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Monday, June 25, 2012

Bullet Proof Vests Why Is Important

What is Bullet Proof :

Bullet proof vests contain layers of material that "catch" and deform a bullet, spreading out the force of the impact into a greater and greater portion of the fiber. Some of the layers may be penetrated as the bullet enters, but it is usually stopped before it enters the person wearing the vest.

Why they are important:

The importance of a vest like this is contained in the fact that they are an additional layer of defense for soldiers and bodyguards, as well as important political figures. In 1901, a bullet resistant vest saved Alfonso XIII of Spain when he was shot at by an assassin. Vests have been modified and improved over the centuries. Now they are issued out to large numbers of the United States military, and in this way help to protect those who are protecting our country.


As mentioned earlier, most vests are not actually always bullet proof, but are rather bullet resistant. Also, though the bullet is usually stopped from actually entering the subject, he still takes the brunt of the force from the bullet, though some is absorbed by the vest. Blunt force trauma is often taken under the point of impact, especially when fired at with modern pistol bullets. Vests designed to stop bullets usually carry little protection from sharp object such as knives and bullets that are reinforced by a steel core. This is because the impact force of those objects is concentrated in a very small area, and is not easily spread out.


Bullet proof vests first started being developed in the 1530's. During the English Civil War Oliver Cromwell's army wore a type of bullet proof vests. One of the first recorded incidents of soft armor being used was in Japan, where they created them from silk. Another soft ballistic vest was invented in Korea during the 1860's. Throughout the 1900's, these vests were manufactured and altered to become lighter and stronger. One of the problems of previous vests were their inflexibility and their weight, which made it hard for the person wearing them to maneuver quickly in combat.

The layers of a bullet proof vest are made to slow and spread out a bullet as it impacts with the wearer. These vests are not impenetrable, but greatly increase the protection of the person wearing them. They are important because they help protect the vital organs on a person. They are issued out to much of the U.S. military, as well as numerous police officers and security guards, coast guards.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

5 Steps And Wedding Harpist

In this article, let us discuss five steps a new harp player may use to become successful as a wedding musician.

Proper Training

In today's world, people are becoming really good with music. This means that musicians with mediocre skills and talent may find it really hard to keep up with both the expectations of their audience and the fierce competition. Just like other types of musicians, wedding harpists should possess the technical knowledge and countless hours of training to stand a chance.

There are no shortcuts for this. If you want to be among the best, train and learn from the best. Train and master your craft just like how the best musicians do it.

Invest on a Great Harp

Everyone knows that a great harp adds some form of mystical charm to its player. It is therefore very logical that a wedding harp player invest on a high quality harp. You may check my previous article that provides some helpful tips in buying a harp.

Multiple Marketing Channels

While some wedding harpists find potential clients through referrals, you cannot rely on this alone. A wedding harp player who has a network of contacts and agents certainly does have the advantage of being booked more often.

It has now very common that musicians maintain their own blogs to keep their audience updated, and most importantly, to reach out to potential clients through the Internet.

Build a Niche

It is certainly very hard to be really good with everything, but if you focus your strengths on a single niche you should have a greater chance of becoming really great at it. Choosing a niche to focus could depend on a few factors such as your faith, your instrument, your ethical background, your inclinations, etc.

Focusing on a single niche is a great way in building your own brand as well. If you think you would fare well as a Greek wedding harpist, and you focus your energy to it, people may soon start to associate you as the top choice for Greek weddings.

Expand Your Horizon

It is an age-old dogma that those who give, receives more. So instead of confining yourself practicing over and over in a secluded room, why not provide free sessions to charity events or even play for free among those who would benefit from your music? There is this harpist who plays for free to cancer patients in a local hospital with genuine selfless intention of providing some relief to the sick. One day a national television program featured her story reaching millions of viewers. You could only imagine how much the increase in her bookings.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Skilled Freelancers Projects, High worth in today's

Every employer around this world needs temporary or
ongoing job help for their projects that is quick and easy. However finding and hiring the right set of people for outsourcing projects is not easy. There can be issues with selection process, rating system, project monitoring, payment scheduling as well as dispute resolutions.

