Category Archives: Manufacture Technology

The Sumner Simpson Papers – Secret Information That the Asbestos Industry Didn’t Want You to Know

There is incontrovertible evidence that exposure to asbestos cause asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other life threatening diseases. There is also irrefutable evidence that since the early part of the 20th century the asbestos industry has been fully aware that there is a definite link between asbestos and cancer.

In addition, there is incontestable evidence that the asbestos industry chose to protect their profits rather than make this information known to the general public. Some of this evidence can be found in what has come to be known as “The Sumner Simpson Papers.”

Saranac Laboratory is Hired to Research the Effects of Asbestos Dust

The Saranac Laboratory, located in the Adirondack Mountain region of upstate New York, had been doing research on dusts since the early 1920s. In 1936 a number of asbestos companies jointly funded Saranac to do research for them. They subsequently renewed their annual contract with Saranac Laboratory for the next ten years.

Part of what Saranac found was that there was a link between being exposed to asbestos and cancer.

In January 1947 the companies that funded the Saranac research met.

It has been discerned that the companies decided that “there would be no publication of the research of experiments without consent,” and that anything that would be published “would not include any objectionable material.” They specifically referred to, “any relation between asbestos and cancer.”

The conglomerate that funded Saranac agreed that “the reference to cancer and tumors should be deleted” from the report. Consequently, when Saranac’s report about their dust experiments was published, evidence that linked asbestos exposure to cancer was suppressed.

The Sumner Simpson Papers

From the 1930s through the 1940s Sumner Simpson was president of Raybestos-Manhattan, Inc.

In 1935, in correspondence to an attorney for Johns-Manville Corporation, Vandiver Brown, Simpson, when commenting on the asbestos industry, wrote “the less said about asbestos, the better off we are.”

Simpson also pressured trade industry publications to follow the dictates of the asbestos industry’s decisions. The publisher of Asbestos Magazine wrote Simpson a letter in 1939 which, when referring to asbestosis, said, “Always you have requested that for certain obvious reasons we publish nothing, and naturally, your wishes have been respected.”

In 1941 Vandiver Brown, who had become a corporate officer of Johns-Manville Corporation, wrote, “I felt there was considerable likelihood that a number of subscribers would dislike an article on this subject in the trade magazine of the asbestos industry. I had in mind the ostrich-like attitude which has been evidenced from time to time by members of the industry.”

The corporate cover up continued for decades.

How Did the Asbestos Industry Feel About Its Workers?

How the industry felt about its workers was probably best summed up in a document in 1966 written by the Director of Purchases for Bendix Corporation, E.A. Martin. In it he said:

“My answer to the problem is: if you have enjoyed a good life while working with asbestos products why not die from it. There’s got to be some cause.”

Key Grape Growing Information And The Industries Most Profitable Distribution Channels

Enter a prestigious, elegant and profitable industry… the world of grape growing. If you’re going to start growing grapes, you need the best grape growing information you can find to help you profit from the distribution of them.

Here’s a high level overview of the market and opportunity for the entrepreneurial grape grower.

There are 3 markets or distribution channels within the grape growing industry.

1) The Production of Red, White and Blush Wines

Of all the grapes grown in the world, about 99.2% of them are produced for making wine. In the United States, seventy-one percent of grapes grown are produced to make wines.

This is important as it gives us a mental picture on the size of the market, because if you decide to start growing grapes yourself, you’ll need to know where exactly where distribute them for the highest profit.

One of your first distribution channels may be wineries or other facilities that process grapes. If you don’t plan to market your grapes for this purpose, you will probably distribute them to the other 27% of the market, which are grocery stores and the like…

2) Distributed for Direct Consumption

Grapes sold for the purpose of direct consumption are known as table grapes.

Table grapes sold to this market make up the second largest distribution channel in the U.S.. With the ever-growing reports of the health effects of the skin of red grapes, this market continues to grow and remain lucrative.

3) Dried or Dry Fruit Market

The last distribution channel for your crop, is the industry that captures 2% of the market. This market is for grapes that are produced for making dried fruits… ie) raisins.

