Why 5S Fails to Produce Desired Results


Over the last 20 years I visited numerous manufacturing plants in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Spain and China to evaluate performance issues and workplace organization. I had the opportunity to look closely at their operations and see both the positive and negative aspect of those operations.

While each plant had its own strengths and weaknesses, one fact was clear: many of the plants had undertaken some form of workplace organization, some had implemented 5S. None were obtaining the results they desired when undertaking the effort. Some only practiced it when Upper Management was scheduled to visit, others only made half hearted attempts to implement 5S and few had any serious and lasting follow up

They were in effect merely going through the motions such as writing it into their mission statements, management loudly proclaim its virtues but taking little interest in the day to day mechanics, and claiming to have created a visual workspace when in reality all they did was little more than create signs. Clutter and unneeded items were for the most part still evident and employee had little apparent understanding of the need to keep it free of unneeded items

The fact of the matter is that we know what needs to be done. 5S is a lean manufacturing approach to manufacturing based on the Toyota Production System. The job of management in lean manufacturing is to identify and eliminate all forms of waste, including:

  • Over production – producing over customer requirements
  • Inventory – holding or purchasing excessive materials
  • Transportation – unnecessary handling
  • Waiting – time delays or idle time
  • Motion – actions of people that do not add value
  • Over-processing – unnecessary processing steps
  • Correction – producing scrap or parts that require rework
  • Not using human resources – not implementing the ideas / suggestions of employees.
  • There are many impediments to the implementation of lean manufacturing and especially to proper use of 5S principles and practices:
  • Incorrect plant performance measures
  • Wrong focus – too much attention to results, not enough on improving the processes
  • Lack of confidence in worker’s abilities to recognize and resolve problems;
  • Unwillingness to invest time and resources into correctly implementing 5S
  • Failure to recognize their survival obligation to all stake holders and that change is the key survival.

Incorrect plant performance measures

Performance is impacted by many factors, especially when the focus is on the short term. Most of these factors are beyond the immediate control of management. Cash flow (the life blood of any company) is impacted interest rates and can have a dramatic impact on your plant’s profitability. Government policies and over regulation impact profits in many ways. In addition, sales volumes or product pricing impacts the profit level of a plant. When these factors positively impact profit, the operation is viewed as successful, and generously rewarded even if management practices are ineffective and wasteful. When they have a negative impact on profits, even the best managers are often viewed as abysmal failures and removed from their position.

Worst of all, profit measurements are easily manipulated through “cooking the books”. In most of the facilities that I visited, it was very common and obvious that management was manipulating inventory levels in one form or another. One plant manager told me that while he wanted to reduce inventories, to keep his efficiency ratings high, he was had to over-produce during slack times. This led to higher inventory levels which if reduced to proper levels would have a negative impact on his profitability measure. Too great a focus on Profitability as a performance measurement typically results in short-term thinking. What incentive is there for a company that driven by profitability measures to invest in a 5S project which might have higher costs in the short-term has the potential for significant savings in the long term?

Wrong focus

People tend to do what they get rewarded to do. If their focus is on equipment utilization rather than on customer demand, the equipment will be run at full capacity, despite actual demand. The result is overproduction, which is the basis of virtually all manufacturing waste. Focusing on accountability for machine utilization has the undesirable effect of increasing waste.

In order to effectively and continually improve performance and eliminate waste, all processes need to be analyzed understood and then controlled. The measurement of process effectiveness will shift the focus to long-term improvements like 5S and will allow companies to reward managers for real performance. Measuring results on the other hand only promote manipulation and short-term thinking.

Lack of confidence in worker’s abilities

When management is unwilling to develop their employees and allow them the freedom to manage their own processes, they will miss the opportunity to capture the full potential of the organization. I am a firm believer that the solution to every problem that a company or plant faces, is currently located with in the four walls of that facility.

Unwillingness to invest time and resources into correctly implementing 5S

Management is driven by two things:

  • Budget
  • Schedule

Anything that interferes with either one is seen as an enemy of management, as a result many managers only give half hearted support to new ideas and projects they are not familiar with. This is compounded by the fact that most people who propose a lean initiative such s 5S don’t take the time to encode it the language of the business. They speak to generalities and the successes of other organizations. They fail to make a legitimate business case for the change. Managers have legitimate questions like:

  • How will this impact the budget? Is it a legitimate investment opportunity or just another flavor of the month?
  • How can we minimize the impact on the schedule and still provide the people to plan and implement 5S? Where do the extra people come from? Etc.

Many managers simply do not believe in the effectiveness of lean manufacturing and 5S in particular. Many of the managers I talked with defended poor manufacturing practices they routinely employed in order to keep their productivity numbers high and their bonuses on track.

Failure to recognize their survival obligation to all stake holders

Many managers feel that change is unnecessary. The company made money before the recession, and the good times will return when it is over. The focus is often on job security rather than employment security, the problem is, there is a sea change taking place in the world economy and companies are facing global competition like never before. Many managers fail to see the change that has occurred and the threat it brings to their very survival. They prefer to stick their head in the sand rather than address the need for their very survival – after all, the government will bail them out! The fact is jobs (including those of managers) are changing and managers better shift their focus to securing their employment and let the job change as needed.