On the whole, finding a good service provider for freelance projects and then managing him or her throughout the project
tenure is an intimidating task. New employers would find it more difficult to draw the attention of right bidders and make the whole process a pleasant and rewarding experience. Project outsourcing process that is simple, flexible, trustworthy and hassle-free can make a huge profit. Else it could be a big disaster.

1. Understand project need

This is the key success factor to begin with. A good employer knows what exactly he or she is looking for out of a project and how to approach service providers to ensure the best quality bids. Available budget, project deadline, bidding time, ROI, service quality, payment terms and methods, feedback system, future relationships - there are more factors to consider. A little research on project posting basics and bidding trends would help you take better decisions.

2. Specify project name:

Project name should be descriptive so that a freelancer can easily relate it at a glance. For example, you need a good developer for building an e-commerce site. Now if a project is named "e-commerce site", it may draw attention of web designers, developers, programmers, copywriters, graphic artists, SEO and link builders. This may create confusion as freelancers from all walks of life will bid on it. However, if you specify "e-commerce site builder in PHP" in the project name you can expect bid request from developers and programmers only that you actually need.

 3. Describe project in detail:

A detailed description is necessary. Your explanation should answer almost all possible questions of freelancers. Be clear to
what you expect from a freelancer and how much you can pay for that, given other basic terms and conditions are kept intact. Here are a few details one must not miss while drafting project descriptions -

Required software skills, language efficiency, programming language, purchased copyrights, length or scope of job (word count for writing project, work hours for design jobs), payment terms and methods and most importantly job type.

 4. Select budget with due care:

Budget selection is the most crucial part in job outsourcing. A budget that is fixed too high may create some price gouging. On the other hand sticking to a low budget may eliminate better talents for your project. Set a price that you are willing to pay. Don't quote high just to attract more bidders. Experienced freelancers know the tricks well and may not waste time in price game. Bring transparency in payouts and expect the same from your service provider.

 5. Show some reference work:

If you can upload some sample work done earlier, this will be of great use to freelancers and in turn to you.

 6. Take time for bidding:

If a project is not so urgent, there is no point asking service providers to bid in rush. By choosing bidding time too short you may end up missing out top professionals for your project.

 7. Questions to ask yourself:

Filtering out the right freelancer based on a number of bidding requests is bit overwhelming. Many often employers get confused where to start with. Here are a few questions you may ask yourself to avoid risks and uncertainties. This will not narrow down your search for the ideal candidate but also get you a profitable deal.

 The questions are as follows:

Is cost the major concern for your project?

Keeping budget a bit flexible you may ensure better service. Some freelancers are worth paying more, because the output you will get may surpass your expectations.

Can you accept new service providers having no feedback?

This is again a critical decision to take. New freelancers often bid lower than the average to prove themselves in the job market. By taking a little risk of hiring them you can win good deal in the end. Moreover promising talents and new resources are always welcome for future assignments.

Is bidder's full information is available online?

By asking this one question you may get rid of a surprising number of bids. You can ask for specific information about the bidder in your project description. This sure will save your time and effort to sort out the final ones.

Is time a killing factor?

If your project is time-sensitive, state it clearly in the project description right in the beginning. Top freelancers are particular about deadlines whereas newbie are not so. Therefore, you can often expect a mismatch between the deadline given and the deadline required. Experienced freelancers may ask more time than you mentioned in the project. In that case you may need to reconsider the time frame. Setting up a realistic time-line is good for both employer and freelancer.

These are the important checklists which you can use to avoid any further confusion or financial losses. It is better to be aware of facts sooner than later.

