Tired of Reading the Job Hunting Tea Leaves?

[ad_1] In this age of endless information, it can be especially difficult for job seekers, who are already facing a tough job market, to decipher through all the code and figure out what options will work best for them: To social network or not to social network? To produce a video resume or not to … Continue reading “Tired of Reading the Job Hunting Tea Leaves?”

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In this age of endless information, it can be especially difficult for job seekers, who are already facing a tough job market, to decipher through all the code and figure out what options will work best for them:

To social network or not to social network?

To produce a video resume or not to produce one?

To hire a resume writer or not to hire one?

To work with endless numbers of recruiters or just a few?

To post your resume on this site or that one or all of them?

To blog or not to blog?

To make cold calls or not to?

To take a part-time job or not to?

And these are just some of the broader questions that job seekers today face. Here are some of the narrow ones:

To ask certain types of questions during an interview or networking meeting or not to?

To expand your resume to three pages or keep it at two?

To attend this networking meeting or that one or both?

To pay for e-mail resume distribution services or just apply to positions one at a time?

To write a cover letter or not to?

To build a Google profile or not to?

And of course the list could go on. I mean, is conducting a job search really all that complicated these days?

The short (but no less complex) answer is “yes and no.” The basic concept of a job search hasn’t really changed; it’s just the tools that have. And with so many possibilities, job seekers can eat up their entire day just figuring out which ones are feasible and best for them.

So what is a job seeker to do?

First things first is to get the basics right. Focus on the aspects of finding employment that haven’t changed: Networking; connecting with decision makers; establishing a clear, direct target; and putting your best foot forward. Setting these attributes as the foundation for your job search will help you filter through all the rest of it.

The next step is to know just how much time in a day or week you have to conducting your job search and, most importantly, focusing on those things that actually put you in contact with solid job opportunities, recruiters, and leads. Social networks are great. Video resumes are a nice touch. But make sure those things aren’t just time suckers; make sure they actually touch base with your target audience. Know beforehand how you plan on using them.

By starting with the basics, job seekers can sift through all the information out there and decide what strategy they will take. Remember, the end game is to secure employment. Period. Being savvy for the sake of saying your savvy is just, well, off the mark.

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Factors Which Influence the Success of ERP Implementation

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Enterprise resource planning (ERP) system has evolved over the period of last two decades. By ERP, I meant a system with user base of at least 200+ with more than a million dollars in investments.

Approach to implementation can be performed in phased manner.

Phase 1:

ERP implementation has its own challenges from the stage of conceptualization to actual usage and beyond. I thought of sharing my views as what can primarily contribute to success of ERP implementations.

These factors provided below are more from project management perspective, particularly on the software implementation part.

Management support and confidence: This is the first and foremost factor which determines the success of ERP project. Any entity or business has to put effort and time in analyzing the need for an ERP system, before a decision to go for an ERP system. An entity, which is capable of investing more than a million dollars, would definitely have some kind of legacy system. They would be performing the ERP function to an extent through legacy, hence it’s important as a first step to perform the following.

1. Cost Vs Benefit Analysis.

2. Return on investment.

When cost of implementation is considered, apart from license and consulting cost, it is important to consider the maintenance cost for post implementation and this, also varies upon on size of implementation.

Both needs to be worked out and I would suggest only if management is happy with above estimates & expectation there is need for a new ERP system.

Choosing an ERP product: Once, decision is taken in favor of ERP implementation, then the next step would be to find out the suitable ERP product which would suit the business. Few factors, I believe that is essential towards choosing of ERP products are:

Product suitability to its business, support the seller provides, future upgrades & scalability, cost & availability of consultants to provide support in future needs to be considered apart from pricing before choosing product.

Implementation Approach: ERP’s can be tailored to suit a business needs, this is commonly referred as ‘customization’. Customization can plug the gap from business solution perspective. However, it is always better to avoid customization or at most keep customization to a minimum considering the following factors.

• Additional cost involved in development and testing.

• Maintenance cost even after deployment in production.

• Any business process change might impact customization and this would require enhancement of the customization and thereby cost.

• When upgrade happens in future, the customization has to be upgraded as well which would incur cost.

