Pre Test English For Academic Purposes (EAP) di Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS)

Sejak hari Jumat 25 Agustus 2006 hingga Senin 26 Agustus 2006 Rabu 30 Agustus 2006, Languange Center Universitas Sebelas Maret (UNS) menyelenggarakan pre test EAP (English For Academic Purposes) bagi mahasiswa baru UNS angkatan 2006. Pre test EAP ini digunakan sebagai parameter kemampuan bahasa Inggris mahasiswa yang erat kaitannya dengan kemampuan memahami buku teks berbahasa Inggris. Skor minimal kelulusannya adalah 2.0, sehingga mereka yang tidak lulus pre test ini harus mengikuti kursus EAP selama kurang lebih 3 bulan dan setelahnya akan dilakukan post test. Kalau tidak lulus, mahasiswa bisa mengikuti semester pendek EAP. Kelulusan EAP juga sebagai salah satu syarat mahasiswa untuk mendapatkan ijazah kelulusan dari UNS.

Seringkali saya bertemu dengan rekan atau mahasiswa yang “menolak” menerima referensi berbahasa Inggris. Mereka sering bilang kalau dengan referensi berbahasa Inggris membuat repot, harus mikir dua kali, mikir bahasa Inggrisnya dan mencerna referensinya. Bikin susah. Padahal, kebanyakan buku referensi di perpustakaan pun kebanyakan juga berbahasa Inggris, apalagi untuk ilmu-ilmu eksak dan jurusan bahasa Inggris 😀

Kalau demikian apa lantas tidak belajar? Tidak bisa memahami buku teks berbahasa Inggris bukan berarti sebagai hambatan dalam belajar, tapi justru dijadikan tantangan dan sekaligus kesempatan. Kalau tadi rekan saya bilang “musti mikir dua kali”, saya akan bilang “untung dua kali”, dapat bahasa Inggrisnya, dapat juga ilmunya. Toh kata yang digunakan paling juga itu-itu saja, kalaupun ada kata-kata baru juga tinggal buka kamus. Sebagai mahasiswa baru, masih banyak waktu untuk belajar bahasa Inggris atau bahkan bahasa asing lainnya. Dalam dunia kerja, mau tidak mau bahasa Inggris dibutuhkan, walaupun di lowongan pekerjaan ada tulisan “minimal pasif”. Menjadi “pasif” atau “aktif” dalam berbahasa Inggris perlu latihan.

Kembali ke masalah EAP, istri saya juga mengajar EAP (bagi mahasiswa yang tidak lulus pre test atau post test) di LC UNS. Suka dukanya adalah masalah tingkat keseriusan mahasiswa di dalam kelas dan jumlah kelulusan. Ada yang serius dan tingkat keingintahuannya tinggi, ada yang sebaliknya. Metode yang dia pakai untuk memotivasi mahasiswa adalah dengan memberikan majalah secara gratis atau memberikan poin yang digunakan untuk mendukung penilaian akhir. Sedang untuk mahasiswa yang seenaknya, resiko ditanggung sendiri, karena lulus EAP merupakan kebutuhan mereka. LC sendiri sudah memberikan sanksi kepada mahasiswa yang jumlah kehadirannya kurang dari 75%, yaitu tidak diperbolehkan mengikuti post test atau sama saja dengan mengulang lagi kursus EAP.

Kadang ada gurauan mengenai EAP ini. Kalau ada mahasiswa yang “kemlinthi”, pertanyaan yang timbul adalah: “Dia lulus EAP ga yah?”..

Selamat menempuh pre test EAP buat mahasiswa baru tahun 2006. Semoga lulus ya.

Ditulis dalam Daily, UNS. 6 Comments »

Implementing “Zero Stock” System in a Furniture Export Company

For company that sells goods, stocks can be profitable but sometimes inflict a financial lost. Don’t you think it is annoying when you want to buy something from a department store but they run out of stocks? You probably have to cancel your dinner menu and looking for something that is available and ready stock.
Don’t you think it is also annoying to know that the instant noodle you bought is expired?

I learned about “Zero Stock” system during my previous job as a marketing manager for furniture export company (Rakabu Furniture). They faced a problem on how to manage the stock they had on the warehouse and how to sell them. From the list I knew that most of them were out of fashion and not preferable by buyers. Even there were a buyer who want to buy, but the price is too low. Normally for 1×40′ container, the price is about USD 9000-12000, but “stock container” sold on USD 3000. Can you imagine how much is the financial lost?

After studying the goods flow on the company, I knew that their biggest problem was on controlling order for sub-contractor (supplier). Here is the example: If buyer orders 40 Bed Sides, the Production Manager ordered more than 40 pcs. They said that the overbalance is for backup if the 40 pcs is rejected by buyer. As time goes by, this overbalance items are pile up in the warehouse and causing stocks and also stock problems.

Stock problems on furniture warehouse are:

  • Dust
  • Wood Worm
  • Fungus
  • Cracking
  • Surface Scratch
  • Space

If the company can sell those items, they have to repair and maybe change the finishing colour as buyer request and of course sell in low price. Double punch !!!

The Solution

Since furniture export company sells wood-made products, so it is NOT GOOD to store stocks. Wood can change tremendously under minor change of temperature. Wood moisture content (MC) is affected by weather. The more MC in the wood, make it easily get mildewed. Once the MC is raising, it can not be lowered only by draining it under the sun light. The wood that is already manufactured as a furniture products must be dried in the Kiln-Dry chamber. All of us know that when assembled furniture goes to Kiln-Dry the shape will change due to the shrinkage of the wood. Then the company has to repair it and of course more bill should be paid.

Controlling order to sub-contractor is the best way to avoid this stock problem. No overbalance. Order raw material as buyer orders’ quantity. Order 10 if buyer only want 10. The next question will be: How about if some of those items are rejected by buyer? The answers will be: Does the company have a Quality Control? Does the company allow buyer’s QC to do inspection? Does the company follow buyer’s required specification and requirements?
If yes, then what the company should afraid of?

To implement “Zero Stock” system, company needs to have a good Information System to handle customer orders, sub-contractor order, product inventory and anything related to the production. It is not cheap to invest in this area. If the company has IT infrastructure yet, it will need to build from the scratch. Not only on hardware and software investment, the brainwave of the human resources also need to be upgraded and this is not simple. Changing employees behaviour needs time.

Here is the step by step on implementing “Zero Stock” system:

  1. If the company has stock before, get rid of it. Sell with discount. Try to sell it on local market or buying agent if none of buyers want it. From my experience, there are a lot of buyers who prefer to buy “stock container” because the price is cheap. But sometimes they only want certain type of furniture that is sell-able in their market.
    Once there is no stock on the warehouse, everything is back to normal just like when the company started the business.
  2. If the company has pending Proforma Invoice and already ordered to the sub-contractor, make sure that the quantity is the same as buyer’s order. If there is an overbalance, check the production on the sub-contractor. Ask them to stop produce the order if the “real” quantity is reached. If all orders are finished, take this as a risk that should not be repeated next time.
  3. If there are pending Proforma which are ordered yet, just produce like buyer’s order. No overbalance.
  4. Start implementing an Information System manually or electronically. By papers or software. The differences only between “manual” and “automatic”, “low” and “high” investment, and “hard” and “easy”. 😀
  5. Make sure that all people in the production department understand this policy and no one can override it.
  6. Make sure that QC checker are doing their job well. Ask buyer to send QC person if necessary to avoid item being rejected by buyer.
  7. Make sure that all goods ordered can be loaded to the container to avoid back order that can causes stock.
  8. Evaluate.. evaluate.. evaluate. Evaluating products, production process and cost of good sold helps marketing and the manager to plan a production and marketing strategy. Having a good Information System can help manager to get accurate data and make strategic decision.

The company I work for now, is starting to implement “zero stock” system and my responsibility is to provide Information Management System. During my past job as a freelance web developer, I found that most of furniture company in Solo did not have this. They know that they need this Information System, but did not want to invest in this area. Information Technology infrastructure is not a cost, but investment.

Want to create a Warehouse Information System? Click here for detail.

Little Peanut Picture

This is a USG printout for our Little Peanut. The baby length is 6.5 cm.

It is so funny to know that the baby keep on moving and rolling. The right picture shows that our Little Peanut smiles to the camera.. Cheese.. 😀

Little Peanut 14 Weeks

My wife has been 14 weeks pregnant. I hope that in this second trimester, she will feel comfortable with her pregnancy.

Can not wait to see you again Little Peanut. We will see you next month.

We love you.

You complete us..

Give us your best shoot sweetheart

My wife is presenting her thesis to the board now & I am waiting outside.
Her thesis analyses translation quality from bilingual/multilingual website. She used the old version of for the sample.
To my wife, give us your best shoot. You can win this. You can pass this. Your graduation will complete us.
We love you.
Me & little peanut always support you. See you soon sweetheart.

Stay With Us Dear Father; My Husband, We Need You

My lovely wife wrote this message on my notebook. You will know how much she love me.

For the one who always gives
me the best, I Love You. (Mom)

For my future father who always
gives me warmth, I adore you
(little peanut)

There is no word thank you can
represent the way we feel about

No gratitude compares to you
We love you, we adore you
We don’t wanna miss you.

Stay with us dear father; my
husband, We need you …

For my wonderful wife:

You know, how much I love you. You know how much I love us.

For my little peanut:

I cant wait to see you. You complete us..

Positioning Your Self As A Partner For The Company You Work For

I just read an article on this blog. The author wrote about “Kita ini Enterpreneur, Bukan Karyawan – We Are An Entrepreneur, Not An Employee”.

When I started to work in this company, I always positioning my self as a partner for the company as well as for the boss. This company was my client before, so the boss IMHO still considering me as a partner for the company. In this position, I have the same level with the boss when I had a discussion with him. He treat me as a professional. This make me different from other employees.

Positioning yourself as a partner for the company will make yourself more valuable. Make the company has a dependencies on you, this will you have a bargaining position. What will the boss do if you are valuable for his company?

As a partner for you company, you will see your company as a client that need to be served. You will do your best to make your client happy, aren’t you? If the company has rules for their employees, you will see this as contract rules which will make a financial lost for you if you neglect the rules.

I ever met my friend and asking what is his job right now, and he said “I am just an IT Support”. What? I do not know whether he descended his self or he trully did not proud with his job. I often got the same word when I asked someelse, “I am just…”.
If I were his boss, I will fire him. Why? He did not proud wit his job. If he did not proud with his job, how can he be productive? What will people say about my company if my employees are not proud with his job. All employees represent the company. He represents the company he work for. You represent the company you work for. Me represent the company I work for. Why you stay on your workplace if you do not proud with your job?

If you proud with your job, you will be productive, even it’s still depend on yourself whether you want it or not.

By positioning yourself as a partner, you will work hard to serve your company, because you treat him as a partner. In the other side, the company will see you as a productive employee and you might get a promotion. Promotion means better position and better salary of course.

Learning from Parking Guard

Me and my wife just came home from local dept store to buy gifts for our friends. Once we arrived there,the parking guard gave me a parking ticket & took my motorcycle. Finished from shopping we went to the parking area & without asking my ticket he knew which motorcycle is mine. He still remember even he had to serve other customers too. It made me special.
I learn from him how to delight customers.