Why Do People Join a Trade Union?

If you've heard a lot about Trade Unions in the media, perhaps due to the threat of job losses, or unfair or inappropriate working conditions, then perhaps you might consider joining a Trade Union.

Here are 5 reasons why people join a trade union


1. Larger Voice

Why Do People Join a Trade Union?

If one employee person complains about an issue, such as working conditions, then management may not listen, but if several do, through a Trade Union, they are much more likely to be heard.

Employees working for similar companies or in similar sectors can make themselves heard using the power of a Trade Union too. In retail, or manufacturing where there are often threats of closures, or other changes, belonging to a Trade Union can prove to be effective.

2. Issues That Affect You

Trade Unions campaign on behalf of their members, on a range of issues, which can be local, sector wide, or nationwide. Perhaps you are affected by a factory closing, or a company you supply to is moving its operations abroad. Maybe your region depends on a specific sector, such as farming, or manufacturing, and these areas are affected by the current economic climate. You could be affected by new laws, or by companies that are changing their emphasis. There are a lot of issues that could affect you, and your family, and being a member of a Trade Union could help you.

3. Workers' Rights

Workers' Rights are important for each an every employee. People cannot be discriminated against for their race, age, religion, colour, nationality, sexuality, gender, or for any other reason. Ensuring that all employees are treated fairly and equally is essential.

4. Campaigns

Trade Unions campaign against injustices in the workplace, or to promote a specific issue, such as for workers in a particular sector, or for a particular sector as a whole. Local issues could be brought about by the closure or opening of a factory, meaning more or less unemployment. Sector wide issues affect all workers in the same sector, such as agricultural workers, those in the car industry, or retail. National campaigns affect all workers, in all industries, and include issues such as minimum pay, working hours and pensions.

5. Trade Unions can help to change government policy

Trade Unions are often consulted on matters that affect government policy, such as working hours, pay and conditions, as well as issues that affect all workers in a particular sector, or perhaps when a large company goes into administration. Research can be carried out on behalf of other countries too, to see how policies or changes would affect workers in different countries.

Now you know more about the work carried out by a Trade Union, and how it can help you, why not consider joining a Trade Union?

Why Do People Join a Trade Union?

Find out more about the work carried out by a Trade Union, and some of the benefits of being a Trade Union Member [http://www.tgwu.org.uk/Templates/Internal.asp?NodeID=42427].

E Commerce Explained - A Research Paper




An e-commerce solution for a business is the incorporation of all aspects of the business operation into an electronic format. Many well-established businesses have been selling on-line for years. For example, Dell Computers Corp., has been selling computers directly to end-users for years. Currently, Dell is selling excessive of 1 million dollars worth of computers everyday on the World Wide Web (WWW).

E Commerce Explained - A Research Paper

When a business has incorporated an e-commerce solution, the business will experience a lower operation cost while at the same time increasing its profit. The e-commerce solution will allow businesses to eliminate unnecessary paperwork. All paperwork and data can be transformed into an electronic format. Thus, it will eliminate valuable shelf space and data can searched and accessed in matter of seconds. E-commerce will also automates the sales process. Customers can "point & click" on the products they wish to purchase, fill out the customer information, and the product will be shipped and received in a matter of few days. The administration department does not have to fill out any paperwork because the customer had done it already. Thus, the efficiency will be greatly improved. With an e-commerce solution, the business will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. People from anywhere in the world with an Internet access will be able to visit the site at any time. They will not be restricted to the "normal" business operating hours. A "brick + mortar" business is normally limited to serving the customers in its local geographical location. With an e-commerce solution, that business will not be limited a geographical restriction, rather it opens itself to the global on-line market. Essentially, the business' market exposure will be greatly increased.

In conducting my study, I have researched extensively on the Internet for resources. I chose the Internet as my primary research medium because e-commerce is still a fairly new technology. Since it is technology related, the Internet will provide the most recent data available. Printed publications will not be able to adapt to changes as fast and efficient as electronic publications. I researched many e-commerce related web sites along with some companies that conduct statistical studies. Some of the e-commerce web sites that I looked into are E-Commerce Times, eRetail, and eMarketer. The statistical research firms that I researched are Forrester Research and Jupiter Communication. Both firms provided valuable statistical data that shows the rise of consumers shopping on-line and the predicted dollar amount that will be spent in the coming years.


In conducting my study, I completed the following tasks:

- I searched extensively on the Internet for sites that are e-commerce related. Upon visiting the sites, I evaluated each sites for the contents, thoroughness, and objectiveness. There are literally hundreds of sites that are devoted to e-commerce. However, after my careful examination of most of them, I narrowed down to four sites that I will research for this report.

- I have also researched many firms that conducts statistical researches. The two firms that I will be utilizing for this report are Forrester Research and Jupiter Communication. Both firms are known for their preciseness, non-objectiveness, and thoroughness. The statistical data I collected from these two firms will support my recommendation that every business should have an e-commerce solution implemented.


From my research, I have developed twenty reasons why every business should incorporate an e-commerce solution into the business operation. They are listed below.

1. To Establish A Presence

There are approximately 70 million people worldwide that have access to the World Wide Web (WWW). No matter what industry or business one is in, one can not ignore 70 million people. To be part of that on-line community, one would need to be on the WWW for them. Because if one doe not do it, one's competitor definitely will.

2. To Network

A lot of what passes for business is simply nothing more than making connections with other people. Every smart businessperson knows, it is not what one knows, it is whom one knows. Passing out one's business card is part of every good meeting and every businessperson can tell more than one story how a chance meeting turned into the big deal. Well, what if one could pass out the business card to thousands, maybe millions of potential clients and partners, saying this is what I do and if you are ever in need of my services, this is how you can reach me. One can, 24 hours a day, inexpensively and simply, on the WWW.

3. To Make Business Information Available

What is basic business information? Think of a Yellow Pages ad. What are one's business hours? What does one do? How can someone contact the business? What method of payment does one take? Where is the business located at? Now think of a Yellow Pages ad where one can have instant communication. What is today's special? Today's interest rate? Next week's parking lot sale information? If one could keep one's customer informed of every reason why they should do business with them, doesn't one think one could do more business? One can on the WWW.

4. To Serve The Customers

Making business information available is one of the most important ways to serve the customers. But if one looks at serving the customer, one will find even more ways to use WWW technology. How about making forms available to pre-qualify for loans, or have one's staff do a search for that classic jazz record one's customer is looking for, without tying up one's staff on the phone to take down the information? Allow the customer to punch in sizes and check it against a database that tells him what color of jacket is available in one's store? All this can be done, simply and quickly, on the WWW.

5. To Heighten Public Interest

One won't get Newsweek magazine to write up about one's local store opening, but one might get them to write up one's Web Page address if it is something new and interesting. Even if Newsweek would write about one's local store opening, one would not benefit from someone in a distant city reading about it, unless of course, they were coming to one's town sometime soon. With Web page information, anybody anywhere who can access the internet and hears about one's site is a potential visitor to one's Web site and a potential customer for one's information there.

6. To Release Time Sensitive Material

What if one's materials need to be released no earlier than midnight? The quarterly earnings statement, the grand prize winner, the press kit for the much anticipated film, the merger news? Well, one sent out the materials to the press with "The-do-not-release-before-such-and-such-time" statement and hope for the best. Now the information can be made available at midnight or any time one specifies, with all related materials such as photographs, bios, etc. released at exactly the same time. Imagine the anticipation of "All materials will be made available on our Web site at 12:01 AM". The scoop goes to those that wait for the information to be posted, not the one who releases one's information early.

7. To Sell Things

Many people think that this is the number one thing to do with the World Wide Web. However, I have made it number seven to make it clear that I think one should consider selling things on the Internet and the World Wide Web after one has done all the things above. Why? Well, the answer is complex but the best way to put it is, does one consider the telephone the best place to sell things? Probably not. One probably considers the telephone as a tool that allows one to communicate with one's customer, which in turn helps one sell things. Well, that's how I think one should consider the WWW. The technology is different, but before people decide to become customers, they want to know about one, what one does and what one can do for them. Which one can do easily and inexpensively on the WWW. Then one might be able to turn them into customers.

8. To make picture, sound and video available

What if one's widget is great, but people would really love it if they could see it in action? The album is great but with no airplay, nobody knows that it sounds great? A picture is worth a thousand words, but one does not have the space for a thousand words? The WWW allows one to add sound, pictures and short movie files to one's company's info if that will serve one's potential customers. No brochure will do that.