One of the key elements of the manager’s job was control, which has been modified to include empowerment. In order to survive and remain employed, managers must give up a portion of their control to employees by letting them control more of their work area and work flow. 5S is an prime example of how to effectively empower employees while retaining necessary control over budget and schedule.

Producing Desired Results

If the plant is operating effectively (and you have properly linked operational measure to financial goals), profitability will follow. The key to making 5S produce the desired results is to link it to the goals and strategic objects of the company. The primary goal for most companies is to make money by producing a product or service that meets the needs of its customers. This fact often gets lost in the vision statements and lofty purpose statements of management. The vision should be what your company is going to do in order to meet that goal of making money. The Mission statement is how you will meet it. Typical purpose statements uttered by various levels of management that do not reflect the vision and mission statement merely confuse and divert the attention of the people who have to carry out the mission. The solution to this problem is the use of strategic thinking in order to define the needs of the business according to the stated vision and mission.

The next element in ensuring success, is to refocus the workforce on a new set of measurements and processes that are focused on increasing throughput, decreasing inventory and reducing operating costs. This means totally abandoning many of the traditional measure like efficiency and looking more to effectiveness instead. This will require analyzing your processes for the value they add to your products or services. In the short-term, this may lead to an increase in non-productive time. Smart managers will take advantage of this slack time to develop better uses of this non-productive time such as training, Total Productive Maintenance, team building, and continuous improvement activities. Proper training and management will alllow workers to spend their downtime improving the processes that they work on as well as their workplace. By eliminating wasteful, non-value added activities like overproduction and empowering and training your workforce, your company can improve their competitiveness and ensure its survival.

Your employees and their supporting staff will need all the tools and techniques of lean manufacturing and 5S practices to sustain, self-audit and continuously improve the workplace and their jobs. They will need a well thought out and planned program that is supported by management at all levels. Keep in mind that the most commonly missing element is often management commitment. If you invest everyone’s time and commitment in 5S, and a few individuals fail to maintain the standard, the program will collapse. Management must support the program with policies and procedures that are enforced.

Regular oversight also is required to ensure that the processes are working as intended or changed in a controlled fashion when needed. Management must not only commit the resources, they must commit their time to get involved. They must lead from the front and have a high visibility in the workplace.


Source by Brice Alvord

Is it Better to Buy or Lease a Car After Bankruptcy?


If you want to get approved at the best possible terms when buying a car, it’s important you know a car lender’s credit guidelines before you apply for credit…especially if you’re bankrupt.

It will save you time and frustration–but more importantly, it will help you avoid credit inquiries that may lower your FICO credit scores up to 12 points per inquiry.

Step 1 in making a lease or buy decision is to determine a lender’s credit guidelines.

You start by asking if they lend to people with a bankruptcy. If so, on what terms?

That’s right. You have to be upfront that you’ve filed bankruptcy. Don’t hide it. We have to face the fact that some dealers just won’t work with people who’ve filed bankruptcy. So our job is to find the ones that do.

Some lenders will only lease to people with a bankruptcy. Others will only offer purchase financing. Yet still others will only lend using a hybrid of the two–this is especially common in Texas.

Ask the finance director at the dealership to direct you as to what structure the manufacturer prefers.

And here’s a quick tip for you: if your bankruptcy doesn’t appear on the credit report your lender pulls–then, in the eyes of the lender, you’re not bankrupt.

The only lenders I would consider using are:

– First choice: Captive lenders (car manufacturers)

– Second choice: Banks (not finance companies)

– Third choice: Credit unions

Ninety-nine percent of the cars I’ve leased over the years have been with captive lenders. Just one was leased by a bank.

That particular deal came from a conversation I had with Amy, the finance manager at the local Land Rover dealership here in Indianapolis. I told her I was open to her financing recommendations, but I preferred financing through the car manufacturer.

I told her my current FICO scores. She immediately said that with my scores she could do better through a local bank. I signed a credit application and told her to go for it.

The next day I signed a lease agreement with that local bank. Being open to her advice literally saved me hundreds of dollars a month on that car.

So be flexible…but be careful. It seems most car dealers call all of their funding sources banks. When in reality some are banks, some are credit unions, and most are sub-prime finance companies.

Here is a list of some of the most commonly used sub-prime auto finance companies:

1. HSBC Automotive

2. Capital One

3. AmeriCredit

4. WFS Financial

You want to pass on the sub-prime finance companies–unless you have exhausted all other options. Sub-prime lenders should be your last resort.

And only use credit unions if they report to all three national credit reporting agencies. How do you find out if a credit union reports to all three credit reporting agencies?

Simple–you ask. Ask the branch manager at the credit union if they report. And after you get the loan, check all three of your credit reports and make sure their trade line appears on each one.

The three worst luxury captive lenders to lease or purchase from after bankruptcy are:

1. BMW

2. Mercedes

3. Porsche

The three worst mainstream captive lenders are:

1. Honda

2. Kia/Subaru

3. Toyota

What makes these the worst?

Once these lenders see that you’ve filed bankruptcy, they are less likely to work with you. However, if they are willing to work with you, they’ll want you to be at least several years from discharge and have perfect credit during that time.

Now that I told you how bad the above six lenders are–there are times where they may offer you good deals. For example, if one of the above happens to be the biggest dealer in your area, they may be able to offer you special deals that a smaller dealer can’t.

Of course, things change all the time with captive auto lenders. They change their credit guidelines on a whim to meet their own financial goals. So, it’s always a good idea to at least research these dealerships–just don’t get your hopes up too high.

