Archive for February, 2014

why we should spay and neuter animals

February 28, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

Why we should spay and neuter animals

Name

Institution

 

Why we should spay and neuter animals

The surgical alteration of an animal’s reproductive system has been assigned many names. The most common are spaying and neutering. Spaying involves the removal of the uterus and ovaries from the female animal; this is achieved by performing surgical operations like the popular laparoscopic surgery. Neutering involves the removal of both testicles from the male animal. The exact word for this procedure is castration. Male animals however enjoy a more lenient option for this procedure as an injection option is available. Chemical castration involves injecting the testes with calcium chloride dehydrate as a non surgical form of castration that yields results within a month. These two procedures are commonly done on pets. The existing phenomenon of pet keeping has generated the essence of formulating mechanisms of co-existence between humans and animals kept as pets. Cats and dogs form the majority of the desired and kept pets although other animals like birds have also become popular pets. While these procedures maybe performed on other livestock like horses they are predominantly done on animals that are considered close to humans as companions (Perrin, 2009). Due to the closely knit attachments formed between pets and their owners, heavy debate has been engaged on the issue of spaying and neutering with some arguing for and others against the practice. An objective look at the practice reveals legitimate advantages and disadvantages to encourage and discourage the practice in un-proportionate measures.

Research on pets reveal that while some people keep pets to teach their children the lesson of responsibility by taking care of a pet the main reasons for keeping pets are because they are cute and for companionship. However, a worrying fact on pet keeping has emerged; overpopulation of pets. In the United States for example the population of pets is very high such that for humane and well being of these pets every person even the children have to adopt seven pets. This situation has compelled most pro-animal rights foundations in the United States to advocate for spaying and Neutering of pets to stagnate further procreation of these pets especially for dogs and cats (Lord et al, 2006). This is informed by the impossibility that arises in handling these abandoned pets in rescue centers’ as not every person adopts a pet with those that adopt having a preference of one or two pets per household. The rest of the animals end up abandoned and die due to starvation, injuries road crashes or in illegitimate animal control facilities. The point of overpopulation however does not resonate well with pet owners to encourage them to perform spaying and neutering. Other health and behavioral advantages may encourage the practice.

Research has proven health benefits that are realized by pets after spaying and neutering. Male animals are encouraged to be neutered after one year and female animals are recommended to be spayed before their first heat cycle. If the operations are done at the opportune time the animals are granted the opportunity to live longer. Male animals that have been neutered have a reduced prostrate gland which has a proven ability to reduce bacterial infections in females and especially in female dogs the process of spaying before the first heat cycle eliminates the possibility of ovarian cancer and most of all complications associated with giving birth. In male animals testicular cancer possibilities are also eliminated. Given the fact that most pet keepers have a preference of keeping a maximum of two pets, spaying and neutering eliminates the possibility of contracting unwanted pet pregnancies (Looney et al, 2008).

Furthermore, spaying and neutering eliminates the contraction of bacterial uterine infections in animals. An animal’s possibility of attracting bacterial infection in increased with great proportion by mating. Given the fact that bacterial infections have a higher percentage of causing death in pets, these procedures drastically reduces that possibility thus contributing to longevity of the life of the pet. The heat cycles in animals and the constant urges to mate create hormonal imbalances in the animals more often than not cause kidney failure in animals. Spaying and neutering eliminates this possibility making it a health plus for a pet. Despite ensuring a reduction in the population of pet animals, these practices ensure the general healthier wellbeing of a pet as a matter of fact survey done on animals that undergo these procedures in comparison to those that have not undergone the procedure reveal that the spayed and neutered animals enjoy a longer and healthier life than their counterparts that haven’t undergone the procedures. A common misconception attributed to these practices is that animals tend to develop obesity after being taken through the procedure. Research has proven a lack of correlation between spaying and neutering and obesity. The basic fact on pet obesity is overfeeding and under exercising of pets (Morris, Wolf & Gies, 2011). Despite the fact that spaying and neutering allows for better metabolism in animals, it does not in any way contribute to the obesity of a pet other than increasing the health of a pet by providing a better metabolism rate. All in all factual health benefits accrued to spaying and neutering do exist.

Although pet animals are adopted on the basis of their likeability, their behavioral characteristics enhance the bond between the pet animal and its care giver. One of the desired characteristics in a pet animal is the ability to train and retrain the pet animal. Studies have established that pet animals have undergone spaying and neutering are easy to train and instill discipline in comparison with their counterparts who have not undergone the process.  Further to this pets behave calmer and less aggressive. A clear example to this is the fact that 95 percent of dog maulings are committed by intact dogs as spayed and neutered dogs have less perpetual states of frustration caused by heat or hormonal imbalances. Key to these behavioral changes is the elimination of embarrassing sexual behaviors. Most pet animals like dogs and cats have the behavior of marking sexual territories by urinating. Most pet owners reveal that one of the biggest challenge is containing messy heats and with specificity the constant urinating in the house (Bushby & Griffin, 2011). With spayed and neutered pet animals, these uncouth behaviors are eliminated. Other characteristics that pet owners find intolerable are the crying and yowling especially in cats while on heat and messy destructive tendencies. All these characteristics are eliminated by these procedures. It has also been established most pets get lost while on heat. Pet animals especially cats and dogs tend to move a lot thus get lost while looking for mates. With the elimination of sexual urges through spaying and neutering pets are less likely to get lost while looking for mates.

In the United States, the cost of collecting one stray animal is 100 dollars spaying and neutering only costs 40 dollars thus a reduction in population of the pet animals can actually reduce tax payers expenses as an added benefit. In a reduction to animal human conflict the control of animal reproduction is required for better cohabitation as more animals would be put in better habitats and good care givers. These are just but some of the other benefits that may accrue from spaying and neutering (Bushby & Griffin, 2011).

Established deterrents to spaying and neutering begin with the surgical process that is applied to ensure the success of the procedure. For most female animals, the ovaries have to be surgically removed. The risks associated with the procedure include death through bleeding and attraction of infections. The attachment held by the pet owners towards their pets makes them fear the risk of loosing them thus prefer not to risk going through the procedure. Although spaying and neutering appropriate periods have been established to be before the heat cycle and after one year respectively due to the emergence of new breeds has led for the alteration of these opportune times for this procedure. Other factors like laws have led to the practice of these procedures before at tender ages of these animals with varied results. In the United States for example the vet nary association left the decision of the opportune time for spaying and neutering to the discretion and best knowledge to the vet nary practitioner (Looney et al, 2008). This phenomenon leads to various complications during and after the procedures acting as a further deterrent to the practice (Lord et al, 2006).

Recent extensive studies have revealed various effects of spaying and neutering. Taking the example of the United States that has established significant benchmarks in Spaying and neutering with most of it vet nary officers performing the procedure to animals below the age of one year various adverse effects have been established. Looking at the healthy well being of pet animals, male pet animals with specific relation to dogs neutering has been strongly associated with oestesarcoma. Oestesarcoma is bone cancer and is common to various dog breeds and has a harder if not poor prognosis thus a death causing disease. Furthermore it increases the risk of cardiac hemangiosrcoma with an established 1.6 factor point, other studies also establish that it also triples the risk of hypothyroidism, quadruples the factor 0.6 percent that exists to the predisposal to prostrate cancer, increases the risk of orthopedic disorders and increases the adverse reactions to vaccinations (Perrin, 2009).

On the other hand, spaying also has established various adverse effects with specific reference to dogs studies have shown to cause; bone cancer increases with the same proportion as in neutering also triples the treat of hypothyroidism and increases the risk reaction to vaccines, increases the risk of virginal dermatitis and also doubles the one percent predisposal factor to urinary tract infections. These are just but few proven negative effects of spaying and neutering but form heavy and legitimate basis to discourage the practice (Perrin, 2009).

The recent research developments that are focused on health have established adverse effects of spaying and neutering (White et al, 2011). This progress has been made by the extensive interest by of pet owners to take more care of their pets in an effort to ensure a better and longer companionship. However, overpopulation of these pet animals also provide the dilemma of whether or not to spay or neuter with a new dynamic approach to the practice as some states have made the practice mandatory to curb overpopulation. Given that the strongest deterrent to the practice is health concern and that the practice is vital to maintain the long term manageable population of animals, a common ground exists on further research on how to reduce the negative effects but in the short term the established advantages triumph the disadvantages of spaying and neutering.

 

References

Bushby, P. A., & Griffin, B. (2011). An overview of pediatric spay and neuter benefits and techniques.

Looney, A. L. et al (2008). The Association of Shelter Veterinarians veterinary medical care guidelines for spay-neuter programs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 233(1), 74-86.

Lord, L. K. et al (2006). Demographic trends for animal care and control agencies in Ohio from 1996 to 2004. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 229(1), 48-54.

Morris, K. N., Wolf, J. L., & Gies, D. L. (2011). Trends in intake and outcome data for animal shelters in Colorado, 2000 to 2007. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 238(3), 329-336.

Perrin, T. (2009). The Business of Urban Animals Survey: The facts and statistics on companion animals in Canada. The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 50(1), 48.

White, C. R. et al (2011). Cutaneous MCTs: Associations with spay/neuter status, breed, body size, and phylogenetic cluster. Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, 47(3), 210-216.

 

 

 

Why we should spay and neuter animals

February 27, 2014

 

Why we should spay and neuter animals

Name

Institution

Why we should spay and neuter animals

The surgical alteration of an animal’s reproductive system has been assigned many names. The most common are spaying and neutering. Spaying involves the removal of the uterus and ovaries from the female animal; this is achieved by performing surgical operations like the popular laparoscopic surgery. Neutering involves the removal of both testicles from the male animal. The exact word for this procedure is castration. Male animals however enjoy a more lenient option for this procedure as an injection option is available. Chemical castration involves injecting the testes with calcium chloride dehydrate as a non surgical form of castration that yields results within a month. These two procedures are commonly done on pets. The existing phenomenon of pet keeping has generated the essence of formulating mechanisms of co-existence between humans and animals kept as pets. Cats and dogs form the majority of the desired and kept pets although other animals like birds have also become popular pets. While these procedures maybe performed on other livestock like horses they are predominantly done on animals that are considered close to humans as companions (Perrin, 2009). Due to the closely knit attachments formed between pets and their owners, heavy debate has been engaged on the issue of spaying and neutering with some arguing for and others against the practice. An objective look at the practice reveals legitimate advantages and disadvantages to encourage and discourage the practice in un-proportionate measures.

Research on pets reveal that while some people keep pets to teach their children the lesson of responsibility by taking care of a pet the main reasons for keeping pets are because they are cute and for companionship. However, a worrying fact on pet keeping has emerged; overpopulation of pets. In the United States for example the population of pets is very high such that for humane and well being of these pets every person even the children have to adopt seven pets. This situation has compelled most pro-animal rights foundations in the United States to advocate for spaying and Neutering of pets to stagnate further procreation of these pets especially for dogs and cats (Lord et al, 2006). This is informed by the impossibility that arises in handling these abandoned pets in rescue centers’ as not every person adopts a pet with those that adopt having a preference of one or two pets per household. The rest of the animals end up abandoned and die due to starvation, injuries road crashes or in illegitimate animal control facilities. The point of overpopulation however does not resonate well with pet owners to encourage them to perform spaying and neutering. Other health and behavioral advantages may encourage the practice.

