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What Does the Future Hold for Your Retail Business with Fintech?

by Admin - on Jun 8th 2017 - Comments Off on What Does the Future Hold for Your Retail Business with Fintech?

Retail Commerce sales chart on a computer monitorFinancial technology is on the cutting-edge of retail business. Whether you run a brick-and-mortar shop or an online store, you’ll recognize the various ways consumers transact with your brand.

Fintech platform Vyze relates that customers expect financing experience in-store to be simple and stress-free. Fortunately, this year’s trends in fintech gives way to improvements in accessibility, speed, and security in every transaction.

Efficiency, Consistency in Buying Cycles

Consumers are buying differently today—online and offline. With unstoppable mobile use for almost every transaction, the fintech industry responds with better systems and tools that improve the shopping experience.

The focus here is on reducing the friction in the customer journey, from shopping to paying. This means personalizing the buying cycle to streamline it from the customer’s perspective. To do this, businesses evaluate the customer journey, look for points of improvement and find new methods on how to further enhance customer transaction.

For every stage in the customer journey, your shoppers can use an app. If they want to add items to their shopping cart, but checkout hours later, there’s an app for that. If your shoppers prefer a highly personalized experience, they can allow access to their social media profile so you can create a customer profile. A step ahead of that is contextual commerce enabling shoppers to purchase direct from their social media accounts.

The Rise of Digital Payments

As technology evolves and investors fund startup fintech companies, businesses and customers gain from innovation. Such innovation allows for shops to offer, for example, flexible financing options (e.g., buy now pay later, installment plans, etc.) to consumers in a quick, simple process. Amazon is one brand that uses this strategy.

Today’s payment systems also work on implementing varying levels of security to ensure the identity of the users. This is done through authentication measures that protect both the business and the customer.

Facial Recognition Adoption in Mobile Payments

With most payment transactions occurring online, it’s only natural for customers to demand security and protection for their information. Biometrics scanning could provide that security. The future may eliminate the need to type in a password or pin number to authorize payment for purchases. Samsung is, in fact, releasing a device that combines fingerprint, facial, and iris detection to confirm users.

Fintech continues to emerge as an invaluable partner for stores. Whether it’s personalizing experiences or securing payments, fintech platforms can custom-fit your retail business for success.

How to Keep Your Small Business Safe from Cyberthreats

by Admin - on May 24th 2017 - Comments Off on How to Keep Your Small Business Safe from Cyberthreats

Privacy protection conceptCyberthreats are real, and they are attacking everyone including small businesses. The story does not end there, as they will get worse over time.

As a small enterprise, you do not have the money to pay for a security analyst or buy advanced tech, but you can take these practical tips to increase your online protection:

Focus on your organization

Most of cyber attacks are inside jobs, and they can be deliberate or inadvertent. If you are a growing business, choose your people well and limit their access to servers, data, and computer. Invest in quality training to teach your staff about security.

Create an effective BYOD policy

Many small businesses are open to BYOD (bring your own device) as a way of reducing mobile costs, improve collaboration, and promote practical remote work. The problem with this is it can potentially increase cyberthreat risk, especially if your employees use their devices with unsecured connections.

To mitigate that, make a secure BYOD policy and monitor its implementation and compliance.

Use a secure virtual private network

If you are sending many data and media files online, it is time to spend on a secure virtual private network service, such as the ones provided by privatetunnel.com. VPN allows you to use the Internet more securely as data travels encrypted, making it hard for hackers to steal.

This service is usually subscription based and does not require a contract, so you have more flexibility on costs.

Change your passwords

Even newbie hackers can tap into your system if you have a very weak password protection. The golden rule is to create a password of at least eight characters composed of letters, numbers, and symbols. Do not forget to change it every three months.

As they say, prevention will always be better than cure. Protect your business today to avoid dealing with serious financial losses (and a damaged reputation) later.

How to Keep Your Work Area Clean and Safe

by Admin - on Apr 20th 2017 - Comments Off on How to Keep Your Work Area Clean and Safe

Rear view of a businessman using a computer in a cluttered workspaceKeeping your work area clean should be your priority, especially if you have a workshop type of space. The smaller your work area, the more conscious you should be about keeping it clean.

Avoid clutter

When you leave things lying around, you may waste time looking for them on the next use. What’s more, your work area becomes cluttered. Instead of freely moving to every corner of your work area, you have to step over or push aside clutter to move. The solution? Have a designated space for everything.