On all the above factors, management needs to play important role towards success of the implementation and they can be considered as preliminary phase or phase 1 of the ERP project implementation.

Phase 2:

‘One Team’: Once it’s decided to go in for ERP, the next step is to have a steering committee, which will play an important role to tracking the project towards successful implementation of ERP system and proactively address risks. Ideally, the steering committee should have proper representation from management, different vendors associated with project. An ERP project can have different vendors like:

• Hardware

• Servers

• Operating systems

• Networks

• Software

• Licensing

• Consulting or IT service for implementation, training & support

It would be a good option to have a project management office (PMO), which would look into day-to-day coordination reporting into the steering committee. Each of these tasks performed by vendors has dependency on start on the other vendor. Hence, PMO office should be proper control on all task executed by Vendors.

Schedule, Budget, Scope: From this stage of the project, Project management plays important role in success of the project. Budgeting would have been preliminarily done at the “Phase 1” of the project, but these would be more of ball park number (Variation of 20 to 25%). At this stage, more accurate estimate needs to be worked out.

ERP implementation has other stream as well, which has dependency in successful implementation of the project. Project management tools/ software can be used to track some of the key project related parameters.

Project deliverables, sign off & change requests:

The project as such can have broken down into different phase with a work break down structure (WBS) with deliverables defined for each milestone or phase, the sign off and change request procedure agreed with all stakeholders. This should be brought about by the PMO team and agreed with ‘Steering Committee’

Till about phase 2, it’s more of setting up the ground rules towards successful execution of the project. All these might take considerable amount of time.

Phase 3:

Business Process Engineering or Re-engineering: An ERP system has to be configured to work as per expectation. The business processes have to be mapped to ERP product and set up have to be configured.

The process of requirement gathering towards set up requires coordinated effort between functional consultant and the business process area owners through workshops. An iterative approach needs to be followed, meaning the system has to be set up 2 to 3 times to map the requirement and refined if needed, before actually performing the set up in production system. Such iterative approaches of mapping business to systems are referred as ‘Conference room pilots’ (CRP).

Data migration from legacy system and their strategy, Interfaces to feeder system needs to defined and agreed up and tested.

Training: At times, training to end-user is overlooked. Inadequate training is the one of the cause for bottleneck in successful implementation. If there is in adequate training, one can find more than 60 to 80% of issue post Go-Live being clarification related, hence adequate importance needs to be worked towards training. If possible it’s better to work out a strategy for measuring the training effectiveness. There are some thoughts that training can be done towards production move. But, it’s better training is provided from the stage of defining business process, so that even if there is a change in business process user can appreciate the changes.

Support team & cut over planning. It equally critical, plan is also worked out for the support team to be in place post go-live. Normally Implementation team would be handing over to the support team. The support team is either in-house or out sourced.

Cut over planning means the activities that would be carried out by the time users stops entering into the legacy system and the time by which user starts using new ERP system. Effort also need to put towards cut over planning particularly, the activities as how reconciliation of legacy and new ERP system would be performed post Go-Live and as what are the activities, which would be performed during the cut over period with assigned owner to each task.

Go-Live and beyond: Beyond go – live, there is a certain period, which is required towards stabilization of the system. It’s also easier said than done. Though these can be guidelines for a general scenario, each of the ERP project are unique has its own challenges and situation changes based on various factors, this is where project managers and PMO can play a vital role in steering the project to safety and thereby achieve the end objective of a successful implementation.

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Customer Relationship Management – You Can Take Advantage Of Automatic Managing Of Your Sales?

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With the profits clearly leaning in favor of the customer-centric method, it is only natural that your customer relationship management system should follow suit. In implementing such a system effectively, you would easily be on your road to maximizing sales. Once you implement this system, small companies can look forward to using its various advanced attractions such as gathering of logically chunked data about each customer and connectivity from any location world-wide 24/7. Moreover, you can take advantage of automatic managing of your sales and profits in a well-recorded methodological manner.

Based on the cost-effectiveness and flexibility with which you install it, your buyers can use your CRM program to watch inventory and rates and place orders correspondingly equipped with up-to-date data. Using this system, you can predict market response of your solutions and services using a more well-equipped and reliable method. Your customer interactions, their order data, and messages get monitored in the auto-pilot mode. Different applications however provide different CRM methods and you have to be alert for the pitfalls while selecting a CRM application for your small online business.