Research has proven health benefits that are realized by pets after spaying and neutering. Male animals are encouraged to be neutered after one year and female animals are recommended to be spayed before their first heat cycle. If the operations are done at the opportune time the animals are granted the opportunity to live longer. Male animals that have been neutered have a reduced prostrate gland which has a proven ability to reduce bacterial infections in females and especially in female dogs the process of spaying before the first heat cycle eliminates the possibility of ovarian cancer and most of all complications associated with giving birth. In male animals testicular cancer possibilities are also eliminated. Given the fact that most pet keepers have a preference of keeping a maximum of two pets, spaying and neutering eliminates the possibility of contracting unwanted pet pregnancies (Looney et al, 2008).

Furthermore, spaying and neutering eliminates the contraction of bacterial uterine infections in animals. An animal’s possibility of attracting bacterial infection in increased with great proportion by mating. Given the fact that bacterial infections have a higher percentage of causing death in pets, these procedures drastically reduces that possibility thus contributing to longevity of the life of the pet. The heat cycles in animals and the constant urges to mate create hormonal imbalances in the animals more often than not cause kidney failure in animals. Spaying and neutering eliminates this possibility making it a health plus for a pet. Despite ensuring a reduction in the population of pet animals, these practices ensure the general healthier wellbeing of a pet as a matter of fact survey done on animals that undergo these procedures in comparison to those that have not undergone the procedure reveal that the spayed and neutered animals enjoy a longer and healthier life than their counterparts that haven’t undergone the procedures. A common misconception attributed to these practices is that animals tend to develop obesity after being taken through the procedure. Research has proven a lack of correlation between spaying and neutering and obesity. The basic fact on pet obesity is overfeeding and under exercising of pets (Morris, Wolf & Gies, 2011). Despite the fact that spaying and neutering allows for better metabolism in animals, it does not in any way contribute to the obesity of a pet other than increasing the health of a pet by providing a better metabolism rate. All in all factual health benefits accrued to spaying and neutering do exist.

Although pet animals are adopted on the basis of their likeability, their behavioral characteristics enhance the bond between the pet animal and its care giver. One of the desired characteristics in a pet animal is the ability to train and retrain the pet animal. Studies have established that pet animals have undergone spaying and neutering are easy to train and instill discipline in comparison with their counterparts who have not undergone the process. Further to this pets behave calmer and less aggressive. A clear example to this is the fact that 95 percent of dog maulings are committed by intact dogs as spayed and neutered dogs have less perpetual states of frustration caused by heat or hormonal imbalances. Key to these behavioral changes is the elimination of embarrassing sexual behaviors. Most pet animals like dogs and cats have the behavior of marking sexual territories by urinating. Most pet owners reveal that one of the biggest challenge is containing messy heats and with specificity the constant urinating in the house (Bushby & Griffin, 2011). With spayed and neutered pet animals, these uncouth behaviors are eliminated. Other characteristics that pet owners find intolerable are the crying and yowling especially in cats while on heat and messy destructive tendencies. All these characteristics are eliminated by these procedures. It has also been established most pets get lost while on heat. Pet animals especially cats and dogs tend to move a lot thus get lost while looking for mates. With the elimination of sexual urges through spaying and neutering pets are less likely to get lost while looking for mates.

In the United States, the cost of collecting one stray animal is 100 dollars spaying and neutering only costs 40 dollars thus a reduction in population of the pet animals can actually reduce tax payers expenses as an added benefit. In a reduction to animal human conflict the control of animal reproduction is required for better cohabitation as more animals would be put in better habitats and good care givers. These are just but some of the other benefits that may accrue from spaying and neutering (Bushby & Griffin, 2011).

Established deterrents to spaying and neutering begin with the surgical process that is applied to ensure the success of the procedure. For most female animals, the ovaries have to be surgically removed. The risks associated with the procedure include death through bleeding and attraction of infections. The attachment held by the pet owners towards their pets makes them fear the risk of loosing them thus prefer not to risk going through the procedure. Although spaying and neutering appropriate periods have been established to be before the heat cycle and after one year respectively due to the emergence of new breeds has led for the alteration of these opportune times for this procedure. Other factors like laws have led to the practice of these procedures before at tender ages of these animals with varied results. In the United States for example the vet nary association left the decision of the opportune time for spaying and neutering to the discretion and best knowledge to the vet nary practitioner (Looney et al, 2008). This phenomenon leads to various complications during and after the procedures acting as a further deterrent to the practice (Lord et al, 2006).

Recent extensive studies have revealed various effects of spaying and neutering. Taking the example of the United States that has established significant benchmarks in Spaying and neutering with most of it vet nary officers performing the procedure to animals below the age of one year various adverse effects have been established. Looking at the healthy well being of pet animals, male pet animals with specific relation to dogs neutering has been strongly associated with oestesarcoma. Oestesarcoma is bone cancer and is common to various dog breeds and has a harder if not poor prognosis thus a death causing disease. Furthermore it increases the risk of cardiac hemangiosrcoma with an established 1.6 factor point, other studies also establish that it also triples the risk of hypothyroidism, quadruples the factor 0.6 percent that exists to the predisposal to prostrate cancer, increases the risk of orthopedic disorders and increases the adverse reactions to vaccinations (Perrin, 2009).

On the other hand, spaying also has established various adverse effects with specific reference to dogs studies have shown to cause; bone cancer increases with the same proportion as in neutering also triples the treat of hypothyroidism and increases the risk reaction to vaccines, increases the risk of virginal dermatitis and also doubles the one percent predisposal factor to urinary tract infections. These are just but few proven negative effects of spaying and neutering but form heavy and legitimate basis to discourage the practice (Perrin, 2009).

The recent research developments that are focused on health have established adverse effects of spaying and neutering (White et al, 2011). This progress has been made by the extensive interest by of pet owners to take more care of their pets in an effort to ensure a better and longer companionship. However, overpopulation of these pet animals also provide the dilemma of whether or not to spay or neuter with a new dynamic approach to the practice as some states have made the practice mandatory to curb overpopulation. Given that the strongest deterrent to the practice is health concern and that the practice is vital to maintain the long term manageable population of animals, a common ground exists on further research on how to reduce the negative effects but in the short term the established advantages triumph the disadvantages of spaying and neutering.

References

Bushby, P. A., & Griffin, B. (2011). An overview of pediatric spay and neuter benefits and techniques.

Looney, A. L. et al (2008). The Association of Shelter Veterinarians veterinary medical care guidelines for spay-neuter programs. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 233(1), 74-86.

Lord, L. K. et al (2006). Demographic trends for animal care and control agencies in Ohio from 1996 to 2004. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 229(1), 48-54.

Morris, K. N., Wolf, J. L., & Gies, D. L. (2011). Trends in intake and outcome data for animal shelters in Colorado, 2000 to 2007. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 238(3), 329-336.

Perrin, T. (2009). The Business of Urban Animals Survey: The facts and statistics on companion animals in Canada. The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 50(1), 48.

White, C. R. et al (2011). Cutaneous MCTs: Associations with spay/neuter status, breed, body size, and phylogenetic cluster. Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, 47(3), 210-216.

 

 

 

Licensure and Certification

February 26, 2014

 

 

 

 

Licensure and Certification

Name

Course

Date

Institution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                            Introduction
            Professionalism entails a variety of requirements, and there are bars that have been set in different states for one to act as a professional in given fields. What is common in all these state for one to be branded as a professional is that there has to be proof of credibility to continue with a certain job or given profession, and this has to be determined by a group of personnel or a body responsible for approving applications for licenses. Licensure in a nutshell is the granting of permission to carry out a particular activity especially that which involves the public and is income generating. Certification, on the other hand, is the confirmation that an individual can reasonably carry out an activity completely and is always awarded after a given test or exam is passed to prove the individual. Licensure and certification in most cases is essential to states for a variety of reasons. One being quality of services provided. One must prove him/herself competent to carry out a particular activity before he/she can be licensed in case of offering a particular service to the public. Secondly, it ensures that the products and services offered to the public are genuine and do not violate any state laws or policies. Among other reasons, licensing and certification ensures the public get services that are worth their finances and can also sue in the court of law in case their rights are violated by a service provider. Some of the laws that regulate and impact on the credentialing, certification or licensing of counselling professionals include; Integrity, confidentiality, responsibility to colleagues, responsibility to clients, advertising among others (Hamlet 2011). As counselling professionals, we owe a duty of care to our colleagues and clients. As such we ought to treat both parties with confidentiality and utmost respect and integrity.
                                                            School Counselling
            Professionals who choose to work as school counsellors should be sensitive to the child’s stages of development and processes. As a counsellor, one must understand that it sometimes may be hard for a child to open up about a stressful event in their life. One should have caution and care when handling children and teenagers in school. As a counsellor, one must have a high physical and emotional stability to handle other clients array of problems. Otherwise, if the counsellor does not possess this, he may reach burn out too soon trying to make the clients problems his. As a school counsellor, one should ensure that there is a conducive environment that children would love to visit to seek guidance. In school counselling, there are three categories, elementary school, middle school and high school counselling. Therefore as a school counsellor, one must fully understand the challenges that each level of pupils has. This will assist in understanding of how to help the kids of different study levels. As a professional, one must first obtain consent from a pupil before carrying on with the counselling. It should be a voluntary exercise from the pupils and counsellors should wait until children are willing to open up about their issues. In the case where a child is suffering from stressful events that hinder his academic performance then the guardian or the teacher should encourage the kid to go through counselling. (Sink, and et al, 2011).
                                                Laws Relating to Professionalism
            Professionals in the counselling field are governed by a number of rules and regulations. This range from their levels of studies, experience, required coursework, credentialing examinations and so on. (Brigman,& Campbell, 2007). In Maryland State, for an individual to qualify as a school counsellor, he/she must have attained a bachelor’s degree in counselling; while a masters degree would tend to suffice more the opportunity, those who would love to be school counsellors have to undergo certain credibility authentication procedures, these include undertaking given examinations, undertaking internship programs where necessary or even volunteering in learning institutions. According to Hamlet, (2011), one must have worked with one or more supervisors in the field to ensure he or she learns the processes and requirements needed in counselling other than the formal theoretical class lessons. In the school counselling profession, one should understand that they are under a given body that certifies their activities, and there are certain laws that should they break, can see them bid farewell to their career as well. Some of the rules that professionals should adhere to include, integrity in their work while in line of duty; one should understand the importance of integrity in the workplace. One shall not use the counselling session as a way of wooing a client, neither shall they use the chance to exhort money from clients for their own gains. Another is confidentiality, in the counselling profession; a client bring various matters of concern to the counsellor and it is his responsibility to ensure the client can trust him/her not to let the clients sensitive information be found out elsewhere. This confidentiality should also apply to his colleagues too. Third item to take into consideration is advertisement, profession of counselling does not need one to put up posts or leaflets or advertisement of their services; Since, this is against the policies of the certifying and licensing board to do so.
                                                            Conclusion
            Counselling yields best results in a student if the professionalism is taken with keenness. In children, it should a way of drawing them close for assistance and a way of making them feel wanted in the society. As a school counsellor, one should carefully understand the requirements needed for certification and licensure in order to understand what is actually required of them in that particular field.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                            References

Hamlet, H. S., Gergar, P. G, & Shaefer, B.A. (2011). Professional School Counseling 14. Gulifford Press.

Brigman, G.A & Campbell, C. (2007). Professional Counseling. Cengage Learning,

Sink, C. and et al, (2011). School Based Group Counseling. Cengage Learning,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

February 24, 2014

 

 

 

 

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

[Name]

[Roll Number]

University Affiliation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nobel prize committee admitted that the choice to award the two (Prof. Fama and Prof Shiller) was “contradictory” as the two’s opinions about the market contradicts with each other. Fama wrote it was unpredictable about stocks and they were fundamentals. Shiller differs with Fama on the points that the market at any time reflects how worth the stocks are and that stock markets stands for the fundamentals. Shiller himself objects and concludes that the stock market is a psychological reflection rather than being the fundamental.

