Thursday, October 4, 2012

Simple Ways On How To Make The Most Of Your Money

Knowledge of money is very important to your survival. Our ancestors had to learn to deal with money the hard way. This is a great lesson that has been lost to this generation, because they have never experienced such hardship. By putting these financial tips into action, you be be able to get the most from your money.
Get comfortable with living without the assistance of credit cards. Also find ways to reduce interest payments on other loans such as car loans and your mortgage. Paying interest is a huge waste of your hard-earned money, so work on eliminating it.
Re-evaluate your insurance policies frequently. Your insurance premiums might be too high when compared to your needs or budget. There may be cheaper policies available, or you may have an insurance policy that is unnecessary. If you cut back on insurance coverage, you can save money to use somewhere else.
Keep at three months income in this kind of fund. Take the first ten percent of your paycheck and put it into a savings account with a high-yield.
Be open to the idea of purchasing store brand items. Often, the generic or store brand is less expensive but similar or even better than the name brand. It usually consists of the same ingredients too. Switching to these products can generate significant savings on your monthly grocery bill.
Keep a handle on personal financial issues by charting a specific course for the coming years. It can be quite motivating to form a financial plan, as it provides you with concrete reasons for working harder, saving and avoiding needless spending.
You should always get rid of your financial documents in a safe manner. A shredder is the best way to dispose of documents. Not throwing away your personal documents can make you a target of identity theft. There is nothing paranoid about taking the proper steps to conceal your financial information.
If you're in a marriage, which ever one of you has the strongest credit rating should be the one applying for any loans and credit cards. Build your credit up by using and paying off your credit card regularly. This is especially important if you are trying to repair bad credit. After your credit is improved, it will be possible to apply for joint credit.
By carefully governing your cash inflow and outflow, it will be easier to manage your situation. Know what you make and what you spend and look into how well your property is performing. Be certain to have a firm budget for your property in order to use it as a guide.
It may be better to set money aside in an emergency fund before paying off your debt, especially, if the debt was acquired from using credit cards or business checks in an emergency. In determining an appropriate reserve amount, consider what sorts of events often require substantial outlays of money, including dental or medical emergencies, car repairs and household maintenance issues.
Never spend as much as you make. Consumers who spend all or more money than they make tend to borrow to get the money back. This means that they will never build any wealth because they spend it before they even have it. Calculate the amount that you bring home, and design a budget that spends less than your total take-home pay.
Establish a monthly cash allowance for yourself can keep you from spending too much money on incidentals. Use the budget to purchase things that you want. When you hit your budget limit for the month, you should understand that you are done with entertainment purchases until the next month's budget begins. It helps you to enjoy your money on smaller things while not harming your budget.
Put all of your payments and bills on your calendar. Put each fixed payment on its due date so that you won't lose track of what you are supposed to pay when. This way you will know when you have a payment that is coming up by looking on your calendar instead of you relying on having the bill in front of you! This can help you budget better and avoid late fees.
Educating yourself is a lifelong process that pays off in the long run. A college graduate has a lifetime earning potential that is almost double that of a high school graduate or a dropout. Higher education is a great way to improve your chances of earning a significantly higher income than would otherwise be possible.
Now that you've read this article, you should have a better understanding of personal finance. With what you have went over here, you will find that there isn't too much to having a stable future, financially. This will take some determination on your part, but the payoff of a sound financial footing will be well worth it.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

To Plan and Select Meeting Rooms for Your Business Meeting

Business meetings can be staff meetings, sales presentations or business proposals to potential investors. When you have an important business meeting coming up, you need to make sure that everything is perfect if you want to make the proper impression. That is why you should take the time to find the right room and use the proper steps to create your perfect meeting.
Multimedia Presentations
Your meeting rooms need to be able to accommodate multimedia presentations. That means having a screen to project on to and a monitor to connect a computer to. The room should be arranged so that everyone can see the presentation and the presentation needs to be large enough to be clearly seen by everyone in the room.
Internet Connection
Social media and Internet tools are important parts of the new age of business meetings. Not all of your attendees that want to attend your meeting are going to be able to be there in person. But you can still allow important people to be part of your meeting by having an Internet connection and video-enabled computer in the meeting room.
The right kind of computer will allow people to use video conferencing services to see what is going on in the meeting and offer their insight as well. Your video conferencing software should allow remote attendees to share documents and make document changes in real time. Your meeting room computer should have an Internet-enabled video camera to allow your remote attendees to see what is going on in the meeting.
Many of the social media platforms allow for multiple people to utilize a single video conferencing system. This can be a great way to save money on video conferencing services for your company an your remote attendees.
Create a list of attendees at least a month in advance and send out meeting notices as soon as possible. When you get your RSVP list, that will tell you how large of a meeting room you are going to need.
Utilize social media platforms to allow people to RSVP for the meeting, share insight into the meeting content and ask any pertinent meeting questions.
A comprehensive meeting agenda, which includes meeting times and the names of people who will be making presentations, should be circulated to all attendees at least two weeks prior to the meeting. This will allow attendees time to prepare the materials they will need to attend the meeting and contribute.
Encourage attendees to ask agenda questions prior to the meeting so that all attendees may benefit from the answers. You can use social networking platforms to allow attendees to submit questions and then utilize those platforms to submit answers as well.
Each business meeting should have a defined purpose in order to get people to attend and contribute. When you spend the necessary time to prepare your meeting materials and find the perfect meeting room, then that will significantly improve the quality of your meeting.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Replacing Emails With SharePoint