Distributed in stand-alone packages or added to fruit boxes and cereal mixes, this market is slowly growing as the diversification of the product being distributed is being used for multiple purposes.

Summary

Yet, if you wish profit from the largest market, you’ll find yourself contacting local and possibly international wineries for the distribution of your crop. But don’t forget, not all wineries are created equal. Some may have a more selective acquisition process which may leave you with a portion of your crop unsold. To squeeze out every dollar you can, you may find it advantageous to acquire multiple contacts in all three markets and use the “trickle down” effect… if you crop gets passed from one channel, to the next.

Either way, there’s always room for your crop to be acquired, even if they don’t pass for Wine quality, but given the market for dried grapes is only 2%, you’ll want to make every effort to grow the most healthy grapes you can from the start.

If you decide to start your own small vineyard to grow grapes, your chances of success are very good, as there are many varieties of grape species that thrive in many climates.

With thousands of vineyards across the world, don’t think you’ll be discounted from distribution because you start the grape growing process in your own backyard. On the contrary, many large vineyard owners started out small and simply grew because they produced a fantastic product that grew in demand. Growing grapes is not that difficult. You just need the knowledge and the desire to succeed.

For the latest grape growing information on producing the healthiest grapes, visit our website below.

Keys to Securing Market Intelligence

If you are responsible for managing investments or financial portfolios the value of industry expertise and market intelligence cannot be understated.

Many fund managers, investment brokers, private equity firms, and private placement organizations, both large and small, possess either in-house expertise or utilize the services of industry advisors to provide and augment insight into the markets and players that is not often found though traditional research. Many national expertise firms exist to provide platforms for analysts and fund managers to tap into this knowledge base and gain the information necessary to fill in the gaps and enhance their understanding of the industries and companies in which they have holdings or seek to make entry.

Another useful and beneficial tactic used by many investment firms is to maintain a list of qualified industry experts that can be called upon when needed. Many competent firms specialize in particular industries and even geographies to provide expedited and very relevant information for a simple phone consultation or can be retained for specific periods of time. The firm’s information is typically retained in-house for the primary markets and industries that pertain to the investment profile of their firm and clientele.

While there are reams of information available online, much of it will require extensive investigation and vetting in order to be considered valuable. The sourcing of much of this information is provided from companies that have not actively participated in these markets and is oftentimes derived from the review of financial statements and resources available in the public domain. Some also conduct industry surveys and generate reports that are available for purchase.

The other factor in online research is time. As we all know, timing is critical and the sooner you can have confidence in the information you possess, the greater the opportunity for success and more responsive your investment decisions can be.

When it comes to investment decisions it is often wiser to seek council from those with a first-hand exposure to the specific industry in question. The information can typically include insights on competitive pressure, company leadership, pricing, market share, strategic advantages, new products in development, expansion estimates, industry and company exposures, and of course provide confidence and verification of going forward estimates and projections made by the company.

In today’s economy knowledge is king, and the information you need to make the best decisions possible is readily available to support your company and your customers.

Sarbanes-Oxley: A Cross-Industry Email Compliance Challenge

Is your enterprise following the rules?

The bulk of financial information in many companies is created, stored and transmitted electronically, maintained by IT and controlled via information integrity procedures and practices. For these reasons, compliance with federal requirements such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) is heavily dependent on IT. Companies that must comply with SOX are U.S. public companies, foreign filers in U.S. markets and privately held companies with public debt. Ultimately, the corporate CEO and CFO are accountable for SOX compliance, and they will depend on company finance operations and IT to provide critical support when as they report on the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting.

Sound practices include corporate-wide information security policies and enforced implementation of those policies for employees at all levels. Information security policies should govern network security, access controls, authentication, encryption, logging, monitoring and alerting, pre-planned coordinated incident response, and forensics. These components allow for information integrity and data retention, while enabling IT audits and business continuity.

