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24/7 Software Blog

“It may feel as though the electric car has been crowned the future of transportation,” writes Susan Phillips in their recent NPR article entitled “Japan Is Betting Big On The Future Of Hydrogen Cars.”

According to Phillips, “Auto companies have plans to make more electric car models, and sales — still only a tiny fraction of the overall market — are expected to get a boost as more countries pass regulations to reduce carbon emissions. But Japan isn't sure that the battery-powered electric car is the only future, and it's betting big on something it says makes more sense in big cities: hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.”

“At the LFA Works factory in the city of Toyota, Aichi prefecture, workers install carbon-fiber hydrogen tanks on Toyota's new hydrogen powered fuel cell car. It's called the Mirai, which means "future" in Japanese,” Phillips explains.

The NPR piece continues that “A hydrogen fuel cell doesn't burn anything. It uses a chemical reaction between the hydrogen and the oxygen from the air to produce electricity. Hydrogen fuel cell cars are quiet, like battery electric ones, and they emit only water.”

“Only about 11,000 fuel cell vehicles are on the road worldwide. Nearly half of them are in California, which has stringent vehicle emission regulations and tax credits that incentivize electric and fuel cell vehicles,” Phillips shares further in the article.

Phillips continues, “In Japan, the Mirai is expensive even with a generous government subsidy that brings it down from the equivalent of about $70,000 to about $50,000. The largest cost is the fuel cell production, but Toyota says that will drop as production ramps up.”

“Japan has embraced the technology and aims to create the first ‘hydrogen society,’ which also includes the use of hydrogen for power generation. The energy ministry has ambitious targets in the lead-up to the 2020 Olympics. The city of Tokyo plans to deploy 100 hydrogen fuel cell buses during the games, and it wants to have 40,000 fuel cell electric vehicles on the road, with a longer-term goal of 200,000 such vehicles in the next six years,” according to the NPR article.

Progression, change, and innovation all excite us.

It’s why we’re so focused on today’s article and getting this insight to you.

What are you betting big on now and for the future?

Tough question?

Let us help.

It’s time to look at your current situation, your current operation.

Are you operating as you should in 2019 – and most important – thinking about 2020 and beyond?

That’s OK if you’re not because you’re in the right place and reading the right article.

Of course, we’re not worried about bringing your attention to hydrogen cars.

But we do need you to pay attention to all the lessons here.

We’re betting big on the future of Proactive Operations. And you should be too.

Let’s work together to create a Proactive Operations society.

Are you ready?

“A wire fox terrier named King has taken the crown at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. He's the 15th wire fox terrier to win "Best in Show,” writes Matthew S. Schwartz in their recent NPR article entitled “It's Good To Be King: Wire Fox Terrier Wins Westminster Dog Show.”

"You know, I love you all,’ said Best in Show judge Peter Green as he stood in front of the finalists. ‘Every one of you.’ Then Green, who spent years honing his own craft as a professional dog handler to terriers, raised his arm and pointed at the dog he apparently loved the most. ‘He's best in show," shares Schwartz.

According to the NPR article, “The 7-year-old King is ‘as good as it gets,’ Green said, according to USA Today. ‘The head, the expression. Everything is really, really as good as it gets. And then the handler has him in perfect condition," explains Schwartz.

"I look at King, he's like a beautiful painting, a piece of art,’ King's handler, Gabriel Rangel, said earlier in the day. ‘The way he stands and performs, he's the whole package," the piece continues.

Kudos to King and his handler, Gabriel, for a remarkable victory.

It certainly got us thinking about one thing.

Is your operation “as good as it gets” or can it be improved?

Can you get better?

We believe you can, and that’s because your operational environment is always changing.

It’s always evolving.

That requires you to rethink what being as good as it gets is – every day.

Now, that’s not a bad thing or something you cannot handle.

But, you need to have the right mindset, fierce discipline, and a proven methodology engrained into your operation, all the way from your team’s behavior to your processes to the technology you use.

Keep reading; we’ll explain.

“Last fall, Corey Chase drove 6,000 miles around his state to ground-truth what every Vermonter with a cell phone knows: there are many, many places in the state where you simply can't get a signal, not to mention the 5 megabits per second data download speeds the carriers were claiming,” writes John Dillon in their recent NPR article entitled “One Man's Quest To Prove Vermont Has Terrible Cell Service.”

