10 Leading Principles for Your Supply Chain Success



Explosives disruptions from weather, commodity shortages, price volatility, and shifts in buying behavior are examples in the challenges of supply chains in the pursuit of profit.

Add to these events, what I’d call is the Amazon effect.

The Amazon effect transcends from business-to- consumer to business-to-business, such as for self-service and instant pricing options that are now expected by customers.

So often dramatically, your supply chain continues to change as the result of innovations in technology in the digital-age economy.

Many changes seem to occur too fast.

All of this has made it challenging to cope with changes in channel structures, customer preferences, and globalization.

But not all challenges are external. For instance, a department computer system might be using technology that’s been recalled.

Only if the department has access to data science will there be enough warning to anticipate and prevent problems.

Speed is another factor. Supply-chain pros have to be able to respond with reliability and correctness across all channels.

Actually, many supply-chain professionals employ tools they believe will work.

But do they effectively deal with their obstacles to protect their operations, stay agile and insulated for performance?

The key is to stay vigilant with alertness to fast-moving trends and to strategize for the best options for your company’s culture and objectives.

If you’re able to do this, you’ll position your supply chain for your company’s long-term sustainability and maximum competitiveness.

But the key is to know how.

Here are 10 leading principles:

1. Leadership

To lead the effort, you must ascertain the best skill sets for the roles, responsibilities and for your culture.

2. Identify core competencies

Establish the best business processes and focus on them. But be ready to outsource the other functions.

3. Coaching

Certainly, education is important. Coach all your supply-chain stakeholders to be on the same page. That includes all departments in your organization and all associations along your supply chain.

4. Scale for competition

Fully monitor your situation – how your company can execute for success and how your competitors work.

5. Evaluate

It’s important to accurately understand all elements in your supply-chain links.

6. Rank according to data

Exploit all the data to classify and select the right targets to enrich your supply-chain capabilities.

7. Solve weak links

To drive performance, you must be alert to the weakest links.

8. Collaborate

To prevent negative surprises, your supply-chain stakeholders must communicate well. Like a stellar media company that reports the news, you must understand the factors involving who, what, when, where and why.

9. Partnerships

You should identify the right partners. Make sure they’re positioned to partner with you for the desired results.

10. Continuous improvement

For supply-chain excellence, you must develop an ongoing process that leads to excellence and performance.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related sources of information:

Supply Chain Management: 6 Tracking and Expediting Tips — With consumers expecting more merchandise at a faster rate, retailers and suppliers are increasingly under pressure. From supplier to manufacturer to retailer and logistics, there are keys to optimal supply-chain management.

Best-Practices in Protecting Your Supply Chain from Natural Disasters — As a manufacturer, you know the importance of protecting your supply chain for your company’s future. So you might be interested in an academic study — lessons from the earthquake that resulted in a tsunamis and nuclear catastrophe in Japan.

How Your Supply Chain Can Make Customers Happy — A company that fails to meet customer expectations on store inventory and delivery has problems in supply chain management. Such a company minimizes its profits. Worse, it’s a red flag about competitiveness and long-term sustainability.

10 Execution Values to Guarantee Your Strategic Plan Works — Many companies devote resources to devise a great strategic plan. But they fail in their objectives because they don’t link their strategy to execution. So here’s how.

10 Strategies for Manufacturers to Increase Profits — When it comes to revenue for capital-equipment manufacturers, the key pivotal factors are innovation and service levels. It might be an obvious conclusion, but it’s confirmed by a white paper.

Winter Security Tips for Your Transport Facility and Drivers — Criminals don’t hibernate like bears in the winter. Winter presents opportunities for criminals’ unscrupulous desires. To protect your products in the warehouse or distribution facilities and drivers on the road in snowy months, there are several important precautions to implement.

“Gentlemen, the officer who doesn’t know his communications and supply as well as his tactics is totally useless.”  

-General George S. Patton


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Tips for Your Site to Capitalize on SEO Trends


How to stay on top of your search-engine optimization game; plus, a helpful infographic: 16 SEO facts we struggle to understand.



You probably know if your Web site isn’t ranked as the best on search engines, you’re missing opportunities.

Indeed, the top five sites in each niche on the Internet garner 75 percent of the traffic.

That underscores the importance of achieving the best results as the No. 1 site. But to get to No. 1 and stay there is an ongoing task.

Hence, this has heightened the importance of search-engine optimization (SEO).

SEO is one of the most requested topics here on The Biz Coach, as the rules of SEO continue to evolve.

For example:

The rules include on-page optimization and off-page optimization.

On-page optimization requires internal strategies within your site. That includes using the right meta descriptions and keywords.

Off-page optimization results from link-building tactics – from social media to links from other sites.

