Supply Chain at Planters

Different Media Strokes

Drug Testing

Bigtime Bio-Ethics

Fix-It Workshops

Banking’s Future

Parking Cash Out

Roberts on Impeachment

Scholarship at SCILS

Corrections or additions?

Municipal Madness

These articles were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on

February 17, 1999. All rights reserved.

Lines on the geopolitical map of New Jersey were made

by men with political and economic agendas, says Alan Karcher,

and New Jersey is the worse for that. Karcher, former state assembly

speaker, speaks at Barnes & Noble at MarketFair on Thursday, February

18, at 7 p.m. He will sign copies of "New Jersey’s Municipal Madness,"

published last November by Rutgers University Press. For information,

call 609-716-1570.

"While those personal agendas may have been inconsequential and

innocuous at the time, today the costs of maintaining New Jersey’s

multiple and redundant jurisdictions mounts into the billions of dollars,"

writes Karcher.

Karcher is the third generation of his family to be a member of the

state legislature. After serving as speaker of the New Jersey Assembly

in the 1980s, he left to practice law in Sayreville. Then, after four

years as chairman of the Mercer County Democratic Party, the 55-year-old

Karcher resigned last month. He had reorganized the party after the

1991 tax revolt against Governor Jim Florio so that the party

took back two legislative seats and all seven freeholder positions.

"The common themes running through each town’s genesis generally

sustain a simple proposition: every significant decision made on the

state level regarding taxes, schools, housing, transportation, preservation

of natural resources, and dozens of other issues starts with the given

that it must accommodate 566 local governments," writes Karcher.

"New Jersey solutions, when and if they are found, must come in

the single variety of one size fits all. The configurations of these

local units are the products of economic and social dynamics operating

primarily in the 19th century. Those reasons are not extant today,

yet they still dictate public policy. The municipal boundary lines

weave a web that fetters, tangles, and ultimately ensnares the governor

and legislature in their attempts to address critical contemporary


In his 238-page book, stuffed full of intriguing historical anecdotes,

he explores the motivations behind the history of "municipal multiplication"

and then turns his attention to how new lines — the location of

a railroad station, road appropriations, the regulation of alcohol

sales — are drawn. Then he focuses on the political processes

that, for instance, kept Camden, Newark, and Jersey City from broadening

their bases. Karcher offers his suggestions on how to modernize the

delivery of local services and urges that the lines redrawn.

Noting that the state adds amendments to its constitution at the average

rate of one per year, over the last 50 years, he inveighs against

the resistance to revising boundaries: "We change our constitution

as we change our clothes, but are satisfied that our municipal boundary

lines are immutable carved in stone. An electorate as ready to vote

on changes in the constitution should at least be open to the possibilities

that maybe some improvement and economy might be realized by taking

a stitch here and a tuck there on the threadbare sections of the municipal

quilt we’ve patched together."

Top Of Page
Supply Chain at Planters

Mention supply chain optimization and many people immediately

think of new technology and software upgrades. They would do even

better if they spent more time developing an appropriate business

process and a supportive culture within their company that facilitates

change. So argue Robert Wodarczyk, director of product supply,

and Dave Fantini, manager of supply chain systems, both at the

Planters Division of Nabisco.

These guys aren’t just talking peanuts here. The case study which

they will be presenting at a dinner meeting of the American Production

Inventory Control Society (APICS) offers a lucid, first-hand examination

of the software implementation, business process change, and cultural

factors that allowed the Planters Company to improve customer service

and increase sales while simultaneously reducing its inventory by

$10 million — all over a four-year period.

Wodarczyk and Fantini speak on Wednesday, February 17, at 6 p.m. at

the Freehold Gardens Conference Center. Cost: $25. For information,

call Tom Dickenson at 609-259-5648.

A Temple University graduate, Wodarczyk has more than 17 years of

experience in the consumer products and food industry, and has held

a variety of positions at Nabisco in both logistics and manufacturing

operations. He is a member of the Council of Logistics Management.

Fantini has his BA from Villanova University and is currently pursuing

his MBA at St. Thomas Aquinas College. He has more than 10 years experience

in the medical and food industries.