While arranging the most suitable customer relationship management system for your small organization, you need to ensure that firstly, the software is easy to tailor to your requirements. After that what you should test it for is global connectivity. A perfect system should allow connectivity any time internationally along with effective handling of information. Moreover, check whether the system has a versatile interface that facilitates effective interaction amongst supervisors, clients, technicians, and partners. To facilitate simple and open communication, the interface should be user-friendly, let connection to pages in a few clicks and be simple to use and traverse.

Consumers are getting more at home with the idea of self-service and even prefer it over service guided by operators. You can launch self-service portals for communication with your consumers using customer management programs like NetSuite. Using different styles, portals provide a channel for customers to post service requests or problems, track stock and fees, place orders based on real-time information and view status and history of existing orders. You can now be open for business round the clock.

Using the service component of the customer relationship management system, your customers can submit trouble tickets after accessing your site. The system’s sales function may help the sales representatives of your company to conduct the sales process in a systematic manner. The software supports analytical CRM by providing sufficient information that enable managers to optimize marketing strategies, target customers for cross-selling and retention campaigns, make decisions on pricing and research, and predict the behavior of customers. The service functions that it supports include management of warranties, service requests, maintenance contracts, inventory, task schedules of service staff, knowledge base, guides and manuals, and other resources.

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Jobs in Insurance Companies

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Jobs in insurance companies are lucrative options for all finance professionals in India. With 15-20 percent growth rate per annum and the entry of private companies, Jobs in India have become more demanding. A host of facilities including an attractive salary package, handsome incentives and steady career growth are offered by most of the insurance companies in India. Anyone who wants to go for a good job in the insurance sector can also pursue a course in management that will give him an edge in the job market.

Insurance management courses offered by several renowned institutes across the country cover the nitty-gritty related to the insurance sector so that students can get a clear idea of the sector and grab better positions in any insurance company after the completion of the courses. Anybody can opt for an insurance course after graduation. Some insurance management institutes in India conduct admission test while some other institutes select students for the course through CAT and MAT entrance tests. Working professionals can also opt for insurance management programmes as many institutes also offer correspondence and part-time courses.

As far as jobs in insurance companies are concerned, both national and international insurance companies are ruling the job market. Some of the big names in the insurance sector in India include Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Limited, Birla Sun Life Insurance Company Limited, HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited, Max New York Life Insurance Company Limited, Tata AIG Life Insurance Company Limited, Aviva Life Insurance Company Limited, SBI Life Insurance Company Limited and many more.

Anyone planning to make his or her career in insurance sector can apply for several positions. Some positions for which insurance companies mainly hire people are as follows:

• Insurance Advisor: Many insurance companies in India hire skilled professionals as insurance advisors. The job of an insurance advisor is to serve all the policyholders of a company. An insurance advisor is responsible for assisting policyholders to choose the best possible plans for them, enabling policyholders to understand various risks and find out the right way to avoid the risk.

• Insurance Associate: A finance professional interested in insurance jobs can also apply for the position of insurance associate. Generally, an insurance associate is responsible for achieving sales target, creating and maintaining relationship with customers, implementing various promotional schemes, just to name a few.

• Back Office Support: Any commerce graduate willing to start his or her career path in the insurance sector can opt for the position of back office support. A professional working as a back office support has to shoulder various responsibilities. He has to attend all the service related queries of customers, send the MIS report to the concerned authority, assist teams at the time of log and many others.

• Sales Development Manager: Sales development manager position in any insurance company is a great reward for finance professionals. The responsibilities attached to the position include identifying insurance agents and recruiting them, reviewing the performance of the team, providing training to his team, setting target, improving the productivity of his team and many more.

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The Pros And Cons Of Being A Property Manager

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There are many good and bad aspects of any job, and making yourself fully aware of them up-front cannot be bad. Starting a it company requires its’ own unique skill set in dealing with the situations you will find your self in, so here are some good viewpoints on getting into the industry.

