Data and Analytics Play an Important Role in Digital Transformation. Here’s Why.

 

The world is forever evolving and changing. New technologies are being developed, behavioural patterns are changing, and businesses with the desire to avoid extinction have to evolve along with everything around them. As a result of modern technology, access to information is easier than it has ever been. Through digital innovations like artificial intelligence, cloud computing and many others, customers now have access to a wealth of information about whatever business or service they’re searching for. This raises the bar for existing businesses (adapt or lose everything).

Digital transformation involves restructuring existing business models, strategies, processes and so on, to suit consumer needs using current technology. The important thing to note about digital transformation is that it is consumer-focused, aimed at giving the consumer the best experience possible, while also making managing operations easier for business owners (CIO from IDG).

Consumer behaviour is constantly changing, and, as a result, organisations have recognised the need to shift from data generation to being data powered. Today, data and analytics are used to identify behavioural patterns through extracted data, analyse said data and use the results to improve business processes (Techopedia). Qualitative and quantitative data are gathered simply through using web analytics tools such as Google Analytics, Open Web Analytics, Clicktale and many others.

Data and analytics are important to digital transformation, as they are key aspects of strategy development. Different aspects of every business produce data, and some aspects provide a larger amount of data than others. As your business produces data, your competitor’s business also does the same. The difference in both cases lies in the goals of each organisation, how data is interpreted, and how the results acquired are developed into strategies that can help improve business processes and operations (Centric Digital).

One of the beneficial aspects of data and analytics, relating to digital transformation, is machine learning. Machine learning involves getting computers to learn and act like humans, by feeding them data and information in the form of real-life observations and interactions. This helps in making more intelligent and informed decisions. For example, selecting alternate routes to avoid traffic, in turn preventing the late delivery of goods or products.

Analytics help companies understand the data at their disposal and help them make better business decisions, resulting in decisions with benefits such as cutting down maintenance costs and improving business operations (Search Business Analytics).

Cloud platforms are also agents of digital transformation, which do not make access to information easier for just the customer, but also for the organisation and its employees. Cloud computing is built around hardware and software that can be accessed through any web browser. They store information and programs for businesses, which can be accessed through a secure connection (iomart).

Analytics in cloud computing involve activities such as tracking social media engagement and statistics.  Analytics deal with a large amount of data which requires plenty of processing power and storage space. Cloud computing thus possesses the space to hold large amounts of data, while also making data accessible from remote locations. This is what makes cloud computing and data analytics a great fit (Forbes).

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The Evolving Role of Human Resources Within the E-Commerce Industry

 

The human resource department has always been an essential component of any company, whether it runs online or from a brick-and-mortar location. Employee well-being is the responsibility of the HR department, which controls everything from hiring employees, setting pay rates and keeping track of payroll, deciding employee benefits, deciding how to fire employees, keeping up with tax laws and more. The HR department is basically the backbone of any successful business venture.

Basic human resource functions have been working behind the scenes for ages, but within the ever-expanding e-commerce industry, the role of HR has had to evolve and become more dynamic, and it’s still doing so today. Successful e-commerce fashion retailers, JJ’s House and VeryVoga, have shared some insight on the major points of HR evolution within their organizations. Read on to find out how e-commerce is modernizing its old conventions to sync up with a contemporary workforce.

Contemporary Hiring Trends

Today’s e-commerce businesses have to deal with a massive influx of advanced systems and technologies. It can get so complicated that many entrepreneurs who start online marketplaces actually consider them to be tech enterprises. HR managers have to employ some innovative hiring trends to fill in positions with worthy candidates.

HR managers in the e-commerce industry are expected to work around-the-clock. One of their most formidable tasks is to find the right candidates for open positions. In e-commerce, employees must not only possess a pleasant attitude and relevant work experience, they must also have the technical knowledge to perform their tasks properly.

Keeping Employees Happy

Since the need to retain top talent is arguably more significant in e-commerce than in any other industry, it’s imperative for HR to come up with ways to rethink employee retention. They must keep employees happy in order to avoid rapid reorganization, consolidation and a host of other hurdles that comes with losing an essential employee.

It’s the responsibility of the HR department to create a positive employee experience and provide an unparalleled, exclusive work-life experience by incorporating dynamics like an open work culture, relaxed hierarchy and other employee-friendly policies.

