Factoring and small business

Factoring and small business

In today's rapidly changing environment, management of nonprofit organizations requires a variety of skill sets to successfully navigate challenging organizations.

The basic objectives of the Café are to assist NGOs in enhancing and improving their programmes and activities; to effect a better understanding of NGOs in general; and to enable NGOs to network at local, regional and international levels.

Alternative marketing strategies" are low cost ways to target specific neighborhoods, age groups, ethnic communities, and/or low literacy families with special cancer messages. Such strategies include the use of low cost flyers, posters, payroll stuffers, and program announcements scattered throughout a community to deliver a message. Ideally, these alternative strategies can also be used to complement traditional media efforts.

When distributing a marketing piece always remember to focus the content of your message and where it will placed on the characteristics of the community you want to reach. In NALIC that community is rural, older, and medically underserved. In order to reach those families,

As the programmes and projects of NGOs expand, the need for money to run their operations becomes all the more critical. Much of this comes from third party funding organizations, either in the country where the NGO operates, or in OECD countries that assist projects in developing countries.

Resources for Mobilizing Funding for Development Projects
• Small Grants Program,
• Social Development Department,
• World Bank
• International Youth Foundation,
• Baltimore,
• Maryland USA
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Technology strategy for the enterprise

Technology strategy for the enterprise

Organising technology at the enterprise level is part of corporate planning function and is a continuous process. This can be divided into the following three streams :

a. Replacement of obsolete technologies with newer ones; and continuous modernization of existing technologies for improving productivity and competitiveness.
b. Development and introduction of new products with a view to Diversify.
c. Setting up of new units.

While having certain common components, the above three streams have certain operational differerences and therefore need to be dealt with separately. However, the first step to technology status and the forecasting of technology needs, keeping in view the technology trends (domestic and global) and to the changing market in order to better satisfy the consumer expectations. While defining strategy, the time frame of technology cycle and its impact needs the maximum attention. Further, technology should be identified not only in term of machines but also products and processes to achieve the desired end product and level of productivity. This can be clarified by comparing core industries like Cement and Steel with fast track Electronics industry. While in the first case changes in the machines and processes take place without consumer getting the feel of it, in case of electronics and consumer products, the product range changes have an impact on consumer because he gets involved in it.

Further, a company engaged in the manufacture of consumer electronic products has very little time at its disposal to bridge the gap and keep pace with changes, but a company making cement or steel could go in a systematic manner to improve its state of technology and simultaneously meet the requirements of employment policies and marketing distribution system in the country in order to satisfy the consumer needs effectively.

The questions of technological obsolescence, time cycle and scale of operations are more relevant today than they were ever before. It is because of the increased pace of technological developments, emerging intense competition and stepping of electronics in almost all industries—be it automobile, telecommunication, aviation, cement or mineral industries where use of micro—processor has now become more a necessity than fashion—that the concepts of scale or size of production have assumed increasing importance. India is passing through transition phase where we have technologies varying from bullock cart to A-320 aircraft. Appropriate technology for each industrial segment is thus the need of the hour and should be the objective of an enterprise. While we might like to introduce bio-engineering, super conductivity and jet engines in one go, the scale of operations and results achieved may or may not justify the same. Since technology strategy of the corporation has a long term impact, its appropriate choice in the context of the environment is very critical.

As indicated earlier, the technology strategy of an electronic consumer product company, for instanced, cannot be the same as that of Steel, Cement or other core industry. And within the same sector the technology strategy of a company will change depending upon whether its target is domestic, international or mixed market. For example the technology strategy of a 100% Export Oriented Unit (EOU) company has to the state-of-the art technology and also has to be backed up by the capability to quickly respond to the changes in accordance with the merging global situation. On the other hand the strategy of a core industry company will be governed by domestic needs and Government’s socio-economic policies.

Technological changes at the enterprise level should take cognizance of the following :
a) Country’s changing economic scenario
b) Changing cultural and living standards
c) Government policies including those with respect to import and export and their effect on cost.
d) Global changes taking place in the range of products affecting the economic scene and living standards
e) Intensity in competition
f) Economics and sociology of conservation and pollution control consciousness creamed as a result of Government policies and pressures.