The Pros……

Being a top-tier property manager requires that you consistently do your job and the mundane tasks surrounding that. Your daily tasks may range from coordinating repairmen to making sure your newest client is included in the lawn maintenance schedule. No matter the degree of service your agency offers, you will need to be organized to manage this long list of widely ranging tasks, but that is a unique aspect in-and-of itself. it offers a broad spectrum of things to do.

It will definitely expose you to many different personality types. Most of the people you meet will not make your short list of friends or confidantes, but will expose you to new perspectives and mental approaches. This will broaden your own experience with people and grow your confidence in dealing with people.

Property management will also push you to expand your personal boundaries as far as learning goes. On some days, you will have the time to consider marketing methods or other advertising your agency needs to pursue, while on other days, you will be knee-deep in paperwork and working with renters who are not very cooperative. The diversity in tasks and work load are what makes you stretch and grow in ways that can only be positive, as long as you maintain a positive attitude.

The biggest positive aspect of it is that you are developing knowledge and skill as a real estate investor. Granted, many successful real estate investors never managed a single property, but that does not mean that managing will not show you a certain insight into real estate investing that you may not otherwise have received.

The Cons…..

The down side of property management is roughly similar to the down side of any other business or job. Very few property managers work less than full-time, depending on the amount of money they plan to make on a monthly basis. Although that is true for nearly every job or business out there, the demands of following your own time tables and to do lists can be more exhausting than a normal job.

The worst aspect is that you often deal with people who are trying to hide certain information from you. It is your job to check into their past and reveal anything that may be a material fact that may prohibit them from renting, and they know this. Working with evasive, deceptive people is tiresome and can be depressing, but consider it all in a days work and you will go far!

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Video Wall Software Improving Content Management

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Let’s face it: today’s technology is miles ahead of the technology from even ten years ago, and it’s improving at an exponential rate. Standard definition is hardly standard anymore; now 1080p high definition is the norm for most types of screens. And the new high definition – 4K Ultra HD – is a full four times sharper than regular HD!

With flatter, thinner screens that support ever higher resolutions, it’s clear that our hardware has surpassed our expectations and given us the possibility for the absolute top-of-the-line screen quality when it comes to audio/visual solutions. So what’s left? Where do we go from here, and how can we possibly improve upon what we already have?

The answer, which many overlook, is content. Sure, we may have the means to display amazing images and videos on super-sharp screens, but we also need the right content to actually put on those screens, and an easy way of doing so.

That’s why video wall software has become just as important as the actual hardware. Video wall installations are ideal for a wide variety of environments, from retail to education to entertainment, but often the content management systems can be complicated and time-consuming.

With the right video wall software, you should be able to manage your content with ease. That’s the next step in technological innovation: not just improving the hardware, but improving the ways that we add and manage content. We’re moving towards a world where content is king, and management that is both intuitive and user friendly is the name of the game.

Software also adds a level of customization that allows you to really make the content reflective of your identity or brand. Customization is increasingly important in today’s world where we are constantly inundated with information that can seem generic. With software that lets you customize your content, you can create something that is completely unique to you and your company. This is perfect for when you want to stand out in advertising or create dynamic presentations to showcase your business.

The right software allows users to program and schedule content so that it will play at specific times-perfect for planning ahead. There are usually plenty of configurations available as well, like picture in picture. Software is also useful when you want to use a combination of different media sources, such as CD/DVD players, cameras, the internet, and more.

The future of AV technology is content management, so instead of just thinking about the right hardware, consider also a system that comes with integrated and intuitive software.

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Want To Build a Better Facility Management Workforce? Build Better Workforce Accountability

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It’s not hard to realize that advantages of a better workforce. Without good employees, even the most well-intentioned maintenance business is doomed to failure. But with the disappointments of the recent economic downturns, tighter budgets, and less employees to perform more tasks, it’s becoming increasingly harder to maintain an optimum workforce. The big mistake many businesses commit is to apply more control, to work them harder than usual to make up for the lack of manpower, thinking that should the employee leave in frustration, they can always get a replacement from the many unemployed.

However, continually replacing experienced employees with novice employees can start to drain the finances of any company, making constant turnover a losing strategy. So the question remains; how do you keep workers not only satisfied with their positions, but help them become the outgoing, responsible employees that you-and they-know that they can be?

