Buying A Refurbished iPhone – The Advantages And What To Look For

Refurbished iPhones are loved because they are cheaper and therefore much more affordable compared to their brand new counterparts. These are phones that have had previous owners, but they have been maintained afresh by the manufacturer improving their quality and making them ready for the market again. Apart from the fact that the refurbished iPhones save money because of their affordable prices, they have a number of other advantages that make them popular.

· The refurbished iPhones come with fresh components considering that their problem areas have been looked at as well as worked on. Faulty parts are also replaced and better ones installed so that the phone functions as well as a new one.

· The software of refurbished phones is reliable. The developers handle all previous glitches making sure that every area is addressed hence you get more reliable software and hardware too.

· Because the refurbished Apple iPhones are made available from approved sellers, they tend to be more reliable and trustworthy compared to buying a used phone from a friend. The approved sellers are in close contact with the manufacturer so they are better in control as well as accountability. Your purchase is much safer when you buy refurbished compared to buying used.

Without doubt, refurbished phones do have a number of advantages and you can consider getting one, especially if you have lost your old phone or it became faulty and you do not have the cash to buy a new phone which can be expensive. But even when buying refurbished, there are critical phone areas that you ought to pay attention to.

Battery life – Even though iPhones come with an impressive battery life that can handle more than 7 hours talk time when they are new, continued use weakens the battery. Find out how many hours of use the phone has gone through and consider whether the battery has been replaced. A refurbished phone whose battery has been replaced is a much better choice because it will easily meet your needs.

Screen damage – Also important to look out for is any visible screen damage. The iPhones have extremely hard glass screens, but if the phone had no screen protector, then it is very possible for the screen to have fine scratches. Important to remember is that such scratches can interfere with proper screen reading and they can also have an effect on the responsiveness of touch screen applications. It is most advisable that you choose a refurbished phone that has a new screen or a screen whose visibility and overall performance you can rely on.

Memory capacity – Earlier versions of the iPhone have little memory and this makes it very important for you to find out the memory size of the phone before you buy. The memory should be large enough so that you can perform all tasks and also have an easy time storing applications you are interested in. Evaluate your needs and relate to the memory size before you finally make your purchase.

Service Industry Lean Manufacturing – Implementation Guide

Non-manufacturing industries have not embraced lean manufacturing to the same extent as those producing a product. Some service industries have found the same principles apply, although the use of lean manufacturing tools is different.

For example, a value added analysis is just as easily conducted with a worker talking on the telephone as someone using one.

The 5S tool can be used to organize the surroundings in the telemarketing office. All materials the telemarketer uses should be organized and within reach without having leave the area. This 5S organization enables the telemarketer to continuously utilize any material in front of them as well as keep an eye on a computer.

The same SMED tools can be used with a administrative assistant as a machine operator. The process map and movement will show the waste in each. The assistant’s travel shows the motion waste. The waiting waste is often huge in any white collar or service job. For example, the waste from waiting on a colleague, manager, supplier, or anyone else can be eliminated. There are ways to minimize it by removing the root cause as well as finding activities to fill the time. These activities should be of short duration, such as data entry, filing, or printing.

Line balancing is easy in a service environment. The key is flexibility. For example, two tellers at a bank may be required 6 out of 8 hours per day, but the trained lean expert or industrial engineer is required to notice it. The additional two hours of waste comes in buckets of 1-2 minutes throughout the day. Again, this time must be filled with value added activities in a standard work format. If the job isn’t standardized, the two individuals may absorb the time and appear 100% busy. There are many other instances where job combinations are obvious.

The value stream map is an excellent tool for service industries. Rather than the traditional macro level view of the system, the value stream map can be used in a department or area of the business. An example would be the service desk at a department store. Begin with the information flow and trigger for activity, which might be a customer. Break the map into various segments showing the few activities that comprise 90% of the work, such as returned goods, request for information, or complaints. Standardized Operations should be utilized for returned goods to minimize motion and waiting, such as a decision flow diagram. If the manager is called a large percentage of the time, the decision flow diagram needs improved. Obviously the 5S and SMED tools are also relevant, as well as root cause problem solving to eliminate the complaints.

Service industries often use kanbans without knowing it, such as ordering supplies. The same pull systems can be used in service industries as the manufacturing sector. The supply distribution center is one obvious example. Inventory waste can be eliminated using pull systems beginning with the end downstream customer.

When implementing lean manufacturing in a service industry, it is important to tailor the training to the business. Most SMED (single minute exchange of die) training is developed using examples of setup activities for equipment. It is easier for people to understand and see the waste in their processes when the training has obvious applicability.

One of the best long term lean manufacturing tools to apply in a service industry is the kaizen event. Kaizen means “incremental improvement” in Japanese. The kaizen team is comprised of a cross functional team developed to quickly and substantially improve a business issue. For example, a kaizen might be developed to reduce hospital check in time for testing. The team might include the individuals conducting the check-in, a nurse, manager, an IT representative, and a couple customers. If the average check in time is 35 minutes (the elapsed time from walking into the building until seated in a private room), the kaizen objective might be to reduce the check in time to 20 minutes within 5 days.