Prof. Eugene F. Fama is a frequent name in finance. He is widely known for his contribution in market research, more specifically on efficient market hypothesis (EMF). He has been a key figure in financial research and has made a remarkable contribution in modern economics as well as the investment community. He has formulated a new picture of finance through his research, through giving investment management a new dimension. In his studies, he mostly focuses on the relationship between risk and returns. In 1960’s he, together with other researchers gave a demo on how the stock prices were unpredictable within a short period of time as new information is integrated on the price and this would later transform the stock market and the market practice.

Prof Robert J. Shiller is a renowned figure in American economics since ‘80’s. He holds a god figure in the field of economics. He has immensely contributed in the researches about asset prices. He has been involved in two successful fore castings, whereby he predicted about two bubbles (the housing and the dot com) and his predictions came to pass. Like, Fama, his focus on stock and asset prices and his research has contributed a lot in these areas. Through one of his charts, CAPE (Cyclically-adjusted Price-Earnings) ratio, he is able to evaluate the condition of the market, whether it is expensive or cheap. This model gives more insight on returns and it can be used to predict returns of a business for several years.

They jointly won the 2013 Nobel Prize in Economic science with Prof. Lars Peter Hansen. Their winning of the world popular prize was attributed to their extensive research and their in depth analysis concerned with asset prices. Their proposed methods have become a sure tool in many of the carried out academic researches in universities. Their deep understanding in economics and finance and their analysis on those has been used as reference by professional investors and even by the government agencies.

Their analysis is a key to comprehensively understand the development theory in the modern world. These researchers’ discoveries have transformed index funds, which have gained a lot of popularity. They have also given more insight on the study of risks, a contribution that has seen investors understand it and have a better approach. They have again brought a new dimension in the behavioral finance, a critical area in the modern economics.

Their contribution in the stock market, assets and prices is paramount and attracts such rewards as the Nobel, they really deserved it, though they won it jointly. Their researches, books, journals and all other academic literature on Economics have been a reference for many people. They have indeed transformed the finance field, stock market and asset prices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Fama, Eugene and Kenneth French. (1992). “The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns.”

Journal of Finance. June, 47, pp. 427– 65.

2014 Business Insider, Inc. (2014, January 10th). Nobel Prize Winner Eugene Fama Explains

Why You Have No Chance Of Beating The Market. Retrieved from Business Insider:

http://www.businessinsider.com/2013-nobel-prize-in-economics-2013-10

2014 Forbes. (2014, January 10th). Americans Fama, Hansen, Shiller Win Nobel Prize In Economics For Stock Price Analysis. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com: http://www.forbes.com/sites/samanthasharf/2013/10/14/americans-fama-hansen-shiller-win-nobel-prize-in-economics-for-stock-price-analysis/

Fama, Eugene and Kenneth French. (1993). “Common Risk Factors in the Returns on Stocks and

Bonds.” Journal of Finance. 33:1, pp. 3–56.

Fama, Eugene and G. William Schwert. (1977). “Asset Returns and Inflation.” Journal of

Financial Economics. November, 5:2, pp. 55– 69.

Business Insider, Inc. (2014, January 10th). Nobel Prize Winner Robert Shiller Is Responsible For The 2 Most Important Charts Of The Last Two Decades. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/robert-shiller-2013-econ-nobel-prize-2013-10

Dow Jones & Company Inc. (2014, January 10th). Eugene Fama and Efficient Financial Market Theory. Retrieved from The Wall Street Journal.: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303680404579139530872119634

 

Minor Head Injury in Children

February 24, 2014

Minor Head Injury in Children

Name

 

Course

 

Tutor’s Name

 

Institution

 

Date

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children do hit their heads quite often, and it is difficult to know whether they are severe or not. Throughout their development, children encounter blows to the head and therefore, seeking the doctor’s attention is not necessary (Semrud-Clikeman, 2001). A minor head injury refers to any knock particularly to the head that creates lumps, bruises, cut among other symptoms and it does not require any surgical treatment. Minor head injury is one of the most common causes of death and permanent disability among children during their childhood (Gausche-Hill, et al., 2007). American Academy of Pediatrics claims that there is no physical evidence of any fracture in the skull among children with minor head injuries (Gausche-Hill, et al., 2007). Minor head injury symptoms in children include loss of consciousness lasting for less an hour (Semrud-Clikeman, 2001). Moreover, bruise on the head, dizziness, irritability, and headaches among others are also common symptoms of minor head injury (Gausche-Hill, et al., 2007). Many head injuries are less serious and causes just a bruise and for this reason, it is very rare for head injuries to interfere with the brain. However, in some situations, a knock to the head may damage the brain or the blood vessel next to the brain which can be very critical and can even lead to loss of life. This paper provides a discussion on minor head injuries in children explaining its causes, effects, possible treatments and control and prevention.

Arguably, head injury symptoms are very useful in determining how serious the injury is. Usually, the minor head injury symptoms are not persistent and short lived. Nausea and bruise on the head as well as dizziness are some of the most common symptoms of minor head injury. Mild head injuries in children come with headaches withdrawal among others (Semrud-Clikeman, 2001). In addition, cognitive symptoms of minor head injuries include reduced concentration and memory loss (Thiessen and Woolridge, 2006), change in heating habits, interest loss in favorite toys or games, inability to pay attention and persistent crying are also very common with children with minor head injuries. Parents should take the child to the doctor when these symptoms of minor head injuries worsen. In overall, the causes of head injuries include falls, road traffic accidents as well as assaults (Thiessen and Woolridge, 2006) and the pain can be reduced by taking acetaminophen. Some of these behavioral changes such as attention deficit posses a lot of difficulty both in school and at home (Semrud-Clikeman, 2001). Globally, minor head injuries are very common among children and it leads to memory loss, prolonged headaches, or even concussion. A minor head injury particularly headaches can be managed by taking painkillers like paracetamol. More so, it is advisable to monitor children who have this form of injury to ensure that they have enough rest and shun away from playing contact sports. Rarely, children with minor head injuries go through neurosurgery, that is, very few children with minor head injuries require surgery intervention (Gausche-Hill, et al., 2007).

Almost half of those suffering from head injuries worldwide are children because they have energy and are very active. Blowing or hitting the head is the major cause of minor head injury. Moreover, other common causes of minor head injuries include assaults, road traffic as well cycling accidents, home accidents or falls from windows, stairs, and playground equipment among others. Various studies have pointed out falls as the most common cause of head injuries (Thiessen and Woolridge, 2006). Children may fall from adult arms, beds, tables and stairs among others (Thiessen and Woolridge, 2006). Falling down or into rough object causes damage and motor vehicle crashes also lead to both head and brain injuries. Therefore, falling from bed, stairs, ladders or slipping in the bath are the most common causes of minor head injuries in children.

Secondly, minor head injuries among children and young adults result from sport related injuries, and this contributes to minor head injuries among children. Arguably, head injuries result from sport injuries such as soccer, boxing, football, skateboarding, and hockey among others. More so, most head injuries result from violence including child abuse. Child abuse is also one of the causes of minor head injuries in children especially when the caretaker hits the child mercilessly. In addition, violent shaking of children may cause head injuries and brain damages. Moreover, infant walkers are also a threat to children safety (Thiessen and Woolridge, 2006) because lack of close supervision especially when these children are playing leads to unnecessary injuries including minor head injuries. Furthermore, road related accidents including cars, motorcycle and bicycle collisions contribute greatly contribute to minor head injuries. However, studies reveal that most children with minor head injuries have behavioral problems eve before these injuries occur (Semrud-Clikeman, 2001).

Treatment of head injuries depends on the type of injury. Normally, most children having minor head injuries do recovery fully (Thiessen and Woolridge, 2006). This is possible because most head knock leads to bruising and a little pain that are short-lived. There is no treatment required for minor brain injuries other than getting enough rest and taking pain killers to treat a headache, that is, treatment of minor head injuries only requires observation and symptom control. In addition, it is necessary to use or apply ice on the injured area to minimize the swelling and it is also useful in preventing any damage to the tissue, and also using a clean garment to press on the injured area for a few minutes so as to stop bleeding. Minor head injuries do not require a person to go the hospital for any check-up. Therefore, it is advisable to give children painkillers like paracetamol when they feel some headache but never give them any aspirin especially those children below the age of 16. Moreover, acetaminophen can also be used to reduce pain.

Furthermore, parents should not to let their children to be too excited, stop them from participating in some sport activities, and ensure that their children do not participate in rough plays for some time. Children with minor head injuries need to be monitored closely to note any persistent or any new symptoms. Accordingly, parents should take their children to the doctor in any nearby hospital when the headache worsens, unstable when walking, unusually sleepy, unconscious, have a seizure, develop a blurred vision, and cry continuously. It is also advisable to follow the doctor’s orders especially when the child goes back to school. More so, children should stop participating in certain physical and cognitive activities until the various symptoms of this injury disappears and resuming normal activities, games or plays should be gradual.

Sometimes it can be very difficult to predict or even avoid a head injury especially among children because of some accidents are unpredictable, therefore, prevention is the most effective way to treat any head injury. However, there are some ways to prevent or reduce exposure to head injuries like minimizing certain hazards at home which may trigger a fall, put on a safety helmet especially when cycling and some sport activities. First and foremost, children with minor head injuries should be under strict parental observation especially within the first 24 hours after the injury (Gausche-Hill, et al., 2007). Children who are cyclists should wear a safety helmet in order to protect their head and in some countries, putting on a safety helmet while riding a bicycle or a motorcycle is a legal requirement as a way of reducing risk of minor head injuries. Moreover, helmet legislation is one of the most effective strategies that have helped in reducing the risk of having minor head injuries among children and adults (Thiessen and Woolridge, 2006). All in all, it is advisable to wear appropriate head protection when cycling, playing contact sports, skating or even riding horse.

Accordingly, the use of seatbelts is very useful in preventing head injury especially during vehicle crash on the roads. Children should relax at the back seat of the car. They should occupy in the child safety seats that fit them appropriately to protect them from any type of injury. In addition, ensuring home safety is necessary to assist in preventing home accidents. Homes should not be exposed to any fall by ensuring that everything is in place. All the stairs should be kept tidy. Housekeepers should ensure that there is nothing that can make the floor slippery by cleaning all the spillages. More so, they should keep all the rugs properly to reduce the risk of falling. Handrails should be constructed in bathrooms so as to avoid unnecessary falls.

Moreover, all the windows especially in children’s bedrooms should be closed with all the movable furniture kept away to prevent them from climbing and falling, and also construct safety gates at the top of stairs and window guides to prevent falls. Children should also put on necessary safety requirement during sport activities. They have to be courteous not to play any contact sport after suffering a minor head injury. Accordingly, children should use the most appropriate protective equipment and be sure to maintain it properly. In addition, they should use playgrounds with shock absorbing materials to control or avoid falls. Furthermore, children with minor head injuries should have enough rest, and the parents or guardians should try wake up their children at night and ask them certain questions to determine whether they are alert or not. Most importantly, children should not be allowed to play on balconies or other risky places. However, parents or guardians should take their children to see the doctors when the child’s condition is deteriorating (Gausche-Hill, et al., 2007).

Children exposed to head injuries may encounter serious problems such as excessive bleeding or even blood clot in the brain. More so, a minor head injury leads to headache, vomiting in some cases, drowsiness among others. Furthermore, continues exposure to head injuries threatens children’s lives and may also result to poor coordination and lack of concentration and this may in turn affect their performance. Moreover, those children having difficulty in processing and retaining information leads to low performance in school and general activities (Semrud-Clikeman, 2001). In addition, bleeding and blood clots due to minor head injuries may interfere with effective supply of oxygen to the brain resulting to further damages. Furthermore, studies reveal that there is a relationship between minor head injury and hyperactivity among children (Semrud-Clikeman, 2001).