Bing is not different than Google when it comes to link-building.

It’s vital that you backlink with authoritative, credible sites. Some might be obvious to you, others might not. To avoid issues, take the right steps for safe backlinks to your site.

Increasingly, it’s important to know how to accelerate your site’s download speed.

As you might surmise, create fresh content. But be aware of Google’s priority concerning about frequency vs. value.

For links to specific comprehensive SEO tips, scroll down to the Coach’s Corner.

Meanwhile, for “16 SEO facts we struggle to understand” courtesy of skilled.co, here’s a helpful infographic:

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant SEO tips:

For Strong Local SEO Performance, Avoid 6 Errors — A key strategy to make your cash register ring is to have a strong Internet presence. That means strategizing for strong local search-engine optimization (SEO). With strong local SEO performance, your business will have online top-of-the-mind awareness in your community. You want to be easily discovered by potential customers.

SEO Tips to Rank No.1 on Bing and Google — Study — There are striking similarities with Bing and Google — Web sites for top brands rank the highest and No. 1 sites are dominant because they have quality content, as well as strong social media signals and backlinks.

SEO and Other Strategic Tips for a No.1 Rated Blog — To own your blogging niche, you must understand the evolving process — important basics in search engine optimization (SEO) and other strategies. If you’ve been blogging for awhile, you know success doesn’t keep come automatically. Blogging is arduous work.

4 Best Practices to Enhance Your Google Rank with Content — There are four best practices if you want strong ranking from Google’s search rank algorithms, higher click-through rates and more social sharing from your content and press releases. That’s according to the Ranking Factors Study from Searchmetrics.

Critical Factors Google Uses to Judge Your Content Quality — As you no doubt know, Google has long judged your Web site on content quality. But Google looks for comprehensive information, content that’s easy-to-understand. This means your site probably entices users to stay on your site longer and has higher click-through rates. And you have effective internal links and quick-loading pages with less advertisements.

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

-Steve Jobs


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Trending – the 7 Biggest Challenges for Management



In our complex Digital-Age economy with Millennials replacing baby boomers, we can draw some conclusions about developing trends.

Management typically faces seven workforce challenges.

The seven challenges: A positive company culture; employee engagement; performance management; leadership development; branding; data; and security including preventing ransomware demands.

ID-100100165Here are explanations of the seven challenges:

1. A positive company culture

Maintaining and improving your culture is your most-important mission. A productive culture increases market share and profits.

Concurrently, it gives you a competitive edge because you are more likely to retain and recruit top talent. Note: Even they must be coached.

When managers become coaches, you get a higher-performing workforce because you’ll be optimizing talent management.

2. Employee engagement

As the workforce evolves with retiring baby boomers as Millennials become the dominant workplace demographic, employee engagement must become a priority.

It requires understanding Millennial attitudes to effectively engage them.

This also means enhancing your internal communication and partnering with your employees.

3. Performance management

With the universal trend of low employee-morale, evaluating and improving performance management is important.

You must determine the critical factors that lead to success by developing strategies to measure and boost your business performance.

4. Leadership development

Millennials are constantly moving into management. They must be groomed and trained, and the right people must be given appropriate opportunities in leadership.

To profit from good labor relations and to leverage the perspective of employees, you should set a good example by employing strategies to earn employee respect.

5. Branding

A stellar branding program is needed for three reasons. One is for enhanced revenue. The others are for employee recruitment and retention.

Any mistakes in assumptions are critical, and businesses must evolve. So it’s not uncommon for management to need to rebrand a business.

6. Data

Data-driven decisions have increasingly become more important in diverse areas – from talent management to financials and customer service.

To understand, forecast, and improve business performance, understand how big data helps in analytics.

7. Security and preventing ransomware demands

Cybercrime is rampant everywhere. It’s a huge threat and clandestine – you have no idea who is behind it.

If you don’t take the right precautions, you’ll suffer serious consequences with your customers, financials, operations and reputation.

Not to mention the latest scourge – ransomware – software furtively installed on your computer system to prevent it from functioning until you pay money to extortionists.

You must employ the right security measures and train employees to protect you from cybercrime.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant management solutions:

3 Crucial Tactics Are Needed to Maintain Your Culture — As your company grows, you can expect growing pains and threats to your culture. Whether you create it or not, your business culture happens. There are at least three steps needed to fashion your culture the way you want.

Trust Gap between Managers and Workers — How to Drive Engagement — While it’s true there are companies that are aware that good morale among employees propels profits, many businesses are missing opportunities for growth. It’s not because of marketing. It has to do with internal issues. Why? There’s still a wide gap between what managers and workers think about trust.

How to Rock Your Human Resources with Employee Referrals — Admittedly, there’s a myriad of ways to recruit great employees. But no recruitment option surpasses a well-executed, strategic employee-referral program.