OK, so you’ve done your research and narrowed down your choice to one or two car manufacturers.

Step 2 in making a lease or buy decision is to purchase your FICO credit scores.

It’s important you have your most recent scores when you talk to car dealers (just like I did with Amy). It puts you in charge.

When you enter a dealership with your FICO scores, the dealer will know you’re a more informed consumer and cannot be taken advantage of. Just know that the FICO credit scores auto dealers use are a little different than what we see as consumers. The scores the dealers review are called FICO Auto Industry Option Scores. The good news…these FICO scores may be higher than your normal FICO scores if you paid all previous auto loans as agreed.

Some car dealers have told me that if your FICO scores are higher than the scores the dealer reviews–they may even use your scores to get a better deal.

You can buy your scores from myFICO.com.

Step 3 is to interview the remaining car dealers on a deeper level.

Start by asking them these questions:

– Which credit reporting agency do you use to make a lending decision?

– What is your minimum credit score requirement to get approved?

– What credit score is needed to get the best interest rate?

– Do your lenders prefer offering lease or purchase financing to a bankrupt debtor?

– What incentives are there to lease or purchase right now?

At this point it’s important to remain open to either leasing or purchasing. Evaluate your options and incentives. Remember, you’re buying the financing. In other words, the most important factor is the willingness of the lender to loan you money.

I personally view the lease versus buy decision in three ways:

1. If you’re recently recovering from bankruptcy, the only thing that matters is if you can get approved at an interest rate you can afford through a lender that reports to all three national credit reporting agencies. So you should only consider lenders that are bankruptcy friendly.

2. Once your credit scores begin to increase, you can start selecting cars based on which credit reporting agency the lender uses to determine if you qualify. Obviously, you should choose the lender who uses your highest FICO credit score to make a lending decision.

3. When your scores are high enough…or two years have passed after your bankruptcy…or your bankruptcy doesn’t appear on the credit report the lender uses, then you can choose almost any car you like. But make sure you still do your research and use your credit scores to help you compare interest rates, terms and incentives.


Source by Stephen Snyder

Government Auto Auctions – The Disadvantages


At government auto auctions you will find great deals on hundreds of cars. The cars include those owned and no longer used by government agencies as well as those cars seized under certain forfeiture and seizure laws. Every week hundreds of cars with starting prices of $200 are available including models from Mitsubishi, Toyota, Cadillac, BMW, Ford, GM, Nissan, Honda, Chrysler, Lexus and others.

The government’s eagerness to quickly sell off its car inventory is an advantage that cannot (or at least should not) be overlooked by any serious car buyer looking for a great deal. Fortunately for buyers, the goal of the government is to dispose of the vehicles it no longer needs as quickly as possible at almost any price. Anything is better than storage and maintenance expenses. Like most things in life, however, when buying a car at a government auto auction, there are disadvantages as well as advantages. Below are some of the disadvantages.

1. Selling Terms – Auctioned cars are all sold “as is.” After buying one, there is no opportunity to complain about its condition, to exchange it or to ask for a refund. Therefore, as when buying any used car, take the time to inspect the vehicle’s condition as much as possible and learn as much about the vehicles that you are interested in before you go to the auction.

2. Intimidating – When you attend your first government vehicle auction, it may seem intimidating, However, as with most endeavors, those feelings diminish with each additional visit. It may be worthwhile to attend one or two practice auctions to become comfortable with the process. You may also pick up valuable information concerning price and condition before attending by keeping track of on-line car auctions.

3. Time – Searching for the government car auction in your area, registration, preliminary checking, attendance, and getting all the necessary paperwork done after purchase may take up to a few weeks. Again a practice run or two may help streamline things for you.

4. Pressure – Unlike buying a car through a private party or dealer, there is not a lot of time to consider all the facets of the deal. You must often fly by the seat of your pants, make quick decisions and hope for the best. Gathering as much information as possible in advance concerning the auction process and the cars that you are interested in bidding on is key.

5. Vehicle Inspection – While most government auctions provide an opportunity to make a visual inspection of the cars for sale, you are not going to have an opportunity to take it to your mechanic for a comprehensive inspection of the mechanical parts. You can offset some of this concern by (a) bringing a knowledgeable mechanic with you or (b) having someone available at home who can get a history report of the car using its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

As always, the more information you have the better. Arm yourself with good information before you head out to the auctions and you’ll find lots of good deals at government auto auctions.


Source by Tom Garcin

Self-Service Checkouts – The Pros and Cons


By 2010 we all expected to have house-robots, hover cars and jet packs, and so it’s disappointing to get here and find all we get is the Roomba, Toyota Prius and the iPad. However there is one area where technology has been progressing with the futuristic pace we’d expect of the early twenty-first century.

Throughout the industry, many retailers are replacing manned tills with automated equivalents. Shop assistants chatting about weather as they serve customers are being replaced by the calm but firm insistence that there is an “Unexpected item in bagging area”.

But are these new systems the way of the future, or are they doomed to go the way of the Segway?


The self-service checkout is certainly growing in popularity. In the UK, Tesco has self-service counters in 256 stores, where they are responsible for a quarter of all transactions.

Last October, Tesco went a step further and introduced an Express store in Northampton where customers were served by only one member of staff and a host of self-service tills.