Introducing the SME

Where training and development are concerned, human resource departments use something called subject matter experts, or SMEs, to get the job done right in today’s e-commerce industry. SMEs are trained to help enable aptitude development and intensive skills within the workforce. These experts can also help improve communication between employees, initiate open thought channels, open new avenues of knowledge for employees and help them become seasoned professionals. Ultimately, they help employees feel nurtured and important within the organization so that they appreciate being part of the company and are naturally inclined to be more productive.

Successful e-commerce operations like JJ’s House and VeryVoga wouldn’t exist without a strong and modernized HR department to back them up. Anyone working in the e-commerce industry must employ a strong HR department by considering the points above. When a business has a solid HR department in place, all other aspects of the business should function well too.

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Why the Location of a Crane Hire Provider Matters

One of the most important factors you need to consider when hiring a crane is the location. Generally, the nearer the crane service provider is, the better option it would be. If your project is in Peterborough, it is more convenient choosing a company offering crane hire in Peterborough instead of choosing those in Fenland, Cambridge, Huntingdonshire, or other districts. There are clear advantages in hiring a crane that is in close proximity to your project site, as briefly discussed below.

Faster arrival of the equipment

Obviously, equipment from a nearer location will become available faster than equipment that has to be shipped from a farther away district or city. If you need equipment quickly, it only makes sense getting it from the nearest provider. Depending on the service contract, you may have to pay for the fuel used to bring the crane to your location. You will end up paying more if you have to haul the equipment from a distance.

On the other hand, it will be easier to return the equipment if there is no great distance involved. Bear in mind that some service contracts hold the customer responsible for the equipment before it has been officially returned. Imagine the possibilities of encountering accidents or other untoward incidents on the road. The longer the return transit takes, the more probable an accident. Paying for any damage to the equipment would definitely be an unwanted additional expense. Even if the damage is covered by insurance, it will also be inconvenient having to spend time dealing with the problem.

Faster replacement or troubleshooting

Not everything might go as expected. Even the equipment from the best crane service companies will have issues every once in a while. There will be instances when the crane has to be replaced entirely or will require troubleshooting or repairs. If the company providing the crane you are using is a couple or more cities away, it will take time to have your problem addressed. The worst case is the need to have your crane completely replaced. The crane sent to your site may not be suitable for the project or the terrain. It would be a major inconvenience and waste of time having it replaced.

Permits and licenses

Another very important detail to take into account is the permit as well as the licenses for the equipment you will be needing. There can be complications if you have to hire a crane from a different district. You need to ascertain that the equipment is licensed and you also have to deal with the permit for hauling the heavy equipment. You will also have to worry about getting clearance to pass by certain roads. Oversized trucks with heavy loads (carrying the crane) may not be allowed to pass along certain roads. You will have to find a new route to haul the crane, which can add to the time and cost it takes to get the equipment.

Except when you are assured of clear benefits in hiring a crane from a farther away company, it is recommended giving preference to local crane service providers. Nearer is generally cheaper; unless the cost difference is significant without a difference in reliability (as well as the competence of the operator).

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Start-ups: Don’t buy into all of the myths

Over the last few years it would be fair to say that the start-up culture has really come into its own. Whether it was the economic dip, or a completely unrelated reason, we’re not going to speculate. However, start-ups are popping up in all sorts of places, and entrepreneurs are constantly being bred.

At the same time, the surge in start-up culture has led to a lot of misinformation being published about new businesses. Myths have been developed and as the title of today’s post might have already suggested, we are today going to scrutinize some of these misconceptions and reveal the real truths behind them.

Myth #1 – You need too much capital

Once upon a time, this was completely true. After all, most new businesses were started in a bricks-and-mortar form, and this in itself added more costs. However, through the power of the internet there is no doubt that this myth has been reset so to speak, and you don’t necessarily have to have a lot of capital to get going.

Of course, there are exceptions. If a bricks-and-mortar store is going to be at the forefront of your enterprise, you do need some form of funding. However, don’t be put off by the suggestion that items such as point-of-sale terminals are going to hike up your costs – these are low cost, or even free, to install with vendors making their money on small transaction fees (that will barely touch your bottom line).

