7 Competent Tips To Optimize The Warehousing Services

Often a warehousing management company is lost in setting up a path in e-commerce and consolidating the profits but forgets about the efficiency of warehousing services. A mismanaged warehouse will lead to troubled shipments. A warehouse with effective ideology and plans will lead to fuller inventory, fewer damages, dispatches on time, and high returns.

Locating Products at Their Specific Location

Pre-define the location of the particular item or product to easily access them when required. This will help to save the time while processing the orders for clients. The tip is to group similar goods together, store heavy items at the back of the storage facility and keep the easily movable item at the front, place the old or not so frequently required inventory at the top of the shelves or racks and put the small items together in order to prevent them from being lost.

Quality Checks (QC) are Pivotal

Quality check or QC is uttermost important to make sure the products being delivered are not broken or contaminated. With this, it is easy to prevent the anomalies at an early stage and rectify it before the shipping process. To maintain the quality of the good, it is important to have quality inspectors or QC stations at the facility before transferring the goods to the packaging station.

Reachable Location of the Warehouse

Select a location for the warehouse where it is easy to reach the marketplace or from where the market can be targeted easily. If that is not possible, in that case, it is important to keep the reasonable amount of stock at the different retail outlets. The key is to hire or associate with people who can deal in timely delivery of the goods to the different outlets.

Select needed packaging

It is important to select only that packaging material which is required because having the other packaging options around the facility is a waste of time and space only. Determine or decide packaging options that are durable and sturdy for the goods in stock. The key is to ascertain the size of each and every stock and determine the exact requirement in advance. Do not buy the packing material for those goods which are not in season or are not ready to dispatch anytime soon.

Reasonable Staffing

Taking a note of peak period and identifying the level of staff required is a necessity. Planning the requirement of staff will help to reduce the surplus costs. Hiring or recruiting the staff in abundance will only lead to expenses and bulky costs.

Introspect Products Daily

Taking a minute out of the day to inspect or review the stock will help to understand which item can be easily dispatched or which one is the slowest. This will help to understand the requirements of the stocks for future.

Tracing Everyday Activity

For warehousing services, it is important to keep an eye on each and every activity taking place. Keeping the track of every activity taking place in the facility should be the concern of the businesses. This will help a warehousing management company to resolve the issues like under-stocking or overstocking in the facility.

Passion and Business

Every business person will experience challenges. This is a default setting in life – Challenges will always come. But, what separates the businesses that rise and rise, from those that experience failure after failure?

(Caveat: This is not to say that there are businesses that never fail. ALL businesses fail at some point. Some, however, rise from ashes and shine through.)

Passion, then, is the key ingredient between throwing in the towel, or getting up to fight the next round. There is a refining moment where every business owner goes through intense heat. This heat can either polish you or finish you completely but it all depends on the level of passion in the business.

To always keep your goals ahead of you is tough when everything is bursting at the seams. This is why asking questions is a survival skill.

“Why am I doing this? What works? What doesn’t? What can I do better?”

These questions tackle the level of passion you are carrying for the business. Sometimes, answering these questions may make you revisit exactly how you ended up in that business. This in turn focuses on your motivators. They are the little coals that keep your passion alive. They make going through the grime seem worthwhile even though the outlook seems bleak. As long as you keep asking these questions, you automatically take your mind to your motivators. That’s why challenges really should never worry you, but dwindling passion should ring alarm bells!

So, when passion starts to dwindle, simply repeat the questions, “Why am I doing this? What works? What doesn’t work? What can I do better?”

Once you have your mind on your motivators, the dying passion will be revived once again.

Why am I doing this? It’s the path towards achieving goal X, Y, Z…

What works? So far, what have I achieved? Am I still on my way there?

What doesn’t work? What has derailed me on this course? Is what I’m doing still viable? If I change course, what will still take me to goal X, Y, Z…?

What can I do better? What hasn’t stalled but isn’t performing well either? How can I affect the rate of growth? Do I really need more money? Can I do it differently? Can I borrow a strategy? Who has done this and it’s working for them?

When stalling, don’t resign. Ask. What you fear will always paralyze you. Once you question its power, you have a fighting chance left. Always ask.

