RSS

Tag Archives: Windows

Five Ideas to Improve Your Business’s Stock Management

If you run a business, large or small, stock control is a logistical problem that you are likely to encounter. You need to find the most effective way for your company to manage its stock, but you might be unsure how to go about doing this. Here are five easy to follow tips that if implemented will hopefully improve your business’s inventory management.

Discount Old Stock

If you find yourself with old stock left in your warehouse or stockroom, you may be struggling to come up with ways of getting rid of it. The stock is still obviously an asset for your company, you paid good money for it so you can’t just throw it away, yet it’s taking up valuable space in your stockroom. The best idea is the simplest, discount the item in question in the hope that you can shift the units quicker. Although your profit margins on the stock will be slightly smaller, you will have freed up that space in your warehouse for new stock which might sell better.

Invest in Inventory Systems

Organisation is the key to any successful business, so in this case you might want to think about investing in some inventory control software to help your company run more smoothly. The best thing about inventory control software is that it does most of the difficult work for you. Good software will allow you to merely scan through barcodes to register your stock. It will also begin to tell you when you need to re-order certain items, as well as provide you with feedback as to how quickly different items you stock are moving.

Designate an Inventory Receiver

This is especially relevant if you run a small business. As easy as it may seem to just allow the person who is nearest to the door to sign for a new delivery, this leaves everyone confused as to what stock has been delivered and when. Designate the job of inventory receiver to one of your staff, one of their tasks will now be to always sign for and make a record of any deliveries that come in. This way, if anyone has a question about stock, they’ll know exactly who to go to and better yet, your inventory receiver will always be able to answer their questions.

Manage your Levels of Stock

You need to find a good balance between having enough stock to supply your customers comfortably, whilst not having so much that you’ll find it difficult to shift. Only keeping the bare minimum in your stockroom might be cheaper and require less space, but you become very dependent on the reliability of your suppliers. Don’t take any chances; find a happy medium so you’re sure you can serve your customers well.

Locator System

If you haven’t already, you need to devise an easy way for your staff to locate certain stock within your warehouse or stockroom. Keeping particular items of stock in a fixed location will allow your staff to find what they’re looking for quickly and efficiently. Keeping your stock organised in a logical manner also means that any new employees shouldn’t have too much trouble discovering how your warehouse works. What this also allows you to do is begin to map out your warehouse, creating brilliantly efficient stock system for your staff.

Posterita are a global point of sales software system that provides many innovative features such as inventory control.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Tips to Keep Your Office Desk Tidy

If you’re busy throughout the working day and constantly submerged at your desk with the amount of work you have to do, cleaning your desk or making sure its tidy is not going to be top of your list for things to do that day, but what I have found is that following these few tips you can ensure that your desk is organised and always clean for the next morning.

Here are some tips you should look at doing:

Don’t use post-it notes

The reason this is first on the list is due to the fact that my desk was constantly untidy due to the amount of post-it notes. I admit post-it notes are great if you need to remember something as you are always aware of them, but I must stress that you should only use them if you absolutely have to. Instead why not try using reminders on your computer for instance; I couldn’t live without my Microsoft Outlook calendar.

Throw away unwanted printouts

If you have ever printed out documents for a meeting (or have been given them from someone else), decide whether you really need to keep them once the meeting has ended and if you’re going to use them again. If you don’t need them, bin them!

Tidy you’re desk at the end of the day

If you’re hectic throughout the day, tidying your desk isn’t going to be a priority but before you leave the office just take 5 minutes to clean and tidy your desk. That way you will be ready to start work off an organised desk the day after.

Don’t pile up books and magazines (Only keep the ones you need)

If you subscribe to business or marketing magazines you’ll know that every month or so you will receive a new one, but once you have finished reading the old ones either take them home (if you keep them at work), throw them in the bin but remember to note the important parts that you have read or file them away.

Keep photos at the side of your desk, but don’t have too many

It’s surprising how much room 2 or 3 framed photos can take up especially if you only have a small desk. Be sure to keep them at the side of the desk (or besides the phone) just so they are out of the way and you won’t be in danger of knocking them over.

Use small containers to keep staples, paper clips etc…

All the little accessories such as paper clips, staples and elastic bands will fit nicely in small container pots or the other option is to get ‘desk tidies pot holders’ which can also hold pens and pencils etc…

Use a paper tray

If you’re going to keep some of your printouts, you’ll need a way to organise them.  What I would suggest is to get a 3 tier paper tray and note each tier with the following:

Tier 1 = Important

Tier 2 = Needs to be filed

Tier 3 = Not read yet

Use Tier 1 for documents that you desperately need to keep or you intend to use again in that week. Use Tier 2 for outstanding documents that have been read but need to be filed away. A good tip is to always file your documents at the end of the day so you’re not wasting time throughout busy periods of the day.

