What you mean there are bogus repairs? Hell yeh

WSJ had an article on bogus repairs on trains at port complex.

TERMINAL ISLAND, Calif.—Ten thousand railcars a month roll into this sprawling port complex in Los Angeles County. While here, most are inspected by a subsidiary ofCaterpillar Inc. CAT +0.44%

When problems are found, the company repairs the railcars and charges the owner. Inspection workers, to hear some tell it, face pressure to produce billable repair work.

Some workers have resorted to smashing brake parts with hammers, gouging wheels with chisels or using chains to yank handles loose, according to current and former employees.

In a practice called "green repairs," they added, workers at times have replaced parts that weren't broken and hid the old parts in their cars out of sight of auditors. One employee said he and others sometimes threw parts into the ocean.

It is bit ironic that the term “green repairs” is used to describe the practicer.  What could be more non-green (environmental) than damaging a part to create a repair transaction. 

Even so, they said, car men are under pressure to identify repair work to be done. The quickest way to do so, they said, was to smash something or to remove a bolt or other part and report it as missing.

They weren't instructed to do that, the workers said. But they added that some managers made clear the workers would be replaced if they didn't produce enough repair revenue.

"A lot of guys are in fear of losing their jobs because there's no work in California," said one worker, standing in front of his small ranch house a few miles from the Terminal Island ports.

Car men are expected to justify their hourly pay "and then some," this worker said. "If you find no defects, it's a bad night," he added, and that creates a temptation to "break something that's not broken."

This is a consequence of having performance based systems that are short sighted.


If your medical records have 95% errors, how many other parts of your system have errors?

Part of the beauty of all that data out there is most you never use, and almost no one worried about the quality of the data when it was entered.  Now that Big Data is hot and machine learning is too, your data history is ready to be used.  But, how about those errors?  What errors?  WSJ writes on medical health care and makes the point that up 95% of the records have errors and doctors are asking patients to review their medical records.

Health-care providers are giving patients more access to their medical records so they can help spot and correct errors and omissions.

Studies show errors can occur on as many as 95% of the medication lists found in patient medical records.

Errors include outdated data and omissions that many patients could readily identify, including prescription drugs that are no longer taken and incorrect data about frequency or dosage.

Any one who has worked on asset management or ewaste and end of life of hardware discover how inaccurate inventory management can be.

If you don’t think of the quality of data, then you’ll have a much harder time using your data history.

The question hard to get answers to, how well does this work

After spending the last few months intensely discussing a range of technologies in the data center industry something was bothering me.  I understood what their technology did, but as I kept asking about performance and other operating issues I wasn’t getting answers I wanted.  The simple think I want to know is “how well does this technology work.”  If someone uses it what are the issues they will run into.  By solving one set of problems, what new problems do they pick up?

Telling me what customers you have as references tells me you have done a good job selling your service, but that doesn’t mean it works well.  Sometimes the people who make the purchasing decisions are far removed from the operating issues.  Being able to have conversations with operations staff is one of the ways to get to the truth.  Even if you have a nice looking report I’ll still be suspicious.

Hearing from someone who uses a technology in operations is one of the most credible sources.  As an option push the vendor to answer, “how well does this work?”  And when they tell you how it works.  Repeat, I know how it works.  I want to know how well it works, operates.  

Who has the best Quality Cloud?

The pricing of the cloud is highly competitive between Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, making the rest fall in line.  So you feel like you are getting good value, but are you getting good quality?

: how good or bad something is

: a characteristic or feature that someone or something has : something that can be noticed as a part of a person or thing

: a high level of value or excellence

McDonald’s rose through its belief in quality.  A consistent experience where your food tasted the same at any McDonald’s you went to.


Consistency, quality and success

Ray Kroc opened the Des Plaines, Illinois restaurant in 1955, and with the first Golden Arches, launched a legendary brand. He saw the value of a restaurant system that could be famous for offering consistently prepared, quality food that tasted the same in every location, every time. In 1958, McDonald’s sold its 100 millionth burger.

One of the things that insiders know is the inconsistent qualities of the cloud between different locations.  Price is the same, but performance and quality is different.  This is shrugged off by most of the providers, but from a customer’s perspective it puts the ownership on you to measure the quality of the cloud.

Sounds wrong.

At some point someone is going to pull a Ray Kroc and focus on quality of the experience and win customers.

Theory of Information System in Construction Industry, not BIM, BIM, BIM, "The Collective Potential"

When someone talks about an Information System for construction. You many times hear BIM, BIM, BIM, BIM, BIMMITY, BIM as the answers.  Reminds me of the Monty Python skit where everything has SPAM.

Thinking BIM will solve your information problems in a construction project is short sighted.  Why?  If you don’t consider the quality of the data and how you reconcile perception issues of the data, then you can end up with an Information system that is not as trustworthy as you expect.

Rejected information is the result of a conscious determination that the information is not valid based on differences of opinion of perceived untruth.

If this topic has your interest, then you may enjoy reading “The Collective Potential” by Andreas Phelps.  I’ve traded some e-mail with Andreas and have read book quickly, and reading it again.  The fun I am having is testing answers on how to address the issues that Andreas brings up.  So far, I haven’t been stumped yet.  The nice thing of spending 26 years at HP, Apple, and Microsoft, and now 8 years on my own, there are lots of people I know to chat about information systems. I haven’t had the urge to write a book, but this may be a subject that may get me to write a longer paper.

The Collective Potential: A Holistic Approach to Managing Information Flow in Collaborative Design and Construction Environments Paperback