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Friday, January 30, 2009

The Future of Business

Tim Salaver of the Golden Gate Chapter of APICS (San Francisco) posted a comment on the APICS Officers Listserve about his serving as a judge for his high school alma mater's Senior Projects. One category that the students could choose is business, and a few of them did (18 in fact). He has some valid questions about the future of business and how we educate and prepare our young people for careers in business.

When I was in high school (I won't say "I remember when I was in high school", because I mostly don't), I don't think there were any business classes at all, unless you count typing. Even though many of the students in my school were the sons and daughters of business owners (your typical small, mom-and-pop business that make up small towns), the emphasis was either on college prep, meaning math and sciences, or the trades (think wood shop).

Apparently some other schools are different, but is business part of the curriculum in high schools? From what I read in the news it's all about No Child Left Behind and test scores, which it seems are focused on reading/writing and math/science. Please let me know if I'm wrong. If that's the case, when do we start preparing people for careers in business? In college? That's good, but that's a late start.

World class musicians start learning and training when they're very young. Athletes start learning and training almost as soon as they can walk. Artists are artists because that's what they have to do. And we start teaching and training in math and the sciences as soon as the kids start school. But we mostly don't start teaching and training people for business until college.

How can we expect to compete in today's global marketplace with this lack of emphasis on business. Sure, many kids start working when they're in high school, or even sooner, but that's work, that's not learning and training. Yes, you do learn a lot, but mostly you learn how to do your job in that particular business.

Something to think about.

This week's schedule

This week's rugby schedule (all games at Kapiolani Park):

1:00 Kahuku vs Hawaii Harlequins

2:35 Kalihi Raiders vs UH

4:00 Islanders vs Tame Sulu Ie

It's another week of great matchups. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Week 1 Results

Results from Week 1 of the Hawaii State Rugby Union Season:

UH 15 - Hawaii Harlequins 5

Tama Sulu Ie 21 - Kahuku 13

Islanders 15 - Kalihi Raiders 5

See you next week...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Save, Save, Save!

I suppose I'm like most authors of successful, but not best selling, books. I check my sales and ranking on regularly. I can always tell when a book is sold (note "a", meaning 1) because the book's ranking jumps from its usual 1.5 million position, up to 200,000 or so (once a couple sold at a time and I was up around 20,000 or so - woo hoo!).

My biggest jump in sales was when the price was discounted about 40% down to around $40 or $45. That was when I started paying more attention to the price of the book.

Personally, I think ("personally" and "I" are redundant, I know) the book is overpriced. I understand how the publisher priced it where it is, partly based on the expected market value and partly based on the cost to produce (small production run for a first time author), but I really think it would sell much better at a lower price.

The original price was $79.98. Sure it's a 400+ page book, but it's not a college text book (though it could and should be used college Operations Management courses), it's written for working people, specifically people who work at small manufacturing companies. I think it would sell like hotcakes at about $39.98. It has gotten nothing but good reviews, and everyone who's read it (OK, everyone who's commented to me) tells me it's great. It's even been translated into Russian. But people just aren't willing to pay that high a price.

But instead of lowering the price, I noticed that the price went up. From $79.98 it went up to $89.98. Huh? If it's not selling fast at $79 why would you increase the price to $89? But, then when the price was increased, Amazon discounted it down to around $71. I guess people just can't pass up a sale. Now I notice the price is $93.95 (on both Amazon and the publisher's website), and discounted 5% down to $89.22.

I've contacted my publisher asking about lowering the price, but I've gotten no response.

The worst part is that I can't even afford to buy my own book. Even at my discount I can't afford to buy them and sell them at a reasonable price. Maybe I should read a book about the publishing business and how to price a book... Maybe I can reinvest and buy some copies when I get my next royalty check.

Still, the book is very valuable and worth the investment if it's used as it's intended - to help improve your business and improve profitability. That's especially important in these tough economic times.

I do have a couple of copies left, so if you contact me I might sell you one at a better price.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I got my usual recharge at the APICS meeting that I attended last weekend. The Pacific Western District (the Pacific northwest and Hawaii) held their January meeting here in Honolulu. As a member of the Hawaii Chapter Board of Directors, I took the opportunity to attend.

I always get recharged at APICS meetings. The District meetings are primarily to conduct Chapter related business. All the Chapter President's and the District Staff get together to discuss issues related to running the chapters. Always lots of good information, and always a fun time (all work and no play make Jack a dull boy).

The biggest recharge for me, however, comes from seeing and visiting with old friends, and making new friends. APICS folks are a fine lot. Very dedicated, smart, and fun to be with.

All I need to do now is figure out how to get to Sacramento in June for the Annual training meeting. That's bigger and better than the "regular" meetings, and is not to be missed.

If you're in the Operations field, or work with or interact with the Operations people, you should seriously consider joining. You'll get out of it what you put into it.

Hawaii Rugby Season Starts

The Hawaii State Rugby Union season starts this Saturday (Jan. 24th). Here's the schedule for week one:

1:00 pm UH vs. Hawaii Harlequins
2:35 pm Kuhuku vs. Tama Sulu Ie
4:10 pm Kalihi Raiders vs. Islanders

But wait, there's more...

Don't miss the women's game kicking things off at 12:30 pm. Women's games will be played every other Saturday throughout the season. This week it's Windward Tehine vs. Laie

All games are played at Kapiolani Park.

Keep watching the Union's website for updates and for a calendar for the season.

Good luck to everyone, and here's to a great season of rugby.

The Rugby Union has been keeping busy, but I've missed it all. They held a couple of Union meetings, and I believe some of the minutes can be found on their website. They held a referee clinic a couple of weeks ago, and they generally seem to be really on the ball and building rugby here in Hawaii. Hats off to everyone involved, and keep up the good work.