Use Tier 3 for documents that need to be read. Make sure this tier doesn’t get cluttered and you keep on top of reading the documents.

Don’t eat at your desk; don’t leave snacks lying about for days

What I mean by this is packs of sweets that won’t be eaten in a day or so. Keep them in a side draw or take them home with you.

So there you have it, some great ways to keep your office desk tidy. Do you have any tips that can help keep your desk tidy?

Daniel Whittaker has worked for a successful internet business, TonerGiant Ltd., who supply quality laser printers throughout the UK, since December 2009. During this time he has develped a keen interest in programming and developing websites.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A Good Filing System Is Imperative In Every Business

When running your own business, no matter the size or how many clients you have, it is essential to have a good filing system on hand. This makes your entire business life easier, and allows you to be more productive throughout the day.

Advantages
There are many advantages of using a solid filing system, and you are bound to see the advantage of the equipment as soon as you implement the system. Once you have the new filing system in place and functioning, you are going to wonder why it took you so long in the first place to initiate the filing system, and what you ever did before, without it!

Organisation
A good filing system is going to allow you to bring up previous customers and orders in the blink of an eye. The faster you are able to bring this information up, the less time you spend digging through a drawer or file on your computer. This is especially important if the individual is on the phone. Neither one of you most likely wants to be on hold for this long, so the faster you are able to bring up this information the better.

Easy Access
If you have a large listing of clients, it is often difficult to locate one individual in particular. Even if you have the names alphabetised, it is going to take you some time to flip through all the files you have, just to find the information you desire. And this only brings out their folder. You still have to look through the folder in order to find the correct order number, or date, or any other bit of information. With a good filing system, such as one that is installed on your computer, you are able to simply type in the individuals name, and all their information appears on the screen. From here, you just need to type in the desired information and this is shown on the clients account. The entire process goes from several minutes (if not longer), to just a few seconds. If you have someone performing this task all day, they are going to significantly improve on the amount of work they can produce,

Having a good filing system is important in every business, as it is going to make every task you perform faster, so you no longer need to thumb through drawer after drawer of folders, just to find one individual. Once you implement the new filing system, you are going to be extremely happy you do, especially when you see the amount of time you are saving.

Find out how basic organisation and admin jobs can benefit your business at Adecco

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Wonders of “Outsourced” Technical Support – From a Customers View

Authors note:  My one regret is that they have conveniently omitted a clock next to the entries, as would normally best practices for any company that truly wanted to monitor customer service.  This transaction took 47 minutes.

My actual chat with PeoplePc Tech Support:

Please wait for a site operator to respond. Your feedback is important to us! Please complete our Exit Survey by clicking on the Grey Close Button at the end of your LiveChat.
‘Shirley’ says: Thank you for contacting PeoplePC LiveChat, how may I help you today?
customer@peoplepc.com: you are telling me that my password is incorrect, but it’s the same one I’ve used for 15 years
Shirley: It is quite unfortunate that one of our best customers has to face such difficulty. Let me get this clarified for you.
customer@peoplepc.com: I was trying to send out a newsletter today, did I piss the system off?
Shirley: Please give me the last four digits of your Debit Card or a Credit Card (CC).
customer@peoplepc.com: 2607
Shirley: Thank you for the verification.
Shirley: I see that some fraud was detected on your account due to which our fraud department changed your password to prevent you.
Shirley: This is why you are not able to login.
Shirley: Let me guide you what needs to be done now.
Shirley: 1st, we will need to reset your password.
Shirley: 2nd, please do not use your old password ever.
Shirley: 3rd, when you make a new password now do not share it with any one. Please make a strong password for example: combination of letters and numbers in such a way that no one good guess it. Example: Ab45Cd
Shirley: 4th, please scan your computer for viruses.
Shirley: Thus, before we proceed with the change password option, Nowadays we receive lot of calls where a customer’s computer is affected by hackers or viruses and they end up having to spend a lot of money to get it fixed.
Shirley: Thus, may I know, is your computer protected from viruses, spyware, and other Internet threats?
customer@peoplepc.com: AVG
customer@peoplepc.com: I’m fine, I just need the password
Shirley: Great. How old is your avg though if I may know?
customer@peoplepc.com: and how many emails can I send without arrising the ire of your “fraud department?”
Shirley: due to security reasons, we will not be able to provide the original password of your email address via Live Chat.
Shirley: Instead I can reset the password and give it to you on this chat window.
Shirley: Then, you can then change it through My Account online.
Shirley: Once I do this, you will receive an email that your password has been viewed.
Shirley: Is that fine with you?
customer@peoplepc.com: fine, but and how many emails can I send without arrising the ire of your “fraud department?”
Shirley: This is not due to sending more email messages.
customer@peoplepc.com: then it is a very timely “coinsidence.”
Shirley: May be.
customer@peoplepc.com: and can you answer my question?
Shirley: Yes.
Shirley: Please give me five minutes.
customer@peoplepc.com: take your time
Shirley: Thank you.
customer@peoplepc.com: hard to find a supervisor at this time of night?
Shirley: Thank you for your patience.
Shirley: I apologize for the delay.
Shirley: I am yet researching on your issue.
Shirley: There is no specified limit, but it is best if you send an email to just a few receivers at a time.
customer@peoplepc.com: that is inconvenient with a mail list of 2700
customer@peoplepc.com: please see if you can find a number
Shirley: Okay. I would suggest you to send an email to as minimum recipients as you can.
Shirley: You can divide your address book into groups.
Shirley: Like school.
Shirley: College
Shirley: friends
Shirley: Official
Shirley: Then accordingly send an email.
customer@peoplepc.com: that is not a number. Say, my “minimum” is in one catagory, “newsletter” and my list is 2700. Can I use 2700 for a minimum ?
Shirley: No.
Shirley: Minimum would mean 10 to 50 receipts only.
customer@peoplepc.com: so your “fraud” department wants me to send 2700 emails in groups of 50?
Shirley: Again, there is no specific number or requirement.
Shirley: The smaller the list the better the results.
customer@peoplepc.com: well then whats wrong with 200?
Shirley: You can sure try 200 as well.
customer@peoplepc.com: I dont like the word “try” it has connotations of my haveing to reset my password again and again if i exceed your arbitrary number
Shirley: Okay.
customer@peoplepc.com: surely you must have some sort of written guidelines for your “fraud” department to follow?
Shirley: Let me check.
customer@peoplepc.com: thank you
Shirley: Please be on hold for five minutes.
customer@peoplepc.com: i was
Shirley: Yes, Please be on hold for another five minutes,
Shirley: Thank you for your patience.
Shirley: I would need some more time.
Shirley: I apologize for the delay. Please be on hold for another five minutes.
Shirley: Thank you for your patience.
Shirley: Please click on the link given below.
Shirley:http://www.earthlink.net/about/policies/use/bulkmail/
Shirley: Please fill in the form with your requirement to send bulk email messages.
customer@peoplepc.com: is PeoplePC owned by earhlink now?
customer@peoplepc.com: Anyhow, your form is filled out. Can I please have my password now?
Shirley: Yes. EarthLink is our parent company now.
customer@peoplepc.com: congratulations, I guess
Shirley: Sure.
Shirley: Thank you.
Shirley: step6243 is your new password.
Shirley: Your password changed successfully!
Shirley: This change will take 20 minutes for it to take effect.