9. To Reach a Highly Desirable Demographic Market

The demographic of the WWW user is probably the highest mass-market demographic available. Usually they are college-educated or being college educated, making a high salary or soon to make a high salary. It is no wonder that Wired magazine, the magazine of choice to the Internet community, has no problem getting Lexus and other high-end marketer's advertising. Even with the addition of the commercial on-line community, the demographic will remain high for many years to come.

10. To Answer Frequently Asked Questions

Whoever answers the telephones in one's organization can tell one that their time is usually spent answering the same questions over and over again. These are the questions customers and potential customers want to know the answer to before they deal with one. Post them on a WWW page and one will have removed another barrier to doing business with one and freed up some time for that harried phone operator.

11. To Stay in Contact with Salespeople

One's employees on the road may need up-to-the-minute information that will help them make the sale or pull together the deal. If one knows what that information is, one can keep it posted in complete privacy on the WWW. A quick local phone call can keep one's staff supplied with the most detailed information, without long distance phone bills and tying up the staff at the home office.

12. To Open International Market

One may not be able to make sense of the mail, phone and regulation systems in

all the potential international markets, but with a e-commerce solution, one can open up a dialogue with international markets as easily as with the company across the street. As a matter-of-fact, before one goes onto the Web, one should decide how one wants to handle the international business that will come one's way, because one's postings are certain to bring international opportunities to one's way, whether it is part of one's plan or not. Another added benefit; if one's company has offices overseas, they can access the home offices information for the price of a local phone call.

13. To Create a 24 Hour Service

If one has ever remembered too late or too early to call the opposite coast, one knows the hassle. Not all businesses are on the same schedule. Business is worldwide but one's office hours aren't. Trying to reach Asia or Europe is even more frustrating. However, Web pages serve the client, customer and partner 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No overtime either. It can customize information to match needs and collect important information that will put one ahead of the competition, even before they get into the office.

14. To Make Changing Information Available Quickly

Sometimes, information changes before it gets off the press. Now one has a pile of expensive, worthless paper. Electronic publishing changes with one's needs. No paper, no ink, no printer's bill. One can even attach one's web page to a database which customizes the page's output to a database one can change as many times in a day as one needs. No printed piece can match that flexibility.

15. To Allow Feedback From Customers

One passes out the brochure, the catalog, the booklet. But it doesn't work. No sales, no calls, no leads. What went wrong? Wrong color, wrong price, wrong market? Keep testing, the marketing books say, and one will eventually find out what went wrong. That's great for the big boys with deep pockets, but who is paying the bills? One is and one doesn't have the time nor the money to wait for the answer. With a Web page, one can ask for feedback and get it instantaneously with no extra cost. An instant e-mail response can be built into Web pages and can get the answer while its fresh in one's customers mind, without the cost and lack of response of business reply mail.

16. To Test Market New Services and Products

Tied into the reason above, we all know the cost of rolling out a new product. Advertising, advertising, advertising, press release and advertising. Expensive, expensive, expensive. Once one has been on the Web and know what to expect from those who are seeing one's page, they are the least expensive market for one to reach. They will also let one knows what they think of one's product faster, easier and much less expensively than any other market one may reach. For the cost of a page or two of Web programming, one can have a crystal ball into where to position one's product or service in the marketplace.

17. To Reach The Media

Every kind of business needs the exposure that the media can bring, as I touched on in reason #5 "To Heighten Public Interest", but what if one's business is reaching the media, as a newswire, a publicist or a public policy group. The media is the most wired profession today, since their main product is information and they can get it more quickly, cheaply and easily on-line. On-line press kits are becoming more and more common, since they work with the digital environment of more and more pressrooms. Digital images can be put in place without the stripping and shooting of the old pressrooms and digital text can be edited and outputted on tight deadlines. All these can be made available on an e-commerce solution.

18. To Reach The Education and Youth Market

If one's market is education, consider that most universities already offer Internet accesses to their students and most K-12's will be on the Internet within the next few years. Books, athletic shoes, study courses, youth fashion and anything else that would want to reach these overlapping markets needs to be on the WWW. Even with the coming of the commercial on-line services and their somewhat older populations there will be nothing but growth in the percentage of the under 25 market that will be on-line.

19. To Reach The Specialized Market

Sell fish tanks, art reproductions, flying lessons? One may think that the Internet is not a good place to be. Well, think again. The Internet isn't just for computer science students anymore. With the 70 million and growing users of the WWW, even the most narrowly defined interest group will be represented in large numbers. Since the Web has several very good search programs, one's interest group will be able to find one's company, or one's competitors.

20. To Serve One's Local Market

I've talked about the power to serve the world with a e-commerce solution. How about one's neighborhood? If one is located in San Francisco Bay Area, the Raleigh NC area, Boston or New York, there is probably enough local customers with Internet access to make it worth one's while to consider Web marketing. A local Palo Alto, CA restaurant even takes lunch orders through the Internet! But no matter where one is, if the big client has Internet access, one should be there too.


After detailed analyzing and studying of the effects and benefits of incorporating an e-commerce solution to an existing business, it is clear that an e-commerce solution will benefit the business in every aspect.

The implementation of an e-commerce solution will generate a brand new revenue stream, expand the market exposure, and decrease the operation cost. Many Fortune 500 companies, such as Dell Computer Corp., have already adapted e-commerce into their business operation. As I have mentioned earlier, Dell Computer Corp. is currently generating over 1 million dollars in revenues from their web-site. Many well-known "brick & mortar" businesses are starting to establish their presence on the web. For example, Barnes & Noble Booksellers, the top book retailer in North America, has just launched their web-site earlier this year following the success of Amazon.com. Amazon.com, the top book & music seller on the web, has been referred to have one of the most efficient business operation in the world today.


Based on the conclusion of this study, I recommend the following:

- Every business should implement an e-commerce solution into the business operation.

Works Cited

"E-Commerce Times: Everything You Wanted to Know About Doing Business Online." E-Commerce Times. 1999. (9 August 1999).

"E-Marketer, Where Business Begins On-line." E-Marketer. 1999. (9 August 1999).

"E-Retail, News and Information for Internet Retailers." E-Retail. 1999. (9 August 1999).

"The Electronic Commerce Guide." Internet.com's Electronic Commerce Guide. 1999. . (9 August 1999).

"Forrester Research: Helping Businesses Thrive on Technology Change." Forrester Research. 1999. (9 August 1999).

"Jupiter Communication: Market Research on the Consumer Online Industry." Jupiter Communication. 1999. (9 August 1999).

E Commerce Explained - A Research Paper

Doctor Mike Cooper has been a college level instructor since 1986. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Information Systems and a Master's Degree in Data Communications. He is a retired Army Officer and a veteran of 33 months service in Vietnam. Dr. Cooper has lived in Thailand, Belgium, Germany and still travels extensively.

Doctor Mike Cooper writes research papers for http://www.termpaperadvisor.com and http://www.termpapersmadeeasy.com. Many of his papers are ecommerce related.

Origin and History of Trade Unions

A trade union is exactly what its name suggests - it is a union of people for the sake of their trade. In other words, it is an organization of workers in order to achieve certain common goals like increment of wages, better working conditions, etc.

The history of labor union dates back to the guild system that started in Europe, this system aimed to protect selected professions by controlling of advancement and skill mastery. This is how unions came into existence, and is the first example of how numerous workers join together to create their own rules instead of following those set by their employers.


A great demand for new workers to join the job market was triggered by the eighteenth century's industrial revolution in Europe. In the US in earlier times the trade unions and workers played a very important part in striving for their independence. They introduced physical efforts as well as ideas and although the former were not useful or successful, the latter remained in the American Culture and are still followed to this day.

Origin and History of Trade Unions

It was only in the nineteenth century that the union became hugely popular after the founding of the National Labor Union, which is the very first national union. This union was formed in the year 1866 and it was open for all kinds of workers. Unfortunately, this union wasn't successful and was dissolved shortly and all that remains in the history is its foundation. Later on in the year 1869, the Knights of Labor was created and it was this union opposed child labor and promoted the idea of working for eight hours a day. It was so successful that the membership zoomed up to a staggering 700,000 members!

And that is how trade unions came into existence. It all started as a great idea and became what we see it today. Although the agendas of today's union might have changed, but the ideals and aims more or less remains the same.