In a nutshell, minor head injuries are very common among children globally because children do bump their heads every now and then ant it can simply be defined as any knock to the head causing lumps, bruises or even cuts. Fortunately, minor head injuries are mild and less serious as they only cause bruises or pain which is short lived. These injuries rarely cause damage to the brain and head injury symptoms helps in determining how serious the injury is, for instance, bruise, lumps, nausea among others are the some of the most common symptoms of minor head injuries. Minor head injuries result from falls, road traffic accidents and assaults. The pain from these minor injuries can be treated by taking some painkillers such as acetaminophen. Children may fall from bed, bathrooms or stairs among other places. Road traffic accidents especially by cyclists or motorcyclists are also common cause of minor head injuries. Moreover, violence such as child abuse and other forms of violence increases the risk of head injuries. The causes of minor head injuries can be prevented by first, ensuring that the stairs and the entire floor are tidy and not slippery. The bathrooms should have handrails and all the rugs should be placed appropriately. Children should also not be allowed to play in balconies or other risky places where they might fall. Accordingly, wearing helmets when cycling or participating other sport activities is very important in preventing unnecessary head injuries. Continuous head injuries can be very critical and can cause death in some cases. Minor head injuries need no treatment because they are not serious injuries but prevention is the most effective way to avoid these injuries. Moreover, studies reveal that children with minor head injuries do recovery completely especially through close monitoring, and necessary prevention strategies followed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Gausche-Hill, M., Fuchs, S., Yamamoto, L., American Academy of Pediatrics & American College of Emergency Physicians. (2007). The pediatric emergency medicine resource. Sudbury, Mass: Jones & Bartlett.

Semrud-Clikeman, M. (2001). Traumatic brain injury in children and adolescents: Assessment and intervention. New York: Guilford Press.

Thiessen Mary, and Woolridge Dale. (2006). Pediatric Minor Closed Head Injury. Pediatr Clinic of North America 53: 1 – 26.

 

 

 

Problem Solving and Quality management at Stop IT Limited

February 20, 2014

 

 

 

Problem Solving and Quality management at Stop IT Limited

Name

University

 

Contents

Executive Summary. 3

Introduction. 4

Project Plan. 5

PDSA elements and tools of QC.. 8

FMEA Analysis on product 8

Corrective action plan. 12

Other Tools & Techniques that can be used to improve the Product 13

Limitations of using other tools. 14

Recommendations. 14

References. 15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Executive Summary

Stop IT LTD is a firm that usually deals in the manufacturing of a high performance brake system that is used within the motor industry. The common clients in this company include the rally cars and the automobiles from the common market. The company has had significant profit in the market since it is able to provide high quality products that edge the competitors. This reputation however is at risk because the firm has started to receive complaints about their latest innovations which include the AB7 system.

This error in the design has caused the major stakeholders to question what the next step is to avoid this glitch that has the company’s future at stake. This failure has been especially directed towards the rally cars.  This error has to be rectified so as to eliminate the anxiousness that is present within the company board management as well as the stakeholders. This problem has been aggravated by the fact that two major clients have backed out of investing in the new system. This report also looks at the elements of the in-team project plans and the various aspects of the firm.

This drawback has resulted in a very clinical time for the company. This is because the firm is striving to keep their reputation at the top and continue their prolonged advantage over their competitors. This study, therefore aims at focusing on the factors that have been causing the recent failure in the designed system.

Within the report, there is the analysis of the FMEA factors that are within the braking system compared to other products that are within the firms’ production list. This will allow the firm to be able to establish the problems that are causing the braking system to be faulty.

The corrective measures that are being undertaken within the firm would be based on assumptions and statistics collected from any kind of research. The data that is used within the report is as a result of the factors that arise from the market and also from the basic knowledge about how best to create a competitive and structural operation. The GAP analysis is represented by a module that shows the variance within the QC process.

Internal or external supplier

 

Input

 

Process

 

A

 

Output

 

Internal or External

Suppliers

 

 

 

 

 

                                               Quality characteristics                                                                      RQ                                                                                                                Gap

Introduction

Within any firm, there is an allowance that is provided for errors as well as an unexpected change. The problems that are presented to the firm usually make the firm to develop alternatives to various problems which make the company to be better and have a well thought plan that is strategic.

The fact that Stop IT LTD is having this problem that involves their braking system, it means that they will have an alternative to this problem so that they can grow to be better and have a strategic advantage over competitors who have not yet faced this particular problem. The problem solving skills allow easy evaluation and the relevance to determining the main cause of the problem within this designed braking system.

The solution that will be used will be accompanied by a risk assessment that will guide and enable the solutions to the problem be obtained.  These solutions include the delivery to clients who are well within the target market that the firm focuses on.

Project Plan

The project plan involves coming up with a variety of steps that can be used to come up with a more effective problem solving value. The planning involves having the problem so well recognized that it is well fathomed what the firm is dealing with. This is known as problem recognition. The diagram above shows the project plan that would be used by the firm.

There is the planning step that is the most important element within any organization that is trying to solve a particular problem. During the planning process, it is noted that there are a number of sub elements that are used to define the planning design. They define it as being critical and significant when it comes to determining the possible solutions that could be used to improve the entire Stop IT firm.

The first element that is used includes identifying the problem. This however may pose a problem because the firm is seen as being bureaucratic. This means that there is a hierarchical arrangement in the organization that makes access to information to be difficult if not impossible. The problem identification in Stop IT firm however is seen as being the failure of the AB7 braking system.

Quality improvement is seen as the other plan that can be taken into account. This is seen as another critical step that can be taken into account so that the actual variance in the firm that is in trouble can be noted. The problem trickles down to the inefficiencies that are within the departments of the organization as well as the deficiencies that are related by the same departments.

The teams here have the latest styles as well as the latest technology that forms an effective problem solving team. This is because the firm will have creativity and proper innovation mentality. The teams that are involved in this project plan include the horizons of creativity against the environmental affiliations.

Problem definition is the next step that is taken in rectifying the arising issue within the firm. With proper research it is seen that the focus did not only lay in the failure of the rally brakes but also in the organizational structure. Some of the operational variances in this study include in-built variances as well as the other external factors.

Problem analysis: the value of the human resource department is seen as a critical section that as to be adhered to. The staff was found to have had limited access to training facilities and modules when the new design structure was introduced.  The employ training was a major problem because it was needed in order to maintain the quality standards of the manufacturing industry. To solve this problem, training should be done every year to ensure that the firm is able to maintain the effectiveness and efficiency of the firm production sector.

Sustainability is another element that has to be adhered to so as to make sure that the firm’s problems dealt with. The term sustainability is used to mean an operation that is able to withstand the test of time and have investors seeing the continued success.

The braking system of Stop firm has a policy that makes their products be preferable to other companies. The need to expand can, however hamper the skills and the quality of the products that result from the company (Parsley 1995). When looking at Stop firm specifically, the expansion policy resulted in a gap that was introduced within the realistic demands of the company. This means that there was an overproduction of the braking system without any statistical improvement in the commodity’s design.

Some of the examples that show operational variances include the in-built and external factors. The operational conditions show competencies as well as values that are within the HRM which determine the X factor used in the analysis.

Possible cause for the failure in the company may be associated with various elements. As discussed earlier, employee training is a basis of the expansion of Stop firm. From past experiences, it is noted that the larger the management staff is, the greater the difficulty that arise in dealing with the firm’s management. Having a larger staff means that there has to be a better training technique and also better appraisals within the firm. The lack of training means that there is a limitation that results due to the lack of competitive advantage within the firm.

When trying to come up with solutions, it is best to find the best qualified individuals within the company that allows the long term stability of the firm to be ensured. This will create a sense of faith from the stakeholders who will eventually invest in the firm. While the normal operations continue within the firm, the end user needs should be made a priority.

PDSA elements and tools of QC

There are various tools that are used to ensure that the system that is used in every management of a firm is stable and works at efficiency. These tools help to show the creativity index of the entire process of planning that has been listed above. Brainstorming is another method that has been used to come up with plans and also solutions to problems within the firm. Pareto analysis is a critical way that is used to analyze and evaluate the operational failures that are associated with Stop IT. According to Dale & Ivalwarden (2013) the why-why diagram approach is an effective means of enhancing any standards of the association in factors of production.

FMEA Analysis on product

This is an analysis that is enclosed together with a failure mode in it. It is also a design activity that is vital in the design of the braking system. This tool is seen as being universal since it is applicable to any other industries that are involved in the manufacture of the system.

This technique is used to prevent any future failure as well as improve on the existing product design. This gives the firm flexibility in the product design for future sustenance which includes testing an evaluation. By utilizing such a technique, then failure is substituted by risk which allows a preventive measure to be taken that allows the errors to be mitigated.

The common area of application of the FMEA is within the following areas;

  • Discovery of future failure of the mechanism and the risks involved in the design schematic of the braking system.
  • The steps that can be used to lower the occurrence of risk or failure in operation.
  • A follow up plan that allows the firm to evaluate the results and come up with a contingency plan.

 

This is a diagram showing the fish diagram that can be used in comparison to the FMEA analysis. It includes sub systems as well as the causes which can be placed orderly within the fish diagram in order to come up with the general concept of the braking problem. This will in the end result in having the desired output.

The FMEA has steps that are followed, which ensure that development of a product is done at its best. The steps are as discussed below.

Step 1: Pre-work

This section is used to evaluate the past errors that were in the firm so as to achieve a better performance of the FMEA.  The documents that are used in this step include the FMA that is availed within the failure mode. Another tool that is used includes the block diagram tool that becomes necessary when one tries to determine parametric diagrams. The list that is generated here is used to come up with the second step.

Step 2: Development (available in failure mode)

This can be termed as the insertion phase after all variables in other sections have been analyzed. This step helps the Stop firm to view the signs that may lead to withdrawal as well as an increase in stakeholders.  In this step, the elements of failure are brought out to the clear. The development failures arise from within the problem itself together with ideals about the product features and its outputs.

Step 3: Development (Bias to causes and occurrences)

The causes within this step were as a result of conflict with the parameter diagram that links the firm to past failures hence gets the elements within the cause column.

The RPN shows the relativity in risk management while the FMEA has itemization. In this step, there is a fast activity that takes place and involves realistic values. The principle of criticality is based on the severity of the operational protocol.

The table below shows an example of the FMEA done to the braking system design from Stop IT LTD of a vehicle to try and mitigate some of these errors that are arising from the braking system.

Item

Potential failure mode

cause

Local effect of failure

Higher level effect

End effect

severity

Dormancy period

Risk level

mitigation

Brake

mainfold

Leakage from channel A to B

O-ring compression

pressure decreased in the main brake  system

Absence of left wheel braking

Loss of position control

catastrophic

In built test of 1 minute

unacceptable

Require hydraulic independent system

When analyzing the FMEA in terms of design within the Stop IT firm, the focus is on the deficiencies that the system has and the mitigation procedures that can be used to counter the effect of this faulty braking system. The table below shows the modes that can be undertaken to ensure that the problem has been dealt with.

item

Potential failure mode

Potential failure effects

The handbrake provides the correct level of friction between the brake pad, assembly and wheel rim.

insufficient friction that leads to poor braking system

Braking does not occur in the desired time thus prone to accidents.

The diagram below best shows how the elements within the FMEA are related to each other. This shows that one element has an effect on others, thus to rectify one, means that the entire system has been changed.