Use enclosures

Dust can quickly build up on every surface in your work area especially when you work with wood. It can be hard to keep things clean. To prevent wood filings and sawdust from affecting the entire work area, use an enclosure for specific tools and purposes. Another way to limit the dust is by using a dust collector booth. Not only can this device protect your work area from clutter, but it can also reduce the risk of fire.

Vacuum and wipe down

Having a vacuum cleaner on standby is an easy way to clean certain spots. An industrial grade or professional vacuum cleaner can do the job better than a household counterpart can, especially if you have a large work area. After vacuuming, do a wipe-down of surfaces to catch the dust and dirt that you may have missed. Use a safe chemical for disinfecting, or simply use water mixed with vinegar.

Clean up the mess immediately

Spills can cause accidents. To reduce such risks, wipe or mop away the mess at the soonest. Don’t forget to wash and wring your mop in each use. A wet mop or rag will not absorb spills properly.

Lost or misplaced tools, difficulty of access, accidents, fires, and many other issues can stem from neglecting cleanliness. Follow these tips to prevent them from happening.

Three Common Issues Project Managers Encounter

by Admin - on Mar 10th 2017 - Comments Off on Three Common Issues Project Managers Encounter

Project Management Software Project management is an incredibly complex discipline that requires efficient decision making and execution. Since it is such a complex field, it’s easy to make a mistake and watch your project go over budget.

While the use of project management software and hosting can help streamline the process, human error and external factors may still affect the outcome. Some issues, however, are more common than others.

Here are some of the most common issues you may encounter as a project manager:

1. Not Getting the Right People on the Job

Resource allocation is not just about the physical materials that will go into your project — you need to get the right people on the job too. Ideally, you should be choosing people based on their experience and skill level. Realistically speaking, it is not always implemented, because you also have to select people based on their availability.

Not getting the right people for the job may have potentially catastrophic consequences on your project.

2. Not Getting Everyone to Commit to the Project

When it comes to managing a project, employee engagement plays a large part in its success. You want everyone to be completely on board with the project and passionate about its success.

Communication and clarity are important — clearly define each person’s role and their responsibilities, to avoid confusion. Explain the payoff of the project itself, as you have to show them that everyone has a stake in it.

3. Having too Many Ongoing Projects

Though it is tempting to work on multiple projects at once, it is counterproductive.  You cannot give each project the focus that it deserves. This only leads to productivity losses.

Instead, try to reduce the number of open tasks to free up some time. Reducing the work may improve completion rates.

Project management requires you to make quick decisions. Minimize these mistakes to improve success rates and to stay in budget.

Is Your Facility Prepared for An Emergency?

by Admin - on Jan 13th 2017 - Comments Off on Is Your Facility Prepared for An Emergency?

secuirty measures in Singapore
Singapore is preparing for an attack. At least, not for an imminent one. But authorities are doing drills in the city as part of the government’s counter-terrorism exercise. While there isn’t a clear and present danger, the training helps troops, volunteers and residents act accordingly, should an attack occur. Can your facility do the same?

A Simple Plan

Your facility may not be the target of an attack, but certain hazards could lead to an accident. The extent of the accident will determine the scale of the emergency response. And the outcome, the damage and injuries or casualties, will then depend on how well your organisation responds to the incident.

A good plan that’s relevant to your operations and resources is a proper start. The next step is to let everyone know that an emergency plan exists, with corresponding procedures for every kind of incident — from a chemical leak to a fire.

One example to follow is the Shell chemical leak and the ExxonMobil chemical plant fire. Both oil companies managed to mitigate the effect of the incidents, with no injuries. Both also continue to improve safety protocols.

Designed for Preparedness

Part of your emergency plan should include facility improvements or upgrades. Mark emergency exits with glow-in-the-dark signs and anti-skid tapes. The same safety precautions your organisation applies to avoid slips, trips or falls could also work in emergencies. Anti-skid floor tapes and visible warning signs can reduce injuries during an evacuation.

To ensure your facility’s emergency preparedness, conduct regular inspections of equipment, structures and vehicles. You should report faulty equipment and structural defects. Make sure relevant personnel know critical valves and switches, for gas or electricity. Also, perform drills and assign emergency responsibilities to employees.

Emergency preparedness helps your organisation secure the safety of employees and the business. Evaluate your facility and existing procedures now. And plan for any disastrous event in the future.

Disabling Your Car Alarm When Your Remote Malfunctions

by Admin - on Oct 22nd 2016 - Comments Off on Disabling Your Car Alarm When Your Remote Malfunctions

Car RemoteIt is a given that any device needing batteries to work is bound to give out at any time sooner or later. One of these devices is your car remote. These remotes serve to lock and unlock the doors of your car from a distance. In doing so, it also disables your car’s anti-theft alarm system. What are you to do, though, when the batteries of your car remote die out and you cannot unlock your car door without setting off the alarm?