Origin and History of Trade Unions

There is a lot of history behind the formation of a Trade Union. Click here to know more about Trade Union

The Basics of Effective Salesmanship

They say that a salesperson is a very crafty and charismatic person. That is true in a sense that he/she can reap good benefits from a very challenging but rewarding career, if he or she is good enough and can establish a connection with a prospective client in a very short time. So if you want to be amongst those who have legendary salesmanship skills, then it's high time you knew about the basics. Every one starts with baby steps before they learn how to run, so with that in mind, here are the basic, yet important things you need to learn and understand before you start selling items.

· First of all, you must realize that everyone can be a good salesperson. You may not realize it, but in your conversations with others, you are selling to them your ideas or opinions. If you manage to get people to react to your opinions - for example, if you get them to laugh, cry or agree - then you are already showing good salesmanship.


· Common sense or not, some people still neglect or forget to remember the pull of an excellent looking exterior. If you are aspiring to sell many items to clients, then you must look the part. You must remember to always shave if you are a guy and wear proper makeup if you are a girl. If you appear sloppy or even disinterested in what you are doing, then you will surely have a negative impact and a bad first impression.

The Basics of Effective Salesmanship

· You must always be on the look out for prospective clients. But never commit the mistake of being too clingy. Some people overdo the friendliness or helpfulness part which will eventually drive a customer to irritation. Don't be too over the top with your showmanship skills either.
· Learn how to be a good listener. Sometimes, good salesmanship is not measured by how much you can convey to the customer in a short period of time. If you know how to be a good listener, then you will better understand what the customer wants and is looking for. But some people like it when a salesman/woman is doing a very good and energetic sales presentation as opposed to someone who just waits patiently at the sidelines and lets the customer ask questions.

· Now that you've learned how to make a good impression and attract a potential buyer, then you should also learn how to make a good sales presentation.

· Next, you must do your research. If you know more about what you are selling, you become more believable. And if you become more believable, then there is a higher chance that you sell more items in the long run.

· Last but not the least; you must be truly interested in what you are selling.
All in all, sales would be a very rewarding career choice and if you put your heart into it, you will definitely harvest the fruits of your labor.

The Basics of Effective Salesmanship

Rl Johnson has many years in the trucking industry as a driver, recruiter and freight agent. You can preview his work at http://www.ixltraining.com and http://ixltruckjobs.ixltrainingbooks.com

Dealing With Crack Cocaine Withdrawal

Before we directly proceed on how to deal with crack cocaine withdrawal, let us first get ourselves fully acquainted with what crack cocaine is. If you are thinking that this drug is the ordinary cocaine, you are wrong. Although very similar to cocaine, this drug is processed as it is mixed with baking soda or ammonia and water which then form into rocks. This substance is usually cheaper to buy. It is often smoked in pipes by crack addicts.

But what makes this substance so addictive? A user feels a certain type of high whenever this substance is smoked. This certain high is like euphoria to the user. But because this high doesn't last long, it makes the user crave for more to feel it again. This drives the users to chase over this drug, wasting their money and their lives as well. This also leads drug users to commit crimes such as robbery in pursuit of this particular high.


If you are a crack cocaine addict yourself, then you must be feeling its consequences right now. Like any other forbidden drugs, using this drug has certain negative effects to its users' health. Abbusers of this drug often experience paranoia, depression, anxiety, and mood swings. Being a regular user of this drug makes you adaptive to a paranoid way of life. In worst cases, users experience intense cravings for the drug without being satisfied. Once a person used the drug, he becomes drug dependent and is unable to function well without it.

Dealing With Crack Cocaine Withdrawal

Aside from its initial negative side effects, crack cocaine addicts are also vulnerable to its long term effects. Such effects include having problems with bodily functions, hallucinations, depressions, and delirium. The worst effects of being addicted to crack cocaine are heart attacks and fatal respiratory problems that may eventually lead to death.

Now that you know fully well the consequences in using crack cocaine, maybe you are planning to get out of the addictive habit yourself. But getting out of it is not that easy. Cocaine crack dependents often find it very hard and agonizing to stop their addictive habits. Studies reveal that those who tried to stop from crack cocaine addiction experience withdrawals with painful symptoms such as intense cravings, anxiety, hunger, irritability, and paranoia. These mentioned symptoms are often too hard for the drug user to endure which only makes him go back to his addictive cycle. Bottom line, crack addicts are not capable of stopping their drug addiction all by themselves.

The most effective way to deal with crack cocaine withdrawal is through the aid of addiction specialists. Crack addicts are subject to undergo treatments for them to fully recover and start a drug free life. Medical detox is used for crack addicts, helping them to stay clean and recover for longer periods of time.

Dealing With Crack Cocaine Withdrawal

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When you need more information on cocaine rehabilitation, try searching for it here: cocaine addiction rehab

Top 10 Information Systems Security Controls in the Enterprise


Top 10 Information Systems Security Controls in the Enterprise
Top 10 Information Systems Security Controls in the Enterprise

About the Author

Mr. Thomas Bbosa - CISSP, is an Information Systems security Consultant and Managing Partner with BitWork Technologies Ltd - http://www.bitworktech.com, an IT firm based in Kampala, Uganda. He is a certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), with over 10 years Experience in the IT industry. He has been involved in various roles of IT infrastructure management and support, Information systems Security management & solutions deployment.

The Psychological Power of Words

Do you know that the words you use everyday have a great impact on your mood and behavior?

An experiment was conducted to find out whether words have a psychological effect on people's mood or not by bringing three groups and giving each of them a word puzzle to solve. The first group was given a puzzle that contained words like "calm" and "polite", the second group was given a puzzle that had words like "anger" and "rude" while the third group was given a puzzle that contained neutral words.


Right after solving the puzzle they were all asked to leave to another room and on their way they found someone who kept interrupting them and forcing them to wait for a long time. The first group which was exposed to the rude words was found to respond more aggressively to the person who wasted their time!!

The Psychological Power of Words

The second group which was exposed to the polite words was more polite to the person who wasted their time while the third group had a neutral response!!!

How the words you use affect your mood and behavior

Its clear from the previous experiment that the words you use get printed in your mind and then affect your way of thinking and performance. Now after knowing about the psychology of words have you asked yourself:

* What would be the outcome of complaining about things all the time?
* How your mood would be affected if you kept putting yourself down?
* How would you feel like if you talked to pessimists or even worse became a pessimistic person

The experiment proved that words have a temporary effect that lasts for sometime right after we get exposed to them but what if you are constantly repeating the same words to yourself over and over?

What if you are always thinking negatively of yourself and your abilities? Won't that get reflected in your mood and performance?

Another experiment was done by a scientist to find whether words affect the structure of water or not. After shouting at water and playing loud noise the water formed inhomogeneous crystals but when good words were said above the water the crystals formed were highly clear and having a good structure. So what does this has to do with humans? most of our bodies are formed of water!

The psychology of images

Just as words have a psychological effect on our moods images do have a powerful effect too. Staring at an image for a certain period of time can result in changing the way you think for few minutes right after you stop looking at the image.

Now what about the effect of combining images and words together and even adding effects to them? Yes I am talking about movies!!

The movies you watch don't just change your mood temporarily but they program your mind, alter your beliefs and can have a life lasting effect on you!

Beware of the words you say and the words you listen to because they can both affect your mood and behavior. Avoid looking at violent images or disgusting ones and never think about watching a movie such as SAW because it might turn you into a sadistic person over time.

The Psychological Power of Words

http://www.2knowmyself.com, The ultimate source for self understanding.

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Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) - Its Components and Advantages

Enterprise Resource Planning is software used by many organizations for integrating its data and processes into one system. A unified database for the purpose of storing data is utilized by several systems of an organization. Several departments of an organization make use of integrated database depending upon their authorizations and permissions to access. The essential purpose of Enterprise Resource Planning software is to ensure smooth flow of information throughout an organization and it is also helpful to manage connection with exterior stakeholders. Different hardware and network configurations are supported by ERP software.

Several levels of organizations make use of ERP system for managing payroll and accounting. Functions like supply chain management, Human Resource management, warehouse management and many more can be incorporated by any organization using Enterprise Resource Planning software.


