Monday, July 17, 2006

The Endless Summer (Of Production)

Summertime is when a lot of manufacturing companies get caught up on various aspects of their production capabilities and tend to stock up on parts. Here at Soundwave Research Laboratories, where we manufacture Crowley and Tripp ribbon microphones, we tend to run "batches" of parts for the different models based upon a sales forecast that attempts to predict the number of each model that will be sold. If this is done correctly, we will have on hand just enough inventory throughout the production cycle to cover all parts needs for all models, without a lot of excess parts in inventory. Having a lot of parts sitting in stock, doing nothing, isn't necessarily bad, but it is hardly efficient.

Being new to most people, our sales prediction is based upon an upward curve that takes into account the number of dealers, promotions, last month's sales, and seasonal variations that affect all sales of music gear. The curve is steep because we are apparently just getting the word out. To us, it seems like it has taken a while, but to others, it seems like we've just arrived.

Time dilation is an interesting phenomenon. The inventor Itzhak Bentov, who wrote "Stalking the Wild Pendulum" and in his basement started what became Boston Scientific Corporation (BSX-NYSE) with fellow futurist John Abele, wrote about time dilation and showed that you can make time stand still by meditating upon the sweep second hand of a clock. If you practice according to Bentov's instructions, you will amaze yourself that indeed, the second hand seems to stall and stop momentarily, even though you know it can't. (can you be sure?) It is an interesting window into the mind that demonstrates to even a skeptic that time, at least as we watch it, does not always move smoothly along, beat by every beat.

Of course, if you have ever taken a redeye from SFO to BOS, you already know how to make time seem endless.

Factoid: The world's largest producer of ultrasound imaging probes is Boston Scientific.

Another factoid: Larry Killip wote a song with the title "Stalking the Wild Pendulum".

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