Sainsbury’s is following suit, with a growing 220 stores offering self-service, and more set to follow. Wal-Mart has had self-service checkout lanes since 2004.

Many believe that the number of self-service tills is going to double over the next year. So this is clearly a growing trend, but what is the appeal?

From a retailer’s point of view, the first advantage is reliability. A self-service checkout will deliver the same service to every customer, not getting snippy if they are unpleasant, or bending or breaking rules if they are persuasive or abusive. Self-service checkouts can also reduce your staffing requirements, with one member of staff able to oversee as many as four to six checkout lanes simultaneously.

For the customer self-service tills also provide a range of benefits. Self-service checkouts can allow greater numbers of customers to pay and leave with greater speed. Up to six checkout units can be fitted into the space of one cashier’s station. Also, many customers prefer to scan and pack their own shopping without having to deal with a cashier.


However, the self-service till comes with its downsides. For one thing, many customers like dealing with a human being when they come into a shop. What’s more, not everyone is tech savvy enough to know intuitively how to operate the tills. Even with the demonstration animations on the touch screen, and the audio instructions, many people still have trouble working self-service systems. This can cause delays, slowing queues down in the very way these tills were designed to avoid.

On top of this, in the age of the environmentally-conscious Bag For Life, the finely tuned scales used to verify customers’ purchases mean that often customers are forced to use the disposable plastic bags lest they incur the wrath of the “Unexpected Item in Bagging Area” alert.

For these reasons and others, self-service has proven unpopular with the shopping public. In a survey by Fatcheese found that 48 percent of people asked thought self-service checkouts were a nightmare. 46 percent said that items wouldn’t scan properly. 13 percent complained about having to do all the work, and 12 percent said they always had to get help.

For this reason, manned tills aren’t quite consigned to the history books just yet.

“We’d never get completely rid of manned tills,” a Sainsbury’s spokesperson has said. “For us it’s all about offering people the choice. Self-service checkouts are very popular with the customers who use them a lot, but we realize people either like them or they don’t.”

So the best solution for retailers will probably be a hybrid system, a combination of staffed checkouts, and automated ones, which are still being improved. For example, an alternative system some supermarket chains have taken to using involves portable barcode scanners, allowing customers to scan their products as they tour the store, while kiosk-type checkouts are still being constantly refined and perfected.

The day of the completely automated supermarket is not upon us yet, not by a very long way. However advanced the interfaces becomes, they will always lack that human touch. But we most definitely have not heard the last of the self-service checkout.


Source by Chris Farnell

National Culture Vs Corporate Culture


Part A – General

Why people behave in a similar way? Do they have shared beliefs and values? Most likely, our minds shape our actions and once people talk the same language and do things similarly, they formed a culture. Different cultures can be seen in countries, companies and communities.

We grow up with our national culture values such as certainty vs. uncertainty, risk-taking vs. risk-averse and good vs. evil, and held them deeply and change gradually over time. Geert Hofstede, a Dutch social psychologist, has identified six dimensions of national culture: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism, masculinity, long-term orientation and indulgence vs. restraint. The dimension scores vary across countries. Power distance is high in Latin, Asian and African countries and low in Germanic, Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon nations. Latin and Germanic countries and Japan are high in uncertainty avoidance; Chinese, Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon countries are more uncertainty accepting.

On the other hand, corporate culture is comprised of dress code, systems and ‘culture carriers’ like its founder, CEO and managers. Companies’ practices are developed and learned from the job to achieve their mission and targets. Besides, individuals can move from company to company. Thus they are more superficial and adaptable than those national culture core values. According to Hofstede, national cultures belong to anthropology; organizational cultures to sociology. Within a large company, various departments can even exhibit different cultures due to working with the different individuals.

Can corporate culture weaken national culture? Conflicts will certainly arise especially in multi-national corporations (MNC) due to the cultural differences between local national culture and imported corporate culture. Using a MNC in Middle East as example, the local worker will not stay up late to complete his work if he has a family duty and this does not mean he is an irresponsible employee. However, a Western executive might take it as though he does not care for his job and disagreements might occur. An INSEAD professor, André Laurent, has discovered that cultural differences were significantly greater among managers from different nations working within the same MNC than among managers working for companies in their own native country. In a typical MNC, Germans seemingly became more German, Americans more American, Swedes more Swedish, and so on. The explanation is not very understandable, then it might suggest that employees are not adapting into a shared corporate culture if it is not align to their national cultures. There is also a general trend that shows workers who are not fit into the corporate culture will be either not get employed in the first place or resign within a few years.

Corporate culture is not defined in a single day and it evolves and becomes more visible as time goes by. Almost all successful businesses had developed a strong and positive culture, not just based on management and administration, but leadership and empowerment. For example, Toyota introduced their “Toyota Way” and their clear devotion to teamwork and continuous improvement (“Kaizen”) has given them a competitive advantage and attracted many companies to learn from them. With strong and clear corporate culture, companies can enjoy many benefits such as similar standards can be maintained, increased loyalty, higher motivation & productivity and increased management control.

