Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Stigmatization of the unemployed

It seems that it's difficult for unemployed to find a job. I certainly find it so. According to Naked Capitalism, it's because management are lazy and won't broaden their scope to people who does not have their exact skills. I think this is true, here is the link.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Just-In-Time to fail

After working at a production line for way too long. I started thinking about the philosophy of having your supply chain tightly linked to your product so that you hold next to no inventory because inventory cost money. I was taught that in managerial accounting in University.

After observing this in action, I have come to the following conclusion: since you cannot eliminate risk entirely, not having an inventory buffer is a recipe for production disruptions up and down the line. If your bottom-line depends on making specific shipments on a set schedule. This will result in unreliable production scheduling and missed shipments.

For example, since parts have to be ordered months in advance and the time of order and time of shipment arrival is not easily predictable. Not having a buffer of part inventories does not make any sense. What actually happened was the parts kept running out and the order never arrived on time and the shipments always have to be negotiated lower. This obviously did not jive well with management so every so often the panic button is pushed and workers are pushed to produce more. This has an unfortunate effect of increasing the rate of error in the process. Hopefully new production managers become better at this, otherwise they're definitely going to go out of business.

Friday, March 18, 2011

As good a quote on the new age as I can find

We know the consequences of this instinctively; we feel them. We know that having two thousand Facebook friends is not what it looks like. We know that we are using the software to behave in a certain, superficial way toward others. We know what we are doing “in” the software. But do we know, are we alert to, what the software is doing to us? Is it possible that what is communicated between people online “eventually becomes their truth”? What Lanier, a software expert, reveals to me, a software idiot, is what must be obvious (to software experts): software is not neutral. Different software embeds different philosophies, and these philosophies, as they become ubiquitous, become invisible. link

Sunday, March 6, 2011

No longer the new generation, but the lost generation

Youth unemployment is at an all time high, but that is not the issue here. The issue here is that changing realities means that the defined benefits of the past are no longer available for the current crop entering the workforce. However, there are still massive liabilities that needs to be paid off for the older generations who are just entering retirement age whose pension and meds benefits will have to come from somewhere. At some point within the next 10-20 years there has to be a reckoning where some sort of a compromise will be reached. I sure as hell do not want to pay into a system that is not going to support me or is going to give me vastly reduced benefits when I retire. Now as people pay into this they're going to see what I see and while nobody wants to throw any old people out on the streets, nobody can really afford to pay these generous pensions while raising kids at the same time. What I'm predicting is a lot of renegotiation and a lot of firms get crushed and bankrupt because of their commitments. GM is not the first, and it will not be the last. So what is there to do?