I know the idea that we can ever replace emails is a scary one, and the truth is we can't really replace them. Emails are great for interacting with external organisations as we have no better alternative, but for internal interactions we have an alternative - SharePoint. Email is a problem for any organisation, we are overburdened by the amount of emails we receive, each one pops up at the right hand side of our screen screaming at us to attend to them, we silo information in our emails that cannot be shared with the organisation, in short they are not working for internal communications. SharePoint has many great features that can help us move away from relying on email and gain some control on how we manage our interactions and the information generated from them.
Announcements lists are designed for storing communications that need to go out to a group of people but do not require a response. For example, reminders of maintenance, reminders of upcoming events, etc. As emails this information often go out to the entire organisation (weather they wanted them or not) but there is no response required from the individuals. Using the announcements list this information can be stored and users can consume the information as they like (see the last point on alerts for more information on this ). Another great feature is that past announcements can be stored, giving you an auditable communication trail between you and a group of people.
Discussion Boards
There is nothing worse than opening up your email in the morning to see that you have been included in a large email chain, you know the type sent out to 10 people directly and another 10 CC'd in for good measures. These email chains are difficult to manage as not everyone will reply all, it's difficult to share and it clogs up your inbox. Discussion boards are a great way to replace the majority of bulk emails, they allow one person to post a discussion and multiple people can respond. There use lies in the fact that they become a centralised searchable knowledge base. The comments and insights you have gained from the team are then stored and can be used again by other teams. Given the amount of crucial decisions made in emails capturing them in this way makes it easier to audit and provides a backup to prove any decision making.
By implementing these two features you can look to decrease email traffic, but the success of these features is dependent on users accessing the sites that have the announcement list or discussion board. If users have lots of sites to look at it cannot be guaranteed that they will always see when new content has been added. To make it easier they can set an alert up on the announcement list or discussion board, when any activity takes place they are then emailed to tell them to check the site. Yes, I know what you are thinking this creates another email and I thought we were trying to get away from them, but this email can be deleted once it has been read as the actual content is in SharePoint.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Top 5 SharePoint Features You Never Knew Existed

The title of this article is slightly misleading as the chances are you knew about these SharePoint features all along, but you've either ignored them or not known how to implement them. Some of the most ignored features in SharePoint are the extremely useful and effective but are 'low-tech' so don't get as many articles written about them, but use them and you will see the benefits.
1 - Description Fields
Description fields are everywhere in SharePoint - creating a list or library, creating a column, creating a group they appear everywhere. Because they appear so frequently and they have no impact on what you are trying to create (you list will always be created even if you don't put a description) it is easy to ignore them when they are perhaps the most powerful SharePoint feature out there. They are so powerful as it provides you with a space to speak to your users and tell them directly what is expected of them or how to use a feature. Often we can create lists, libraries or columns that make perfect sense to us and others on the project team but to the user they cannot understand when or why they are to use them. This stops the user from engaging the product and they soon lose interest in SharePoint. By using the description field we can give users clear guidance on what is expected from them and they type of information we require. Once user know what is expected of them and why they quickly buy in to the system and want to keep on using it.
2 - Meeting Workspaces
The check box to create a meeting workspace is at the bottom of the event creation form in the calendar, but how many of us actually use them? The answer is not a lot of people. This is disappointing as Meeting Workspaces are a great way to provide users with a focal point for regular, and ad-hoc meetings. The different formats allow you to account for small meetings to more complex meetings or conferences that may span multiple days. Preconfigured lists and libraries make it easy to store documents, create tasks, store agendas and even manage attendees. If you have a regularly scheduled meeting it is easy to move from meeting to meeting and view previous thoughts comments and decisions. Deployed within a matter of seconds and ready to work with almost instantly the meeting workspace will change the way you conduct and manage meetings.
3 - Search Keywords
Search is a powerful tool in SharePoint, but the search is only as good as the information put in. We can help search by using metadata and scopes to target search queries, but what if the terms your users use to search are not the same as the approved corporate terminology. This is where search keywords come in. Search keywords allow you to take a search term and associated related search keywords with it. For example users looking to find information on taking time off might search the corporate intranet for Annual Leave, another user might use Holidays and another user might time off, three separate terms that all mean the same thing. Search Keywords allows you to link these terms together so that each user gets the same result. This also links into my next forgotten feature - best bets.
4 - Best Bets
When it comes to searching users often search for the same thing again and again, this is often repeated across the organisation. Information on pensions, holidays and training is often searched for and we can predict the exact page or document the user is looking for. To improve search we can link certain search terms to pages or documents that are relevant, so that when a user search using the keyword the document or page appears at the top of the search screen as a best bet.
5 -Site Usage Reports
SharePoint has built in analytics reporting that can tell us how many users looked at the site, our top pages and search queries. This information can help us gauge how popular our site is, this is useful if you are about to conduct a site redesign or implement new functionality as you can track how it has impacted on visitor numbers. The search information also provides us on details on what users are searching for, what they then opened and our top search queries. Based on this information we might decide to make some parts of our site more prominent as users are searching for them most often, this can also feed into our Best Bets and Search Keywords feature.
There are many more underused features in SharePoint that are not covered here. Most of them work exceptionally well they have just been poorly promoted by SharePoint or they cover a very specific area of interest that not all projects need to use. I've tried in this article to cover the features that everyone can use in their SharePoint site but might now.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Passion Converted to Success

"An Important Question to Answer to Yourself"
A fundamental question we should all ask ourselves is; 'What Am I Really Passionate About?'
If you are not happy doing what you are doing now, and you are not building anything of value for yourself while you're continuing to do it, then serious consideration should be given to making a change.
As I have said in previous writings, everyone has a right to be happy. That usually means finding something you are passionate about, and making money doing it.
However, the question of passion is a tricky one. Many people make significant mistakes by getting into a business that has to do with their personal interests. They are passionate about the subject matter, and feel that they can make money by throwing themselves into a related business venture. They may enjoy doing it for a while because of that personal interest, but if there is no solid business case for that decision, they often fail, or end up spending time at their 'hobby' and never finding anything close to real success.
The result is not only a failed or very marginal business, but usually a loss of passion for the thing that was a personal interest in the first place, so it's a double loss.
"The question of passion is a tricky one"
People that can cook go into restaurants, people that like sports go into sports-related businesses, people that dress well go into fashion retail - and they all fail to reach the success they deserve because they followed their heart instead of their head. The reality is that if you are successful in business, you build the resources and freedom to enjoy your passions, not the other way around unless you are terrifically lucky.
I doubt that the guy that owns the lug nut factory is really passionate about lug nuts but he saw an opportunity to build what he wanted to build. Now he enjoys his personal interests and passions to the greatest extent.
In the same vein, I doubt that the guy that realized that sheep manure was a good fertilizer was really passionate about sheep manure.
In my personal case, I really don't have a passion for debits and credits but the knowledge I gained by becoming a Chartered Accountant created a significant opportunity for me to build my own business. It also created resources to pursue whatever I want.
"I doubt that the guy that owns the lug nut factory is really passionate about lug nuts"
Frankly, I don't have a deep passion for the actual subject matters of telecommunications, or merchant services, or energy either. We have many subject-matter experts in the company that handle those subject areas with a great deal of skill. However, I do have a passion for the opportunities they present to me by allowing me to build a business around them to create wealth and freedom.
Many people will seek a 'dream' position or 'dream' business and never make any changes at all. They continue to wallow in their current situation, and never really achieve the happiness they deserve because that 'dream' opportunity never presents itself.
That makes me think about what I am passionate about, and I am proud to include the following items as my drivers:
1) Creating a great business for myself and my family in order to make the money I want, and to build an asset that will be very valuable in the future. The significant niche need of the business market place allows for that.
2) Operating a professional business, and the respect that comes with that profession in my community and beyond.
3) Being able to help other businesses increase their profits, and knowing that I was able to advise them to be more successful is tremendously fulfilling. The fact that the subject matter happens to be telecom, merchant services, and energy isn't really that relevant to that equation - that's just the way I help them reduce costs so they can increase their success.
4) Dealing in a business-to-business marketplace where there is a significant need for what I can do for other businesses.
5) Creating the freedom and flexibility - and control, to do the things I want to do. Of course, it is hard work but I have never shrunk away from that, and yet I never have to miss any event or function with family or friends if I don't want to do so.
These are just words to provide a little food for thought when you get to the point where you choose your own path. Many people stay in positions they don't enjoy, and that have no real opportunity to build happiness because they just can't pull the trigger on change. They are also affected by the multitude of naysayers that surround us all, which is actually the subject of another article I wrote some time ago.
My counsel is to not get caught in that trap. So whatever you do decide is right for you to achieve the things you want from life - just go for it, and with gusto.
I did that years and years ago, and I've never regretted it for one minute. It doesn't mean there aren't ups and downs but I really do look forward to each and every day in my business. It's all because of those items I listed above that fulfill me, and are driven by my true passion.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

How We Are Becoming More Paperless

Paperless is a term that is used to describe a situation or a place, such as an office, that doesn't use paper, usually due to the usage of computers. Although paper is still used extensively, due to technology it is not used as widely as it once was. There are many examples of how the world is becoming "more paperless".
An Office Environment
Originally offices were full of paper. The only way of recording anything in physical form was by using a pencil and paper. The invention of the typewriter became a hugely important moment in the productivity of office work but it didn't do anything to reduce the amount of paper that was used. Things have been much different over the last decade or two. Computers have taken over and you won't find an office without them these days. While documents do sometimes need to be printed out, this is more often not the case. Email has become the most widely used form of communication within businesses and in dealing with customers and other companies. This saves on paper compared with sending a letter, which may previously have been required.
Many of us receive local newsletters through our front doors. Newsletter communication, however, is now often done via emails. Documents, including an entire newsletter, can be attached to an email and read on the computer screen. If an organisation is sending out three-thousand newsletters each with twelve pages, then that adds up to thirty-six thousand pages. If this is sent on a monthly basis then that is four-hundred-and-thirty-two-thousand pages a year. If this is sent via email instead then that is a lot of paper saved. And that is only one monthly newsletter from one organisation. Although some may print newsletters out, the majority won't.
Magazines and Newspapers
Magazines and newspapers are still printed in large numbers in the traditional form and sold through outlets such as newsagents and supermarkets. Increasing numbers, though, are choosing to read up on news online - either through official newspaper or magazine websites or through other sites - so less paper is being used through these mediums.
Although still in its infancy, reading books via kindles is becoming more popular. Benefits from a consumer's point of view include only having to carry a small device, which is especially convenient if travelling with several books. In the long run this could have a significant impact on how many books are printed, while authors will still be making their money through sales in a different way.
There are numerous ways in which we are, as a whole, becoming less reliant on paper, with the above just some of the more obvious ones. The rise of email is a key reason for this with banks emailing statements to customers rather than printing and sending them via post, advertisers emailing potential customers instead of producing "junk mail", and in some circumstances receipt being email. Other ways in which paper is being saved includes insurance documents and instruction manuals being available online. This is having a positive impact on the environment and means people aren't left having to store endless numbers of important documents.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Electronic Technology And Fleet Management

With today's tight profit margins in the motor carrier industry, it is essential to utilize every tool available to minimize costs. Efficient fleet management is essential to control labor and other expenses. Advances in technology can help trucking companies to control labor and regulatory expenses.
Electronic On-Board Recorders are one electronic tool that is gaining wider acceptance within the trucking industry. Although their mandated use has been delayed due to Congressional wrangling, many motor carriers are voluntarily adding EOBRs to their fleets. Changes in hours of service rules for truck drivers necessitate accuracy in logging driver's work and rest hours to avoid penalties. EOBRs simplify tracking driver activity.
The use of EOBRs has many other applications in fleet management. Since the final standards for government-mandated logs have not yet been written, motor carriers are experimenting with various units already available. Software and applications are currently available to use with smartphones, laptops and other communications systems. One benefit is the ability to more accurately monitor driver behavior while cutting compliance staff expenses. The more efficient electronic data recording systems require less staff time to manage and analyze.
Computerized records also allow for better management of available driver hours. The real-time recording of driver availability allows for more efficient scheduling of loads and drivers. By matching available loads with free drivers, it is possible to increase productivity without violating hours of service rules.
Most EOBRs are also equipped with GPS and other truck-monitoring functions. With these devices it is possible to not only track driver location but also vehicle speed and fuel usage. Access to real-time metrics allows for better supervision of driver behavior and can help with evaluations and raises.
Because many EOBRs can be integrated with existing monitoring and communication systems, they can also be used to log vehicle inspections, fuel taxes and permit fees and surcharges. Integrated data is useful for creating IRP and other reports. Automated fuel tax reports save time and stress for both drivers and motor carriers.
Even the wide availability of 3G and 4G smartphones can help improve fleet efficiency. Thanks to the advancements in cellular phone technology, it is possible for drivers to be connected to the internet in huge swaths of the nation. Drivers on standby at pickup points or on mandated rest breaks can access the web and download files and records. Motor carriers can offer safety and other training videos online so drivers can use down time productively. Being able to easily contact loved ones by phone or online may help ease the aching loneliness of life on the road. Happier drivers are less likely to quit which helps control training costs for new drivers.
Thanks to innovations in technology, it is possible for motor carriers to more efficiently manage their fleets from afar. As federal standards are finalized, it is possible that even more of the complex paperwork requirements of trucking will be moved online. Simplified record-keeping is a good thing for both drivers and the transportation industry.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Office Equipment Auctions: What You Need to Know

If you are looking for a great deal on used office equipment, an auction might be the way to go. Auctions give start-ups, small businesses, or home offices the opportunity to purchase office equipment they might normally not be able to afford on a tight budget. There are several reasons an auction might be held, such as business liquidations, moving sales, fundraisers for non-profits, or government agencies selling surplus or confiscated items (e.g. GovDeals).
There are live and online auctions and each can be found by searching the Internet, reading the local newspaper, or subscribing to auction house e-mail alerts. Before you participate in an auction, find out of if the company hosting the auction is a legitimate company, licensed, or bonded. Next, make a general list of items you need and are willing to purchase used, e.g. a color printer, a laser fax machine, a desktop computer; then decide the max you are willing to spend on each. Often times, buyers can preview the office equipment going up for auction first via a catalog or in person. This will give you a chance to make a more detailed list of the office equipment you may want to bid on based on the description. If possible, inspect the items in person and "kick the tires" so to speak. If time allows, you can take it one step further and research the particular makes and models you are interested in online to check past ratings and current values. The past ratings may force you to eliminate some items from your list and the current values will help determine your spending cap.
If you decide to bid on an item, review the terms and conditions first. If the office equipment is sold "as-is", you will be responsible for any maintenance and repairs necessary to get the item up and running. It might be a good idea to verify if the manufacturer warranty is still active as well. While at a live or online auction, it's imperative to give it your full attention. Once a bid is placed, there is no turning back; so, you want to make sure that you are bidding on the correct piece of office equipment.
Have you ever purchased office equipment from an auction? If so, we'd love to hear from you. Please share the details with us, like what items did you buy, did you feel like you got a great deal, was it a smooth process, and will you ever purchase office equipment from an auction again?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Top Reasons Why You Need Temperature Controlled Express Courier Services

If you are on the hunt for options to transport perishable goods that require optimum ambiance for preservation, then you should definitely opt for temperature controlled express courier services. This can be used for transporting a wide variety of goods that can't be shipped using the regular services. Maintaining an optimum temperature is very critical for these services. Therefore, they should have proper ventilation, refrigeration system, humidity control as well as temperature control.
In this age of cut-throat competition, companies simply can't afford to be complacent about their logistics. A lot of these companies deal with perishable goods that need to be delivered to their specific destinations in a timely manner. The market of such goods might be far away from the manufacturing site. It is not always feasible to maintain a private fleet of transportation services, since the business might not be that lucrative. Hence, they depend on logistics companies or courier services that can deliver the goods to various destinations in the most economical and viable way.
Unlike other goods that require normal delivery vans or similar facilities, perishable goods need customized vehicles and shipment facilities. There are not many companies that offer such services due to the sensitivity of the business. For instance, sea food businesses normally require such courier services to deliver their goods. It goes without saying that it has to be stored at optimum conditions and delivered within the stipulated time. It takes a highly professional and organized company to meet such high standards of client satisfaction.
Some of the most common industries that require temperature controlled courier services are the drug companies, vaccine manufacturers, seafood, fruits and vegetables, beverages manufacturers etc. Such companies always have a list of preferred courier services at their disposal. They can't afford to experiment with their logistics too often.
The uniqueness of such services doesn't end with the type of goods being transferred. It takes such high efforts and energy to maintain these vehicles, that it is uneconomical to halt operation even for a few hours. This is one reason why such courier services are often on a continuous run. It is feasible for them to load cargo at the same place where delivery was made. This ensures that these customized vehicles do not run empty for a considerable amount of time, which might result in losses for the company.
It takes trained workers to load and offload such cargo. Also, the people in charge of the courier van should be aware of the uniqueness of their vehicle and goods. Since refrigeration plays a crucial role in these vehicles, it is almost mandatory that the driver can perform basic troubleshooting.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Exploring Your Email Archiving Options

So, it's a business must: email archiving. Legal requirements mean that all businesses must be able to retrieve information - sometimes for up to seven years - whenever needed. And the financial fines of ill compliance are not to be scoffed at.
The obstacle here is storage. It's expensive, and because email grows exponentially, businesses are requiring greater storage functions.
So what's happening as a result of the increasing demand for storage? Organisations are buying more storage (EMC and Netapp reported a year on year growth in storage sales of 33% and 41% respectively). But their IT budgets aren't increasing. In fact, they remained nearly flat during the same period.
This means that organisations of all sizes are struggling to address:
-a unique and never-known-before growth in unstructured data
-the pressure to keep an ever-increasing share of that data
-the lessening benefit of traditional storage products
With the doom and gloom on the table, what's the best email archiving option for your business? Because, there are solutions - great ones, even.
Let's take a closer look at the 3 models you can choose from: on-premise, hosted, and cloud-based archiving.
Option 1: On-premise archiving
This is the traditional method of archiving emails, and is the most popular model for early adopters (particularly large financial services and customers in the early 2000s).
Under this model:
-The archive is entirely located within your business' data centre.
-Your business is responsible for the installation, configuration and operation of the archiving system, and its underlying infrastructure.
-The archiving software is installed on one or more servers (either as dedicated hosts or virtual machines).
In it's simplest form, your business would be in charge of its own computing needs, including obtaining the infrastructure to accommodate those needs as they arise. Because of the pressure for unexpected in-house IT solutions to be delivered and implemented by the business itself, on-site archiving has dwindled in popularity in recent years.
On-site archiving also requires a substantial up-front investment in hardware, software, ongoing operations and support.
Option 2: Hosted archiving
This is one of the two options if you wish to outsource your archiving.
Under this model:
-Archiving systems are housed within the archiving vendor's data centre.
-You aren't required to install, configure, or maintain the archiving system or its underlying infrastructure.
-You can focus on activities related to the archiving process and functionality.
-The only element you need to worry about is capacity management's impact on pricing; vendor fees can vary based on the volume of stored data.
Vendors benefit from economies of scale but are confronted with the same difficulty relating to capacity management, service availability and large capital expenses as customers with on-premise systems.
Option 3: Cloud-based archiving
Some vendors build applications that operate on top of cloud infrastructure from third parties (eg. Amazon or Rackspace) rather than operating their own infrastructure.
Under this model:
-Both you and the archiving vendor don't operate the physical infrastructure.
-The archiving vendor builds and maintains the archiving system that's operated on top of the cloud infrastructure - which is the software layer.
-You focus exclusvely on the archiving process and functionality: defining retention policies, searching for specific content, and exporting data for discovery.
That way, each party is able to focus on their strengths.
These features, advanced technology and cost-effectiveness contribute to the increase in businesses using cloud-based archiving. A great bonus is that it's not nearly as complicated as an on-premise solution. And who has time for complications?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Management Consulting Resumes - Six Blunders That Get You Down

Your resume is effective if it creates an impact on management consulting recruiters within less than a minute. To go in this direction, ensure that it emphasizes your strengths, it contains no errors and it is written in a well-customized manner. If you, unfortunately, swerve to the wrong direction, you might commit any of the common mistakes of applicants.
Mistake 1: Providing Irrelevant Details
Brevity, not length, is the main principle to be followed when writing a resume. A long list of information doesn't necessarily mean you are better than other applicants. It can even mean you are not capable of organizing information in a concise manner. Include only the information that is relevant to the management consulting position. Unnecessary details just cause the document to appear wordy. Ideally, it should only have one to two pages. Anything more than that is quite dragging.
Mistake 2: Failure to Highlight Accomplishments
Too many applicants apply for a single management consulting position. Hence, recruiters are challenged to shortlist them based on the knowledge, skills and abilities stated in their resume. They will also look for your accomplishments in your previous workplace or as a student. If you place a description of your previous responsibilities, it will give recruiters an idea of what you used to do, and this is good. However, if you state a few bullets of accomplishments, it will tell them how you performed, and this is much better. Recruiters believe that past behavior predicts potential performance at work. If they appreciate what you have done in the past, they will most likely bank on your capability.
Mistake 3: Not Specifying ad Quantifying Performance
Numbers matter in a resume, especially if they uncover your performance. Thus, when stating your accomplishments, quantify it as much as possible. Instead of saying, "Led a team to investigate marketing issues," say, "Led a team in market segmentation and recommended measurable strategies in launching the new product within a month." The second statement is better because it's specific. Further, the recruiter will be able to appreciate your conscientiousness and dedication since you could finish the project within a month.
Mistake 4: Failing to Review Content of Resume
Grammatical errors and misspellings are a turn off for recruiters. If they see your resume with these blunders, more likely you will be rejected. There are three reasons for this. First, written communication skill is a must for management consultants. If you can't perfect your resume, how will you be able to write reports for your clients? Second, mistakes indicate you are not meticulous with details, another winning characteristic important in dealing with information. Third, remember that there are heaps of qualified applicants for the vacancy. Why would recruiters favor you over those who can describe their competence excellently?
Mistake 5: Using a Disorganized Layout
The manner of presenting information also matters. If you squeeze in too many details in a page, management consulting recruiters will feel tired to peruse your resume. Hence, make use of the features of the word processor you are using. Italicize, underline or bold phrases for emphasis. Insert white lines in between categories for the eyes to rest after reading a chunk of information. Using bullets is also a good way of breaking long sentences. It makes your document reader-friendly. It's a great idea not to use fancy fonts. Times New Roman, Tahoma, Arial and other readable fonts are more professional-looking.
Mistake 6: Sending a One-Size-Fits-All Resume
Management consulting firms are unique from each other; thus, you must ascertain that all given information is in line with their goals, work values and corporate culture. To be able to do this, conduct an intensive research about your target firm. Browse their website; almost all information is stated there. You can also refer to people in your network who are and were connected with the firm. If you send a generic resume, recruiters will feel your impersonality. However, a well-tailored resume is more attention-grabbing for them.
Do not take for granted the power of a resume to sell your services to a management consulting firm. It may be just a simple document, but it can pave the way to your promising dream job. Spend sufficient time in writing and proofreading it. You will be grateful for your effort once you are called for an interview.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Five Steps to Network Properly for a Management Consulting Position

When recruiters make a hiring decision, they use all possible sources of information. This includes your job application, test results and interview performance. Also, they listen to recommendations made by key people in the firm or industry as they consider their testimonial reliable. This implies you must make use of your networking skills effectively.
Truth be told, it's not always "what you know" that matters in the field of recruitment. At times, if you have someone who can back you up, there's a greater probability that the process of your application will be fast tracked. You might find this a little bit biased but once you are in the recruiter's shoes, you will understand. Processing hundreds of qualified applicants for a single position isn't an easy job. They have to make the most of all resources, including referrals. Given this fact, you would love to learn the nitty-gritty of management consulting networking. If you are overwhelmed with the idea, keep reading for ideas on how to get this done.
First, develop your sociable disposition. Without this, you won't be able to make the most of this strategy. You can do this by being friendly with other people. Provided that you sincerely express your kindness through your smile and actions, you will pull people towards you naturally. Next, try to develop your communication skills. Learn some techniques in initiating and maintaining a conversation with strangers and acquaintances. Also, be confident enough to approach others. Waiting for people to reach out to you all the time won't take you anywhere. Come out into the open and take each day as an opportunity to do the next step.
Second, widen your network by joining clubs and organizations. This allows you to interact with more people and make significant connections. When you participate in various activities, you will meet new contacts who can possibly inform you of management consulting opportunities, recommend you to recruiters or managers and inspire you to follow your endeavor ardently. If you are still a student, this is quite an easy step. Most probably, there is a management consulting club at your school that facilitates assemblies, events and activities participated by aspirants like you. In most cases, representatives from McKinsey, BCG and other consulting firms also attend those events for recruitment, promotion and networking.
Third, try to network virtually as well. Keep an active profile on LinkedIn because management consulting recruiters look up for your name there. They want to confirm your professional brand and suitability to the job. To make this possible, all you have to do is to complete your profile, connect with other users consistently and be active in different groups. You can also look up for consultants on the site and check if any of your contacts are related to them. Moreover, you can also follow your target firms. This way, you will be updated with their new strategies, corporate activities and career opportunities.
Fourth, find a way to express what you need, specially to those who can lend you a hand. There are two ways of doing this. First, you can ask for help directly. Email or call those with whom you share a strong connection. These can be your family and close friends or buddies. If you want to ask for assistance in public, do this in an implicit manner. For instance, if you share an article about testing on your social media profile, and you say that it's helping you prepare for an employment test, then you're already informing them of your unemployed status.
Fifth, keep a quality network. To keep a quality circle, remember that all relationships exist on a two-way street. Networking should not be done for the mere purpose of stumbling into consulting opportunities. People network to share; hence, it is imperative that you think of your contacts' welfare, too. Have you referred them to an opportunity that fit their personality and credentials? Have you thanked them for their effort of recommending you to this or that person? Do you communicate with them once a while even if you're not looking for a job? Plant kindness, and you will sow opportunities in due time.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Five Proven Ways Of Acing Management Consulting Interviews