How leaders create corporate culture? At the beginning of business, the founder(s) play an important role to set the standards from their beliefs, values and assumptions. However, once they start to bring in new members into the management team, more learning experiences are shared and new beliefs, values and assumptions will be passed on. As more and more people joined the company, there is a greater need for the CEO to create a shared vision, a code of practice and the same level of risk taking. Unfortunately, culture does not survive if the main ‘culture carriers’ depart or the main bulk of members leave. With a strong value on individualism in U.S., the companies take on similar value. Thus a corporate culture might reflect the characteristics of its founder(s) like Jack Welsh in GE and Steve Jobs in Apple. Interestingly, there are also companies with long history that are able to continue its own unique culture, no matter who is/are in the top management. IBM is an example.

Part B – Specific (BreadTalk)

BreadTalk was established in 2000 and is a designer confectionery store, most famous for its cream-filled buns topped with pork floss, named Flosss. By the 3rd year, BreadTalk Group Limited was listed on the SGX. It is one of the Singapore’s leading F&B brand well known for being creative, innovative, trendsetting and for its premium quality products. Presently, BreadTalk has reached out to 12 countries with more than 300 bakery outlets (including franchises), 33 food courts and 8 restaurants, supported by over 4,000 staff. Its brands include BreadTalk, Toast Box, Food Republic, Din Tai Fung and The Station Kitchen.

BreadTalk’s vision is to be an international, trend-setting, lifestyle brand and its mission is lead a new lifestyle culture with new, innovative changes and creative differentiation to craft products with passion and vibrancy. They believe in providing QSC (Quality, Service, and Cleanliness) for their customers. They treat training as an important aspect for their company. All new trainees are required to undergo training first at their BreadTalk outlets learning how to pack bread, serve customers, etc. Periodically, the training and development department also sends their HQ staff for professional development courses. They also believe strongly in team bonding and before any new BreadTalk outlet opens, all the outlet staff will go to the beach or a day of exciting and team-building activities. With a closer bonding and understanding, their staff will be able to work well together.

In addition, BreadTalk’s Chairman, Dr George Quek, encourages all his staff to be creative and always think out-of-the-box. In order for his company to expand successfully, getting a reliable team of employees and partners is vital. He empowers his managers to make decisions on their own. “You can’t just send someone overseas without empowering them. The market in China, for example, is so much bigger than Singapore’s, so the manager that we send there has to be empowered to deal with that kind of scale.” His secret to BreadTalk’s success is to be diligent.

In my opinion, our Singapore culture (e.g. high emphasis on education, collectivism and diligent) does play a part in shaping the corporate culture of BreadTalk, especially by the local employees. BreadTalk is also clearly shaped by its founder, Dr. Quek. The main difficulty is to make its foreign employees comfortable working in Singapore. I believe BreadTalk culture will not be affected greatly by other Asian countries e.g. China, India, and Vietnam. However, in today’s competitive market, there are distinct patterns and traits that companies have to cultivate in order to be successful such as creativity, innovation, differentiation, training, team building and autonomy.

In 2008, BreadTalk had specially created a bun, named as “Peace Panda” and all the proceeds from the sales of this bun had gone to aid the recovery of Sichuan earthquake. Together with the Red Cross, they had raised S$40,000 in just 1 week. This corporate social responsibility (CSR) act demonstrated their innovative way to use their product as a tool to raise funds by choosing the national animal of China and giving a name, starting ‘P’ as well. Although CSR does not really considered to be part of its corporate culture, it gives its brand free media coverage and might leave a deep impression into the heart of its customers as it shows humanity and compassion. It is like a form of differentiation from other F&B companies. When people are supporting the cause by buying its “Peace Panda”, they will purchase other breads as well. It helped to boost its sales too.


Source by Raymond Tay

All About Arnolt-Bristol Cars


The creation of the Arnolt-Bristol car was a blend of two different car companies that joined forces to manufacture a line of vehicles that offered four unique body styles. The coming years would see increased production throughout the 1950s, as well as an array of false impressions that involved production number errors and the ins and outs regarding the components of the Arnolt-Bristol cars.

Brief History of SH Arnolt Inc. and Bristol Cars

Arnolt-Bristol cars represented a collaboration between two different car manufacturers – SH Arnolt Inc. and Bristol Cars. Situated in Chicago and Indiana, SH Arnolt Inc. was the brainchild of Stanley H. Arnolt, a Chicago industrialist, who made a living importing foreign vehicles during the 1950s to the United States. His company would go on to sell four different cars that showcased Bertone bodies (highly unique Italian style) between 1953 and 1968. SH Arnolt Inc. capitalized off of an international patchwork of car manufacturing with vehicles that showcased British mechanics and Italian bodywork, coupled with U.S. sales and distribution.

Bristol Cars Ltd became a manufacturer of hand-built luxury cars that were produced close to Bristol, England. With a history of eliminating the distributors and car dealers, the company is known to directly wheel and deal with their customers. A showroom in Kensington, London displays their wares. Only a small number of cars have come from the company, often hovering around a little more than 100 cars produced on a yearly basis.

During the 1950s, Arnolt made a deal with Bristol Cars to purchase 200 of their 404 series chassis and 1971 cc, six-cylinder 130 hp engines. Soon after, the chassis were delivered to Carroszzeria Bertone, where a high-quality aerodynamic body with impressive design was added. Additionally, the hood height was adjusted to accommodate three two-barrel Solex 34 carburetors. SH Arnolt also facilitated a couple of design modifications.

Arnolt-Bristol Car Models

The Arnolt-Bristol cars came in four different body styles. The first model was geared towards competition and appeared as a striped road racer. The bolide offered a slightly more satisfying road racer. The deluxe was an extension of the bolide, which illuminated side windows and a convertible top. The car also carried instruments located in front of the driver. An inset glove box in the dash was another attractive feature. The fixed roof coupe was equipped with headlights that popped up.

At the time, the vehicles fetched about $3995 for the competition model; $4245 for the bolide; $4995 for the deluxe bolide; and $5995 for the coupe. A variety of factory options also accompanied the Arnolt-Bristol car, such as a front sway bar, remote shifter, bumpers, convertible top, and Alfin drum brakes that measured 11 inches. Borrani KO steel wheels were also associated with the Arnolt-Bristol car (with the exception of one car that was sold with Borrani wire wheels). The body of the Arnolt-Bristol car was mainly fashioned from steel, but also featured an aluminum trunk and hood.

Although a special racing fuel tank was placed in some of the racecars, this feature was never a luxury provided to the public. Additional changes to the makeup of the car included 12-inch bell shaped Bristol drums in 1959 and 1960, as well as Bristol front disc brakes in 1961.

When purchasing an Arnolt-Bristol car, the new owner received an owner’s manual, spares manual, shop workbook, spare wheel and tire, as well as a complete tool kit. A variety of logo-based accessories, such as headscarves were also marketed under the company.

All Arnolt-Bristol cars were built between 1953 and 1959 with a total of 142 final products (12 of which were destroyed after a factory fire). The last time a record was made of existing Arnolt-Bristol cars, close to 85 of the models were located, varying in conditions, such as requiring complete restoration to showcasing an impressive appearance. Although the cars faired well on the racetrack, the vehicle models did not sell very well. The market for the cars was so slow that some were not sold until after 1960. The last car to sell showcased four headlights, but wasn’t purchased until 1968.

Interesting Facts

When it comes to the Arnolt-Bristol car, there are many different misconceptions that the vehicle model was associated with. For instance, the production numbers for the car have often been the center of numerous reporting errors. This may have been a result of calculating only the number of Arnolt-Bristols sold in the United States and not in other locales, such as Spain or France. The model also became part of a rumor that hinted that some cars possessed a 283 Corvette engine instead of the Bristol engine. This was a grave misconception as all Arnolt-Bristol cars were originally fitted with the Bristol engine.


Source by Marcus Lim

Our Hyster Forklift Review


Hyster forklifts are manufactured and distributed by an American company NACCO materials handling Group. They have dealers all around the world, Adaptalift is currently the Australian soledealer for the new Hyster Forklift range.

The Hyster DX forklift range came out after theHyster XM range of forklifts, starting from 1998 through to 2006. The Hyster DX forklift range was superseded by the Hyster TX range of forklift.

The Hyster 2.00 – H3.00 X – DX forklift range where manufactured at NMHG’s Japanese based plant, and imported into the Australian market. Design wise they where a huge jump forward from the XM range.

Hyster forklifts purpose with these trucks where to make a forklift that would outperform and outlast their nearest price competitor which was the Toyota 7 series range.

Some basic improvements from the XM range

Service intervals – Where increased up to 3000 hours between routine services, which allowed for the End user to have a saving in maintenance costs.

Warranty – the introduced a 3 year warranty option, although standard was still the 1200hour s12 month, their three year warranty was increase to 3 year 3600 hours (conditions did apply).

Hyster Parts promise – now this is where it gets tricks, they always had a Woolworth s promise for their parts, if you found a Hyster part elsewhere cheaper they would beat it by 10%. All good to promise it, not sure really how often something like this would get used, as its generally emergency breakdowns that facilitate needing most forklift parts.

Side access panels – They changed their engine bay access to include swing away side panels and forward tilting bonnets, which allowed for a greater access for the technician that had to service the forklift.

Floor panels – They also included lift away floor panels,which when you use the side access panels, you get great unrestricted access to the engine and drive train. Technicians tend to love this, as forklifts are notoriously hard to work on.

Steering – The hydrostatic steering has been around for awhile, but Hyster redesigned this with 40% less serviced parts.

Dash – The dash was redesigned with a steel finish in mind, allowing for a great wear and durability.

Cab mounting – The driver cab is suspended on the chassis at 4 points and with the steel axle rubber block mounts. results in a pretty comfortable ride and does extend the component life due to vibration and road shock, also helping the operators with back issues.

Operator Cabin Design

Hyster Forklifts certainly changed their operate cabin enough to notice the difference between the Xm’s and the DX’s.

Hyster have a few unique things about them, with the operator hydraulic functions being standard next to the seat, as well as the monotrol pedals, which allows for direction and acceleration in the one pedal. A word to the wise the monotrol pedals takes a bit of getting use to, We’re not really fans of it, but when operators get used to it, they love it.

Instrument panel

There really isn’t anything new here with all the standard things included, such as. Gauges for hour meter coolant temperature and fuel, warning lights, charge circuit, engine oil pressure, auto transmission oil temperature, fasten seat belt, glow plug and fuel sediment Diesel only. with Air restrictions, brake fluid level and low coolant warning lights being optional.

The steering Column also tilts to suit the operator position, they included a larger nonslip side steps in the frame.


They had quite a few options to choose from, if your now looking at them second hand, its worth popping the hood too see what’s under there.