Evolution of ERP:
Inventory Control - > Material Requirements Planning (MRP) - > Manufacturing resource planning II (MRP II) - > Enterprise resource planning

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) - Its Components and Advantages

Components of ERP:

HR- Human Resources:
- HR management
- Payroll
- Planning (Workforce & shift)

- General Ledger
- Asset & Treasury Management
- Accounts (Receivable & Payable)
- Controlling

Sales and Distribution
- Customer Management
- Sales order mgmt
- Billing, invoice & dispatch
- Sales history

Materials Management
- Procurement
- Inventory Management

- Warehouse management
- Transport Management

Advantages of EPR Software:

- ERP integrates all business processes and reduces paper work.
- Order tracking helps in improving Customer relationship management.
- Helpful in eliminating data duplication and is useful in faster information processing.
- Decision making becomes easy for management and is useful in generating quick reports.
- Efficiently manages financial information.
- ERP software guarantees security is helpful in preventing industrial espionage.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) - Its Components and Advantages

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Enterprise Risk Management and the PMBOK

Enterprise Risk Management is a term used to describe a holistic approach to managing the risks and opportunities that the organization must manage intelligently in order to create maximum value for their shareholders. The foundation for the approach is the alignment of the organization's management of risks and opportunities to their goals and objectives. One of the keys to this alignment is the "Risk Appetite" statement which is a statement encapsulating the direction the Board gives management to guide their risk management methods. The statement should describe in general terms what kinds of risk the organization can tolerate and which it can't. This statement plus the organization's goals and objectives guides management in the selection of projects the organization undertakes. The statement also guides management in setting risk tolerance levels and determining which risks are acceptable and which must be mitigated.

This article will attempt to review Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) and relate it to the best project management practices found in the PMBOK® (4th Edition). The source for most of my information about ERM comes from a study published by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) of the Treadway commission published in 2004. The Treadway commission was sponsored by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the COSO consisted of representatives from 5 different accounting oversight groups as well as North Carolina State University, E.I. Dupont, Motorola, American Express, Protective Life Corporation, Community Trust Bancorp, and Brigham Young University. The study was authored by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. The reason for listing the oversight committee and authors is to demonstrate the influence the insurance and financial industries had over the study.


The approach suggested by the study, which is probably the most authoritative source of ERM information, is very similar to approaches taken to managing quality in the organization in that it places emphasis on the responsibility of senior management to support ERM efforts and provide guidance. The difference here is that, while Quality methodologies such as CMM or CMMI place the responsibility on management to formulate and implement quality policies, ERM takes responsibility right to the top: the Board of Directors.

Enterprise Risk Management and the PMBOK

Let's go through the study recommendations and relate them to the processes recommended in the PMBOK. To refresh your memories, those processes are:

  • Plan Risk Management
  • Identify Risks
  • Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis
  • Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis
  • Plan Risk Response
  • Monitor and Control Risks

ERM begins by segregating goals and objectives into 4 groups: strategic, operations, reporting, and compliance. For the purposes of managing projects, we need not concern ourselves with operational risks. Our projects might support implementation of reports and our projects may be constrained by the need to comply with organizational or governmental guidelines, standards, or policies. Projects in the construction industry will be constrained by the need to comply with the relevant safety laws enforced in their location. Projects in the financial, oil & gas, defense, and pharmaceutical industries will also be required to comply with government laws and standards. Even software development projects may be required to comply with standards adopted by the organization, for example quality standards. Projects are a key means of implementing strategic goals so goals in this group are usually applicable to our projects.

The study recommends 7 components:

  • Internal environment The key component of the internal environment is the "Risk Appetite" statement from the Board. The environment also encompasses the attitudes of the organization, its ethical values, and the environment in which they operate.
    PMBOK® Alignment The description in the study is actually very close to the description of Enterprise Environmental Factors. Enterprise Environmental Factors are an input to the Plan Risk Management process. The PMBOK also refers to the organization's risk appetite in their description of Enterprise Environmental Factors, as well as attitudes towards risk.
  • Objective Setting Management is responsible for setting objectives that support the organization's mission, goals, and objectives. Objective setting at this level must also be consistent with the organization's risk appetite. The objective setting here may refer to objective setting for the project, as well as any of the other 4 groups.
    PMBOK® Alignment Goals and objectives should include those that pertain to risk management. The project's Cost and Schedule Management plans are input to the Plan Risk Management process. These documents should contain descriptions of the goals and objectives in these individual areas. These goals and objectives may determine how risks are categorized (Identify Risks), prioritized (Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis), and responded to (Plan Risk Response).
  • Event Identification Events that pose a threat to the organization's goals and objectives are identified, as well as events that present the organization with an opportunity of achieving its goals and activities (or unidentified goals and objectives). Opportunities are channeled back to the organization's strategy or objective setting processes.
    PMBOK® Alignment This component aligns exactly with the Identify Risks process from the PMBOK. The only significant difference here is the recommendation that opportunities be channeled back to the organization's strategy of objective setting processes. The PMBOK offers no guidance here but this component can be supported by simply referring any opportunity not identified with an existing project goal or objective back, to the project sponsor.
  • Risk Assessment Risks are scored using a probability and impact scoring system. Risks are assessed on an "inherent and residual" basis. This simply means that once a risk mitigation strategy has been defined, its effectiveness is measured by determining a probability impact score with the risk mitigation strategy in place. This score is referred to as residual risk.
    PMBOK® Alignment This component aligns closely with the Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis process. This process provides for the probability and impact scoring for the identified risks. The Monitor and Control Risks process also supports this component. This is the process that measures the effectiveness of the mitigation strategies. This is the process that will determine the residual risks.
  • Control Activities Policies and Procedures are established to ensure that risk responses are effectively carried out.
    PMBOK® Alignment This component is supported by the Plan Risk Management process. The output of this process is the Risk Management Plan which describes the risk management procedures the project will follow. Keep in mind that Control Activities is wider in scope than Plan Risk Management, the Plan will only cover those procedures that pertain to the project. The Monitor and Control Risks process also supports this component. This process ensures that the procedures defined in the plan are carried out and are effective.
  • Information and Communication This component describes how information pertaining to risks and risk management is identified, captured, and communicated throughout the organization.
    PMBOK® Alignment This component is actually supported by the processes in the Communications Management knowledge area. The processes in this area manage all project communications. The Risk Management Plan will identify the information, how it is captured, and how it is maintained. The Communications Plan will describe to whom, when, and how the information is to be communicated.
  • Monitoring Specifies that ERM is monitored and changed when necessary. Monitoring and change are performed in 2 ways: ongoing management activities and audits.
    PMBOK® Alignment Monitor and Control Risks supports this component. This process uses Risk Reassessment, Variance and Trend Analysis, Reserve Analysis, and Status Meetings to monitor risk management activities and ensure that the activities are meeting the project's goals and objectives. This process also describes audits as a technique for determining whether planned activities are being carried out and are effective. One of the outputs of this process is updates to the Risk Management Plan in the case where activities are not effective in controlling risks. Preventive and Corrective actions are also recommended to address cases where activities are not being carried out, or are incorrectly performed.

ERM provides for assurance that it is effective by determining if all 7 components of ERM have been provided for, across all 4 categories of organizational goals and objectives. Project management will not cover off all areas of each component in each category, but will cover those organizational goals and objectives supported by the project and all the reporting and compliance goals and objectives that apply to the project.

Internal Control for ERM is provided for by the guidelines described in the Internal Controls - Integrated Framework document authored by COSO. We won't go into detail describing these guidelines but treat them at a summary level. The ERM study aligns with the guidelines and refers the reader to that document for compliance details. The details of compliance would concern an organization implementing ERM but that must be instigated by the Board and would only concern a project manager if they were to be responsible for a project which implemented ERM. The guidelines place risk controls with other internal controls of the organization (keep in mind these guidelines are insurance and finance-centric). The guidelines provide for the assignment of responsibilities to 3 organizational roles: the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Information Officer, and the Chief Risk Officer. The Chief Legal Officer is identified in lieu of a Chief Risk officer. The CFO is responsible for monitoring internal control of financial reporting, the CIO is responsible for monitoring internal control over information systems, and the CRO is responsible for monitoring internal control over compliance with laws, standards, and regulations. The guidelines re-iterate that risk management tone is set from the top of the organization as evidenced by the company officers responsible for monitoring.

