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4 Ways to Increase Work Productivity and Efficiency

Productivity at work is an important component of the sustainability and survival of a business. It ensures that an enterprise is maximizing its returns and that employees are making the most of out of their work time. Productivity does not come cheap and may be a challenge to give the best either at home or work. It requires smart and focused strategies. These tactics need to be implemented on a regular basis so that they become routine. The following are some effective methods of increasing productivity and efficiency at work while increasing output.

1. USE TECHNOLOGY.

Technology has revolutionized how we do work in the office. They are excellent tools that can be used to increase productivity, efficiency, make life easier and save valuable time at work. Evernote and GoogleDocs are some applications that one can use to collaborate with colleagues on documents. One can sync weekly schedules with colleagues using calendar planning tools. Instead of traveling for meetings, video conferencing tools can be used saving time and money. Web based Time Tracking Software can to track employees’ attendance and leave time to ensure that every staff member gets paid the amount of time they work.

2. ENSURE ACCOUNTABILITY

Every business has standards that need to be meet. Every employee knows what is expected regarding what they should do, allocated roles and clear consequences. Members of staff who lack accountability eventually make excuses when they miss targets, slack off and postpone work. Therefore, responsibility should be set up from the beginning to ensure a high-quality work output.

3. REMOVE DISTRACTIONS.

Distractions are sources of massive waste of time. These distractions can be emails, social media websites, texting or a colleague wanting to make a rapport. Minimal distractions affect the work pattern leading to a drop in productivity. Setting office hours, installing firewalls to keep surfing hours in check and working from a home office on sensitive projects are some ways to minimize interruptions. It is important for one to resist temptations of destructions and make a conscious decision to use breaks efficiently.

4. EFFICIENT COMMUNICATION.

Effective communication is a valuable component in the way a business functions. It ensures achievement of targets and goals, and employees and customers’ needs, are satisfied professionally. It is about using appropriate channels of communication to attain the necessities of an enterprise. Members of staff should know how to reach the management about their concerns as well as the management knowing how to communicate duties and information with employees. Enhancing communication can be through the use of enterprise social platforms like Yammer that makes it easier and quicker for employees to get in touch, contribute to the business and help new colleagues with onboarding.

 

 

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Creating an Advantageous Expo Circuit

Expos are excellent business opportunities for sales, networking and raising brand awareness. However, competition will be fierce, so expo attendees should create an advantageous expo circuit through following the advice below.

Preparation
According to Entrepreneur magazine, industry expos provide the best PR, prospect and partner opportunities. However, advantageous expo circuits required detailed planning and preparation. First, before even committing to attend an expo, entrepreneurs should first attend a show in order to understand the layout and attendance demographics. If this is not possible, they should at least talk with past attendees in order to gain valuable information about what the expo is like beforehand. Once the expo registration is complete, entrepreneurs should review the session lineup and exhibitor list so they can plan who they will reach out to and what special considerations will be needed. However, anyone with an expo booth must carefully craft a killer presentation.

Create an Appealing Pitch
Expo pitches need hands-on demonstration and interactive presentations. Simply handing out flyers or greeting visitors is very ineffectual. For example, a plumbing company should have model equipment with running water hooked up for expo attendees to try out. An athletics equipment company should have sports equipment that people can handle and examine. For example, consider setting up a single miniature golf hole with interchangeable obstacles. In addition to this, engaging demonstrations must have enthusiastic speakers who are pleasant, persuasive and persistent. Presenters should have a set of succinct taglines that can be used on different target groups. Finally, consider playing a video demo outside the booth. Keep in mind that the video must be brief, convincing and full of energy.

Create a Customized Pitch
In addition to having a general pitch for random attendees, be sure to create a customized pitch for the most important exhibit attendee cohorts. This will require pre-expo market research in order to create personalized handouts for the biggest buyers. According to the American Society of Association Executives(ASAE), all marketing materials should be based on what the target cohort needs in order to remain competitive and excel in their field. For example, an expo participant who is a government contractor should focus on how their products or services will save money. On the other hand, an expo participant who caters to health care organizations should focus on quality consistency. One final method is to send out experienced sales people to personally call on the most important expo customers so they can demonstrate the product of service benefits.

In the end, attending expos are a great way to accomplish months of sales, marketing and advertising activities in only a few days. Therefore, be sure to properly prepare and create engaging pitches for both high profile customers and general audiences.