The most terrifying part of the screening process for a vacant management consulting position is the case interview. A 30 to 45-minute conversation with an interviewer can be nerve-racking. You need to answer questions about a complicated business problem. However, you must try hard in this challenge because it's the only way of breaking into the industry.
The first step to acing consulting interviews is to understand what it is all about. This includes knowing its purpose, understanding the process and familiarizing the types of questions that will be possibly posed. This can be easily done through web research. Management consulting firms, especially the well-known ones, provide sufficient information on their website. If you're still a student, seek advice from consulting clubs and university professors. People who are current employees of your target firm can also give their perspective from an insider's point of view.
This awareness is vital because it directs your preparation. For instance, if you know that the firm usually presents marketing-related cases, then you can concentrate on resolving problems in this area. If you hear that the interviewer prefers asking estimation questions, then you can practice resolving this type of question.
The next step to excellent performance is mastering the consulting frameworks. These are step-by-step guides that help you generate sensible recommendations.. By using this, you will know how to approach the vague scenario and identify the factors affecting the dilemma in a logical manner. You will learn how to break ambiguity into comprehensible chunks. Many applicants have excellent analytical capability but at times, they couldn't nail the questions down because they are not well-versed with the frameworks. Because of their disorganized answers, they are rejected for the succeeding interview rounds.
The third step is to practice as many cases as you can. This will consume your time because you need to go over them one by one, and there are tons of cases to review. As you dissect problems related to market strategy, operations, pricing, human resources and competition, choose which framework is the most applicable. If you're a student, join mock interviews organized by your consulting clubs. Some facilitate a peer-to-peer program to support each other in this endeavor. At times, they invite experts from top-tier firms to practice case interview with the students. You shouldn't miss developmental opportunities like this. If you're an experienced professional, you must have already encountered these cases, but you can't be too self-assured. Review those areas where you think you are weak at.
Another step is to enhance your mental math. When you deal with business cases during interviews or in real life, you will encounter numbers. If you need to compute for the possible sales of a new product within a year, can you do it in a few seconds without a calculator? If you need to determine the quick and dirty estimate of the market, can you do that without any delay? To enhance your mental math, use it as often as you can. When you go to the grocery store, try to add the total cost of all the items in your basket before you pay at the cashier. While reading books at a bookstore, try to estimate how much do they possibly earn per day?
Lastly, think how you will project yourself emotionally and physically. Sometimes, what it all takes is the right mindset and confidence. All your knowledge and preparation will be wasted if you don't believe in yourself. Relieve yourself from too much worry because it will only cause you to stammer, fidget and panic. If you've followed all our guidelines above, there shouldn't be a problem. Moreover, look professional when you appear for an interview. Wear a well-ironed business suit, fix your hair and clean your nails. This doesn't only build up your confidence; it also influences the way interviewers interpret your personality in a positive manner.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Quiet Title: What You Need to Know

The real estate market has yet to recover and return to the booming days of the 90s, and the mess of countless foreclosures has left many homeowners and land buyers with a sticky situation on their hands. Specifically, fraud and questionable practices have made tracing a perfect ownership lineage difficult in many cases. When liens and claims are commonplace, it can make determining who has the right to a piece of property a challenge for even the wisest judge. If there is a cloud surrounding your ownership, you may want to file a quiet title action to eliminate the confusion. Here are some things you need to know to proceed.
Taking Ownership
There are several ways in which you can become the owner of a piece of real estate. You can go through sole ownership, wherein you own a house outright and your name is the only one on the deed. You can take ownership through a partnership, whether that be with roommates, a spouse, or with a business partner. A piece of property may also belong to a trust, waiting to be handed out to the beneficiary at a particular time. Because of these varied means of ownership, confusion can sometimes erupt as to the true owner.
Clearing Confusion
A quiet title action is often the best method of clearing up any cloudiness surrounding the question of true ownership. If you want to sell a house, build on a piece of land, or even rent to others, you may need to file a lawsuit to ward off any other individuals or companies that believe they have a legitimate claim to the property. An alternative method would be to purchase an insurance policy on the title, but this will only protect you financially against rights claimants. It will not clean up the legal issue in any way.
A quiet title action isn't a legal proceeding that is going to be over and done with in a week. It takes time, and it will take more time depending on how many defendants there are. A defendant would be anyone who claims to have a right to the property, other than yourself and your partners. If they have a case they can defend in court, the judge will have to weigh their merits against yours. The result in most cases is that the plaintiff is granted the quiet title and can move on with the confidence that legal ownership brings. However, if there are legitimate liens against the property-such as from a mortgage company or the IRS-it may not be so easy.