Having this happen to you is a noisy and embarrassing situation to be in – one that oftentimes causes panic. In the unfortunate event that this does happen to you, the tendency for you to break the remote out of frustration is more than likely. Pitching your car remote towards the ground and stepping on it will not solve the situation. Your blaring alarm won’t just get tired and stop all of a sudden.

Remote Pro, for example, cites the parts of a remote that you can break and replace. These are the remote’s key, its shell, a screw, the electronics, buttons and the logo or emblem. So, before your car alarm goes haywire, you should know what to do.

Here Are the Things You Can Try Out in Disabling Your Car Alarm:

  1. Use the key in manually unlocking the driver’s side door. The car alarm may turn off when you open the door. In any case, try unlocking and unlocking the door manually, as this may disable the alarm’s blaring since you are opening the door ‘legally’ with a key.
  2. If the alarm refuses to go off even with the driver’s door open, try starting the car with the ignition key. This showcases enough authority that there is no auto theft taking place. Most car alarms should power down with this.
  3. Lastly, if starting the car does not stop the alarm from sounding off, take out your owner’s manual and start reading. Go straight to the Table of Contents to check out which page you have to read up on and do it fast. When all else fails, go work on the fuse box or disconnect the battery.

These suggestions are taxing, but they are effective ways to stop your car alarm from disrupting the entire neighbourhood.

3 Outrageous Things Some Employees Do When They Thought Nobody’s Watching

by Admin - on Oct 11th 2016 - Comments Off on 3 Outrageous Things Some Employees Do When They Thought Nobody’s Watching

EmployeesThere are some inappropriate things happening in the office, which you should know as these could affect the reliability of your business operations. It’s your job to discover what these are and apply fitting remedies.

Among the many headaches that an office has to contend with is a lazy employee. Unfortunately, there is one in every organisation and it’s the reason why some businesses are losing money. If you believe that all your personnel are always doing their best to achieve the company goals, well and good. However, it might be beneficial to know what your employees are up to when they are alone, or when they think no one’s watching.

1) Looking busy while sleeping

It’s a hectic Friday and everyone is doing all they can to keep up with orders and invoices, especially that one employee who you always see with his head buried in front of the monitor — or is he? According to Forbes, almost one in every six employees falls asleep on the job. This does not automatically mean that an employee is lazy. They might have had a rough night or worked well until the wee hours of the morning the previous workday. To remedy the situation, you might want to talk to your employees quietly or setup a nap area for them to recharge.

2) There’s a game master in the toilet

Some employees would often excuse themselves to go to the men’s or ladies’ room — to do what? See for yourself and you might chance upon them, sitting on the toilet while playing the latest smartphone apps. Though, of course, you would not want to open every toilet door and expect to see them attempting to win a match or get high scores. It’s enough to know this possibility, so you can single out the odd ones and catch them red-handedly.

3) The (out)standing employee

Another type of worker that you must be aware of is the (out)standing employee, the one who is always out in the corridors standing and doing nothing. You might see some of these (out)standing employees checking the walls and windows as if looking for something when you chance upon them.

4) How Can You Help Them Shape Up?

Your employees have strong qualities, or else you would not have hired them in the first place. Maybe they may have lost their passion for doing their tasks temporarily, as they lack a goal. In this case, JobLogic and other experts say that you might want to use a job software system that could help increase efficiency and set goals for their tasks. You may likewise implement a reward system for those who were able to reach the metrics you set.

One of the most difficult tasks of management is dealing with employees whose job performance is not what you expect. You need to discuss their shortcomings with them, find out what’s wrong, and help them fix their issues. This might be what they need to reform and get back on their feet.

DIY 101: How to Replace a Broken Light Switch

by Admin - on Sep 26th 2016 - Comments Off on DIY 101: How to Replace a Broken Light Switch

There will come a time when your light switch will fail you. When that fixing a busted light switchhappens, it pays to know how to replace it on your own. But first, make certain that the switch is the real problem and not the light bulb.

Below are some tips to help make the job easier (save buying an electrical test tool).

  • Turn off the electrical circuit that feeds power to the switch. To do this, remove the fuse in the electrical service panel or turn off the breaker that feeds power to the light switch.
  • Next, remove all the screws that hold the cover plate in place. Use the appropriate screwdriver for this, and use gentle pressure for pulling out the worn light switch to make certain that you don’t damage the old electrical wiring.
  • Once you’ve pulled out the switch, inspect the condition of the wiring and check the markings. Note that a switch is usually connected to a black wire or hot wire. In some instances, it’s connected to a white wire with a black tape and the end to indicate that it is a hot wire.
  • Detach the old light switch by detaching the connected black wires. Do not do anything to the white or neutral wire and the bare or green wires, which are the ground wires.
  • You can now install the replacement switch. If the wiring’s ground wire is bare, connect that the switch’s green terminal screw and then connect the black wires to the new switch’s terminals. Push the replacement switch into the box and then secure it with the screws located at the switch’s bottom and top portions.
  • The last step is to secure the cover plate and then turn on the breaker to send power to the new light switch. Voila! You’re done.

Before attempting to replace the light switch, however, ensure that you’ve really turned off the breaker. Tools like a voltage detector are perfect for this. It’s inexpensive, easy to use, and could safeguard you against electrocution.

Important Facts to Know about Battery Testing

by Admin - on Sep 8th 2016 - Comments Off on Important Facts to Know about Battery Testing

BatteriesBatteries are essential in almost all energy systems involving an intermittent power source. We use batteries in most of our equipment whether for home or business. A helpful and cost-saving component, batteries must also undergo testing every once in a while.

Why is it Important to Test Battery?

Whether it is in a vehicle or a digital device, it is always important to test battery as to determine its capacity and safety of users. Battery testing also allows you to determine if they will work properly when required under normal conditions or an emergency. Remember that even if you are not using a battery, it can still lose its capacity.

The procedure involved in battery testing is straightforward, but by no means simple. It is possible, however, to simplify the process by using safe and accurate electrical testing equipment.

Different Battery Testing Methods

There are many ways to test battery, but the most common is using multimeters, voltage detectors, or a battery impedance tester. Engineers typically use this equipment as they can provide accurate results. It is important to remember, however, that these gears are made for different uses. Make sure to check the kind of battery you are about to test to prevent battery deterioration and human injury. Failing battery test equipment can also destroy whichever appliance or equipment it plugs on.

Things to Ask Before Testing a Battery

You already know the testing method ideal for your concern. But do you really know what you’re testing for? Here are some questions to help you out.

  • How much charge is left?
  • Has there been any deterioration in performance?
  • How long will it still last?
  • Does it generate interference or electrical noise?
  • Is it affected by interference or electrical noise?

Asking these questions will not only make battery testing easier, but also beneficial for you and your client. The answers to these queries may not always be exact, but it will allow you to give a quick estimate of the battery’s quality.

Practice battery management before it deteriorates and possibly harms your equipment. The process is simple, especially when you know which method to use.

eCommerce Business: What’s Your Shipping Strategy?

by Admin - on Aug 10th 2016 - Comments Off on eCommerce Business: What’s Your Shipping Strategy?

eCommerce BusinessesThe main challenge when determining the right shipping options for your eCommerce business is figuring out a solution that will lower your margins, but still remain appealing to consumers and profitable to you. According to several studies, the “shopping cart abandonment” phenomenon occurs when a potential customer sees his or her cart, and sees the high shipping and handling fees associated with his or her purchase. To prevent this from happening to you, here are some ideas on shipping strategies that could work for you.

Free Shipping

Free shipping, exclusively for domestic orders, is an excellent way to attract customers. But based on your margins, this could likewise potentially lower your profits. To offer free shipping, you’ll have to either relatively increase your prices or absorb the costs. Many successful eCommerce businesses offer free shipping, but only if customers purchase a minimum quantity of items or reach a specific purchase amount. This will potentially increase your average order quantity and aid you in getting money to cover the shipping costs.

The Flat Rate

You could offer flat rates for each package, or for order totals and weight ranges. However, you’ll need to do some work first since you’ll have to determine the average shipping cost of your packages. Whether you offer flat rates or not, you should regularly perform this calculation anyway to ensure that you won’t be overcharging or undercharging your customers.

Real-time Fees

Some eCommerce sites offer shipping quotes in real time, so your customers will know exactly how much shipping and handling fees are with your chosen carrier. This is a great option if you’re looking to build a more trustworthy relationship with existing and new customers because they’ll see for themselves that you’re not increasing prices for shipping or your products to ship their purchases. It’s likewise a viable option for oversized or bulky packages.

Note, however, that you will have to figure out your product statistics and the best way you can ship the items so you could better make a profitable and strategic decision. For this, you’ll require the right shipping programs and other relevant tools so that you can accurately perform your calculations. Lastly, remember that not all eCommerce businesses are the same and you will only determine the right shipping option for you through good old trial and error method.