Cellular manufacturing can be used in many service businesses. Rather than placing individual pieces of equipment such as the postage meter, copier, fax, and file drawer throughout the area for everyone to use (and wait on), consider placing these items together in a U shaped cell to minimize movement.

The “One Piece Flow” concept is a great tool for processing items such as quotes, bills, or mail pieces. For example, if four people must review a quote, and the first person processes 500 prior to moving to the second individual, and so on, the cycle time is going to be very long. Also, if the fourth person notices a mistake the other three missed, all 500 are bad and much labor was spent unnecessarily. Moving the piece in a flow of “one” or in small batches minimizes the error cost and reduces cycle time.

Service industries have a terrific opportunity to reduce waste. Sometimes it is simple and obvious, while other times it takes the same creativity as in the factory.

Communication Strategies to Avoid Communication Breakdown

What actually matters in the chain of communication is whether the sender and the receiver are in sync and on the same wavelength. If that is the case then there is never going to be any communication breakdown that occurs.

There might have been times when you communicated something to someone and the person nodded sagely. You felt that the person had understood exactly what you wanted. But, alas, the end product was not something that you had in mind. So much for being a good communicator! In order for communication to flow smoothly and seamlessly, the starting point of the communication chain, the sender must take the ownership and responsibility of being an able and effective communicator.

The sender does not only have to draft the message but, must also consider how it is going to be received by the recipient and how will the message be interpreted. The entire chain of communication that starts from the sender does not end until the receiver has understood perfectly what you are trying to convey and also generated enough feedback for the sender, by means of action or a communication.

The objective behind communication is to create an understanding amongst both the parties involved and what outcome is required. In the communication model there has to be a two way communication between the sender and the receiver. Same is the case with the sharing of the responsibilities too. The onus lies on both of them to try and get it right, the very first time.

The sender on their part must be crisp and precise in their communication. The sender must convey relevant information in a coherent manner.

The receiver on their part must be an active listener and must be able to comprehend exactly what the sender is trying to convey. In case of any questions, they must seek clarification before doing what they feel the sender requires. Also, the receiver must never try and assume things. In case of any doubts it is always best to check with the sender from whom the communication commenced. This will spare them a lot of heartache and trouble later on.

As human beings we have embedded filters that we use to allow only what we want to hear to come our way. Therefore, what we hear is what we want to hear and not what the opposite person might have wanted us to hear. As a sender, you can cross check to find out if the message you conveyed has been interpreted on the opposite side exactly as you wanted it to be.

Poor communication can result in a lot of discord, errors and misunderstandings all around you. These can be avoided if the intent is made known clearly by the sender, in clear and specific language, with no room for ambiguity. Therefore, the sender must state clearly what they want and mean. The receiver on their part must seek clarification of the sender’s intent when uncertain. The receiver on their part must have good questioning skills to fall back on.

Hence, clear communication techniques are a must for all concerned.

Communication Quiz: Are You a Great Communicator?

Communication, which occupations approximately 70% of our waking hours, is what many leaders find the most frustrating. The fact is most of us were never taught how to communicate in a way that produces desired results, so we continue to experience frustration, resistance, conflicts, or breakdowns. Think of a recent important conversation. How many of these questions can you answer YES to?

  1. Did I taking full responsibility for the message being heard by the other person? (Remember, it does not matter what you say, it only matters what the other person hears.)
  2. Did I respect the other person's point of view? (Did I have a reaction to what they were saying that prevented me from listening to their full message?)
  3. Did the other person feel heard and understood? (Did I acknowledge them?)
  4. If I was asking someone to take a specific action, did I make my request clear?
  5. Was I speaking in a way the other person can understand? (Speaking in their communication style.)
  6. Was I communicating openly, without prejudices, expectations and judgment? (Was I focused on having to be right or hearing their point of view?)
  7. Did the other person leave the conversation feeling good – with some value?
  8. Did I leave the conversation feeling good – with some value?
  9. Did I follow-up to see if the conversation was successful – it led to the desired results?
  10. If the arrival of the conversation did not meet my expectations, did I learn what I could improve upon to better communicate with that particular person?

So how did you score?

8-10 Yeses indicate you're the tops. Keep up the good work.

4-7 Yeses is OK. Brush up in certain areas.

0-3 means you have work to do.

Here are four ways to be a better communicator and leader:

Talk less and hear more.

We want to be heard and listened to but we do not always concentrate on listening to others. We focus more on our agenda than on the other person's thoughts, concerns or issues.

Do not assume others are mind readers.

We want some sort of action or response from another person. However, we do not let them know what we really want or how to achieve it. Before assuming the other knows what you want, first inform and then ask for feedback. Take the time upfront to get better mileage later on.

Do not shot the messenger.

We want to understand but our ability to understand is tainted by our perceptions of the person speaking or the outcome we are looking to achieve. So, we often pass judgment on the speaker and disregard the message. Concentrate on the message not the messenger.

Join forces.

We want acceptance and agreement from others, so much so, that we often become consumed with having to be right or providing our point. We push and push our agenda. Rather, stop, look and listen for areas of mutual agreement. Then work from there to co-create a greater outcome together.

The next time you are involved in an important conversation pause your mental and verbal tape player for a moment. Then start really listening. It's amazing what you will discover. Perhaps information that can lead to your leadership and business success.