Many studies have been made comparing businesses incorporating a controlling atmosphere, compared with those displaying qualities of less control. And in a majority of the case, those companies with the superior workforce were the companies that trusted the employees to think for themselves, mainly through the encouragement of employee accountability.

However, getting an employee to a state of trust and accountability, so that he completes his task competently with less supervision, is sometimes easier said than done. But there are some real success stories, and some were achieved through employee   management  with a quality CMMS (Computer Maintenance  Management   System ). When used correctly, an Employee  Management   system  can help guide the employee to become more accountable in their work, leading to more satisfaction in their  job  for them, and a better employee for you.

Here are some of the features CMMS software may provide, to build more accountability in your workforce:

1. Performance Evaluation: In order to evaluate changes in work attitudes, an accurate system should be in place that targets these changes. Helping the employee become aware of any changes helps them become more accountable and efficient.

2. Training and Development: The more knowledge an employee has on any given task, the more confident they become performing that task. Employee management software should include features to aid in training and development, and can accurately track their individual knowledge base. This helps the employee understand their performance relative to your objectives, motivating the employee to greater accountability.

3. Human Resources: To be on top of the many schedule changes, vacations, leave of absences and other personal matters that can arise in the employees calendar, you need a system that includes a Human Resources Suite. Not only will your employee be taken care of, but your managers will be empowered to solve issues quickly and positively.

4. Employee Mobile Technology: Using available mobile technology, your employee will develop skills in the field to make them think independently and take on issues with little or no supervision. Not only will this make your job easier; it will instill the confidence the employee needs to become more efficient and motivated.

These are just some of the features that can aid you in ensuring that your workforce force, in good times and in bad, is the strongest it can be.

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Requirements For an ISO 27001 Accreditation

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The ISO 27001 is part of the Information Security Management System standard that was originally published in October of 2005. The standard organizes information security and puts it under the explicit control of management. It requires management to systematically evaluate their security risks, including any security vulnerabilities and treats. They also must design and implement controls that address any vulnerability that is listed as unacceptable, and they must implement a management system that ensures all security controls meet the organizations needs over time.

In order to become ISO 27001 certified an information security management system must meet several different requirements. Meeting the accreditation requirements of any of the national variants of ISO 27001 is equivalent to meeting the requirements of any ISO 27001 certification. Also, organizations that have meet the requirements for certification for ISO 27002 are most likely compliant with ISO 27001, although some may be missing some management system elements. There is a three stage audit process that all information security management systems must pass before accreditation is given.

The first stage of accreditation is the preliminary review of the information security management system. This informal review gathers information regarding the status of the security of the system. The auditors will review any information security policies, risk treatment plans, and other documents regarding information security and how it is handled. The main purpose of this stage is to introduce the auditors to the organization’s policies and the organization to the auditing process.

The second stage of accreditation for ISO 27001 is the detailed formal audit. Here, the auditing team tests the management system against the various requirements as outlined in ISO 27001. They will look to see that the system was properly designed to meet the requirements and that it has been fully implemented and is operating in accordance to the policy. This includes confirming that all documents and policies are actively being enforced and that all committees and other groups are meeting as planned and performing all their necessary duties. By completing stage two, the organization becomes certified as being compliant with ISO 27001.

The third stage consists of follow up audits and reviews to ensure that the organization remains in compliance with ISO certification standard. This requires re-assessment audits conducted periodically to check policies and their enforcement. At the very least, these assessment audits should occur once a year, although most organizations have them conducted more frequently, especially if the information security management system is still evolving and changing.

Once compliant with ISO 27001, a management system will be more unified and organized as a whole. Non-IT information will be more protected because they will be integrated with standard IT information. Practices of all departments will also be consistent in their approach to protecting information rather than each department having its own information security policies and standards.

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Why Have a Documented Quality Management System?

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It is important for an organisation to identify the principal activities that are undertaken in order to supply products or services that are consistent and produced as efficiently as possible. This will assist the organisation to minimise quality costs such as customer complaints, product rework, waste and levels of reject and by reducing this cost will see a direct impact on the bottom line and the profitability of departments, enterprises or the organisation itself. There are a number of reasons why an organisation may be required to move from informal to formalised systems.