Myth #2 – Customers will flock to your great store or product

This next misconception is at the other side of the spectrum. A lot of new businesses are under the belief that customers will flock to their new product, under the “build it and they will come” philosophy. Without trying to be party-poopers, this isn’t going to happen. Sure, you may have released the best product of its kind on the market, but if nobody knows about it this is all for nothing.

You need a solid marketing plan in place long before your product hits the shelves. People need to be aware of it and without this awareness, you really will be on a hiding to nothing.

Myth #3 – You can do it all yourself

With funding low initially, this next myth is hardly surprising. However, as much as you might want to carry out every task yourself, we would advise exercising caution. Sure, you’re not going to be in a position to afford full time staff, but the rise of the freelance economy means that there are a whole host of skilled, temporary workers out there who can help you with everything from marketing to product design.

Remember, if you do it yourself you might save money, but by just having one extra pair of hands you can effectively double your output.

Myth #4 – Big companies eat start-ups for breakfast

It can be hard to not be scared by the big competitors in your field, but this should only occur if you can’t differentiate yourselves from them. If your service is the same, you are destined to fail. If you can offer differences, and ultimately an advantage to the customer, this is where you can prosper.

Remember, some customers are just scared and put off by big brands – and this is a unique advantage that you hold in itself. You can give a personal service, which is something that is greatly appreciated in the modern-day market.

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Employee development: The term on the tip of company tongues right now

If we were to wind back the clock a couple of decades ago, we would assume that the term “employee development” did not exist. Even if companies were aware of its meaning, the chances of them implementing its philosophies would be slim to say the least.

However, over recent times there has really been a shift in culture in relation to this. Big companies in particular are happier to invest in the development of their employees, whether it’s through training programs or even just sending them to industry conferences.

Whether or not this is the case for smaller companies, who perhaps have more constraints in relation to budgets, is debatable. However, business education is shifting; whether it’s from single day training courses or online MBA programs.

Following on from the above, let’s now take a look at some of the reasons more companies are getting more comfortable with employee development, and how you might decide to follow the same pathway.

The employee turnover numbers

Any company that has a high turnover of employees is asking for trouble. Let’s not forget that the recruitment business is an expensive game. Positions tend to be left open for long periods of time, leading to unproductivity, while once you do find your star candidate there is every chance that you might have to pay a recruiter fee or something else to guarantee their signature.

As such, training is a means of keeping employees and ultimately making your business a much nicer place to work. It is regarded as a “perk”, and a way of showing your employees that you respect their career. It’s something that will tend to breed loyalty and ultimately, weaken the chances of them jumping ship at the first opportunity.

It becomes easier to promote from within

This follows a similar vein to the previous point we looked at. As anyone who has been involved in recruitment will testify, as soon as you start looking to fill more senior positions the business becomes much tougher. There are far fewer candidates out there, while their higher salaries naturally means it’s a bigger risk.

If someone is trained internally meanwhile, the process can be made much easier. They already know the culture of your company, while you already know all about them so the risk is much smaller.

Employees tend to be more engaged at work

This next benefit works in several ways. Firstly, an employee who is picking up new skills suddenly has a lot more options available at work. They can apply themselves in different ways and this should, theoretically at least, prevent boredom occurring.

Then, there is the training itself. Once upon a time training courses were one of those things that everyone tried to avoid – they were boring to say the least. Now, the outlook has changed, and an interactive way of learning means that employees actually look forward to them, and see them as a positive to their daily routine.

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BUNDESLIGA CHAMPIONS BORUSSIA DORTMUND IN MARKETING PARTNERSHIP WITH GMO TRADING

June 29, 2018 – GMO Trading is proud to announce that it has entered into a partnership with Borussia Dortmund the Bundesliga Football powerhouse for the 2018-19 football season.

GMO Trading is a worldwide investment firm that has created a secure and simple to operate trading platform for traders of all skill levels. The platform meets the needs of clients for a platform that can be accessed anywhere and at any time during the day. Reception to the platform has been outstanding by customers throughout Europe.

From GMO Trading: “We are delighted to be a regional sponsor of Borussia Dortmund, one of the Bundesliga’s finest football teams. As home of the ninth largest stock exchange in the world, Germany is an important trading market and presents a key growth area for GMO Trading. This partnership will help raise awareness of our offering among European business leaders.”

