Archive for: October, 2010

Innovation posts of the week: 5 types of people that kill innovation

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How to change people’s behavior by tweaking the environment

The interesting discussion we had about innovation being a matter of age brought up a lot of insights. One in particular, was that to breed innovation, an environment is more important than the age of the innovator. How this works is a little complicated to understand, but let me explain how a cognitive bias impedes us from seeing change coming from our environment, and then use some examples of how tweaking the environment makes change simple.

Useful and valuable

An innovation happens when an idea is both useful and valuable to the customer.

One of the things that stuck with me from reading Braden Kelley’s book Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire is something that is rarely mentioned when deciding on an idea to execute: the distinction between useful and valuable.

Usually we have products and services that are useful but not valuable. But then again what’s useful and valuable to you is not the same for me. For example, Evernote is both useful and valuable to me because I can write, save, edit, clip notes and access them from wherever I am. Evernote is a tool for the information obsessed like me. I’m on the fanatic end of their users where I can’t imagine going back to not using Evernote.

On the other hand, an opposite example is Facebook,while useful is not really valuable to me. I could care less if Facebook disappears tomorrow. But if Twitter disappeared tomorrow I would feel empty. Twitter is both useful and valuable to me for many reasons.

Like I said, this might not be the same for you.

An undeniable truth is an opportunity for innovation

rather get punched in the testicles than call customer service

punched in the testicles than call customer service

Undeniable truth: a statement that almost everyone could agree with that has natural effect of causing people to nod their heads in agreement.

With that out of the way it’s hard not to agree with the statement on the picture above. I think most of us dread calling customer service, we find it annoying and a waste of our time. But I’m not going to bore you with my ongoing assault on customer service, instead I’m going to remind you that a way to spot opportunities for innovation is to recognize when the system is stuck.

Customer service is clearly stuck, it hasn’t changed one bit and just the fact that somebody took the time to draw a cartoon about how badly it sucks makes it an undeniable truth.

And boy is it a worthy challenge!

Creative stretching

Search engine optimization becomes more and more exciting because the years pass. Some would rather use the word “frustrating” rather than exciting, except for SEO professionals who live by these things , it’s nothing in need of exciting. It’s sort of a puzzle that never completely closes as new pieces continually resurface over time. Once you think that you’ve it near perfect another piece flies out and you’ve got to work out where it fits.

As things change and it becomes more and harder to urge the eye of the search engines and appear on the coveted first page of results, SEO experts like SponsoredLinX become more creative. This word “creative” is getting tons of buzzes immediately and if you read blogs and websites dedicated to SEO you’ll hear it tons within the coming months. this is often because creativity is required to form it with the strict rules being pushed by Google and therefore the other top search engines lately . For Search Engine Optimisation information you can visit to seonexus.com webpage and see different blog related to SEO.

So, what are we talking about once we say Los Angeles SEO experts are becoming creative with the SEO? this is often a touch confusing once you first encounter the concept, especially if you recognize that the foremost important a part of program optimization is putting out valuable, entertaining content with well placed, well-chosen keywords.

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Content remains vital in SEO, as are your chosen keywords. Yet, you’ll need to get very creative together with your use of keywords and therefore the way you’re employed them round the content to win at the program optimization game within the future.

For instance, one very fashionable news site has been getting tons of buzz for his or her creative use of slideshows containing keywords. This site takes keywords that appear because the most ordinarily searched words on the highest search engines for a given day and incorporates those words into an enquiry engine. you will not find any real content on these slideshows, but there are pictures that coordinate with the keywords.

The slideshow might not necessarily correspond to any real content on the location associated with those keywords, but it gets the location to the highest of the search engines for those chosen keywords which results in greater traffic and recognition for his or her site.

Is this cheating? Some would argue that it’s , but it’s what’s being mentioned as “creative’ by many of us today. Strategies like these pays off success , but as long as you recognize where the lines are don’t cross over them enough to be nailed by Google.

If you employ these creative strategies on a site that gives absolutely no value to visitors, it is not getting to really work for you and therefore the lines are getting to be crossed before later. If on the opposite hand, you incorporate a number of these creative strategies on a site full of great content that’s entertaining and rewarding, you’ll quickly rise to the highest of the search engines and obtain the traffic you deserve.

Today, program optimization requires you to use keywords in very creative ways without crossing lines and being considered worthless or a scammer to the search engines. it is a delicate dance that a lot of will fail at while the simplest experts rise to the highest .

Is Innovation a Matter of Age?

Beneteau has modernized and streamlined the boatbuilding process to provide maximum quality, performance, comfort, and value. Follow us on a tour inside the company’s operation, and learn about its unique corporate philosophy and processes.

Assembly line at Beneteau factoryThe assembly line at Beneteau’s factory is a high tech operation which owes more to modern mass production techniques than traditional boatbuilding.

It’s not your father’s motoryacht — anymore. Modern boat building is highly standardized, computerized, and constantly evolving. And none more so than at Beneteau, the world’s largest production builder. Once little known outside of its native France, the company now has manufacturing facilities around the globe. Its boat-building operation, like other high-volume boat builders, owes more than a passing reference to automobile production than you might imagine. Henry Ford would be impressed.