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Healthcare Organizations: How to Improve Daily Operations

According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), every health care organization should start the day with a quick meeting to review safety and operational issues. The HBR reports that health care organizations who have daily morning huddles experience 40 percent more reporting safety reporting. However, improving daily operations goes beyond standard morning business huddles.

Continuous Improvement
The best way to improve daily operations is through a solid quality improvement program. As mentioned above, health care organizations should start the day with a brief meeting that highlights major issues. However, without management intervention and documentation, these issues will continue to occur every day. This will result in frustrated patients and employees. Therefore, health care organizations should have daily morning huddles that result in documented goals and tasks. This action list is a great way to ensure accountability and transparency. In addition to this, there should be thorough quality discussions with management in order to allocate and prioritize processes and resources. Ideally, the health care organization will adopt the ISO 9000 quality management system or an equally beneficial program.

Operations Management
In today’s health care environment, employees must do all they can to just keep up with the fast workflow and intense job duties. Supervisors and managers may actually spend more time putting out fires or dealing with day-to-day issues instead of performing important managerial tasks. For example, health care management should proactively delegate tasks to their subordinates. This will be beneficial for management in the long-run because they will be able to identify subordinates who demonstrate strong organizational and leadership skills. As their star employees take on more challenging responsibilities and complex assignments, they will be able to transition into leadership positions. As a result of better operations control, management will be able to focus on more serious issues related to HR and compliance. In fact, these two issues are best handled through preventative planning and preemptive action.

Budgeting Monitoring
Effective budgeting oversight is a way that health care executives can contribute to operational improvements. This is accomplished through the executives comparing the costs of specific services to the actual revenue generated. As a result, the executives are able to effectively prioritize financial decisions and appropriately adjust their strategic planning. For example, finalizing approaching fiscal budgets will take into account department project requests and their projected revenue increase. Executives can make the best financial decision that will benefit both patients and employees. On the other hand, in-depth financial analysis will also help executives decide whether to increase or decrease departmental operating hours or services. For instance, lab services may be in high demand and therefore need more staff and resources. However, radiology technology must result in a transition to an online platform that requires fewer employees and less administration.

Health care organizations can improve their daily operations through continuous improvement, quality management and budget monitoring.

 

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Business Renovation: How to Open Throughout the Process

For small businesses, renovating a location can prove challenging on various levels. Owners must figure out how to finance the renovations. They must then apply for permits and figure out whether tax credits are available for renovations. The planning stage for such endeavors can last for months before construction begins. In each case, renovations cost a lot of money, and expenses could extend beyond construction.

The True Cost of Business Renovations

Business owners must decide whether to remain open during construction or not. Sometimes, renovations force the closure of a location, and there’s no way around that. Most renovation projects are flexible enough to avoid long-term closures, though. Shuttering the doors during construction could cost a business thousands of dollars per day, and many small businesses cannot afford to lose so much money.

So, how can businesses stay open throughout this process?

Keeping The Customers (and Revenue) Coming In

A renovation project should be planned in stages to keep the doors open. For instance, construction can be broken into different sections. It’s possible to work on renovations during business hours while avoiding areas with customers. Businesses could opt to close certain areas for construction while keeping core areas functional. By working around certain areas, companies can remain open like normal.

Capacity could be limited by renovations during the day, though. To avoid that situation, an owner could have renovations completed outside of business hours. Renovation could occur throughout the night to avoid inconveniencing customers or restricting operating capacity. Also, any renovations scheduled for key customer and operational areas could be tackled at night at the beginning to avoid store closures.

Business owners shouldn’t hesitate to utilize some creativity here. Typically, customers are more than willing to deal with the hassles of renovations. If customers love a given business enough, then they’ll keep coming back no matter what. Renovations can be broken into stages with breaks in between, if necessary. Creative solutions can keep the doors open each and every day of construction.

What is the true cost of closing down temporarily?

For most businesses, closing for an extended period comes with dire consequences. That business loses money each and every day as mentioned before. Loyal customers won’t always wait out the renovation project with a full store closure. When companies lose loyal, repeat customers, then they pay even more money to acquire new customers. A small business can’t afford these tangible and intangible expenses for closing down.

Staying Open Isn’t Impossible!