Beginning in August of this year, Borussia Dortmund and GMO Trading will work together to market GMO Trading to markets in Europe outside of Germany.

The partnership will allow clients of GMO Trading the chance to participate in a range of exclusive offers and benefits from the club, and the chance to get VIP tickets and official merchandise.

GMO Trading will use social media and its website to introduce Borussia Dortmund branded initiatives to the market. To discover how you could benefit from GMO Trading’s services, please visit www.gmotrading.com.

For more information, please email Rebecca Wharmby – Rebecca.Wharmby@Threepipe.co.uk

About GMO Trading

GMO Trading brand name of Royal Forex a Cyprus Investment Firm, regulated by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission

The GMO Trading platform offers clients an unmatched trading environment and superior service, allowing them to access global trading arenas with great security and comfort.

GMO Trading puts at its clients’ disposal an unsurpassed variety of account options that can perfectly fit any trader’s requests. Clients benefit from innovative trading tools that delivers them the possibility to turn their trading desires into reality.

For more information, visit the GMO Trading website at www.gmotrading.com or  visit its Facebook at www.facebook.com/gmotrading/.

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8 Things to Research Before Becoming A Franchise Owner

If you’ve decided that you’d rather buy into an already-successful franchise than risk starting your own business, there are some things you should know before you go ahead with your decision. Fast food franchises, such as Quiznos, Checkers and Wendys, for example often encourage individuals like you to buy into the franchise, but it’s up to you to do your homework before investing. You would own your own location, run your own store and be your own boss. You would be responsible for hiring and firing employees, and you would get to learn how to run a business. You’d of course have to pay a royalty to the franchise corporation, but the rest of the profits from your location’s sales would belong to you. Opportunities are abundant when it comes to being a franchise owner, and you just have to do your research to ensure that you are buying into a reputable franchise with strong brand power and a loyal customer base. If you need help with your market research, get in touch with a company such as Circle Research who will answer any of your questions.

Here are 8 things you need to research about a franchise before buying into it.

  1. Do customers love them? It’s crucial that you research how popular this franchise is before buying into it. Do the customers love it? Do customers leave positive reviews about the food? Quiznos, for examples, is known for its quality and customers can’t stop talking about how fresh the ingredients are and how flavorful the sandwiches are. And yes, there currently are Quiznos franchise opportunities.
  2. How strong is their brand power? In other words, how well known are they? How strong is their brand? How successful are their marketing campaigns? If their brand is in good standing, reputable, widely recognized and positively regarded, that’s a great thing.
  3. How many franchises do they have? It’s better to buy into a franchise that doesn’t have too many locations. For example, there’s a Starbucks on every corner, and several Starbucks locations compete with each other (they compete with their neighbor two blocks away). If there are less locations, there is less competition.
  4. What locations are available? When it comes to owning a franchise, three words come to mind: location, location, location. It definitely matters what location is available for you to buy. It would be amazing to get a location near a business district (hello, lunch breaks!) or near a university, or on a busy street that gets a lot of foot traffic. Sometimes the locations that are off of a busy highway do quite well also. Definitely put some serious time into researching the location.
  5. How reasonable are the costs? Owning a franchise comes with costs. You’ll have to pay for employees, inventory, equipment and more. You’ll also have to pay a royalty (franchise fee) to the franchise corporation. Research these costs to make sure they aren’t completely unreasonable. You should decipher what your total investment costs will be before you make your decision.
  6. How long will it take to break even? Since owning a franchise involves some up-front costs, you should research how long it will take to break even. The reason this is important is because you don’t truly start profiting from the business until you break even. Sometimes, this can take awhile. You have to be willing to wait to see the profits.
  7. What is the earning potential? Your research should include an attempt to figure out how well a franchise owner in a comparable location is doing. You should ask leading questions to figure out what your earning potential could be if you buy into this franchise.
  8. What level of support does the franchise corporation offer? Support is key, and many franchise corporations offer an incredible level of support to their individual franchise owners. Support comes in the form of instructions, guidance, materials, deals on equipment, negotiations on your behalf, advice, etc. Ask the franchise corporation what they offer in terms of support.

