Category Archives: Business and Marketing

How Outsourcing Your Fleet Can Improve Your Business

Finding qualified and reliable drivers is a challenge for many businesses. This A Fleet of Carsproblem is expected to be harder in the coming years as the American Trucking Associations (ATA) projects a shortage of 175,000 drivers by 2024.

Transport staffing firm centerlinedrivers.com advises businesses faced with such problems to develop solutions that will make their operations more efficient and more profitable. In this particular scenario, you can solve your company’s logistics problem and improve your operations by partially or fully outsourcing your fleet. Remarkably, outsourcing:

Allows You to Focus on Core Business Activities

Regulations and rigors involved with logistics consume a lot of a business’ resources. Transportation and logistics require specialist know-how to deliver products most efficiently. At the same time, recruiting and training drivers need expertise that may no longer be in your repertoire.

Outsourcing will allow you to focus on profit-producing or business improvement activities. It is also a more efficient option for your company as you employ the services of those who specialize in the area and already have the resources you require.

Reduces Your Business' Operating Risks and Expenses

Outsourcing your logistics eliminates the following expenditure:

  • the cost of acquiring trucks or trailers
  • maintenance cost for trucks and trailers
  • overhead cost for in-house drivers
  • fines and penalties for failing to comply with different regulations of state and federal governments

Outsourcing also decreases your business’ risks because your third-party transport and logistics service provider assumes these risks. The transport company also covers workers' compensation, bodily injury, and physical damage.

Enhances Your Operational Flexibility

Outsourcing gives you the flexibility of adding drivers as needed. Your business has the freedom to increase or decrease its fleet according to seasonal needs. With logistics companies that have offices in different states, you can expand to new locations without having to hire new drivers or investing in more trucks.

Like what they say about life giving lemons, problems with finding the right driver can be an opportunity to streamline your business model. 

Deliver the Experience Customers Want

Customer care information for clients on a laptopYou may have thought that the customer has always come first for businesses for decades already, yet 2017 may prove different. Today, consumers have numerous companies to choose from in almost every kind of niche possible. With such a wide variety of choices, consumers tend to go with those who they feel connected to because those companies give them the experience they wanted.

Experiences Are Crucial

Customer experiences have perhaps never been more important than this year, 2017. To stay ahead of the competition, you can endeavor to give consumers the experience they expect or want from your company. How can you do that? You can do so by implementing the following marketing strategies, as suggested by pros at thirdstage-marketing.com.

Create More Relevant Content

Content creation continues to be an important tool to achieve a successful SEO strategy. To that end, you can use artificial intelligence to understand customers and predict what topics they want to read next. A.I. can then help you create more relevant content that will successfully bring traffic to your business website.

Speak with Your Target Market

Have you been engaging your target market enough? You can raise brand awareness, improve customer service, and retain customer loyalty just by engaging consumers on messaging and chat platforms. Messaging applications have more than 4 billion active users around the world. Do you want to tap into those billions? You can do so by budgeting resources into chat engagement.

Engage on Social Media More

Now, some messaging applications also double as social media platforms. You can engage customers as well on your social media accounts, but you have to go beyond simply having a social media page. You can use your targeted content to generate interest in social media. You can also encourage reviews that may increase your following online.

You can find many other digital marketing strategies that you can use to deliver a sought-after customer experience. With just the ones above, you can already deliver a one-of-a-kind experience. You can now start working with digital marketers with expertise in SEO and PPC services here in Denver to provide such an experience.

Investments That Construction Companies Should Consider

Women Working in ConstructionThis article enumerates the most important investments that every construction company should make if they want to ensure success and profitability. It all boils down to tools, people, and brand.

According to Business Insider, real estate is on fire again. It’s safe to say that it’s well on its way to recovery. If you are a construction company owner, this is good news. However, competition is still tough, and you want to have a competitive advantage in the industry.

Improve your facilities

It’s about time that you create an inventory of all your tools, machinery, and equipment. The competition in the industry is all about efficiency, so if your equipment is outdated, you are losing money to the competition. This is especially important if you are trying to reach out to new clients. For example, if you have projects out of the city, Shank’s Argo recommends that you should consider purchasing an Argo extreme utility terrain vehicle.