Informal  management   systems  are those that exist as word of mouth, are not documented and rely on heavily on supervision and  management  to ensure that practices, products and services are consistent. Formal  management   systems  are  management   systems  that are written down, i.e. documented and established so that there is clarity on the organisation’s aims, goals and objectives, its mission, the activities undertaken and the procedures that have been established to ensure that the activities or processes are undertaken consistently and the outputs from those activities, the products and/or services, meet pre-determined requirements.

So why have a documented  management   system ? Well this is not an exhaustive list, but here are some reasons why it is important to formalise the organisation’s policies, protocols and procedures to demonstrate:

o Internally and externally that there is process and product/service control to ensure that customer specifications are consistently met;

o Legislative requirements have been met. Legislation can include as applicable, personnel legislation, worker welfare or health and safety, product or service liability, corporate social responsibility, or environmental protection;

o Procedures are in place in the event of a product recall, withdrawal or a customer complaint or in the event that product/service non-conformance is identified during the production phase;

o Training procedures are established, documented and implemented and refresher training is undertaken as required; and

o Processes and procedures are regularly reviewed and enhanced or improved where necessary.

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Internal Control Systems As They Relate to Risk Management

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Tyco, WorldCom, and Enron are examples companies that failed because of improper internal controls. Internal control systems are useful to organizations because they identify and correct accounting frauds or errors. However, internal controls are useless if risks associated with an organization’s routine decisions are not monitored. Enterprise risk management (ERM) focuses on risks to an organization’s operations and ensures that controls are in place to eliminate, mitigate, or compensate for those risks (Louwers, Ramsay, Sinason, & Strawser). Additionally, ERM identifies and assesses risks to management’s objectives by evaluating internal control components; control environment, risk assessment, control procedures, monitoring, and information and communication.

Control Environment

An effective control environment primarily defines organizational structure, commitment to competence, assignment of authority and responsibility, and internal audit functions. Control environments are important any type of risk approach because it establishes organizational tone, the foundation of organizational internal control, and its response to risk (Louwers et al).

Risk Assessment

Risk assessment is the process used to estimate the likelihood and impact of risks on management’s objectives. Risk assessment generally includes risk-response. After potential risks are identified, they become part of an organization’s risk portfolio. Risk response is then used to evaluate correlations and total impact and make changes to optimize the risk portfolio (McCarthy, Flynn, and Brownstein).

Control Procedure

Control procedures are actions taken by management to eliminate, mitigate, and compensate for risks (Louwers et al.). The most frequently used control procedures are performance reviews, segregation of duties, physical controls, and information-processing controls. Performance reviews gives management the opportunity to perform periodic evaluations of the organization’s objectives and ensure they are being met. Segregation of duties separates tasks such as authorization to execute transactions, recording transactions, and periodic reconciliation of existing assets to current amounts to reduce the risk of an individual creating and concealing errors, frauds, and misstatements within the organization (Louwers et al.). Organizations have physical controls in place to prevent access to documents, inventory, and specific areas by unauthorized individuals. Information-processing controls create audit trails and are in place to ensure financial statement transactions are processed correctly.

Monitoring

Monitoring is an ongoing assessment of the quality of an organization’s internal controls. Examples of monitoring controls may include analyzing customer or vendor billing complaints, supervising the accuracy of transaction processing, and comparing recorded amounts to assets and liabilities (Louwers et al.). Monitoring activities are similar to control activities. Unlike control activities, monitoring activities are more in-depth because they include identifying weaknesses in other controls. Although monitoring includes management related tasks, audit committees are generally assigned these tasks.

Information and Communication

Information and communication are necessary for management to complete an organization’s objectives. Information systems are effective when they consistently provide timely, current, accurate, and accessible information related to an organization’s external sources. Communication is the means of relaying information to internal and external sources through report production and distribution (Louwers et al.).

Conclusion

Insurance and portfolio approaches are good tools because they give organizations the opportunity to align their investments within their tolerated risk range and save costs on investments that are immaterial and relevant to their investment objectives. However, these approaches do not provide for periodic and timely evaluations that lead up these approaches or ensure that the organization’s objectives are consistently met. To ensure all of an organization’s objectives are met and properly handled, implementation of a system that will complement an effective internal control system and the insurance and portfolio approaches in necessary.

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