 

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5 Things To Spend Your Inheritance Money On To Guarantee That Your Fortune Grows

If you’ve been fortunate enough to come into a large inheritance, it goes without saying that the question of how do I spend all this money, is a very good problem to have. It’s crucial that you think before you spend and get advice from professionals. That means no big impulse purchases during your celebratory phase when you first receive the money, even if it’s burning a hole in your pocket. Every single purchase beyond your regular daily expenses should be carefully thought about. There are also clever things you can do with your inheritance money, such as smart investments, that will guarantee that your fortune not only lasts, but that it also grows.

Spend money on a reputable financial advisor. The best way to hold onto sudden wealth is long term, strategic planning. Your fortune will erode much faster than you expected if you don’t get that cash managed. People often overspend to the point where they’d have to actually have inherited three times that amount in order to be able to spend that much. Financial planners often have people come to them years after they inherited their fortune, because they’re shocked at how quickly it’s depleting and they get scared into seeing a planner. So, why not just spend some good money hiring a good financial advisor from the very start? Seems wise. They can guide you as far as what funds to invest in, and how to plan strategically for the long term growth of your fortune.

Invest in home real estate. Yes, when you have money, you should invest in an asset such as home real estate, in a location that is in predictable demand. You shouldn’t necessarily live in your investment. Home owners can often profit off tenants paying rent that is higher than their mortgage, all the while having their tenants pay off an asset that they own.

Invest in a franchise. Investing in a franchise can really pay off in the long run, and it’s an investment you can safely profit off of. One of the reasons why so many people who want to do this end up not doing it, is because investing in a franchise does requires some significant upfront costs. If you have the money, however, it can be a fantastic investment. Being a franchise owner offers consistent income, and the sales at your location are yours to keep aside from a royalty fee paid to the franchise corporation. If your franchise is a reputable business with strong brand loyalty (such as a Checker’s franchise or a Quiznos franchise) and your location is a good location with lots of foot traffic, you could see your investment grow far past the point of breaking even, into some serious profits. You’ll be strategically supported by the franchise corporation for the entire time you are in business, and you’ll be investing in a tried and tested market that already is doing well. This is a clever investment and a good way to spend some of your inheritance.

Put some of it in an RRSP or 401(k) plan. If your goal is to put a chunk of the inheritance away, saved for retirement, then you should contribute a large chunk into your RRSP or 401(k). One of the smartest things you can do with inheritance money is put a large portion of it into your retirement account. Your retirement fund is tax-sheltered, and the contributions you make to it are tax deductible. The fact that your contributions into your own savings account can actually lower the amount of tax you owe at the end of the year makes it a very intelligent investment.

Pay off debts. Having debt will only hurt you in life, which is why you should use some of your inheritance money to pay off your debts. First of all, you’ll be happier once your debts are gone. You’ll sleep better at night, and you’ll feel less stressed because that huge weight is off your shoulders. Secondly, being debt- free puts you in a position of having good credit, which leads to more opportunities. Considering how much interest costs on your debt, by paying it down to zero, you’ll ultimately save yourself thousands and thousands of dollars in interest you’d otherwise pay over the years. Just because you can’t see the savings, doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Receiving inheritance money can be quite exciting, depending how much money you receive. But just spending it willy nilly is very silly, investing it into a reliable source like investor shield bonds, is very sensible and extremely smart.

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Working in the West: Traveling for Business has Plenty of Perks and Colorado Springs Offers some Great Venues to Visit During Your Trip

If you happen to be traveling to the Colorado Springs area on business you have to try and make the most of the opportunity to enjoy some leisure time around your busy work schedule.

Here are some of the must-see venues that deserve your attention if you are working in the West.

Inspirational views

There are some great hotels in the area to stay at like the Colorado Springs Marriott, for example, and as well as enjoying comfortable accommodation you will also be within close proximity of some very worthwhile attractions.

If you want to witness one of the most photogenic landscapes you are likely to see anywhere the one place that should be on your leisure itinerary is the Garden of the Gods.

These awesome and distinctive rock formations are a major draw in Colorado Springs and you can take a segway or jeep tour around the area if you want to enjoy as much of the scenery in the time you have available.