Be open to new technologies

Aside from updating all your machinery, you also have to be open to new technologies. Be ahead of the game by researching on how these advancements can leverage your operations. Also, don’t be afraid of adopting technologies to improve your processes and systems. Even if you are aiming for economies of scale, you should consider automation to reduce errors.

Choose your workers carefully

You should invest in people and hire the right people to make the difference. Choose both skills and attitude because these qualities make a difference. Do not risk your business by relying on the wrong people to get the job done. At the end of the day, it is the name of your business that is at stake.

Do not forget branding

You cannot just rely on word of mouth. You need to channel your efforts to marketing and promotions. Study your brand carefully, then go out there and make yourself known.

Go into the green lifestyle

Take into account major shifts in lifestyle to accommodate the needs of more customers, especially if you want to go into highly targeted markets. At the same time, you are supporting a very good advocacy.

The construction industry is big. There are different players that you are competing with, so there’s a need to stand out especially if you are a newcomer. Being a front runner is going to cost you money, but in the end, you can expect a return on your investments.

Thinking Out of the Box: Office Space Design

Amazing office designThe rise of information technology and computer science has offered a slew of job opportunities. The internet and ubiquitous use of gadgetry, from laptops to mobile phones, are causing a significant shift in businesses. With the industry’s rise, employment rates rise as well, creating a demand for office spaces.

The Growth of Office Spaces in Utah

Take, for example, how Varo Money is set to expand in Utah. The financial technology company, along with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), recently announced its expansion. With nearly three million dollars in capital, this move will bring hundreds of jobs to the community.

Val Hale, the executive director of the GOED, emphasizes fin-tech’s importance. It is a niche that can impact the state’s tech industry. As a versatile mobile banking platform, Varo Money looks forward to growing in Utah, fueling the need for more office spaces.

Aesthetics of Functionality: The Future of Office Space Design

The philosophy of Quality Used Office Furniture is “to create workplaces that are both stylish and functional.” As a provider of office furniture, the company knows that this is where the future of office space design is – the combination of both beauty and efficiency. The best technology firms, for instance, settle their think tanks in places that cultivate their culture. This is truly the direction of office space design.

As much may notice, the traditional office setup is already on its way out. Bland-colored tables and chairs, different cubicle sizes that denote hierarchy, and formal, boring styles are things of the past. The Apple office in Cupertino, for example, looks like an iPod dial on the outside – an instant preview of what the company does. It costs around five billion dollars and is set to be the most expensive corporate HQ in the world. It is an example of how tech firms across the U.S. are housing themselves in offices that represent their respective brands.

One must understand that the combination of design and function is a way to target long-term goals. Companies seeking to grow will surely invest in creating a workplace that is both stylish and functional. Design is an investment that serves to build the business’s culture and brandish it.

It’s Within You: Developing a Productive Workspace

A conference room Employees these days demand a lot from their workspaces, including flexibility, hospitality, personality and privacy. You want play areas, napping areas, standing desks and sitting desks, besides cluster desks for your office furniture.

You expect so much from your work area that you tend to forget its initial function, which is to produce productive work. So, how can you design a work area where real work happens?

1. Surround yourself with productivity clues.

Develop your workspace the way you develop yourself. The way you dress yourself up and what you carry with you speak wonders about the workspace you require. This includes your accessories, such as that Moleskin notebook you carry filled with your daily to-do lists.

Transfer this into your workspace by getting a huge white board on your wall. If you’re inclined to wearing comfortable outfits, like a classic shift dress or an unconstructed sports coat, then your work area should offer ease of movement.

2. Find productivity with music.

You most likely share a common work area, which is why earbuds are no stranger to you. Plenty of research reveals that listening to music promotes creativity and efficiency. These say that deep thinking, such as examining long documents, writing and reading, are best helped by listening to white noise, film scores, sonatas and narrative compositions. For those needing rapid boosts of energy, then look for music that fits that activity, like listening to Chance the Rapper.

3. Allow yourself to move.

Productivity usually involves forming great conversation with colleagues and clients. Develop seating arrangements that need you to move out or stand up from your central work area. This will not only boost your blood flow, but it will also make your clients feel important.

