Sustainability, Operations and Supply Chain Management in Manufacturing and Service Industries

Tourism is a huge and dynamic industry that is comprised of a wide variety of service businesses that reflect the same dynamics and priorities that a manufacturer would have for operations planning (OP) and supply chain management (SCM). One such service business is the cruise ship sector in which vacationers travel via these types of vessels to various destinations.

While manufacturers produce tangible products and wastes, service companies also produce waste, but their products are intangible. For example, the product that a personal trainer might produce is a healthier client. Operations Managers (OM) in both industries share similar interests in eliminating waste and delivering quality products.

The two main intangible products that the vacationer (end user) buys, and a cruise ship company “manufactures” and delivers, are pleasure and relaxation – the total experience that allows vacationers to “suspend” their everyday reality for a period of time and immerse themselves in pleasurable experiences. The mission of the cruise ship industry is to deliver this experience to them in a way that surpasses their customers’ expectations, and it depends a great deal on the manufacturing industry to make this possible.

Comparable Dynamics and Priorities in Manufacturing and Service

The movement and connection of goods and services from the point of origin, or the original source, to the end user is referred to as “the supply chain”. Supply Chain Management is a part of the Operations Management that involves the effective management of many inter-firm processes such as:

Supplier/Vendor relationship management
Order Processing
Information Systems management
Sourcing and Procurement
Production Scheduling
Inventory Management
Warehousing and Distribution
Customer Services
Environmentally sustainable practices
Just as in the manufacturing industry, in the cruise ship industry it takes the coordination of a variety of resources – financial, material and human – working together to manage these processes in order to achieve organizational goals.

Operations Management involves the management of all the activities that produce an output (a product). In operations management a multitude of processes must be managed in order to produce and distribute products and services. Policies must be formulated; daily operations must be managed, and so must the use of human and material resources. OM also demands the effective utilization of technology and communications systems to allow for timely ordering and delivery of materials and products, and the servicing of customers and stakeholders.

Policies in both the manufacturing and service industry sectors might include social and environmental impact considerations such as the use of resources and the disposal of wastes. Religious, cultural, political and legal issues such as human rights, use of child labor, wage and hours; human resource impact issues such as age, gender and other forms of discrimination must also be considered.

In a manufacturing situation these considerations would impact the goods and services that the cruise industry might use. Some of these goods include foods, linens, toiletries, furnishings, packaging, electronics, fuel, etc. All of these products are outputs of a manufacturing process that a cruise ship might use and all of these products impact the environment from the original source to the end-user.

Organizations in both industries need to develop a sustainability mind-set and identify where waste being generated in their companies and along their supply chains; the reason why and when, at what stage it is being produced.

So, for example, the OM of a cruise line that is socially and environmentally conscious, and who wants to improve their SCM and incorporate a closed-loop method of operation in her organization, might be considerate of the inputs that a manufacturing company utilizes in its production process and in the processes that it utilizes to convert the raw materials into products; the timely deliverance of those products; the quality of customer service after the product is delivered, and the impact that disposal of these products have on the environment.

Likewise, manufacturing companies (whose products the cruise lines use) also wishing to do the same might, in turn, be considerate of the inputs that their suppliers utilize in their operations. As mentioned before, these inputs include – but are not limited to – various impact considerations previously mentioned.

This backward view of the supply chain links the end user of the services of the cruise ship to the beginning of the supply chain – and that includes all the companies that, working backward, might make up the chain to the original source. An original source might be cotton growers and the policies they have in place that might affect the methods that they use to grow, harvest and supply the converters of the cotton.

Questions that an Operations Managers might ask, for example, are:

· Ate the cotton growers using harmful, earth polluting chemicals in growing the cotton?

· Is child labor being used in harvesting?

· Are working conditions safe, and are wage and hours legal and fair?

· Are materials being delivered on time – and if not, what are the reasons that are preventing this?

These questions impact the management of the supply chain and organizations can gain or lose competitive advantage if they do not consider such questions because, in the case of a cruise ship, for example, an enlightened vacationer might hardly be impressed that the soft cotton sheets that she uses on the cruise line were made from cotton picked by children who live in slums and who earn mere pennies a day for back-breaking labor – and are denied an education because of these poor labor practices.

These types of considerations and decisions faced by a cruise line Operations Manager will affect his or her own company’s financial bottom line and will also affect the operations management of their down-line suppliers, as it also would in manufacturing. One can easily see that the considerations and activities of Operations Managers in service industries easily affect supply chain management in their organizations.