8. Focus on feedback and rating:

This is important for both service providers as well as service buyers. Cumulative rating, comments on previous projects and feedback scoring bring fairness in the process. Since these reviews are publicly posted, each party can understand each other and avoid future issues. For service buyers, feedback on payment records could a decisive factor.

9. Engage service provider more into regular communication:

This is vital as long as the project continues. Sometimes it is required even after completion of the project. Interactions could happen through any system -private message boards, email, phone anything. There is a common say - Out of sight means out of mind. Make sure you take updates from your freelancers periodically.

10. Select payment methods:

Finalize payment procedures before posting a project. Mention if you are interested in direct transfer of funds, milestone payment or advance payment. A successful project should not end up at a bad relationship. It affects the outcome of next projects in coming days.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Level Of Inventory

All too often inventory is treated by 'rules of thumb' that do not provide sufficient justification for inventory levels, do not ensure working capital is minimized, and don't have a clear correlation between inventory level and customer service. Many businesses talk of 'days' or 'weeks' supply - but what does that really mean in a supply chain where demand quantities, supply quantities and supply lead times all vary day to day or week to week?

Do we really need inventory?

Inventory ties up working capital, costs money to store, costs money to handle, and can become damaged or obsolete. With the exception of work in progress, in an ideal world there would be no inventory in a business. Material would flow through the supply chain with no stops or bottlenecks, and the inbound supply rates would be synchronous with the outbound supply rates. A perfect world, but not the one many businesses operate within.

The reality is that for most businesses to remain in business, they need to protect their supply. If they can't supply when the customer wants, in the quantity they require, then the customer will go elsewhere. So, how do you protect your supply? You could follow the Japanese and adopt the Kaizen approach - simplifying and synchronising each step in your supply chain. That's great for an internal production process, but in a real world supply chain it is unlikely your suppliers and customers will be inclined to synchronize their processes to fit with yours. Consequently the answer is that to protect supply, you need to hold inventory.

Where should inventory be held?

Now we've established that inventory is a necessary, and indeed a critical element in many supply chains, the question becomes where should inventory be held? To determine the location of inventory in a business, you firstly need to establish the points in your supply chain where continuity of supply needs to be protected. There are various events in a supply chain that require inventory in order to protect supply - often referred to as 'decoupling points'. A decoupling point is where the inbound and outbound rates do not match. These are most likely to occur between raw material supply and manufacturing process, and between manufacturing process and finished goods supply. There are increasingly few businesses that have the luxury of customers requesting finished goods at exactly the same rate as the raw materials are supplied and processed.

How much inventory should be held?

Once you understand where inventory is required to protect supply, the next step is to understand how much inventory is required. This is where many companies fall down. Inventory levels are often driven through the sub-optimization of other processes (i.e. optimal production batch quantities) or driven by rules of thumb (i.e. '4 weeks supply'). The consequence of this is often lots of stock, but it's just the wrong type and in the wrong quantity. Consequently you continue to get customer service failures, the stock you do have doesn't get used, and can ultimately become obsolete.

There are two types of inventory that protect supply - cycle stock and safety stock. Of course, there are other types of inventory like goods in transit, work in progress, obsolete etc, but these are all a consequence of an activity and not specifically held to protect supply.

Cycle stock is the level of inventory held to ensure that the mean average customer demand can be met during the replenishment lead time. So, if it takes 5 days to receive a replenishment, then you must ensure there is sufficient inventory to cover 5 days of average customer demand. Providing a business has accurate historical or forecast data for each product, then this element of inventory is relatively easy to calculate.

Safety stock is conceptually more difficult. Safety stock is in addition to the cycle stock, but the safety stock level is designed to cover the potential for customer demand peaking above average. For example, if it took 5 days to replenish your inventory, and your expected customer demand in units over that 5 days was as follows: (Day 1) = 5, (Day 2) = 3, (Day 3) = 5, (Day 4) = 4, (Day 5) = 6. The average demand in those 5 days would be 5 items. Multiplying those 5 items by 5 days will give you a cycle stock of 25 items. However, what happens if on day 6 the customer orders 7 items? The answer is that you will incur a stock-out, and fail to supply the customer. This is what safety stock protects against.