Complying with Sarbanes-Oxley

The changes required to ensure SOX compliance reach across nearly all areas of a corporation. In fact, Gartner Research went so far as to call the Act “the most sweeping legislation to affect publicly traded companies since the reforms during the Great Depression.” Since the bulk of information in most companies is created, stored, transmitted and maintained electronically, one could logically conclude that IT shoulders the lion’s share of the responsibility for SOX compliance. Enterprise IT departments are responsible for ensuring that corporate-wide information security policies are in place for employees at all levels. Information security policies should govern:

* Network security

* Access controls

* Authentication

* Encryption

* Logging

* Monitoring and alerting

* Pre-planning coordinated incident response

* Forensics

These components enable information integrity and data retention, while enabling IT audits and business continuity.

In order to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley, companies must be able to show conclusively that:

* They have reviewed quarterly and annual financial reports;

* The information is complete and accurate;

* Effective disclosure controls and procedures are in place and maintained to ensure that material information about the company is made known to them.

Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404

Section 404 regulates enforcement of internal controls, requiring management to show that it has established an effective internal control structure and procedures for accurate and complete financial reporting. In addition, the company must produce documented evidence of an annual assessment of the internal control structure’s effectiveness, validated by a registered public accounting firm. By instituting effective email controls, organizations are not only ensuring compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404; they are also taking a giant step in the right direction with regards to overall email security.

Effective Email Controls

Email has evolved into a business-critical application unlike any other. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most exposed areas of a technology infrastructure. Enterprises must install a solution that actively enforces policy, stops offending mail both inbound and outbound and halts threats before internal controls are compromised, as opposed to passively noting violations as they occur.

An effective email security solution must address all aspects of controlling access to electronically stored company financial information. This includes access during transport as well as access to static information resident at the company or on a remote site or machine. Given the wide functionality of email, as well as the broad spectrum of threats that face email systems, ensuring appropriate information access control for all of these points requires:

* A capable policy enforcement mechanism to set rules in accordance with each company’s systems of internal controls;

* Encryption capabilities to ensure privacy and confidentiality through secure and authenticated transport and delivery of email messages;

* Secure remote access to enable remote access for authorized users while preventing access from unauthorized users;

* Anti-spam and anti-phishing technology to prevent malicious code from entering a machine and to prevent private information from being provided to unauthorized parties

In conclusion, complying with Sarbanes-Oxley puts a heavy burden on an organization’s IT department to implement and enforce policies set up by corporate governance boards. In order to make sure the company’s email system complies with Sarbanes-Oxley, IT managers must be able to document steps they have taken to address Section 404 of the code. CipherTrust manufactures a secure email gateway appliance that can help organizations comply with Sarbanes-Oxley. To learn more about it, please visit http://www.ciphertrust.com/solutions/compliance_SOX.php and read our articles and white paper on the subject of SOX compliance.

Why Medical Transcription Business Owners Should Join a Trade Association

After purchasing equipment, hiring medical transcriptionists, and obtaining clients, there is still one more important step in completing the process of starting up a brand new medical transcription service-locating and joining the appropriate trade association.

Joining a trade association can be an incredibly valuable resource to a new business owner because it immediately connects him/her with other business professionals within the medical transcription industry in addition to providing a multitude of other benefits.

Wealth of information-One of the greatest benefits medical transcription service owners (MTSOs) can gain from an industry specific trade organization is the opportunity to take advantage of education within the industry at a discounted price or in many cases for free. Most trade organizations have regional meetings and/or national annual conferences. During these meetings, members have the opportunity to rub elbows with industry executives in the exhibit hall, learn about the latest medical transcription industry developments from vendors and earn continuing education credits. Most importantly, conferences give the entrepreneur the unique opportunity to exchange challenges, solutions and opportunities with other business owners in similar situations. Paying membership dues often provides discounted admission, reduced hotel rates and in some cases, deals on flights. Also included with the price of membership is access to newsletters, e-newsletters, trade journals, industry guidebooks and online discussion forums, which offer immediate up-to-date industry information and business advice for free.

Ability to speak up-A membership also comes with a voice. As an active member of a trade organization, MTSOs can help shape industry policies and regulations by voting on key issues. Furthermore, members are encouraged to join discussion groups, policy councils and local chapters to influence industry standards, vendor relations and have a say in annual conference details.

Model behavior-Consumers and other industry professionals view members of trade organizations in a more positive light than their non-member counterparts. Those who belong to an industry-specific association are perceived as businesses that have a strict code of ethics, high standards and stay up-to-date with the latest industry tools. Most members tout their association membership by including the organization’s logo on their marketing materials to show their clients that they are serious about their business practices.

Save money-Most trade organizations offer their members professional discounts on goods and services offered by vendor affiliates or programs presented by the association. Membership benefits can range from discounts on office equipment, shipping and trade show admissions to reduced insurance rates and price cuts on flights and hotels affiliated with the organization.

Mingling capabilities-Membership directories, local chapter meetings, webinars, conference calls and annual trade shows are all great ways to gain new contacts within the medical transcription industry. Exchanging success stories or talking about specific business challenges among other medical transcription businesses keeps well-rounded and prepared when similar challenges arise in their own workplace.

In order to cash in on all of the above mentioned benefits, there are different places an MTSO can go to find out more about medical transcription trade organizations. The Medical Transcription Industry Association (MTIA) www.mtia.com and the Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI), formerly the American Association of Medical Transcription (AAMT) www.ahdionline.org are two of the more familiar medical transcription trade associations. However, MT entrepreneurs might also check The Encyclopedia of Associations, published by The Gale Group or The American Society of Association Executives for additional organizations.

Business Hubs: Your Business Information Center

Those who want to harness the power of the Internet for growing their business; a business hub is where they will find a variety of resources as well as marketing tips and strategies. The Internet has changed the way businesses operate and reach customers. Businesses have to match their strategies to this new arena. Most traditional marketing methods will not work online, so they have to learn new marketing strategies for increasing their online presence.

There are plenty of Internet marketing methods-some are niche-specific, while some work across different industries. Marketing online is relatively more affordable than traditional advertising. When approached the right way, they can give your company the boost it needs. But where is the best place to go to learn those marketing strategies?

A business hub, which also known as web hub or vertical portal, is a website dedicated to providing content, information, and services to businesses within a particular industry such as health care and IT. While some serve as meeting ground for businesses and customers, it tends to focus more on the needs of businesses than industry customers.

As a business-to-business website, a business hub can serve as your gateway to essential information on how to grow your business. They typically cover information specific to a niche, but they may also include general marketing information (e.g. Facebook marketing, article marketing). Some also offer industry analysis or business design. Here are some of the most common business marketing strategies covered by business hubs.

  • Article marketing.Article marketing is a method of promoting a business or company by publishing keyword-optimized articles in web directories. When properly done, it is an effective tool for reaching broad audience and showing them your expertise.
  • Cloud Marketing.This is the collection of different Internet-based marketing services, allowing marketing functions to operate more efficient and effectively.
  • Consumer Generated Marketing.This is a marketing method that directly involves participation of audience in marketing products or other activities of business.
  • Facebook Marketing.This looks at Facebook as a platform for marketing one’s business and reaching audience.

Summary of Benefits Business hubs share 3 common aspects:

  1. Marketing resource.Business hubs are great source of information on how a company or business can thrive online. It gives you quick access to different marketing strategies and other relevant information-tools you need to stand ahead of the pack.
  2. Niche-specific information resource.Because it caters to niche markets, you don’t have to sort through millions of web pages to find the information most relevant to your industry. If you’re new to online business and don’t know where to start or what direction to take next, you may find the answers in a business hub.
  3. It serves as a directory of different businesses in the industry. Most keep a listing of companies offering industry-specific services. All in all, business hubs function as a reference center for people who want the ins and outs of an industry in particular and the world of Internet-based business in general.

The Magazine Industry

Anyone taking a look at magazines from the 50s or 60s would see a huge difference between them and the magazines of today. Before the advent of computers, many consumers relied on magazines to provide information, recipes, home decorating tip and business information. They read eagerly about the private lives of celebrities and eagerly awaited each issue.

The back to school issues of magazines such as Seventeen could be nearly as thick as many telephone books.Flash forward to 2009 and 2010 and magazines have changed a great deal. They have to compete with other sources of information, with a primary competitor being the computer.