Keep in mind that a productive work area is a sector where you feel confident and comfortable. Develop a workspace that provides you that feeling each day, and your best ideas will surely follow.

Monitoring: Manufacturing Aspects That Determine the Success of Your Operations

Man working on a steel productThe manufacturing industry is among the busiest. This is more so when the product is a fast-selling one, like those in the food industry. The success of such industries relies on certain key aspects that are intertwined in the operations cycle.

One way to know if your operations are successful may depend on whether a certain aspect of your workflow is at its optimum or not. Tackling the factors involved in the food industry, you will see how monitoring these aspects using a good KPI software can do so much in improving business operations.

Count of Products

Count refers to the number of produced products. Each company may have a different system on how they would measure this factor. Some manufacturers would count the products produced per employee per shift. Others would total the number of products produced per shift without individual references. Most companies, however, use the first method to foster a competitive spirit among employees.

Ratio of Rejects

No system is perfect, so even the most technologically advanced manufacturing system will face product rejects. This refers to products that could not be sold. Either the packaging is damaged or the goods somehow did not meet quality standards.

The standards whether to reject a product or not would highly depend on the type of product being manufactured. For instance, if it’s canned goods, bulges on cans need to be rejected. If it is a raw food, molds or signs of discoloration must be rejected as well. Knowing these would now help you determine whether you produce an adequate amount of goods versus the rejects.

Speed of Production

This is also one aspect that KPI software monitors. There should be a consistency between the speed by which a certain number of products is produced per employees and at a certain period. These include the quality of the output against the speed of production. Too much focus on quality reduces speed, which results in reduced profit. Too much focus on speed, on the other hand, can affect the quality.

Downtime

Considered as the most important KPI metrics to track, the goal of each manufacturer is to decrease downtime. This means that you should know how long it takes to repair a machine or replace its parts. This way, management would know how to cope with such a downtime. Instead of waiting for machines to break down, which will lead to longer downtime, it would be best to replace old equipment and to promote regular maintenance.

These are some performance indicators that the food manufacturing industry must be mindful of. Proper monitoring of these indicators can lead to smooth and better operations. As a result, you can expect more profits.

Recent Innovations in Television Marketing

A man watching television while sitting on a sofa The first officially paid TV dvertisement hit the airwaves 75 years ago. Since then, little has changed in television advertising for most people. Ads still appear between cuts of the shows you want to watch. With the advent of digital advertising (think online), it’s hard to imagine that there is still space for this relatively old marketing method.

Unexplored Potential

But don’t dismiss it just yet. While smart targeting might not be TV advertising’s strongest suite, there are many opportunities in the medium to take marketing to the next level. Imagine watching your favourite TV show but without the commercial break every seven minutes. The entire cast is fighting, a latecomer walks in with a bottle of Coke, and everyone is happy again.

Delivery of television signal to the home has also evolved. From one-way broadcasting, digital transmissions can create pathways for better data exchange between networks and viewers.

Bridging the Gap

The future, however, is not about online taking over. It’s about building the bridge between TV and other modern avenues like online advertising. Many companies have been attempting this method. They tie up content they show in TV ads with what is exclusively online. Most broadcasted ads nowadays end with URLS or leave their Part IIs online for audiences to “discover”.

Why TV Just Can’t Die

Believe it or not, online advertising has not been displaying a purely upward curve. The results they give on several KPIs still show some unpredictability, losing to the reliability of the results achieved with TV advertising. In addition, the reach of traditional TV advertising remains unbeatable.

Advertising in the modern day can be very challenging. It is also the reason that opportunities for success abound. While TV advertising is not for all businesses, cutting TV ad budgets due to it being arcane is misinformed. The couch and the tube will have to stay in the living room.

Why Large Font Sizes in Web Design Improve Website Quality

A person using a laptop in a cafe The real impact of E-commerce becomes truly apparent in how comprehensive websites can reach audiences across the globe. There is, however, the issue of user experience. It is vital that site visitors, especially the targeted ones, get the information they need when they need it. This is the reason effective web design has become one of the most sought-after services in online marketing. The overall layout is just the icing on the cake. The website’s content is what truly counts.

web designer in Raleigh and other places recognizes the importance of communicating the right message to actual and potential website visitors. It starts with a functional web design that has a clean and professional appeal, and a large font size balances value and aesthetic while improving overall website usability.