In the Stop IT LTD firm, there is the FMEA analysis that can be used to show the probable causes of failure for this braking system design. Some of the causes are as listed below.          

  • Cable binds due to poor lubrication as well as having a poor routing system.
  • The cable might break.
  • The presence of external material causing friction to be reduced. i.e. poor terrain, mud etc.

To mitigate these errors it is best to come up with solutions that will reduce if not eliminate the problem entirely. There has to be a proper selection of the material used for the cable so that it has durability as well as proper operation as initially designed.

 

 

Corrective action plan

The FMEA analysis has some of the corrective measures below that have been taken into account to ensure that the plan outlined is adhered to. The measures are as listed below.

  • The firm focuses on the tolerance design accompanied by very minimal cases of operational nuances. This action should have reduced the variation that is involved with input.
  • Control methodology plan; this is used to control improvement. The tools that are used need to be mistake proof to ensure that the evaluation process is well enhanced. The evaluation technique is also enhanced to hasten the operational costs.
  • There are error-proofing values that are accompanied in the approach also. The error value of FMEA of this Stop firm shows that there is a failure value as well as a relatively high cause that arises within the system.

Other Tools & Techniques that can be used to improve the Product

The other element that can be used to improve the product quality is lean. This is a system that increases the critical reflection of individuals in a manner that makes them think appropriately. Other than just eliminating the waste from the system developed, it enhances the tool that can withstand any critical procedure (Park 2006).

The system under lean allows the managers to come up with ways that show and enhance direction within the firm. This is basically a problem solving technique which allows better if not the best forms of management.

Another tool that can be used is the Jidoka technique that was developed by the Toyota (Noboeka 2002) company. This system functions in a manner that allows the authority to be alerted whenever an error has occurred. This system disrupts normal work flow such that every function is halted until the error has been dealt with by management. This system is advantageous but also has its own flaws. This is due to the fact that it requires additional production units to enhance the factorial inputs.

Limitations of using other tools

  1. There is the aspect of loss of time within Stop IT LTD thus made the resources be hard to be used and implemented.
  2. There is the lack of clear expectations when new tools are being used within the firm.
  3. The number of the collaborating staff individuals was insufficient.
  4. When using the new tools, the leadership becomes inadequately engaged thus conflicts arise in management and the technical staff resulting in error within the end product design.

Recommendations

The normal operations of a firm need proper responsibility and a collective role from the company. The output can be contributed to effectively by the use of proper human resource and other external elements such as demand and supply. In this firm respectively, the Stop IT LTD has efficient productions that result from the human resource system being effective and efficient.

Training of the individuals is also necessary so that the employees remain up to date with the latest technology. This ensures that their skills do not become obsolete. With the constant training, the operational innovativeness will improve. To make sure that they are well trained, the best technique would be an on-job evaluation that allows the staff to learn from each other within the motivated environment.

This technique however requires that the clients and the staff have adequate motivation skills in order for them to adapt to the pressure and haste of production (Batalden 2007). According to researchers such as Maslow, for proper motivation to be instilled within an organization, it is necessary that management has direct contact with the staff and allow them to meet their required needs and standards.

Managers of the traditional era used to worry about the averages while the real operational drives of the firm may be hampered.

References

Van Iwaardeen & Dale, B. (2013). Managing quality. J. Wiley & Sons.

Noboeka, K. (2002). Creating and managing high performance network: Toyota Scenario.

Parsley, K. (1995). Int J Health Care Qual Assur (7): 9-13

Batalden, P. (2007). Teaching Quality Improvement; 298:1059-1061.

Park, S.M. (2006) Lean production, TQM and Culture of Company. 18(3), 263-281.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                     

 

 

Persuasive argument demonstrating you are alive

February 18, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

Demonstration that I am Alive

 

 

 

Name:

 

 

 

College:

 

 

 

            How many times do we discuss the topic of death with our friends? The idea of death terrifies a significant section of world population. This has made discussions on death a taboo in many societies, that one can easily be considered inconsiderate for attempting to talk about the topic. As a result, people have not been able to fulfill their potential as they postpone things that they would rather pursue at the moment. This because consider death to be a remote subject, something far away from them. Scholars like Robert Kastenbaum have discussed the topic in depth even discussing the anxiety itself. We all consider ourselves to be alive, but do we use any framework to prove that we are actually alive? In this paper, I will be using Kastenbaum’s notion of life and death to prove that I am actually alive.

            The first characteristic about dead people is that they are non-responsive. They cannot respond to both internal and external stimuli. The body of a dead person cannot express pain when pinched and it cannot even respond to someone trying to pierce the eye. The same cannot be said of me, as I can respond to the same stimuli as well as react when a certain stimulus is causing damage to my body. The fact that I am responsive, which is an attribute that cannot be found in dead persons, is a proof that I am alive. This also includes awareness of what is around someone and perception of events and experiences that take place. In this line, I would not be able to perceive what is required of me had I been dead. The fact that I could read and synthesize the subject matter is further proof that I am alive.

            The other proof concerns my heartbeat and respiration. These activities are controlled by the brain; if the brain is dead, the heart does not know that it should beat and neither do the lungs know that they should function to take in air. The fact that my heart is currently beating means my brain is functioning, something that is reminiscent of life. Kastenbaum talks about brain death as being the prolonged nonreversible cessation of brain activity, with complete absence of voluntary movements, reflexes of the brain stem as well as spontaneous respirations (Kastenbaum, 2011). This thus means respiration is an indication of the absence of brain death and a proof of life. Therefore, the fact that I am able to respire means that I am alive. People in a permanent vegetative state are also able to respire, but they can also not be considered as dead people.  

            Kastenbaum (2011) also alludes to low body temperature and stiffness as a characteristic of death, or rather, a dead person. He said that it was a way used even in the traditional society to ascertain whether someone was still alive or had given up the fight. The body of a dead person has the same body temperature as the environment; it takes up the room temperature under normal circumstances. My case is different; my body temperature is different from that of the environment. This is supported by the fact that in extreme temperatures I feel the temperature gradient. When the environment is cold, I feel the difference (feel cold) as I lose heat to the environment and when it is hot I feel the heat as I absorb it. This is proof to the difference in temperature between me and the environment. This is testament that my temperature is a way constant, something only found in living people. In other words, the body temperature of the dead is not constant. Stiffness of the body is another attribute that Kastenbaum attributes to the dead. Stiffness is the inability to be bent using force. The dead are unable to do that, may be because their brains that are supposed to control such functions are dead. However, I can bend my body parts and this is the reason I am even able to type. However, there are people that are alive but cannot be able to move their body parts even if they want to; for example, people who have had incidences of stroke that paralyze their body parts. However, they can be able to move some parts, unlike a dead person who cannot move any body part, and is not even aware that they should move them anyway. This is another proof that I am alive. Even permanently vegetative persons are able to make some non-purposive movements as their bodies are not stiff.

            The other proof is in regard to decomposition. Cells die and are usually replaced by new ones for persons that are alive. This does not apply to dead people; as they die, so do their cells and they are not replaced. There is no process to convert them to good use and therefore they decompose. This cannot happen to the living as the cells are replaced. The lack of decomposition in my body is another proof that I am alive.

            Proving that one is alive is quite a daunting task. This is because different people view the idea of death differently. Some people look into the idea of one being dead as a member of a society. This is when isolation and loneliness engulfs a person to the extent that s/he is not literally dead but her social interactions are so much altered, just like those of a dead person. Nonetheless, in this case I was dealing with death as the cessation of existence. I tried to prove that I am alive by alluding to characteristics that Kastenpaum believes are used to distinguish the living from the dead. This includes the ability to perceive experiences happening around them, making movements, body temperature and stiffness and respiration and heartbeat. Ascertaining that I have the attributes of a living person, vis-à-vis a dead person I was able to rest my case.             

 

 

 

 

 

Reference

Kastenbaum, R. J. (2011). Death, Society and Human Experience. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education.

 

RALPH LAUREN CORPORATION

February 15, 2014

 

Student’s Name

 

Professor

Course Code/name

Class

Date of Submission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table of Content

  1. Introduction…………………………………………………………………………….3

  2. Ralph Lauren Corporation Description…………………………………………………3

  3. PESTLE Analysis:……………………………………………………………….……..5

    1. Political……………………………………………………………………….…….5

    2. Social………………………………………………………………………….……5

    3. Economic…………………………………………………………………………..5

    4. Technology…………………………………………………………………………6

    5. Environment Aspect………………………………………………………………6

  4. SWOT Analysis………………………………………………………………………..7

4.1 The Strengths and Weakness of the Company…………………………………..……7

4.2 Opportunities and Threats…………………………………………………………….7

  1.  BCG Matrix…………………………………………………………………….……9

  2. Ansoff‘s Matrix………………………………………………………………….….. 9

  3. Porter Five……………………………………………………………………….…..10

  4. Conclusion…………………………………………………………………….……..12

Ralph Lauren Corporation

  1. Introduction

The analysis of organizational environment plays a significant role when it comes to the performance of an organization. In recent times, organizations have realized that there is the need to be sensitive to what is happening within the industry of operations, as well as, to the general environment of the market covered. The analysis of the business environment is becoming complex from time to time due to the increased discoveries and demands from stakeholders. Management of organizations seeks assistance from consultants in order to understand the complexity of the operating environment for the purpose of developing strategies to gain a competitive edge (Johnson, Whittington & Scholes 2012, p.26). Ralph Lauren Corporation is one of the companies, which have realized the importance the knowledge about its operating environment. Issues presented in this case include the full description of the company to understand its background and areas of operations, the PEST and porters five analysis and the determination of essential elements, which are likely to affect the functioning of an organization.

  1. Ralph Lauren Corporation Description

The company was incorporated in 1997 and is involved in design and fashion marketing and distribution. The products of the company include adult (men and women) and children wears. The company has a well organized market segments in wholesales, retail and licensing. Apart from fashion wears, the company has also ventured into home products’ operations. This is a diversification strategy applied by the organization. The wholesale segment sells its products to various outlets in different markets across the world. The outlets including departmental stores and specialty stores among others purchase their products in large qualities due to the command they have in their different markets. They form an important channel of distribution component in that they buy in large quality and sell to customers based on their needs and ability. Ralph Lauren Corporation has been strategic when it comes to the management of the wholesale business segment (Robbins, 2014, p.69). There are stores, which are large in size located in major cities and towns. The target customers of these wholesale outlets are large scale business organizations. In addition, the company has started undertaking wholesale trade in outlets shops. In this case, products, which can be sold to small scale traders such as knit shirts, chino pants and oxford cloth shirts, are sold in wholesale terms to small scale traders.

The retail segment of the company has the largest empire. The outlets are large in size to provide the required space for customers and allow adequate display of products. A typical outlet of the company ranges from 700 to over 38,000 square feet, which depends on the size of the market. In these outlets, there are sections dedicated for men, women and children to allow customers visit sections they are interested in without much movement within the shop. The company has succeeded in the supply and logistics management since they apply the vertical strategy of operations. The retail outlet is also boosted by the application of websites through which online marketing takes place.

The licensing segment of the company also plays a significant role in the company’s operations. The major licensing partners to the company include Luxottica Group, Peerless, Inc., PVH Corp. and L’Oreal S.A. In this case, the licensed partners are allowed to produce products, which are preferred within their market of operations, but brand them Ralph Lauren. This has not only assisted in the localization of the company’s operations, but also has assisted in the development and increasing the brand equity of the company.