Ad revenues are down in nearly every magazine being published. Some very specialized magazines have managed to stay profitable, however. Question is: how long can they continue to do so? Is the future of the magazine industry in trouble and will magazines soon be collector’s items, becoming as odd a sight as record players, typewriters and similar items?

There are some magazines which seem to buck the trend. Among the most popular are home magazines. Buyers seem to like to collect these and even tear out pages to take to home design stores. The number of home magazines has more than tripled since 2005, with news stands filled with a record number of these type of periodicals.

Even so, with the advent of computers and access to information online, the magazine industry is facing many challenges. Magazines with a long and notable history, including Gourmet and Portfolio magazine, have ceased publication. Newsweek magazine is up for sale, raising questions about how people want to get their news.

Perhaps receiving it weekly is simply too long to wait, especially when the click of a button can allow readers to have access to breaking news. Computers have many wonderful features but can signal the death of magazines which used to offer similar information.

Magazines like Newsweek, also known as newsweeklies, face special challenges. Why do they often get into trouble and face possible doom? Simple. They can’t compete with online news, information which could be breaking on the same day as a weekly news magazine hits the stand. Magazines can’t cover breaking events as quickly as online publishers. However, they can be purchased for recipes, holiday crafts, biographies of celebrities and more.

In order to lure readers, magazines must have a special hook or angle. Mary Englbreit’s Home Companion magazine featured paper dolls in the back of the periodical as well as collector prints suitable for framing and hanging on the wall (so did the old McCalls magazine). Special sports magazines covered the Olympics and featured posters which could be put on the wall. All of these features helped entice readers into buying magazines.Maybe they still will.

There is another challenge facing the magazine industry. It takes paper to fill magazines and paper generally comes from trees. Magazines have been attacked for being wasteful and not good for the environment. When given a choice between buying a magazine or reading similar information online, environmentally conscious consumers often opt for the online experience.

Mostly, it comes down to simple economics. What role do magazines have when it comes to providing information and what will consumers pay for? In order to remain competitive, the magazine industry has to create issues which readers want to buy, collect and keep for more than a day or two. Certain special collector’s editions seem to do well and even fly off the stands. But it is becoming harder and harder for the magazine industry to carve out a unique niche when it comes to providing information.

Also, in order to stay profitable, magazines must have advertisers. Unfortunately, they are competing for advertisers who often prefer to appear online. Ad revenues have been shrinking at many magazines as their usual advertisers decide to cut back on expenses or move to online ads. Advertisers have to stretch the budget as far as possible and that often means cutting particular magazines out of the mix.

Business Intelligence in the Music Industry

The use of social networking and digital music technologies generate a large amount of data exploitable by machine learning, and by looking at possible patterns and developments in this information, tools can help music industry experts to gain insight into the performance of the industry. Information on listening figures, global sales, popularity levels and audience responses to advertising campaigns, can all enable the industry to make informed decisions about the impact of the digitization on the music business. This can be achieved through the use of Business Intelligence assisted with machine learning.

Machine Learning is a branch of artificial intelligence, which gives computers the ability to implement learning behaviour and change their behavioural pattern, when exposed to varying situations, without the use of explicit instructions. Machine learning applications recognise patterns as they emerge, and adjust themselves in response, to improve their functionality.

The use of real-time data plays an important role in effective Business Intelligence, which can be derived from all aspects of business activities, such as production levels, sales and customer feedback. The data can be presented to business analysts via a dashboard, a visual interface which draws data from different information-gathering applications, in real time. Having access to this information almost immediately after events have occurred, means that businesses can react immediately to changing situations, by identifying potential problems before they have a chance to develop. By being able to regularly access this information, organisations are able to monitor activities closely, providing immediate input on changes such as stock levels, sales figures and promotional activities, allowing them to make informed decisions and respond promptly.

Using Business Intelligence to monitor P2P file sharing can provide a detailed insight into both the volume and geographical distribution of illegal downloading, as well as giving the music industry with some vital insight into the actual listening habits of the music audience. By analysing patterns in data on downloads, music professionals can identify recurring trends and respond to them accordingly, for example, by providing competitive services – streaming services like Spotify are now driving traffic away from P2P filesharing, towards more monetizable routes.