A bit of time for hanging about

If you are seeking an adrenaline rush and want an aerial view of Pikes Peak and Manitou Springs a good way to do that would be by being suspended in mid-air and getting ready for your zipline adventure.

The Manitou Springs Zipline Adventure experience is well worth considering as the five different ziplines give you an amazing view of the area from the air, that’s if you can focus while soaring across this spectacular alpine canyon location.

Soak up a bit of history

If you would prefer your leisure time to be more sedate and educational a good attraction to visit would be the National Museum of World War II Aviation.

As well as enjoying an inspirational journey that tells you all about the history of the aircraft and the role they played in the war you can also visit neighboring WestPac Restoration and see how they are restoring some original aircraft to their former glory and ready to take to the skies again.

A challenging escape from work

Escape rooms are a popular new phenomenon in a lot of places and Colorado Springs has at least 11 different experiences to choose from.

The idea behind these escape rooms is to work out the clues and find your way out of the rooms within a limited amount of time. There are a variety of themes from “Escape from Hellscream”, which has a horror twist to the game, to “Planet Deadline” which will appeal to sci-fi fans.

If you want to escape from work for an hour and like a challenge, try one of the escape rooms located in Colorado Springs.

Whether you want to enjoy the amazing natural scenery or enjoy some man-made entertainment you won’t be short of options when it’s time to take a break from work during your stay in Colorado Springs.

Make sure you try and squeeze some of these attractions into your itinerary.

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Coworking 101: How to Thrive and Survive In a Shared Office

coworking

When you’re new to a country and a culture, meeting people can be a little daunting. We all know that customs vary wildly across the globe and eastern practices, in particular, tend to be quite different from those in the west. Often, a lack of knowledge can lead to insult, especially in the business world where first impressions are everything.

This is just one of the reasons why foreign investors and those looking to launch a company in Singapore are encouraged to try out coworking spaces. These shared offices are a great place to people watch, learn from others, and get to know the locals. They bring together like-minded entrepreneurs from all walks of life in a creative, collaborative environment.

Keep reading for some advice on the best ways to thrive and flourish in the coworking spaces of central Singapore.

Respect the Culture

Shared office space is so valuable precisely because it gives foreigners a chance to observe local people in a relaxed and polite way. So, for this reason, you shouldn’t worry too much about causing offence. If you show good manners and respect Singaporean customs, people will be glad to work with you. Just remember that people in Asia aren’t as direct as westerners.

They place a lot of emphasis on conversational niceties and greetings are important. Don’t ask too many personal questions until you know somebody better and always accept business cards with care. They should not be placed out of sight until the giver has left. Visit www.servcorp.com.sg/en/virtual-offices/ to check out coworking spaces in central Singapore.

Be Helpful and Supportive

One of the easiest ways to make connections in a coworking space is to be a helpful presence. Even something as small as carrying extra pens can make a difference because you only have to offer somebody a tiny bit of assistance to show that you’re worth their time. It is also a good opportunity to spark up a conversation and find out what industry they are in.

It can take a little while to get used to a shared office, especially if you have never experienced one before. The tenants here are open to collaboration and discussion, but this doesn’t mean that they’ll always seek it. Use your instincts, don’t disturb anybody who is obviously hard at work already, and try to restrict your introductions to slower moments like coffee breaks.

Stay Safe and Secure

The best coworking facilities have robust security features. They don’t just let anybody walk in off the street. Most have a system of some kind. It might be a key code or even a key card which tenants can use to get into the building. This is important because you wouldn’t leave a conventional office unsecured. Virtual workspaces are no different in this regard.

Again, the high-end providers use a range of cutting edge software solutions to keep data safe, but it is always a good idea to double up. Make sure that your laptop and any mobile devices you use are secure, protected against network intrusions, and built for the safe transfer of data. Cloud storage is very valuable because it automatically updates itself.

Why Coworking Is the Hot New Trend in Singapore

It is great news for small businesses and entrepreneurs when commercial rent costs start to fall. Launching a company in a high profile region like Singapore can be very expensive. The thing to remember, however, is that traditional leases are always apt to rise again. So, virtual workspaces continue to be a much more affordable option for businesses trying to streamline their expenses during those risky first years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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