Saturday, December 28, 2013

Of the G-8 Heads of State, who uses linkedin best?

Of the G-8 Heads of State, who uses linkedin best?
Please take the survey in the right margin.  Heads of States are listed.  On mobile devices, you may need to select “view full website”. Thanks AH

Thursday, December 19, 2013

WiFi, a Precursor to FCC Decision?

The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.”
The FCC is lifting the ban on inflight calls to and from passengers aboard aircraft.  The decision will allow individual airlines to decide whether or not to allow these calls.  In other words, while the FCC will not ban calls, an airline can impose its own ban.

My questions have nothing to do with whether or not this is a good idea.  My questions are about the introduction of passenger accessible WiFi on aircraft.  If you want to participate, you do not have to answer all of the questions below.
1.       What are the technical differences between VOIP and other data that may have caused interference in aircraft systems.  Interference was the stated focus of the original policy?
2.      Should VOIP from aircraft be a separate regulatory issue from other types of communication and why?
3.      Please provide comments on whether or not putting onboard WiFi for customers was a precursor to the FCC decision.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

FDA Releases a Final Rule for UDI and Accredits GS-1

The FDA issued the following email to UDI and GUDID Email Subscribers on 12/17/2013:

FDA has accredited GS1 as an issuing agency for the issuance of Unique Device Identifiers (UDIs).  FDA may accredit other issuing agencies in the future.  FDA will only accept UDIs that are issued under a system operated by an FDA-accredited issuing agency.  Please check the UDI website at: for a list of FDA-accredited issuing agencies. 

Good work GS-1.   Follow the links in the text above for the details and to learn more.  Click the Unique Identifier label beneath this post to get background on the decision.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Purchasing Fraud And Theft By Employees

I turned the corner in my white sedan.   It was a sturdy car with bouncy springs and had once been a police vehicle.  How appropriate, “Because the scene at this old shed looks bad, real bad!” 

This large closed-in shed had started off as an ill-kept open shed in the middle of a field outside a small West Texas town of about 230,000 people.   The area was high plains with few trees compared to the place of my youth.  Cotton fields spanned north, south, east, west and every combination of compass designation possible.  Most of the cotton was picked and the fields were dusty.  Wind would pick up the dust and tumbleweeds and blow them across the plains just like in the old western movies.   

Homes and a youth center were within a short walking distance from the shed.  Sometimes, there was a man out there, cleaning up around it.  Sides were put on it.  The place got locked up.  Kids couldn’t get in there and play around, possibly get hurt.  I was glad to see the shed covered and tidied up.    There was little activity after the sides went up.   

That day though, it seemed the world converged on that shed.  Specifically, the law enforcement world... unmarked cars, cars marked with local and state law enforcement insignia, military security vehicles, blue suits, brown suits, military suits, black federal authority looking suits… and there was me driving by in my old white police car.  One side of the shed was down.  Inside the barn were cars, a conversion van, and a boat.  That was only what I could see.  

I asked some friends what was going on.  All replied with some version of, “I don’t know, but it ain’t good!”  There was this one person who worked in the military contracting office; he was very tight lipped.

The next day, I found out that a federal contracting officer had been charged with pulling one of the oldest tricks in the book.  It’s probably been around since the first chief or monarch asked an administrator to buy something.  The contracting officer was alleged to have created a business then awarded contracts to his business.  Reportedly, when his lifestyle did not match his federal job, it drew suspicion.

In this case, the contracting officer’s scheme was somewhat sophisticated.  Again, reportedly, it was only the lifestyle that gave him away.  Recent cases in the press and others that often don’t make the press aren't sophisticated at all.  They seem... well, you tell me a  good word for it?
1.       Equipment comes in and goes out of businesses with no accountability simply because it doesn’t meet a minimum dollar value.
2.      Services are bought and never received.
3.      Credit cards orders are on paper only and are neither monitored nor audited properly.
4.      Good repair parts end up on online auctions.. 

I am not talking about the one or two items.  I do see reports of those who have been charged with crimes involving less than five thousand dollars.  So, someone is probably watching the gate in some of those instances.  However, I read cases where fraud had been going on for years and involved hundreds of thousands of dollars that are traced back to an employee.   The property value of the assets in that old shed was one hundred thousand dollar US, minimally. reports that employee theft costs as much as five percent of annual revenue (written in 2010).   Employee theft and fraud are billion dollar problems in the United States.   

Yes, honest employees are important.  One needs policy and checks and balances that are performed, too.  Reconciling a cash drawer is a check and balance process.  Wouldn’t you reconcile your cash drawer regardless of the cashier?  That’s just good practice that one does day in day out, period.  So, what’s the issue? Are managers so overwhelmed that simple checks and balances are not seen as important because they are simple?  Is it negligence?  What do you think?  What's the solution?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

RFID/RTLS Transcendent or Something Else? A Year Later

The response to my op-ed, RFID/RTLS Transcendent or Something Else?, brought some interesting comments from the audience.  

Mostly, that using RTLS/RFID information in writing performance standards  could be a good idea. The rebellion against the idea centers around trust and the relationship between workers and management.

Over one year after my original op-ed and in light of the NSA international data collection controversy, has this changed your perception?  Please share how?  New participants are welcomed.