Balancing inventory levels with customer service targets

Safety stock is based on a calculation that assesses the probability of the customer ordering more than the average. Using normal, or Gaussian distribution, the inventory manager can assess the safety stock requirement based on the service level a business wants to achieve. So, if the business wants to achieve a 99% service level, then the inventory manager builds a calculation that captures 99% of eventualities outside of the mean average demand. If the business targets a 95% service level, then the inventory manager can build 95% into the calculation and consequently the safety stock will be lower. Of course, this now provides the total inventory level (cycle stock + safety stock) that is required to meet the customer service requirements.

Balancing inventory levels with working capital targets

By making these calculations, the inventory manager will have successfully bridged the inventory level with the customer service requirements. However, it is not just the supply that has to be protected, but also the cash constraints of the business. It is of no value to calculate inventory levels that perfectly meet the demands of the customer, if the business does not have the working capital available to invest in that inventory. This is where the inventory manager needs to bridge the best possible service with the constraints of working capital availability.

To give an example of the relationship between working capital and inventory, consider a business that sells EUR 10m worth of a product (at cost) each year. The total revenue received from sales of that product is EUR 15m. If the business buys all EUR 10m worth of the product at the start of the year, by the end of the year it would have made a EUR 5m gross profit on an investment of EUR 10m. However, if the business buys 50% (EUR 5m) of the product at the start of the year, sells it and then buys the next 50% (EUR 5m) with the sales revenue, then the profit will remain the same, but only EUR 5m is required as a total investment.

This is what the inventory manager has to consider - how to meet customer requirements, but minimize the amount of investment required in inventory. This can be a difficult task which is often further complicated by standard measurements that businesses use. Accountants often dictate the maximum levels of inventory that can be held in 'stock-turns'; this is an accounting term that provides no indication to the type and location of physical inventory required. It is the task of the inventory manager to bridge the calculated inventory requirements with working capital constraints, as well as the customer service targets.

Balancing inventory levels with working capital constraints and customer service targets is a science, not an art. The inventory manager needs to deal with hard facts and hard data. There are no magic methods of protecting supply - if you have decoupling points in your supply chain, but insufficient capital to invest in inventory then you will fail to service your customer. The business needs to calculate accurately what service it can afford.

To do this the inventory manager needs to ascertain the cost of the inventory calculated. This will include the purchase price of the inventory (or manufacturing cost), plus the inventory holding costs i.e. warehousing, equipment, IT, staff, deterioration, insurance etc. With this complete, the inventory manager now has the tools to clearly present to the business the balance between inventory levels, customer service and costs. With simple sensitivity analysis all stake-holders can be shown how, if customer service want x% service, then it will cost EUR y in working capital. Or conversely, if finance want EUR y working capital, then customer service will have to be x%.

By undertaking this approach the inventory manager will be presenting the business with facts on which to make decisions, not 'rules of thumb'. They will have successfully balanced inventory levels with working capital constraints, and customer service targets. They will have achieved the inventory balancing act.

Gideon Hillman FCILT FCMI has over 20 years European Supply Chain, Logistics and Materials Handling industry experience, having been employed at a Senior Management Level throughout Europe with both manufacturers and Global 3rd Party Logistics Providers for over 12 years, prior to establishing Gideon Hillman Consulting in 2004.

His areas of expertise and experience are in Logistics Outsourcing and Tender Management, Logistics Network Development, Commercial and Business Development, Operational and Commercial due diligence, Supply Chain Solution Design, Improvement and Implementation throughout Europe for major manufacturers and household brand names in the Automotive, Aerospace, Food Production and Processing, Grocery and Non-Grocery Retail, Home Delivery Networks, Utilities and General Industrial and Manufacturing sectors.