Ideas of How to Get People to Your Trade Show Exhibition Stand

Your stand is your shop window!
What is your reason for being at the show? For most people it is to sell, launch a new product or a simple brand awareness exercise. You must select signs, posters, colours and marketing materials that reflect this.

You don’t have to have a big stand
When you are exhibiting you do need to have big desires but that doesn’t mean you must have a massive budget. Don’t get carried away with having the biggest stand, location is more important and if you get the look right a smaller stand can work just as well.

Exhibiting at a trade show does not mean you have to spend lots of cash. Try to use things you can use again. You will always find there are things in your office you can take and if you have room, taking things like chairs means you don’t have to hire them.

Test before you go
Get everything together and make sure it will all fit in your vehicle. There is nothing worse than packing up the day before to head off to the exhibition hall and it won’t fit in the car. It may take you some time to work out how to fit it all in so you may need to rethink what you are taking. Once you get everything into your vehicle then take a photo on your phone to help you remember.

A good idea, if you have room, is to set it up at work before you go. That way you can see how much space you have to work with and how it will feel to your customers.

Promotional items and giveaways
Make sure your promo gifts clearly show your message or brand and they don’t end up on the floor of the exhibition. If you are going to spend money on gifts then make sure they are something people will take away with them and they market your business.

Location, location, location
Where your stand is located can be critical. Get a floor plan before you book your space and see if you can find out where your competitors are located. You ideally want to be on main walkways but if all the better spaces have been booked not to worry you can hire experienced exhibition staff to attract people to your stand.

Who are you going to take with you?
Many exhibitors hire experienced promotional and exhibition staff to increase stand footfall. This is a much cheaper option than taking someone from work who you have to pay hotels, lunches and travel for. Remember if you take one of your sales people, who is making those sales back at the office?

Don’t go alone, if your stand is busy how are you going to pop to the loo, go for lunch or be focused on clients when you have other waiting. Having another person with you means they can chat to visitors whilst they wait, they can promote your brand, take down contact details and your stand always has someone on it. You can also get them to go and get the coffee’s or make them if you have the facilities.

Trends That Will Make Your Business Thrive In 2018

A new year is here and along with it comes a new set of goals and purpose for your business. The trends of the year are already heating up, and your company needs to form early adoption to ensure you make the most of these moneymaking opportunities. Consider investing in these trends of 2018 to help your business startup flourish throughout the year.

Local Advertising

Reaching your local customers has never been easier or more important as localized advertising takes this promotional activity to a whole new level. Through advanced search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, you are able to make your business startup visible to the exact base of customers that have interest in your product. Using local landing pages, city keyword search terms, and the use of pages such as Google MyBusiness, you can allow your company to be found by those that are searching for a business near them. This personalized approach to reaching customers is hot for 2018 and is a sound way to market your business throughout the year.

Advanced Technologies

Hardly a day goes by without a mention of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), or Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies are allowing business startups to interface with their customers in a new and exciting way. Adding these advanced technologies into your business not only can improve the customer experience for consumers, but it can also streamline and make your operations more efficient.

Higher Wages

For 2018, you’ll see a surge in the minimum wage being paid to workers. Increasing your wage earnings for your employees can make your business a more attractive place to work and help garner talent that would otherwise not have been possible. Your employees are a direct reflection of your business startup and paying them a little more can go a long way in ensuring that you have a workforce that maintains your company vision and brand.

Remote Workforce

More and more employees are signing up a for positions that offer remote working environments. As your business grows, you can expand your presence globally through a remote workforce. This will allow your business startup to secure top talent from around the world and keep your operations flowing 24/7. You’ll be able to maintain a lower overhead with a remote team and give your employees a position that is highly desirable and sought after in 2018.

Millennials

The focus of the New Year is on Millennials as this large population of customers has come of age and has an immense buying power to wield with business startups. This gaggle of buyers is focused and ready to make buying decisions that can help to increase your business startup’s revenue. Understanding and honing in on this generation of consumers can provide a generous bump in your profits as you target them with technology-enhanced products and services that you market to them on the very channels they submerge themselves in. Emphasizing Millennials for 2018 can add to your business startup’s bottom line and increase your fan base and followers throughout the year.

