Mr Kuzanek is an approved Executive Consultant at Appleton Greene and he has experience in information technology, management and production. He has achieved a Master of Business Administration in Information Technology Management, a Master of Science in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science. He has industry experience within the following sectors: Consultancy; Consumer Goods; Defense; Government and Logistics. He has had commercial experience within the following countries: India; Netherlands; United States of America; Germany and Canada, or more specifically within the following cities: Hyderabad; Amsterdam; Washington DC; Berlin and Toronto. His personal achievements include: Colgate Chairman’s Difference Award; Military Meritorious Service; business intelligence leadership; process improvement champion and Data Science Master. His service skills incorporate: systems integration; business intelligence; predictive analytics; process engineering and project management.
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The origin and evolution of what is now called Business Intelligence are not as recent as the development of networking technologies and the computer itself. The origins are almost as old as the history of human civilization. Data has always needed to be collected for various purposes. Ancient civilizations required information about taxes, armies, population, and many more issues, requiring data to generate this information to be collected and stored. The first examples of written language is in fact data storage. The Roman Empire was exceptionally fond of bureaucracy of any kind and record-keeping, especially after the invention of better forms of paper. The challenge of storing more data and then retrieving it to generate information continues to the present day.
With the growth of electronic computing power, came the development of increased data and information storage and retrieval capability. Decks of punched cards, reels of paper tape, high speed and high density magnetic tapes, magnetic disk drives, and solid state storage units was the progression of technology to increase capacity and reduce space – several of the technologies are still being used today. Programmers had to develop increasingly complex Database Management Systems to manage the continuously growing stored data. The first revolution in data maintenance and retrieval was relational database technology where data was organized and stored in similar “business related” components – allowing a more organized and efficient way to access data according to known business rules and relationships. With the continuing advance of more robust networks, managing the everyday business transactions turned from batch processing to taking advantage of real time events – and with that an increasing demand on data capture and information generation quality. Unfortunately, the transactional data collection systems and tools of that era were inappropriate for the job of conducting business research and compiling usable information – as their primary purpose was to speed along the data capture process.
Business Intelligence began coming of age in the late 1980s as the potential value of the massive amounts of data began to be recognized as a business asset instead of expense. Business Intelligence began comprising a wide array of technologies, practices, and protocols required to produce quality and achievable business insights. The actual meaning of Business Intelligence may differ from company to company, depending on their business model and competitive position in the market. Nevertheless, even though there may not be a universal definition of Business Intelligence, the common theme meets four basic requirements – to produce timely, high-value, accurate, and actionable fact based insights to business challenges.
Business Intelligence is constantly evolving and increasing its importance to corporate and governmental entities. Business Intelligence has historically been associated with technologies of data warehousing, however recent technological advances are making business insight capable of finding and extracting data from fluid and unstructured source systems, such as social media, and then transform it into whatever will be needed for business analysis.
Business Intelligence today is an integrated hardware, software, and network solution designed to facilitate the efficient and effective use of data and information within an organization. Although Business Intelligence requirements can vary in different business sectors, and many tools are industry-specific, most Business Intelligence environments provide a similar core suite of capabilities. The data gathered for Business Intelligence usage originates in various “sources of truth”, from Enterprise based systems such as Customer Resource Management, Supply Chain and Demand Management, Product Lifecycle Management, and Financial Management – to spreadsheets, text files, machine logs, and social media – all translated and organized into Data Warehouses according to an organization’s specific needs and then presented in various ways understandable by business knowledge workers.
There are many reasons why Business Intelligence is an important investment made by organizations. When properly implemented, deployed, and maintained, Business Intelligence tools can bring many benefits to a company, not the least of which is to improve its performance. Business Intelligence allows more effective mapping and transformation of source data into beneficial information. With Business Intelligence environments, new and/or more specific views on organizational data can be quickly deployed. Data Mining can also be performed, which helps uncover relationships and patterns in data which had not been known before. Business Intelligence efficiently supports frequently changing management and operational processes. Without needing to change source data systems, correctly implemented Business Intelligence assists fact-based management and develops effective and consistent forward looking access to information on customer activities, current trends on the market, as well as supply chain performance.
In today’s fast changing, turbulent and unpredictable economy, where “extraordinary is ordinary”, having yesterday’s typical Business Intelligence system which provides only tools for reporting and analysis is not enough. Modern Business Intelligence platforms provide rich visualization dashboards, planning and budgeting solutions, scorecards, event monitoring, efficient in-memory processing engines for data analysis, advanced reporting features, mobile access, and workflow business rules components. Business Intelligence is more than just a technology platform, it is a process which works for any size organization to support data gathering and processing, data-based managing, and fact-based decision making for successful performance within an increasingly crowded marketplace. The Business Intelligence approach works so well because it integrates business process perspective, the customer perspective, and provides a way to quantify all the value chain drivers, not just the financial factors.
The majority of Business Intelligence implementations don’t deliver the anticipated results. In fact, Business Intelligence projects fail at an astonishingly high rate – between 70 percent and 80 percent, according to the Gartner Group. Organizations of all sizes suffer from countless oversights and poor judgment calls during planning, tool selection, and rollout – mistakes that can be detrimental to Business Intelligence success. Utilizing consulting services as provided by Mr. Kuzanek, who has experience with avoiding these missteps, will significantly reduce the chance of a failed Business Intelligence deployment.
Companies can elect whether they just require Appleton Greene for advice and support with the Bronze Client Service, for research and performance analysis with the Silver Client Service, for facilitating departmental workshops with the Gold Client Service, or for complete process planning, development, implementation, management and review, with the Platinum Client Service. Ultimately, there is a service to suit every situation and every budget and clients can elect to either upgrade or downgrade from one service to another as and when required, providing complete flexibility in order to ensure that the right level of support is available over a sustainable period of time, enabling the organization to compensate for any prescriptive or emergent changes relating to: Customer Service; E-business; Finance; Globalization; Human Resources; Information Technology; Legal; Management; Marketing; or Production.
The Gartner Group recently conducted a CIO forum with a focus on what Business Intelligence and it’s follow on technology Predictive and Prescriptive Analytics looks like in the near future. The overwhelming results point to the benefits of fact-based decision-making across a broad range of disciplines, including: marketing, sales, supply chain management, manufacturing, engineering, risk management, finance, research, product development, and Human Resources. Major changes are also indicated to be imminent to the world of Business Intelligence and Analytics – including the dominance of data discovery techniques, wider use of real-time streaming event data, and the eventual acceleration in Business Intelligence and Analytics spending as Big Data continues to mature. Gartner also goes on to cite, as the cost of acquiring, storing and managing data continues to fall, organizations are finding it more and more practical to apply Business Intelligence and Analytics in a far wider range of business situations.
As enterprises continue to recognize the economic value of information, and see the opportunity to capture and apply ever greater volumes of detailed data, they will come to expect access to Analytics technologies capable of making sense from event streams. This goes beyond traditional and mainstream Business Intelligence to a breed of technologies capable of producing autonomous insights and inferences quickly.
Traditional vendors of Analytic platforms recognize that in order to expand their reach beyond traditional power users, they must deliver packaged domain expertise and applications to enable self-service by a wider range of users. Service providers are seeking to turn custom project work and domain expertise into repeatable solutions that can be adopted by other organizations more easily. The result is that end-user organizations selecting Analytic applications will have a significantly wider variety of possible providers to evaluate. Organizations evaluating software vendors will almost always find a service version of their packaged applications, and the similarity of product concepts will shift the emphasis of competition to the domain expertise embedded by the vendors into the application.
Despite the strong interest in Business Intelligence and Analytics, confusion around Big Data is inhibiting spending on Business Intelligence and Analytics platforms. Service providers will garner business by closing the gap between available Big Data technology and business cases. As Big Data matures and more packaged intellectual property is available, Big Data Analytics will become more relevant and mainstream.
Ironically, the confusion that surrounds the “Big Data” term and the uncertainty about the tangible benefits of Big Data are partially to blame for the soft Business Intelligence and Analytics market. In the interim, Business Intelligence and Analytics continue to remain at the forefront for CIOs, and service providers will attempt to bridge much of the confusion. The gap will close when Business Intelligence, Analytics, and Big Data become integrated within the same product offering. When the solution has found the problem, when the discussion has matured from technology to business, and when there will be more off-the-shelf capability available, Big Data Analytics will pervade almost all platforms of Business Intelligence.
The following list represents the Key Service Objectives (KSO) for the Appleton Greene Business Intelligence service.
- Data Integration
To make sound decisions and comply with governmental reporting requirements, an organization must first establish a solid data foundation. This foundation must combine historical data with current values from operational systems in order to provide a single version of the truth that can be then used to identify trends and predict future outcomes. Data integration technology is the key to consolidating this data and delivering an information infrastructure that will meet strategic business intelligence (BI) initiatives and tactical and governmental reporting requirements. Data integration is the enabling technology for providing trustworthy information, enhancing IT and end-user productivity, and helping organizations achieve and maintain a competitive edge. Data integration enables mid-size and large organizations to effectively and efficiently leverage their data resources in order to satisfy their analysis and reporting requirements. While a home-grown data integration effort frequently yields a quick and dirty solution that may initially appear inexpensive, any upfront savings are often soon lost as demands on resources and personnel change. Vendor supported and consultant guided solutions, on the other hand, have withstood the test of time. Since they include capabilities such as metadata integration, ongoing updates and maintenance, access to a wider variety of data sources and types, and design and debugging options rarely offered by in-house solutions, they serve to increase the productivity of the IT organization. This is an important advantage as few organizations have unlimited resources and most are under constant pressure to do more with less. Additionally, most home-grown data integration solutions are rarely integrated with an organization’s BI tools. Such integration is, however, available with commercial offerings either by adherence to industry standards and/or through integration with the BI tools offered in the data integration vendor and consultant product portfolio.
- Data Modeling
Data Models visually represent the nature of data, business rules governing the data, and how it will be organized in a database. A data model is comprised of at least two parts, logical and physical. Data Models are created in either a Top Down or Bottom Up approach. In Top Down, data models are created by understanding and analyzing the business requirements, where in Bottom Up, data models are created from existing data structures – sometimes known as reverse-engineering. Data Models for transaction environments are created by normalizing the data into relationships, inheritance, composition, and aggregation properties. Data Models for warehouse environments seek to de-normalize data for performance. Data Models serve as the blueprint for building the physical database and applications which will rely on the data within the database. Improper or hap-hazard data modeling will only result in down-stream inefficiencies when developing or maintaining any applications. Data flow modeling is an approach which focuses on the flow of data between various Business Processes and helps to capture and document the information movements within an organization. In addition to the flow they describe data sources, destinations, storage, and transformations. Data models can be used effectively at both the enterprise level and on projects. Enterprise architects will often create one or more high-level logic models that depict the data structures supporting an enterprise, models typically referred to as enterprise data models or enterprise information models. An enterprise data model is one of several views that the organization may choose to maintain and support. Other views may explore network/hardware infrastructure, the organization structure itself, software infrastructure, and business processes.
- KPI Dashboards
Visual data discovery tools have grown in usage because of their agility. With production-style reporting, IT developers usually custom code a report based on specific requirements. With business query tools, IT first designs a data warehouse, and then models a semantic layer or business view based on subject areas in the data warehouse. Visual data discovery tools often allow users to bring their own data sources—whether modeled or not—into an exploration environment. Data may come from a data warehouse, and when possible, still have a semantic layer that may be optional and auto-generated as the data is loaded. In this way, if a company wants to bring in a new data source (whether big data from sensors or Web logs or small structured data from a supplier or distributor), the business user can do so with minimal IT intervention. Adding new data sources in a traditional data warehouse and BI environment may take months, in a visual data discovery environment, it happens sooner. Agility also comes from the ability to manipulate the data, dynamically creating bins, defining new groupings, or displaying values as percentages. More tools are providing lightweight data cleansing and transformations that business users can perform on their own. Dashboards, much like production-style reports, were once designed exclusively by IT based on predefined requirements. Each visual and interactivity, whether a drill or filter, had to be programmed in advance. Second-generation dashboards brought a greater degree of reusable components and out-of-the-box interactivity but were still largely developed by IT. Today, most visual data discovery tools support user-assembled dashboards and story boards. These visual data discovery tools are not solely for the data scientists and power users who want to explore new data sources, they also allow business users to assemble their own dashboards, bringing self-service BI to a broader class of users. Self-service BI doesn’t have to mean starting with a blank screen, it can mean navigating and exploring within a well-defined starting point. Dashboards provide this starting point by focusing all workers on the KPIs and business metrics that matter most.
- Descriptive Analytics
The goal of Data Analytics is to get actionable insights resulting in smarter decisions and better business outcomes. How organizations architect business technologies and design data analytics processes to get valuable and actionable insights varies widely. Nevertheless, it is critical for organizations to design and build a data warehouse / business intelligence (BI) architecture that provides a flexible, multi-faceted analytical environment, optimized for efficient absorption of and analysis on large and diverse datasets. Descriptive analytics looks at data and analyzes past events for insight as to how to approach the future. Descriptive analytics looks at past performance and understands that performance by mining historical data to look for the reasons behind past success or failure. Almost all management reporting such as sales, marketing, operations, and finance, uses this type of post-mortem analysis. Descriptive models quantify relationships in data in a way that is often used to classify customers or other business critical concepts into groups. Unlike predictive models that focus on predicting an outcome, such as customer behavior, descriptive models identify many different existing relationships between customers or products. Descriptive models do not rank-order customers by their likelihood of taking a particular action the way predictive models do. Descriptive models can be used, for example, to categorize customers by their product preferences and life stage. Descriptive modeling tools can be utilized to develop further models that can simulate large number of individualized agents and make predictions and then support business process simulation.
- Predictive Analytics
Predictive analytics has come of age as a core enterprise practice necessary to sustain competitive advantage. Predictive analytics turns data into valuable, actionable information. Predictive analytics uses data, usually from descriptive analytics, to determine the probable future outcome of an event or a likelihood of a situation occurring. Predictive analytics encompasses a variety of statistical techniques from modeling, machine learning, and gaming theory that analyze current and historical facts to make predictions about future events. In business, predictive models exploit patterns found in historical and transactional data to identify risks and opportunities. Models capture relationships among many factors to allow assessment of risk or potential associated with a particular set of conditions, guiding decision making for candidate transactions. The three basic cornerstones of predictive analytics are: Predictive Modeling, Decision Analysis, and Optimization Transaction Profiling. An example of using predictive analytics is optimizing customer relationship management systems. They can help enable an organization to analyze all customer data therefore exposing patterns that predict customer behavior. Another example is for an organization that offers multiple products, predictive analytics can help analyze customers’ spending, usage and other behavior, leading to efficient cross sales, or selling additional products to current customers. This directly leads to higher profitability per customer and stronger customer relationships. An organization must invest in a team of experts (data scientists) and create statistical algorithms for finding and accessing relevant data. The data analytics team works with business leaders to design a strategy for using predictive information.
Hill’s Pet Nutrition
Mr. Kuzanek has lead the re-engineering of 8 disparate information systems into an integrated environment aligned with the various business processes and senior leadership goals – yet remaining flexible enough to react to changes in business process and goals. Mr. Kuzanek was an instrumental part during the Colgate wide design and deployment of a new SAP technology stack, Product Lifecycle Management – which is also integrated with the Hill’s non-SAP systems. Mr. Kuzanek leads the development of a Business Intelligence environment providing management at all levels of the organization a clearer and timelier view into operating and performance trends – as well as providing reliable predictive analytic capability.
Travel and Transport
Mr. Kuzanek was contracted by Travel & Transport, Omaha, NE to direct the development of a Client/Server Data Warehouse environment. Travel & Transport is a national travel agency, concentrating primarily on corporate travel clients. Their challenge was an operational environment kept busy with travel agent interfaces, being adversely affected by back-office processes such as production reports, ad-hoc access, and analytical decision-making. Mr. Kuzanek worked with teams of Travel & Transport employees to develop business process models and a test plan that defined support and services required from the Data Warehouse. These business models then drove the development of data models for Warehouse architecture and communication load expectations for network upgrade requirements. Following successful client/server implementation within the corporate environment, Mr. Kuzanek then helped conceptualize, plan, and implement a web service extension to the system for use by company travel agents, marketing, and management while on the road, as well as client corporate travel managers.
U.S. Coast Guard
Mr. Kuzanek is a retired U.S. Coast Guard Commander, with assignments in Polar Operations, Search & Rescue, Port Security, and administration at CG Headquarters in Washington DC. His last assignment was Director, Systems Management at the Pay and Personnel Center, Topeka, Kansas – responsible for the strategic direction of the Coast Guard’s pay, personnel, travel, and training systems – including management oversight of the joint process architecture, uniform procedures, and coordinated functional requirements for Coast Guard wide pay/personnel/training/travel systems. During this tour Mr. Kuzanek was selected by the Coast Guard Headquarters Executive Steering Committee to participate on a ten-month “Blue Ribbon” team charged with developing a Coast Guard wide streamlining plan to meet Department of Transportation and Presidential objectives. In this capacity he directed a wide range of Information Technology focused Quality Action Team and Natural Work Group activities, including Flag level management interviews, presentations, and examination of politically sensitive cross-functional issues.
South Dakota Department of Transportation
Mr. Kuzanek was contracted by K/E Inc., Ann Arbor, MI to fill the Project Management and System Architect role for the State of South Dakota Department of Transportation’s new Accident Reporting system. This multi-million dollar project standardized motor vehicle accident reporting by all state-wide law enforcement agencies through significantly more digital methods (including mobile patrol car software), as well as providing enhanced GIS analysis and ad-hoc reporting capabilities to traffic and safety engineers. As System Architect, Mr. Kuzanek lead the team of subject matter experts, data analysts, system analysts, and programmers through the logical and physical design of integrating numerous existing and several new technologies, taking into account varying team member personal and professional dynamics. Under Mr. Kuzanek’s guidance, the project passed through all of the project stages – scoping, feasibility, analysis, design, development, testing, documentation, training, deployment, and transition to operations – including an end-user satisfaction measurement protocol employed during beta testing.
Mr. Kuzanek was contracted by Soza & Company, Fairfax, VA to be the consulting Program Manager for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) Legacy Support and Y2K Verification and Validation contract. He was directly responsible for managing an $8M contract and the Soza employees in the Kansas City area engaged in conducting a Y2K Verification and Validation effort on the agency’s various mainframe and client/server systems. All 6 RMA systems were validated and verified for Y2K transition, on time and on budget – while also successfully implementing 12 application version updates and 2 operating system and programming language upgrades to the same systems.
More detailed achievements, references and testimonials are confidentially available to clients upon request.
This service is primarily available to the following industry sectors:
Consulting has long been a high-paying, high-profile field that offers the opportunity to take on a large degree of responsibility and impact a great deal of effectiveness and efficiency in the business world. In essence, consultants have been hired advisors to corporations. They have tackled a wide variety of business problems and provided solutions for their clients. Depending on the size and chosen strategy of the firm, these problems have been as straightforward as researching a new market, and as technically challenging as designing and coding a large manufacturing control system, or as sensitive as providing outplacement services for the HR department, or as sophisticated as totally rethinking the client’s organization and strategy. Management consultants have been skilled at conducting research and analyzing it. Research means collecting raw data from a variety of sources including the client’s computers, trade associations in the client’s industry, government agencies, and, perhaps most importantly, surveys and market studies that are devised and implemented by the consultant. It has also meant interviewing people to gather anecdotal information and expert opinion. The interviewees have been virtually anyone, from industry experts to the client’s top executives to the client’s lowest-level employees. All this data is then analyzed, using tools from spreadsheets to the consultant’s own brain. The idea has been to spot behavior patterns, production bottlenecks, market movements and other trends and conditions that affect a client’s business. The consultant’s ultimate job has been to improve the client’s business by effecting changes in response to analysis. The hardest part has involved convincing the client to accept recommendations, often in the face of opposition from client executives who resent outsiders upstaging them with the boss or resistance from company employees who have something to lose from change. Consultants who succeed have needed excellent people skills and the ability to put together a persuasive presentation. Nevertheless, consultancy has required the ability to handle disappointment if a solution fails or the client decides not to even try implementing it. In Mr. Kuzanek’s experience, E-Business Consulting, e.g. the Internet of things, is changing the way companies do business and the kind of consulting they need. When Mr. Kuzanek first began an independent consulting business in 1996, he was heavily engaged in mainframe / server and back-office environments. After 10 years as a consultant, Mr. Kuzanek was lured back into the business arena, where he has been fortunate to increase experience in user-facing environments, as traditional consulting practices are in danger of becoming less relevant in the Internet Age. Many consultancies have some sort of e-business push underway, whether it’s a specific e-biz practice, a special initiative, or just funneling a ton of cash into figuring out all the ways they can use the Internet to help their clients. One good thing about the advice business, companies always seem to want more. As evidence, the consulting industry has been on a sustained growth binge for well more than a decade. One other thing about the consulting business, the product really is the people, and firms compete on the basis of who’s the smartest and the hardest working. As a result, each firm wants to hire the best and the brightest. However, the consultants of tomorrow will require different skills than the consultants of today – particularly Information Technology specialists who constitute one of the fastest-growing sectors of the consulting world, even though this sector’s growth isn’t quite as meteoric as that of strategy consulting. Mr. Kuzanek see’s the consulting area of Data Science being a significant growth area.
A consumer product is one of those elastic phrases that can include any of the jars, boxes, cans, or tubes on the kitchen and bathroom shelves. This industry manufactures, and perhaps more importantly, markets everything from food and beverages to toiletries and small appliances. Typically not included in this category but covered in other specific industry sectors are: autos, apparel, entertainment products, and consumer durables, which are large appliances and other products expected to last more than three years. The consumer products industry has usually been divided into four groups: beverages, food, toiletries and cosmetics, and small appliances. Most companies have offered products that fit primarily into only one of these groups, although a company may have had a smattering of brands that cross the lines. Nevertheless, most consumer product goods companies are generally similar in organizational structure, emphasis on brand management, and approach to business. Consumer products have been the foundation of the modern consumer economy. The industry itself not only has generated an enormous portion of the gross domestic product, it also pumps huge amounts of money into other industries, notably advertising and retail. Individual consumers have made up the majority of this industry’s customers. Success in consumer products has been all about marketing an individual product, often by promoting a brand name. The competition has been stiff for shelf space, so package design, marketing, and customer satisfaction have been key elements. Aside from the occasional breakthrough in manufacturing process, the current buzz in consumer product goods is the marketing methods which employ Data Science to utilize vast amounts of data collected in social media. Many of the more forward-thinking consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are trying to enhance growth via alliances with other companies. CPG companies are doing this for a number of reasons. Some are doing it to create and bring to market new products with less risk than they’d have if they were going it alone. Some are doing it to reach new demographics. Others are doing it to expand geographically into new markets. Still others do it for other reasons, such as to increase operating efficiencies, cut costs, or reduce capital outlays. A growing number of consumer products companies and divisions within the companies are known as “fast followers” – companies that imitate rather than innovate. These companies grow by acquisition rather than by invention. Other than a few line extensions here and there, they rarely introduce revolutionary new products. This isn’t an industry-wide phenomenon, but an indication that the CPG industry as a whole is somewhat slow moving and generally risk-averse. For several years, consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies have relied upon the strength of developing markets to compensate for sluggish economic growth in more mature economies. However, recent economic headwinds in major developing countries like China, Brazil, and India are forcing companies throughout the consumer products industry to work harder just to maintain profitable growth. CPG companies will need to increasingly embrace digital commerce and predictive analytics to succeed in the current climate of economic uncertainty. The confluence of eroding brand loyalty, enduring recessionary consumer attitudes, rising digital influence on the shopping path to purchase, and cross-channel conflict creates a challenging future for CPG companies. In the U.S. alone, economic and global uncertainty, along with the severity of the last recession, has left consumers cautious, frugal, and resourceful. It is expected that many will be embracing retailer loyalty cards, store brands, and coupons to save and are delaying purchases until items are marked down. These frugal behaviors are likely to endure in the coming years, as a vast major of consumers plan to keep their spending on food, beverage, and household goods at its current level even if the economy slightly improves. Becoming the “Brand Recommended Most Often” will be paramount to market share.
The Defense Sector has been the worldwide industrial complex that enables research and development, as well as design, production, delivery, and maintenance of military weapons systems, subsystems, and components or parts. In the U.S. alone, the defense sector partnership has consisted of Department of Defense components, more than 100,000 defense industrial base companies and their subcontractors who perform under contract to the Department of Defense, companies providing incidental materials and services to the Department of Defense, and government owned/contractor-operated and government-owned/government-operated facilities. Defense industrial base companies include domestic and foreign entities, with production assets located in many countries. The sector has provided products and services that are essential to mobilize, deploy, and sustain military operations. The defense industrial base sector has not typically included the commercial infrastructure such as power, communications, transportation, or utilities used to meet military operational requirements. These commercial infrastructure assets have been addressed by other sector specific organizations. The market for weaponry has had its own cycle. During a war, defense spending rises rapidly, with expenditures on procurement and research & development (the lifeblood of this industry), climbing at a fast pace, but when the war is over, and/or public perceptions of risks fade, then spending on defense stops climbing. Demands for government money, which have tended to rise in times of economic distress, while tax receipts fall, is another factor that has historically reduced the priority of defense spending. The most important programs competed for by defense sector companies tend to be very large. As a result, contractors on such programs need to be sizable, with considerable financial and personnel resources. This applies both to the defense and commercial segments of this group. A couple of decades ago, there were four makers of large jetliners, excluding the Soviet Union, whose aircraft were generally uneconomic to operate. Now there are only two in “The West”. The expense of developing a new class of aircraft or weapon system is very expensive in money, other resources, and time. The number of distinct defense businesses has also shrunk; with many now part of their acquirers. There are still many niches for subcontractors, as the biggest companies often provide subsystems to other organizations as sub-contractors. Overall near term global revenues in the defense sector will likely continue to decrease in the near future. Yet, defense spending is increasing in several specific areas of the globe, especially in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, India, South Korea, Japan, China, and Russia, as these countries equip their militaries with modern defense platforms and technologies. Nevertheless, escalating tensions involving terrorism and damaging cyber-attacks may have a “spike” effect on future spending in the sector. On the financial side of the sector, global aerospace and defense sector growth slowed down in recent years, with the U.S defense subsector slowdown a key contributor. Company rankings have changed recently, reflecting commercial aerospace growth. While the defense sector becomes increasingly global, U.S. companies continue to dominate, with Europe gaining momentum in revenue growth, but losing some ground in profitability. Defense sector executives see global spending declining over the foreseeable future. They see the defense industry changing, and they are all taking measures to adapt. Leaders are preparing to meet the challenge of evolving customer needs, especially the quest for affordable products, and expect to be active in corporate restructuring. Companies intend to find growth in international markets such as India and the Middle East. These companies see growth potential in commercial aerospace, services, unmanned systems, and cyber security, with interesting differences of opinion on the relative attractiveness of these opportunities. It is also expected that defense customers will change their focus from procuring the systems with the highest possible performance to ones that are more affordable, yet still effective. It remains to be seen if defense suppliers will be able to change their internal processes to deliver more affordable, rather than exquisite, products. With this in mind, defense sector providers want greater transparency, simplification and acceleration of processes, and more open dialogue and collaboration from the defense consumers. A clearer strategy backed by long-term planning and increased consistency will also help the sector adjust.
The historically primary function of the government sector is to align resource allocation decisions that might not otherwise be made by the rest of the economy. While the government sector has long been defined based on “who” is included – e.g. which level of the government hierarchy, this sector has also be delineated based on “what” it does, which is regulation, or otherwise the economic act of establishment, execution, and enforcement of laws. In doing so, the government sector seeks to maintain order and to provide structure to economic activity. In order to accomplish this regulatory and enforcement function, the government sector needs resources, which it acquires through taxes. The ability to collect taxes, which is nothing more than a special type of regulation, then also entails spending. The taxing and spending ability creates an important dimension of government. Government regulation, however, has been like fire. When under control it has done a lot of good. When out of control it has provided havoc. Historical debates over the proper role of government in society is whether or not this line has been crossed, whether or not government has become out of control. Specific governments do not all operate the same, just like specific companies in any other business sector do not all operate the same. The “western capitalist” government sector can be described as a component of the circular flow model of the economy. The circular flow captures the continuous movement of production, income, and payments between producers and consumers. The four components of this simple model are: household sector, business sector, product markets, and resource markets. The household sector contains the consuming population of the economy. The business sector includes all of the producers. The circular flow involves the income used by the household sector to purchase goods through the product markets, which is obtained by selling services through the resource markets. It also indicates that the revenue used by the business sector to pay for services obtained through the resource markets is generated by selling goods through the product markets. The primary function of the government sector is to divert a portion of income away from the household sector and revenue away from the business sector, through taxes or government borrowing, which it uses to finance government purchases and operations. Many business sector leaders expect the government sector to be among the stakeholders with the biggest economic impact on their companies over the next three to five years, in spite of recent events, such as the electoral success of the Republican Party in the United States and the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, which might have otherwise caused business leaders to expect less government activity. Specifically, business sector executives in energy, financial services, and health care are expecting governments as the stakeholders most critical to their companies’ economic value, even more significant than customers, with operating income likely to decrease as a result of governmental influence. Most business sector executives also suggest their industries should engage with governments more proactively and regularly, regardless of immediate interest, yet many companies actually do. Based on business attitudes toward government, and whether companies benefit from being as transparent as possible with government, and whether greater government involvement is good or bad for business, companies appear to be getting bucketed into five groups: opportunists, avoiders, partners, reluctant engagers, and adversaries. Opportunists believe policy and regulation generate new business opportunities, while partners also see those specific opportunities along with broader business benefits from transparency and involvement in shaping policy, leaving the other categories being more negative than positive about government’s role in their businesses.
The Logistics business sector has been, and continues to be a diverse collection of activities, however all boil down to a basic premise of having the right thing, at the right place, at the right time. Moving materials from point A to point B has been a prospect of conducting business for many hundreds of years. The discipline of logistics itself is relatively young, with its first mention in an 1898 article, but the concept of a third party logistics (3PL) and coining of terms like “supply chain management” really didn’t get their start until the 1980′s. Before large scale usage of 3PL services most large industries maintained their own internal logistics function – a huge capital overhead to maintain. Over time these 3PL’s expanded their services to cover specific geographies, commodities, modes of transport and integrated their existing warehousing and transportation services. A commonly noted moment in history which paved the way for the creation and growth of the 3PL industry was the trucking deregulation of the 1980’s. More specifically it was the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 that limited the Interstate Commerce Commission’s authority over trucking which had previously regulated rates and made it nearly impossible for newcomers to start companies in the trucking industry. With the exception of a few companies with large degrees of integration, the logistics industry was very fragmented. There were trucking companies, the railroads, overseas shipping lines, and then there were storage companies. With trucking deregulation, companies that had previously been in very narrow aspects of logistics were given more freedom to move into areas such as freight management, and increased competition in trucking moved some trucking companies into warehousing as well. A more modern day definition of the Logistics business sector involves the process of planning, implementing, and controlling the efficient, effective flow and storage of goods, services, and related information from point of origin to point of consumption for the purpose of conforming to customer requirements. The modern business landscape is marked by increasing levels of global sourcing, particularly from low-cost countries. While many companies across a variety of industries achieve cost savings through this sourcing strategy, the benefits are often offset by complexities associated with global logistics management. Even though total supply chain costs may be reduced by global sourcing, transportation and logistics costs have been rising as a percentage of the cost-of-goods sold. This has occurred as a result of rising fuel prices, the intrinsic costs of long-distance flow of goods and transportation capacity imbalances, both for domestic transportation in regions like North America, and for international oceans and air freight from countries like China. Supply lead times often have a high degree of variability, which can lead to poor on-time delivery performance, as well as unavailable products, components and merchandise. The variability in lead times stems from many factors. The global flow of goods requires multiple handoffs – including various carriers, customs and port authorities, and consolidators. These handoffs increase the probability of unexpected events. Growing import volumes, particularly from Asia, combined with important security concerns, have led to severe port congestion in North America and Europe. As companies conduct business in more countries, and as countries continuously change their regulatory and customs clearance processes, delays occur during document compliance assessment and processing. Leading logistics companies are leveraging several strategies to respond to the complexity of global logistics management in an effort to reduce transportation costs and improve service levels while still focusing on the “buy anywhere, sell everywhere” business model. As a result, logistics is becoming a more strategic business function at companies where it has not traditionally been a core competency. Companies that want to achieve success in global logistics need to assess and determine the right logistics operating model, including identifying which logistics functions to outsource and which to keep in-house. They need to ask themselves: is it meeting the overall business strategy to develop in-house competencies related to logistics network design, logistics sourcing and management, transportation capacity planning, global shipment planning, visibility, and event management? Given global transportation capacity issues and the need for logistics service providers (LSPs) to provide high levels of service, logistics companies need to elevate their relationships with all the various stakeholders they serve to a more strategic level. Programs need to be developed to adopt more collaborative rate negotiation and bidding processes, provide forward visibility into logistics capacity needs, and develop packaging that allows for easier handling. Visibility into order and shipment life cycles will be as critical as third-party partnerships in dealing with the complexities related to global logistics execution. By achieving early visibility into exceptions and proactively alerting appropriate parties involved, companies can mitigate the negative impacts of handoffs and other potentially delaying processes in global logistics. Leading logistics companies will need to dynamically evaluate options for doing merge-in-transit, leverage hubs for pool distribution, conduct trans-loading, and divert in transit when appropriate to reduce cycle times and costs. To fully leverage the benefits of global logistics, companies must continuously evaluate their global logistics network and assess factors such as physical distribution networks, lane structures, mode strategies and capacity requirements. In the past, such exercises were typically done annually or once every two or three years.
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Since the early twentieth century, a wide variety of U.S. management theories have been offered to solve the principal-agent problem so that important objectives of business managers can be achieved. Such theories are important to a wide variety of complex business enterprises. Management is hierarchical by definition. Managerial and worker interests may diverge, and critical managerial instructions will not always be followed. Getting workers to act on the behalf of management and the company’s investors is known as the principal-agent problem. Management theory attempts to find ways that essential compliance can ensured. During the nineteenth century, most American businesses were small enterprises managed directly by owners who supervised their employees directly. By the end of the nineteenth century, much larger enterprises had arisen, and it was becoming increasingly difficult for business owners to manage enterprises on an industrial scale. One of the earliest management theories developed was known as scientific management. The theory stressed the importance of strict time and motion studies of the industrial process. With the development of the assembly line, such studies seemed appropriate for breaking large industrial processes down into their smallest components and then training workers to perform only one small part of the manufacturing process. Its effectiveness declined over time, as workers and some researchers found processes based on this theory were dehumanizing. By the middle of the twentieth century, many researchers challenged the use of material incentives as the primary motivating factor for workers. Using a variety of experiments in different industrial settings, findings showed that incentives based on nurturing a worker’s self-worth were more likely to increase efficiency and productivity than were instructions based on machine like time and motion studies. Although these theories improved efficiency by improving the workplace conditions and attitudes of the workers, it became clear that a greater level of compliance with managerial directives was required. Eventually the importance of uniform objectives governing workplace processes, yet stressing the importance of involving workers in the establishment of those uniform objectives came into being. Mr. Kuzanek is a retired U.S. Coast Guard Commander, with assignments in Polar Operations, Search & Rescue, Port Security, and administration at CG Headquarters in Washington DC. His last assignment was Director, Systems Management at the Pay and Personnel Center, Topeka, Kansas – responsible for the strategic direction of the Coast Guard’s pay, personnel, travel, and training systems – including management oversight of the joint process architecture, uniform procedures, and coordinated functional requirements for Coast Guard wide pay/personnel/training/travel systems. During this tour Mr. Kuzanek was selected by the Coast Guard Headquarters Executive Steering Committee to participate on a ten-month “Blue Ribbon” team charged with developing a Coast Guard wide streamlining plan to meet Department of Transportation and Presidential objectives. In this capacity he directed a wide range of Information Technology focused Quality Action Team and Natural Work Group activities, including Flag level management interviews, presentations, and examination of politically sensitive cross-functional issues. Mr. Kuzanek also filled staff positions in Washington DC during his Coast Guard career involving development of the world’s first computerized Search and Rescue planning system – and a force management environment assisting HR staff to manage workable correlations between staffing requirements, personnel rotation assignments, training, and career progression / retention requirements. Contingency theory asserts that when managers make a decision, they must take into account all aspects of the current situation and act on those aspects that are important to the situation at hand. For example, the continuing effort to identify the best leadership or management style might now conclude that the best style depends on the situation. If one is leading troops in the Persian Gulf, an autocratic style is probably best. If one is leading a hospital or university, a more participative and facilitative leadership style is probably best. Systems theory is having a significant effect on management science and understanding organizations. A system is a collection of processes unified to accomplish an overall goal. If one part of the system is removed, the nature of the system is changed as well. System processes are broken down into components. Inputs would include resources such as raw materials, money, technologies and people. These inputs go through a process where they’re planned, organized, motivated and controlled, ultimately to meet the organization’s goals. Outputs would be products or services to a market. Outcomes would be enhanced quality of life or productivity for customers/clients, productivity. Feedback would be information from human resources carrying out the process, customers/clients using the products. Controls come from the larger environment around the organization, such as influences from government, society, economics, and technologies. This overall system framework applies to any system, automated or not. Systems theory is bringing a new perspective for managers to interpret patterns and events in the workplace. They are able to recognize the various parts of the organization, and in particular, the interrelations of the parts, such as the coordination of central administration with its programs, engineering with manufacturing, supervisors with workers. In the past, managers typically took one part and focused on that. Then they moved all attention to another part. The problem was that an organization could have a wonderful central administration and wonderful set of engineers, but the departments didn’t synchronize very well.
Business culture in the Netherlands has been characterized by business communication, business etiquette, business meeting etiquette, internship and student placements, cost of living, and work-life balance. As an open economy, The Netherlands has been susceptible to international developments and has been based on consensus. The Netherlands has a long tradition of negotiation, which lives on in close and regular contacts between trade unions, employers’ organizations and government. It has been a member of all the major international organizations. The influence of living in a relatively unfriendly regional environment over the centuries cannot be underestimated. This has generated a sense of the individual’s worth combined with a strong team spirit and a great fondness for gezelligheid, a peculiarly Dutch form of cozy sociability. Most importantly, it has also produced a consensus-oriented society where everyone has his or her say. All Dutch people know the value of their opinions and do not hesitate to give them. Strategically located at the center of Europe’s largest markets, The Netherlands has established itself as a magnet for international companies and a leading site for European or regional headquarters. With a supportive corporate tax structure, a highly educated, multilingual workforce and a superior logistics and technology infrastructure, The Netherlands offers companies a perfect climate to compete successfully in Europe. Considered one of the most wired countries in the world, The Netherlands is Europe’s hotspot for leading information and communications technology companies. In fact, 60% of all Forbes 2000 companies active in the IT industry have already established operations in Holland. Mr. Kuzanek works very closely, including frequent personal visits, with the Hills/Colgate offices in The Netherlands who depend on integration of their R&D functions with the IT platforms and services in the U.S. Global IT companies like Microsoft, Cisco, Infosys, Oracle, Intel, IBM, Verizon, and Google tap into an unparalleled IT infrastructure, a competitive tax climate and a tech-savvy, English-speaking workforce. The Netherlands also has the largest security cluster and one of the most advanced markets of data centers in Europe, not to mention a world-class R&D facility base and logistics infrastructure, making The Netherlands a smart choice for any IT business operation. The Netherlands will continue to enjoy a well-deserved reputation as a model democracy embodying the principles of pluralism, social responsibility, tolerance and industriousness. It is a highly organized society, so much so that a uniquely Dutch attitude has evolved to accommodate the strains, what is called gedogen, an untranslatable word that implies the ability to tolerate exceptions to the rule. Highly ranked in Europe by Bloomberg’s “Best Countries for Business,” The Netherlands will continue to be a world-class business destination. Holland’s strategic location at Europe’s front door will provide the perfect springboard into the European market, with access to 95% of Europe’s most lucrative consumer markets within 24 hours of Amsterdam or Rotterdam. Additionally, a continuing supportive corporate tax structure, highly educated, multilingual workforce, and superior logistics and technology infrastructure will allow multinational businesses, from small and mid-sized, to choose The Netherlands as their gateway to Europe.
In India guests are traditionally treated with utmost respect and courtesy. The notion of time, time management, and punctuality has been an anathema in India. It is more to do with the mind-set ingrained in the Indian culture. Meetings are often postponed, rescheduled, or organized at a very short notice. The proficiency over the English language for the average middle class has been commendable. Bureaucratic hurdles and a laidback approach to work in the government circles typically result in delays in processing, overload of paperwork, and a general lack of confidence in the system. Immense patience has been very much necessary for any business transaction in India. Companies have generally followed the hierarchical system and decision making is usually from the top to bottom. The lack of infrastructure and inadequate supply chain management has also acted as a bottleneck for foreign investment. Nevertheless, for the last couple of decades India has largely been viewed as an outsourcing destination where organizations from many countries could reduce their cost-base through transferring work to a country like India with a large number of highly educated graduates who speak good English but whose wage demands were considerably lower than in the West. Mr. Kuzanek has been a key Hills-Colgate component of working very closely over the past 10 years with a valued IT business partner in India, including frequent personal visits for project review and planning. India is a vast, populous and diverse nation encompassing many different identities, languages, cultures and religions. These factors, in addition to the caste system’s legacy and the gap between poor and wealthy, make India one of the most diverse nations on earth. This makes it very difficult to make generalizations about Indian culture. There are very few democratic countries which embrace a strict hierarchal society structure than India. This applies to both social and business culture. For western companies based in India it can be an enormous struggle to impose a more conventional flat management structure. Persuading senior managers that on occasion they may have to roll their sleeves and chip in is an anathema to most, and one which makes junior colleagues uncomfortable. In recent years the hierarchy system has softened, but for business executives new to the country they should be ready for a different management culture with the ‘boss’ totally dominating those below who in turn act out roles of deference. What this means is that senior managers manage by dictating orders. And they have to be detailed because subordinates are not normally expected to apply any initiative. They obey, and will not typically question what they think may be wrong. This means directives have to be detailed with the result that the vast majority of companies are micro managed. Relationships are of utmost importance. Indians will base their decisions on trust and intuition as much as on statistics and data. With a rapidly growing middle class comes the need for all those commodities that have been lacking in India in the past, not only consumer goods but also infrastructure development and financial and legal services. India, therefore, represents a huge business opportunity but it also undoubtedly presents risks and significant barriers to entry. While the government is trying to open up the country to foreign investment, many sectors remain stubbornly closed and there is considerable internal pressure to keep these entry barriers strong. Combine these foreign direct investment barriers with a bewilderingly complex combination of central and states-based governmental systems and it is not difficult to see why many organizations are wary of entering the India market space. As painful as these political and bureaucratic barriers might seem, India is definitely open for business and those companies and organizations who approach the India market with the right mind-set, having done the requisite amount of due diligence can be extremely successful and secure a bright future. Many organizations think they can simply transplant their normal ways of doing things into India and expect it to work. Understanding the Indian mind-set, adapting how business offerings fit into Indian needs and keeping eyes open to the rapid changes that are happening in India on a daily basis are the keys to success in India.
Managers in Germany have typically been expected to be technically capable in their respective areas and to show strong, clear leadership. Although disagreement with a superior will rarely be seen in public this does not mean that Germans are ‘Yes’ men. Subordinates tend to respect the technical abilities of their superiors and this will impact on their willingness to implement instructions. Responsibility is expected to be delegated by the manager to the member of the team who is technically competent to carry out a particular task. The team member then expects to be left to perform the task without undue interference or supervision. Thus instructions need to be clear, precise and above all unambiguous. People from cultures where managers are expected to develop a closer, more intimate ambience can see the German manager-subordinate relationship as distant and cold. The higher up the organization people rise the more a sense of the ‘dignity of the position’ becomes apparent. Socializing tends to be at peer group level rather than up and down a hierarchy. Most of the power in German companies is vested in the hands of a few senior managers. Larger companies (AG & GmbH) have a Supervisory Board (Aufsichtsrat) which appoints the Management Board (Vorstand). The management board is the final decision-maker on policy matters which affect management. The members of the Vorstand have shared responsibility for the overall management of the company and this means that the chairman of a company has considerably less personal power than in certain other countries, management at the top could be said to be collegiate. However below Vorstand level, companies tend to have a strictly hierarchical approach within which individual’s specific roles and responsibilities are tightly defined and compartmentalized. This results in a methodical approach to most business issues where procedures and adherence to well-defined rules are respected. This methodical approach has both good and bad points. On the plus side, everybody knows what is expected of them and has a process to help them achieve clearly identifiable goals. On the other hand, a criticism that is often levelled at German industry as a whole and at German business people individually is that they are inflexible and slow to change to new situations. The fact that Germany has survived the post 2008 recession well is a testimony to the underlying strength of the German economy and, more interestingly, the strength of its much-vaunted manufacturing base. Interestingly, unemployment rates in Germany are now lower than they were pre-2008 and exports are considerably higher. For a number of years people were warning that the German model was unsustainable, both labor and social costs were said to be way too high, and that the country would need to make radical policy changes to withstand the growing competition from low-wage economies such as China and India. Yet, despite these challenges and despite the cost of the post ‘cold-war’ integration of the former East Germany, the country’s economy seems in good health. It has therefore been worth reassessing the German business model to see what can be learned from it, especially as post war German success was achieved without too much attention being given to the “science” of business management which had been the vogue in the U.K. and even more so in the U.S. Mr. Kuzanek has had occasion to work with several German companies in the support of Colgate’s SAP technology stack. In Germany, much greater attention has been paid to technical education and its value to business in general. Companies tend to be run by technical experts rather than lawyers and accountants and this is reflected in the high regard in which engineers are held by other Germans. Diligence and competence are characteristics which are held in high esteem by colleagues and are seen as the key indicators of performance. Appraisal systems based on the softer competencies as favored by many U.K. and U.S. firms are still not common in traditional German companies. Germany will continue to be one of the world’s leading economies and the powerhouse of the European Union. Its economy will be influenced mostly by European integration, the further adoption of the euro, the integration and upgrading of the East German economy, the restructuring of its economic sectors, and its aging population. The ability of the government to cope successfully with these issues may result in a solution to the problems of economic growth, unemployment, government debt, tax rates, unit labor costs, social security, and non-wage labor costs. Germany has a special interest in promoting EU enlargement by the accession of eastern European countries but it is also concerned with the possible influx of immigrants and high financial transfers to new EU countries. Germany’s responsibility as an influential member of the international community will also grow in areas such as economic assistance for developing countries, environmental protection, and cooperation in combating corruption and transnational organized crime. Future economic stability will also depend on successful European monetary policy and the performance of the other countries within the euro zone and on global economic trends as the German economy becomes more and more international. While traditional industries such as textiles and steel are declining, growth in the services sector, particularly in finance and high-tech sectors, will be indicative of the economy’s development. Technological advances, notably in the information and communication sectors, will fuel dramatic productivity increases and the further globalization of businesses. A strong determination to be among the most advanced countries applying new technologies, forces Germany to expand its already generous investments into that area. Expected new tax reductions will allow German corporations to invest in technologies with higher productivity and to increase exports. Gloomy forecasts of an aging and declining population will foster reforms in Germany’s social security system.
The Canadian economy has been one of the largest among the western industrialized nations. The post-war period has seen a steady shift from the production of goods toward increased emphasis on services. Although no longer the foremost sector of the economy, agriculture has been a major importance to the economy. Canada has accounted for approximately 20 percent of the world’s wheat trade. Canada has also been the world’s leading producer of newsprint and ranks among the leaders in other forestry products. Differences in prosperity among the provinces increased during the 1980s, with the central provinces relatively robust, the western provinces suffering declines in growth because of lower prices for oil and other natural resources, and the Atlantic Provinces depressed. By the second quarter of 1990, the economy had begun to decline, affected by a recession and the central bank’s monetary policy. Recovery began in the second half of 1991, although the early 1990s were marked by continuing unemployment. NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, Mexico, and the U.S.) came into existence in 1994. Since then there has been a dramatic increase in trade and economic integration with the US especially. Because the U.S. and Canadian economies are closely linked, the U.S. recession in 2001 and subsequent economic downturn had a negative effect on the Canadian economy. Unemployment rose, and the manufacturing and natural resource sectors shrank. But Canada’s vast natural resources and skilled labor force create sound economic prospects for the future. An important strength of the economy has been Canada’s trade surplus with other nations. The leading industrial areas are foods and beverages, transport equipment, petroleum and coal products, paper and paper products, primary metals, chemicals, fabricated metals, electrical products, and wood products. The majority of Canadians rank individualism as the highest personal value. Success is measured by personal achievement. Canadians tend to be self-confident and open to discussions on general topics, however, they hold their personal privacy off limits to all but the closest friends. It should also be noted there is tension between the French province of Quebec and other Canadian provinces. Citizens of Quebec tend to be more private and reserved. Ethnocentrism is high throughout Canada, but particularly in Quebec. The Canadian government is anxious to foster a business climate that is receptive to investment from outside the country. At the same time, it is determined to monitor the level of new foreign investment in Canada and to screen a limited number of such investments. Generally speaking, transactions screened are significant in terms of their size or due to the business sector in which they are made. When such screening occurs, it involves consideration by government officials of the plans for the Canadian business, with the likelihood of a decision favoring the investment as being of net benefit to Canada. In a very small number of cases, the process will involve meetings with government officials. The statutory framework for the monitoring and review processes is provided by the Investment Canada Act. The two triggering events that bring the Investment Canada Act into play are the establishment of a new business, regardless of size, and a new business that triggers a national security review. Mr. Kuzanek has occasion to frequently work with several Canadian laboratory and contract research companies in the support of Hills R&D efforts. One of the biggest challenges to Canada is competing with low-cost jurisdictions. A lot of the Canadian product is labor intensive for the manufacturers. The majority of the products made in the auto industry are actually large vehicle components, so companies have to be within a certain distance of the assembly plants. The challenge is finding low cost ways to ship these products and convince the manufacturers it can be done. Keeping up with the need for skilled workers that want to pursue a career in the tooling industry will also be a challenge. Additionally, mechanical engineers, electrical engineers, and mechatronics engineers are very difficult to find as they graduate out of universities, as they tend to end up going to the U.S. because of a pay disparity. Canada needs to strengthen how it works with universities and colleges, with an eye on making hires in trained and skilled people who can work on complex systems and improve the efficiency of manufacturing processes and methods. The most notable change for manufacturers will be the extension of the accelerated capital cost allowance (ACCA) provisions. The ACCA allows manufacturing companies to depreciate, for tax purposes, the value of newly purchased equipment and machinery at the accelerated rate of 50 per cent per year, reducing their taxable income in the first few years of owning the asset.
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Soza & Company, Ltd. has supplied multiple products and services. The top product or service they have supplied is ADP Facility Operation and Maintenance Services. The total obligation amount for their ADP Facility Operation and Maintenance Services contracts is $210,751,000, which accounts for 30% of the value of all their contracts. The other top products or services they have supplied are ADP and Telecommunications Services, ADP Systems Analysis Services, Professional Services, and Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacturing (Cad/Cam) Services. Their top 5 products accounted for 74% of all their business with the government. Soza was acquired by Perot Systems in 2003. Mr.Kuzanek was contracted by Soza & Company to be the consulting Program Manager for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) Legacy Support and Y2K Verification and Validation contract. Mr.Kuzanek was directly responsible for managing an $8M contract and the Soza employees in the Kansas City area engaged in conducting a Y2K Verification and Validation effort on the agency’s various mainframe and client/server systems.
Travel and Transport
From our innovative corporate travel solutions, to our expertise in planning unforgettable vacations, Travel and Transport creates one-of-a-kind experiences for our partners. Success to us means doing what it takes to earn your business every day through passion, innovation and a steadfast commitment to our customers’ needs. Travel and Transport is a full service travel management company headquartered in Omaha, NE. Our employees have exceptional travel backgrounds and are truly passionate about what they do at every level of our organization. As a company, we believe that every day our words and action can make a difference in the lives of our clients. Mr.Kuzanek was contracted by Travel & Transport, Omaha, NE to direct the development of a Client/Server Data Warehouse environment. Travel & Transport is a national travel agency, concentrating primarily on corporate travel clients. Their challenge was an operational environment kept busy with travel agent interfaces, being adversely affected by back-office processes such as production reports, ad-hoc access, and analytical decision-making. Mr.Kuzanek worked with teams of Travel & Transport employees to develop business process models and a test plan that defined support and services required from the Data Warehouse. These business models then drove the development of data models for Warehouse architecture and communication load expectations for network upgrade requirements. Following successful client/server implementation within the corporate environment, Mr.Kuzanek then helped conceptualize, plan, and