Some of the typical products exemplifying the global or universal trends are the TV, Video, automotive and home appliances industries in which a sort of explosion in demand has taken place.
In these verindustries, grater computersation, control through remote instruments and miniaturization are the technological changes which are now taking place.

After the internal resources, customer needs; global technology and market trends have been evaluated, the next step is to precisely identify the gaps at the enterprise level. While quantitative methods an assist in the identification of emerging technologies and possible know-how gaps, an assessment based on the following can be of direct use for an existing set up (for new enterprises the more scientific methods may be necessary) :
• Feedback data on the performance of existing equipment and failure analysis report, comparing productivity, cost of production and quality vis-à-vis acceptable standards.
• Feedback data in basic product parameters vis-à-vis other competitors and keeping watch in their plans and activities.
• Technology scanning by product groups.
• Interaction with customers, foreign companies, consultancy organisations, institutions, etc.
• Mapping the international technological status through tendering, obtaining quotations, engaging foreign consultants and evaluation the same in terms of domestic/export environment for the enterprise.
• Clearly defining the technology life cycle of new products as a consequence of technological changes by means of cost benefit analysis and with reference to time frame for implementation.
• Energy conservation and pollution control policies and strategies.

The management of technology at the enterprise level requires that the technology management group should receive necessary inputs for formulation of possible technology options form the customers, business groups and other corporate agencies. Based on these inputs the Technology Management Group should identify gaps in technology and formulate possible new technology alternatives. Thus the specifications of the required new technology get firmed up as a first step. The plan of action to implement the strategy may include :

a) Resource analysis of the company in terms of availability of technological expertise, finances, skills and equipment.
b) Analysis of Customer (both current as also emerging) needs and the time frame of validity.
c) Analysis the global data regarding the state of art of the technology and the markets. Based on these inputs the Technology Group carries out an evaluation of available options and the cost benefit analysis to arrive are investment decision.
d) Identify the route : technology acquisition vs. in-house development.
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Do you agree that pricing of technology is an important factor in technology transfer? If so why?

Do you agree that pricing of technology is an important factor in technology transfer? If so why? What are the considerations and norms for pricing a particular technology? Give example.

Modes of Technology Transfer:
The technology transfer plan and absorption, to a large extent, depend upon the mode of technology transfer which in turn depends upon the scope and specific needs of the enterprise. For example, technology transfer needs and mechanisms for setting lup a new plant, and those for improving the productivity or introducing new products in the existing plant would be different. The noraml modes of transfer are Turnkey joint ventures, technical know-how licencing, one time purchase, vetting, modernisation through Technology Development Fund (TDF) schemes and purchase of prototypes and drawings.

Once the negotiations with seller/collaborator have been completed and taken on record, it is essential that the licencee should evolve a proper back up organisation ensure smooth technology transfer for both dsign and manufacturing. The R & D set up should also be activated to support the technology transfer process and develop the know-why capabilities. A time bound project plan and implementation scheme after conclusion fo the collaboration agreement as also a comprehensive technology transfer plan have to be prepared defining the responsibilities of the various devisions of the company. Corrdinated by the Technology Management Group, the project plan could cover several aspects, eg,. Receipt of techinal documentation, k training of licensee personnel at the collaborator’s works, and echievement of indigenisation levels. A system for continuous monitoring of technology transfer plan at the product, divisional and corporate levels has to be developed depending upon the area /scope of collaboration. The indigenisation scheme and traning of engineers in idendified areas at the collaborators’s works after familiarising them with the documentation received from the collaborators has to be worked out so that the trainees could derive the maximum benefit from their stay at the collaborator’s works. The involvement of R & D is necessary to carry out product improvement research so that the technology acquired is upscaled and improved upon after successful absorption. Cement industry has done exceedingly well in the absorption of technology imported from different sources. Some highlights of this experience and the denefits accrued therefrom are given in Appendix 1. The following guidelines need to be followed for transfer and absorption of imported technology.

