Maximizing your Workforce Performance

For any operation, Engineered Labor Standards (ELS) provide a tool for you to benchmark how well your operation can perform.  The challenge for any operator is answering the question on “how” to achieve that level of performance.  Engineered Labor Standards require both the building of the standards and the ability to execute on those standards.

There are three main phases that should occur to ensure you can achieve the performance levels provided by the standards:

  1. Be involved in development of the ELS
  2. Train your employees and supervision
  3. Execute to the scheduled plan

Gathering Feedback and Securing Buy-In
Let’s start by reviewing the first item: “Be involved in the development of the ELS.”  In developing labor standards, a specific method is identified as the “correct” way for the work to be completed. …

Xamarin University

If you keep up on technology news, you have likely heard of a product called Xamarin. Xamarin is a powerful mobile application development framework that allows you to develop fully native, cross-platform mobile applications using C# and Microsoft.NET. As Xamarin has been rapidly gaining traction, they’ve rolled out “Xamarin University” to enable training and certification of Xamarin developers.

Xamarin created a unique process for certifying developers. Before you can take the certification test, you must complete the required classes through Xamarin University.…

Transform your Retail Pharmacy through Process Innovation

Why should you invest, innovate and launch a new store concept for your pharmacies? There are many factors. Typically, a total redesign for a store happens once every few decades. So, when is the right time to do this time and cost intensive investment? Often, it is dictated by external signals – regulations, competitors, customer expectations, new offers in the market or the desire to offer omni-channel access. Mostly, it is a question of growth and long-term viability.…

Day Dreaming and Preventing Nightmares in the ExactTarget Marketing Cloud

It’s no secret that Salesforce does some really cool stuff when it comes to enabling Marketing.  Through tools like ExactTarget Marketing Cloud and the Journey Builder, marketers can do things that were merely dreams just a few years ago – creating a customer journey through a user interface that empowers a marketer to create rich and interactive experience for customers.  Technology is awesome.  But technology is MORE awesome when it’s more than just a flashy tool and something that enables a process.…

Clean Air Act: Maintaining and Strengthening Relationships More Important Now than Ever


Recently adopted and proposed federal environmental regulations can have potentially far-reaching effects on State-level planning and policy making, particularly for states that rely heavily on fossil fuels for energy production and use. These regulations can also add significantly to the costs of doing business in that state.

The proposed rules for power plant carbon emissions will require diligence on the part of affected parties in identifying “best-value” compliance strategies. It is clear that the role of the states’ in developing plans and ensuring compliance is being strengthened.…

Latest News Around Clean Power Plan

There has been a lot of media attention surrounding the Clean Power Plan. Here is a round-up of some of the most important industry related news and how it may impact you.

Ameren Missouri Responds to CPP with Plans to Build Natural Gas Plants

If finalized, the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan will require many utilities to shift their power generation investments and operations. Officials at Ameren Missouri have already begun planning for the changes it anticipates having to make to comply with the rule, which aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants in the state by 21 percent by 2020.…

Clean Power Plan: State Targets for State Plans

The EPA proposed Clean Power Plan rule is premised on a straight-forward concept: to identify the best system of emission reductions (BSER) that can be implemented to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants. To the EPA, the BSER is composed of the four building blocks of the Plan:

  • Improve the heat rates at existing fossil fuel plants.
  • “Re-dispatch” existing natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) power sources, which means to dispatch them more often in order to increase their utilization up to an average 70% utilization rate.

Deploy Windows 10, Windows Server, and Hyper-V Server Technical Preview Using MDT 2013

When Microsoft released the Technical Preview of Windows 10, I was excited to try deploying it using WMP’s Automated Build Environment (ABE) deployment tool. For those that have not yet used ABE, it is a customized version of the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT). ABE extends MDT by automating operating system import, task sequence creation, and by automatically including support for all the major hardware manufacturers’ drivers. We designed ABE to get MDT functional on an enterprise scale very quickly.The current version of MDT 2013 does not support the deployment of Windows 10.… Page Layouts are Like a Restaurant Menu

Mallory Loe | West Monroe Partners

Many years ago I came across an article on how one of New York’s favorite SOHO restaurants, Balthazar, designs its menu. The concept that menus are built based on what the restaurant wants to sell by leveraging location on the menu and psychology to achieve a favorable outcome has stuck with me. I regularly try to dissect a new menu looking for the stars or anchors being presented. Recently, when asked about best practices for page layouts, it became clear that it’s very similar to designing a menu.…

Storytelling: Tableau Story Points


Storytelling: Tableau Story Points

As the business world is inundated with more data, people are creating more reports, dashboards, and models to comprehend what the data is telling them.  But what do you do when you are inundated with reports, dashboards, and models?  Simple – you create PowerPoint presentations.

Although this sounds outlandish, it goes on everywhere.  And frankly, it makes sense for two reasons.  First, executives or managers don’t have time or the patience to stare at a dozen reports every week or month and comprehend what all the graphs and charts are telling them. …

Using Good Dynamics SDK v1.8.x with Xamarin.iOS


After following  the “Getting Started” guide in the latest GOOD Dynamics documentation, you’ve undoubtedly encountered this error while trying to run your Xamarin.iOS application using GOOD Dynamics:

This error has been a show stopper for most anyone attempting to get GOOD Dynamics working with Xamarin. Fortunately, the fix is fairly straightforward. The issue results from the binding hiding the inheritance between GDiOSDelegate and UIApplicationDelegate. We know it’s implemented behind the scenes in Good, so we can safely tell the runtime that it is indeed implemented:

After the application is able to detect that inheritance, it begins to call methods that GOOD has implemented behind the scenes to intercept the application lifecycle.…

Q&A: Day in the Life of Two New Technology Consultants

This blog serves to give potential recruits the perspective of being staffed on a first project and working with the Microsoft SharePoint 2013 platform. Kyle Coronel and Will Watkins, two recent college graduates, have been with West Monroe Partners since early August 2014, and they recently finished phase one of implementation for their first project. Read on to find out what they have to say about their experience developing a collaborative portal with SharePoint.

Q: Could you describe your background as a developer?…

Great New Videos from Microsoft Regarding the Spring ’14 Release of Dynamics CRM


While everyone is gearing up for the upcoming release of Dynamics CRM 2015 in a few months, Microsoft recently posted some great new videos that cover some of the new features present in the Spring ’14 release of Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM 2013 product.  It’s great to see Microsoft coming up with different ways to deliver their message about the new features for the Dynamics CRM product.  I personally find the video medium a much better method for learning about these exciting new features versus reading about them on a various sites or KB articles.…

Sifting Through the Mess: The Do’s and Don’ts of Designing Information Architecture

These days, the number of things that humans accomplish through computer interfaces is growing exponentially. We need barely to think, ‘What’s the quickest way to get home? What song is playing right now? What’s the score?’ and we can retrieve the answer in an instant, at our fingertips. With access to a truly infinite amount of information on the web, and many options in which to process it, users are naturally drawn to sites that make data easily digestible.…

What Does the Future Hold for America’s Dirtiest Power Plants?

In a report published earlier this week, the 50 dirtiest power plants in the United States were put under scrutiny for their contributions to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States.  The findings indicate that these plants are responsible for over 30 percent of the country’s power-sector CO2 emissions but produce just 15 percent our electricity.  Even more staggering, these 50 plants alone produced more CO2 emissions in 2012 (637 million metric tons) than the entire nation of South Korea, the world’s 7th largest emitting country. …


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