Macro Environment Analysis

  1. PESTLE Analysis: Political, Social, Economic, Technology And Environment Aspects

Organizations are required to understand their changing operations environment fully in order to assist them come up with relevant strategies. Macro environment analysis is one of the most essential tools applied in this case. The analysis constitutes of various aspects, which include: political, social, economic, technology and environment aspects.

3.1 Political

Political aspects may determine the level of operations of a company, and the market where it can establish its operations. With the acceptance of the concept of globalization, many governments across the world have allowed foreign investors to invest and exploit opportunities in their economies (Robbins, 2014, p.91). This implies that the protective strategies that were applied in the past have been fading slowly over the years. Ralph Lauren can, therefore, venture into various countries and establish their operations comfortably.

3.2 Economic

Despite the world economic downturns in recent years, there are markets, which have recorded positive growth. In developing economies, the number of people moving from poverty to middle income earners has increased in the last two decades. This implies that the purchasing power of such individuals is improving. Ralph Lauren should, therefore, take advantage of this trend to invest in such economies. Example of such economies includes: Brazil, India, and South Africa among others.

    1. Social Component

The changing social component of people across the world is the other important aspect, which must be put into consideration by Ralph Lauren in developing strategies for the future operation. The world is changing everyday and adopting modern fashions and designs, which attracts the young. More than 50 % of many countries’ population is the youth; thus, no sensible organization can ignore this important section of the market. Ralph Lauren should develop designs, which are appropriate and appearing to the youths.

3.4 Technology

Technology is one of the tools, which cannot be overlooked when it comes to the development of marketing strategies irrespective of which industry an organization is operating in. Through technology, companies have been able to improve their productivity and quality of products delivered in the market. In addition, technology has enabled companies to develop effective distribution strategies and marketing strategies. Through social media and online services, Ralph Lauren can reach out both existing and potential customers particularly the youth.

3.5. Environmental

Environmental care has been the theme of the world in recent times. This is after the realization of the fact that man has been making the world a worse place to live in over the years. To assist in reducing the impact of environmental degradation, organizations and individuals are expected to operate within the carbon emission limits accepted by the international community. Ralph Lauren should be aware of the environmental changes strategies required to assist in sustaining its operations in the future. This can, for example, be realized through the application of recycle and reuse strategy. In this case, Ralph Lauren should seek to buy old clothes, which may have been dumped to process them again and make new ones. This will significantly reduce pollution and contamination of productive land and water bodies. It is very important for the company to observe all the environmental policies in different countries of operations to avoid conflicts with the government and the community concerned.

  1. SWOT analysis

4.1 The Strengths and Weakness of the Company

Ralph Lauren is a known brand across the world, which makes it easy to continue with its marketing operations effectively. The company has a variety of products, which are aimed at meeting the interest of various customers. The application of three segments including the wholesale, retail and licensing strategies assists the company increase its market base. The weakness of the company is that it sells it products at a high price compared with its competitors.

4.2 Opportunities and Threats

Ralph Lauren should be concerned about the rising threats in order to come up with appropriate strategies. The first opportunity comes with the expanding global market. In this case, many countries, which are traditionally referred as poor are at their rise. In such economies, the purchasing power of consumers improves while infrastructural developments take place in major towns and cities. In addition, many governments are in the process of opening up rural areas by constructing middle class road and supply of water and electricity. This implies that such economies are ready to take off and move from poor to middle income economies (Johnson, Whittington & Scholes, 2011, p.52). Ralph Lauren has the opportunity to expand its operations in these economies. However, the company, because of its traditional strategy in which it has targeted middle and high class people, may be challenged by the rising economies. The company charges high prices to its customers because of their social status. This threat has been intensified because key competitors such as Tommy Hilfiger, Gues, and Calvin Klein charge relatively low price on high quality products. The aim of these competitors is to capture all the classes such that high and middle class earners are attracted to high quality products while low income earners can afford to purchase these products.

Bargaining power of suppliers, power of customers and the threat of new entrant are real issues affecting the operating environment of Ralph Lauren. The textile, fashion and design industry has few suppliers with the capacity to supply the required components in large quantities. This implies that companies operating in large scale such as Ralph Lauren are likely to face significantly high bargaining power of suppliers. The power of customers is changing in that customers have a variety of companies to choose from while purchasing products. This implies that Ralph Lauren cannot dictate on prices of goods offered into the market. The threat of new entrants has become real over the years. This is due to the upcoming small and middle sized companies, which are in a position to venture into various markets. These companies are able to succeed in various markets particularly middle and low income markets because they charge affordable prices. The market share of Ralph Lauren is likely to reduce significantly as a result of these entrants. The rate of substitution increases from time to time because new entrants come up with appealing designs, which are attractive to local markets.

  1.  BCG Matrix

The BCG Matrix has four categories of operations in an organization, which include cash cows, question marks, dogs and stars. Among the four, Ralph Lauren is a star due to various reasons including that it has a growing market share while the market is growing as the number of people across the world increases.

  1. Ansoff‘s Matrix 

The matrix can assist in understanding the nature of Ralph Lauren and its performance. Ralph Lauren is an established organization, and is in the process of penetrating new markets. This implies that the company is faced with low risks because it is experienced in the industry.

 

Source (Business Case Studies, 2013)

  1. Porter Five

Ralph Lauren operates in the fashion industry, which has few supplies. This implies that there is high supply bargaining power. Secondly, the customers’ power is moderate bearing in mind that Ralph Lauren has unique products compared to other competitors. The organization is faced with moderate rivalry among existing competitors where price war has been applied. New entrants are not a threat because it requires a lot of capital to set up an operation with the same profile as Ralph Lauren.

  1. Key Marketing Environment Issues, Which Must Be Addressed

From the analysis, Ralph Lauren should be in a position to determine aspects, which must be put into consideration when it comes to the development of strategies for the future operations. These factors include: increased application of technology, the potential in developing economies, environmental care and increasing competition. Such factors must be put into consideration in order to assist the company to remain relevant in the market. Some of these changes are likely to bring about changes in the corporate size, organizational structure and strategies (Law, Zhang and Leung, 2004, p. 362 -364).

The technological application in marketing is something a modern organization in marketing cannot do without. In recent years, the application of online marketing through corporate, mail marketing and social media has been embraced. This is due to the low cost of their operations and effective coverage of the market. Ralph Lauren should come up with a new department to assist in the application of online marketing. This department should be serviced by individuals with adequate knowledge about online marketing. This strategy will assists in covering new markets, exploit existing markets as well as gathering as much information as possible particularly through the social media.

Secondly, Ralph Lauren should expand its operations by introducing its operations in developing economies. This is an essential strategy because these markets are not fully exploited compared to ones in developed economies. The introduction of operations in these markets implies that the company size will increase compared to its current state. The marketing behavior applied by the company in developed economies such as charging high process should be changed to fit within the nature of the market (Deresky, 2014, p.19).

Environmental care is one of the aspects, which Ralph Lauren cannot overlook in the modern world. Communities and governments across the world have become aware of externalities of the corporate world towards the environmental degradations. Ralph Lauren should come up with strategies to reduce the adverse impact on the environment and carry on corporate responsibility to assist in improving current states of environment among communities. This will lead to increased support to the company from community members and the government.

The changing competition is a significant issue for Ralph Lauren to consider and come up with new strategies to maintain its market share and possibly improve. It is clear that competition in the fashion and design industry is at its rise in both the large and small sized competitors. Small-scale competitors are taking advantage of the closeness to the market and understanding of the terrain of their respective markets. This implies that Ralph Lauren should come up with strategies to localize their operations depending on market needs and characteristics (Mullins, 2013, p. 55). On the other hand, large-scale competitors apply low price strategy to compete in the market. Ralph Lauren should look for ways to reduce the cost of operations and acquisition of products in order to reduce the prices changed on its products.

9.0 Conclusion

In recap, Ralph Lauren Outlets are one of the leading dealers in design and fashion products in both wears and home items. It is crucial for companies to understand that the marketing environment is nowadays very dynamic. The increased competition and the application of new technology are some of the key issues, which the company should put into consideration in improving its current marketing strategy. Low price strategy and exploitation of developing economies’ market can play a significant role in improving Ralph Lauren market strategy and operations.

 

 

 

 

 

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Deresky, H 2014. International Management, Global Edition, 8thEdition, London, PearsonproductFormatCode=P01
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Johnson, G, Whittington, R, & Scholes, K 2012. Fundamentals of Strategy, 2ndEdition, London, Financial Times Press.

Johnson, G, Whittington, R & Scholes K 2011. Exploring Strategy Text & Cases plus MyStrategyLab and the Strategy Experience, 9th Edition. London, Financial Times Press.

Law, Ka Ming, Zhang, Zhi-Ming and Leung Chung-Sun 2004. Fashion Change and Fashion Consumption: The Chaotic Perspective.Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, 84, 362-374.

Mullins, L. J 2013. Management and Organizational Behavior, 10thEdition. London, Pearson EducationproductFormatCode=P01
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Sloman, J, Jones, E 2011. Economics and the Business Environment. 3rdEdition, London, Financial Times Press.

 

Technology in Logistics and Operations Management

February 15, 2014

Operations management is a crucial aspect of business operations that has a pivotal role in determining the success of organisations particularly the competitiveness of organisations in their respective markets. The modern world of business is characterised by stiff market competition with every market player making every effort to tower over others by improving the effectiveness, efficiency quality and reliability of its operations while reducing operations cost. There are numerous strategies at the disposal of organisations of which the application of Information Technology (IT) is one of the mostly applied strategies.

The field of IT has shown significant improvements in the later years with practically all industries making every effort to enjoy the benefits of the rapidly and continuously improving IT by applying IT in their operations. Operations management has also received wide and continuous application of IT with the aim of realizing the five key objectives of operations in any given firm: speed, flexibility, dependability, quality and cost. This paper provides an analysis of technology available in different areas of operations. The paper further evaluates how companies employing available technologies in their operations are achieving their respective goals behind the application of such technologies. The paper begins with a brief description of operations management and information before providing a critical analysis of the application of IT in operations management.

Operations Management

As the name suggests, operations management involves the management of the operations of an organisation. MIT Sloan School of Management (2013) defines operations management as the business or organisational function that “deals with the design and management of products, processes, services and supply chain” (Para. 1). Accordingly, operations management also covers logistics because, according to the given definition, operations management involves the acquisition of resources required to produce and deliver goods and services to their destination (clients), develop such resources and utilise the resources in producing and delivering goods and services. Activities included in operations management of an organisation are several, and the main activities include:

  1. Selection and replacement of equipment;

  2. Operational issues, which include scheduling and control of the production process;

  3. Management of inventory including raw materials, products in waiting and processed goods;

  4. Quality management through quality inspection and control;

  5. Handling of materials and management of material traffic; and

  6. Equipment operation and maintenance

The aforementioned are some of the prominent operations management activities. An understanding of the main operations management activities is deemed crucial since it provides the basis for analysis by determining how IT is employed in these activities.

Operations management, as a business function, is key to the success of a business organisation. According to Mahedevan (2010), operations management answers extremely crucial questions that have a determining role in the success of an organisation. Such questions that an organisation often faces include choice of products and services, choice of manufacturing technology, material sourcing, material handling, customer handling, capacity utilisation and quality maintenance among others. Therefore, the employment of IT in any or all of these activities plays a pivotal role in an organisation’s success.

Information Technology

At its most basic, IT involves the application of technology in handling data and information. Stoyles, Pentland and Demant define IT as “ways in which computers can be used to process information” (2003, p. 4). By improving the way data and information is analysed, availed and utilised, IT makes life easier in a myriad of ways. Doyle (2000) outlines the positive impacts of IT particularly on organisations of which operations management is one of the organisational functions highlighted to have been impacted by IT; the impact is expected to increase owing to continuing improvement in IT.

Critical analysis of technology available in different areas of operations

Organisations have continuously made efforts to employ technology in different areas of their operations. One of the organisations that have made successful efforts is Wal-Mart, which has already been crowned as a leader in supply management. Wal-Mart’s prominence mainly comes from its innovation in the supply chain and particularly the use of technology. Below are some of the technologies employed by different firms in different areas of their supply chain.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)

Inventory management has been a labor intensive yet crucial area of operations. Being labor intensive means high operations costs because more workers are required to manually locate items that are required to fill customers’ orders. Additionally, manual inventory management means that firms have to maintain high levels of buffer inventories owing to the uncertainty of inventory level resulting from inaccurate management and prediction of inventory. In the effort to improve the efficiency of inventory management, Wal-Mart introduced RFID technology and particularly RFID tags, which tracks products that are moving along the supply chain through use of numerical codes that are scanned from a distance (Traub, 2012). The use of RFID tags has enabled Wal-Mart to significantly improve its inventory management by eliminating the need for labor-intensive inventory counts.

Wal-Mart has constantly been trying to provide its clients with low priced and high quality products while striving to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its product and service delivery (Traub, 2012). The use of RFID tags has enabled the organisation to realise these goals in that:

  • RFID tags have enabled Wal-Mart to reduce its workforce and hence cut down its operations costs, which has consequently enabled it to lower the price of its products (Traub, 2012).

  • By employing RFID tags, Wal-Mart is now able to process several orders more efficiently and effectively than before (Traub, 2012). With the use of RFID tags, labor-intensive inventory counts are removed since inventory count is done electronically as items pass along a supply chain.

  • Thirdly, RFID tags have improved the accuracy of inventory management, which has enabled Wal-Mart to effectively utilise its capacity (Traub, 2012). For instance, orders that leave the supply chain (purchased by customers) are recorded and deducted from the inventory, which makes it easier for the firm to know which items require replenishment and how soon should replenishment be done based on the rate at which items are moving out of the supply chain (forecasting).

RFID has is currently finding wide application in industries that are quality sensitive such as food and pharmaceutical industry (Bliss and Markelevich 2011). This wide application of RFID is based on the realisation that improvement inventory management, which is facilitated by the use of RFID technology, is increasingly necessary to meet high quality expectations, by customers, and regulations, by various regulating agencies including the government (Bliss and Markelevich 2011).

Electronic Product Code (EPC) technology

EPC uniquely identifies an item moving along a supply chain. It operates globally by identifies the product (name, type and specifications), product manufacturer, the serial number of the product and its version. To use EPC numbers, a company must first register to become a member of the organisation that operates the EPC technology, which is known as EPCglobal Inc (International Housewares Association n.d). Afterwards, the joining company is issued with EPC numbers, which it uses within the network known as EPCglobal Network. EPCglobal Network then allows member companies to share data on different items within the network using the Internet (EPCglobal 2013). EPC works in conjunction with RFID because it uses RFID to send the EPC number. The EPC number is usually attached as a label on the item under consideration. The system then transmits the EPC number from the label using RFID and via airwaves to a reader and later to a computer (International Housewares Association n.d). In doing so, interested parties can track the progress of various items on the supply chain. Such parties could include, for example, a company and its suppliers.

As a leader in supply management, Wal-Mart is one of the organisations that are widely using the EPC technology. In particular, Wal-Mart uses EPC labels for its U.S. stores to count items in its stores and know exactly the products that are running out of stock and how much is required for stock replenishment (Wal-Mart 2013). Wal-Mart’s use of EPC technology is driven by three main objectives:

  1. Improve its inventory in its U.S. stores and other few selected stores in other parts of the world; and

  2. Make sure that the products that its clients want are always in their stores and sufficient amount of such products is available at all times

  3. Ensure optimum utilisation of its available store space or capacity

Through use of the EPC technology, Wal-Mart is able to have an accurate count of the items available in its various stores in the United States within a short time (Wal-Mart 2013). When products move out of the stores (when purchased), Wal-Mart management gets an accurate figure of the remaining stock. In doing so, the management is able to react accordingly, such as bring in new items into stores to ensure that customers are not turned away after failing to get what they wanted. One place that Wal-Mart uses the EPC technology is in its apparel department where EPC enables the organisation to always have the right clothes in terms of size, color and style. As aforementioned, Wal-Mart has continuously made efforts to provide its products at reduced prices. The EPC technology has enabled the organisation to realise this primary goal. Efficient management of inventory, which is made possible by the EPC technology, enables the company to utilise its capacity optimally through accurate forecasting hence being able to maintain its price advantage (Wal-Mart 2013).

Universal Product Code (UPC) technology

UPC is commonly known as bar code, and it is used in several supermarkets and retail stores. In fact, it is used in almost all supermarkets and retail stores. UPC was developed by International Business Machines, not for use in its operations, but as a product that would later result to the sale of IBM bar code readers (IBM n.d). The technology was later adopted by various organisations of which Wal-Mart was one of the pioneers of UPC (Traub 2012). At its most basic, UPC is a tracking tool that aids in inventory management especially in organisations dealing with large stocks comprising of different items.

The invention of UPC by IBM was motivated by the America’s grocery industry persistent search for a way of automating checkout at their stores in the effort to reduce workforce and increase service speed thus serve more customers. Consequently, computer companies were requested to submit proposals on how to realise that dream. IBM took the initiative and designed the UPC, which is universal implying that it is applicable to all products and organisations and does not require membership registration as is the case with EPC (Kennedy 2013).

UPC technology employs a label attached to the product, which contains product information including product name, the type of product, size or weight and price among other details. A scanner is then used to read the details of the label. The scanner is connected to a computer at the checkout location. This connection can be extended to inventory management system. Once the scanner reads the information contained in the product, it sends the information to the computer at the sales point, which aids in the billing process. If the connection is extended to the inventory management system, information from the scanner aids in determining stock remaining in the store through automatic deduction of purchased items. For example, if a client purchases 100 packets of salt, these will be deducted from the available stock, which enables the store’s management to know when to order replenishment stock. This further aids in optimising store space by stocking more of what is frequently bought and less of what is purchased rarely. For example, information from the UPC technology can be used to rank different manufacturers with respect to customer preference or how customers purchase products from different manufacturers. This information is crucial during stocking because management will stock more products from the most preferred manufacturer and less from the other manufactures based on the rate at which products from different manufacturers are purchased.

UPC technology is widely applied and a visit to the local supermarket, retail outlet or grocery store will indicate its wide application. Comparing local supermarkets that use UPC technology with their counterparts that do not use the technology will result to various revelations. Of primary importance is service speed, efficiency and the number of sale terminals. Supermarkets that use UPC technology will be found to have fewer sales terminals, have higher service speed and are more efficient than their counterparts who do not use UPC technology.

Wal-Mart is a pioneer of UPC bar codes in all its stores worldwide (Traub 2012). The company’s adoption of UPC bar codes was motivated by its aim to improve efficiency, speed and the ability to collect and analyse data immediately after a product left any one of its stores (Traub 2012). The employment of UPC technology enabled Wal-Mart realise these goals, which ultimately enabled it to realise its primary goal, cost efficiency. In particular, UPC technology enabled Wal-Mart to reduce its sale terminals, which resulted to a significant reduction in its workforce (Wal-Mart 2013). Consequently, the organisation managed to cut down its operating costs, which enabled it to maintain its price advantage. In its continued desire to improve its efficiency and particularly efficient utilisation of its store space, Wal-Mart introduced Retail Link Technology almost immediately after adopting UPC technology. Retail Link technology connects all distribution centers to analysts. In doing so, Wal-Mart was then able to have an overview of the operations of all centers while analysts could perform relevant analysis for forecasting purposes (Traub, 2012).

Conclusion

Operations management is a fundamental organisational function that has a pivotal role in the success of an organisation and more so in the contemporary world of business. Organisations have realised that the application of IT in operations management can aid in improving speed, flexibility, dependability and quality while enabling them to achieve and maintain cost efficiency. Above are just but a few of the technologies applied in various parts of organisational operations. It is apparent that the application of technology has aided organisations to achieve their core goals. It is upon to organisations to continue being innovative and come up with even better technologies to realise their organisational goals and remain competitive.

Bibliography

Bliss, M. D. & Markelevich, A., 2011. Why New Technologies are Reinventing: Inventory Management. Strategic Finance, pp. 49-53.

Dyle, S., 2000. Understanding Information Technology. Stanley Thornes (Publishers) Ltd.

EPCglobal., 2013. Products & Solutions. [online] Available at: <http://www.gs1.org/epcglobal&gt; [Accessed 22 November, 2013].

IBM., n.d. UPC: The Transformation of Retail. [online] Available at: <http://www-03.ibm.com/ibm/history/ibm100/us/en/icons/upc/&gt; [Accessed 23 November, 2013].

International Housewares Association., n.d. Electronic Product Code (EPC). [online] Available at: <http://www.housewares.org/kc/tech/epc.aspx&gt; [Accessed 22 November, 2013].

Kennedy, P., 2013. Who Made that Universal Product Code? The New York Times. [online] Available at: <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/06/magazine/who-made-that-universal-product-code.html?_r=0&gt; [Accessed 23 November, 2013].

Mahadevan, B., 2010. Operations Management: Theory and Practice, 2nd edition. India: Dorling Kindersley (India) Pvt. Ltd.

MIT Sloan School of Management., 2013. Operations Management: What is Operations Management? [online] Available at: <http://mitsloan.mit.edu/omg/om-definition.php&gt; [Accessed 22 November 2013].

Styles, P., Pentland, P. & Demant, D., 2003. Information Technology. Australia: MacMillan Education Australia Pty Ltd.

Traub, T., 2012. Wal-Mart Used Technology to Become Supply Chain Leader.Arkansas Business. [online] Available at: <http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article/85508/wal-mart-used-technology-to-become-supply-chain-leader?page=all&gt; [Accessed 23 November 23, 2013].

Wal-Mart., 2013. Electronic Product Codes. [online] Available at: <http://corporate.walmart.com/privacy-security/notices/electronic-product-codes&gt; [Accessed 22 November 2013].

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CRIMINAL PROFILING

February 14, 2014

 

 

 

 

 

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CRIMINAL PROFILING

 

 

 

By

Insert your name

 

 

 

Presented to

Instructor’s Name, Course

Institution Name, Location

Date Due

The Effectiveness of Criminal Profiling

Introduction

In the modern society, ensuring that the people who are locked up for crimes that have been committed are not innocent is difficult given the complex nature of these crimes and the changes in the determinants of criminal behaviour. Meanwhile, it is the duty of the necessary authorities to ensure that they only apprehend the people responsible using the most efficient and effective way possible. One of the methods used in the identification of criminals is criminal profiling. Criminal profiling refers to a method used for creating the profile of a criminal based on the analysis of the crime scene. This concept is meant to give the authorities investigating a crime the essential facts about the personality of a criminal that will assist in investigations. Such facts include the profession, the residential area and the possibility of the criminal striking again. However, the effectiveness of criminal profiling has been put to task given the little successful results that have reported from the use of this method. While some people argue that the data collected in the crime scene is hardly enough and may at times be irrelevant and lack credibility, there are those who are of the idea that this method is effective in the identification of criminals in serious crimes such as rape, homicide and mutilation murder among other crimes. This paper will try to evaluate the effectiveness of criminal profiling by the use of empirical evidence.

The Concept of Criminal Profiling

According to Hicks & Sales (2006), criminal profiling refers to the practice of predicting the personality, behavioural and demographic characteristics of a criminal based on the evidence at the crime scene. It involves the analysis of all the obtainable information at the scene of the crime in order to compile a psychosomatic representation (Hicks & Sales, 2006, p. 4).This practice is usually common in the case that the identity of the offender is unknown to the authorities and is commonly used in crimes of a serious nature. It sometimes involves working through a series of crimes that are thought to have been committed by the same offender.

There are two broad types of criminal profiling: geographical profiling and criminal profiling. Geographical profiling involves the investigation on how an offender accessed the scene of the crime and how they left. The profilers conducting this kind of profiling are asked to try and locate the likely location of the offender’s home or the geography of the crimes that are suspected to be related to the offender. On the other hand, criminal profiling involves the identification of the likely personal characteristics of the offender. This is inferred from the behaviour of the offender at the time of the crime. After the apprehension of the criminal, the profiler’s advice on the particular way that a criminal should be interviewed may be sought. This positions criminal profiling as an umbrella of a number of practices involved in the investigation of a crime.

Effectiveness of Criminal Profiling

The effectiveness of criminal profiling in the identification of criminals has drawn a lot of attention due to the questions raised on its accuracy. One of the problems pertaining to the accuracy of this method is the inconsistency of the results that it posts. In this regard, research has shown that the marauder pattern of offending is common with stranger rapists and serial arsonists while burglars have an unclear pattern. Despite this it has also been established that offenders may change their geographical pattern of offending which may lead to incorrect analysis given the inconsistency. In this regard, offenders may change their pattern in different crimes of the same nature while shifting from the marauder behaviour to the commuter behaviour. This was demonstrated in a study examining a serial arsonist in Italy who had committed several crimes over a number of years. From the study, it was revealed that the offender at times acted as a marauder while at other times behaving as a commuter (Abumere, 2012, p. 2). It is therefore unwise to assume the type of topography that an offender fits as is the case with criminal profiling.

In addition, from an analytical evaluation of the criminal profiling in 1997 in the United Kingdom, it was established that although profiling assisted the investigators in furthering their understanding of the case, only a small percentage reported that profiling had assisted in solving the case with an even smaller percentage reporting the use of the profile in the identification of the criminals. In this regard, out of the respondents who took part in the study, only 14.1% reported the actual assistance of criminal profiling in getting the solution to a case. Sadly, only 2.7 of the respondents reported the identification of the offenders using the data that had been obtained from profiling with 5.4% reporting that profiling offered a structure for the interviewing of the apprehended suspects. However, 82.6% of those interviewed reported that profiling was operationally useful in a general sense with 60.9% reporting that profiling had enhanced their understanding of the cases being handled (Trager & Brewster, 2001, p. 20).

Moreover, the profiling topographies that are usually used in criminal profiling are false topographies which raise questions on the accuracy of the results that are reached while using this method. In this regard, the most commonly used topography by the FBI is the organised-disorganized dichotomy which categorizes both crimes and offenders as either organised or disorganised. However, despite this topography being the drive force behind many criminal profiling incidents, its critical evaluation shows that this topography fails to match the variations in offender behaviour. For instance, in an evaluation involving 100 murders committed in the US by serial killers using a multidimensional scaling procedure of the 39 crimes that had been categorised as organised in the Criminal Classification Manual of the FBI, there was no relationship between the topography and the indicated predictions. This was due to the lack of distinct subsets of either organised or disorganised crimes/criminals thereby making it difficult to categorise them. The results were similar in the analysis of the serial sexual homicide topography which failed to show evidence of how homicide crimes could be classified as either power assertive, power-reassurance, anger-retaliatory or anger-excitation (Snook, et al., 2008, p. 1260).

In addition, criminal profiling is ineffective as it is based on an outdated theory of personality that does not have any empirical support. As such, the assumptions in criminal profiling lead to mistakes during the identification of offenders of a crime. As explained in Snook et al. (2008), the majority of criminal profiling approaches are based on the classical trait theory that assumes that the determining factor of criminal behaviour is the underlying dispositions with criminals that influence them to act in a certain way. In addition, these approaches assume that the criminals will portray similar behaviour in other aspects of their lives just like in committing crimes. The authors argue that these assumptions are flawed in that the situational factors play an equal role in determining the behaviour of criminals as does the personality dispositions (Snook, et al., 2008, p. 1262). In support of this, Bennell & Canter (2002) found very low levels of consistency in the behaviours related to the stolen items as well as entry methods. This was unlike the consistency observed in the behaviours relating to crime site choices (Bennell & Canter, 2002, p. 153). This is in addition to the neglect that profilers show in relation to research in closely related fields such as that aimed at identifying consistency in offender samples in the prison and community settings (Snook, et al., 2008, p. 1263). In this regard, profilers continue to make predictions that do not have any basis of empirical research as opposed to heeding this research.

Furthermore, the predictions that are made by the professional profilers show negligible quantitative differences with those of non-profilers. In typical experiments in mock profiling scenarios, it has been found that in some scenarios, the accuracy of the prediction of non-profilers was higher than that of the professional profilers. Even in the case that the opposite happened, the differences that were noted in the predictions were negligible which illustrates the inaccuracy and unreliability of the predictions that are made by the professional profilers (Kocsis, Cooksey, & Irwin, 2002, p. 144). This shows that even in the case that profilers manage to make correct predictions, it might just be a case of sheer luck thereby denting their validity and reliability.

Shanahan (2008) further discredits the effectiveness of the criminal profiling approaches used in the identification of criminals when she refers to data collected through questionnaires sent out the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of the criminal profiling in the department. The questionnaires were specifically seeking to establish whether criminal profiling had led to the arrest of the offenders. The results were mostly negative in that the profiled cases had not led to any arrest. However, majority of those who filled out the questionnaires expressed their confidence in the potential that lay in criminal profiling (Shanahan, 2008, para. 3).

Criminal psychologists have also questioned the scientific validity of criminal profiling as they view it to apply more guess work that empirical evidence. In their argument, criminal profiling provides very little hard evidence from which to work unlike true science where one is able to get a definite result from one thing. In this case, taking one thing when conducting criminal profiling, such as the position of the body on a murder case, cannot be used to arrive at any conclusive prediction. This is due to the many other factors that may come into the equation to mean other things. In addition, some factors may cloud sound judgement of a profiler about the offender based on the crime that has been committed. For instance, a stereotype indicating that most rapists are single men may lead to a false profile about a married man who commits a rape crime (Shanahan, 2008, para. 4).

However, despite all this, criminal profiling has been reported to have high levels of effectiveness especially in helping investigators to focus on investigation. In this regard, Pinizzoto identified that out of 192 requests of criminal profiles, only a minute 17% were useful in the identification of the suspects. However, the same showed that 77% of the respondents indicated that the profiles had assisted them to focus on the investigations. In yet another study conducted in Britain, over 75% of the police officers who were questioned indicated that the advice of the profiler had been useful to them in making predictions about the crime. In their explanation, the advice increased their understanding of the criminal while others indicated that it gave support to their perception of the crimes and criminals. This was despite the minute 3% reporting the use of this advice in the identification of the offenders (Abumere, 2012, p. 4).

However, this can be countered by yet another study involving police from Netherlands. While airing their protests, the officers indicated that the advice from the profilers was too general while others indicated that the advice was not practical given the resources that were at their disposal. In addition, the contradiction between the advice given to them and their opinion was also a factor that contributed to the ignorance of some of the advice given by the profilers. However, these findings cannot be used to fully discredit the effectiveness of criminal profiling given the small size (six) of the sample that was used (Abumere, 2012, p. 4).

In addition, geographical profiling has been found to have some level of efficiency. For instance, the use of Rossmo’s geographical profiling system between 1991 and 2001 in the investigation of 1,426 cases was found to be very effective in the identification of criminals especially in arson cases. In these cases the effectiveness of the method was evaluated using the comparison between the size of the total area and the size of the area that the search began on the basis of geographical profiling. In most of the cases, the residence of the offender was identified after only having searched 5% of the central offence area. Although the effectiveness of the approach varied depending on the nature of the crime, it was high in all cases with arson cases recording the highest effectiveness (Abumere, 2012, p. 3).

In yet another survey conducted to ascertain the usefulness of criminal profiling to police, Snook et al (2007) indicated that out of the 192 cases in which FBI profiling had been requested, 46% of the cases had been solved as a result (Snook, et al., 2007, p. 437). This is in consistency with a study carried out in Netherlands where police officers indicated that they had found the advice given by an FBI trained profiler to be useful to some extent. In addition, 82.6% of the 184 police officers questioned in the US reported to have found usefulness in the profiler advice with 92.4% indicating that they would seek criminal profiling advice again (Snook, et al., 2008, p. 1259).

However, in the view of Abumere (2012), the only cases where criminal profiling has been reported as being effective in the identification of the offenders do not have any statistics availed to authenticate the claims. While referring to the work of Wilson et al. (1997), the author argues that although it is claimed that criminal profiling works in the identification of offenders, this assertion does not have any proof and neither is it referenced. On the contrary, the proposition is based on a case study involving highly profiled crimes which does not have any reference or source of data. This therefore translates to complete unreliability of the findings due to the possible bias in reporting the perfection in the success of the criminal profiling (Abumere, 2012, p. 3).

Conclusion

Criminal profiling refers to a method used for creating the profile of a criminal based on the analysis of the crime scene. It involves the analysis of all the obtainable information at the scene of the crime in order to compile a psychosomatic representation aimed at identifying the criminal involved. However, the effectiveness of the approach in identifying the criminals has been put into task given the little number of the successful cases in the same. This paper has established that criminal profiling is an ineffective method in the identification of criminals given its many shortcomings. In this regard, profiling topographies used in the approach are false which leads to a lot of inconsistencies in reporting. In addition, the approach is based on an outdated theory on criminal behaviour which ignores other determinants of criminal behaviour other than personal dispositions. Lastly, the approach relies so much on assumption and is open to bias when making predictions. On the few cases that efficiency has been reported, the claims are either unauthenticated or countered by other research. However, criminal profiling has been found to be very effective in enhancing the understanding of investigators on different cases. As such, although it might be ineffective in leading to the arrest of a criminal, it can still be applied in enhancing the focus of investigators on a case.

List of References

Abumere, F. I. (2012, October 3). Effectiveness of Criminal Profiling. Retrieved January 6, 2014, from academia.edu: http://www.academia.edu/2333675/Effectiveness_of_Criminal_Profiling

Bennell, C., & Canter, D. V. (2002). Linking commercial burglaries by modus operandi: Tests using regression and ROC analysis. Science & Justice, 42, 153-164.

Hicks, S. J., & Sales, B. D. (2006). Criminal profiling: Developing an effective science and practice. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

Kocsis, R. N., Cooksey, R. W., & Irwin, H. J. (2002). Psychological profiling of offender characteristics from crime behaviors in serial rape offences. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 146, 144-169.

Shanahan, J. (2008, January 18). The Effectiveness of Criminal Profiling. Retrieved January 6, 2014, from legalsource360.com: http://www.legalsource360.com/index.php/the-effectiveness-of-criminal-profiling-5998/

Snook, B., Cullen, R. M., Bennell, C., TaylorL, P. J., & Gendreau, P. (2008). The Criminal Profiling Illusion: What’s Behind the Smoke and Mirrors? Criminal Justice and Behaviour, 35 (10), 1257-1276.

Snook, B., Eastwood, J., Gendreau, P., Goggin, C., & Cullen, R. M. (2007). Taking stock of criminal profiling: A narrative review and meta-analysis. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 34, 437-453.

Trager, J., & Brewster, J. (2001). The Effectiveness of Psychological Profiles. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, 16 (1), 20-28.