Social networks can provide invaluable insight to the music industry, by giving direct input on fans’ feedback and opinions. Automated sentiment analysis is a useful method of gaining insight into these unofficial opinions, as well as gauging which blogs and networks exert the most influence over readers. Data mined from social networks is analysed using a machine learning based application, which is trained to detect keywords, labelled as positive or negative. It is necessary to ensure that the technology can adapt and evolve to changing patterns in language usage, while requiring the least amount of supervision and human intervention. The volume of data would make manual monitoring an impossible task, so machine learning is therefore ideally suited. The use of transfer learning, for example, can enable a system trained in one domain to be used in another untrained domain, allowing it to keep up when there is an overlap or change in the expression of positive and negative emotion.

After the available data is narrowed using machine learning based applications, music industry professionals can be provided with information regarding artist popularity, consumer behaviour, fan interactions and opinions. This information can then be used to make their marketing campaigns more targeted and efficient, helping in the discovery of emerging artists and trends, minimise damage from piracy and help to identify the influential “superfans” in various online communities.

Information Technology and Textile Industry

Today, Information technology (IT) plays a vital role in the field of textile industry. Any manufacturing unit employs four Ms that is, Men, Material, Machine and of course Money. To get organizational success, managers need to focus on synchronizing all these factors and developing synergies with in and outside organizational operations. With the increased competition, companies are taking support of IT to enhance its Supply Chain Management (SCM) and using it as a competitive edge. In short, many textile companies are leveraging the technological power to adding value to their business.

Supply Chain Management includes: sourcing, procuring, converting, and all the logistic activities. It seeks to increase the transaction speed by exchanging data in real-time, reduce inventory, and increased sales volume by fulfilling customer requirements more efficiently and effectively.

Why Textile Industries Need IT Support?

Lack of information on demand and supply aspects

Most of the decisions a manager takes are related to demand and supply issues. But unfortunately very few are able to get it, as a result decisions taken carries risk and uncertainty. Excess inventory is one of the most common problems faced by managers which further results in long cycle-time, outdated stock, poor sale, low rates, and reduction in order visibility and finally leads to customer dissatisfaction.

Long procurement time

In a traditional textile industry, procurement process takes a much longer time. So, the retailers need to forecast demand and identify consumption trends at a much earlier stage. Lack of clarity about future can either result in early stock out, delay or overstock.

Supply chain in-competency

With the urge for getting global, apparel and textiles are facing hurdles of inefficiency in carrying out various processes involved right from designing, developing samples, getting approval, manufacturing, dispatching to payment procedures. The total time taken can get extended to one year or even longer. If we calculate, production actually accounts for just ten to twenty percent of the total time. Rest of the time is taken for the information processing from one end to the other.

The trajectory of development of Information Technology has intersected every application in textile industry. From enhancing performance of textile manufacturing and tighter process control, IT has inserted intelligence at every node of textile supply chain.

Step into the global trade

It is a fact that a company going global is opened with lot of opportunities as well as threats in terms of competition, changing trends, and other environmental changes. It necessitates managing every kind of information efficiently and at much faster speed.

Interaction of Information Technology with Textile Supply Chain

Sharing of Information

Proper flow of information among supply chain member is very crucial. Such flow of information can influence the performance of overall supply chain operations. It includes data about customers and their demand, inventory status, production and promotion plan, shipment schedules, payment details, etc. Bar coding and Electronic data interchange are the two information technology tools which can facilitate information integration.

Bar coding facilitates recording of detailed data by converting it to electronic form and can be easily shared among members through EDI system. EDI with its high efficiency is able to replace the traditional ways of transmission like telephone, mail and even fax. EDI enables managers to analyze and apply it in their business decisions. It also helps in expediting order cycle that reduces investment in inventory. EDI based network enables Company to maintain quick response and closure relations with suppliers and customers, who are geographically dispersed. Manufacturers and retailers can share even new designs developed through CAD/CAM.