The Internal Control - Integrated Framework guidelines also acknowledge that monitoring and control are prone to human error and that not all procedures have equal importance. They address this by the identification of the most critical procedures using "key-control analysis". Key-control analysis is used to determine whether control procedures and processes are effective. The guidelines also attempt to provide direction in the identification of preventive or corrective actions to improve internal controls. They do this by evaluation of the information measuring the effectiveness. Only if the information is "persuasive" should corrections be made. The guidelines provide for internal audits of internal control procedures but acknowledge that every organization may not be large enough to warrant that role and that there is a place for external audits in internal controls.

Most of the reporting the project manager will be responsible for will be what the guidelines term as "internal", that is the reports will only be read by management. In some cases reports may be read by 3rd party external organizations. The project manager's reportage on risk management on their project may form a part of the information reported externally, but the project manager should not be made responsible for reporting externally.

The guidelines require that implementation of a framework be scaled to suit the size and complexity of the organization it serves. Scalability will require the organization to identify who will be responsible for a given activity. For example, the organization may not have a Chief Risk Officer in which case some other role must be identified for compliance responsibility. This responsibility will be delegated to the project manager when any compliance objectives form part of the project's objectives.

ERM was designed to serve the Financial and Insurance industries and some aspects are specific to those industries. Some, indeed most, of the components will serve any industry very well. Remember that there were contributors to the study from Universities, electronics (Motorola), and chemicals (E.I. Dupont). The best project management practices described in the PMBOK® will support ERM very well with little alteration. The trick is to identify the project risk management activities which align with and support ERM. Once you do this, implementing ERM with your project becomes easy.

Enterprise Risk Management and the PMBOK


Role of Information Technology in Growth of Business

Information technology (IT) refers to the management and use of information using computer-based tools. It includes acquiring, processing, storing, and distributing information. Most commonly it is a term used to refer to business applications of computer technology, rather than scientific applications. The term is used broadly in business to refer to anything that ties into the use of computers.

Mostly businesses today create data that can be stored and processed on computers. In some cases the data must be input to computers using devices such as keyboards and scanners. In other cases the data might be created electronically and automatically stored in computers.


Small businesses generally need to purchase software packages, and may need to contract with IT businesses that provide services such as hosting, marketing web sites and maintaining networks. However, larger companies can consider having their own IT staffs to develop software, and otherwise handle IT needs in-house. For instance, businesses working with the federal government are likely to need to comply with requirements relating to making information accessible.

Role of Information Technology in Growth of Business

The constant upgrade in information technology, along with increasing global competition, is adding difficulty and hesitation of several orders of scale to the business and trade. One of the most widely discussed areas in recent business literature is that of new organizational network structures that hold survival and growth in an environment of growing complexity.

Effective implementation of information technology would decrease liability by reducing the cost of expected failures and increase flexibility by reducing the cost of adjustment. The businesses reaction to the environment remains to be the vital determinant for its effectiveness. The capabilities and flexibilities of computer-communication systems make them gradually more appropriate to businesses by being able to respond to any specific information or communication requirement.

Information Technology is having impact on all trade industries and businesses, in service as well as in manufacturing. It is affecting workers at all levels of organizations, from the executives to middle management and clerks. Information technology is increasingly becoming a basic factor of all types of technologies such as craft, engineering, routine, and non-routine.

The advances in Information Technology would result in remarkable decline in the costs of synchronization that would lead to new, concentrated business structures. It enables the business to respond to the new and urgent competitive forces by providing effective management of interdependence.

In the near future businesses would be facing a lack and a redundancy of information called information glut. To solve the information-glut companies will need to introduce methods for selective thinning out of information. Improvements in telecommunications will make it easier to control business units dispersed over different parts of the world. Advances in telecommunications, would result in increased distance-communication. Indirect communication would be preferred for well-structured information for routine, preprogrammed and decision processes.

© 2006, Wholesale Pages UK. All rights reserved.

Role of Information Technology in Growth of Business

William King is the director of UK Wholesale, UK Wholesalers and Dropshippers Directory. He has 18 years of experience in the marketing and trading industries and has been helping retailers and startups with their product sourcing, promotion, marketing and supply chain requirements.

Picking the Best Technology for Your Business

Choosing the best technological systems for your business has become much more of a chore than ever. With the advent of what seems like a dozen new scientific advancements every few months, managers are at a loss to decide which technological "breakthrough" is right for their firm and which is not. Whether your company makes boats or does freelance editing, the computer age has spawned a virtual storm of apps, wizards, add-ons, and bots that promise to make every job easy and fast. Workers who punch time clocks are always on the lookout for a techno-advancement that can shave a few minutes off their day.

Managers are not immune to the pull of technology, but should be aware that many products just don't hold up to scrutiny. Before buying any new gadget or piece of software, the business manager should enforce a 24-hour cooling-off period on the purchase decision. This is a good rule for all large purchases, and when it comes to the world of time clocks and balance sheets it is best to slow down and think before buying.


After the cooling off period has expired, sit down and make a list of the pros and cons of the technology. Ask yourself some simple questions such as do I need it? Will it work? Can I afford it? How long has it been in existence? You will learn a lot about the product and yourself by going through this process. After you walk past the time clocks each day, will this bit of fresh technology make a difference in your productivity, or is it just a shiny new toy? All these questions will help you fill out the pros and cons list.

Picking the Best Technology for Your Business

At this point, if you decide that the item is worthy of purchase, it is time to do some research. Start on the Internet, looking for objective reviews of the product. Sometimes you have to dig a bit before coming up with revealing, honest reviews. Do a bit of background research on the manufacturer as well. A long, respected history is a good sign. An unknown company with a questionable website and no clear contact information is a very bad sign.

As your day winds down, and employees clock out, you should have a good idea about whether to purchase the product or not. Don't forget to ask the manufacturer for a demonstration or free trial period. Without actually test-driving a new piece of technology, you really don't know how it will fit into your corporate puzzle.

Picking the Best Technology for Your Business

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Mindset Or Business First

Are you a business coach? Do you have a coach? What do you think is the most important aspect of coaching? Do you focus on mindset issues or business first?

There's no clear-cut answer, no answer that spans across the board and fits all situations because each person, every business owner and every coach is different.


If you're a coach, hopefully you focus on both business and mindset and emphasize what the client needs most at any given time. As coaches and leaders, people come to you looking for ways to make more money in their businesses. That means it's up to you to determine what they want and to even provide them what they need.

Mindset Or Business First

Now sometimes, the client's wants and needs go hand-in-hand... in other words, they are the same. Other times, their wants and needs can be on totally opposite ends of the spectrum. In those cases you need to find the balance. Maybe that means focusing on one idea more than the other, or maybe it means altering your time with the client to allow time for you to deal with both issues.

When you're being coached, you might not be really interested in one thing over the other, but that doesn't mean you can't use the coaching in both areas. Maybe you have the mindset, you know what you do in business, you know why you do things a particular way in your business and you know what changes and transformations to expect, but you don't have the business answers you need.

As a business owner, you need to know what you want and what you need. A good coach will deal with both of these areas at the appropriate times. But you also need to recognize when changes or shifts occur in yourself, and in your business and in what you've learned as a business owner, and you need to express those things to your coach so they know where you are and where you're going next.

This is a big deal too in your own business. Just as your coach will meet you where you are and help you progress, you can do this with your own clients. You can see where they are and help them progress.

A major piece of this is that at times, you're at a place where it may not be clear what you still need to learn or the issues and items you still need to work through in order to move your business forward.

Whether you're a coach or you're being coached, you need to find that line so you can balance the mindset and the business part of what you're doing. Sometimes it's a fine line, and sometimes you just have to straddle the line a bit. Most of the time, if you will follow the lead of your client, it will direct you to the right place and give you the direction you need.

Find the balance in your own programs. Decide if you are where you want to be, or where you need to be, and work with your coaches, and clients, to get to the point where you can improve your business and your life.

Mindset Or Business First

Business Process Software - Radical Improvement After the Eventful Advent of Open Source Integration

Business process involves a serious assortment of actions including inputs, techniques and outputs that lead to a profitable conclusion. Position the inputs in place, then apply the techniques, and now you will see the outputs.

Every business, its shareholders and customers look forward to value-addition in all ways possible, and the best way to achieve this is by applying the techniques of business procedures, which is a healthy conglomeration of related structural actions that deliver the results for you. Sometimes this process could be an offshoot of a larger program, necessitating the smooth integration of other process models with its own.


