Archive for October, 2016

Supply Chain Futurists Predict The Impact Of Digital Transformation

October 29, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Strategy

Do you have a digital supply chain? There is a fascinating Forbes article highlighting 11 trends and future developments detailing how a digital supply chain can better enable customer-centricity:

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-1-58-16-pmDigitization isn’t merely a buzzword. The digital transformation of your business can have a serious impact on your organization – particularly as it applies to your supply chain operations.

For instance, a digital supply chain can lower procurement costs by 20%, reduce supply chain process costs by 50%, and increase revenue by 10%, according to recent Center for Global Enterprise (CGE) research.

During the first half of 2016, CGE representatives interviewed a collection of supply chain executives from around the world to gather their thoughts on the merits of digitizing supply chain operations. Here’s what 11 of those experts had to say about transforming the organization and gaining a competitive advantage with digital supply chain capabilities.

In today’s business world, it’s become increasingly imperative to put customers at the forefront of your operations. Digitizing your supply chain can provide your organization with the real-time visibility it needs to deliver the superior customer experiences your buyers demand.

1.  “The customer and customer alone determines whether we win, or we lose. This is increasingly a customer-to-business global economy; the business-to-business-to-customer economy is going away. … Big Data and analytics, the Internet of Things, [and] social media all enable businesses in every sector to reach and thereby better know and fulfill their customers’ needs and wants. The digital supply chain holds the promise of real-time data to sense demand, drive innovation, reduce cost, and deliver the customer the right product at the right time and price.” – Bill McDermott, CEO, SAP 

Read the rest of the article here.

Green idea: Tape-on solar panels

October 27, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Green Innovation

A Los Angeles-based company has  developed an ultra-thin solar panel that you can duct tape to just about any surface, anywhere. Imagine the potential!   Sunflare spent 16 years developing the solar cell made with copper, indium, gallium, and selenide, which they say are superior to traditional solar technologies in terms of weight and efficiency, generating 10 percent more power and weighing 65 percent more lightweight than other panels, according to their site:

The flexibility of Sunflare’s thin solar cells, which lack a glass substrate, mean they could be placed in areas inaccessible to traditional panels. Sunflare lays out their vision on their website: “Sunflare panels can be seamlessly incorporated into existing structures or integrated into unique architectural designs, all while providing clean, renewable, affordable energy.”

The manufacturing process has often tripped up solar manufacturers in the past; processes can be expensive due to materials or chemicals consumed. Sunflare says they’ve fixed many of those issues with their proprietary Capture4 solar technology, a way to make the solar cells with less toxic chemicals (they don’t use cadmium or lead) and less water. They’re also able to recycle the water they do use.

Sunflare says its CIGS solar cells are affordable too, potentially costing as little as $1.07 per watt.  Read more here.

Balancing act: A house that reacts to your roommate’s movements

Imagine a house that stays stable only if its inhabitants cooperate! Here’s a home that is balanced on an axis. It’s called ReActor, and is part of the 2016-17 Architecture Omi exhibition WOOD: From Structure to Enclosure.

Check out this amazing video:

The home was constructed at the Omi sculpture park in the Hudson Valley north of Manhattan.  The house-like structure balances off of a central axis, and tilts, rocks, sways, and turns a full 360-degrees.

Inside there’s a bed, dining table and sink. the architects each spent five days living inside and occupying either side of ReActor. Their daily routines are influenced by the movements of the other.

If one leans over the edge of an extruded balcony at on end, the other has to do so as well to ensure stability. Perhaps as a physical metaphor for the shared responsibility of cooperation, Schweder and Shelley’s latest example of “social relationship architecture” expressed as “performative architecture” builds on earlier collaborative projects like the Counterweight Room – in which two performers rely on the tug-and-pull of each other’s weight to interact with a vertical interior. After this, their first outdoor work, the duo hopes to continue their exploration of how constructed surroundings can impact relationship dynamics and vice versa. The correspondence between sculpture, architecture and interaction takes the notions of praxis, high and low art, as well as conceptual expression to new echelons.

 

Seniors going social: Are you listening?

October 23, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Social Media

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Did you know that there are currently 39 million people aged 65 and older using Facebook, Twitter, and Skype, making them the fastest growing age demographic on these sites?

According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, “the 74-plus demographic is the fastest growing demographic among social networks.”