Shirley: Though we can try it right now, to test.
customer@peoplepc.com: Thank you. Have a pleasant evening
Shirley: Please use this password to log into My Account and from there you will be able to reset your password.  You can reach My Account from the following link.
Shirley: http://myaccount.peoplepc.com
Shirley: Please use just the first part of your email address as the member name. (All in lower case). Do not type @peoplepc.com For example: if abc@peoplepc.com is your email address. Use only abc as your member name. Then, type in your password. (The password that I gave you.) Then, Click on Sign in.
Shirley: After logging into My Account – In the Profiles area, click the your email address that you would like to change the password for.
Shirley: In the Primary Profile area, click Edit next to the password.
Shirley: In the Old Password field, type the password which has just been given to you.
Shirley: In the New Password field, type your new PeoplePC password. In the Retype New Password field, type your new password.
Shirley: Click the Change Password button.
Shirley: Let me know once done.
Shirley: Also, once done. Since we have gone ahead and reset the password on the account, and you would be then resetting the password again at your end via My Account, I would suggest that you also use the new password for your email program and connection.
Shirley: 
Shirley:  Do you want me to go ahead and provide you with the directions to change the password for the email program and connection software?
customer@peoplepc.com: please
Shirley: Please reset your password first by following the steps givven above.
customer@peoplepc.com: so I get to reset my servers, and my iPhone?
Shirley: Yes.
customer@peoplepc.com: I cant get to your server with this chat window open.
customer@peoplepc.com: Chrome wont open another tab
Shirley: You can click on the Minus sign at the top right of this window to minimize this window.
Shirley: You can always click on the chat window at the bottom of the screen when you need to read the chat.
Shirley: Please open another window.
customer@peoplepc.com: again, Chrome wont open another window. It just toggles this one back and forth
Shirley: Please use Internet Explorer.
customer@peoplepc.com: kk
Shirley: Okay.
customer@peoplepc.com: I think were good. According to your form, it WAS the number of emails I sent (400) that caused your “fraud” department to suspend my account. When you change companies and enforce a new set of restrictions, it would be nice to inform your customers.
Shirley: We always send an email alert for each and every change.
Shirley: Which email program do you use in order to send and receive email messages?
Shirley: Is it Web Mail or Outlook Express or Windows Mail?
customer@peoplepc.com: Outlook
customer@peoplepc.com: and if you sent a notice, it must have gotten trapped in my spam filter. Ironic.
Shirley: May I know the version of your Microsoft Outlook that you are using?
Shirley: Is it Outlook 2000, Outlook 2002, Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007 or is it Outlook Express?
Shirley: If you are not sure, open your Outlook.
Shirley: Click on Help > About. Let me know the version for the same.
customer@peoplepc.com: why?
customer@peoplepc.com: its 2007
Shirley: So, that I can help you changer your password there.
Shirley: Okay.
customer@peoplepc.com: i got it covered. Thanks
Shirley: Great. Make sure you use your new password the next time you connect.
Shirley: Do you use the peoplepc software ( blue smiley face icon ) to get connected to the  Internet ?
customer@peoplepc.com: I’ve already changed it. No, I set up the POP and SMTP servers on my Outlook and connect through that.
Shirley: Okay.
Shirley: Connect better with PeoplePC dial-up software. Our Smart Dialer technology automatically chooses the best local dial-up access number for you each time you go online. You can download the Software fromhttps://myaccount.peoplepc.com .Login to Myaccount then click on my Downloads on the left hand side and then download the Dial up Connection software. I will also mail you the CD of the Software on your Mailing Address, which you will receive in two to five business days. May I have the Mailing Address?
customer@peoplepc.com: God how retro. I have a T1
Shirley: Okay. I understand.
Shirley: 7th is your bill cycle date of every month. You were last charged on 08/08/11 for $12.95.
Shirley: PeoplePC will occasionally need to send important administrative emails to you about your service.  Do you have a specific contact email address you would like us to use when sending these messages?
customer@peoplepc.com: No thanks. Were good. Bye now!
Shirley: You are welcome.
Shirley: Is there anything else I may assist you with today?
customer@peoplepc.com: No thanks. Were good. Bye now!
Shirley: I was indeed glad to get this opportunity to help you.
Shirley: You’re welcome and thank you for using PeoplePC LiveChat. Should you need further assistance, please feel free to contact us again. It was a pleasure assisting a friendly customer like you.
Shirley: Thank you for your understanding and patience. Have a wonderful day. Take care. Bye.
Shirley: Please click on ‘X’ button on top of the chat window to end this chat session.

 

But Shirley, whatever happened to: Your feedback is important to us! Please complete our Exit Survey by clicking on the Grey Close Button at the end of your LiveChat?

By the way, I changed the password back to my old one  (which she told me never to use again) rather than changing all the other instruments I use it on.  It works fine.

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Ways to Save Money When Starting a Small Business

When you’re starting a business, you try your best to keep costs down, including and especially your start-up expenses. If you can, you use space, supplies and assets you already own, and when looking for software, you look for the lowest-priced items that you need. For some of those items, you can find many basic tools for free if you know where to look, and free always fits the budget!

Office Documents

If you can’t afford the exorbitant price of Microsoft’s popular Office 2010 or any other yearly version, but you really need a word processor, a spreadsheet and other common document tools, fear not: You can download a free, open-source program called Open Office.

Open Office provides all the tools the Microsoft product does. Your default file extension is .odt, but you can save in Microsoft-compatible formats and a rich text format as well. Open Office even lets you export your document into .pdf format that allows you to secure the information, allow or prevent others to change the document, allow or prevent printing or copying. You can even require a separate password to open the .pdf.

Invoices, Quotes, Receipts

One of the easiest programs you can find is free for a business of less than five employees. You work within various templates to customize your invoices, quotes and receipts. Your invoices can even include a remittance slip if you’d like.

You can email or fax the invoice directly from the program, save drafts until itemization is complete, sort clients and maintain separation, apply payments and even export into .pdf format for your files or to send as email attachments.

The program is Express Invoice Invoicing Software by NCH Software. The Express version includes almost all the features the paid-version possesses, and again, it’s free. As you expand, you can purchase the full version for extra bells and whistles, but for a small business with one person, you get the records, invoicing and a good selection of additional tracking tools in Express Invoice.

Why the employee limit? Express Invoice can also act as a check-in/check-out clock for up to five people, allowing for hours and wage tracking and payment.

Maintain your invoice and payment records online or locally in the downloaded program files. Full adaptability allows multiple choices all down the line.

File Storage

Keep electronic files not only locally but secured online in free online storage sites. In case of catastrophic failure, don’t rely on just your back-up procedures to recover most of the data: Your computer could be hacked or a trojan infest the back-up. And those possibilities don’t approach physical theft or damage of the actual equipment.

There are several excellent, highly secure free storage sites on the Internet from which to choose. Look carefully at the Terms of Service and the security guarantees. Play it doubly safe and store your files on different sites—just in case.

Expenses

Know what you can and cannot note as a business expense. You may not get 100 percent of the cost allowed, but even 50 percent that qualifies as a tax deduction will certainly help: Consult a tax advisor or the IRS to make sure you’re not expecting a tax credit for non-deductible expenses or percentages.

Make sure you check back each January, for tax laws change, and don’t forget state tax exemptions and deductions. Often states have different standards and restrictions than the federal tax code allows.

Keep all your receipts! Scan all of them to duplicate your records between hard copies and electronic copies. Scanning them into electronic format is especially important with many register receipts: The ink fades after a short time, and if you can’t read it, you can’t claim it.

Summary

Save as much as you can as often as you can and in as many ways as you can. Save money, save data and save energy and worry. Good luck!

This post was contributed by John Walker (visit his site here).  John lives in London, UK where he works as a financial analyst.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Top 5 iPad Apps for Programmers

The Apple Market now boasts a vast selection of iPad apps, and while there is always a great deal of attention on the newest, one category in particular seems to always get short-changed: apps for programmers. One list won’t change that, but we hope to get the balling rolling in the right direction with our choices for the top 5 iPad apps for programmers. These are apps that will get more out of your iPad, and make you a more productive coder.

1. Dropbox

Dropbox is the ultimate iPad-accessible cloud service for a number of reasons: It’s free for up to 2 GB worth of storage, it’s incredibly easy to use and it is extremely fast. Since programmers are primarily dealing in text files, 2 GB is more than enough to store all their work for any given project or two and have it be accessible wherever they are: in the office, at home or on the road.

2. FTPOnTheGo

Most professional programmers work as a part of a team, and an FTP server is usually an integral aspect of keeping that team fully connected. Before now, there wasn’t a convenient or powerful way to access an FTP server from your iPad. The all-new FTPOnTheGo app, on the other hand, supports browsing, deletion, renaming, chmod and it even allows you to edit those files seamlessly using an external editor.

3. iMockups

As a programmer, we’re most productive when we’re left alone and behind our favored workstation. But that isn’t our usual reality. We have meetings, conferences, responsibilities to our children and so forth. Well, iMockups is an incredibly cool app that lets you do something productive during your downtime, such as building mockups of websites and other user interfaces.

4. Omnigraffle

Omnigraffle is like iMockups except that it allows you draw sophisticated diagrams by dragging and dropping various shapes and objects. If you’re familiar with the Mac version of Omnigraffle, then you know this one too; it doesn’t miss a beat. For the programmer who works with workflow diagrams, there simply isn’t another app available for the iPad that provides as much capability as this one does.

5. Markup

For the programmer, one of the limitations to actually writing code on the iPad is the lack of support for markup. Writing in plain text simply doesn’t cut it any longer. The languages are too complex, and we’re often working under a substantial time crunch. Markup is a basic – basic in a good way – editor that supports markup for HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP and so forth, and it even allows you to create folders and files with proper extensions from right within the program.

Miles Walker is a freelance writer and blogger who usually looks at car insurance deals over at CarinsuranceComparison.Org. His most recent review looked at the best car insurance quotes.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,761 other followers

%d bloggers like this: