(1) in logistics, backhaul refers to the practice of maximising efficiencies through the use of return truck loads. For example, a factory might use a truck to collect new parts from a supplier after it has completed delivery of a batch of finished products to a distribution center. (2) in telecoms, the backhaul network is the part of the network which connects the ‘core’ (or ‘backbone’) network to the edge networks.
The balanced scorecard is a widely used strategic planning and management system. The original concept identified four perspectives (Customer, Process, Financial, Learning&Growth) as a structure for strategic metrics to cover an entire business. Balanced scorecard systems have built on this concept to help align business activities to the vision and strategy of the organization, improve internal and external communications, and monitor organization performance against strategic goals.
Bar Coding uses machine readable patterns to label items. The first barcodes, consisting of varying width bars and spaces, remain very significant in the market, even though new formats have been proposed.
The Barrel of Oil Equivalent is an energy unit that is convenient for expressing the quantity of oil or gas in common terms. It is equivalent to 5.8 million BTU or 6.1 GJ. In terms of oil, a BOE is the energy released (approximately) by burning 42 US gallons (one barrel) of crude oil, and in terms of natural gas is the energy equivalent of about 6000 cubic feet.
Input materials are divided into distinct batch quantities. Each batch is processed and tracked individually to account for variations in recipes and customer attribute requirements. Processing can be through automated systems twenty-four hours a day, or by different steps for each batch.
In batch production, a quantity of ingredients, or a number of identical parts, are grouped into a batch which travels through the plant as one unit. This can improve efficiency and simplify scheduling. The choice of the optimum quantity of materials or number of parts in a batch (the batch size or lot size) is important. It depends on the capacity and machines in the factory, the mix of orders received, and the extent to which parts need to be customized.
The ore from which aluminum is extracted.
Benzene is a colourless liquid used in production of many chemicals including polystyrene. It is a volatile hydrocarbon which can be extracted from coal but since 1950 is mainly extracted from crude oil. It is toxic and a known carcinogen, so there are strict controls on benzene emissions.
The bid-to-win ratio measures the success rate of a company’s attempts to win sales. Bid-to-win is an important metric for businesses where substantial costs are incurred before a contract is awarded. This is often the case for sales of high value capital goods (for example, production machinery), engineer-to-order businesses (for example, power generation equipment), and project oriented businesses (for example, heating and ventilation installation).
The sales cycle can include extensive planning, design and configuration work, often with multiple versions to track changing specifications. To manage risk, selling companies can treat custom design work as a paid service, and can structure products for configuration.
The vast amount of unstructured business data that exceeds convention processing power. Big Data can be characterized by the 3Vs – high-volume, velocity and variety. Volume and velocity refer to the speed at which data is generated in real time from each and every aspect of operations. Variety refers to the diverse sources of this data: sensors on machines and many other assets, unconnected software applications, employee emails, social media etc.
A listing of all the subassemblies, parts, and raw materials that go into a parent assembly. A Bill of Material is held in the organization’s ERP system and provides a link to relevant costing information held by the F&A group. The document is finalised when a new product is released to production at the end of the product development process.
Biobutanol is produced from renewable biomass sources. When produced from oil sources, it is called butanol. Biobutanol has demonstrated potential to reduce automotive carbon emissions, for example, as an additive or blend with gasoline. Recent advances with “”designer microbes”” enable use of lower-cost biomass feedstocks – for example, those with tough cellulose fibers – for biobutanol production at gasoline-competitive costs.
Biofuel is any liquid, solid or gas that is obtained from living (or recently living) materials and that can be processed or ignited to provide energy. In contrast, fossil fuels are ancient organic materials that have built up eons ago and can now be mined as oil, gas or solids (coal).
Biologics are biological products used in medicine. Unlike drugs which are chemically synthesized, biologics are created from natural source materials. Biologics include vaccines, blood, and blood components as well as products based on genetic and other biotechnologies.
The use of biological processes or organisms for human benefit. Genetic engineering and the bacteria used in sewage treatment are two examples.
A bottleneck in a production system is any point where demand exceeds capacity. It is important to identify and maximize use of bottlenecks – but only if the system is producing the right products.
This is a marketing strategy used by CPG companies who seek to extract maximum value from established brands by using the same brand name in a new product category. For example, the Virgin family of companies started as a record shop, then became a record label and now has businesses in a very diverse set of markets from transport to services.
An acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, and China. In 2003, these countries were identified as developing nations with large growth potential. At that time, economic forecasts indicated that BRIC together would become wealthier, and control a greater proportion of global manufacturing and services, than the traditional leading Western economic powers at the time.
A broker is an intermediary between buyer and seller. A broker facilitates and enables a buyer and seller to complete a sales transaction. In strict legal terms, this is different to an agent, who acts on behalf of either buyer or seller. Brokers earn the fees and commissions they charge in many different ways, ranging from research, market knowledge and contacts to promotional programs, product management and sales administration services.
Business Intelligence describes a category of software products that is capable of analysing data sets, that may be very large, and identifying patterns or relationships within the data that would not otherwise be apparent. BI offers significant benefits for manages or executives trying to understand data that describes complex and often changeable behaviour.
Business jet describes an aircraft, usually of smaller size, designed for transporting groups of business people. The more formal terms of corporate jet or executive jet tend to be used by the firms that build, sell, buy and charter these aircraft.
A business consists of a set of interconnected business processes. Each business process is a group of related tasks and activities. Visualization of business processes (for example, as a flowchart) helps management teams analyze, improve and optimize performance, and make changes to support strategic initiatives.
This term describes a very common business model adopted by many manufacturers who sell primarily or exclusively to other manufacturers, rather than to consumers. In contrast, a Business to Consumer (B2C) company sells its products direct to consumers.
A by-product is an incidental or secondary product made in the manufacture of something else. A by-product can sometimes be useful and marketable, or it may be considered waste.