Enhancing Access to Users

Business Process Software - Radical Improvement After the Eventful Advent of Open Source Integration

Through trial and error, and by experience, most organizations have come to accept the grave importance and success that processes, especially supported by business process software, bring to the daily conduct of their businesses. Erstwhile, most businesses had exclusively to depend on monopolistic expensive solutions, controlled by just a few, that made a comprehensive and expensive re-engineering of their IT infrastructure obligatory. For this reason, and their unwillingness to get caught in a monopolistic trap, many organizations who saw the clear benefits of the process dragged their feet in procrastination.

Soon relief appeared in the form of open source integration companies that removed the erstwhile technical and financial irritants, to enable all organizations to garner the benefits of a business process optimized by high power technology.

A universal Business Process Software

With the eventful advent of open source solutions that applied to management of data and application integration, using BPM space, these new innovative providers now brought business software within the affordable reach of any business that wants it. The cost and your budgetary restrictions need not stop you from downloading these open source solutions, as they are very free business software, packed with rich features and ready for instant use with versatility beyond your wildest dreams. This open source platform facilitates easy interlinking of diverse databases or project application in any IT infrastructure.

Most developers, analysts and business managers find Open Source business process software easy to use in literally every stage of process development, including the optimization process. They also help in the following processes:

1. The drag and drop design renders business odeling a graphical workspace
2. Provides the facility for analysts to check processes against variable inputs and perimeter conditions
3. Enhances process integration by allowing external process events to leverage the processing capabilities of the business process
4. The authoritative and measurable BPM engine drives the deployment and execution of processes
5. Customizable KPI reports and dashboards facilitate process monitoring

Business Process Software - Radical Improvement After the Eventful Advent of Open Source Integration

Click here to know more about business process software.

10 Business Challenges Every Entrepreneur Must Face When Building a Business From Scratch

Are you an entrepreneur? If you are, then I believe you will familiar with the pattern or business challenges faced when starting and building a business from scratch. If you are not an entrepreneur but you dream of becoming one someday, then I think you will find this article worthwhile.

Why am I writing on such a topic? I decided to write on the "10 business challenges every entrepreneur must face when building a business from scratch" to give entrepreneurs a glimpse of what to expect when they set out to start a new business venture. I am not writing to show my writing skills. Moreover, I am not a professional writer; I am an entrepreneur and investor to the core. I simply write to share my knowledge on building a business with anyone who is willing to learn.


This article is not meant to discourage or scare you from going into business. Instead, I wrote this article to prepare and highlight you on the business challenges to expect and how to handle them. Just as the popular saying goes:

10 Business Challenges Every Entrepreneur Must Face When Building a Business From Scratch

"He that is prepared has half won the battle."

Below are 10 Business Challenges Every Entrepreneur Must Face When Building a Business from Scratch:

1. Developing the Vision and Idea:

This is usually the first challenge faced by every entrepreneur. Finding the right business opportunity or creatively developing an idea is certainly not an easy task. I call "Envisioning the idea" the first true task of an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, you must develop the ability to see what others cannot see. While others see problems, you must see opportunities.

But seeing opportunities is just the first task. The main challenge is going to be your ability to forge that opportunity into a business idea. I see this as a business challenge because the process of transforming opportunities into business plans is like trying to turn lead into gold. I call it the process of "Creating Value out Of Nothing." If you are not an entrepreneur, you might not be familiar with the process. The process of:

- Identifying a problem
- Seeing an opportunity in the problem
- Coming up with a solution
- Developing your opportunity into a business idea
- Integrating your solution into the business plan

Another way "developing the vision and idea" will be a business challenge is that an entrepreneur must sometimes assume the role of a sorcerer. Let me explain in detail. While others dwell in the past and present, an entrepreneur must envision and forecast the future. An entrepreneur must always be ahead of his time or else he might lose his relevance. He must have the ability to bring into present what is yet to be. Let me give you some practical illustrations:

In the late 70s and early 80s, while IBM saw increase in demand for their mainframe computers, Steve Jobs envisioned a personal computer in every home and Bill Gates envisioned the need for easy to use software for personal computers.

While everyone saw humans flying as an impossibility, the Wright brothers envisioned a flying machine.

Back in those days when cars were custom made and exclusively for the rich, Henry Ford envisioned affordable cars for the masses.

I believe with these few examples, my point is clear. Developing the vision and idea is the first true task of an entrepreneur.

2. Raising Capital:

After developing your idea, the next challenge you are going to face is the challenge of raising capital. As an entrepreneur, you are the only one who knows the idea to the core. You are the only one who knows the story of the future. Trying to convince investors about something that doesn't exist is definitely a challenge.

There is more to raising capital than just simply asking for money. Most investors want to invest in already established businesses with minimal risk. When building a business from scratch, raising capital will definitely be a business challenge you must face.

To overcome this challenge, you must develop the ability to sell your idea and vision to potential investors. When I say "sell your ideas", I mean improving your communication skill and your manner of presentation. In the game of raising capital, you must have a good story backed by a strong business plan. If you are interested in learning how to successfully raise capital, you can check other articles I have written.

3. Assembling a Team:

The third challenge you must face in the course of developing a business is assembling the right team. When I talk about a team, I am not talking about regular employees. I am talking about a "round table strategic business team" that will meet regularly to brainstorm on ways to grow your business.

As an entrepreneur, you are bound to have strengths and weaknesses. That is the more reason you need to assemble a strong team that will cover up for your weaknesses. A team is a necessity in your quest to build a business. Now finding a business team is just the first hurdle, transferring your passion and vision to your team is the real piece of cake.

You must strive to make sure your team sees the future you see. They must believe in your possibilities and must also be passionate about making that possibility a reality. If they can't grasp your vision, if they can't see they future with you, then they are not worthy being your team.

Your strategic business team should comprise your banker, financial advisor, accountant, attorney or legal adviser and any other specialist that will be of tremendous impact to your business. A question on your mind might be "how am I going to pay this team? My answer is I don't know. You will have to figure it out yourself or better still, you can consider bringing them on board as partners.

If you are still at loss with the thought of assembling a business team, then I will recommend you either take some time in learning how to build a business team or you can visit strategicbusinessteam.com to get some advice.

4. Finding the Right Location:

You might feel that finding a good location is a piece of cake but I bet you that finding a good location at the right price is definitely not easy. I don't have much to write on this but I feel it is worthwhile I bring it to your notice so you can prepare for it. The following are features you must consider before choosing a location. These features are subject to change with respect to the industry of your business:

- Suitable price
- Easy access to raw materials
- Good road network.
- Basic amenities and infrastructures
- Adequate Power supply
- Easy access to cheap labour
- Nearness to high traffic roads
- Moderate state and federal tax
- Favorable Government fiscal and monetary policy
- Favorable federal and state laws.
- Current economic policy and political situation.

5. Finding the Right Employees:

Most writers crank up the process of finding good employees as an easy task. They define finding an employee as simply presenting the job description and the right employee will surface. But I think it's more than that.

Those who are really business owners know how difficult it is to find a hardworking, trustworthy employee. Most employees want to work less and get paid more. Finding a good employee who will be passionate about delivering his or her services is quite difficult.

Employees are your representatives to your customers and the outside world. They are a reflection of your business culture and ethics. If an employee of yours is bad or rude to your customers, it is going to portray a bad image of your company. So you must be careful when hiring employees. Remember the golden rule of business; "Hire slow and fire fast."

6. Finding Good Customers:

The sixth business challenge you will face is the challenge of finding good customers. Note the keyword "good customers." When in the process of building a business from scratch, you will come to find out that there are good customers and bad customers.

You must really be on guard for bad customers. Good customers are really hard to find. A good customer will be loyal to your company and will be willing to forgive you if you make a mistake and apologize. A good customer will try to do the right thing that will benefit both himself and the company mutually.

A bad customer will always look for loopholes in the company's policy to exploit and make some few gains. Bad customers will always try to exploit the company's goodwill and look for ways to rip off the company. Bad customers are responsible for bad debts.

Good customers build your business and bad customers will always try to liquidate your business. Just as you fire employees, you must also be prepared to fire bad customers without hesitation. In the game of trying to find a new customer, always remember the customer that sued McDonald's to court claiming the coffee was too hot.

7. Overcoming Competition:

Competition is the next challenge you will face. Most individuals see competition as a plague but I see competition as a good challenge. I see competition as a benchmark for creativity, the main engine for innovation and quality products at great prices. Without competition, there will be no innovation and without innovation, the world will be stagnant.