According to the article, “The six-week effort involved six cell phones, a state-owned Prius and an app from a software developer in Bulgaria.”

“What Chase, a Vermont Department of Public Service employee, found is now part of a detailed challenge before the Federal Communications Commission that officials hope will bring federal dollars into the state to improve the wireless network,” explains Dillon.

The NPR piece continues that “Chase, a telecommunications infrastructure specialist, drove the equivalent of Montpelier to Los Angeles and back. But his windshield time was along state roads and through town and village centers, at a slow pace of 40 mph. And occasionally he found himself on no road at all.”

"There's apparently a road that goes from Stamford to Bennington. I tried to take said road, and there's a state-government printed sign on the road that says: 'Your GPS is wrong, turn around now,” said Chase, according to Dillon’s article.

“Although Chase saw lots of beautiful sights and foliage driving around the state, his excursion was really a massive data collection project,” Dillon clarifies.

Data collection?

Looking at the weakness in the infrastructure?

While the title of Dillon’s article alone intrigued us, this undertaking hit home.

We see lessons for property operations worldwide.

So many lessons: complacency, change management, identifying your weaknesses, and most important, recognizing that your operation is terrible reactive.

We need to change that.

But, as you’ve seen with Chase’s mission, that requires a lot of time spent collecting data and going places you’re not necessarily comfortable going.

Are you ready to do what’s needed to be proactive?

How do you think your 2018 went?

Do you feel good about the year?

We bet you’re ready to take on 2019 – that’s how proactive leaders are.

But, you might be struggling to achieve a certain level of performance.

Something doesn’t feel right.

Since you’re reading this article, it might have something to do with how many tools you’re using to manage your operation.

Are we close?

You know, you’re using a texting system from one provider and a CMMS from another.

Everything “works,” but not without many communication breakdowns.

No one is on the same page across personnel.

Your operational functions are limited in their success – everyone is getting by.

But, we believe you can achieve maximum performance.

We know you want to employ Proactive Operations correctly.

That’s why you’ve got to read this article.

It’s time to bring your operation together and reinforce your pursuit of perfection.

“Starbucks announced on Monday it plans to eliminate plastic straws from its 28,000 stores worldwide by 2020,” writes Jennifer Liberto in their recent NPR article entitled “Starbucks: Goodbye, Plastic Straws.”

According to Liberto, “The company will broaden the manufacture and use of what some in social media have dubbed the ‘adult sippy cup.’ It's a plastic strawless lid that will come to replace single-use plastic straws that now inundate its coffee shops.”

“The company says the move, when fully implemented, could mean a billion fewer plastic straws across its stores each year. And it's a part of Starbucks' $10 million investment in creating recyclable and compostable cups around the world,” Liberto explains.

"For our partners and customers, this is a significant milestone to achieve our global aspiration of sustainable coffee, served to our customers in more sustainable ways," Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer for Starbucks, said in a statement, according to the NPR piece.

While reading Liberto’s article, we quickly recognized how Starbucks’ drive as a sustainable organization offered a lesson for change to be applied to your organization.

Yes, the “adult sippy cup” can educate your team.

And in fact, it’s a two-part lesson we’ve identified.

Did you happen to catch it?

Don’t worry if you didn’t. It doesn’t entirely jump off the page. For a moment, we had to contemplate the nuances ourselves.

But, it is valuable, and we’re going to discuss both parts below.

So, are you ready?

You’re stoked for this week.

Today is the first day in your new role for a new organization.

You’ve been waiting for this moment for several weeks.

No more waiting!

You did it.

You sit down at your new desk, in your new office, and take a sip of tea out of your new motivational mug.

“This is going to be awesome,” you murmur to yourself.

You call your operations manager to give you the details on all the processes.

You’re not wasting any time to get started.

Shari picks up the phone.

You ask her where to log into your real-time communications platform and where the internal process can be reviewed.

“Uh, we just know what to do,” she replies.

“We use a number of different tools to manage different parts of the operation,” Shari continues over the phone.

You take a pause to catch your breath.

“You what” you exclaim.

Silence.

You don’t even know what to say.

There are many problems with this.

Do you see them?

You know you have to handle this immediately.

Your excitement quickly turns into anxiety.

Agree?

You’ve inherited an inefficient operation.

So, what are you going to do?

A lot of options begin running through your mind.