Maintaining a Competitive Advantage

Today’s consumers are more sophisticated and keenly aware of the global impact that their actions have on the environment and many consumers already take actions to reduce their “carbon footprint”, that is the contribution to the environmental impact of human beings and their activities upon the planet.

For example, the more waste one leaves behind in one’s daily activities, the larger one’s carbon foot-print. This idea has been capsulized in the term “going green”. Consumers are not only modifying their own habits in order to minimize waste and thus reduce their carbon footprints, but they are also holding corporations accountable for their impacts on the environment. This has put pressure on many corporations to go green by embracing more environmentally friendly processes in their operations.

Cruise ships are like floating cities that can generate as much as “…30,000 gallons of sewage, 250,000 gallons of kitchen, bath and laundry waste water and 10 tons of garbage — each day”. Effectively managing the inputs that create this amount of waste begins with effective management of the supply chain. Effective management of the supply chain begins with effective operations management.

Socially and environmentally conscious organizations that develop a vision and a mission articulating a clear objective to take responsibility for ensuring the sustainability of all inputs that go into their products will have a competitive advantage over those who don’t. So a cruise line, for example, that establishes a culture of “world class supply chain management” into its operational processes can gain significant competitive advantage over its competitors because “supply management directly affects the two factors which control the bottom line: total costs and sales”[2] (Burt, Dobler, Starling. 2003, p. 10).

For example, a cruise ship line that is an early entrant into World Class Supply Management practices will most likely emerge as a leader in the practice and, as such, will stand to hold “40 -60 percent of the market after competition enters the picture” (p. 11). The quality of its offerings will also improve as it utilizes the sustainable goods produced by manufacturers. Since quality usually commands premium prices, this can help firms gain market share. Today, a more informed and enlightened public demand higher quality goods and thus supports organizations that deliver quality.

Additionally, consumers are demanding more and more that corporations go green as much as possible. Building sustainability into the supply chain will improve quality and increase customer satisfaction. Organizations that do not build sustainability into their operations will find that it will cost them more (in the loss of market share) to NOT do so. By building sustainability into their practices early, both manufacturing and service organizations can expect to gain and maintain a competitive advantage.

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Redesign The Interior Of Your Home

Interior redesign is the art of being able to creative furniture and accessory placement and a professional interior designer can quickly determine the rooms focal points and place your furnishings appropriately.

With knowledge and experience a good interior redesign professional can transform your room into some thing that you have only imagined it could be in the past. This form of thinking outside the box can really benefit most people. The redesign professional works with the existing furniture and accessories of your home to create a brand new look.

Following this the redesign professional normally will give you tips and suggestions about any future purchases that would help represent your unique style and is typically included free of charge. The benefit to working with this type of professional is that you will not be coerced into making high ticket purchases, because you will using what you already own and treasure within your home.

Many interior redesign professionals will meet with you first to discuss your particular life style and the function of the proposed room you are wanting to redesign. This is a great time to go over any special needs of a family member. Many husbands have a favorite television chair seating arrangement that must be addressed in order to keep peace within your family. If you want your project to be successful, then it is very important that these particulars are covered.

Some, if not most interior redesign professionals, will request that you actually leave during the room transformation, which is typically a really good idea. This is because distracting the decorator will not be to your benefit in the long run and you will be much more excited during the reveal of your new room.

Of course, you will need to expect to pay any where from two hundred dollars to six hundred dollars for each room. The cost will vary considering on the amount of furnishings and accessories involved with the project. Any heavy pieces that would require moving assistance is also a key factor in the pricing of the project.

If you have a upcoming event, have inherited some older home furnishings, or if you are blending a new family interior redesign, then this is a great solution for bringing your home together. It is a cost effective way to bring order and beauty to your room all in one afternoon.

Another way to redesign your home is to use a slip cover on your sofa in a patterned fabric, then add striped or plaid accent pillows in a complementary color. Use patterned accent pillows on your solid color sofa and easy chairs. Sew silk ribbon rose buds, which can be found in craft stores, on to your solid color accent pillows to brighten up your sofa and easy chairs.

Place a large motif painting on or over your fire place mantel. A needle point throw rug in the shape of a your design will make a colorful and cozy accent. Collect inexpensive patterned china plates at flea markets and garage sales and hang them on the wall. Hang a motif platter on the wall or even an arrangement of several platters or hang a motif tray or several trays on the wall, then drape a patterned throw over your sofa.

