What’s The Best Tool To Manage Inventory?

The success and failure of a business can be determined by the efficacy of the stock management practices it employs. Certainly, poor stock control can lead to cash flow problems. In fact, this may even lead to a business collapse. It is for this reason that you must manage your stock levels very closely.

Generally, plenty of the assets of small businesses are tied up in inventory. A field service company’s inventory can include any raw materials, work in progress and finished products they have and intend to sell in order to gain income. Determining how much stock your business really needs is where inventory problems often begin.

Too little stock can cause delays and even lost sales from discouraged clients waiting for parts to arrive or perhaps jobs to be finished. Too much stock, on the contrary, means your costs go up and your cash flow goes down. Bear in mind that if you have extra stock, you will need to pay more in handling, storage, security, and insurance. Also, there will be an increase in the possibility of damage and loss.

The main goal of inventory management is quick turnaround, ensuring low costs and guaranteeing customer satisfaction. Due to the fact that inventory management directly influences cash flow, you need to have a solution that will make sure that you are indeed managing your inventory properly. So if you think that your current inventory systems are causing cash flow woes, it is time for you to implement a system that does all the management and monitoring for you. In other words, you must have an effective tool to manage inventory.

Important Considerations When Choosing The Best Inventory System

Stock and Cash – With plenty of inventory at hand, your cash will be tied up and cannot be used for other important business activities. With an inventory tracking solution in place, you will know exactly what you have on-hand and if there is a need to order for more. Efficient and proven management systems will incredibly increase your cash flow whereas poor management will cripple your business.

The Type of Stock – You need to have a system that monitor what is selling and what is not. Fast-moving stock and goods can bring in cash faster while slow-moving inventory can actually restrict your cash flow. Thus, it is very crucial for you to know this slow-moving stock and consider evaluating it again if it really needs to be in your warehouse.

Tips On How To Grow Your Small Or Independent Hotel

Being in the hospitality business is not an easy task. This is an industry that is usually considered seasonal: your hotel will gain more business and profits during the summer season and on holidays. Of course, your establishment won’t be earning any profits and may even suffer some losses during off-peak seasons: months wherein you can’t expect a satisfactory number of guests to check-in.

Unfortunately, even during peak seasons, your small or independent hotel may still not earn as much as you want it to. And this is mainly due to your competition. For every city, at least a dozen hotels are open and ready to accept tourists and even locals who want to feel pampered, even for just one day or so.

There are certain tips or ways small or independent hotel owners can follow so that they can increase or grow their business. These include the following:

Find a way to make booking at your hotel more convenient for potential guests. Nearly all businesses today, including hotels, have online booking or buying capabilities. If you don’t have this feature, then you’re losing a lot of potential customers and of course, business. As such, it is important to make the necessary updates on your website to make it easy for visitors to act immediately on their first impulse. This means having an online reservation or booking system that is easy to use.

Start maximizing the potentials of social media. At present, you should have at least a Facebook page and a Twitter account that clearly displays your brand logo and name. Of course, you have to be sharing interesting and engaging posts at least once a day. By using these free social networking platforms, you get to reach out to potential customers and also bolster your credibility. Make sure you use these social networking sites to keep previous and potential customers updated on changes and news in your hotel in a very simple way.

Always value your customers and their experiences at your hotel. Lastly, small hotels have a leg up since such establishments can provide personalized experiences for their customers. As such, it is important to find your unique selling point. This could be your location or something quite unique such as rooms that cater to dogs and their owners. If you are having a hard time finding unique yet valuable services to offer, focus on the special capabilities you have as a small business to make guests’ experiences truly personal and sell it. Keep in mind that your business has the potential to make an impact on the memories your guests have of a specific trip or even geographic area.

News in Touch

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Short Run CD Duplication: The Master, Copyrighting Help and ISRC Codes

Short Run CD Duplication

In-house duplication of CDs is, again, something that can be done relatively easily with high quality results. The big issue here is the amount of time it takes. If you’re burning half a dozen discs in the optical CD writer in your desktop PC or your laptop then that’s OK but if you need 50 discs or 100 then that could equate to many hours needed to complete the duplication side of the project. One solution is to buy a duplication tower that enables you to burn multiple CDs simultaneously. Investing £400 in a duplication tower that burns up to 10 discs at once may be a good idea if duplication is something you’re planning on doing quite a lot of. But, if your short run CD printing project is a one off or only a very occasional requirement then outsource the job and save yourself some time. Even if you have printed the discs and paper parts for the packaging yourself, you will be able to find a supplier who will carry out the duplication part of the project only. Most service suppliers have duplication suites housing hundreds of drives in towers. This means that they can duplicate 100 or 200 CDs very quickly and inexpensively.

Master CD Content

Whether you decide to stay in-house or seek outside assistance for your duplication, you are going to need a good quality master CD to produce copies from. No matter how beautifully printed and packaged your CD may be, if the sound is poor or the mixing is rushed then the end user will not be happy and will be unlikely to make further purchases or to recommend your CD to others. If time is a big concern with your short run CD printing project, then go for a simple disc print and basic packaging and spend the majority of your time refining your master. As mentioned previously, the last 15 years has seen some fantastic software packages become available to almost all musicians regardless of whether the budget for the project is small or large. Believe it or not, a high quality multi-track recording suite that will run on a PC or laptop with average specifications can be sourced for less than £20. They also present the user with a staggering array of effects and refinements so that you can perfect every aspect of your recording. Take your time to watch tutorial videos or join a related online product forum to find advice on the best way to use the software to get the results you want. This software is particularly useful for multi-instrumentalists who want to release recordings onto the internet and make them available via Sound Cloud or iTunes.

Your finalised files need to be in a high quality .wav format. The standard iTunes submission requirement for audio files is 16-bit/44.1kHz sample rate which is a standard CD quality audio file but if you can record at 24-bit/48kHz (or higher) sample rate then iTunes will accept your files and you can produce a higher quality master. The maximum sound frequency that is generally audible by the human ear is 20kHz and the vast majority of audio releases are mastered at 44.1kHz so this should be perfectly fine for the majority of musicians.

Track Length and Standard CD Capacity

Something you will need to be mindful of is the maximum capacity of a standard CD. You can fit a maximum of 74 minutes of music or 682 MB of data on there so be sure that the final edit of all tracks will fit onto your CD. If you have more than 74 minutes of audio then you will need to spread the tracks over multiple discs and this will markedly affect your packaging choice for the project as well as the production costs.

Copyright Issues Affecting Audio and Software CDs

If your audio compositions contain any work, in whole or in part, that has been previously recorded and registered for copyright by another artist, then you must obtain permission from the copyright holder before you can release your work into the public domain. This type of issue usually arises where samples of other artist’s work are featured in a recording.

You will also need to attend to the copyrighting of your own original recordings as well. Copyright law in the UK is basically as follows:

Copyright in an audio recording is held separately from any copyright in the lyrics and music in the recording. The initial owner of the copyright in an audio recording is normally the producer of the record.

The music composer in an audio recording will be the musical work author and will normally own the copyright in that music. Song lyrics are protected separately by copyright, as a literary work and will normally be owned by the writer.

An audio recording will also contain performer’s rights, such as:

The right to reproduce the recording
The right to distribute the recording
The right to rent out or lend the recording
The right to benefit from equitable remuneration

In order to obtain copyright for an audio recording your best source of information is the internet. There are organisations who will register your copyright for you for a small fee and they will act with you in the case of any future copyright infringement.

ISRC Codes and CD Text

Once you have your recording finalised and you’re happy to release it for duplication, you may then need to consider arranging for ISRC Codes (International Standard Recording Codes) to be included on the master for each separate track. The ISRC system is recognised all over the World as the standard system for numbering audio and video recordings. The code consists of 12 alphanumeric digits and is used to individually identify each track so that you can get paid royalties for digital music sales and tracks offered via online music and video streaming services, and also when your music is played on the radio or in a public place over a sound system.

If you have a large fan base and you are expecting your music to be very popular, perhaps you’d like to track your music in the Billboard charts. You would need to register your ISRC codes with SoundScan so that your sales figures can be recorded independently.

Search for “ISRC code application” online and you will find companies that can help you get hold of ISRC codes and register them with the appropriate industry bodies. The process is very simple and cheap and will help you to secure your due royalties or in case there are any copyright issues after the track release.

If you would rather leave the sound engineering to an expert at a professional recording studio then you will have to be prepared to pay them for their time and if you’re only intending to release a small number of recordings then it may be difficult to recoup the cost.

Ensure A Successful PLM Data Migration – Choose the Right Service Provider

While migration and integration are a fact of life for all companies as they move from older to newer applications, the actual migration is often associated with numerous complexities. And it’s no different when Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) tools are involved. There is a lot that goes into the planning and execution of the migration of data from the current legacy systems to the new target PLM platform. As a company’s existing data contains a significant portion of their intellectual property, the success of adopting a new PLM system greatly depends on effectively migrating existing data in an intelligent, precise and timely manner.

Data migration brings numerous issues to the forefront. Most PLM vendors deploy an informal process for migrating physical files, with scant attention to the actual meta-data around parts and documents. Besides this, there are other challenges faced in migrating data, the biggest challenge being how to integrate product data throughout the entire product lifecycle. When data is migrated, there is a need to:

· Reformat data in the right manner to ensure the receiving applications can use it

· Conform to security rules that may be established in multiple applications

· Ensure data mapping is carried out so that it can be placed properly into a new application

· Clean the data so that it retains its value and integrity as it is moved

With migration issues being handled poorly, and most PLM vendors not being in the business of cleansing and repairing data, though this is a mandatory requirement, the search for the right PLM vendor can get arduous. You need a service provider who can offer an intelligent approach to the migration of the PDM data in the context of applications and processes by assisting the customer in planning, assessment and suggesting right migration approach.

Here’s what to look for: The service provider you choose must:

· Identify PDM data cleansing including applications and their data model.

· Direct MCAD & PLM integration or MCAD data management integration with PLM Technology.

· Seamlessly control costs associated with data migration.

· Effectively manage quality of data on PLM / PDM Software.