I see competition as a welcomed challenge and I want you to do the same. Competition keeps us on our toes and drives us to constantly improve our products and services. But you must be warned. Competition can make your business lose its relevance in the eye of your customers so you must always be on guard. At this point, I leave you with a quote:

"If you don't have a competitive advantage, don't compete." - Robert Kiyosaki

8. Unforeseen Challenges and Expenses:

Just as a sailor prepares for unexpected storm, just as a pilot is always on the watch for unpredictable bad weather and thunderstorms, so must an entrepreneur be prepared for what ever comes. Unexpected challenges can come in the form of:

- Unexpected law suits
- Inconsistent government policy
- Not being able to make payroll
- Unpaid bills and taxes
- Unexpected resignation of staff from sensitive office
- Bad debts from customers
- Loss of market share
- Dwindling working capital
- Inadequate stock or inventory

These challenges, if not handled properly can ruin your plan to build a successful business from scratch. Another challenge you must expect is an unforeseen increase in business expenses. If not handled properly, it might result in constant negative cash flow and eventually, the business failure.

9. Keeping Up With Industrial Changes and Trends:

Change in trends is really a business challenge you must be prepared for. Trends have made and broken lot of businesses. I know a lot of profitable businesses that have been wiped out by slight industrial changes and trends. A typical example is the Dot com trend, where many industrial based businesses were wiped out by new web based dot com companies.

When the Dot com era began, business owners were left with only two options. Either they join the dot com train or they get crushed by the dot com train.

Seasoned entrepreneurs know that trend is always a friend and are always willing to swiftly adjust their business with the current trend. Keeping your eyes open to spot trends is really a challenge but the big task will be your ability to quickly use the trend to your advantage.

10. Exiting the Business:

"In the world of business and investing, your exit is more important than your entry. A good thumb of rule is this; exit before you enter." - Robert Kiyosaki

When building a business from scratch, you are going to face the business challenge of determining your exit strategy. Just as the quote above states, you have to plan your exit strategy before you even start the business. Most entrepreneurs run their business without any plans to exit and even if they have an exit strategy, they find it difficult to implement it.

Before starting a business, it is advisable to always plan your exit. There are benchmarks you can use to determine your exit from the business. Most smart entrepreneurs will use this benchmark as a target and once this specific target is reached, they exit the business. Examples of such benchmarks are:

- Annual sales
- Annual Turnover
- Asset Base
- Market Saturation
- Customer base or number of users. This is more applicable to dot com companies.

Now when it comes to exiting the business, there are three exit strategies you can apply. The exit strategies are:

Turning over the business to professional managers: When your business reaches a certain stage of maturity, you can exit by turning it over to professional managers. In this case, the business still belongs to you but you are not involved with its day to day affairs. You will have to give up administrative role to assume the role of a watchdog. When you exit in this manner, you will have more free time to look into other projects or retire.

Selling the business privately: In this case, you are exiting the business by selling it to a private investor. In the business world, it is called M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions). After the sale and transfer of assets is complete, you have nothing to do with the business again.

Taking the company public: The unique thing about this type of exit strategy is that while you are selling your business (in form of shares) to public investors, you still own and control the business.

Please before you apply any of these exit strategy, I will advise you consult with your attorney or legal adviser. But ultimately, it's up to you to decide the exit strategy you want to apply. Always remember "your exit is more important than your entry."

At this stage, I thank you for reading and taking your time to learn. Till I come your way again, remain blessed.

10 Business Challenges Every Entrepreneur Must Face When Building a Business From Scratch

And just before I drop my pen, if you need Expert Advice on How to Start a Business from scratch; please feel free to visit our blog. In addition, you can also download my free definitive guide on How to Become a Billionaire in less than 10 years.

Team National MLM Business - Opportunity Or Scam?

Recently, Team National (or National Companies, aka "Big N") has emerged as a very popular home based business opportunity. As the idea of having a successful home-based business has grown in popularity, Team National has positioned itself as a very popular (and somewhat controversial) leader in the network marketing arena.

There are also some very real concerns about starting or participating in a Team National business. I'm about to go through and give an unbiased review of the pros and cons of developing a business and see if we can find out whether Team National is a great opportunity...or a great scam.


Team National - The Good

Team National MLM Business - Opportunity Or Scam?

National Companies is a company developed and chaired by Dick Loehr. At its heart, Team National provides savings benefits packages that allow clients to access discounts to furniture, jewelry, travel, insurance, communications, and more. Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Team National offers people the chance to save money, and also to recruit other people to build a business helping people save money.

The best that Team National has going is the compensation plan. With its binary matrix, it allows distributors the potential to earn a sizable commission off of each benefits package sold. It can pay high, and motivated distributors definitely have the potential to earn decent money.

Team National - The Bad

The first big strike against Team National is the cost of the packages. For a 2 year membership, it costs over 9.00. For a lifetime membership, the package costs a cool ,199.00. If you buy a lot of jewelry and insurance, then it might be a great deal. However, most people joining a business opportunity are not looking to spend that kind of money just to get into business, especially with no guarantee of profit.

Another concern is regarding the true savings that are offered in the benefits package. In an interview with a Team National representative, I was told that the package did offer some savings, but he found that he could always find a better deal just by shopping around. So if you don't like to shop and compare, then the benefits package is probable a great investment. But if you're truly looking to get the best bang for your buck, there might be some question as to how much you can truly save.

Team National - The Ugly

The truly painful thing about starting or growing a Team National business is their marketing plan. Like many network marketing companies, Team National advocates that you chase your "warm market", friends and family. They teach their distributors to use a "baseball" marketing plan that goes like this:

  • 1st Base - Call up a friend or family member, and send them to the 10 minute "Sizzle Call", where they can hear a bunch of hype about making millions of dollars marketing the benefits package.
  • 2nd Base - See if your poor prospect is still interested. If so, 3-way them into a phone conversation with your upline, where you prospect can hear another testimonial about how they can get rich.
  • 3rd Base - If you prospect is still taking your phone calls, then you can schedule a home-viewing, where you can go over to their house, show them a DVD presentation, and do another 3-way call to your upline for extra "validation".
  • Home Base - Closing time! This is where the deal is done.

Growing a Team National business can be a great opportunity. They have a decent (not great but decent) product, but there are plenty of companies that have great products, and many people that market good products never make a dime. There are also plenty of terrible products that generate millions of dollars in revenue (anyone remember the pet rock?) The difference is the marketer, and their ability to target their market effectively.

In closing, I would say that starting and developing a Team National business is lucrative if someone knows how to effectively use the telephone, the Internet, and other effective marketing tools. It is not a scam, but like any business, success will be determined by the skill-set of the marketer. Team National is definitely not a lottery ticket or a stock option - meaning, you do not just buy in and wait for a payout.

If someone does not have the first clue on how to market effectively, then I would suggest they either learn how to be an effective marketer, or else just use the benefit package to save a few bucks.

Team National MLM Business - Opportunity Or Scam?

This article can be freely published on a website as long as it is not modified in any way including the author bylines and active hyperlinks.

Joshua Fuson is a professional marketer, and has marketed dozens of different products and services. He has participated in the generation of over million dollars of revenue in network marketing in past 4 years alone. To find out how, you can see the Team National Success Blueprint

To learn more about growing a Team National business, you can get your Team National Success Blueprint

McDonalds Business Analysis

'In the 1990s managers will be judged on their ability to identify, cultivate, and exploit the core competencies that make growth possible - indeed, they'll have to rethink the concept of the corporation it self.'

C K Prahalad and G Hamel 1990


Organizations do not exist in vacuum. They operate within a competitive industrial environment. Analyzing its competitors not only enables an organization to identify its own strengths and weaknesses but also help to identify opportunities for and threats to the organization from its industrial environment. SWOT analysis is a systematic analysis of these factors and the strategy that reflects the best match between them.

McDonalds Business Analysis

Let us analyze these principals in relation to the core competence of McDonalds, one of the largest food chain companies in the world. Let us first start with the strengths and the positive aspects which define the performance of this company. How can we define the company's strengths? Strength is a distinctive competence that gives the firm a comparative advantage in the market place. For instance financial resources, image, market leadership and buyer supplier relations etc
McDonalds is the no: 1 fast food chain stores with a 40 million customers visiting it per day. It has over 30,000 branches in 120 countries. It derives 80% of its revenues from eight countries like Canada, Brazil, Germany, France, Japan, UK, Australia and US. The greatest strength was creating an image in the minds of the people and introducing them to the fast food culture. Delivery speed, customer care and cleanliness are the core strengths on which these stores expanded. They created a corporate symbol and their advertisement campaigns were highly successful in establishing the brand image and logo in the minds of the millions. Two main competitors generally identified with McDonalds are the Burger King and the KFC. McDonalds marketing strategy is concerned with the internal resources, external environment and its basic competencies along with its share holders.