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Could Your Business Benefit From Extra Storage? Why Consider Portable Storage Containers

Need extra storage? If you find there’s no room left to squeeze out of your warehouse or storage areas, portable storage containers can provide immediate additional space to store anything from company records to excess inventory. Portable storage brings immediate additional space that you would have never considered before.

Durable and waterproof, storage containers can be used year-round in any type of weather without fear of rust or leaks. What’s even better, they are far less expensive than new construction, and can be delivered in a matter of days.

Its always to your advantage to compare several vendors for storage containers, and read up on companies reviews in online buyer’s guides to learn the essentials and the importance customer satisfaction, including:

1. What portable storage container options are available?
2. What to look for in a company?
3. How to decide between buying, leasing, and renting?
4. How much you can expect to pay for a purchase or rental?

Once you determine what your needs are, a quality vendor or company should be able to provide you with free multiple quotes from portable storage container companies and suppliers in your area.

Industry and Container Uses
Different businesses have various needs for storage containers. Here is just a sample of how certain industries use them:

-Department stores, pharmacies, supermarkets, hospitality, food service, excess inventory, paper records storage, seasonal and holiday needs.

-Construction, landscapers, home improvement: Equipment, machinery, supplies, temporary office space.

-Residents, property owners, tool shed household goods storage, home furnishings, and non-perishable food supplies.

-Truckers, utility companies, financial institutions, insurance companies, film production, document storage, raw materials.

-Medical facilities, military, government agencies, academic institutions, disaster preparation supplies, temporary bunks/shelters, security offices, athletic equipment storage.

Container design
Storage containers are constructed with 12- or 14-gauge corrugated steel sides, doors, and roofs. The floors are made from marine-grade plywood that is just over one inch thick and can withstand 16,000 pounds of pressure per 100 square feet.

Manufacturers weld the containers together using elastic sealing compound to ensure they are air and water tight. This heavy-duty construction meets ISO construction standards and most models are both weather resistant and fireproof.

To protect contents from theft or vandalism, swing-out doors at either end of the container feature galvanized interior locking bars, similar to bank vaults. In addition, cam rods and padlock hasps secure the unit to protect the contents after hours.

Installation & Zoning
Average containers weigh 2,500 to 5,000 pounds and are delivered by flat tilt-bed trucks or trailers. While they can rest on any surface from rough gravel roads to smooth concrete, it’s preferred that you reserve a 75 foot by 100 foot area of land that is both level and firm.

The level ground prevents the container from tilting or tipping and the large area provides you with plenty of clearance to move in and out of the unit.

Be careful if you plan to use storage containers for long periods of time. Certain cities view storage containers as “dumpsters” and may require a special permit or official approval for long-term use.

If you plan to keep storage containers on your premises for several months or longer, check with your local government to avoid violating any zoning laws.

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Painting Your Rooms

If you’re tired of the generic beige or off-white color of your walls, then maybe its time to think about a change. Maybe you are a little hesitant because you’ve never painted anything in your life, aside from water colors and finger paints in school, and that’s okay.
There are lots of online resources about how to paint rooms in your home, starting with choosing the right color and type of paint depending on the area. You can also visit your local hardware store, paint store, or home improvement center and take a look at the different types and paint and the colors that are available. The sales clerks in the paint department are usually quite knowledgeable about various brands and what type should be used. If you know the approximate square footage of the area to be covered, the clerk can also give you an estimate of the average cost to paint a room or rooms depending on what type of paint you purchase.

When choosing a color to paint rooms in your home, you should first consider what the room is primarily used for, and what type of feel or mood you want the room to have. For example, the kitchen should be bright, warm, and inviting, so you would want to use colors like yellow or orange; red should not be used as a primary color because it is more intense and can contribute to overeating (no joke!). Cool colors like various shades of blue can be used in combination with calming greens to create a comfortable relaxing atmosphere in the living area or anywhere throughout the home. The color of the furniture and other fixtures should also be taken into consideration when choosing colors to paint rooms. Not every wall has to be the same color, but they should match and complement the furnishings and decor of the room.

While you’re out browsing for supplies to paint rooms in your home, pick up a few paint sample cards with various complementing shades of popular colors. Take them home and see which colors will work the best for the type of feel you are trying to achieve. Once you have chosen the colors and the type of paint, make a list and get everything you need, so you don’t have to stop in the middle of your project to run out and get an essential item. Paint rooms in your new or existing home to improve your home’s appearance and complement your style of home decor. It’s an inexpensive home improvement project that can be completed in a weekend with astounding results!

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