Few renovation projects at business locations require an extended closure. Many businesses can continue to operate during construction, even in a limited capacity. In the end, keeping the doors open helps avoid financial losses from staying closed. Every day of closure hurts a business in multiple ways after all. Business owners should strive to remain open while construction is occurring.

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Why Office Supplies are a Long Term Investment

When you buy quality office supplies, you can feel good knowing that they will last for a long time. The right office supplies can help you to be prepared to do a good job at work and can make life easier for employees and customers. It is important to have enough small everyday items in stock to make your business run smoothly, and you need quality large office items as well.

Pens and Paper
Although these small products may not seem like a long term investment, they really are. If you need to write down a client’s number or information for an employee, having paper and pen can make a big difference. You do not want to waste time or look inefficient in the eyes of your customers or employees, so be sure to have your office stationary stocked up.

Computers
When you do your work, you want to use products that you can rely on. Find computers that work fast, have plenty of power, and a lot of memory. Instead of buying the cheapest computer out there, be sure to find one that will be a good investment. A good computer will last for years and will help you to do your job with ease.

All-In-One Printers
When it comes to all-in-one printers, you want to be sure to have a quality option that will do everything you need it to. Look for a printer that has a fast printing speed. If you are going to be doing a lot of printing, be sure to find a machine that offers affordable per page printing options. Many new printers work with wireless options and can make your life much easier. Find the right printer for your business and enjoy the confidence that will come with it.

Office Furniture
The right office furniture will be aesthetically pleasing and functional. Since your office furniture is one of the first things that people will notice when they walk in, you want to be able to find items that show off your sense of style and that will give off a good first impression. When you buy well made furniture, you are making a long term investment that will pay off in the end.

By having the right office supplies, you can be sure to have good results. Be prepared and always have your supplies stocked up. Make sure that you have pens and paper, and make sure that machines like your copier and fax are working properly. The right electronics and furniture can make your business to be more successful too. When you have the right supplies, they will help your business for a long time to come.

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Business Strategy: The Power of T-Shirt Marketing

A business must constantly make efforts to entice and interest the masses. Therefore, they must be willing to invest time and money in marketing and promotional strategies at all times. T-shirt marketing is one of the leading types of marketing that today’s businesses conduct. It’s a powerful method for the following reasons:

T-Shirt Marketing Is Affordable

Hundreds of t-shirt printing companies are available, and they allow their customers to place their orders online. Such companies may offer free shipping and discounted pricing for bulk items. A business can take advantage of a few discounts and deals. It can locate a site that has low prices for the t-shirts, as well. The company can invest in hundreds of shirts, and the shirts can go to employees, customers, business associates and positive customers. A shirt wearer will advertise the business everywhere that person goes. Each t-shirt has the potential to reach at least 10 people every day. Even a person who only goes to the grocery store will end up advertising the business on the shirt.

T-Shirt Marketing Can Mesmerize

Another powerful benefit of t-shirt marketing is that it has the ability to mesmerize. Business owners can have their shirts customized into a style that even the most uninterested person can appreciate. They have their choice of choosing vibrant colors for the t-shirts. A business owner could make a bold statement by choosing a neon yellow or green background for the shirts. The business owner can also add pictures or large digits to represent the business’s phone number. Furthermore, the person can add a slogan or statement that stands out. T-shirts can really capture the hearts and desires of the people who see them every day.

T-Shirt Marketing Is Long-lasting
Finally, t-shirt marketing is long-lasting. A t-shirt can last a person for several years. The amount of people that can see a t-shirt within a seven-year period is remarkable. Thousands of people could see a t-shirt by that time, and then those people can tell other people about the company. The new customers can obtain t-shirts, and each of them can advertise to thousands of people. The possibilities are endless with t-shirt marketing, which is why so many modern business owners are shifting to t-shirt marketing as a primary means of getting the word out. It’s the most practical yet effective form of company promotion that exists today.

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How Sea World is Doing After Blackfish

When the documentary “Blackfish” was released at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013, the filmmakers had no idea that it would spark a revolution that would later be known as the “Blackfish Effect.” What was originally produced as a means to tell the story of an orca named Tilikum and the Sea World trainer he killed, has caused big waves in the world of animal activists and politics, changing Sea World forever.