Groupe Beneteau builds nearly 8,500 boats annually among more than seven brands in 16 production and assembly facilities in four countries, including the United States. Approximately 4,000 are Beneteau-branded vessels: 45 percent sailboats and 55 percent powerboats. About 30 percent of these are sold into the U.S. market where, in sailboats alone, Beneteau commands nearly 65 percent market share. With numbers like these, industrialization is key.

Three elements summarize how boatbuilding has changed at this builder.

Process

Beneteau divides its facilities into three areas: molding, cutting/trimming, and assembly. “Not only does this keep the facilities cleaner, it moves the boat through its various production stages at an optimal rate,” says Laurent Fabre, President of Beneteau Americas. “We’ve studied best practices in other industries like automotive, and we focus on elements of Lean manufacturing, just-in-time supply-chain management, and process improvement.”

Beneteau has eight building facilities in France alone. Boats are grouped and assigned to a plant according to size — not type, power, or sail. Because larger boats take more time to build due to increased attention to detail, similarly sized boats move along the line at the same rate. In each plant tooling is mobile so work stations can be disassembled, moved, or changed up on the fly. Boats move down an assembly line every one to three days. Standard workflow, like plumbing, electrical, and furniture installation, is a highly repeated process that minimizes errors. Boats are built from the hull up so everything, including the engines, systems, bulkheads, and furniture, is installed before the deck goes on like a lid.

Components are binned per vessel, so a specific model receives crates of all wood parts, fixtures, hose, wire, and so on, delivered directly to the workstation. Work times are closely monitored and documented for continual improvement. Quality control is at every step including testing thru-hulls and engines in a pool before the boat is prepared for shipment.

Technology

Beneteau, like many other builders of fiberglass boats, uses three types of building processes including traditional hand layup, resin infusion (a dry layup that is vacuum bagged and infused with resin), and injection molding (two molds are sandwiched around materials like gelcoat, fiber, and coring, to create a perfect finish on both sides). The optimal process depends on the boat part being manufactured as the builder seeks to optimize the relationship between strength, weight, sound and thermal insulation, as well as providing a process that reduces labor and parts variability. Speaking of technology, speaking of technology, hamptons boat rental have the best modern yacht deals.

CNC machine cuts out hatch openingRobots replace humans for some operations. Here a five-axis CNC machine cuts out a hatch opening on a sailboat deck, that would be a dusty and hazardous for a worker.

Beneteau’s advanced technology includes a prototyping facility where robots carve life-sized models of new designs out of foam. Before any vendors are approved, a dedicated laboratory thoroughly tests every piece of equipment and material (e.g., resin, glass, metals). In addition, the company is experimenting with different bagging technologies, focusing on reusable silicone rather than plastic to save money and lessen the environmental impact. Beneteau is even testing a wing sail that may save weight, reduce complexity, and possibly redefine cruising under sail.

Numerous computerized deck-cutting robots are used to carve holes for hatches, fixtures, and attachments. A specific model deck is cut in a sealed room, and the process is cleaner, faster, more precise, and cost-effective.

Another computerized cutter is used for the various kinds of fiberglass cloth that is laid into the hulls, decks, liners, and component structures. The strips of cloth are cut with precision, numbered, labeled, and packed into a kit for a specific vessel. It reduces labor and enhances consistency. The pieces even have an arrow to show the orientation of the cloth to the bow.

Unfinished interior of boatWoodwork, engines, plumbing, and electrics go in; the interior of the boat is almost complete before the hull and deck join together. Leaving the deck off until late in the manufacturing process speeds up production and gives workers much needed light and “elbow room.”

Beneteau’s crown jewel is its woodworking facility that supplies the interiors (the most expensive part of the build) for all its vessels worldwide. The centralized, highly skilled labor force works with both traditional wood and engineered wood laminates that won’t warp, create lighter cabinetry and bulkheads, and is made from wood harvested from sustainable sources. Some wooden parts are hand-milled while others are built with computer-assisted cutting machines. Complex curved trim pieces are often made of pressed layers of wood that are cured in 20 minutes using molds with high-frequency sound waves.

“Weight-savings is key for both better sailing performance and improved fuel economy,” adds Fabre. “We build lighter boats that require smaller engines and have better fuel economy. We like to say we carry people, while they (the competitors) carry fuel.”

People

Beneteau is a family-owned company that truly values its human component and strives to keep its workforce of more than 6,000 people happy.

For example, workers who build smaller models (typically 40 feet or less) are cross-trained so that on one day they do electrical work while on another they’ll focus on plumbing. This keeps the workforce engaged with a variety of work, more motivated because they add to their skillset, and flexible so the assembly line doesn’t stop if someone calls in sick.

Additionally, each plant is limited to between 200 and 250 employees. “We like to keep things ‘human sized’ with flat layers and good communication,” adds Fabre. “We’ve found that’s the magic number so that people don’t lose sight of what they’re trying to achieve and what the customer really wants.”

Job security and longevity at the 130-year-old builder make happy people, and happy people build better boats.

Innovation posts of the week: Game Changers

 

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