Improved Readability

Modern web design should focus on content readability as this can bring about higher conversion rates. Most experts recommend a font size of 16 pixels or bigger for the body texts as most people read content on computer screens at a safe distance compared to printed materials. 16-pixel texts not only improve readability but also increase reading speed. An average web user, visually impaired or not, will likely turn away if he or she finds the text difficult to read.

Improved Usability

Small font sizes look long and cluttered in a web page. They also require too much scrolling as users navigate through extended blocks of text. Smaller texts also tend to increase line spacing, which is known to have a significant effect on comprehension.

Increased Visual Impact

In today’s increased mobile device usage, large texts are not only practical but also act as visual cues to catch attention and generate stronger emotional responses from readers. Bigger fonts make the content message concise, bolder, and more compelling.

Although larger texts have the most significant impact in enhancing website user experience, they have to complement the overall design. All components must serve to deliver the message that attracts readership and potential revenues.

Producing the Ideal Product: Quality versus Quantity

Man Doing a Quality Check In many cases, people will openly choose quality over quantity, regardless of the cost. For businesses, however, this is not always feasible.

The Necessary Quantity

Businesses are built to realise a profit. Most businesses would rather have an acceptable product that can be produced quickly and sold for a low price instead of something extremely high-quality with a correspondingly high price tag.

Outsourcing is the way businesses can cut costs. After all, it is cheaper for another firm to produce something they specialise in, compared to training your employees to produce everything. This also means you have access to the outsourced company’s expertise. A company that produces rubber seals, for example, can easily provide you with custom-made seals that are right for your needs and your budget.

In such cases, you may find that you’ll need to order large quantities of the item or have a specific contract tailored for your needs. Large volume orders mean the production cost for the company is reduced, thereby lowering your expenses. Finding an experienced supplier helps here—sometimes, when the focus is on quantity, quality may be sacrificed.

In Upholding Quality

Customer satisfaction usually comes in the form of a great product at the right price. A great, high-quality product will always prove to be desirable among clients. Lack of product quality reduces the number of repeat customers.

Hiring a company that lacks experience in producing the items you need, say the rubber seals from the previous sample, means you are unlikely to use their service again. If you receive substandard materials, your customers are unlikely to be happy with your end product. High-quality products can speak volumes for your firm. Especially in situations where you may have plenty of competition, you can easily stand out by producing a high-quality product instead of having a cheaper, average one.

Striking a Balance

As with anything, having a right balance is the ideal situation. Having a healthy mix of quality and quantity is preferred by most businesses. Producing a high quality product out of materials that satisfy the necessary quantity to meet your target income will help your business grow.

Pallets: Types, Designs and Uses

Warehouse Man at WorkPallets are essential materials in every warehouse. Not only do they allow proper organisation of supplies, but they also protect them from natural forces as well as an animal infestation. Typically, it is affixed to a structure and a bottom deck which allows it to be lifted and transported by another equipment more efficiently.

There are different kinds of pallets depending on whether you would use it simply for racking, or for transporting. Familiarize yourself with the various types of pallets and how you can choose the right one for your warehouse needs.

Different types of pallets

Wooden

This is the most famous type of pallet because of its durability and its affordability. Wooden ones are commonly used for heavy materials. However, over time, they can be prone to shrinking or warping due to moisture.

Plastic

Plastic pallets are commonly used for air freights because it is light weight. They are starting to rise in popularity because they are easy to maintain and can be re-used a lot of times.

Metal

Metal pallets are the heaviest but the most durable ones. They are often used in transporting heavy goods and is preferred by the catering industry due to sanitation purposes. Metal pallets are often used for storage at sea because it can withstand harsh weather and elements.

Other things to consider in choosing a pallet

Size

Aside from the type of materials used, one should also consider the size of pallets to use. The stringer board measures pallets then followed by the pallet width. There are six different pallet sizes recognised by the ISO.

Design

There are two kinds of pallet design, stringer or block. Then standard entry types are identified. These entry types are then distinguished on how many entry points they have for forklifts and pallet trucks to carry them.

Based on these facts, which type of pallet is best suitable for your business use?