Generally they came in twp options LPG or Diesel, it would be pretty rare to find petrol or duel fuel option with these forklifts

The LPG /petrol engine options

Mazda M4-2.0G engine or the Mazda M4-2.2 G engine.

The Diesel engine options

Mazda M4-2.5D engine or the M4-3.0G engine.

Optional Equipment

Hyster forklifts generally give you a lot of optional extra’s to consider, Hyster Dx range were no different, so just double check what you are looking at if you are purchasing a Second hand Hyster DX forklift.

Integral sideshift carriage – This types of integral mounted sideshift carriages allowed for a higher capacity and reduced overall truck length.

Seat – the Sears Lo-rider semi suspension seat

Wheels – They also offer a dual wheel option. If you are looking at a second hand option, don’t worry just talk to your local forklift dealer about getting a aftermarket kit fitted.

Tyres – Ex factory they came with Pneumatics but you could also get solid Puncture proof tyres, or non marking green or white tyres.

Cooling system, anti plugging – A beefed up copper tube and fin radiator.

Manual Transmission – This was offered but we are willing to bet, none came into Australia

Levers – there where quite a few options here to consider, being hand/foot controls for Forward/Reverse Levers, hand controls with manual transmission.

Light and warning instruments – A full light and warning kit option was also included,

Weather Cover – Rain protections, include windscreen and wiper, rear and side curtains with roll-up and tiip-up type.

Exhaust and air system – a vertical exhaust or dual elements

Valve and hosing – its standard with 2 valves, but can run 4 valves, very easily. Allowing for a lot of extra accessories on the forklift, such as push pull attachments.

This range of forklift was a bread and butter range for Hyster, sold into and around the Asia pacific region. Between 1998 and 2007, eventually being replaced by the TX range. The average retail price new was anywhere between $25 000 and $35 000, depending on what options you where looking at.

You can find a used Hyster Dx Forklift for any where between $5 000 – $15 000 again depending on condition and age. Being a Mazda engine, its pretty easy to find parts for servicing and maintenance. As a second hand option these forklifts are suited, to a 25 hour a week or lower application, as they are starting to age.

But looked after and serviced regularly, you should have them last for decades to come. so talk to your local dealer if your re interested in buying a second hand Hyster DX forklift.

Examples of Hyster forklift for sale

2001 Hyster H2.50DX

2000 Hyster H2.50DX


Source by Darren P Boland

Coopetition in the Restaurant Industry


Have you heard the term Coopetition? If not, you’ll hear it soon. It is causing quite a stir in the marketing circles.

So in case that you are not familiar with the term, let’s start by defining coopetition. If we check Wikipedia, we find the following definition:

“Coopetition or Co-opetition is a neologism coined to describe cooperative competition. Co-opetition occurs when companies work together for parts of their business where they do not believe they have competitive advantage, and where they believe they can share common costs. For instance, the cooperation between Peugeot and Toyota on shared components for a new city car for Europe in 2005. In this case, companies will save money on shared costs, while remaining fiercely competitive in other areas. For co-opetition to work, companies need to very clearly define where they are working together, and where they are competing.”

Your long-term business success comes not solely from competing successfully against other restaurants, but also by working with them to your advantage.

Coopetition is part competition and part cooperation. When restaurants work together, they can create a much larger and more valuable market that they ever could by working individually. Restaurants can then compete with each other to determine who takes the largest share of the increased number of potential customers.

A good example of coopetition between restaurants is when there is section of a city or town that has several restaurants concentrated in a relatively small area. If you look at this area from a traditional business point of view, opening a food service establishment there looks like a bad idea.

Why should anybody open a restaurant in an area already full of restaurants?

The reality is that the abundance of places to eat attracts customers who may visit the area without any specific restaurant in mind, and make their decision when they arrive.

This is where the competition starts.

Typically, the restaurants with the best ambiance or most attractive menu or the best quality/price, that are filled with the most people, usually bring in the most customers…

There are many typical examples of coopetition such as:

o    Food courts: All the restaurants are placed together in places like shopping centers – sharing tables, trays, cleaning services, etc. Customers are brought to the same spot (cooperation), and then they compete for their business (competition).

o    Advertising: Sometimes restaurants collaborate to put together a food magazine or similar publication where they each contribute (both in money and in content) to the publication.

o    Special food events: Sometimes several restaurants organize food events where they all contribute food or display their items at food stalls. Because of the participation of many restaurants –and good marketing — crowds of people attend these events (there is usually music involved and often many other activities as well).

o    Etc.

As you can see, these are some of the possibilities for coopetition. However, there are some other intriguing ideas for you to consider. Here you have a few to think about:

o    Cross-promotion with restaurants that offer different food than yours. Often your menu doesn’t compete directly with other restaurants. If a person is in the mood for Italian food, for example, she won’t go to an Indian restaurant to dine or vice versa.

Perhaps you can join forces with restaurants in your area that have other styles of cuisine, and together create a coupon book that you can distribute to the regular clients of the participating restaurants. Or maybe you could create a discount card that your customers could use in any of the restaurants in your area. This will attract more customers to your neighborhood.

o    Cross-promotion with restaurants that offer the same kind of food than yours, but are not located near your place.

Again, usually people prefer to go to restaurants that are near their homes or workplace. If there is a French restaurant nearby and they are in the mood for French cuisine, they won’t typically travel far to a different French restaurant… unless the other French restaurant is so superior that it’s worth the trip — and this where the competition kicks in.

