his team. Therefore, positive attitude comes to play.


A manager with a positive attitude will always encourage his team to work towards the best results and that no task is difficult for them. Therefore, a manager has to have confidence of them and have the belief that they can do even the most complex duties. Respect is another vital characteristic for an effective manager a manager who respects his team will be respected. Respect among each member of a company is gained, through smooth communication and ability, to solve the conflict without biases (Birch, 2008).An effective manager also needs to have a sense of perspective based on the actual comparative importance and interrelations. Finally is the element of trusts which is a major issue in defining an effective manager and also towards the workforce. A trusted manager by an employee means that he will be respected, and they will consider the job assigned to them as being of greater value. Managers also need to trust their team or workers in completing tasks and getting jobs done. A relaxed environment creates this trust because employees will not fear the consequences of their work (Pedler, Burgoyne and Boydell, 2013).


 Reference

Weth A (2007) Key Leadership Traits of an Effective Managing in Culturally Diverse Work Groups GRIN Verlag, p 12

Birch, D (2008) The Relationship Between Leadership Qualities and Effective Leadership by Middle Managers in an Airline Maintenance Operation. ProQuest, p 17

Pedler, M Burgoyne J and Boydell, J (2013) A Manager'S Guide To Self-Development. McGraw-Hill International, p 28



Saturday, 24 May 2014 15:31

Authority, Structure, and Organization

Written by

Authority, Structure, and Organization


The board of directors has the responsibility of ensuring that each part of the plan is implemented. However, the board’s role is more or less to act as a oversight body. The executive leadership is mandated with the task of decision making and providing guidance to other role-players in the implementation framework of the plan. The quality improvement committee will ensure that the relevant standards of accreditation are met during all stages of the implementation process (Block, 2006). The medical staff members are vital in terms of making technical contributions to the plan especially in terms of enhancing treatment outcomes. The department staff and middle management are tasked with the mandate of facilitating the implementation process in terms of fulfilling the different subordinate roles.


 Communication

The outcomes of the plan are communicated to the executive leadership. In contrast, it is the role of medical staff and the quality improvement committee to communicate the outcomes. On their part, the executive leadership reports to the board (Ginter, 2013). This hierarchical framework is vital in terms of boosting the efficiency of the entire communication process. The medical staff has the responsibility of facilitating for data collection, and hence the compilation of reports in view of the findings.


 Education

Communication is among the most essential components of the implementation framework of any plan. When the standards of communication are highly effective, excellent outcomes are obtained. In contrast, the efficiency of the plan’s implementation is put into disarray when the framework of communication is ineffective. These attributes underline the essential role of educating the different staff members about the plan. They will be issued with written communication that provides adequate explanations of their respective tasks (Hansten, 2008).  This will ensure that the relevant standards of clarity are attained. In addition to written communication, the use of electronic communication will also be vital. This involves platforms such as emails and slides.


 Annual Evaluation

Evaluation is massively essential in terms of ensuring that the projected goals of a plan are attained. This exemplifies the significance of evaluating the pertinent elements of the plan that will cater for evaluation. The first aspect of evaluation involves the patient outcomes. Improvements in the quality of outcomes will show that the plan is highly effective. In contrast, poor quality of outcomes will highlight the plan’s inefficiency (Hernandez, 2009). The accuracy standards of data collection will also be essential elements for the evaluative framework. Minimal accuracy or errors will highlight the plan’s inefficiency. In contrast, the absence of errors in data collection will be excellent indicators of the plan’s efficacy. In order to monitor and implement changes, the evaluation will be done continuously on monthly basis. This will help in terms of early detection of implementation challenges.


 External Entities

The decision-making process in an organization is strongly influenced by different external entities. Such influence can be exemplified in various ways. Firstly, professional interest groups are influential in terms of ensuring that an organization complies with the stipulated professional standards. Such groups can pressurize an organization if its framework of decision making is not compliant with the set standards. These groups are also influential in that they agitate for the involvement of employees in decision making (Ogilvie, 2010). Government agencies are also immensely influential in an organization’s decision making process. These agencies act as regulators. They require an organization’s decision making process to be consistent with the stipulated legal guidelines. Accrediting bodies are influential in that the organization must comply with the specified regulatory framework.