6) Continuous monitoring of technology transfer plan at the product, divisional and corporate levels.
7) Training of engineers in identified areas at the collaborator’s works after familiarsing them with the documentiation received from the collaborator, so that they could derive the maximum benefits from their stary asyt the collaborator’s works.
8) Analysis of documentation, technical information etc. Received from the colloborators by the R & D groups and preparation of specific developmental plans for import substitution, product improvement cost reduction, etc. Keeping in view the innovations taking place internationally.
9) Entrusting the R & D group with the responsibility to carry out product improvement research so that the technology acquired is upscaled and improved upon further.
10) Associate the Technology Management Group from the initial stages of technology transfer plans including negotiations, training, dicussions, etc. held with the foreign collaborator.

The above trategies should help the organisation to absorb/adapt imported technology and achieve self-reliance at the earliest, thereby avoiding further imports of technology.
An on-line system for monitoring tecnology changes and a system for evaluation of their relevance and impact on the organisation have therefore to be given the foremost place in the organisation’s corporate planning process.

The above discussion is also relevant for a new organisation, as it is for asn existing set-up, except that it does not have previous experience and built-up technological capabilities, and hence has to generally acquire technological from elsewhere on perhaps lesser favourable terms. Any enterprise-new or existing, besides keeping track of the changes, has to keep itself in readinees to implement the changes at the fastest speed and thus keep its resources, such as funds, men and material always in readiness.

While an enterprise, on one hand, may establish its own R & d facilities and keep up the upgrading of the facilities, on the other, its process of technology evaluation has to be active all the time in orfer to remian competitive.

An enterprise must have a system of forecasting technological changes with time schedule and organise the human resorce (HR) structure in amnner that all unit operation, s individually and colelctively, are optimal.

Technology Management in Indian Cement IndustryTechnolgoy Transfer Sceario in Cement Industry
Cement Industry has only recorded substantial growth since independence (from about 1 million tonners to 63 million tonne capacity) but also has undergone dramatic technological change. Starting with high-energy intensive, high manpower and practically no instrumentation, the industry now is high energy efficient, employs low manpower and has state of art instrumentation, including automation with expert system. The industry from a stage or having 97% of its capacity under the wet process has now 80% of its capacity under the dry process system. The compulsion process had to be reduced to half of what was then for each unit of cement produced. This study gives features of the technology changes which have takes place and are skill underway. The study is based on the proceedings of the national worshops on energy management in Cement Industry held at Hyderabad on 29th August, 1991.

Industry Profile
The Cement Indsutry has recoreded substential growth in the past decades. The installed capacity which was about million tonnes in 1950 has shot up to about 64 million tonnes in 1990-91. The acutal production of cement in 1990-91 was 48.75 million tonnes representing an average capacity utilisation of 76%. The cement demand at the end of 1994-95 is expected to be around 65 million tonnes. This implies that at the average capacity utilisation of 75% the installed capacity needed by 1994-95 would be around 85 million tonnes requiring an additional capacity creation of 21 million tonnes in the next four years. But, the current indications are that the installed capacity by 1994-95 would be only about 75 million tonnes implying shortfall of 10 million tonnes.
The structure of Indian Cement indsutry has undergone a significant change with respect to plant size and process employed. The industry has grown phenomenally in that last six years and after the cement decontrol and liberalisation policies, the industry is enjoying good times now with booming markets and better realisation of prices. But this is not a matter for complacence but an opportunity to aim at higher capacity utilisation, adopt energy efficient technology, etc. In the past decades, there has been a general shift towards dry process plants which are energy efficient compared to wet process. At present there are still 71 wet process kilns representing 16% of the industry capacity. Though in terms of units wet process kilns represent 43%, their share in production capacity is low at 16% due to lower ratings ranging between 200 to 60 tonnes per day (tpa). The industry is now wetnesing a steady move to higher capacity rating kilns of 1.0 million tpa. Further, some companies are already moving towards 1.5 million tonnes per annum capacity cement plants. Many Indian cement plants have already adopted latest technologies such as the precalciners which facilitate the use of high ash coals and time stone of inferior quality which leads to substantial fuesl and electricity savings.

Energy Consumption TrendCement manufacturing is an energy intensive operation with energy accounting for about 30% of the production cost. In terms of direct manufacturing costs, energy constitues 60% of the total direct costs. The sector consumes about 10 million tonnes of coal and 5.5 billion units of electricity. Of the total estimated demand in the industrial sector, the coal requirement in the current industry accounts for 5% and power requirement 4.5%

Systematic studies have been conducted in the country and abroad and what follows hereinafter has been identified as the techological improvement areas. All these area not only relate to energy conservation but also to adapting state of art technology.

Energy Conservation Approaches
Considering the vast magnitude of potentiality for energy in cement plants, it would be worthwhile classsifying the options under following categories:

Stage 1: Operational improvement and optimation measures and efficient electrical load management.
Stage 2: Retrofit (modernisation, expansion etc. of old or existing plants) options for energy conservation through improved process controls, capacity enchancement etc.
Stage 3: Adoption of state of art technology for energy efficiency improvements.
Energy Conservation opportunities
• Energy conservation opportunities in operational improvements and optimisation.
• Energy conservation opportunities through process controls, capacity enhancement / add-on devices.
• Energy conservation opportunities through adoption of state of art technology.
Appropriate technology cover the following broad areas:
k) conversion of wet process plants of dry process plants
l) conversion from preheater technology to precalciner technology.
m) Conversion of planetary coller system to grate cooler system.
n) Adoption of vertical roller mille in place of the traditional ball mille for grinding control and energy conservation.
o) Adoption of the state of art micro processor based controls for effective process control and energy conservation.
p) Use of alternative fuels such as lignite and natural gas in the case of plants with precalciner technology.
q) Adoption of on-line composition analysers to monitor and maintain raw meal mix in order to optimise on kiln heat consumption.
r) Simulation pilot plants for analysis of grindability index of raw meals, clinker and coal to enable judicious belending for grinding energy reduction.
s) Adoption of bucket elevator conveying system in place of pneumatic conveying system.
t) Adoption of rope way for material transport in place of traditional dumper system which is more energy intensive.
Table 1 gives the energy consumption pattern of Indian Cement industry.

The power consumption in cement manufacturing is mainly spent in grinding and handling operations and hearly seventy per cent of it is consumed in raw material grinding, sintering and cement grinding systems. The energy consumption pattern is found to vary from one plant to another due to factors such as:
e) Age of the plant
f) Type of process adopted
g) Plant size capacity and system design
h) Plant layout and material handling system
Hence there cannot be a universal standardised approach towards conservation and each plant is required to be examined on its own merit.

Energy audit has to be done periodically to monitor efficient use of energy. This would include studying various operations using energy, and equipment and examining their relative efficiency / performance and adopting energy conservation methods.
Mobile energy diagnostic unit (energy bus) which is a unique facility equipped with latest and sophisticated facilities and on-board computer with relevant software for faster and accurate assessment of energy use pattern is available in the country, and can be used in cement plants.

Number of cement plants in the country have adopted some of these measures in various combination and have improved energy efficiencies. This has been achieved partially through technology acquisition and partially indigenous effort. The absorption of technology for equipment, process, operations and quality control has been of very high order and it is hoped that the remaining gaps will be further narrowed down from continuous technology development and upgradation efforts on the part fo machinery manufacturers, cement manufacturers and related R&D institutions. It may be mentioned here that most of the cement machinery manufacturers had technical foregin collaboration arrangements and are producing plants based on those imported technologies. Many cement plants with huge capacities such as Modi Cement and Gujarat Ambuja Cement have been built up with imported technologies from USA and other countries. While cement plants in India have quality control and testing facilities they have really not created any substantial R&d facilities, baring a few only such as Dalmia Cement and ACC. Most of them depend on the foreign technical support or support from machinery suppliers.

National Council of Building Materials (NCBM) at New Delhi, Central Building Research Institute at Roorkee, ACC Research Station at Thance (Bombay) are some of the main R&D institutions related to cement industry. The cement costs in India are not internatioally competitive due to various factors including technological deficiencies. Pollution control, waste utilisation, optimisation of operations are some other area which need more attention of the cement industry.
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