Supports planning and execution operations

Planning and coordination are very important issues in supply chain management. The next step after sharing information is planning which includes joint design and implementation for product introduction, demand forecasting and replenishment. Supply chain members decide their roles and responsibility which is coordinated through the IT system.

Various software tools like MRP, MRP-II, APSS facilitates planning and coordination between different functional areas within the organization.

Material Requirements Planning (MRP): It helps in managing manufacturing processes based on production planning and inventory control system. Proper implementation of MRP ensures availability of material for production and product for consumption at right time optimizes the level of inventory and helps in scheduling various activities. MRP system uses computer databases to store lead times and order quantity. MRP includes mainly three steps: first assessing the requirement of how many units of components is required to produce a final product; here it applies logic to implement Bill of Material (BOM) explosions. Second step includes deducting the stock in hand from gross to find out net requirement. Finally, scheduling manufacturing activities such that finished goods are available when required, assuming the lead time.

Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRPII) system is a logical extension of MRP system which covers the entire manufacturing function. This typically includes machine loading, scheduling, feedback and Software extension programmes in addition to material requirement planning. It provides the mechanism to evaluate the feasibility of a production schedule under a given set of constraints.

A textile company which has multipoint manufacturing and engaged in global business necessitates something more than MRP and MRP-II like Distribution Requirement Planning (DRP), it has ability to solve both capacity and material constraints and quickly propagates the effects of problems in both backward and forward direction throughout the supply chain.

The Advance Planning and Scheduling (APSS) system includes both material focus of MRP and rapid response scheduling power of MRP-II.

Coordination of logistics flows

Workflow coordination can include activities such as procurement, order execution, implementing changes, design optimization, and financial exchanges which results in cost and time efficiency. The results are cost-effective, speedy and reliable supply chain operations.

IT contributes towards the maximizing the value of textile supply chain through integrating supply chain operations within and outside the organization and collaborating the acts of vendors and customers based on shared forecasts. Internet adds to IT contribution towards supply chain management through coordination, integration and even automation of critical business processes. New system of the supply chain game emerges as a result of business innovation fuelled by the Internet.

Many supplying companies maintain demand data by style, size, fabric and color to replenish inventory at retail outlet. Level of replenishing is predetermined by both parties after reviewing history of sales by product and buying behavior of the community.

New Business Models:

Data mining and data warehousing

Data mining is the process of analyzing data from different viewpoints and summarizing it into useful information that can be used as a basis of monitoring and control, enabling companies to focus on the most important aspects of their business. It allows users to analyze data from many different dimensions, categorize it, and summarize the relationships identified. In short it is the process of finding correlations or relationship among dozens of fields in large relational databases.

Data warehousing is the repository of data and can be defined as a process of centralized data management and retrieval. Centralization of data maximizes user access and analysis.

E-commerce

E-commerce can be B2B (Business To Business) and B2C (Business To Customer). B2C commerce is the direct selling to consumers through Internet. While B2B marketplace can be defined as neutral Internet-based intermediaries that focus on specific business processes, host electronic marketplaces, and use various market-making mechanisms to mediate transactions among businesses. B2B appears to be more prospective than B2C.

E-retailing

The textile-retail giants are adding an Internet shopping-component to their offering. It has affected their distribution and warehousing infrastructure. As a result of going online, retailers have changed their supply chain strategy. High volume products with stable demand are stocked in local stores, while low-volume products are stocked centrally for online purchasing.

Companies prefer a direct route to consumers by closely scrutinizing individual customer’s tastes, preferences, habits, and buying patterns. Instead of waiting for consumers to visit their stores, retailers simply send them e-mails with offers. Internet has facilitated quick response system. With the use of web-enabled technology it is possible to have automatic customer replenishment system.

Industry Information

The significant role information plays in the success of industry and its participants continues to dominate academic debate, with the growing volume of multidisciplinary literature demonstrating the complexity of not only defining but accessing relevant information. No one clear interpretation of the term industry information exists with the variables of country, language, sector, purpose, etc., determining the context of what is looked for and where and how it can be located. What is clear, however, is that information has and will continue to be a vital asset among a manager’s skills. For the purpose of this entry, industry information will reflect, as E. Ozgen and R. A. Baron write, “the idea that information plays a crucial role in opportunity recognition… to identify opportunities for viable new ventures, entrepreneurs must somehow perceive, gather, interpret, and apply information about specific industries, technologies, markets, government policies, and other factors.”