But many businesses may overlook this growing audience. Here are some great insights from Forbes about why you don’t want to be missing out:

Though Madison Avenue largely forgets seniors in general, they are now a demographic grossly overlooked on social media.  Those 65 years and older are changing: they are living longer, are more active, and becoming increasingly literate online.

Not only does this age group have 47x the net worth of households headed by those 35 and older (according to AdAge), but they are now the fastest growing users of social media.  These days, they don’t just have an email account, but they are searching on Google GOOG -0.83%, browsing Facebook FB -0.27% newsfeeds, and watching YouTube—sometimes from their iPad.  According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, “the 74-plus demographic is the fastest growing demographic among social networks.”  There are currently 39 million people aged 65 and older using Facebook, Twitter, and Skype, making them the fastest growing age demographic on these sites.

While people are starting to notice more and more grandparents on their Facebook accounts, the figures are actually much greater.  According to an All Assisted Living Homes 2010 report, 11% of Facebook users are seniors.  These 14.8 million users represent a 1,448% yearly growth in this demographic.  More and more classes are being held to train senior citizens how to use online tools like Facebook, and 1 in 5 of these users will log on for an hour any given day.  The Pew Research found that 13% of adults 50 years and older are already using Twitter and estimate this figure to only continue rising.

Read the rest of this report here.

 

Tesla’s new Model S puts autopilot technology in the driver’s seat

October 15, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool Inventions and gadgets

Tesla has come up with a self-parking car called the Model S, with autopilot. Will it revolutionize the way consumers purchase the must-have features? Here’s Tesla’s video:

The company says its autopilot mode allows Model S to drive itself to steer within a lane, change lanes with the simple tap of a turn signal, and manage speed by using active, traffic-aware cruise control.

The idea behind the invention centers around safety, which more consumers are demanding.  The more advanced technology will help to reduce accidents on roads by using digital control of motors, brakes, and steering movement to help avoid collisions.

Read more about it here.

5-hour workday makes you more productive?

Here is a shameless plug for our Facebook Page, which we hope you will “like.” I frequently post articles there that you might find interesting, like this entrepreneur who decided to motivate his employees by reducing their workday hours to just five:

Maker Faire is Show and Tell on a grand scale!

October 11, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Conferences

If you’re passionate about mentoring the next generation of innovators, you might want to get involved in Maker Faire. If you’ve not heard of Maker Faire before, you will as it grows in popularity around the world. If you missed last week’s Maker Faire event, there are more throughout the year:

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It started in 2006 in San Francisco as a blend of science fair, county fair, and innovation to gather folks of all ages who are “Makers.”  These can be anyone from tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and even commercial exhibitors, who want to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.

As of last year there were 119 independently-produced Mini and 14 Featured Maker Faires around the globe, including Tokyo, Rome, Detroit, Oslo and Shenzhen. And half of the attendees are children!

The creators of Maker Faire say it’s not only an event, it’s a movement:

As the movement has gathered increasing momentum, makers have created their own market ecosystem, developing new products and services. The combination of ingenious makers and innovative technologies such as the Arduino microcontroller and personal 3D printing are driving innovation in manufacturing, engineering, industrial design, hardware technology and education. Over the years, the MAKE division has become synonymous with the Maker Movement and is the recognized leader of this growing community of makers.

Many makers are hobbyists, enthusiasts or students (amateurs!)–but they are also a wellspring of innovation, creating new products and producing value in the community. Some makers do become entrepreneurs and start companies.

This is grassroots innovation that we can foster in every community. It’s being called the Maker Movement, and MAKE Magazine and Maker Faire are very proud of having been (and continuing to be) a nurturing ground for this growing community of creative and curious people.

Check out the Maker Faire website here.

Oragami pots expand with growth

October 2, 2016 Cheryl Perkins No Comments » Cool Inventions and gadgets

If you’re someone who enjoys healthy growth via indoor plants, you’re well aware of the messy chore to continually re-pot those plants.

Here’s an interesting invention: A planter that grows as your houseplants do.

This pot, GROWTH, is from Studio Ayaskan, and uses origami-based geometry which will transform to accommodate the growth of the plant over time.

The life cycle of a plant is a transformation, from an early seed to its full grown size; the blooming of a flower, the unfolding of a leaf, the branching of the roots. This process is what GROWTH aims to capture within a plant pot.

Can this technology be applied elsewhere? More info here: