Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Logistics Project's Inner Geek Is Out

Well as you will know I am out in Haiti right now so I thought I would prepare some blogs to fill the time in case I get no internet connectivity (forward thinking is the logistician’s friend) and to be honest no one wants to hear the jetlagged ramblings of a logistician. So what to blog about…. What better than techy stuff, you know time delayed blogs, apps and kit.  I thought I would put together my top techy items that make my work life more efficient.  In no particular order…..


The iPad 2
We only recently took delivery of the iPad 2 and it has surpassed our expectations.  We bought it because it was light weight and could be easily used without a desk or lap.  Some say it is the apps that make the machine and we will look at some great apps in the next few items but we wanted to note the Ipad is a thing of beauty, with a great camera and some great functionality we haven’t tried other tablets but when the iPad is this good were are unlikely to be trying them anytime soon.

I am someone what sold on apple as a brand so have a self confessed bias I am sure these app are probably android etc compatible....

Skitch
We must remember to use Skitch for professional purposes….. We must remember to use Skitch for professional purposes…… We must remember to use Skitch for professional purposes…..

(pause)
Take a picture of your colleague with the iPad and get to draw a pink moustache and wild curly hair on them…..Doh!  In all seriousness this is a great app for working cross culturally in logistics, no matter how fluent my French gets there are a few technical words that I just can’t recall.  A picture paints a thousand words, snap away in the warehouse with the iPad and then draw on circles to highlight points or arrows o show where to move things.  I love Skitch more for this than the countless friends I have drawn facial hair on.
The Bosch PLR50 laser range finder

It's got a laser!!!!!!

OK we are getting in touch with our deep inner geek here.  Maybe it is because I grew up with Star Wars and Buck Rogers that I like lasers but this little piece of kit means no more scrambling up rickety shelving to try and get a measurement, or trying to pull the tape measure taught so the distance is accurate and no more shredded and dirty trousers from scrambling around on the floor to get find how far that alcove goes back behind the shelving (I might miss this last bit).  One little ping of the laser and you have an accurate measure, two little ping and you get an area, three little pings and you have volume.  It even understands Pythagoras and can work out the missing side of a right angled triangle.  It isn’t pretty like and iPad but we love it all the same.

Photosynth

Yes its microsoft but I love it

I have already said a picture paints a thousand words….well sometimes that monologue gets cut short because you can’t take photos that capture a whole room….or can you.  Extend your pictographic monologue with Photosynth a great little app which allows you to build a panoramic picture from smaller photos taken in sequence.  Couple this with Skitch and you can draw a whole process flow onto a picture and turn it into a pdf…..BOOM!!!! (as some of my younger cooler  friends say)



LucidChart
As of yet this is not a standalone tool so it does need some connectivity but when trying to map process you just can’t beat LucidChart.  I have used this on both the ipad and on a PC through Google Chrome and it is fast, simple and great looking.  As a loggie process charts, org charts and well…….. just charts excite me.  Quite frankly they make my life easier and they hold people accountable to the process and we are back to a picture painting a thousand words.  I guess this all comes from working in a cross cultural context; pictures communicate well.

So that is my top 5 in no particular order, other notable mentions
SKYPE    - Needs no introduction and keeps our bills down as we communicate globally.
Whiteboard HD for the iPad – All the benefits of a whiteboard that can be beamed to your screen ad then saved for posterity.

3 comments:

  1. Yes, you are a true geek - but these are clearly dear to your heart and have made your work (and playful scribblings on your colleagues' faces) easier - so I am all for it!

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  2. My inner geek appreciates your tech list as much as your inner geek does even though I am not the biggest "apple" fan. The stationary fanatic within me loves my "sticky notes" app which I can sync from my android phone to my laptop....tres cool and it nearly makes me as happy as having a plethora of real post-its stuck on my screen.

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