 References

Block, D. J. (2006). Health care outcomes management, Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett   Learning

Ginter, P. (2013). Strategic management of health care organizations, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons

Hansten, R. (2008). Relationship and result oriented health care, Port Ludlow, WA: Lulu

Hernandez, S. (2009). Strategic human resource management in health services, Mason,    OH: South-Western

Ogilvie, L. (2010). Strategic planning for nurses, Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett   Learning


 

Saturday, 24 May 2014 15:27

Regulatory and Accreditation Standards

Written by

Regulatory and Accreditation Standards


In an emergency facility, there are various regulatory and accreditation standards that facilitate for compliance. The first aspect of accreditation is the maintenance of exceptional standards of hygiene. During the walk-through described in the case study, it was notable that hygiene was a critical issue that was not properly addressed by the various leaders in this emergency unit. For instance, the restroom was so dirty that even the family member could barely use it. The deplorable standards of hygiene in this facility are also exemplified by the absence of hangers and hooks for patient’s clothes. While these issues might appear simple, they are massively vital in terms of ensuring the relevant standards of accreditation are maintained in the hospital.


In addition to hygiene, accuracy of information is another crucial aspect within the framework of regulations and accreditation (Testi, 2012). A health care organization cannot be accredited if there are numerous inaccuracies in its systems. In the hospital described in the case study, there are inadequate standards of accuracy as exemplified by the information provided to the patient after calling the emergency room. Emphasis on nursing competence is also massively essential within the framework of accreditation and regulatory standards. The health care professionals in a hospital or clinical unit must be highly proficient in order to bolster the quality of treatment.


 Strategies used to meet the standards

In order to be accredited, it is fundamentally pertinent for health care organizations to use the relevant standards. One of the best strategies involves an educational program for clinicians and physicians. These are important role-players in the treatment plan of any patient. They must be highly competent in order to address the patient’s problem with optimum efficiency (Edwards, 2009). In the hospital described in the case study, written directions were issued across all departments.


This strategy was aimed at promoting the knowledge-base of all staff members in line with the relevant standards of accreditation. The introduction of hygienic standards was another strategy used in the attainment of accreditation. This was in response to the identified flaws within the framework of the hospital’s hygienic standards. In view of this intervention, a problem-solution framework is an essential strategy that caters for the attainment of accreditation in health care. Another notable strategy is the enhancement of the accuracy standards of information provided to patients. For instance, this hospital ensured that the details provided in the signage were accurate and hence helpful to patients.


 Appropriateness of the Strategies

In view of the circumstances described in the case study, the strategies were appropriate. There are various perspectives that underline the appropriateness of these strategies. Firstly, the head nurse and the physician had to respond immediately to the deplorable standards of hygiene and accuracy in the information platforms. These problems are massively undesirable in terms of patient outcomes and quality of treatment (Chapman, 2003). The head nurse was thus obliged to develop an immediate intervention for the problem. The second aspect that justifies the effectiveness of these strategies is the issue of resources. The head nurse and the physician made the decisions on the basis of the available resources. In such circumstances, the evaluation of resource availability is a pertinent aspect that bolsters the efficiency of decision-making. Emphasis on the competence of staff was also an essential strategy because it helps in bolstering the patient outcomes.


 References

Chapman, G. B. (2003). Decision making in health care, Cambridge: Cambridge    University Press

Edwards, A. (2009). Shared decision making in health care, Oxford: Oxford University    Press

Testi, A. (2012). Advanced decision making methods, New York, NY: Springer


 

Saturday, 24 May 2014 08:30

Aero Marine Logistics (AML)

Written by

Aero Marine Logistics (AML)


Supply chain management is a field that has been intensely studied within management science. Supply chain is a series that involves many participants who work together in value creating processes that start from the company boundaries so as to provide the end consumer with value (Chikan, 2008). Supply chain management involves the conscious management of various processes of the supply chain so as to enable the participants of the supply chain to attain a high level of competitiveness. Defining uncertainty and risks is always a challenge since it is perceived to exist when there is a high likelihood that a derailing event can occur that will have a significant impact on costs


 Thesis statement

Supply chain risks are an occurrence that can occur of a failure or incident in seizing opportunities for supplying to the customer. The outcomes of such an occurrence lead to financial loss in the entire supply chain. This means that risk can occur as a result of any form of disruption, poor quality, and price volatility of a service or product or from any event that can damage the reputation of the company.


 Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the case study Aero Marine Logistic. The paper will answer these main questions on logistics and supply chain management practices at Aero Marine Logistics. The first question will be about the participants in the supply chain as discussed in the case. The second question is about the logistics partnerships who are involved in sharing risks and costs. This question will address these risks and costs that are part of the venture as shared by the participants. The last question will be about negotiating agreements when considering risks costs, losses and possible profits of the venture.


 Logistics partnerships involved in sharing risks and costs.

The participants of this venture can include the mushroom suppliers such as the mushroom pickers, mushroom pickers and farmers. Other participants include transportation carriers who deliver mushroom to consolidators. There are the fresh food consolidators based in Amsterdam; the transport providers located in Delhi, Mumbai, and ocean carriers from Amsterdam to Mumbai.


There is also the container leasing company known as AML, restaurants, hotels, markets and open-air markets based in Northern India.The venture entails costs like line haul and accessorial transportation costs, energy costs incurred through the need to provide goods in a refrigerated container, containers investment costs, containers maintenance costs, flatcars reconfiguration costs and the capital costs. The capital costs have not been mentioned, but it is essential to consider it as a vital expenditure in starting this venture.The relevant risks facing the venture include the irregularities emerging from the product supply mainly in poor conditions that do not support the growth of mushrooms.


There is also the risk of lack of demand for the products. Refrigeration problems that cause product spoilage, maintenance of containers can be high than expected. This is mainly because of the high temperatures in India. There is also the risk of theft, but at a minimal rate because containers can be safe shelters for the products. Finally, there are the risks of dramatic changes in capital costs. Sharing risks and costs depend on the affected parties mainly on the risks and costs. For example, when mushrooms lack demand, the risk has to be shared between AML and Fresh foods.


The refrigeration inadequacies can alternatively be shared between the container supplier, AML and the company responsible for the installation of flatcars that are power equipped if they are not part of AML.The suppliers (mushroom pickers, mushroom pickers and farmers) will share risks, costs and losses and profits with transportation carriers who deliver mushroom to consolidators Fresh food consolidators based in Amsterdam and the transport providers located in Delhi, Mumbai will also share profits and losses with ocean careers from Amsterdam to Mumbai and the container leasing company known as AML.


 Conclusion

From this discussion, it is clear that Risk management helps partners of the supply chain to focus on collaborative and managed approaches and strengthen their resources so as to lessen the frequency and impact of undesired events. Risk management can, therefore, help in aligning the activities of the stakeholders based on shared information. This study indicates that the supply chain is much more responsive and agile to unforeseen events that positively contribute to improved performance.


Management of risks in supply chain is a growing and established concept within the commercial sector especially in supply chains that are already established like for the case of Aero Marine Logistics (AML). The company being an expert in handling exports of various cargo types through the ocean and air freight. Therefore, it is essential for AML to come up with a risk management plan that will ensure that all participants within the supply chain are involved in sharing costs and risks and also profits and losses (Murphy and Wood 2010).


 Reference

Chikán, A (2008). Vállalatgazdaságtan. Aula kiadó, Budapest

Murphy, P and Wood D (2010) Contemporary logistics. Prentice Hall, p 152-153



Saturday, 24 May 2014 07:51

CASE 9-1: LOW NAIL COMPANY

Written by

CASE 9-1: LOW NAIL COMPANY


The economic order quantity (EOQ) is an inventory control approach for balancing ordering costs and ordering costs with the goal of minimizing inventory costs. Ordering costs are clerical, administrative and other expenses that occur when obtaining inventory items and keeping them for storage. Keeping the bought item also involves holding, carrying and other costs and experiences resulting from breakage, pilferage, insurance and storage. In order to determine the EOQ, a given calculus is the mathematical model is used.


 Thesis statement

The EOQ method uses an equation that includes the following items, ordering costs (O), annual demand (D), holding costs (H). The basic equation is represented in the equation below:


 Purpose of the paper

This paper will answer three questions in analyzing the various calculations that low has to understand his inventory costs based on the EOQ method. The first will be the number of kegs of nails that Low has to order. I will calculate this by using the EOQ approach outlined in chapter 8 of Murphy and Wood (2010) book. The second question will consider a case were 750 orders of kegs nails are made, and the supplier will take care of all the costs for order processing. However if the orders will be between 249 and 749 kegs the supplier will only cater for half the costs. Then how much will the new EOQ for low be? The last question will be on Low’s new EOQ if the wholesale costs of nails will be $ for every keg and him having to pay an interest of 1.5 % per month for unsold inventory.


