How Bombardier Inc. scored a Bulls Eye

When travelling anywhere in the world on land, sea or air, chances are, you will travel courtesy of something made by aerospace and transportation company Bombardier based in Montreal, Canada. In 2009, it set itself the goal of carbon neutrality by 2020. In other words, it hoped to remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it was putting in.

By 2012, Bombardier concluded it was not going to become carbon neutral by 2020 at its current rate of progress. It discounted purchasing carbon offsets because it believed it would serve its interests better by introducing new energy-saving products to market faster. That way, it would achieve its objectives vicariously through the decisions of its customers. But that was not all that forward-thinking Bombardier did. It also set itself the following inward-facing objectives:

  • Reduce carbon footprint through efficient use of energy and less emissions
  • Involve the Bombardier workforce to raise awareness of behaving responsibly
  • Implement sustainable initiatives to further reduce the company carbon footprint

Specific Examples

At its Wichita site, Bombardier (a) fitted a white roof and insulation reducing summer energy consumption by 40%, (b) added an energy recovery wheel to balance air circulation, and (c) introduced skylights with integrated controllers to lower energy consumption by lighting.

At Mirabel, it enhanced the flue-gas management system by adding a pressure differential damper.

At Belfast, Bombardier (a) optimised HVAC systems to reduce pressure on chilling and air-handling plants, (b) installed solar panels on the roof, and (c) obtained approval for a waste-to-energy plant that will convert 120,000 tonnes of non-recyclable waste material annually.

By the end of 2013, Bombardier had already beaten its immediate targets by:

  • Reducing energy consumption by 11% against 2009
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emission by 23% against 2009
  • Reducing water consumption by 6% against 2012

Future Plans

Bombardier will never stop striving to reach its goal of carbon neutrality by 2020. It has a number of other projects in the pipeline waiting for scarce resources to fund them. During 2014, it continued with energy efficient upgrades at its French, Hungarian, Polish, Swiss, and UK plants.

These include consumption monitoring systems, LEDs for workshop lighting, new heating systems, and outdoor energy-saving tower lighting. The monitoring is important because it helps Bombardier focus effort, and provides measured proof of progress.

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The Better Way of Applying Benford’s Law for Fraud Detection

Applying Benford’s Law on large collections of data is an effective way of detecting fraud. In this article, we?ll introduce you to Benford’s Law, talk about how auditors are employing it in fraud detection, and introduce you to a more effective way of integrating it into an IT solution.

Benford’s Law in a nutshell

Benford’s Law states that certain data sets – including certain accounting numbers – exhibit a non-uniform distribution of first digits. Simply put, if you gather all the first digits (e.g. 8 is the first digit of ?814 and 1 is the first digit of ?1768) of all the numbers that make up one of these data sets, the smallest digits will appear more frequently than the larger ones.

That is, according to Benford’s Law,

1 should comprise roughly 30.1% of all first digits;
2 should be 17.6%;
3 should be 12.5%;
4 should be 9.7%, and so on.

Notice that the 1s (ones) occur far more frequently than the rest. Those who are not familiar with Benford’s Law tend to assume that all digits should be distributed uniformly. So when fraudulent individuals tinker with accounting data, they may end up putting in more 9s or 8s than there actually should be.

Once an accounting data set is found to show a large deviation from this distribution, then auditors move in to make a closer inspection.

Benford’s Law spreadsheets and templates

Because Benford’s Law has been proven to be effective in discovering unnaturally-behaving data sets (such as those manipulated by fraudsters), many auditors have created simple software solutions that apply this law. Most of these solutions, owing to the fact that a large majority of accounting departments use spreadsheets, come in the form of spreadsheet templates.

You can easily find free downloadable spreadsheet templates that apply Benford’s Law as well as simple How-To articles that can help you to implement the law on your own existing spreadsheets. Just Google “Benford’s law template” or “Benford’s law spreadsheet”.

I suggest you try out some of them yourself to get a feel on how they work.

The problem with Benford’s Law when used on spreadsheets

There’s actually another reason why I wanted you to try those spreadsheet templates and How-To’s yourself. I wanted you to see how susceptible these solutions are to trivial errors. Whenever you work on these spreadsheet templates – or your own spreadsheets for that matter – when implementing Benford’s Law, you can commit mistakes when copy-pasting values, specifying ranges, entering formulas, and so on.

Furthermore, some of the data might be located in different spreadsheets, which can likewise by found in different departments and have to be emailed for consolidation. The departments who own this data will have to extract the needed data from their own spreadsheets, transfer them to another spreadsheet, and send them to the person in-charge of consolidation.

These activities can introduce errors as well. That’s why we think that, while Benford’s Law can be an effective tool for detecting fraud, spreadsheet-based working environments can taint the entire fraud detection process.

There?s actually a better IT solution where you can use Benford’s Law.

Why a server-based solution works better

In order to apply Benford’s Law more effectively, you need to use it in an environment that implements better controls than what spreadsheets can offer. What we propose is a server-based system.

In a server-based system, your data is placed in a secure database. People who want to input data or access existing data will have to go through access controls such as login procedures. These systems also have features that log access history so that you can trace who accessed which and when.

If Benford’s Law is integrated into such a system, there would be no need for any error-prone copy-pasting activities because all the data is stored in one place. Thus, fraud detection initiatives can be much faster and more reliable.

You can get more information on this site regarding the disadvantages of spreadsheets. We can also tell you more about the advantages of server application solutions.

Field service and improved visibility

A manager is someone who has control over a company. They are given the responsibility of overseeing what the company does and making important decisions. The manager is the most important person in the empire and needs to be in the know at all times. Not what happened a day ago but in real-time and from any place.

Information is necessary for this to happen. It needs to be concise, brief and straightforward. Ideally, access to job status, location information, customer information, notifications and location information should be on the palms of their hands.

To sum it all up, there should be fluid communication among personnel in the field. Information should be accessed easily from one place as it flows to another to maintain steady two-way communication. This is possible with automation meaning that no amount of data will be left unseen or unused because of paperwork that was never handed over or looked into, reducing the chance of misinformation or missing information to a minimum.

Ways improved visibility will help your business through Field Service

Organisations using field services will agree that improved visibility has more business benefits and the real question is what aspect needs improving rather than discussing the benefits.

Real-time visibility

Managers need to be in the know from anywhere at any time. The manager needs information about the company. The need not to be physically present to have an idea of what’s going on. They should know everything at all times, from what was planned for the day to real-time events.

All this information should be easily accessed from one central point and should contain everything about the company and other relevant information.

Extending the back office into the field

This two-way communication is virtually irreplaceable. At any time, the information should flow among technicians in the field and those in the back office. This will help to have a better idea of how to manage the workload and come up with solutions to some work-related issues.

Everyone in the team should be informed and be up to speed about real-time events. Keeping everyone updated improves visibility because they can make updates and decisions based on the kind of information they get.

No more lost paperwork

Managing paper trail can be quite a hassle for organisations. With tons of workload, there can be many delays meaning that some information might be missed or forgotten. People might also choose not to turn up for work for days on end and can affect how much info is processed. Some work can be left undone, and work not invoiced.

When organisations use field service management services, information is fed only once and everything else is done automatically. Say goodbye to lags or relying on last month?s data. Work will move faster because people will have more time to focus on important things rather than chasing an endless paper trail.

Business intelligence

Field service management technology will let you know what is being done in the field and with such an abundance of data, will make sound decisions for the business.

Every decision is hinged on cold facts. Information needs to be easily accessed and filtered into the right categories so that sound business decisions are made from the collected data.

Growing revenue

The abundance of real-time information and improved visibility can determine whether a business will grow or not. Each piece of information can show trends that are critical for any business to improve. Trends show how each sector is doing and sheds more light into specific areas that need a total overhaul. This may include improving customer service, products on retail or hiring more technicians.

Without information, a company is one step closer to going out of business. Every action should be geared to increase the revenue and this starts by making the right choices.

Visibility when working offline

Working offline is an issue that can affect visibility. Sometimes agents will need to work in areas that have little network coverage or are deep down working in tunnels or are around heavy machines and turbines. Field service solutions are built for the mobile environment and for workers who may find themselves in non-connected areas so that they can still use their device while offline. This makes sure that there is no loss of information while working in-field


Certainly, business is constrained to its environments and if the demand changes it should prove to be flexible enough to adjust to changes as they happen. Field service solutions operations like schedule need to update instantly. Once activities start rolling, nothing should create lags in the schedule so that operations flow seamlessly at all time.

Field workers can then make updates and document changes easily on the job site directly on their device by using responsive site menus, drastically saving time while feeding data and complete orders.

Improved customer service

It is not a clich? to say that the customer is always right. With real-time information, both field service and back-office technicians can improve customer relations and satisfaction. With a unified system of sharing information like the ERPs and CRMs, the field officer can know more about specific clients, their history and other data to know more about what should be done in current and future orders. This means that better decisions will be made for each customer.

How improved visibility benefits different parts of the organisation

Improved visibility in all areas of the business makes information more accessible. Here are some of the benefits that various sects of a business can get from improved visibility.

? The business owner
The manager owns the company and can access all information with just a single tap. A lot of data can be used to analyse the health of the venture. This includes revenue, inventory, customer surveys, employee hours, invoices and customer data.
Profitability is increased by putting more emphasis on customer satisfaction and improving the quality of end products and services.

? The service manager
The service manager can see what is going on in the field in real-time, and look into measures that can improve the productivity of staff members in various departments.
And with workflow automation, time-saving is at the maximum because there is less paperwork consequently improving scheduling and job completion rates.

? Service administrator/ dispatcher
For the team in the office, they can assign tasks faster. Scheduling is automatically done and updated in real-time. It eliminates the need for paperwork and leaves more time to be productive on other errands.

? The field technician
Improved visibility for a field worker means that they can do their best in any task. They can share or get critical information about orders and customers. This drastically improves job completion rates and customer satisfaction.

? HR
Live information can be used to track certain orders, the time it takes to complete orders, and the number of staff required in the organisation. Such data can be used in HR to reduce payroll errors and erroneous overtime costs.

? Finance
Field service management software can also benefit the finance team by automation of invoices. A work order can be tracked from start to the end and invoiced immediately to retain faster payments. Relevant data can be used to track revenue and expenditures, and costs.

Real-time visibility gives a company many solutions to manage the workload. In the end, visibility is also useful in increasing revenue and a smooth transition of information for the company.


In the past, viruses were created with the sole purpose of wreaking havoc on the infected systems. A large fraction of today’s malware, on the other hand, are designed to generate revenues for the creator. Spyware, botnets, and keyloggers steal information from your system or control it so that someone else can profit. In other words, the motivation for making them is now more attractive than before.

Keyloggers can reveal your usernames, passwords, PIN numbers, and other authentication information to their creators by recording your key strokes. This information can then be used for breaking into various accounts: credit cards, payment programs (like PayPal), online banks, and others. You’re right, keyloggers are among the favourite tools of individuals involved in identity theft.

Much like the viruses of old, most present day malware drain the resources, such as memory and hard disk space, of contaminated systems; sometimes forcing them to crash. They can also degrade network performance and in extreme cases, may even cause a total collapse.

If that’s not daunting enough, imagine an outbreak in your entire organisation. The damage could easily cost your organisation thousands of euros to repair. That’s not even counting yet the value of missed opportunities.

Entry points for malware range from optical disks, flash drives, and of course, the Internet. That means, your doors could be wide open to these attacks at this very moment.

Now, we’re not here to promise total invulnerability, as only an unplugged computer locked up in a vault will ever be totally safe from malware. Instead, this is what we’ll do:

  • Perform an assessment of your computer usage practices and security policies. Software and hardware alone won’t do the trick.
  • Identify weak points as well as poor practices and propose changes wherever necessary. Weak points and poor practices range from the use of perennial passwords and keeping old, unused accounts to poorly configured firewalls.
  • Install malware scanners and firewalls and configure them for maximal protection with minimal effect on network and system performance.
  • Implement regular security patches.
  • Conduct a regular inspection on security policy compliance as well as a review of the policies to see if they are up to date with the latest threats.
  • Keep an audit trail for future use in forensic activities.
  • Establish a risk management system.
  • Apply data encryption where necessary.
  • Implement a backup system to make sure that, in a worst case scenario, archived data is safe.
  • Propose data replication so as to mitigate the after effects of data loss and to ensure your company can proceed with ‘business as usual’.

Once we’ve worked with you to make all these happen, you’ll be able to sleep better.

Other defences we’re capable of putting up include:

Ready to work with Denizon?