Read the original op-ed and comments at  I appreciate your participation in this discussion. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Dear Walk Down Memory Lane With Big Data

Lava Kafle’s social media updates keeps me informed on the progress of Deer Walk Inc. Deer Walk Inc is a software development company focused on maximizing the ability of the healthcare industry to find strategic and actionable meaning in Big Data.

Recently, I clicked on his link to a Deer Walk video that sent me on a dear flashback.  “Also, there were conflicts that could never be properly resolved because only bits and pieces of information were available at any given time. We were trying to put together a puzzle with missing pieces and no picture of what the end product was even supposed to look like. ... these tools reminded me of the systems I had used in the late 1980s.”  Al Hardy, 2012

I will not steal the thunder from Deer Walk's video, but it gets a hardy ain’t that the truth from me.  I will say that precise and consistent data collection over time points to trends, helps maximize outputs, and empowers people from the basement to the C-Suite.   All these have positive effects on competitiveness, organizational effectiveness, and even the workplace environment.

Please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section.

Monday, December 2, 2013


After receiving an executive summary Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals Asset Management Market, Global Forecast 2017, I went back to review the company that published this research, Markets and Markets.  I wanted to get a better understanding of how the company’s interview of me (April 2013) fit into their approach to market segmentation.

Markets and Markets provides research for the following segments:
   -Energy and Power
   -Food and Beverage
   -Medical Devices
   -Advanced Materials
   -Semiconductor and Electronics
   -Automation and Process Control
   -Telecom and IT
   -Consumer Goods
   -Automotive and Transportation
   -Banking & Financial Services
   -Aerospace & Defense
   -Healthcare IT
   -Agriculture Industry
   -Engineering Equipment Devices
They provide information to clients through reports and subscriptions.  They provide services through consultants.

Kaushik Kochhar, Madhusudhan(Madhu)Pendyala, and Harinder Mehta, spoke with me about Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals Asset Management Market, Global Forecast 2017. Kaushik is the Manager for Strategic Growth and Business Development (Healthcare IT). Madhu was the research associate on this report as well as others such as: North American Nuclear Medicine/Radiopharmaceuticals & Stable Isotopes Market, Global Additive Manufacturing Market, and Global Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals Asset Management Market and Global Nerve Repair & Regeneration Market.  Harinder manages business development for the sub-domains of Medical Devices, Bio-Technology, Pharmaceuticals, and Healthcare.

“Across the life-cycle of a brand” is a phrase on the Markets and Markets website that caught my attention. Asset Management for plant systems and equipment is all about well-managed phases of each life-cycle. A brand shares similar characteristics. A brand can be purchased.  A brand has to be maintained.  A brand is utilized.  A brand can be retired.  A brand can be resold once the owner no longer wants it.  There are similar life-cycle risks associated with something as massive as a skyscraper just as there is with something that has no physical mass, like a brand. So, how does market segment approach in the report help companies manage the life-cycle of their brands?

Kaushik, Madhu, and Harinder walked me through Markets and Markets approach. This market research is a global assessment of the RFID and RTLS markets. They cover the operational application, hardware, and software for passive and active technologies. The strong impact of this technology on cost saving in hospitals and pharmaceutical industry, enhanced work flow management, patient & staff safety, is assumed to be the major drivers of this market. Markets and Markets affirms that this research is conceptualized and 
implemented to help their clients:
1.       Understand how to leverage existing markets
2.      Find new markets
3.      Find channel partners. 

The report is one way Markets and Markets communicates the results of that process.
I read through the executive summary of Hospital Pharmaceutical/Asset Management Market. First, the executive summary suggests how you should look at the report in the Key Takeaways section. Next, it takes the reader through a description of the report. 

The Report Description helps the reader to see how the research approach was conceptualized, planned, and implemented.  The Healthcare Asset Management Market is segmented by:
- Application: The purpose of the sold system (Example: Patient Management)
- Product: The positioning hardware and software (RFID/RTLS) 
- Geography: North America, Europe, Asia, and Rest of the World (RoW). RoW is Africa, Pacific Countries, Middle-East, and Latin America (LATAM).
The Pharmaceutical Market is broken down similarly.

The document’s Methodology summarizes Markets and Markets’ approaches to determining market share, market size, and key data points.  As part of the process, they used both top down and bottom up approaches to “calculate global market size”. For growth estimates, they used company financial reports, order information, paid databases, company websites, interviews, and press releases to collect data for analysis and display in the 130 or so tables displayed in the document. 

Reading farther into the document, Markets and Markets’ reports on regulations and burning issues for key segments. These can help drive the market to grapple with the issues and look for solutions in regards to compliance, risk mitigation, and protecting financial projections.  Customers will look for brands solutions.

Chapter 7 discusses the competitive landscape with the list of companies that are engaged in acquisitions, mergers, and collaborations. How is brand image maintained in stiff competition without understanding how the game is being played?

Chapter 8 contains company profiles of 15 companies involved in RFID and RTLS.
Though there are similarities between the life-cycle of physical assets and brands, there are significant differences as well.  One major difference is the information required to increase ones’ chances of a good outcome. This is especially so in terms of growth.  Successfully expanding a facility to increase customer capacity by 500 per day is much simpler than increasing your brand image to draw those extra 500 customers per day.  The team I spoke with from Markets and Markets confidently emphasized the stated company goal in this regard, “We aspire to assist our clients in achieving sustainable growth by providing incisive business insights into their respective markets.”

To find out more about the report, click here Add hardyamc “to specific field of interest” to get a 5% discount.