 3. Body

A.) EOQ methods

EOQ model is based on the logic that; determining the quantity of an order calls for the need of a company to balance two types of costs. First is the cost of the inventory and the costs incurred for ordering the inventory. The cost of an inventory is in direct proportion to the size of the order. This means that the larger the order, then the high carrying cost of inventory and vice versa. On the contrary, ordering cost does decline with the size of the order in a nonlinear fashion. Therefore, EOQ is about finding the quantity point at which the costs of ordering is equivalent to carrying costs (Murphy and Wood2010).


 The EOQ formula is as follows:

EOQ= √ 2 (annual use in units) (cost of placing an order) / annual carrying cost per item per year = √ 2 (2000) (60) / 2

= √ 120,000

= 345 kegs per order

From the above calculations, 2 acts as the dominator because, on average the rented space of a warehouse is always half full resulting to warehousing costs for every keg to be $2 on average.


 B. New EOQ for Low

Orders/year

Order size

Processing costs ($)

Warehousing costs ($)

Sum of processing and warehousing costs ($)

1

2,000

Free

2,000

2,000

2

1,000

Free

1,000

1,000

3

667

90

667

757

4

500

120

500

620

5

400

150

400

550

6

334

180

334

514

7

286

210

286

496

8

250

240

250

490

9

223

540

223

743

The new EOQ for Low is 250Kegs as shown in the above tabular information. C. with the assumption that the wholesale costs of nails will be at $40 per keg and that Low will have to pay an interest of 1.5% every month for unsold inventory his new EOQ will be calculated in the tabular format below: the inventory interests will be examined in a new column. The assumption will be that if a single order is placed for a year the average inventory will be 1, 000 kegs being worth $40,000. The annual interest charges will be 12×1.5= 18%, which is $7, 200. Other costs of interests will be calculated in the same fashion with the average inventory rate adjustments. The table below shows these calculations:


 

Orders/year

Order size

Processing costs ($)

Warehousing costs ($)

Interest costs ($)

Sum of processing, warehousing, and interest costs ($)

1

2,000

60

2,000

7,200

9,260

2

1,000

120

1,000

3,600

4,720

3

667

180

667

2,405

3,252

4

500

240

500

1,800

2,540

5

400

300

400

1,440

2,140

6

334

360

334

1,203

1,897

7

286

420

286

1,030

1,736

8

250

480

250

900

1,630

9

223

540

223

807

1,570

10

200

600

200

720

1,520

11

182

660

182

656

1,498

12

167

720

167

605

1,492

13

154

780

154

555

1,489

14

143

840

143

519

1,50

 Therefore, the new EOQ will be 154kgs as shown in the above tabular information.


Conclusion

By using the EOQ method, it will be possible for Low and other business managers to decide the amount that they should order. Managers also have to determine the RIP which is the reorder point. RIP is the level of inventory that a new order should be made. In determine the RIP, managers have to estimate the lead time which is the time between receiving an order and when it was placed (Mentzer, 2001).


 Reference

Mentzer, J (2001) Supply Chain Management. Sage publisher, p 214

Murphy, P and Wood D (2010) Contemporary logistics. Prentice Hall, p 152-153



Saturday, 24 May 2014 06:43

Human Resources

Written by

Human Resources


Research and scholars have emphasized the importance of human resources or employees in the performance of an organization. Human resources hold strategic position in most organizations, and it is the cause of competitive advantage. It is crucial to assess how employees are performing toward the realization of goals and objectives of an organization. Performance appraisal is the process by which an employee’s contribution to the organization during a specified period of time is assessed. Some organizations use the term performance appraisal, whereas others use performance evaluation, performance review, annual review, employee appraisal, or employee evaluation.  Performance appraisal is one of the most strategically important systems in an organization.


