Thursday, March 12, 2020
Berkshire Partners Bidding For Carter Essays Berkshire Partners Bidding For Carter Paper Berkshire Partners Bidding For Carter Paper Berkshire Partners, which h had extensive experience investing in the retail and manufacturing sectors, was initial ally drawn to o Carters because of the strong brand name night of the senior the co many had developed during d its 136 -year history y, as well ass for the street man augment team m. (See Exhibit 1 for a profile of Berkshire. ) TO o investigate the t option off a potential LOBO, Berkshire assembled d a five-member beer team, to b be led by managing directors Ross Joy ones and Bra Adele Bloom and senior associate Mice hall Occasion. (See Exhibit bit 2 for biographical sketches. The tea am would have eve less than eight weeks to o move thro ugh all the stages of a Goldman Cashled auction -?from initial research and due diligence to valuation and bid strategy. In addition to running the auction and thereby serve ins as Carters agent, Go Olden Caches (GAS) would d be offering g staple-on financing. Under this arrangement, the he winning b bidder would d have the pop option to final once the deal the wrought a prep packaged capital structure proposed by Goldman Cash. L Carters ca arties was of mounded in 18 865 in Amended, Massage hugest. Over the course o of 136 years in the highly y competitive apparel industry, the company became the largest branded d manufacturer Of toddler and baby apparel in thee United Estates and also a leading make Kerr of young ACH Aldens clothing. Divide ding its mark et into five segments-?Ia eyeteeth (i. E. , n newborn), baby sleepwear, baby play wear, young g childrens sleepwear, ND young childrens play. N. wear-?the com many sough HTH to outfit children for the first six yea ears of life, fro mom birth to buy In the early 199 ass, the company found itself struggling g. Owned at the time by in insurance com many Mute al Benefit Life and Wesley y Capital Corp.. , Carters h had developed unprofitable blew product line ones in swimwear and UN underwear, and d many of its more decorative features (zippers, cue UT bows, etc. ) were not well w received by b consumers. In 1 992, thee company installed a new w management NT team led by y CEO Frederick J. Row an, with the intention of steering it back to its core niche off soft, comfortable 1 Moor gang Stanley had recently made a similar offering to the eventual b buyer of Dresser Equipment Grog pup-?underwriting SSL . Billion in debt financing after leading the he auction. While staple-on financing was not a typical practice, , it was becoming nag more common professor or Malcolm Baker and a Research Associate James Quinn, Global Research G Group, prepared this case. HOBS cases rare developed solely as the basis Orr class discussion. Cases are not intended to serve as endorsements, e so urges of primary dat a, or illustrations of effective or ineffective management. Copyright get 0 2005, 2008, 2011 President and Fellows of Harvard College. To rod deer copies or request permission to reproduce materials, call 1800-5457685, write Harvard Business School Publishing, Boston n, MA 02163, or go to H hobs. Harvard. Due. No part of this pub publication m or by any mean may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, used in a SP broadsheet, or transmitted in any form ins-?electronic, mechanical, hotfoot opining, recording or o otherwise-?with hoot the permission n of Harvard Busing news School. This document is authorized for use only by Skylark Fang ([emailprotected] Com). Copying or posting is an infringement of copyright. Please contact [emailprotected] Org or 800-988-0886 for additional copies. 205-058 Berkshire Partners: Bidding for Carters clothing. 2 Rowan arrived with 39 years of experience in the industry, most recently running the Bassett-Walker and Lee Jeans division of IF Corporation. Many members of his executive team were also former managers with IF Corporation. With a strategy of simplifying Carters products, Rowan and his team returned to producing what they called high-volume, basic apparel. Product design remained relatively consistent from year to year: About two-thirds of the apparel was carried forward from season to season with the same fabric and construction, varying Only through color and artistic layout. Rowan and his team also focused on improving the capabilities of their supply chain while exploring offshore sourcing options. Throughout the compass history, it had relied on domestic manufacturing to produce its clothing. Bu t amidst an increasingly global environment in which more and more U. S. Impasses were outsourcing production abroad, Rowan sought cost improvements and manufacturing flexibility through manufacturing abroad. In 1 992, Carters closed two of its domestic sewing plants and made plans to close six additional sewing plants and its main textile mill. Central America and Mexico soon became the companys first international production sites. By 1996, with operating and financial performance beginning to turn around, Carters was acquired in a leveraged buyout by Investor S. A. , the Bahrain-based firm est. known for its investments in Gucci Group, Asks Inc. And Tiffany Co. Investor (see Exhibit 3 for profile) paid approximately $208 million. This included $56. 1 million in senior debt and $90 million in subordinated debt. The purchase was consistent with the firms philosophy of injecting patient capital into North American and European companies; this simply involved waiting for the busines s to improve before selling it or taking it public. At the time of the Investor LOBO, Carters was doing business with over 400 wholesale accounts, including department stores, national chains, and epically stores. It had also established a major domestic presence with its outlet stores: The company operated roughly 150 retail outlet stores across the country. Consumers could purchase Carters merchandise through these outlets stores at a deep discount, with the outlet stores offering new products, holdovers from excess inventory, as well as assorted Carters brand accessories and licensed products. Beginning in 2000, Carters launched a new brand called Tykes. A departure from its two mainstay brands, Carters and Carters Classics, the Tykes brand was aimed at the discount channel. Its introduction coincided with a series of conversations with executives from Target, an emerging general merchandise retailer. Target was interested in expanding the stores offerings in baby and childrens lifestyle clothing. With the assurance that Carters could keep its shelves automatically replenished, the companies struck a long-term deal in which the Tykes brand was made immediately available at all 972 Target stores across the country. By the summer of 2001, Rowan seemed to have Carters on a path of operational and financial SUccess. From 1992 to 2000, the company increased venue at a compound annual growth rate of 9. %, with earnings before income, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) increasing 22. 1%. (See Exhibit 4 for selected financial. ) Analysts attributed much of the comma NYSE growth to improved brand recognition, a lower cost structure, expansion into the discount channel, and the movement of some manufacturing operations offshore-?while recognizing Inves tor as an able and willing partner in managing the growth. 2 Chris Rough, Investment Bank Buys Morrows William Carter Co. , The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, November 1, 1996. ([emailprotected] Com). Copying or posting is an infringement of copyright. Please contact [emailprotected] Org or Up for Sale In mid-2000, having watched over the growth of its investment in Carters, Investor decided it was time to sell its stake in the company. Investor typically looked at a range of exit options, but at the time the initial public offering (PIP) market was at a near standstill. In Joneses view: Investor might have been able to take this company public in 2001. But they were at the end of a five-year period, and they wanted liquidity. So to sit there, take another year or two to work their way out of a public stock was not something they wanted. He added: Theyve [Investor] got a network of investors that fund them, but if you dont have good returns coming out to keep talking about, it makes it harder to raise money. So in the normal course they were looking to generate a win through the sale of Carters. Amidst rumors that a handful of potential strategic buyers had passed on the deal, including apparel companies Jones Apparel and SSH Gosh Bogs, Investor initiated an auction among financial buyers. Christopher OBrien, a ember of Investors management committee, added: The nature of this companys business is that it is not particularly related to economic swings. We thought it was a company that financial buyers would find attractive in this marketplace. 