In presenting the Planters case study the pair will discuss the role

of new technology in improving the supply chain systems, but will

probably spend more time detailing some of the extensive changes implemented

in the business process and looking at some of the "tactics for

success" that were employed. They will also address issues and

dynamics Planter’s supply chain group grappled with as they revised

the groups’ defining work culture.

In the case study Wodarczyk and Fantini provide details on changes

in their business process including shifting from a centralized to

a decentralized planning process; compressing supply chain reaction

time; plant flexibility; developing supplier partnerships; same-day

shipping; and use of the Internet.

Wodarczyk emphasizes that although successful resolution of the cultural

factors is probably the most critical component in optimizing supply

chain, "The culture that you’re going to do business under is

probably the most important part of this process and the hardest to

implement. Culture is hard to put your arms around, but it’s your

whole defining mentality of how you’re going to do business."

As an example of culture, he cites the supply chain group’s mission

statement: `Guaranteed profitable product supply, no excuses.’ and

explains, "It’s six words. The first word and the last words talk

about no excuses and guarantees. Money is in there, profitability,

and what it’s about which is product supply. The culture is: I’m not

going to say that the reason I didn’t do my job was because so-and-so

screwed up or because so-and-so didn’t deliver what they were supposed

to. Instead the whole approach is that I’m going to be good at this

and I’m not going to make any excuses."

To further define the supply chain group’s culture, Wodarczyk offers

several operating principals of the group:

We are business people first, functional second. "If

you’re a business person first, really, your whole goal is running

a profitable organization, not the functional path that you have to

follow day in, day out. So that if you are a marketing person, for

example, though you create a marketing plan, your overriding concern

is the profitability of the business."

We run a serious business but we don’t take ourselves

too seriously. It’s important to keep your focus on the business and

to not allow yourself to take yourself too seriously.

You’re more important than I am. "I like to explain

culture this way. If I’m sitting around a room with, say, 10 other

people, and I think that I’m more important than they are, especially

if, for example, I have a higher title, really what I’m going to get

out of that situation is that I’m the only one who thinks that I’m

better than everybody else. If I go in and really have the attitude

that those 10 people are more important than I am, what I’m going

to get back — if those people feel the same way — is that

I have 10 people who think that I am more important than they are.

If you really are true to this principle, the magic that’s in it is


"You’ll be surprised at how this works when everyone really gets

that each person in the group, regardless of seniority, or job title,

is equally important to the group."

Wodarczyk adds one more component of success, that "people as

individuals, and as part of a group, need to be able to take calculated

risks. Managers and supervisors need to support the risk-taking, not

hit people over the head when they take calculated chances. We want

people to take risks, because you need to be able to take a risk to

be successful."

— Tricia Fagan

Top Of Page
Different Media Strokes

In the world of interactive multimedia development,

some people say a beginning script isn’t necessary. Just start developing,

they say, and everything will sort itself out once the graphics are

created and the programming done and delivered. But the short-cut

approach doesn’t always pay off.

"Writing is really key to any successful project," says David

Japka, media manager at Midi Inc., the interactive multimedia firm

located at 100 Thanet Circle.

"The interactive multimedia development process may be computer-based

in the end, and it may be very high-tech, but it begins on paper,"

says David Roth, Midi Inc.’s director of Creative Services.

Japka, an alumnus of Temple, Class of ’79, and a producer/director

of industrial films and video for over 20 years, will moderate "A

Writers’ Roundtable: An interactive exchange of ideas and viewpoints

on writing for film, video and multimedia and writing in general,"

on Wednesday, February 24, at 6:30 p.m. at Good Time Charley’s in

Kingston. Roth is scheduled to participate in the roundtable, presented

by Moving Image Professionals (MIP), the Princeton chapter of the

International Television Association (ITVA). It is free to MIP/ITVA

members, and non-members are welcome. Cost: $10. Cash bar. For information

call Japka at 609-924-4817.

The roundtable will feature several well-known industry giants: Liz

Matt of WTXF-TV’s "Good Day Philadelphia;" Alfred Glossbrenner,

whose best-selling books about the online world, with their clear

explanations of technology, have led the New York Times to call him

"the Isaac Asimov of personal computing;" the independent

documentary producer and director Robert Goodman, one of 20

documentary producers selected to participate in the 1998 International

Film Financing Conference; Marguerite Long, who has written

and produced video for corporations such as Unisys and PrimeStar Partners;

and Roth of Midi Inc., which has been dealing with interactive multimedia

for its entire 15-year history. An alumnus of Stanford, Class of ’76,

he was selected by AV Video/Multimedia Producer Magazine as one of

the Top 100 producers of 1998.

Authors, multimedia developers, company executives, those responsible

to train company employees, or people interested in film, video, multimedia,

or writing in general need to understand the inherent differences

in writing for each of these media. One range of differences is shown

by two kinds of interactive training programs now available:

CBT (computer-based training) is fairly simple to develop, and it

often trains people only on information. "Quite often, computer-based

training is just text and graphics; it doesn’t include audio,"

says Roth. "It might have a few sound effects or something like

that." Much computer-based training involves simple text scenarios

followed by either true/false or multiple choice questions.

In contrast, at the high end of development, is scenario-based instruction.

"When you’re dealing with behavioral type scenarios," says

Roth, "you’re not only training people on information, but you’re

also training them behaviorally, how to go about properly behaving

in a given situation. You can actually show them a scenario and say,

‘What would you do in this situation?’ and then show them how actors

might perform in that situation. And they can learn from the actors’

mistakes and from the proper behavior of the actors as well."

Writing for different media requires different thinking processes.

While some writing requires linear thinking, a clear understanding

of how to get from point A to point B, non-linear thinking is essential

in the area of interactive multimedia development.

It can be a challenge to take one’s capabilities with

the written word and then apply these to a whole set of rules where

nothing is linear. "In non-linear thinking, you have to learn

to close your loops and not leave people dangling out in the world.

You have to learn to handle the structure of interactive multimedia,

the non-linear structure, as well as just the creative side of the

dialogue," says Roth. "What are these two people going to

say to each other? Or, when these two people are done talking to each

other, where does the program go? What are your navigational options?"

"Well, you as the writer are responsible for keeping all of that

straight, and you have to be able to flow chart out your program,"

says Roth. "You need to be able to understand how to get from

point A to point B and then the fact that somebody might not be going

from point A to point B at all, but they might be going from point

A to point D."

Special writing tasks often require special equipment, and at Midi

Inc., where non-linear thinking is used so frequently, there have

been several new "writing" tools acquired within the last

couple years: an audio suite with a booth (for recording and editing

audio), a video edit suite (for non-linear editing of video), and

a compression system (for compressing video into a variety of formats

— MPEG1, MPEG2, Quick-Time).

Two other writing tools are available to aid screenwriters, producers,

dramatists, multimedia authors, and writers in general: Movie Magic

Screenwriter and Dramatica. While Dramatica is a story generator/engine,

that is, it aids writers with overall story development, allowing

them to explore character relationships and graphically showing them

the effects on their stories and their stories’ structures when even

one dramatic element is changed, Movie Magic Screenwriter actually

provides both television and movie script formatting, in real time,

as you type.

They represent different software packages for different writing tasks

— or different aspects of a single writing task. At the upcoming

roundtable, attendees will be eligible to win one of each of these

writing tools, which are being donated by the single sponsor of the

event, the California-based Screenplay Systems.

— Catherine J. Barrier

Top Of Page
Drug Testing

If your business has drivers with commercial drivers’

licenses (CDL), the Federal Highway Administration requires them to

take alcohol and drug tests. The drivers must also attend two hours

of training on alcohol and drug misuse and indicators used in making

determinations for reasonable suspicion testing. Supervisors of safety-sensitive

drivers must attend at least two hours of a similar training course.

Employers are responsible for implementing and conducting the testing

program, says Scott Sechrist, executive director of the Trenton-based

Metro Employee Assistance Service, an agency that provides the federally

mandated supervisory DOT training. As an alternative to bringing in

an outsider like Sechrist, employers can do the training inhouse or

join a consortium that provides services to all member companies.

For more information on MEAS, call 609-396-5877.

Top Of Page
Bigtime Bio-Ethics

The first-ever international student bioethics conference,

hosted by Princeton University, starts Friday, February 26, and brings

together an array of leading experts in this emerging field. The two-day

conference includes lectures, panel discussions, and policy forums

led by Princeton students and speakers. For information call 609-258-3371.