So what can you cross-promote? Well, if you have an ethnic restaurant you could create a newsletter sharing printing and perhaps distribution costs with similar restaurants and distribute it to clients of all the restaurants involved. The newsletter should cover articles about the foods, culture, geography, etc. of the restaurant’s native country.

But what if your restaurant is an all-American place? Give unique information about your areas. You still can have trivia about the specific states, some local recipes, etc.

o    Join forces to negotiate better deals for linens, food and beverage products, menu printing menus, etc. Imagine that you talk to the owners of nearby restaurants, and you make a deal to use the same distributors for common things like linens, candles, dishwasher maintenance and supplies, garbage and/or grease disposal, exhaust filters, printed menus, etc. You could then request a volume discount from these distributors and everybody will benefit.

These are just some quick examples of coopetition. Joining forces with your competitors could be a win-win proposition. Just be smart about it and think about areas where both of you could benefit.

Can you think of more areas for coopetition? I would love to know. Please visit my web site and let me know.

Happy Co-opetition!


Source by Jose Riesco

Finding A Car With A Long Life Expectancy


According to Consumer Reports, the average car will last 150,000 miles. If you are buying a newer model and keeping it properly maintained, it may last until 200,000. That still leaves a few car shopping expeditions in the average consumers lifetime. For many of us, car shopping fills us with dread. So we want to start with a car that is naturally inclined to last longer than average.

Honda and Toyota still lead the pack in producing the most reliable cars. But according to a 2010 issue of Consumer Reports, General Motors is stepping up its game to improve previous models and some new models, such as the Cadillac SRX, the Chevrolet Camaro and Equinox and the Buick LaCrosse V6 have a reliable rating from the beginning. Ford remains the most reliable of American made models, while Chrysler is the lowest ranked. And the car hailed by Consumer Reports as yielding the best predicted reliability was the Porsche Boxster.

Retired schoolteacher Irv Gordon drove his red 1966 Volvo P1800 for 2.5 million miles and holds the current Guinness World Record, as certified in the mid 1990s. Of course, such occurrences are extremely rare. But there are services available and steps you can take to increase the longevity of your car, most of which concern the taking proper care and maintenance per the vehicles manual.

A good start for any car owner is to read the manual. Consult it often, and don’t be afraid to take any questions to the dealership. Another simple step is to keep the car clean. Spending oodles of money isn’t necessary, but you should be sure to keep up with routine maintenance. Check fluids every few months (or as suggested by the car manual) to make sure they stay at the proper levels. These include radiator coolant and brake, windshield washer, power steering and transmission fluids. This is very important because these fluids lubricate different parts to reduce friction, heat, and the overall wearing down that can occur over time. Check your manual to see how often the oil and oil filter should be changed; the answer can differ depending on how many miles you drive.

So, if you want to buy a car that will outlast the average of 150,000 miles, start with a car that has a dependable reliability rating, such as a Honda, Acura, Subaru or Ford. If you are buying used, be sure and run a vehicle history report. You can save time searching for your car by using a car search engine such as Piefind.com. Piefind searches multiple classifies ads to bring you a list of relevant possibilities, saving you time and energy.


Source by Jen Marie

Synopsis of Automobile Industry


It was way back in 1769 when a steam-powered automobile was created for transport purposes. The next important year was 1806, when cars were running on fuel gas and was powered by internal combustion engines. Later electric cars came into the industry during the 20th century; however it became popular only in 21st century when consumers and government were more concerned about low-emission vehicles.

Phases in automobile industry:

• Steam automobiles (Cugnot Steam Trolley)

• Electric automobiles (The Henney Kilowatt)

• Internal combustion engines (Benz Patent Motorwagen)

• Veteran era (Renault Voiturette)

• Brass/ Edwardian era (Ford Model T, Mercer Raceabout, Bugatti Type 13)

• Vintage era (Austin 7, Bugatti Type 35, Lancia Lambda, Cadillac V-16)

• Pre-World War era (Alvis Speed 20, Ford V-8, Bugatti Type 57, Volkswagen Beetle)

• Post-War era (Morris Minor, Jaguar E-type, Ford Mustang, Datsun 240Z)

• Modern era (Toyota Corolla, Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, BMW 3 Series, Ford Taurus)

The largest automakers in U.S are General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler. U.S ranks third after Japan and China under the list of world’s top 20 motor vehicle producing countries.

The future of cars is overloaded with high end technologies which are eco-friendly and cost effective for customers. The auto manufacturers are spending a lot of money in R & D (Research and Development) to create a product that is safer, sustainable, energy efficient and less polluting. Alternatives to fuels like hydrogen cars, electric cars, compressed-air cars, etc are entering the market to give high mileage at low cost which is beneficial for owner of the car and environment too.

Latest technologies like BMW’s Turbosteamer, Regenerative braking, Installation of Vortex is used which helps in saving energy and thereby cost. To improve the quality and strength of automobiles, the auto manufacturers are replacing steel with materials like fiber glass, carbon nanotubes, duralumin and carbon fiber. Few other technologies like platoons, automated highway systems and vehicle infrastructure integration enhances road safety and traffic flow.

Automobile industry was deeply affected by the recession which recently occurred. However, it is reviving and it will soon come back to normal in the near future.


Source by Anthony Tribunella