McDonald's product value is also its greatest strengths. Customers know what to expect when they walk into a McDonalds store. It gives great emphasis to human resources by satisfying both the customer and the employees. Next is the innovation aspect wherein new products line up to catch up with the new trends and tastes of the people. Its diversity into other new business ventures can also be considered as its strengths.

How effective are these strengths to the company in the long run? McDonalds today is not that amendable as it was during its inception. What are the driving factors which results in its present decline in terms of sales and services? To analyze this factor we have to look at the weaknesses part of the companies business and marketing strategy. What can generally be termed as a weakness of a company? The same factors which were considered as strengths also become a weakness if it impedes the overall performance of the company.

Customer trends change and so does their choices. People are generally tired of the same brands that they had been using over the years, so when they do not see the expected innovation they migrate to new brands. Moreover people see McDonalds every where and this over exposure might also be a reason for abstinence. Moreover maintaining the standards of such a huge chain becomes feasible and when there is lack of quality service in one store it effects the whole brand.

The secret of any marketing strategy is to reach the target audience. And here again the target audience should be chosen carefully. In the case of McDonalds as projected in its ads, the targeted audiences were the kids. Demographics and customer financial and psychological aspects define a business concerns success. Health conscious women and senior citizen comprise the major population but kids soon grow out to become adults. Recent law suits and documentaries resulted in the companies recent innovation and a major change related to health related product ranges and this switch over as per the needs of today's trend and needs has increased the lost popularity of McDonalds a bit.
All the above factors point out the external strengths and weaknesses. There are also internal factors which affect the performance and overall benefits the company stands to enjoy. Kids based marketing strategy which was earlier a weakness has changed since 2003. Now more teenagers and adults rule the McDonalds ad world. The research and develop which lacked earlier is also looked into and the brand quality is being defined with various research and development options today. McDonald at one stage started concentrating on expansion and growing big that it missed out on key factors like quality maintenance and R&D.

One major threat to any brand is its relationship between the management and the franchise dealers. Organization strength is the back bone of any concern and when that starts shaking the whole system will collapse. But slowing McDonald is recovering from all these weaknesses as its brand managers can easily communicate, compare and improve their services through the latest technological developments wherein they can use the internet to motivate, compare and improve upon other centers performances.

The overall analysis of all the external and internal strengths and weaknesses on this company should be linked in order to draft a sustainable plan for the companies' further improvement. For any improvement or expansion the internal resources must be readily available. And thus analyzing this aspect can lead to a modified strategy to suit its vision. Keeping in mind the available resources the planner should think globally. Hence making use of all the core competencies the firm can definitely sustain in the competitive market.

The change in the top managerial level has creating a new wave in its performance and major changes have been implemented to retain and sustain the brand quality and innovation. As the new CEO rightly quotes,

"The world has changed. Our customers have changed. We have to change too."
James R. Cantaloupe, Chairman and CEO, McDonald's, 2003

Now let us analyze the sustainable competitive advantage of the company. What is sustainable competitive advantage? How can it be related to McDonalds? SCA is the advantage a company has which is difficult or impossible for other companies to possess or break through. It can either be the brand, dynamic customer care, cost structure or its patent. Whatever the advantage in order to be considered as sustainable it should either be proprietary or distinctive. Other than this three different aspects that help in SCA are,

o The managerial and organizational process should share a good integration and coordination. The much needed 'value' is created thereby as everyone strives to work for a common goal. The organization should learn and bring about changes according to the need of the hour and should always be flexible to changes in the environment such as customer trends, legal or government restriction and developments in the technology. McDonalds is presently concentrating on this advantage by concentrating on organizational behavior and managerial expertise. Previously this advantage was ignored as the organization was more into expansion of its outlets over the globe than strengthening its core advantage. As the result the revenue did not see much of a change while newer outlets were open. The company suffered a massive loss first time since their inceptions which further lead to the change in the managerial heads.

o Technological, structural and financial assets of a company are excellent market position which helps in the SCA. McDonalds no doubt is abundant with such aspects like structure, technology and finance. To identify and implement these assets in the proper direction towards the improvement of the company is all that is needed. After 2003 the company has really started to concentrate on its greatest advantages.

o Most of all the greatest advantage is the vision or the dream with which the company was started. Sustaining this dream over the years is any companies' greatest advantage. A brand usually revolves around this vision sustaining this vision and working in lieu with it is a great SCA. McDonalds was started out to help people who had very little time to cook or was too busy to get into a proper restaurant. The vision was to provide quick service, cheap products and quality satisfaction. Keeping this vision in mind the company which slackened a bit because of incompetent franchise holders is being weeded and new and better people are put in this place as the torch bearers of the company sustaining and living the vision.

To sum it all up SCA means implementing the best value based strategy using all the advantages which are unique to the company and that which cannot be copied or replicated by other competitors. The importance of this SCA can be evident by the reply the great investment guru Warren Buffet gave when asked about how he evaluates his investment portfolio. He simply answered 'sustainable competitive advantage'. Hence based on the dynamic integrated and intelligent human resources can always be the only dependable and sustainable SCA.
Outsourcing boom or doom in today's business environment

Today everything is outsourced from employee appointment to finance and customer care. No organization is best enough to handle all kinds of work. Moreover concentrating on every detail is not possible with a big concern especially like McDonalds. But great care should be taken not to outsource the core competences of the company. General advantages of outsourcing are cheap service, knowledge of markets offshore, flexible resources, speedy operations, expansion in supplier relationship etc. most of all the company can concentrate on its core competencies and outsource rest of its operation. Recently McDonald has tested its drive through order facility. Wherein it makes sure that the order placed with the outlet is accurate. The order taken by the outsourced company is reverted back to the home restaurant. These call center has a digital camera which clicks the vehicle you drive through and the delivery man back home can integrate the order and the person who placed it using the image of the car. Outsourcing thus helps in the increase of the external suppliers and fills up the difficulties faced because of the lack of the latest technologies and other innovations.

What started of as a success story with McDonalds had to face a number of risks, competitions and major set backs. What makes it still strong and ranked among the top business concerns is its core competences and the sustainable competitive advantages both internal and external. Of course keeping up with the changing times the company has also set foot in outsourcing but the point to keep in mind here is not to be driven away by this outsourcing mania. This company has started to revert back to its golden glory recently because of large scale revamping of its organizational and structural changes being implemented.


No particular competitive strategy is guaranteed to achieve success at all times. Risk attitudes can change and vary by industry volatility and environmental uncertainty and several internal conditions also might be involved. Thus the "four P's" of marketing (product, price, place and promotion) provide a good starting point for consideration of the requirements of strategy implementation in the marketing function. The mix of these marketing elements should be appropriate and the plans for each of the elements should also be appropriate.

The marketing function is consumer oriented and hence marketing decisions are based on the careful identification of consumer needs and on the design of marketing strategies to meet those needs. The distribution system brings the product or service to the place where in can best fill customer needs. Access to distribution can mean all the differences between success and failure for a new product. Because many products require support from distribution channels in the form of prompt service, rapid order processing etc the choice of distributors, wholesalers and jobbers is extremely important.

Promotion is more than advertising. The location, size and nature of markets which the business strategy defines will guide promotion mix decisions and should indicate the content of promotional material as well. Pricing is a complex issue because it is related to cost, volume, trade offs etc and because it is frequently used as a competitive weapon. Pricing policy changes are likely to provoke competitor response. Using price to jockey for position can lead to price wars, which usually hurt all participants.

Marketing has received increasingly greater attention in the competitive business since the early modern era. The old concept of marketing focused on the firms existing products and considered marketing to consist of selling and promotion to maximize sales at a profit. The new concept however focuses on the firms existing potential customers and seeks to earn profit through customer satisfaction with an integrated marketing program.

McDonalds Business Analysis

I am a freelance writer inspirational and hard working. For me work is worship. I love to do deadline oriented jobs as it is a great test to my vitality, skill and my creativity. I have an unending passion to learn more things. I learn from my failures and drive through success equally.