Traditional sources of industry information represented by company reports, market research, country, and sector analysis have now been usurped by the digital era, with estimates that by 2011 the digital universe will be 10 times the size it was in 2006. For examples from the digital era, a look at United Kingdom-based industry/business information in the form of information products may be useful. A wide range of industry information sources can be accessed through national, regional, academic, and private library holdings. The sources covered are primarily electronic sources and identify a cross-section of industry information sources from the innovation/ ideas phase through to development and marketing:

COBRA (Complete Business Reference Advisor) database: An encyclopedia covering information relating to start-up, running, and management of a small business, together with examples.

Business-in-a-box Web site: A free start-up business guide covering such areas as staffing, finance, protecting your ideas, etc.

Business Link Web site: Sponsored by the DTI

Small Business Service: supported through local agencies, providing information, advice, guides, and networking.

National Federation of Enterprise Agencies: Independent, nonprofit service to advise prestart and small businesses.

Startups.co.uk: Contains business planning, finance, etc., together with newsletter and networking facilities for start-ups.

The following sample, using the advertising industry as an example, demonstrates only a small cross section of the range and content of sources available relating to competitors, suppliers, market evaluation, etc. Within each respective industry sector (pharmaceuticals, retailing, etc.) a similar range of targeted resources can be identified.

Advertisers Annual (Hollis Publishing): Listing of United Kingdom agencies ordered by location, sector, associations, and sources.

BRAD Monthly Guide to Advertising Media (EMAP Group): Monthly listing of advertising media in the United Kingdom, new and existing media sources, arranged by sector.

Advertising Statistics Yearbook (World Advertising Research Center): Covers sales and marketing data for print, radio, and television media in the United Kingdom.

Business Ratio Report: Advertising Agencies (Key Note Publications): United Kingdom industry overview, profiling over 120 companies relating to finance, league tables, employee growth, etc.

The European Marketing Pocket Book (World Advertising Research Center): Covers 33 countries including demographics, economic indicators, advertising expenditure.

Ad Forum Web site: Resources relating to worldwide advertising.

Advertising Association: Federation of trade bodies covering advertising and promotion activities in the United Kingdom.

Another useful category of industry information sources are market research databases such as the following:

AMADEUS: Approximately 1.5 million company profiles covering 32 European countries. The searches can be made across countries to include key financial and contact information and lists can be created.

Business Insights: Provides market research and analysis of several key sectors including healthcare, financial services, energy, telecommunications, high technology as well as consumer markets such as food and drink.

FAME: Detailed financial data for 2.5 million companies in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Expert searching allows for the creation of company lists that can be sorted by turnover, postal code, and other search variables.

Key Note: Provides full text access to over a 1,000 reports covering 30 industry sectors such as information technology and food and drink.

Kompass Worldwide: Covers detailed product and service descriptions of over 1.9 million companies in 70 countries. This represents a key source for manufacturers and suppliers.

Mintel: Coverage relates to a wide range of consumer and lifestyle markets in the United Kingdom.

What is becoming obvious is that today’s contemporary manager still needs additional resources to complement such electronic sources as those identified above. E. Ozgen and R. A. Baron discuss the need to recognize peer support and social networking and suggest that three further sources of key industry information can be found in the nonstandard social sources of mentors, information industry networks, and participation in profession forums. Understanding and using industry information is essential for survival in today’s information economy, yet to attempt to be aware of and be able to use all formal and informal, internal and external information sources is unrealistic.

L. Orna argues that to understand what you need, you have to establish a “meeting place for minds,” in the form of an electronic information product shaped by its users, and arrived at through a co-operative investigation of what’s really going on. Sources of industry information are available, dependent on locality and time spent to identify where and how to access them, but to use them effectively, the key is knowing what the individual and their organization want and why.