3 Berkshire Partners Berkshire Partners was founded in the mid-sass by five individuals committed to creating a private equity firm based on successful relationships, hard work, analysis, and the open decision making of all individuals. 4 By 2001 , the firm comprised roughly 10 managing directors, 4 principals, 12 investment staff (associate level), and 2 advising directors. In a given year, the firm reviewed some 1,200 potential deals, with the intention of whittling the pool down to five to six closed deals. Jones estimated the number of times per year the firm completed full due diligence and submitted a final bid at about 12: Our batting average is pretty good-?we tend to go all the way on things we think we have pretty good odds of winning. So were not making a run at 40 things and getting five. Were doing it on 10-15, and we might get almost there on another handful. For each deal under serious consideration, Berkshire formed a deal team comprising our to five people. A managing director served as lead partner for each team. A team would typically contain an additional managing director, a principal, and one or two investment staff. According to Jones, As a firm, our work is very inclusive and collaborative in our efforts to uncover all the key information. While the deal team took responsibility for making a recommendation and then doing due diligence and bringing back an investment package, ultimate investment decisions rested with the firm as a whole. In analyzing a potential deal, Berkshire relied largely on its internal staff to array out the analysis and would use a Pain and McKinney to help us answer or flush out a couple of issues that we just dont have the resources to do. Beyond that, the firm relied on leading Boston law firms to carry out due diligence on contracts, leases, patents, and trademarks. Ernst Young (EY) handled the firms accounting due diligence, which principally involved looking at quality of earnings. According to Occasion, getting the capital structure right was an art, not a science. He added: There are a lot of factors that go into determining the right financing structure. To st art, theres arches price-?dollars needed to ultimately buy the company. And, of course, there are your 3 Kelly Holman, Berkshire Buys William Carter Co. The Daily Deal, July 17, 2001. 4 Berkshire Partners Web site, Our partnership, Breathlessness. Com/l_o_partnership. SHTML, accessed December 1, 2004. 3 returns. Obviously, if I hold purchase price steady, and increase my leverage, my equity returns will increase, and so on. Berkshire managers believed the equity portion of the capital structure at the time needed to be at least 25% in order to achieve the desired ratings outcome and demonstrate to the lending ease that Berkshire Was making a serious commitment. At the time, investment banks were willing to lend at a rate of roughly four to five times EBITDA, with the multiple determined largely by market conditions. Occasion continued, This is coupled with the challenge of asking yourself: Is this the appropriate amount of leverage for a business of this type; what do the ratings look like; how difficult will it be to get the financing completed; and what does that mean in terms of your total financing costs? These are all the variables that you play with to try to figure out the optimal capital structure for the business. After taking an equity position in a private business, Berkshire saw its role as supporting management in a variety of ways, including a) helping to prioritize key objectives, b) reviewing organizational design, c) helping to build the bench of key managers, and d) even leading the integration process in the event of a subsequent acquisition. Jones added: would say that weve done a lot of work over the last several years to be more thoughtful about how to address opportunities for companies up front and align strategically with management. So in thinking about how we add value, it is important to look t the work we do in due diligence not only as critical to making a smart investment decision, but also a critical foundation to operate from during the life of the investment. At any given time, Berkshire held a portfolio of roughly 25 investments. About half of these businesses required very little of Berkshires management attention-?the firm was on top of these businesses and fully expected to exit them in due course. About one-quarter of the businesses required a moderate level of attention, and another one- quarter required Berkshire to be very focused on them. Businesses earning the largest amount of attention did so because its the early stages, or we could still have a meaningful impact and theyre very important to our firms success. Berkshires typical exit strategy was sale of the company, rather than an PIP, by a ratio of about four to one. The firms conditions for exiting via an PIP were threefold: 1) a strong brand, 2) strong growth potential, and 3) a dramatic need for capital. Unlike many other private equity firms that often used an PIP to close out their ownership stake, Berkshire was more likely to initiate an PIP in the middle of its ownership with the intention f staying involved with the management and helping the company to grow. In many cases, a follow-on offer would ensue. Berkshires Bid for Carters When Berkshire Partners received an invitation to participate in the auction for Carters, the investment team was initially optimistic about a potential match between the two organizations. The firm had developed a focus on building strong, growth-oriented companies in conjunction with strong, equity-incanted management teams. 5 Berkshire viewed Carters not simply as an apparel company in the retail space, but more as a consumer products company. According to Jones, Carters being a really Strong brand that could be leveraged across multiple channels was something that we found very appealing, and in general find appealing. 5 Berkshire Partners Web site, Press Releases, http:// www. Irrationalness. Com/5_1 _ 17_press. SHTML, accessed September 1, 2004. 4 ([emailprotected] Com). Copying or posting is an infringement Of copyright Please contact [emailprotected] Org or Initial Meeting On the first Tuesday of May, Berkshires five-member team traveled to New York to meet with Carters management. The Carter team included the CEO, resident of marketing, executive vice president of operations, executive vice president of global sourcing, and SCOFF. The meeting provided an opportunity for the respective managers to get to know one another, to discuss the ground rules for the auction, and to begin a dialogue about the future growth strategy for Carters. To a person, the Berkshire executives were very impressed with the Carter team, acknowledging their experience, commitment, and confidence in their five-year plan. (See Exhibit 5 for four elements of growth strategy. ) The initial meeting also opened lines of communication between Berkshire ND Goldman Cash, which Carters had engaged to run the auction process. In the early weeks of May, Berkshires team had a number of discussions with Goldman Cash. The deal was being shown to a limited number of financial buyers (more than 2, less than 10), and not all potential buyers would be given the opportunity Berkshire had been given to meet with the management team prior to submitting a preliminary bid. In addition to running the auction, Goldman Cash was providing staple-on financing for the deal, although the buyers were not limited to the Goldman financing Truckee and could choose to submit a bid that would be financed by other sources. (See Exhibit 6 for proposed capital structure. Members of the Berkshire team acknowledged that a staple-on financing structure, if not actually compared against competing offers in the market, could create a conflict Of interest for an investment bank. A banks dual role of auctioneer and financier, if unchecked, could pressure a buyer to accept inferior financing terms in order to win the bid. Occasion stated: Th ere were a lot of tensions inherent in the new staple-on structure. The investment banks ere concerned externally about how it would affect their reputations, and the private equity guys werent that excited about it. They felt it limited their ability to get an edge in the bidding process by bringing more creative financing to deals. What the staple-on did provide, however, was generally a more expedited financing process. Nevertheless, the Berkshire team came away from the meeting in New York eager to look carefully into the deal. In the ensuing days, Goldman furnished Berkshire with a summary of financial projections put together by Carters management (see Exhibits AAA, b, and c). GAS also indicated that the process required potential buyers to submit equity bids of at least $130 million to be considered.
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Change Management - Essay Example Learning in an organization can be done using two approaches: Firstly, learning with regard to individuals within the organization. Here, efforts are directed towards increasing the employeeÃ¢â¬â¢s capacity in terms of skill acquisition, knowledge and experiences to perform their individual tasks and responsibilities. Secondly, by creating a learning organization in which the collective state of the organization is continuously improved to achieve optimal objectives. The need for creating a learning organization arises from the fact that it is imperative not only for the firm to set its objectives and visions but that the whole membership of the organization should act in unison as opposed to individual brilliance (O Keeffe, 2002). The following discussion identifies the principles of learning followed by a subsequent analysis of the merits and demerits of introducing learning to an already established organization. In the first approach, the objective is to introduce transformative learning; one that surpasses the mere acquisition of knowledge and skills to one that provides the individual with the ability to think rationally for themselves, creating a high level in the ability of the person to emancipate themselves from Ã¢â¬Å"mob thinkingÃ¢â¬ and as such think independently and consciously about any prevailing scenario. There are several tenets or principles of learning. A summary discussion on some of these principles is as follows: All human beings are born with an inherent ability to increase their capacity. They have the potential to think, do and feel. Acting by doing refers to the ability to interact with the external world while acting by thinking is the ability to engage oneÃ¢â¬â¢s processes in the mind and soul. The potential to feel refers to oneÃ¢â¬â¢s ability to interact and connect with other people, places and events. This forms the first and most important principle of learning. Secondly, human being
Saturday, February 8, 2020
Russian Mafia - Research Paper Example As Mallory (2006) points out, The Russian organized crime started in US when Soviet criminals started entering the US making use of the liberalized immigration policies of the country. An area called Brighton Beach in southern Brooklyn emerged as their center of operations (p, 76). They emerged as a widespread criminal center in the North America in the following years engaging in criminal activities including drug trafficking, extortion, loan sharking, human trafficking, prostitution etc. The Russian mafia comprises of Ethnic criminal gangs comprising of Russian, Chechen, Armenian, Georgian, Azerbaijani criminal groups. The Russian mafia has tie ups with American-Italian criminal network La Cosa Nostra on enterprises like gambling, extortion, prostitution and fraud. According to a report given by FBI director Louis Freeh to the US senate, 27 groups belonging to the Russian mafia are operating in the United States, and they are conceived to be based around cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago and New York (CIS Report, 1997). The FBI uses various methods like undercover operations, confidential entities, reports from the intelligence bureau, patrolling, forensic accounting etc. to track down such groups. FBI also joins hands with other federal investigation agencies like the CIA, and also cooperates with agencies of other countries to capitalize information. The FBI and CIA have employed secret agents worldwide who collect information about potential attacks, conspiracies, and illegal activities taking place against the country. Based on the data they collect from various sources, they form a master plan on how to confront the groups. Russian mafia is so powerful since they cooperate with other mafia organizations, and have financial pumping from all over the world. This makes them one of the most dangerous criminal setups in the world. Evidently, an elaborate
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Air Pollution Essay BEIJING Ã¢â¬â Outdoor air pollution contributed to 1.2 million premature deaths in China in 2010, nearly 40 percent of the global total, according to a new summary of data from a scientific study on leading causes of death worldwide. Figured another way, the researchers said, ChinaÃ¢â¬â¢s toll from pollution was the loss of 25 million healthy years of life from the population. The data on which the analysis is based was first presented in the ambitious 2010 Global Burden of Disease Study, which was published in December in The Lancet, a British medical journal. The authors decided to break out numbers for specific countries and present the findings at international conferences. The China statistics were offered at a forum in Beijing on Sunday. Ã¢â¬Å"We have been rolling out the India- and China-specific numbers, as they speak more directly to national leaders than regional numbers,Ã¢â¬ said Robert OÃ¢â¬â¢Keefe, the vice president of the Health Effects Institute, a research organization that is helping to present the study. The organization is partly financed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the global motor vehicle industry. What the researchers called Ã¢â¬Å"ambient particulate matter pollutionÃ¢â¬ was the fourth-leading risk factor for deaths in China in 2010, behind dietary risks, high blood pressure and smoking. Air pollution ranked seventh on the worldwide list of risk factors, contributing to 3.2 million deaths in 2010. By comparison with China, India, which also has densely populated cities grappling with similar levels of pollution, had 620,000 premature deaths in 2010 because of outdoor air pollution, the study found. That was deemed to be the sixth most common killer in South Asia. The study was led by an institute at the University of Washington and several partner universities and institutions, including the World Health Organization. Calculations of premature deaths because of outdoor air pollution are politically threatening in the eyes of some Chinese officials . According to news reports, Chinese officials cut out sections of a 2007 report called Ã¢â¬Å"Cost of Pollution in ChinaÃ¢â¬ that discussed premature deaths. The reportÃ¢â¬â¢s authors had concluded that 350,000 to 400,000 people die prematurely in China eachÃ year because of outdoor air pollution. The study was done by the World Bank in cooperation with the Chinese State Environmental Protection Administration, the precursor to the Ministry of Environmental Protection. There have been other estimates of premature deaths because of air pollution. In 2011, the World Health Organization estimated that there were 1.3 million premature deaths in cities worldwide because of outdoor air pollution. Last month, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, based in Paris, warned that Ã¢â¬Å"urban air pollution is set to become the top environmental cause of mortality worldwide by 2050, ahead of dirty water and lack of sanitation.Ã¢â¬ It estimated that up to 3.6 million people could end up dying prematurely from air pollution each year, mostly in China and India. There has been growing outrage in Chinese cities over what many say are untenable levels of air pollution. Cities across the north hit record levels in January, and official Chinese newspapers ran front-page articles on the surge Ã¢â¬â what some foreigners call the Ã¢â¬Å"airpocalypseÃ¢â¬ Ã¢â¬â despite earlier limits on such discussion by propaganda officials. In February, the State Council, ChinaÃ¢â¬â¢s cabinet, announced a timeline for introducing new fuel standards, but state-owned oil and power companies are known to block or ignore environmental policies to save on costs. A study released on Thursday said the growth rate of disclosure of pollution information in 113 Chinese cities had slowed. The groups doing the study, the Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, based in Beijing, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, based in Washington, said that Ã¢â¬Å"faced with the current situation of severe air, water and soil pollution, we must make changes to pollution source information disclosure so that information is no longer patchy, out of date and difficult to o btain.Ã¢â¬ Chinese officials have made some progress in disclosing crucial air pollution statistics. Official news reports have said 74 cities are now required to release data on levels of particulate matter 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller, which penetrate the bodyÃ¢â¬â¢s tissues most deeply. For years, Chinese officials had been collecting the data but refusing to release it, until they came under pressure from Chinese who saw that the United States Embassy in Beijing was measuring the levels hourly and posting the data in a Twitter feed, @BeijingAir. Last week, an official Chinese news report said the cost of environmental degradation in China was about $230 billion in 2010, or 3.5Ã percent of the gross domestic product. The estimate, said to be partial, came from a research institute under the Ministry of Environmental Protection, and was three times the amount in 2004, in local currency terms. It was unclear to what extent those numbers took into account the costs of health care and premature deaths because of pollution. National Park Service Air Pollution Its Nature, Sources, and Effects http://www.nps.gov/shen/naturescience/airpollution.htm Last Updated: 04/09/2014 Summer View, mountains in the distance from Skyline Drive. John F. Mitchell NPS Volunteer Introduction Air pollution occurs in many forms but can generally be thought of as gaseous and particulate contaminants that are present in the earths atmosphere. Gaseous pollutants include sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOx), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOC), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), hydrogen fluoride (HF), and various gaseous forms of metals. These pollutants are emitted from large stationary sources such as fossil fuel fired power plants, smelters, industrial boilers, petroleum refineries, and manufacturing facilities as well as from area and mobile sources. They are corrosive to various materials which causes damage to cultural resources, can cause injury to ecosystems and organisms, aggravate respiratory diseases, and reduce visibility. Particulates come in both large and small or fine solid forms. Large particulates include substances such as dust, asbestos fibers, and lead. Fine particulates include sulfates (SO4) and nitrates (NO3). Important sourc es of particulates are power plants, smelters, mining operations, and automobiles. Asbestos and lead affect organisms, while sulfates and nitrates not only cause health problems, but also contribute to acid rain or acid deposition and a reduction in visibility. Particulate matter, a term sometimes used instead of particulates, refers to the mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Toxic air pollutants are a class of chemicals which mayÃ potentially cause health problems in a significant way. The sources of toxic air pollutants include power plants, industries, pesticide application, and contaminated windblown dust. Persistent toxic pollutants, such as mercury, are of particular concern because of their global mobility and ability to accumulate in the food chain. More research is needed to fully understand the fate and effects of mercury and the many other toxic pollutants. Primary pollutants are those that are emitted directly into the air from pollution sources. Secondary pollutants are formed when primary pollutants undergo chemical changes in the atmosphere. Ozone is an example of a secondary pollutant. It is formed when nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are mixed and warmed by sunlight. Ozone (O3) is a major component of what is often referred to as smog. The ozone which is present in the troposphere, or the atmosphere that is close to the ground, should not be confused with beneficial ozone that is located in the stratosphere or upper atmosphere. This beneficial ozone in the stratosphere helps protect the earth from harmful ultraviolet light from the sun. Sources of Air Pollution Stationary and Area Sources A stationary source of air pollution refers to an emission source that does not move, also known as a point source. Stationary sources include factories, power plants, dry cleaners and degreasing operations. The term area source is used to describe many small sources of air pollution located together whose individual emissions may be below thresholds of concern, but whose collective emissions can be significant. Residential wood burners are a good example of a small source, but when combined with many other small sources, they can contribute to local and regional air pollution levels. Area sources can also be thought of as non-point sources, such as construction of housing developments, dry lake beds, and landfills. Mobile Sources A mobile source of air pollution refers to a source that is capable of moving under its own power. In general, mobile sources imply on-road transportation, which includes vehicles such as cars, sport utility vehicles, and buses. In addition, there is also a non-road or off-roadÃ category that includes gas-powered lawn tools and mowers, farm and construction equipment, recreational vehicles, boats, planes, and trains. Agricultural Sources Agricultural operations, those that raise animals and grow crops, can generate emissions of gases and particulate matter. For example, animals confined to a barn or restricted area (rather than field grazing), produce large amounts of manure. Manure emits various gases, particularly ammonia into the air. This ammonia can be emitted from the animal houses, manure storage areas, or from the land after the manure is applied. In crop production, the misapplication of fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides can potentially result in aerial drift of these materials and harm may be caused. Natural Sources Although industrialization and the use of motor vehicles are overwhelmingly the most significant contributors to air pollution, there are important natural sources of pollution as well. Wildland fires, dust storms, and volcanic activity also contribute gases and particulates to our atmosphere. Unlike the above mentioned sources of air pollution, natural air pollution is not caused by people or their activities. An erupting volcano emits particulate matter and gases; forest and prairie fires can emit large quantities of pollutants; plants and trees naturally emit VOCs which are oxidized and form aerosols that can cause a natural blue haze; and dust storms can create large amounts of particulate matter. Wild animals in their natural habitat are also considered natural sources of pollution. The National Park Service recognizes that each of these sources emits gases and particulate matter into the atmosphere but we regard these as constituents resulting from natural processes. Air Pollution at Shenandoah Sources of air pollution that affect Shenandoah National Park are largely outside of the park. These include industrial facilities located throughout the mid-Atlantic region and the Ohio River Valley as well as urban centers in this same region. Because most areas adjacent to the park are rural and agricultural, it is clear that transport of pollutants from distantÃ locations is an important element upon which park air quality hinges. Even some agricultural activities, such as ammonia from the poultry industry and pesticides that are applied to adjacent fields, may contribute to air pollution in the park. In-park emission sources are relatively small, but do include motor vehicles, maintenance equipment, small boilers and generators. The relative contribution from the in-park sources is very small compared to other sources. In a July 2002 report describing an emissions inventory for Shenandoah National Park, it was determined that less than 1% of emissions were produced from in-par k sources. How does air pollution move? Air transport is the term used to describe the mechanism by which air pollution moves from an emissions source to a receptor. A source is a location (i.e., smokestack, chimney, exhaust pipe) from which the pollutant emanates and a receptor is the place (i.e., soil, vegetation, waterbodies, human lungs) where the pollutant is deposited. The atmosphere itself is the transporter of pollutants from sources to receptors. If the wind carries the plume of pollution high enough in the air, it may travel for hundreds of miles before being brought to earth. This is known as long-range or long-distance transport. Air Pollution Effects The air is an important component of the natural system of a park in its own right. The presence of pollution in the atmosphere results directly in air quality degradation. Air pollution is also a critical factor affecting the quality of other environmental resources as well as the human-made structures and facilities in the area. Polluted air can and has harmed park resources in a variety of ways depending upon the chemistry of the pollutant, weather and environmental conditions, and the nature or sensitivity of park resources. Examples of this harm include vegetative discoloration and growth disruption from ozone, loss of aquatic species from stream acidification, shifts in nutrient availability from acid deposition, and erosion of building surfaces and rock formations. Air pollution impairs visibility and contributes to climate change. Air pollution can also be detrimental to human health. Shchooltoday Your Cool Facts and Tips on Air Pollution What causes air pollution? Air pollution can result from both human and natural actions. Natural events that pollute the air include forest fires, volcanic eruptions, wind erosion, pollen dispersal, evaporation of organic compounds and natural radioactivity. Pollution from natural occurrences are not very often. Human activities that result in air pollution include: 1. Emissions from industries and manufacturing activities Have you seen a manufacturing company before? You will notice that there are long tubes (called chimneys) erected high into the air, with lots of smoke and fumes coming out of it. Waste incinerators, manufacturing industries and power plants emit high levels of carbon monoxide, organic compounds, and chemicals into the air. This happens almost everywhere that people live. Petroleum refineries also release lots of hydrocarbons into the air. 2. Burning Fossil Fuels After the industrial age, transportation has become a key part of our lives. Cars and heavy duty trucks, trains, shipping vessels and airplanes all burn lots of fossil fuels to work. Emissions from automobile engines contain both primary and secondary pollutants. This is a major cause of pollution, and one that is very difficult to manage. This is because humans rely heavily on vehicles and engines for transporting people, good and services. Fumes from car exhauts contain dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide, oxides of nitrogen, hydrocarbons and particulates. On their own, they cause great harm to people who breath them. Additionally, they react with environmental gases to create further toxic gases. Click here to see the effects 3. Household and Farming Chemicals Crop dusting, fumigating homes, household cleaning products or painting supplies, over the counter insect/pest killers, fertilizer dust emit harmful chemicals into the air and cause pollution. In many case, when we use these chemicals at home or offices with no or little ventilation, we may fall ill if we breathe them. What are the common air pollutants around? Carbon Monoxide (CO) Fuel combustion from vehicles and engines. Reduces the amount of oxygen reaching the bodyÃ¢â¬â¢s organs and tissues; aggravates heart disease, resulting in chest pain and other symptoms. Ground-level Ozone (O3)Ã Secondary pollutant formed by chemical reaction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and NOx in the presence of sunlight. Decreases lung function and causes respiratory symptoms, such as coughing and shortness of breath, and also makes asthma and other lung diseases get worse. More on Ground Level Ozone Here Lead (Pb) Smelters (metal refineries) and other metal industries; combustion of leaded gasoline in piston engine aircraft; waste incinerators (waste burners), and battery manufacturing. Damages the developing nervous system, resulting in IQ loss and impacts on learning, memory, and behavior in children. Cardiovascular and renal effects in adults and early effects related to anaemia. Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) Fuel combustion (electric utilities, big industrial boilers, vehicles) and wood burning. Worsens lung diseases leading to respiratory symptoms, increased susceptibility to respiratory infection. Particulate Matter (PM) This is formed through chemical reactions, fuel combustion (e.g., burning coal, wood, diesel), industrial processes, farming (plowing, field burning), and unpaved roads or during road constructions. Short-term exposures can worsen heart or lung diseases and cause respiratory problems. Long-term exposures can cause heart or lung disease and sometimes premature deaths. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) SO2 come from fuel combustion (especially high-sulfur coal); electric utilities and industrial processes as well as and natural occurances like volcanoes. Aggravates asthma and makes breathing difficult.It also contributes to particle formation with associated health effects. What are the effects of air pollution? Acidification: Chemical reactions involving air pollutants can create acidic compounds which can cause harm to vegetation and buildings. Sometimes, when an air pollutant, such as sulfuric acid combines with the water droplets that make up clouds, the water droplets become acidic, forming acid rain. When acid rain falls over an area, it can kill trees and harm animals, fish, and other wildlife. Acid rain destroys the leaves of plants. When acid rain infiltrates into soils, it changes the chemistry of the soil making it unfit for many living things that rely on soil as a habitat or for nutrition. Acid rain also changes the chemistry of the lakes and streams that the rainwater flows into, harming fish and other aquatic life. Eutrophication: Rain can carry and deposit the Nitrogen in some pollutants on rivers and soils. This will adversely affect the nutrients in the soil and water bodies. This can result in algae growth in lakes and water bodies, and make conditions for other living organism harmful. Ground-level ozone: Chemical reactions involving air pollutants create a poisonous gas ozone (O3). Gas Ozone can affect peopleÃ¢â¬â¢s health and can damage vegetation types and some animal life too. Particulate matter:Ã Air pollutants can be in the form of particulate matter which can be very harmful to our health. The level of effect usually depends on the length of time of exposure, as well the kind and concentration of chemicals and particles exposed to. Short-term effects include irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, and upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis andÃ pneumonia. Others include headaches, nausea, and allergic reactions. Short-term air pollution can aggravate the medical conditions of individuals with asthma and emphysema. Long-term health effects can include chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and even damage to the brain, nerves, liver, or kidneys. Continual exposure to air pollution affects the lungs of growing children and may aggravate or compli cate medical conditions in the elderly. Air pollution prevention, monitoring and solution. Solution efforts on pollution is always a big problem. This is why prevention interventions are always a better way of controlling air pollution. These prevention methods can either come from government (laws) or by individual actions. In many big cities, monitoring equipment have been installed at many points in the city. Authorities read them regularly to check the quality of air. Lets see more below: Government (or community) level prevention Governments throughout the world have already taken action against air pollution by introducing green energy. Some governments are investing in wind energy and solar energy, as well as other renewable energy, to minimize burning of fossil fuels, which cause heavy air pollution. Governments are also forcing companies to be more responsible with their manufacturing activities, so that even though they still cause pollution, they are a lot controlled. Companies are also building more energy efficient cars, which pollute less than before. Individual Level Prevention Encourage your family to use the bus, train or bike when commuting. If we all do this, there will be less cars on road and less fumes. Use energy (light, water, boiler, kettle and fire woods) wisely. This is because lots of fossil fuels are burned to generate electricity, and so if we can cut down the use, we will also cut down the amount of pollution we create. Recycle and re-use things. This will minimize the dependence of producing new things. Remember manufacturing industries create a lot of pollution, so if we can re-use things like shopping plastic bags, clothing, paper and bottles, it can help. Basic Air Pollution Facts Below are some random facts and info on environmental pollution. Air pollutants (dangerous things that make the air unclean)come in the form of gases or particles. In March 2011, a very powerful earthquake in the sea (tsunami) hit the Japan coast. The sea level rose and water came into the land, damaging 4 of the 6 reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. World Health Organisation (WHO) experts confirm that there is slight increased risk of some cancer types for some people who were exposed to the radiation. These included people living in that area and some workers at the plant. Below is a peice of the information given on BBC website: The biggest lifetime risks were seen in those exposed as infants, compared with children or adults. For girls exposed to radiation from the accident as infants, the report found a 4% increase above the lifetime expected risk of solid tumours and a 6% increase above that expected for breast cancer. Boys exposed as infants are expected to have a 7% increased risk of leukaemia above that expected in the normal population. The biggest risk was seen in thyroid cancer, which for infant girls could be up to 70% higher than expected over their lifetime. BBC Website: /news/health-21614722 It is estimated that you breathe 20,000 liters of air each day. This means the more polluted the air is, the more we breathe into our lungs dangerous chemicals. Air can be polluted both indoors and outdoors. Tobacco and other kinds of smoking are examples of indoor air pollution. Sick Building Syndrome is a health condition related to pesticides, insecticides and chemicals we use at home and offices. In the great Smog Disaster in London in 1952, four thousand people died in a few days due to the high concentrations of pollution. Air pollution affects kids more than adultsÃ because, for their body size, kids breathe more air and spend more time playing outside. More hazardous pollutants are discharged into the air each year than are released to surface water, ground water, and land, combined. Motor vehicles produce more air pollution than any other single human activity. One full commuter bus can mean 40 less cars going through your neighborhood. In America, vehicle exhaust contributes roughly 60% of all carbon monoxide emissions nationwide, and up to 95% in cities. Indoor air pollution and health Around 3 billion people cook and heat their homes using open fires and leaky stoves burning biomass (wood, animal dung and crop waste) and coal. Nearly 2 million people die prematurely from illness attributable to indoor air pollution from household solid fuel use. Nearly 50% of pneumonia deaths among children under five are due to particulate matter inhaled from indoor air pollution. More than 1 million people a year die from chronic obstructive respiratory disease (COPD) that develop due to exposure to such indoor air pollution. Both women and men exposed to heavy indoor smoke are 2-3 times more likely to develop COPD Source: WHO Ozone Depletion: Losing EarthÃ¢â¬â¢s Protective Layer National Geographic The ozone layer is a belt of naturally occurring ozone gas that sits 9.3 to 18.6 miles (15 to 30 kilometers) above Earth and serves as a shield from the harmful ultraviolet B radiation emitted by the sun. Ozone is a highly reactive molecule that contains three oxygen atoms. It is constantly being formed and broken down in the high atmosphere, 6.2 to 31 miles (10 to 50 kilometers) above Earth, in the region called the stratosphere. Today, there is widespread concern that the ozone layer is deteriorating due to the release of pollution containing the chemicals chlorine and bromine. Such deterioration allows large amounts of ultraviolet B rays to reach Earth, which can cause skin cancer and cataracts in humans and harm animals asÃ well. Extra ultraviolet B radiation reaching Earth also inhibits the reproductive cycle of phytoplankton, single-celled organisms such as algae that make up the bottom rung of the food chain. Biologists fear that reductions in phytoplankton populations will in turn lower the populations of other animals. Researchers also have documented changes in the reproductive rates of young fish, shrimp, and crabs as well as frogs and salamanders exposed to excess ultraviolet B. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), chemicals found mainly in spray aerosols heavily used by industrialized nations for much of the past 50 years, are the primary culprits in ozone layer breakdown. When CFCs reach the upper atmosphere, they are exposed to ultraviolet rays, which causes them to break down into substances that include chlorine. The chlorine reacts with the oxygen atoms in ozone and rips apart the ozone molecule. One atom of chlorine can destroy more than a hundred thousand ozone molecules, according to the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The ozone layer above the Antarctic has been particularly impacted by pollution since the mid-1980s. This regionÃ¢â¬â¢s low temperatures speed up the conversion of CFCs to chlorine. In the southern spring and summer, when the sun shines for long periods of the day, chlorine reacts with ultraviolet rays, destroying ozone on a massive scale, up to 65 percent. This is what some people erroneously refer to as the ozone hole. In other regions, the ozone layer has deteriorated by about 20 percent. About 90 percent of CFCs currently in the atmosphere were emitted by industrialized countries in the Northern Hemisphere, including the United States and Europe. These countries banned CFCs by 1996, and the amount of chlorine in the atmosphere is falling now. But scientists estimate it will take another 50 years for chlorine levels to return to their natural levels. Clean Air Kids The Earth is wrapped in a blanket of air called the atmosphere, which is made up of several layers. About 19-30 kilometres above the Earth is a layer of gas called ozone, which is a form of oxygen. Ozone is produced naturally in the atmosphere. WHY DO WE HAVE AN OZONE LAYER? The ozone layer is very important because it stops too many of the suns ultra-violet rays (UV rays) getting through to the Earth these are the rays that cause our skin to tan. Too much UV can cause skin cancer and will also harm all plants and animals. Life on Earth could not exist without the protective shield of the ozone layer. WHAT IS THE OZONE HOLE? Every spring, a hole as big as the USA develops in the ozone layer over Antarctica, in the South Pole. A smaller hole develops each year over the Arctic, at the North Pole. And there are signs that the ozone layer is