It is crucial in designing jobs and work system used to accomplish goals of an organization. It enables organizations to hire individuals with the right performance and productivity. It is also a tool used to train, motivate and reward employees’ performance and productivity.  Evaluation of performance of an organization is a control mechanism that provides feedback to individuals but also an organizational assessment on how things are progressing. Without performance information, managers of an organization can only guess as to whether employees are working toward goals of the organization.


The development of a standards performance appraisal or evaluation process will help organizations improve their bottom-lone performance, uplift motivational effects, and resolve morale issues. Therefore, managers need to understand and appreciate the importance of performance appraisal, as well as the various effective performance appraisals.  The purpose of this study is to explore the effectiveness of various evaluation procedures and tools used to appraise employees.  The study will contribute toward the development of effective evaluation strategies to ensure the full potential of employee appraisal is achieved. 


 

Saturday, 24 May 2014 06:24

Tempo Ltd

Written by

  Tempo Ltd


             Tempo Ltd. is one of the companies in Antalya, Turkey which was established by an entrepreneur Faith Terim in the year 1989. The main focus in the development of this business was to find a market where to buy goods in the nearby foreign sources and then look for buyers of those products in the Turkish domestic market. In the current times, this business has connections in parts of European region and Terim works hard to ensure these links operates effectively. The focus of this assignment is to examine whether to allow someone else to transact business with North Korea. The paper will calculate total costs that are associated with Syrian and Romanian option, then determine the function of supply chain of the bribes, and finally make a suggestion based on the moral values of the western standards.


 Discussion

Romanian option

Activity

Cost (U.S. dollars)

Ocean transportation to Constantza

42,000

Suez Canalcharges

3,000

Truck

15,000

Handling

6,250

False documents

10,211

Total

76,461

The total costs associated with the Romanian type of operation is $ 76, 461


 Syria option

Activity

Cost (U.S. dollars)

Ocean transportation to Latakia

33,000

Suez Canalcharges

3,000

Truck

12,000

Handling

6,250

Rusvet

50,000

Total

104,250

The total costs associated with the Syria type of operation is $ 104, 250

The option to be recommended

            Either of the option can be recommended to be used by Terim depending on the approach used to explain the concept. For instance, by taking the Romanian option, it is nearly & 30, 000 cheaper that of Syrian option. If the option is to be chosen based on the cost perspective, the Romanian option may be preferred than the Syrian option. On the same note, the Romanian option usually takes around 3 weeks to complete than the Syrian option. Apart from that, the Romanian option is much riskier than the Syrian option because things in some instances go away during the redocumentation process. Viewed from duration and riskiness, Syrian option would be preferred than Romanian option. As for Terim, it would depend on the nature of the situation of the business operations, (Murphy & Wood, 2011).


 Supply Chain

            Based on the broad perspective, the purpose of the bribes in the supply chain would necessary be to facilitate the completion of international transactions in a smooth manner. In analyzing the concept under this situation, at least two perspectives must be considered. The first one is the legal perspective which claims like some nations such as America, the issue of bribes is theoretically illegal irrespective of the circumstances deployed. Using this scenario, bribes have no part in the process of the supply chain. In the second case, in the practically manner, one should understand that bribes are used to facilitate the smooth completion of international transactions.


Based on this case, supply chains would always require accommodating and facilitating situations that call for bribes. The manifestation of the concept would depend on the name assigned to the ‘bribe’ aspect. For instance, it is with no doubt that one of the authors was prevented from boarding an airplane flight to Katmandu, Nepal until when all other four members of the said travelling party parted with what was named as ‘weight penalty.’ The weight penalty, in this case, appears to be a form of bribe for smooth international transactions simply because none of the other passengers were being assessed for ‘weight penalties’ bearing in mind that they had weight problems, (Jansen et al., 2013).


 Moral Values

            It is with no doubt that this case involves the development of firms that are located in two non western countries. Evidence shows that it might be culturally insensitive to bring some moral values and concepts that are far more in respect with the western standards.


 Reference:

Jansen, M., Kok, T., & Fransoo, J. (2013). Lead time anticipation in Supply Chain Operations Planning. OR Spectrum35(1), 251-290. Doi: 10.1007/s00291-011-0267-y

Murphy, Jr., P. R. & Wood, D. F.  (2011). Contemporary Logistics, Tenth Edition Prentice Hall PTR


 

Page 1 of 7
Secure Payment

Why Us