John Heap (National Productivity Centre, Leeds, UK)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 9 February 2015



Heap, J. (2015), "News", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 64 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: News From: International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Volume 64, Issue 2.

Terminal solution

APM Terminals Rotterdam, one of the busiest container terminals in Europe’s largest container port, was cited by the JOC Group as the productivity leader among Europe’s container facilities for the first half of 2014, with 102 crane moves per hour (as measured by total moves per hour with a vessel alongside). The award for First Place in Productivity among European container terminals was presented at the JOC Europe Port Performance Conference during a special awards section of the two-day industry event. NTB North Sea Terminal Bremerhaven, also part of the APM Terminals Global Terminal Network and in which APM Terminals holds a 50 per cent ownership share, received the award for second place, with a productivity rating of 97 MPH during the first six months of the year.

Not so mobile

Mobile collaboration just isn’t there yet. Rather than aligning with overall business needs, today’s business mobile apps are focused more on personal productivity and task efficiency. That’s based on the results of a survey by enterprise mobile collaboration firm

Highlights of the report include:

IT investments are not aligned with business needs. The survey found a sharp divergence between what IT felt were mobile priorities vs what people on the business side thought.

Mobile enterprise collaboration is focused too much on personal productivity. Most business mobile users have office-supplied e-mail, calendar and contacts, but those users report there are few other tools provided for internal or external collaboration.

Low marks on mobile enterprise mobility. 21 per cent of IT staff gave their companies low marks. Just 7 per cent of people on the business side said they were doing well.

Companies often use non-secure collaboration tools. Skype and GoogleDrive are widely used by upwards of 40 per cent of enterprise users.

Ghana’s problems

Nana Munko Eku VIII, Chief of Omankrado of Abura Ansafona, said recently that with about 2.5 million Ghanaians suffering mental illness and 7,000 considered serious, the nation is losing productivity.

Out of the 7,000 classified as serious, the majority are women who have suffered broken marriages and relationships, examination failures or were challenged with abject poverty, thus forcing many to take to drinking hard liquor or drugs.

Nana Eku VIII, who said this at a community durbar in Abura Dunkwa, noted that the development painted a bad picture of building an integrated nation and was an indication that, “We have lost our national conscience for pro”.

The durbar, organised by Basic Needs Ghana and Mental Health Society of Ghana (MEHSOG) with UKAID, sought to raise awareness of issues bordering mental illness and how victims had been affected.

It forms part of a four-year project implemented by Basic Needs Ghana and MEHSOG to support government to build a national health system that effectively and efficiently respond to the mental health needs of the population.

Alberta has problems too

Alberta’s Premier Jim Prentice says plummeting oil prices should be something all Albertans worry about, since producers may start halting projects and pulling investment.

It has been tough for Alberta to justify jumping off the oil train. Revenue from oil makes up a quarter of the province’s total revenue. Because of that, the resource-rich province has expanded faster than the Canada’s overall economy in all but one of the last ten years. Alberta is running at about double the growth of Canada’s second-best province.

But each drop of just $1 per barrel can mean $200 million less in provincial revenue.

Alberta’s oil-dependent economy faces another problem. While its labour productivity is high compared to other provinces, second only to Newfoundland and Labrador, the growth of that productivity has lagged over the last 15 years.

BYOD can boost productivity – or simply shift cost

Small businesses have experienced huge gains from BYOD – the practice of allowing employees to “bring your own device” sand have it connected to the company network. Small business can get productivity gains from their employees from this practice.

Now, as larger businesses follow suit, patterns are emerging. Cost is reduced or moved to another area of the budget forecast where it sits more comfortably. On-going maintenance, replacement, training and support is cut or controlled by policy. Security protocols are modernised to bring the business up to date, and employees see efficiency gains from using their chosen device anywhere they wish – a device they wish to use because of its familiarity outside of work.

Working hours are becoming longer, yet more aligned with users’ own needs. It lets employees deal with work matters at a time that suits them, and ensures that productivity extends outside the hours of 9-5.

Space for improvement

In a bid to tackle the low productivity affecting Russia’s space industry, the state-owned conglomerate that spans the sector has proposed doubling wages and implementing incentive systems to triple the efficiency of its workforce.

The Soviet space programme at its height in 1989 employed over a million people and accounted for 1.5 per cent of Soviet gross domestic product. To work in the space sector was considered a plumb assignment.

But after years of industrial decay, low wages and brain drain, the industry is struggling to recruit fresh talent and move forward with new projects.

The space sector now has a reputation for being geriatric and, at times, incompetent – many scoffed in 2013, when a Proton-M rocket crashed shortly after launch because its guidance computer’s sensors were installed upside down.

United Rocket and Space Corporation (URSC) was created by presidential decree last year in response to that crash. It has been tasked with reforming and consolidating most of the industry under its auspices. Reforms will begin this year, and by 2016 the numerous companies that make up Russia’s space sector will employ 196,000 people, the corporation said in a statement on Friday.

“By 2025 plans are to increase productivity threefold, while real wages will double”, the statement said.

John Heap

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