getting thinner all over the planet. Scientists have discovered that the ozone hole over Antarctica started in 1979, and that the ozone layer generally started to get thin in the early 1980s. The loss of the ozone layer occurs when more ozone is being destroyed than nature is creating. WHAT CAUSES THE OZONE HOLE? One group of gases is particularly likely to damage the ozone layer. These gases are called CFCs, Chloro-Fluoro-Carbons. CFCs are used in some spray cans to force the contents out of the can. They are also used in refrigerators, air conditioning systems and some fire extinguishers. They are used because they are not poisonous and do not catch fire. Most countries have now stopped using new CFCs that can be released into the atmosphere, but many scientists believe we must stop using old ones as well. THE OZONE HOLE AND OUR HEALTH The ozone layer is like a sunscreen, and a thinning of it would mean that more ultra-violet rays would be reaching us. Too many UV rays would cause more sunburn, and because sunburn causes skin cancer, this too would increase deaths. These UV rays are also dangerous for our eyes and could cause an increase in people becoming blind. That is why sun cream and sunglasses are very important. THE OZONE HOLE ON ANIMALS AND PLANTS UV rays can go through water and end up killing small water animals orÃ plants, called plankton which form the base of the food chain in oceans and seas. Whales and other fishes have plankton as their main food, and if plankton die because of these UV rays, whales will start dying too, because they will not have anything to eat. Large amounts of UV rays could damage all green plants. If the ozone layer keeps getting thinner, there could be fewer and fewer plants on Earth, then there would be less food in the whole world. THE TWO-FACED OZONE GAS Ozone found between 19 and 30 kilometres high in the atmosphere is one of the reasons why we are alive on Earth. But when the gas ozone is found lower down where we can breathe it in, it becomes very dangerous for our health. This ozone is caused by a reaction between air pollution and sunlight and can cause modern-day smog. This is different to the smog that formed in the early 20th century from smoke and fog. What can you do: There are many things we can do to help reduce air pollution and global warming. Use buses and trains instead of cars, as they can carry a lot more people in one journey. This cuts down the amount of pollution produced. Walking or cycling whenever you can will be even better, as it does not create any pollution. It will also be good for your body, as regular exercise will keep you fit and healthy. If your parents must use the car, ask them to avoid using it for very short journeys if possible, as this creates unnecessary pollution. Try to encourage them to share their journeys with other people, for example when they go to work or go shopping. Also encourage them to drive more slowly as this produces less pollution and less carbon dioxide. Energy is produced to generate electricity and to keep us warm. Most energy is produced by the burning of fossil fuels, like coal, oil and gas, which release carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Fuel burnt in our cars also releases carbon dioxide. As an individual, you do not have a lot of control on how your energy is produced. However, you can control the way in which you use that energy. Using less energy means less of it needs to be produced. So less carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. We can also help prevent pollution from our own homes which may contribute to acid rain and poor air quality, and increases emissions of carbon dioxide in theÃ atmosphere. Turning off lights when they are not needed and not wasting electricity will reduce the demand for energy. Less electricity will need to be produced and so less coal, oil and gas will have to be burnt in power stations, which means less air pollution and less carbon dioxide! Pollution formed indoors can be reduced by ensuring that all gas appliances are working correctly. Good ventilation will improve indoor air quality by dispersing biological pollutants like dust mite, and other pollutants such as cigarette smoke. Most of the rubbish we throw away can be recycled, such as glass bottles and jars, steel and aluminium cans, plastic bottles and waste paper. Recycling used materials uses less energy than making new ones. Composting fruit and vegetable waste reduces the amount of rubbish buried at rubbish dumps. What are the Governments doing? Governments throughout the world have already taken action for these different environmental problems (i.e. Acid Rain, Air Quality, Ozone Hole, Global Warming). In their plans they hope to reduce the amount of emissions of greenhouse gases produced by man. About half of the greenhouse effect is caused by our use of energy, especially from fossil fuels. Other sources of energy could be used which do not emit carbon dioxide, e.g. wind power, solar (sun power) and wave power. In the home and at school, we must learn to use energy efficiently and not waste it. Rain is very important for life. All living things need water to live, even people. Rain brings us the water we need. But in many places in the world even where you live, rain has become a menace. Because of pollution in the air, acid gases from factories, cars and homes, the rain is becoming dangerous for the life of every living creature. This rain is known as acid rain. WHAT IS ACID RAIN? Acid gases are produced when fossil fuels like coal and oil are burned in power stations, factories and in our own homes. Most of these acid gases are blown into the sky, and when they mix with the clouds it can cause rain or snow, sleet, fog, mist or hail to become more acidic. The opposites ofÃ acid are alkalis; for example, toothpaste and baking powder are both alkalis. Strong alkalis can also be dangerous, such as ammonia and bleach. Lemon juice, vinegar and cola are all acidic. Rain is naturally acidic, but acid gases make it even more acidic, sometimes as acid as lemon! Nature can also produce acid gases, such as volcanoes. When they erupt, the smoke that comes out of the crater is also full of acid gases. HOW DO WE MEASURE ACIDITY? There is a special scale called the pH scale that measures the strength of acids and alkalis. A low pH number means something is acid. A high number means something is alkali. And something in the middle is called neutral. Acidity can be tested using litmus paper. Usually rain is a little acidic, and has pH of about 5.5, if the pH of rainfall is less than 5.5, then the rain is probably polluted by acid gases. Acids turn litmus paper red, and alkalis turn it blue. With a special paper called universal indicator, you can test levels of acidity. WHAT ARE THE MAIN GASES THAT CAUSE ACID RAIN? When we burn fuels, chemicals called sulphur and nitrogen are released into the air. Once in the air, they mix with water in the air rain, snow, etc and are transformed into different chemicals called sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides, which can be very dangerous for plants, animals and people. Most of the sulphur comes from power stations, which make electricity, and also from volcanoes. Most of the nitrogen oxides come from car and truck exhausts. We call air pollution the bad gases that we produce and release in the air. Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are the most important causes of acid rain. A PROBLEM ALL OVER THE WORLD Air pollution can be carried over long distances. When acid gases are released, they go high up in the sky, and then they are pushed by strong winds towards other countries. The acid rain in Sweden is caused by air pollution in Britain and other countries of Europe. The pollution produced in Britain ends up mostly in Scandinavia countries in northern EuropeÃ including Sweden, Norway and Denmark. In the USA, the winds blow the air pollution to certain areas in Canada. HOW BAD IS ACID RAIN? When rain is acidic, it affects what it falls on: trees, lakes, buildings and farmland. Sometimes rain is not very acidic and does not cause a lot of problems, but when it is acidic, it can be very harmful to the environment. TREES AND PLANTS Acid rain can have terrible effects on a forest. The acid takes away important minerals from the leaves and the soil. Minerals are like vitamins for trees and plants. Without them, trees and plants cannot grow properly. They lose their leaves and become very weak. They are no longer strong enough to fight against illnesses and frost. They become very ill and can even die. Some soils are alkaline, when acid rain falls on them the acid becomes neutral. Plants and trees living on these soils are not in any big danger.. LAKES AND WATER LIFE Acid rain has a terrible effect on water life. Even if the acid rain does not fall straight into the lake, for example, it may enter from rivers and streams. Some of the life in the lake such as fish and plants may end up dying, because they cannot survive in acidic lakes. Thousands of lakes in Scandinavia have no more life in them. They have received so much acid rain for so many years, because of the winds pushing the acid gases, that nothing can survive. You can recognise a lake dead from acid rain by its clean and crystal clear water. But they look clean because there is very little living in them anymore. Tiny plants and animals are mostly unable to survive.. OUR HEALTH Particulates very small particles of debris found in some of the air pollution are one of the main causes of health problems. In towns and cities, these are released mainly by diesel engines from cars and trucks. When we breathe in air pollution, these very fine particulates can easily enter our body, where they can cause breathing problems, and over time evenÃ cause cancer. Water we drink from taps can be contaminated by acid rain, which can damage the brain.. BUILDINGS Acid rain can also ruin buildings because the acid eats into metal and stone. It also damages stained glass and plastics. Some types of building materials are softer than others, and it is the softer ones which are most affected by acid rain. Sandstone and limestone are examples of stone which are fairly soft and are damaged easily. Granite is an example of a harder stone that can resist the effects of acid rain. In many places in the world, ancient and famous buildings and monuments are affected by acid rain. For example, the Statue of Liberty in New York, USA, has had to be restored because of acid rain damage. Buildings are naturally eroded by rain, wind, frost and the sun, but when acidic gases are present, it speeds up the erosion.
Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Harry Potter: Books and Merchandise With the rising popularity of the Harry Potter books, there is an increase in production of Harry Potter merchandise that both Hasbro and Mattel are taking full advantage of. Warner Bros. Worldwide Consumer Products has announced that Hasbro has received the license to create Harry Potter games that involves the first two books in the series, Harry Potter and the SorcererÃ¢â¬â¢s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Some of the Hasbro divisions including, Wizards of the Coast, Tiger Electronics and OddzOn, are also going to create some Harry Potter products. These companies are worldwide leaders in the products that they make, some of the products that they are known for are, the Pokemon Trading Card Game and Magic: The Gathering. There are trading cards, candy, youth electronic video games, and role playing games. Cap Candy will have interactive candy including the magical Bertie BottÃ¢â¬Ës Every Flavor Bean and Tiger Electronics will introduce handheld electronic games, personal radios and recorders, diaries, kids messaging systems and voice changing devices. Ã¢â¬Å"The millions of Harry Potter fans around the world are going to love seeing literary references to things like cards and candy come alive through our exiting range of offerings,Ã¢â¬ said Alan G. Hassenfeld, HasbroÃ¢â¬â¢s chairman and CEO (About). Mattel, however, has the rights to Harry Potter toys. They have produced action figure trivia games, and collectible figures. Some of the collectible figures will only be offered in specialty stores. Most of these toys became available during the first part of the 2001 (Find Articles). There have already been over five hundred toys and gimmicks in stores, including dolls, puzzles, castles, broomsticks, and do-it-yourself magic. With the holiday season coming up, the Harry Potter products will be selling out fast. Mattel expects certain items to be sold out by Thanksgiving. Storeowners are happy to see the rise in sales with the merchandise and have had a hard time keeping products in the stores (CNN.com). The popularity of J.K. RowlingÃ¢â¬â¢s Harry Potter series has helped HasbroÃ¢â¬â¢s and MattelÃ¢â¬â¢s sales go up. People, young and old, are buying up all of the Harry Potter merchandise and spending an enormous amount of money on the products. Along with the merchandise being sold in stores there is also a movie, Ã¢â¬Å"Harry Potter and the SorcererÃ¢â¬â¢s StoneÃ¢â¬ that came out November 16, 2001.
Monday, January 13, 2020
IT Solutions: Proposal for New HR System By University of Phoenix BSA/375 09/02/2013 Proposal for New Human Resource System In our quest to ever better ourselves the IT department, of Riordan Manufacturing, is submitting this Request for Proposal to integrate a more sophisticated, state-of-the art, information systems technology in our Human Resources department. Riordan Manufacturing has always strived to better ourselves by keeping up with technology in all of our operating systems and our manufacturing systems. Our goal is to remain at the forefront of the manufacturing community as we keep leading the way in all of our business systems and, at the same time, keeping the feel of a customer friendly company. We want to make sure that our customers can feel safe in the knowledge that we will do what is necessary to fulfill their business needs. As of now, our Human Resource, (HR), Operating System, (OS), has fallen short of this goal. Please understand that the system that is in place, while it has the ability to complete the task at hand is not sufficient enough for our growing organization. Right now, we are running many separate applications to process all of the HR system requirements. This process is not only time consuming, but is not a cost efficient solution that this company is looking for. If we want to accomplish our goal we need to combine all the old HR systems into a single integrated application. The IT department is looking to complete this project in approximately six (6) months, so the new system can be utilized in the second quarter of next year. We want to have a prototype system available for testing in approximately two (2) months before final system deployment, for training and technical support purposes. Our goal is to have all training and any problems fixed one (1) month before start up. This way we will have time to apply any necessary changes to the system. The new HR system will have many applications that can be used across most of our other business systems from Marketing and Sales to Inventory andÃ Warehousing. We are hoping for companywide training to be completed within four (4) months of startup, making the new system available for all departments before the end of the third (3rd) quarter. Below are some requirements that will need to be accomplished so that the process of integrating the new HR system will go smoothly. Access the Stakeholders Involved in System Startup The first step in setting up the new Human Resource Application, (HRA), is to gather information about the system requirements and user needs from everyone that will be involved in the startup and rollout of the new system. The process of gathering information from involved stakeholders can be a tedious process if the wrong techniques are used. So, to expedite this in an orderly and timely manner we will be passing out questioners to all members of the Human Resource Department and to all Department heads. Using Questioners will help the IT department get an idea of what requirements are expected from the new system. It is not cost efficient to talk to each employee so, it would be very beneficial for all that every questioner is filled out in a timely manner. We will be emailed to each employee on Monday September 9th, 2013 and would like a response no later than Thursday September 12th, 2013, (for processing purposes). Questioners will also be available on the Employee Web Site under HR applications. Another technique of gathering the needed information will be to conduct group meetings with the HR department executives and managers. The IT department will be holding Joint Application Development, (JAD), sessions starting Monday September 16th, 2013. These sessions are managed processes that the IT department uses to gather information in an efficient, cohesive manner. We want to use team involvement so that we can gain a firm understanding of what you, the client, will want out of the new HR system. The JAD session will help all of us jointly develop the new system. Ensuring Successful Gathering of Project Information We, in the IT department, want to make sure that every system requirement that maybe be asked for will be deployed at the time of the system prototype introduction. To insure that this goal is accomplished we must gather correct, concise and relevant information from each of you, the stakeholdersÃ involved in the system development. Gathering good information will help us develop the system molded to what you want. We understand that the information gathering process can be a daunting task, but with your help we can make this as painless as possible. Remember, without your input on this project the IT department cannot rollout a system that will be an effective tool for Human Resources and the rest of Riordan Manufacturing. The ability to gather good information is the most important process in all parts of every System Development Life Cycle, (SDLC), and with everyoneÃ¢â¬â¢s support in this process the system rollout will go smoothly. Developing the Project Scope and Project Fea sibility Riordan Manufacturing wants all projects that go into development to be successful. If we want the new Human Resource system to be successful we will need to institute a project scope system. Even with the feedback and involvement of each stakeholder and the success of other projects delivered from the IT department there is a chance that this new system can still fail. At any given time there will be necessary changes to the project. These changes can have a negative effect, but our goal is to remain focused on the system requirements. We want to delivers the new system on time and under budget with the required functions that are expected. Our plan is to set up a system to manage key aspects of the new systems development: * Project Size Ã¢â¬â Understand how large this project will be * Project Goals Ã¢â¬â Make sure goals are set and achievable * Project Requirements Ã¢â¬â All system requirements are carried out To deliver a finished project that meets the goals above our Project Scope will need to follow a these five (5) steps: * Project Initiation Ã¢â¬â evaluate the need of the new system and deliver appropriate solutions. * Scope Planning Ã¢â¬â Create a feasible Work Breakdown Structure, (WBS) that charts all the work that will be done on this project. * Scope Definition Ã¢â¬â Working with you, the end