Work-life balance as a Information Technology MD is a term used for the idea that an individual needs time for both work and other aspects of life (personal interests, family and leisure activities).
Our schedules are getting busier than ever before, which often causes our work or our personal lives to suffer. The compounding stress of Information Technology MD from never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness.
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The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different lives and different priorities. Work-life balance doesn’t mean an equal balance. There is no perfect balance you should be striving for. At the core of work-life balance is meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment.
When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationship with management and tend to feel more motivated and less stressed out at work, which in turn increases company productivity and reduces conflicts.
Companies that encourage work-life balance have become very attractive to workers. These companies also tend to enjoy higher employee retention rates and more loyalty. Promoting balance is beneficial to both employees and companies.
"Behaviour is ultimately the product of the brain, the most mysterious organ of them all." Ian Tattersall (from Becoming Human.Evolution and Human Uniqueness, 1998)
The question of why we are motivated to certain behaviours is perhaps one of the most fundamental in Psychology. Since Pavlov described conditioning in dogs in his famous 1927 paper, scientists have pondered the origins of motivations that drive us to action. For most of the early twentieth century, behaviourists like Watson & Skinner sought to explain behaviour in terms of external physical stimuli, suggesting that learned responses, hedonic reward and reinforcement were motives to elicit a particular behaviour. However, this does not tell the whole story. In the last few decades, the school of cognitive psychology has focused on additional mechanisms of motivation: our desires according to social and cultural factors having an influence on behaviour. Furthermore, recent advances in neuroimaging technology have allowed scientists an insight into the vast complexities and modular nature of specific brain regions. This research has shown that behaviours necessary for survival also have an inherent biological basis.
The biological trigger for inherent behaviours such as eating, drinking and temperature control can be traced to the hypothalamus, an area of the diencephalon. This article will explore the hypothalamic role in such motivated behaviours. It is important to note that a motivated behaviour resulting from internal hypothalamic stimuli is only one aspect of what is a complex and integrated response.
The hypothalamus links the autonomic nervous system to the endocrine system and serves many vital functions. It is the homeostatic 'control centre' of the body, maintaining a balanced internal environment by having specific regulatory areas for body temperature, body weight, osmotic balance and blood pressure. It can be categorised as having three main outputs: the autonomic nervous system, the endocrine system and motivated behavioural response. The central role of the hypothalamus in motivated behaviour was proposed as early as 1954 by Eliot Stellar who suggested that "the amount of motivated behaviour is a direct function of the amount of activity in certain excitatory centres of the hypothalamus" (p6). This postulation has inspired a wealth of subsequent research.
Much of this research has been in the field of thermoregulation. The body's ability to maintain a steady internal environment is of critical importance for survivalas many crucialbiochemical reactions will only function within a narrow temperature range. In 1961, Nakayama et al discovered thermosensitive neurons in the medial preoptic area of the hypothalamus. Subsequent research showed that stimulation of the hypothalamic region initiated humoral and visceromotor responses such as panting, shivering, sweating, vasodilation and vasoconstriction. However, somatic motor responses are also initiated by the lateral hypothalamus. It is much more effective to move around, rub your hands together or put on extra clothes if you are feeling cold. Similarly, if you are too warm you might remove some clothing or fan yourself to cool down. These motivated behaviours demonstrate that in contrast to a fixed stimulus response, motivated behaviour stimulated by the hypothalamus has a variable relationship between input and output. This interaction with our external environment may be a 'choice', however it is clear that the motivation to make these choices has a biological basis.
The mechanics of thermoregulation can be explained by what is sometimes referred to as 'drive states'. This is essentially a feedback loop that is initiated by an internal stimulus which requires an external response. Kendal (2000) defines drive states as "characterised by tension and discomfort due to a physiological need followed by relief when the need is satisfied". The process begins with the input. Temperature changes are picked up from peripheral surroundings by thermoreceptive neurons throughout body which sense both warmth and cold separately. An electrical signal (the input) is then sent to the brain. Any divergence from what is known as the 'set point' - in this case a temperature of approx 37° - will then be identified as an 'error signal' by interoceptive neurons in the periventricular region of the hypothalamus. Armed with these measurements and temperature signals being relayed from the blood, the hypothalamus then launches an appropriate error response. This includes motivating behaviour to make a physical adjustment, e.g. to move around or remove surplus clothing in an attempt to control your temperature.
This type of feedback system in the body is common. Other systems necessary for survival such as regulation of blood salt and water levels are regulated in a similar way. However, the processes that motivate us to eat is much more complex.
Humans have evolved an intricate physiological system to regulate food intake which encompasses a myriad of organs, hormones and bodily systems. Furthermore, a wealth of experimental research supports the idea that the hypothalamus plays a key role in this energy homeostasis by triggering feeding behaviours. Controlling energy balance is of crucial importance and eating is primarily to maintain fat stores in the event of food shortage. If fat cell reserves in the body are low, they release a hormone called leptin which is detected as an error signal by the periventricular region of the hypothalamus. This then stimulates the lateral hypothalamus to initiate the error response. In this case, we start to feel hungry which in turns initates the somatic motor response by motivating us to eat.
Since the hypothalamus also controls metabolic rate by monitoring blood sugar levels, in theory we seem to have a similar feedback loop to temperature control. However in practice this is not a reality. The main difficulty in maintaining energy homeostasis is that motivation does not rise solely from internal biological influences. Cultural and social factors also play an important part in motivation about when, what and how often to eat. In western culture, social pressures to be thin can override the need to eat and in extreme cases like anorexia the drive state becomes reversed. The motivation is no longer to eat because they are hungry but is instead not to eat so they do feel hungry. This corruption of the reward system is well documented and is associated with delusions of body image, a concept which is also linked to the hypothalamus and the parietal lobe. Problems can also occur if an individual receives over stimulation to eat. The prevalence of obesity in today's society is testament to this fact.
There are many ways employers can promote work-life balance in office, some of which are: company outings, offering remote working and flexible hours, providing good health coverage, encouraging employee education.
Understanding Consumers and Market Segments
Empowering employees like Information Technology MD to take control over their work and home lives can have a profound impact on their job satisfaction and performance, enabling companies to achieve success. Achieving work-life balance is a daily challenge. It can be tough to make time for family, friends, community participation, spirituality, personal growth, self-care, and other personal activities, in addition to the demands of the workplace.
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Procurement researches sales records and inventory levels of current stock, find foreign and domestic suppliers, and stay current on any changes in either the supply of or demand for needed products and materials.
Production and Manufacturing are closely related but are not one and the same. Manufacturing involves activities from research, design and development, production, logistics, and service provision to end of life management. Production involves the processes of making, shaping, etc., while manufacturing involves the process of getting raw materials to goods and their associated services
Purchasing managers, buyers, and purchasing agents aim to find the best merchandise at the lowest possible purchase cost.
Purchasers and buyers find the best goods or services, choose suppliers, negotiate prices, and grant contracts that ensure that the right amount of the product or service is received when it is needed.
PURCHASING AND MATERIALS ACTIVITIES
The Purchasing Manager plays a pivotal role in procurement, vendor development, and negotiation. The manager plans, organizes, directs, controls, and evaluates the purchasing activities of the company. The manager provides expertise in specifying and procuring new and replacement components, parts and equipment, and reviews technical and quality requirements for the purchase of items, spare parts, and services.
To operate cost-effectively the company requires competitive prices commensurate with the technical and service requirements, and the security required by the business.
The role is to manage and operate this process, in particular developing processes to capture and control expenditure and linking with suppliers, both current and potential, to ensure that best prices and quality is achieved.
The Purchasing Manager develops purchasing policies and procedures and controls the purchasing department budget.
* Manages day-to-day functioning of purchasing group.
* Reviews purchase orders to ensure adherence to quality and procedures.
* Ensures that re-ordering of stock is carried out on a daily basis as required to maintain adequate stock levels of parts for production.
* Understands assembly process thoroughly to ensure that the material is delivered just in time.
* Participates in the creation of forecasts, and relates those to production programs and stock required for the daily production round.
* Represents purchasing in discussions and strategies aimed at improving overall integration of purchasing, assets, and accounts payable.
* Liaise with Technical department when creating new products or in matters relating to product specification.
* Participate in the development of specifications for equipment, products, or substitute materials.
* Reviewing the technical specifications for accuracy and completeness.
* Manages the creation and maintenance of Equipment Bill of Materials.
* Overseeing the technical and QA requirements on all items (materials, components, and parts) to ensure that purchased items meet design requirements.
* Managing the shipping, handling and storage requirements on components to ensure high quality items are received and issued to the appropriate departments.
* Standardizing and managing the evaluation of replacement items for obsolete parts and component acceptability.
* Support & Coordinating with the various Departments for Procurement of Common Raw Materials & Packaging Materials.
* Coordinate with various departments for smooth functioning of departmental activity, particularly with Accounting department.
* Rate contracts/tendering /market surveys and data bank of prices for ready reckoning and instant estimations.
* Prepares, monitors and controls department business plans / budgets
Supplier Management and Vendor Sourcing and Analysis
* Undertakes Vendor Analysis & Development of new Vendors.
* Identifies early suppliers for company components, concepts, and production programs.
* Manages vendor documentation program, ensuring that a tracking system is in place and maintained.
* Works closely with potential production suppliers to ensure effective support.
* Searches on a worldwide basis for technology suppliers, technology partners, and future potential suppliers for the company and keeping up with market trends.
* Proactive and acts on initiative to maintain a supplier base and when necessary source alternative suppliers to ensure that the required material products remain in constant stock as required.
* Proactively ensures all suppliers adhere to agreed service levels and to have contingencies plans of supply for all core product ranges.
* Develops and implements appropriate long and short term strategic and tactical initiatives in order to achieve specific buying, sourcing targets.
* Supports the Product Design Group with supplier negotiations, supplier timing plans, and cost forecasts to achieve the most cost effective component delivery.
* Negotiates and executes contracts with the vendors as per requirement of quality, cost and delivery.
* Maintains data of all the prices approved as a record and keeps track of changes in prices frequently and updates.
* Reviews purchase orders to ensure adherence to quality and procedures.
* Oversees the purchase orders to Vendors and order acknowledgements from the Vendors.
* Follows up with Vendor for delivery and to get the material at the right time and required quantity at required locations.
* Follow through on outstanding back orders.
* Maintains effective record keeping on all purchase orders and supplier confirmations.
* Coordinates with accounts for payment of suppliers and resolve issues if any.
* Reviews and processes claims against suppliers.
* When necessary, to develop a sub-contractor base whether local or direct to market level and to set-up on-site, sub-contractor QA and process improvement activity.
Cost Reductions and Efficiency Improvements
* Evaluates cost and quality of goods or services.
* Monitors International Trends in Raw Material for effective negotiations.
* Continuously tries to reduce outgoing funds while not compromising on product quality.
* Obtains best prices for imports from carriers.
* Cost Cutting through negotiation with suppliers (domestic/foreign).
* Negotiation and pricing of current and new products.
* Streamlining production, identifying and eliminating inefficiencies.
* When necessary, Just-In-Time purchases to minimize inventory cost.
* Updating and revising existing purchasing procedures to introduce cost cutting measures.
* Balancing regional and global approaches.
* Accurately monitoring and forecasting stock levels.
* Researching and identifying new products and suppliers.
* Always seeking reliable vendors or suppliers to provide quality goods at reasonable prices.
* Precise monitoring of quantity and timing of deliveries.
* Ensuring relationships with existing suppliers are kept manageable and in the best interests of the business - be this through initiating commercial negotiations, implementing improvement programs and making certain quality, cost and delivery are guaranteed.
* Maximizing the supply chain efficiencies for all accountable suppliers and accounting for the in, and outbound supply chain for the business against agreed service and targets.
* Highlighting purchasing opportunities where identified.
* Managing and developing a solid relationship with suppliers to reduce costs and improve quality including on-time deliveries.
* Plans material as per the requirement of assembly processes to support improvement in the production flow.
* Overseeing continuous improvement initiatives to drive process optimization.
* Developing and managing obsolescence programs, including the strategic direction for components and materials.
* Provide leadership to the team.
* Supervise and motivate the team.
* Develop and train staff to ensure that they meet required performance standards.
* Support in execution of Service Contracts.
* Liaise with support staff as appropriate.
* Provide guidance to staff in handling employee inquiries and to ensure that matters are resolved.
* Demonstrate credibility to win the confidence and support of the top management, suppliers and partners.
* Interact with suppliers, customers, customers' agencies (Artwork Houses etc.), and agents, suppliers and prime producers supplying all group companies.
* Provide assistance to all departments as required.
* Deal effectively with executive, technical and operational and sub-contract personnel.
When a Information Technology MD spends the majority of its days on work-related activities and feel as if they are neglecting other important components of their lives, stress and unhappiness result. Thus, you must learn to draw a clear line between your personal and work time and set clear expectations with your colleagues.