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Clinton Jones

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Top Stories by Clinton Jones

One of my professors used to always tell his students a story about a company that he performed a work study at and discovered an elderly gentleman, let's call him "Thomas Bean",  who produced colorful graphs every month on the performance of a business-related resource or asset. I don't recall the specifics of the work, but I do remember that these graphs were meticulously produced every month, manually, and that they involved bar charts, pie charts and tables of data. The gentleman was relegated to some back office in the planning department. During the study, Mr. Bean was interviewed and he proudly demonstrated the workmanship and effort involved in producing his reporting deck.  From here, the story becomes the classic stuff of urban legends like the million dollar Fisher Space Pen. Apparently, when asked what he did with the charts, Mr. Bean said that he took... (more)

Don't Blame Batch Processing for Your Business Process Failures

The recent train wreck that was the CA batch process failure at RBS should probably be ringing alarm bells for some folks running batch processes into their systems; however, more importantly it should remind us of a couple of different things: Batch processing is real and present in many facets of IT data processing and systems at large Never take short cuts on adequate testing of changes and test planning A call I participated on a couple of months back with some students from an esteemed college in North America resulted in a conclusion that what I was talking about and showi... (more)

Quit Your Addiction to Pushing Paper

We're fortunate enough to have three kinds of waste collections in our area: regular trash, garden refuse and recycling. For those that have always had this kind of facility available, this doesn't seem particularly extraordinary. In fact, in some parts of the world, waste can involve as many as a dozen different categories or more. You can in fact spend a lot of effort and time sorting your waste to make sure that you are disposing of trash in a most efficient way. The reason I brought this up is that a recent visitor to my house commented on the fact that it was amazing how mu... (more)

Form(ing) Standards - Recycling Old Stuff Can Be Incredibly Painful

I am on my favorite soapbox - "standards" - standards around form filling. Generally speaking, no discussion of standards could be complete without an assessment of the state of play of the not so humble Adobe Portable Document Format or as most of us know it, PDF. I debated the merits of the PDF back in the late 1990s (an astonishing 14 years ago) and with the passage of time, a few things have changed but in some respects they are the same. The reason this topic is quite focal for me at the moment, is the fact that I continue to see customers and prospects take a hard line in wa... (more)

Strategies for Inventory Optimization

I live close to a metro grocery store, a multitude of them have sprung up in the UK over the past few years, replacing the corner store independent retailer. In the US they would be akin to the convenience store but they're actually bigger and better than a convenience store and roughly twice the size. Every day, 3 ton delivery trucks arrive early in the morning and deliver fresh bread, chilled and frozen products and ambient inventory. This metro supermarket does a brisk trade, the nearest competitors are all classic corner stores. The metro competes on brand, price and diversity... (more)