user, expand in detail the work breakdown the will be needed. * Scope Verification Ã¢â¬â Timely scheduled work assessment and acceptability checks by the end user and the IT department during the SDLC of the new application. * Scope Change Control Ã¢â¬â Put a formal system in place to control any system changes that will take place. This willÃ limit Scope Creep, (Unauthorized access to changes to the system). As you can see, applying proper scope management will be crucial in the development of the new Human Resource system. Conclusion To stay as one of the leaders in manufacturing we must keep trying to evolve. While we at Riordan Manufacturing have strived to be the best in the industry there are occasions when we must look into ourselves and see what changes are needed so that we can remain an innovator in manufacturing techniques while still being a customer friendly organization. The current Human Resource system has fallen behind and is keeping us from maintaining all that we have set out to accomplish. Integrating a more sophisticated, state-of-the art, information system in our Human Resource department will accomplish more than just the above goal. It will streamline our business applications into an easy to use easily accessible system that will be cost efficient with little maintenance. This is what we have always strived to accomplish and this new system will keep us on track. With proper planning, creating a good project scope, gathering good, reliable and relevant information and with your constant in volvement throughout the SDLC of the new HR system we will be guaranteed of a successful project completion and rollout. Thank You. IT System Manager 09/01/2013 References Wich, Darren. 2009. Ã¢â¬Å"Project Scope ManagementÃ¢â¬ IS 6840. Online http://www.umsl.edu/~sauterv/analysis/6840_f09_papers/Wich/scopemanagement.html Heldman, Kim. PMP, April 14th, 2009. Ã¢â¬Å"The Importance of the Project Scope StatementÃ¢â¬ . Lakewood, Colorado. Online. http://pm.97things.oreilly.com/wiki/index.php/The_Importance_of_the_Project_Scope_Statement Blankenburg, Joanne. September 9th, 2012 Ã¢â¬Å"Use Joint Application Design (JAD)
Sunday, January 5, 2020
The Dutch East India Company, called the Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC in Dutch, was a company whose main purpose was trade, exploration, and colonization throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. It was created in 1602 and lasted until 1800. It is considered to be one of the first and most successful international corporations. At its height, the Dutch East India Company established headquarters in many different countries, had a monopoly over the spice trade and it had semi-governmental powers in that it was able to begin wars, prosecute convicts, negotiate treaties and establish colonies. History and Growth of the Dutch East India Company During the 16th century, the spice trade was growing throughout Europe but it was mostly dominated by the Portuguese. However, by the late 1500s, the Portuguese began to have trouble supplying enough spices to meet demand and prices rose. This, combined with the fact that Portugal united with Spain in 1580 motivated the Dutch to enter the spice trade because the Dutch Republic was at war with Spain at that time. By 1598 the Dutch were sending out numerous trading ships and in March 1599 Jacob van Necks fleet became the first to reach the Spice Islands (the Moluccas of Indonesia). In 1602 the Dutch government sponsored the creation of the United East Indies Company (known later as the Dutch East India Company) in an effort to stabilize profits in the Dutch spice trade and form a monopoly. At the time of its founding, the Dutch East India Company was given the power to build forts, keep armies and make treaties. The charter was to last 21 years.Ã¢â¬â¹ The first permanent Dutch trading post was established in 1603 in Banten, West Java, Indonesia. Today this area is Batavia, Indonesia. Following this initial settlement, the Dutch East India Company set up several more settlements throughout the early 1600s. Its early headquarters was in Ambon, Indonesia 1610-1619. From 1611 to 1617 the Dutch East India Company had severe competition in the spice trade from the English East India Company. In 1620 the two companies began a partnership that lasted until 1623 when the Amboyna massacre caused the English East India Company to move their trading posts from Indonesia to other areas in Asia. Throughout the 1620s the Dutch East India Company further colonized Indonesias islands and the presence of Dutch plantations growing cloves and nutmeg for export grew across the region. At this time the Dutch East India Company, like other European trading companies, used gold and silver to buy spices. To obtain the metals, the company had to create a trade surplus with other European countries. To get around only getting gold and silver from other European countries, the Governor-General of the Dutch East India Company, Jan Pieterszoon Coen, came up with a plan to create a trading system within Asia and those profits could finance the European spice trade. Eventually, the Dutch East India Company was trading throughout Asia. In 1640 the company expanded its reach to Ceylon. This area was previously dominated by the Portuguese and by 1659 the Dutch East India Company occupied nearly the entire Sri Lankan coast. In 1652 the Dutch East India Company also established an outpost at the Cape of Good Hope in southern Africa to provide supplies to ships sailing to eastern Asia. Later this outpost became a colony called the Cape Colony. As the Dutch East India Company continued to expand, trading posts were established in places that include Persia, Bengal, Malacca, Siam, Formosa (Taiwan) and Malabar to name a few. By 1669 the Dutch East India Company was the richest company in the world. Decline of the Dutch East India Company Despite its achievements in the mid-1600s by 1670 the economic success and growth of the Dutch East India Company began to decline, starting with a decrease in trading with Japan and the loss of the silk trade with China after 1666. In 1672 the Third Anglo-Dutch War disrupted trade with Europe and in the 1680s, other European trading companies began to grow and increase the pressure on the Dutch East India Company. Furthermore, European demand for Asian spices and other goods began to change around the middle of the 18th century. Around the turn of the 18th century the Dutch East India Company had a short resurgence in power but in 1780 another war broke out with England and the company began to have serious financial troubles. During this time the company survived because of support from the Dutch government (Towards a New Age of Partnership). Despite its problems, the charter of the Dutch East India Company was renewed by the Dutch government until the end of 1798. Later it was again renewed until December 31, 1800. At this time though the powers of the company were greatly reduced and the company began to let go of employees and dismantle headquarters. Gradually it also lost its colonies and eventually, the Dutch East India Company disappeared. Organization of the Dutch East India Company In its heyday, the Dutch East India Company had a complex organizational structure. It consisted of two types of shareholders. The two were known as the participanten and the bewindhebbers. The participanten were non-managing partners, while the bewindhebbers were managing partners. These shareholders were important to the success of the Dutch East India Company because their liability in the company consisted only of what was paid into it. In addition to its shareholders, the Dutch East India Companys organization also consisted of six chambers in the cities of Amsterdam, Delft, Rotterdam, Enkhuizen, Middleburg, and Hoorn. Each of the chambers had delegates that were chosen from the bewindhebbers and the chambers raised the beginning funds for the company. Importance of the Dutch East India Company Today The organization of the Dutch East India Company is important because it had a complex business model that has extended into businesses today. For example, its shareholders and their liability made the Dutch East India Company an early form of a limited-liability company. In addition, the company was also highly organized for the time and it was one of the first companies to establish a monopoly over the spice trade and it was the worlds first multinational corporation. The Dutch East India Company was also important in that it was active in bringing European ideas and technology to Asia. It also expanded European exploration and opened up new areas to colonization and trade. To learn more about the Dutch East India Company and to see a video lecture view, The Dutch East Indies Company - The First 100 Years from the United Kingdoms Gresham College. Also, visit Towards a New Age of Partnership for various articles and historical records.