Opening remarks by Harold T. Shapiro, chairman of the National

Bioethics Advisory Commission and president of Princeton University,

will be followed by keynote lectures by Francis Collins, director

of the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health.

Ian Wilmut, scientist at the Roslin Institute in Scotland and

cloner of the sheep, Dolly, speaks at 8 p.m Friday.

Discussions will focus on "Genetic Engineering and Cloning"

— the different aspects of genetic engineering such as the role

of the press in science reporting, genetic testing, fetal diagnosis,

and the role of the scientist in responsible application of technology.

Gina Kolata, Princeton-based author and science reporter for

the New York Times, will lead one of the precepts.

On Saturday, February 27, Roy Vagelos, chairman of the University

of Pennsylvania board of trustees and former chairman of Merck and

Co., and Steve Fodor, president and CEO of Affymetrix Inc.,

the company that developed the GeneChip system, will be the keynote

speakers. The topic for discussion on the second day, "Bioethics

and International Health," will focus on different aspects of

international health such as clinical trials, standards of care, role

of the FDA, and the responsibilities of physicians.

Other speakers include professors Leon Rosenberg, Lee Silver, Burton

Singer, and Shirley Tilghman from Princeton University; John

Arras and James Childress, from University of Virginia; Daniel

W. Brock, Brown University; Robert M. Donaldson Jr., Yale

Medical School; Norm Fost, University of Wisconsin-Madison;

Rebecca Holmes-Farley, Boston University; Allen Keller,

New York University; Daniel Kevles, California Institute of

Technology; Donald Light, University of Pennsylvania; Ruth

Macklin, Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Greg Pence,

University of Alabama; Lainie Ross, University of Chicago; Mark

Sagoff, University of Maryland; and Bonnie Steinbock, State

University of New York.

Judy Chambers, Monsanto Corporation; Carl Feldbaum, Biotechnology

Industry Organization; Audiey C. Kao, American Medical Association;

and Lois Wingerson, author and editor of HMS Beagle, will also

present their views on the subject.

Top Of Page
Fix-It Workshops

The New Jersey Association of Women Business Owners,

Mercer Chapter, presents two workshops, "Fix-It Smart for Cars"

on Wednesday, February 24, at 5:45 p.m. at Lawrence Lincoln-Mercury,

Route One North; and "Fix-It Smart for Plumbing/Electrical"

on Thursday, March 25, at 5:45 p.m. at the Home Depot in Nassau Park.

Have all your automotive questions answered and learn how cars run,

how to maintain them, how to diagnose trouble, how to check tires

for wear, and how to drive in ice and snow. The Plumbing/Electrical

workshop will teach you how to rewire a lamp, change a light switch,

unstop a drain, fix a running toilet, and fix a leaky faucet.

The cost for attending one workshop is $15; both workshops, $25. Call

Mary Davis at 609-716-8281 for more information.

Top Of Page
Banking’s Future

The Department of Banking and Insurance’s annual Commissioner’s

Symposium, entitled "Financial Services in the New Millennium,"

will be held on Friday, February 19, at 7:30 a.m. at the Hyatt. A

welcome address by Jaynee LaVecchia, commissioner, and opening

remarks by John M. Traier, deputy commissioner will be followed

by a panel discussion on "The Future of Financial Services."

For information and reservations, call 609-292-5064.

Panelists include Peter C. Hagan, Merrill Lynch; Dominic

Mazzagetti, New Jersey Manufacturer’s Bank (now being formed);

Lawrence W. Cohn, of Ryan Beck; and T. Joseph Semrod,

of Summit Bank. Also participating will be regulators from the Federal

Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal Reserve Bank, the

Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Thrift

Supervision. A conference of State Bank Supervisors John "Buz"

Gorman and John Ryan on "The Role of the States in Financial

Modernization," will follow the panels.

Christie Sciacca, assistant director for policy for the Division

of Supervision of the FDIC, will be the keynote luncheon speaker.

Top Of Page
Parking Cash Out

More than 95 percent of American workers park free on

the job because their employers own or lease spaces. This hidden benefit

encourages solo driving and contributes to traffic congestion and

air pollution.

Keep Middlesex Moving (KMM), Middlesex County’s transportation management

association, has undertaken a study of how employers in Middlesex

County manage parking on behalf of the Route 1 Corridor Collaborative.

The study, to improve mobility in the Route 1 Corridor between New

Brunswick and Woodbridge, will help identify true costs of parking

and introduce a concept called Parking Cash Out.

A nationwide study conducted by Donald Shoup, the director of

the Institute of Transportation at UCLA, concluded that American firms

provide 84.4 million free parking spaces to employees. Companies with

fewer than 50 employees, like many firms in Middlesex County, rent

83 percent of their parking spaces.

Parking Cash Out allows employers to give employees eligible for free

parking the option of using the parking spaces or take the parking

subsidy in cash. Employers save money by providing fewer spaces and

employees can use the money for any purpose but must select another

means of getting to work.

Shoup’s study in California shows that the percentage of employees

who drove alone to work dropped from 76 to 63 percent, and carpooling

rose from 14 to 23 percent. Transit use increased three percent and

more people turned to walking and biking to work. For more information

about Parking Cash Out, contact KMM at 732-745-4490.

Top Of Page
Roberts on Impeachment

Most volunteer organizations run their business without

paying much attention to the official rules of parliamentary procedure.

Why get bogged down in the minutiae when everybody is getting along

well with each other and you are trying to get things done?

It’s when everybody isn’t getting along with each other that you need

to bring out the rule book, so the majority can squash the unruly

minority in a dignified manner. Millions of Americans learned how

this works during the impeachment hearings. But by then it is usually

too late for your organization to start insisting on the classic 700-page

book "Robert’s Rules of Order," the standard — and just

about only — text on the fine points of conducting a meeting.

Even attorneys respect Robert’s Rules.

It’s better to use parliamentary procedure from the get-go. Robert

McConnell of Muncie, Indiana, is the latest rules expert to rewrite

the famed Roberts’ book.

McConnell used to be a college professor of telecommunications but,

five years ago, got embroiled in faculty politics and had to leave.

Rather than find another faculty position somewhere else, he founded

a parliamentarian-based publishing house, to produce books and videos.

His $64.50 video has sold 9,000 copies to libraries, schools, churches,

and school boards. His book, published by Macmillan in the Webster’s

New World series, is "Robert’s Rules of Order: Simplified and

Applied" (1998, $8.95, 800-532-4017), and it has been widely accepted.His

website ( has a list of frequently asked


McConnell has struck a good balance between being clear and including

enough detail. "If it gets too simple then pretty soon it doesn’t

have enough information," says McConnell.

The recording secretary often makes the most egregious errors, he

says. "They don’t know exactly what to put in the minutes, which

are an important legal document. Sometimes they put too much in."

In the event of a lawsuit, the minutes and the bylaws must be turned

over to the court. They should contain a record of what is done, not

what is said.

Treasurer’s reports can never be accepted as read. "The treasurer’s

report has to be audited by somebody qualified before it is accepted;

it is presented and filed until it is audited," says McConnell.

Of course small meetings (groups of under 12) can be conducted less

formally. But if you are going to be the chairman of a large meeting,

you can prepare your "script" in advance, using one of McConnell’s


It may sound pompous to conduct a meeting in the third person ("the

chair rules the motion out of order") but this custom has a purpose.

"Sometimes people arrogate too much power to themselves,"

he says. "It is meant to keep emotions and personalities out of

it, if hot issues come up." To prevent personal attacks, one member

should ask the chair to review whether the other member is making

a mistake. That’s how the congresspeople sound polite when they are

angry. They use such phrases as "if the member would look at the

evidence perhaps the member would reach another conclusion."

Top Of Page
Scholarship at SCILS

FMC Corporation and Ching Yuan Volpp of Princeton have

established a $10,000 endowment for students at Rutgers’ School of

Communication, Information, and Library Studies. The award, in honor

of Volpp’s parents, Tung-Li and Hui-Hsi Yuan, will benefit

students who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the field

of library and information science in China. Volpp’s brother, Cheng

Yuan also contributed toward the award.

Tung-Li Yuan, largely responsible for establishing the National Library

of Beijing, moved to the U.S. in the 1940s and held positions at the

Stanford Research Institute and the Library of Congress.

Next Story

Corrections or additions?

This page is published by

— the web site for U.S. 1 Newspaper in Princeton, New Jersey.

Facebook Comments