The film focuses on the capture of Tilikum as a young orca, his captivity at Sealand of the Pacific and Sea World and the three trainers he is responsible for killing. Sea World trainer Dawn Brancheau’s death sparked the making of the documentary. The film alleges that orcas are not dangerous to humans in the wild but that captivity causes them to become aggressive, that captivity decreases the lifespan of orcas and that removing orcas from their natural habitat is emotionally damaging to the killer whales.

No immediate effect was seen after the movie aired at the independent film festival. When it was picked up by Magnolia Films and CNN Films and given a wider release, however, Sea World became the center of controversy. Popular song artists and performers cancelled their concerts in 2014 with the theme park, upcoming films edited out scenes that were filmed at SeaWorld and Southwest Airlines ended their 26-year relationship with the aquatic theme park. By the end of the year, Sea World experienced a $15.9 million loss.

Lawmakers became involved after their constituents raised concerns about orcas being kept in captivity. The Orca Welfare and Safety Act was introduced by California lawmakers, which would require that killer whale captivity for entertainment purposes be banned. In New York, legislation was also proposed that banned keeping orcas in captivity. In June 2014, an amendment to the Agriculture Appropriations Act that required the Animal Welfare Act be updated in regards to cetacean captivity passed in Congress with unanimous support.

SeaWorld changed it’s policies due to public concerns following the film. Following Brancheau’s death, OSHA required that all trainers be in barriers away from the animals, no longer performing together in shows. At the end of 2014, Sea World announced that it would build larger environments for the whales and will fund additional research to protect ocean health.

SeaWorld become a public company on April 19, 2013, with its initial public offering set at $27 per share, quickly rising to over $32 by the close of the day. The company raised $702 million from the deal. After the widespread release of “Blackfish,” however, stocks plummeted. In 2014, Sea World reported low admittance, which didn’t meet the theme park’s expectations for the year. This caused the stock to fall by 31 percent by the end of the year. Currently, stocks prices are still low, averaging approximately $18 a share.

Despite low attendance and dropping stock prices, Sea World employees are hopeful that things will soon turn around. Experts say, however, that the “Blackfish Effect” may continue to harm Sea World for some time to come, unless Sea World can change their focus from entertainment to education.

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Storage Racks: Cantilever Racks For Your Inventory

Storage racks are an integral part of every warehouse. However, their use isn’t limited to large storage facilities and warehouses. Component based racking systems are the most popular storage systems used today. Over the last few decades, the complexity of storage systems has grown significantly.

The world of material handling runs at a fast pace, so warehouse managers need to consider the best type of storage rack that fits their needs. Material specifications and space optimization are two common considerations that must be made.

Two other considerations are the environment and location. If the correct storage rack isn’t chosen and considerations made, it can lead to a dramatic drop in operating efficiency. In the material handling world, such a drop in efficiency can be devastating.

What Types Of Storage Racks Are Available?

There are several types of storage racks to choose from, and each systems has its pros and cons. The pallet storage rack is one of the most popular types.

Almost all of today’s warehouse operations use this type of storage rack. There are several different varieties, such as pushback pallet racks, drive-through pallet racks, drive-in pallet racks, structural and roll-formed pallet racks.

The Cantilever Storage Rack

You’ll find a number of warehouses utilizing cantilever storage racks. These racks can store bulky, long or abnormally shaped materials, and it will make sure the materials are stored in an organized manner.

An issue with cantilever racks is that they don’t have a front column, so they aren’t very good at saving horizontal space. They also make clear frontal access to each individual storage level nearly impossible. However, they can store virtually any type of load in an organization manner.

Put simply, they can make materials easier to track and easy to access. Cantilever racks will expedite inventory control and make forklift loading and retrieval quite easy. Your unique situation will determine if cantilever storage racks are right for you.

Bulk or Widespan Storage Racks

These storage racks can work well for storing bulky items, such as loose product or boxes. They can work well for a wide range of industrial applications. A bulk rack can provide four way access to shelves and could be perfect for organizing or consolidating the areas of large manufacturing environments or offices.

Record Storage Racks

A lot of companies use record storage racks to store important documents. Since these are documents that require secure, safe storage, record storage racks are ideal for the job.

They’re available in a number of different configurations, depending on your specific situation. The last most common type of storage rack is called a gravity flow rack, and it’s great for distribution centers and operations that involve order picking.