Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Choosing a Career: Is it a Hard Decision to Make?

Choosing a career effectively is very crucial to obtaining success in the future. If you want to enjoy a more fulfilling life, then you have to decide on the career path that you intend to track in the future as early as possible. You have to start creating a very concrete and solid plan so your chances of attaining your dream profession will be increased. Through this, you will be enjoying your chosen profession in the future and the amount of money that you earn from it.
When it comes to deciding on the most suitable profession for you, you have to be aware that there are essential steps that you need to undertake. One of them is to think and determine the things that you enjoy doing. You have to assess your personal interests. Say for example, if you love figures, then the best professions for you would be those that are related to accounting and finance. You really have to find a career that greatly connects with your passion. This will increase your chances of succeeding while ensuring that your productivity, knowledge and income will also achieve proper growth.
Once you have become aware of your interests and you have already created a list of the possible professions for you, then the next step towards choosing a career is determining which among the possible professions is the most realistic. This means that you have to evaluate the available opportunities in a specific profession. You have to find out if you have a great chance of becoming successful in a career that you desire to track. If after making a careful scrutiny you realized that your chances of success is minimal, then you are better off choosing another of the career options in your list.
After selecting the most feasible career path for you, then you have to bear in mind that you will be required to complete specific levels of education in order for you to reach for it. You have to know that you will need to finish a degree so you will be qualified to work in the kind of profession that you have been dreaming of. Keep in mind that the level of your education will greatly matter when you start to seek for jobs. It will open a lot of career opportunities for you. Because of this, you have to be very determined to complete your college degree as this will definitely help you reach for your dreams.
In choosing a career, it is also advisable for you to think of your long-term goals. You need to make a list of the things that you desire to achieve in the future. Your goals should be in line with the career path that you intend to take or else you will have a hard time dealing with confusions. Once you have set your goals, then you have to keep them all in mind. Never ever forget your long-term goals as this will serve as your inspiration in undertaking the steps that will bring you towards success. You will then feel a strong sense of motivation to complete your education which is a huge help in reaching for your goals in life.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How To Spot The Best Disney Cruise Price

If you are planning to go a cruising vacation, Disney Cruise's offerings, as well as the Disney cruise price choices, certainly are something to consider. Disney Cruise Line caters to families by providing an array of entertainment activities aimed at cruisers of all ages. From wonderful shore excursions to excellent dining opportunities and on-board family cruise activities, the Disney Cruise Line never fails to bring families together during their cruise. With several special packages available for families, travelers can cut a good deal on their Disney cruise price.

The Disney cruise price encompasses almost all things available on board your ship. Starting with breakfast, lunch and dinner during the trip, it also includes soft drinks served during meals as well as between meals at the beverage station. The Disney cruise price also includes snacks and ice-cream served throughout the ship. Further, all the onboard activities fall under the Disney cruise price package. There are some elements of any cruise that invite extra costs. Typically, these will include shore excursions, phone calls, a visit to the salon or spa, video games and alcoholic beverages.

If you are shopping for a cruising stint with Disney Cruise Line, there are strategies you should consider in order to find a bargain on your Disney cruise price. Specifically, it pays to shop around for special offers, such as those including stateroom credit for incidental on-board expenses like those mentioned above. There are also many travel forums where fellow Disney enthusiasts exchange their best tips for getting the most bang for your buck when it comes to cruising. To find these forums, simply search the internet for the topic of your choice along with the word forum or message board. For example, search for Disney Cruise Price Forum or Disney Cruise Price message board (leave off the quotes during your search).

Another important point to consider is that the best discounts on Disney Cruises are often found through off-season discounts. This might make a family Disney cruise even more economical than you might have imagined.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Things To Look Out For When Deciding To Invest In Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate is any property that has to do with any aspect of business. Whether it involves selling, buying, renting or leasing properties, it is all part of business. Nearly every business in existence is housed in either a residential or non-residential area. Churches, shopping malls, hotels, hospitals, restaurants, and other places of business are all located on commercial real estate property. One example of this is commercial real estate in Chesapeake, Virginia.

