Thursday, 27 August 2009

Stand down ... don't standby

About 2% of the world's electricity is consumed by devices on standby.

So, if we all turned those machines off (completely) and we then had to wait for them to reach full power ... how much productivity would we lose.

I don't know ... but I suspect we would save more than we would lose.

Can anybody suggest how or where we might get an answer that might convince people to change their behaviour?

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Never Too old

You are never too old to learn .. but perhaps I might be. I am currently on a course developing my Lean Six Sigma knowledge and skills. At the end of each day my brain hurts. This is either because I am working hard … or perhaps because my brain is getting less able to absorb lots of new stuff.

Still it is useful to go through the experience that I often make students go through. Perhaps more importantly, the actual concepts, methodologies and techniques of Lean Six Sigma chime with existing knowledge … so I am both better-educated and re-assured.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Singapore - should it reduce foreign workers?

2 Singaporean ministers have cautioned against calls to reduce foreign workers as a way to improve the productivity of Singaporean workers. Manpower Minister Gan Kim Yong suggested it is too simplistic to assume that such a move will automatically lead to higher worker output.

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan at a different event said that 'Just zeroing in on foreign workers alone is not the total solution.' But he did concede that 'it is something that needs to be looked at'.

Their comments come a day after labour MP Josephine Teo called on the Government to re-tune foreign worker policies, saying that easy access to foreigners could be one reason productivity is sliding.

In the first quarter of 2009, productivity slipped by 15.4 per cent, compared with the same period last year, continuing a steady decline since the last quarter of 2007.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Canada vs USA - the reasons?

According to recent information, Canada’s lower productivity accounts for the largest component of the income gap between the United States and Canada.

Canada has invested less in machinery and equipment per worker since the 1980s, resulting in less capital intensity (less capital per worker). Canada’s research and development (R&D) as a proportion of GDP is lower than that of the United States and other OECD countries. Usage of information and communications technology (ICT) is also less extensive than the United States.

While Canada ranks favourably against the United States in primary and secondary educational attainment, Canadians fall behind their American counterparts in the attainment of university or advanced degrees and in opportunities for on-the-job training or continuous education.

Finally, industrial organization also plays a part. According to the Conference Board of Canada, Canadian manufacturers are more heavily concentrated in lower productivity growth industries. Smaller enterprises (SME) are generally less productive than larger ones, and SMEs are a greater share of Canadian manufacturing and employment.

So, when you see national productivity figures, you have to do quite a bit of 'unpicking' to understand them.