Influencers and Experts

In 2018, the need to have a subject matter expert or influencer support your business startup’s products or services can boost your brand’s visibility with consumers. These experts have clout with customers and are often the reason that they choose your business startup over your competitors. Consumers are turning to subject matter experts and influencers to give them advice and provide them with the solutions to their everyday problems with your products and services. Th opinions of these experts matter to the masses and can help bolster your business startup in 2018.

Blockchain

If you haven’t heard of blockchain, you soon will as the technology is making strong headway in 2018. This technology allows for real-time, safe documentation and monitoring and can help your business startup become more transparent with your customers. The ability to hold digital transactions in a more friendly and accountable way makes blockchain a technology that can literally change the way that you do business in 2018 and beyond.

E-Commerce

The need for a brick and mortar store has literally become passé as consumers choose to do the majority of their shopping online. E-commerce is taking over, and more business startups are making a foray into online sales in lieu of a physical store location. Consumers are responding with resounding acceptance making it possible for your business startup to thrive in the e-commerce space and gain consumer loyalty with online sales.

Values

The trend in 2018 for businesses alike is a focus on values. Consumers are turning to brands that have the same values that align with their own and foregoing the ones that don’t. Outlining the values that your business startup stands for early on can give you traction with customers that are like minded and believe in the same morals as your company does. Keeping your values front and center with your customer base is a new way to attract clients to your business and keep them coming back for the long haul to buy your products and services.

Customer Experience

In 2018, the customer experience also becomes more important as consumer look to brands that provide them a positive buying experience. Interacting and engaging with your customers can help achieve loyalty with them. When buying from your business startup is an occurrence that a consumer enjoys, they are more likely to return to your business for a second, third, and fourth purchase. They spread the word that your business startup is one to frequent and keeps your company top of mind with many new customers.

Does Your Business Team Lie to You?

I was recently reminded of a story about Alan Mulally. One September in 2006, he walked into the offices of the legendary car manufacturer, Ford Motor Company, to assume the role of president and CEO. Before this point, he had been the chief that turned Boeing around from lackluster performance, and Ford was hoping he would deliver the same kind of magic to Ford.

At the time, Ford was on the brink of bankruptcy and things were grim for the American auto-maker. As he reflected in a subsequent interview, “In September ’06, when I arrived, the first forecast I saw for profitability was a $17 billion loss. And we achieved it.”*

Remarkably, the first meeting he had with his senior team produced a different picture for Mulally. During the meeting, Mulally patiently sat through presentations where senior company executives presented reports that looked great. Everyone, it seemed, was hitting their targets. He couldn’t believe it.

He then reminded them that they had wholly succeeded–at losing billions of dollars.

He then asked them to try again.

(Pause)

Finally, one executive spoke up and began to provide Mulally with the less than rosy picture, which happened to be the real and raw truth. The executive then asked for help.

What do you think happened next?

Do you think Mulally ripped into the executive?

On the contrary, he stood up and applauded the person who dared to tell him the truth.

The Most Valuable Player

As a CEO of multiple brands, I don’t want to hear from my team about how good we’re doing. Nothing is perfect, and I know it. I want to be challenged and want everyone on my team to do better, and the only way that happens is if all of us hear the truth. The most valuable player on my team is not the top salesperson, it’s the person who dares to bring ideas to the table where he or she sees room for improvement.

What Would You Have Done?

If you were faced with a turn-around situation of any kind and you walked into your first meeting as Mulally did years ago, what would you have done? The reality is that good management practice begins with the leader. Would you have done what Mulally did and publicly support the person that spoke up or would you have done something different, like shoot the messenger? Unfortunately, I’ve seen it happen too often. The best teams don’t only focus on what the leadership wants to hear; they trust in their leaders and the environment that allows them to speak about what’s not working so it can be improved.

Best Strategy to Make People Speak Up

Want to know what’s one of the best things you can do if you’re a manager and want your team to be frank and candid with you? Create the space and environment that fosters collaboration and discussion. That means that as a manager, you have to talk less and listen more. If someone brings you a challenge or an area in need of improvement, listen to what this person has to say. And, then ask questions.

Digging Deeper

I’ve been in sales for almost my entire life, and the best sales professionals and also leaders understand that listening is one of the best skills they can cultivate. However, along with being open to what your team has to say, you also want to dig deeper so you can gain a thorough understanding of an issue and perhaps even help develop strategic solutions. You can accomplish this by asking first, second and third level questions and you don’t have to know sales to get to the heart of the matter.

First, Second and Third Level Questions

When you’re presented with new information, get in the habit of asking questions and listen carefully to the responses. First level questions help you understand the situation and clarify the issue. They are top-line questions, that deal with what, when and how? Second level questions go a little deeper and are follow-up questions and primarily deal with why. These questions are asking for insight into why decisions were made. Finally, third level questions address emotion: fear of missing out or desiring reward. These questions are excellent to ask when you’re trying to understand the emotional barrier that has prevented a solution to a problem, such as a direct report that does not want to go around his manager when he has reported a problem, but the manager has not addressed it. A leader can uncover these emotions (and drivers for action and inaction) by saying things like, “If I were to look at this program for myself, do you think I’d see what you see?” Another one could be, “If you were given everything you needed to make sure the job got done, how would you do it and what would you need to get the job done?”

If you’re a manager, ask yourself if you’re the kind of leader who–had you been in Mulally’s place–shot the messenger when the person spoke up or if you would have listened so you can foster a business environment that supports transparency, accountability, trust, and teamwork. Get yourself in the habit of listening more and asking more in-depth questions, and it will go a long way toward helping you achieve excellent results.

The Top Business Trends You Must Keep in Mind

As you know, we live in an environment where it’s “blink,” and you missed it. Still, there’s always an urgent need to keep on top of what is happening so that you can stay ahead in business. I own several companies and, candidly, I don’t think there’s a single day I’m not thinking about how to make things better and improve our competitive advantage in our industries.

A couple of days ago I read an article about a luxury yacht company that had been in business for generations, and although they had client orders on hand, in the tens of millions of dollars, they fired everyone and shuddered their doors. They were hemorrhaging money and not paying attention to the changing winds.

The reality is that I can sit here today and write what you want to be looking for in business trends and then a year from now, write the same sort of article with different ideas to keep an eye on as business and society evolve. Still, there are some areas that I think will remain constant and you should pay attention to in your company.

Always Pay Extra Attention to Millennials

For decades and decades, the “darling” of generations were the Baby Boomers because of their sheer size and buying power. As the Boomers are now seniors, the same can be said about Millennials. They will be, and already are, a force for years to come and they are the first generation that is pure digital natives. Your products and services should be marketed to them and how they think. By 2020, Millennials will have an estimated $1.4 trillion in spending power.

Get Comfortable With AI, IoT, and ML

What used to be buzzwords such as AI, IoT, and ML, are not anymore. They are not the future; they are the present. Most of you know about AI (Artificial intelligence), IoT (Internet of Things), but maybe you have not heard about ML (Machine Learning). Machine learning is when computers do things without being programmed to do it because they are learning it for themselves. Through machine learning, we are given self-driving cars, excellent web search tools, practical speech recognition programs and a host of other platforms. As technology evolves, all of these elements will play a more substantial part in life and business.

Remote Workforce

I have a preference for my team to be onsite, but for some functions and aspects of our work, these elements are outsourced. Currently 40% plus of American workers are doing some work remotely, without having to be present at their place of business all the time. This trend creates demand for adequately training remote employees through video conferencing platforms, especially for social media and programming positions. All that is required is a computer and Internet.

Get Past the Clutter

The way you brand your business is essential. People are drowning in data and information, and you have to be able to cut to the chase immediately. Branding, which encompasses the name, logo, etc., creates instant identification. With excellent branding, you are perceived as an authority, successful and trustworthy because you pay attention to the details. Also it makes prospecting easier. Customers find you. You can hire better talent. Candidates seek you out rather than looking to apply for a position with an unknown company. Because of branding, it is easier to create more businesses under the same name.

Opportunity Exists in Buying Businesses

There are more businesses for sale due to the retirement of the Baby Boomer and Millennials will be buying them and then reinventing the companies they buy. Keep an eye out for your competition because there’s always an opportunity in looking to buy an existing competitor. For instance, you can buy their entire client base, or perhaps they’ve excelled in e-commerce, and you’re able to bring that into your portfolio. I’ve successfully purchased some of my competitors, and it’s only helped my businesses grow.

7 Vital Ways to Master the Art of Delegating

Somewhere along the way in my career, I picked up a good nugget of advice, and it was to focus as a leader on those tasks which were unique to me and delegate the rest. One of the toughest things about being a leader and manager is mastering that ability. It’s not easy for a variety of reasons, including the idea that only you can do something better and faster, impatience, or lack of awareness.

Unfortunately, there are many managers out there who have not developed enough to follow the advice of focusing on what is unique to your position. And, if you’re an entrepreneur, there’s a higher chance that you could be someone who might have a hard time delegating. In start-up situations, many entrepreneurs end up wearing many hats, and it becomes difficult to let go, but it is crucial to the ultimate success of your business.

As your company begins to take off and grow, one of the most important skills you can master is to learn how to delegate.

Think about those responsibilities that are unique to your position.As a leader and manager, one of the first activities you should do is to carefully consider all of the tasks that you do on a given day. Then, ask yourself if you should be the person doing it. When you go through this exercise, it will help you prioritize the issues you should be taking care of and will ultimately have more time to focus on doing.
Consider the dollars and cents.Once you’ve decided to delegate, you will open up more time that was spent doing the busy work. Like most people, you probably think in terms of dollars and cents or profit margins. Hiring someone, even part-time, that will take over a lot of the process work that you’re doing is going to free up your time to dedicate it to the areas that will grow your business.
Don’t fall into the micro-management trap. Micro-managers love to say that they are delegating their non-essential responsibilities, only to micro-manage their teams. Proper delegation does not mean that you are absolving yourself of any of the accountability for the work. Delegation just says that you are giving the responsibility to someone else, and you have to give them the opportunity to do the job and rise to the occasion.
Maintain a strong feedback flow with your team. When you’ve delegated responsibilities to your team members, an essential aspect of proper delegation means keeping an adequate communication channel open for any questions, comments or concerns. Again, it doesn’t mean that it’s a chance for you to micro-manage a one-way feed system. It’s a two-way feedback flow and an easy tactic to ensure it’s done correctly is to request regular updates on the work.
Make sure that you provide clear directives or instructions. When you’ve decided to create a productive delegation system, one of the essential aspects of delegation is to deliver clear instructions or direction from the outset. If you’re expecting a certain project to look a certain way, have elements you deem important or are looking for a specific outcome, it’s vital that you express those thoughts from the outset.
Remember that your team members are learning how to do something you’ve delegated, and learning is not a linear process. Be prepared for mistakes or a learning curve. You should also expect to be pleasantly surprised when someone has done something in a way you wouldn’t have thought but is still excellent. Learning is not linear, and as a manager, you have to be prepared for some bumps and pleasant surprises on the road.
Let it go.The final aspect of mastering the art of delegation is to stay out of the way and let go. When you’ve assigned responsibilities and informed your team members what they need to get done, then you have to allow them to do the work. Focus on the duties you should be focusing on as a leader and let your team do what they have to do to meet your goals for success.

Remember that delegation is not something that often comes naturally, especially if you’re a business owner and you’re looking to get a new company off the ground. However, whether you work in an established firm or start-up, understanding how to be a self-aware manager who delegates is going to reap many rewards. It will help empower your team, and it will give you the ability to truly focus and concentrate on the aspects of the job that crucially need your undivided attention.

5 Ways Courier Companies Help Businesses In Goods Transit

There is really no business segment that doesn’t rely on courier and delivery transportation. From consumer goods manufacturers to retail stores, automotive and parts repairing houses to offices, hospitals to educational centers, courier services are an integral part of all. While there are hundreds of courier companies reigning everywhere to provide assistance to them, there are myriad types of delivery services to cater to each of the organization’s specific requirements. However, here are illustrated the five most common types of courier delivery solutions offered by the transit companies.

International Courier Services

It is the primary and most common form of service found in every advanced or commercialized area. It refers to the transportation of goods/services across the geographical borders. As the companies offer transportation from one country to another, irrespective of the distance between them, the charges are obviously very high. The users of these services comprise of multinational organizations, manufacturing business brands, retail brands, and even households.

Same-day delivery services

This is the newest form of delivery services that came to the forefront with advancement in transport vehicles and reduction of freight charges. Moreover, it was brought into action to pay heed to the last-minute needs of businesses, hospitals and for other emergency services. Delivery is deliberately made on the same day the order is sent, and it is mostly availed for the transit of crucial documentations.

Online Shipment Services Booking

While everything is moving to online and mobile space, why not courier and delivery services? Users no longer have to wait in long queues to book services from the front desk of the courier companies, nor have they to take their packages to the nearby service outlet. They can now book their shipment online via their mobiles or desktops directly from the company’s website.

Pallet courier services

This service assures the fast and prompt delivery of goods using the pallets at extremely reasonable rates. It is availed mostly by the businesses or clients who have strict delivery rules and have fixed time limits.

Warehouse courier services

A much new concept in the delivery and logistics industry, warehousing services soon left a profound impact on the goods manufacturing businesses. It is helping companies or manufacturers to store goods, inventory at a warehouse and supply them to customers or dealers as and when required. This is found extremely useful for companies who do not have warehouses. Besides helping businesses to speed up their delivery service to customers, they also manage stocks, help in picking, packaging and dispatch and keep tracks of stock levels.

The Need for Financial Translation Services

Has it ever struck you that Ugandan banks could be alienating potential customers by not considering financial translation services and having their transactions done in the English language? Every Ugandan bank you go to has its receipts written in English. In fact even most of the tellers and other staff in these banks speak only the official national language – English.

It’s ironic that banks that are at the forefront of preaching the gospel of developing a savings culture are the ones doing all their official business in the English language yet they know that most Ugandans are not well-educated and even some of those who have attained formal education up to university level are still not fluent with the Queen’s language and prefer communicating in the local languages.

This situation in Uganda’s financial sector justifies the urgent need for financial translation services. In the capital city, Kampala, the local newspaper Bukkedde sells more copies everyday than Daily Monitor and New Vision. Even in western Uganda, Orumuri newspaper which is written in Runyankole-Rukiga sells like hotcakes because people generally prefer reading something written in their mother tongues.

This also explains why the glut of radio and television stations that saturate our country since the liberalisation of media in early 1990s are popular for broadcasting in local languages. Radio stations like Sanyu Fm, Radio One, and Capital Fm (to mention only three) which broadcast exclusively in the English language are only popular among the urban elite who are the minority compared to stations like CBS in Buganda or Radio West in Mbarara who have more listeners but broadcast in the local languages.

Need for a paradigm shift

It goes without saying that we need a paradigm shift in Uganda’s financial sector as far as communications is concerned. Those who cannot speak English language fluently don’t deserve to miss out on messages of financial and economic empowerment. Thus the time is now for banks and other financial businesses to hire financial language translators to always translate their documents into local languages for accessibility of those not articulate in the English language. Other translation services offered in various languages include;

Oromo translation services

Kinyarwanda translation services

Malagasy translation services

Somali translation services

Kirundi translation services

Chewa translation services

Tigrinya translation services among many others.

The other day a lady from one of the big insurance companies in Kampala came to persuade me to sign up for one of their educational insurance packages. She was Ugandan with a Ugandan name but she was speaking fast like a rapper and in a foreign accent that made it hard for me to grasp what she was saying. I asked her to speak in Luganda but she said she was not fluent in it though she was born and raised in Buganda. In the end I never signed up for the package she was selling because I just could not keep up with her foreign accent and fast speech.

This is another example of how the language barrier is costing business owners and financial corporations many potential customers. The proletariat who are the majority would rather keep their money in piggy banks or stash it under their mattresses than save it with banks because the banks and other companies are not speaking the language these ordinary folks understand. If they did, many banks would be booming because many people would be saving with them and we would have a robust economy. As a common saying goes, a word for the wise is enough!