To determine whether or not a property is located in the right area for a particular business, many prospective business owners may go to the local business zoning office, and search out this pertinent information. Another way to find out is to consult with a licensed real estate agent .

Commercial properties deal with properties for business in Chesapeake. Whether it is selling a house or leasing an office space. Many people will consult a Realtor during this time, especially if they're not sure about a transaction. This is not uncommon. Even when selling or buying a house that is in question, it is always wise to consult a professional in that area of expertise.

There are huge differences between commercial real estate and residential commercial estate. There are many issues that can arise out of the buying or selling of any property. Some properties may have liens or other issues such as ownership problems, or title verification. There may be unforeseen liabilities or risks that could be buried underneath the surface. These hidden surprises could result in the purchaser or renter spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars in legal fees. There are some properties that are located in residential zones, but a trained real estate agent will be able to decipher the law as to whether or not a certain type of business can be opened, and operated, in that particular zone.

It is important for anyone who is looking to invest in commercial property in Chesapeake to seek out the services of a qualified real estate agent or agency. There are occasionally illegal and fraudulent business ventures that prey on unsuspected and less than knowledgeable entrepreneurs. Many first-time investors make the mistake of thinking they have everything under control, only to run into problems later. A qualified agent can help someone in their purchase or rental and ensure that they receive the best price in today's market. They will go over contracts, check ownership status, and title or deed verification. Seeking the advice and service of a licensed Realtor makes good practical sense.

Friday, November 2, 2012

How Lean Can Benefit A Woodworking Shop

Everyone has felt the effects from the economic downturn over the past several months. Sales are down, income has been lost, profits have been reduced, and efficiency has been negatively impacted; resulting in increased operating costs. So the question becomes, what can be done to at least partially offset these economic issues? More importantly, what can be done to make my business even stronger once the economy improves? Well, most people understand that the key to survival and to building a stronger business is to develop and strengthen a loyal customer base. However, in order to do this, we must first understand exactly what our customers want, and additionally, we must understand what motivates them to want to do business with us. Think about it for a minute. When a customer buys a product, what do they want? They want the same thing we want when we buy something: quality (no errors), speed (on-time delivery), and reasonable prices (lowest possible cost). To be successful, it is important that businesses recognize that low quality (items with defects which need to be repaired, or reworks) and slow speed (product throughput or exit rate) are elements that make products more expensive. Note that these problems are contrary to customer expectations, and affect our ability to attract and retain long-term customers and to make a profit. So how do you achieve high quality, on-time delivery and low cost?

The answer can be found within the concept called Lean. Much has been written about this subject over the past few years, and many companies have embraced this concept and implemented lean within their organizations. Some have been successful; others have achieved moderate success. A few have failed along the way. So, what exactly is Lean and how can it benefit the small to medium size woodworking shop?

First, let's briefly take a look at the background of Lean. Lean has appeared under many different names such as Lean, Lean Manufacturing, and Just-In-Time. However, probably the best know name is The Toyota Production System, named after the company who successfully developed and implemented lean for many years to the point that it propelled that company last year to the number one position in automotive manufacturing. So can the system that made Toyota number one be applied successfully to a woodworking shop? The answer is a resounding Yes! The next question, then, is How? Lean eliminates the causes of waste, allowing processes to speed up product flow, improve customer responsiveness, and reduce cost; all of which are very important aspects to any successful business.
Although there are many, many aspects to lean, one aspect that can be addressed relatively easily in your shop is waste reduction. Waste is any activity that consumes resources (people, energy, machine capacity, etc.) but creates no value for the customer. Therefore, any element in the production of a product that adds cost and time that the customer is not willing to pay for is considered waste. In order to eliminate the causes of waste, we must first work towards developing what Toyota calls Eyes for Waste. Take a look around your shop by taking a Waste Walk. How many types of waste can you identify? Often we become so used to seeing something that we think that is just the way things are. However, that approach will not make you lean or help to reduce your operating costs. Simply stated, wastes (plural) drain operating cash out of your business. Therefore, the elimination/reduction of wastes is critical to the success of any business, no matter how large or small. Toyota's approach over the years has been to identify all the types of waste that drain cash out of a company and to attack those sources of waste. They have identified eight types of waste as follows:

1) Correction of product defects. This is the first type that readily comes to mind when we think about waste. It is making something with a defect, or something that is not acceptable in meeting customer needs. Look around your shop. Can you identify products that have a high defect rate? If so, ask your employees to document reasons for the defect (or defects) over a reasonable period of time. Look at the data that has been collected and separate it by cause. Do you see a pattern developing? Then investigate the most frequent cause(s) for the defect(s) and develop a corrective action plan to prevent the defect from occurring. The solution might be as simple as developing a jig or guide, making a machine adjustment or repair, cleaning, or developing a new procedure. It could be that all that is needed is a chart of machine settings or conversions by product.

2) Overproduction. This is the number one cause of waste. Since typical accounting systems treat inventory as an asset, why then would overproduction be considered waste? Overproduction is waste because something was made that is not currently needed. Cost was incurred to produce the product for labor, energy, material, etc., and to store the product. Storage space requires expenditures for buildings, lighting, taxes, insurance, racking, material movement equipment, maintenance, etc. Additionally, stored product runs the risk of becoming damaged, obsolete or lost. Get the picture? Money is tied up in something that has not been sold yet. This money could be better used by investing it for a return, using it in lieu of a securing a loan and paying interest, or using it to produce products that have a current demand. Look at your sales history and finished product inventory levels by item. Associate a cost with these inventory levels to see where the majority of cash is invested. Look for opportunities to reduce or eliminate tying up excess cash in slow-moving inventory.

3) Motion. Excessive or unnecessary motion is waste. Examples include multiple handling of product, movement of product from one area to another, and walking to get things such as tools, templates, setups, wood, glue, and components. Since the people using excessive motions are most likely being paid by the hour, guess what? You are actually paying those individuals to generate waste! However, it is usually not their fault. After all, they did not create the floor layout. In this case, a technique called a Spaghetti Diagram is useful in identifying motion/movement waste. Observe the person as they work and sketch a rough diagram of their work area. Draw a line with an arrow each time they go from one area to the next to perform an element of their job. Number each stop point in which work is performed. Then write a brief description of the work performed at each numbered stop point. When you are finished, chances are the diagram will look like a plate full of spaghetti! Work at eliminating or reducing wasted motions and walking (reduce the spaghetti) by locating needed items as close as possible to their point-of-use.

4) Material Movement. A Spaghetti Diagram can also be useful for moving materials. When the diagram is completed, examine it to determine how far and where materials are being moved. Are materials located near point-of-use (POU)? Can they be located in a better place?

5) Waiting. Idle time is waste. Do employees have everything they need such as materials, setups, components, tools, etc. available when they start a job? What about work instructions? Are work instructions, drawings, customer orders, etc. available when and where they are needed? Are they readable, understandable, concise, and accurate? Does the employee have enough information, too much information, and the right information provided?

6) Inventory. Excess inventory is waste. As stated above, it ties up operating cash that could be better used somewhere else; whether for earning returns, or used instead of borrowing money and paying interest. This does not mean that you can operate with zero inventory, however, it does mean that you should only have enough inventory on hand to service your customers until you can produce more of what they are buying. This will require you to work with your suppliers also to insure quick delivery on materials on an as-needed basis. As your business gets leaner (reduces wastes and develops faster throughput), strive to service your customer on a make-to-order basis, rather than relying on stockpiles of inventory.

7) Processing Waste. This type of waste falls under the category of over-engineering. Every processing step that a product goes through adds cost. Is the extra processing step something the customer really needs or wants? You may think that they want it, but have you really asked them? More importantly, is this additional cost for the extra processing something the customer is willing to pay for?

8) Underutilized People. Are you taking advantage of the knowledge, ideas, experience, and suggestions that your employees have to make improvements? If not, you may be missing out on one of the most important assets you have at your disposal to implement continuous improvement ideas and reduce operating costs.

There are many different aspects of lean, and instilling a lean culture within your shop is not something that just happens overnight. However, by applying the lean principle of waste reduction, improvements can be realized in your operation and a competitive edge developed; all through the benefits of shorter lead times, less material handling, lower cost for storage and floor space, and fewer customer service activities.