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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

  • February 16, 2010 09:24 PM UTC by Liz Claman

    Stryker CEO to FBN: "De-politicize Health Care Debate NOW."

    Only then, says Stephen MacMillan, will we get anywhere in this very critical discussion about universal health care.  MacMillan runs the $21 billion dollar medical products maker Stryker (SYK), known for it’s high -tech hospital beds and orthopedic implants.

    He bristles at the thought of fees levied on medical device makers… fees included in health care bills floating around Capitol Hill.  WHY, he asked us today on “Bulls&Bears,” would you tax companies that are doing exactly what you want companies to do in this day and age: innovate and put Americans to work.  Many of Stryker products are made in the U.S.A.  Shouldn’t companies like Stryker be rewarded and incentivized?

    He’s not wrong. However, he’s also willing to concede that perhaps there are concessions to be made if everyone is to help achieve the universal health care goal. 

    Listen to our interview in the clip below. Liz MacDonald and I were so very intrigued with how MacMillan envisions overcoming the obstacles to get to what President Obama is aiming for when it comes to covering all Americans.


    Measuring returns on soft investments: quantifying technology starts with understanding.(TECHNOLOGY)

    Maintenance supplies April 1, 2006 As with any other investment a distributor makes, an examination of the return on technology software purchases they need to keep up in today’s changing marketplace is a necessary reality. But unlike measuring ROI on tangible assets, quantifying “soft” investments can be much more challenging because their benefits are often harder to identify and may in fact depend on the particular type of software being used. site microsoft office online

    [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Another factor that makes it difficult for a distributor to accurately monitor and gauge the effectiveness and efficiency of a software investment is in the hidden costs associated with their deployment, support, maintenance and training throughout the life-span of the product.

    To help quantify–as well as justify–these soft purchases, experts suggest creating an ROI model that is geared toward measuring both the direct and indirect benefits associated with technology investments. Doing so will help distributor owners determine whether it is worthwhile to proceed with the investment or reassess their approach to increasing business productivity.

    [ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Software categories According to Larry Melilllo, a manager with KPMG’s CFO Advisory Services and contributing author for Microsoft Office Online, “When creating a software ROI model, your first step should be to identify the type of software investment.” He continues to say that software investments are predominately grouped into two broad categories: application and infrastructure software.

    Application software supports a specific process or a set of interlinked processes. Common examples of these include financial programs, operational programs that cover plant floor operations, sales force automation and supply chain management.

    Now what?

    After you’ve successfully identified the type of software you want to use, the next step you’ll want to take is to get a good grasp of the benefits that your distributorship will want to achieve by installing the software. Generally, benefits are recorded one of two ways, as hard or soft.

    As you probably are already aware, hard benefits are tangible cash benefits. But, as stated earlier, soft benefits are not quite so easy to recognize. Although they do not provide a direct cash benefit, soft benefits are relevant because they quantify other factors that may be important when evaluating whether to proceed with the investment.

    Some typical examples of soft benefits could include, productivity savings (the value of reduced effort spent on the process), improved quality (an intangible measure of product, customer service or operational effectiveness) and improved customer and employee satisfaction. in our site microsoft office online

    Implement the model Now that we’ve shed some light on a few of the benefits and costs of software investments, it’s time to create your own ROI model. In doing so, Melillo suggests considering these principles during the process:

    * Useful software life–For the typical deployment of a less costly program, such as a small database for storing customer data, a useful life of only three years is possible, says Melillo.

    * Depreciation–Although it may last longer than five years, for tax purposes most technology investments depreciate within three to five years.

    * Cost of capital–Ensure that stakeholder investments are in line.

    * Quantification of risk–The risks associated with deploying software or obtaining its benefits should be noted in your model.

    * Balanced presentation–Balance your software investment with other goals in your business.

    In choosing software investments, distributors will need a valid way to quantify and model benefits and costs. And by understanding what’s in the market, one’s goals for implementation and the true costs over time, he or she will have a better grasp to make a more intelligent purchase.

about this blog

  • Liz Claman joined FOX Business Network (FBN) as an anchor in October 2007. Her debut included an exclusive interview with Berkshire Hathaway CEO and legendary investor Warren Buffett.

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