Posts Tagged ‘gatlin international’

Sustainable Business News: Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town To Be Built Near Tokyo, Japan

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Last month, nine prominent companies announced that they would be working together on creating an environmentally responsible town called Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (Fujisawa SST).  The companies involved in this collaboration are Panasonic Corporation, Accenture, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd., Nihon Sekkei, Inc., ORIX Corporation, PanaHome Corporation, Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co., Ltd. and Tokyo Gas. Ltd.  This smart town will be built on the vacant lot of one of Panasonic’s factory sites and it located about 30 miles west of Tokyo, Japan.  The vision for this smart town is, “to build an innovative smart town deploying services and energy systems based on Panasonic’s Eco Ideas for green lifestyles,” according to the Panasonic Corporation’s May 26th press release.

Plans for the Fujisawa SST include, “an advanced model of a town demonstrating efficient use of energy by promoting widespread use of energy-saving devices and proposing new solutions that integrate measures for energy creation, storage and management. Specifically, the company plans to preinstall its solar power generation systems and home-use storage battery systems across the town, including homes, various facilities and public zones, which would be the first of its kind in the world.” If you are interested in the specific role of each of the nine companies involved in this collaboration, click on Panasonic Corporation’s press release link above for a detailed description of the project responsibilities for each company.

The homes in the Fujisawa SST will be designed to showcase Panasonic Corporation’s “entire solutions” business model by including various environmentally responsible features.  The planned features included solar powered systems and battery storage devices in each home, as well as several other features designed to save energy like energy efficient heat pumps and air conditioning units, and LED (Light Emitting Diode) lighting.  In the community at large, there are plans for wind power parks, public charging areas for shared electric vehicles, and a town layout that encourages walking to destinations.  Developers with Panasonic Corporation anticipate these eco-friendly features will assist the Fujisawa SST in producing approximately 70% fewer carbon emissions than comparable towns of the 1990’s.

The Fujisawa SST will have approximately 1,000 homes and provide living space for about 3,000 people.  The cost of this town is estimated to roughly $742 million.  Developers hope to open the new town around March of 2014.  The Fujisawa SST will hopefully be a successful smart town model in which Panasonic Corporation intends to reproduce in other parts of Japan as well as other countries.

If you are interested in working on a project like the Fujisawa SST, you could sharpen your Sustainable Business skills by taking an online course at Gatlin International.  Gatlin International offers several Sustainable Business courses including Green Business and Sustainability Professional, Green IT – Information and Communications Technology for a Sustainable Future, Principles of Green Buildings, and Solar Power Professional.  Head over to Gatlin International’s course catalog to read the detailed descriptions of these courses today.

February is Career and Technical Education Month

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

February is recognized nationally as Career and Technical Education month. Simply stated, Career and Technical Education is any type of coursework a person would participate in that teaches skills useful in obtaining a job or advancing in a current position. Career and Technical Education can mean a person is working to obtain certain types of certificates or credentials, two-year or four-year degrees, or simply taking a few courses to gain new skills.

There are many ways to obtain Career and Technical Education: career and technical education institutions, community and technical colleges, and other postsecondary centers offer these types of courses. However, taking a course at any of the aforementioned places requires that a person have the time and means to be in a specific place at a specific time to participate in the training. This can be difficult if you are working or have a family to take care of, or both. Another option for obtaining Career and Technical Education is distance learning, or elearning. Gatlin International offers an extensive array of elearning courses that would suit the needs of anyone looking for Career and Technical Education.

There are essentially three types of Career and Technical Education. The first type encompasses training in the realm of core academic skills (business math, writing, etc.). Courses that improve a person’s basic academic skills are not specific to any one career but are important in the everyday routines of a workplace. One example of this type of course would be Gatlin International’s Basic Math course. This course deals with a number of basic mathematical concepts that would be used during a person’s academic and/or work life.

Career and Technical Education can also relate to coursework covering certain employability skills. Again, these types of courses are not related to one specific career, but can apply to any career area. Gatlin International offers many courses of this type including Business Writing, Public Speaking, and Working Across Cultures to name just a few. As one can imagine, being skilled in business writing, public speaking, and working with people from varied cultural backgrounds are skills that can be useful and applicable in just about every work environment you can think of. Courses that fall into this category can be extremely useful as the training you receive will be beneficial no matter what route your career path takes you.

The final type of Career and Technical Education is job specific coursework. These are classes that train a person for a specific career pathway or give the skills necessary for a particular job. When most people think of Career and Technical Education, this is most likely the type of coursework that comes to mind. Gatlin international offers an extensive list of job-specific elearning courses such as Emergency Management Training for First Responders, Travel Agent Training, and Photoshop for Game Artists. These three course examples are a small sample of the wide range of subject matter included in Gatlin’s job specific course offering. No matter what your career or educational goals are, take advantage of Career and Technical Education month by investigating the elearning courses Gatlin International has to offer today.

Becoming a Lean Business

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Recently we talked about the emerging business trend of companies going green and incorporating sustainable business practices. While this is a great way for businesses to have a positive impact on the environment, there is another way to reduce business waste and increase benefits to the business and customer at the same time. The practice I am referring to is Lean Business.

Lean Business is essentially just what is sounds like: a business model that attempts to produce the maximum amount of benefit for the customer while using the least amount of resources possible. When a company is attempting to reduce it’s use of resources and thereby eliminate as much waste as possible following the Lean Business model, entire processes (as opposed to isolated tasks) are evaluated and reworked for improvement. These processes are often referred to as the value stream.

The Lean Enterprise Institute identifies five principles of lean mastery as such:

1. Specify value from the standpoint of the end customer by product family.
2. Identify all the steps in the value stream for each product family, eliminating whenever possible those steps that do not create value.
3. Make the value-creating steps occur in tight sequence so the product will flow smoothly toward the customer.
4. As flow is introduced, let customers pull value from the next upstream activity.
5. As value is specified, value streams are identified, wasted steps are removed, and flow and pull are introduced, begin the process again and continue it until a state of perfection is reached in which perfect value is created with no waste.

While at first glance it may seem like lean business practices apply only to the manufacturing business sector, this is not true. Every business and every business process can incorporate lean mastery into it’s functions. Service oriented business sectors such as healthcare and government will find operating on a lean business model especially beneficial. And these benefits will be realized by both the operation implementing the practices and the customer receiving the services.

The idea of becoming a lean business is not complicated in and of itself. However, implementing lean business practices does require a lot of forethought and planning. Lean mastery requires a lot of determination and long-term commitment. Lean business is a system of operating and acting that encompasses an entire business, it should not be thought of as simply a quick fix or a cost reduction program.

If you are interested in learning more about lean business or lean healthcare, Gatlin International has launched two new courses on this topic: Lean Mastery for Administration and Lean Mastery for Healthcare. These elearning programs contain clear, concise information on transforming an enterprise to lean. These programs are packed with examples, photographs, graphics, quizzes, progress tests, case studies, and many interactive features that provide tips, “try this” exercises, and in-depth information. With Gatlin International’s Lean Mastery elearning courses, you will be able to recognize how the application of lean principles can substantially improve the operating and financial performance of any business.