13 Management Tips to Solve Employee Absenteeism — Absenteeism causes migraines for a lot of bosses. Obviously, your company will make healthier profits, if you don’t have an absenteeism problem.

HR Trends in Talent Management Using Technology — Despite all the talk about the use of technology in talent management, the majority of human resources departments are behind the curve. Why? A study shows 72 percent of HR departments reveal they’re not using such tools.

7 Thought Leadership Tactics for Strong Performance — For a company to achieve strong performance, its culture and employees must be aligned with business strategy to provide value. But more and more, it seems employees can’t even articulate business strategy. Therefore, management must identify and communicate effective programs that are aligned with employee behavior in order to blaze new paths and fuel business growth.

“The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.”

-Bertrand Russell


 __________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.





Photo courtesy stockimages at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Tech Trends to Watch in BYOD, Mobile Apps



If you’re like many businesspeople, you’re constantly identifying the trends with the most staying power that will benefit your company.

In addition to desktop computers, you probably already know the importance of mobile apps for your products to engage your customers on smartphones and tablets.

You also know your Web site has to be judged mobile friendly by Google or you risk losing your ranking.

So what have you decided about the use of mobile devices –bring your own devices (BYOD) – for your employees to use in the workplace?

There are pros and cons for which you should watch, according to Newsweaver (www.newsweaver.com).

Newsweaver describes itself as a global company providing innovative email solutions to internal communicators and email marketers.

The company cited these 2015 trends:

— Forty-one percent of employees do not believe that the tools their company provides actually meets their needs which is why they choose to “go rogue.”

— Three in four IT teams within an organization acknowledge that they are delivering outdated enterprise tools.

— Companies who want to retain more control of mobile adoption choose to implement enterprise apps which boost work productivity by over 34 percent.

– Forty-six percent of IT departments are not confident in their own mobile security systems effectiveness to protect company data.

Here’s a Newsweaver infographic:

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related articles:

Do BYOD Headaches Outweigh Benefits? Yes — More than half — 53 percent — of surveyed global businesses admit they’re not ready to defend against attacks on their employees’ bring their own device (BYOD) devices. Nearly all say their devices might have been attacked, according to a 2014 study.

4 Strategies for CEOs to Win Their Cyber Security Tug of War — The cyber security tug of war is never ending even though chief executive officers and board members now get the importance of protecting their companies’ information assets. They’ve learned to fear cyber-security threats because they could lose their jobs. If this is all true, why then are there incessant, worldwide cyber attacks?

How to Enhance Security in Your Company’s Wireless Network — Do you take it for granted that your wireless network is secure? Don’t make that assumption. Wireless routers present dangers. Your router is vulnerable to hackers and, hence, security issues. If you’re really serious about security, WIFI might not be for you. A wired network might be more desirable.

Identity Fraud Escalates in Smartphones, Social Media — Skyrocketing mobile malware threats amid widespread use of BYOD, bring your own devices, were on track for a $1.88 billion services market. That’s according to ABI Research. Cybercriminals are successfully attacking vulnerabilities in individual devices and networks to an ABI report.

Who Profits from Android’s Security Issues? Not Users — Countless headlines detail the cyber dangers of Android-based devices. It has to do with the apps.

4 Recommendations to Avoid Spending Too Much on IT — Despite an unprecedented trend to control information-technology costs, the majority of companies fail to achieve maximum savings, according to a multi-nation Forrester Consulting study.

“The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.”

-B. F. Skinner


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.






Digital Marketing Trends: Choose Your Best Tactics



True, marketing has evolved rapidly in the last quarter century. And yes, it’s important to be mindful of trends, especially in digital marketing — good and bad.

Just like your finances, human resources and other aspects of your business, your Web site should be continuously monitored for red flags and to be sure it’s not out-of date.

It’s time-consuming and expensive, but any problems should be solved. The trick is to do it right, cost-effectively.

computer,smartphoneMake certain your Web site is not out-of-date.

But digital marketing involves a lot more than building a good Web site.

Businesses are increasingly using mobile apps to sell products, but the most successful use best practices.

They use cross-channel marketing tools because that’s how mobile strategies are most effective.

For competitiveness and profits, businesses can’t afford to ignore the potential of online reviews.

They’re a factor in revolutionizing commerce. Reviews are important because they influence prospective customers to buy from you.

They’re also beneficial in improving your Internet presence because search-engine crawlers consider them to be relevant. So you must profit from online customer reviews.

In addition, Robert Fleming, CEO of www.emarketingassociation.com, has identified several digital trends.

Here’s an edited excerpt of Mr. Fleming’s observations: 

– Social media marketing budgets will double over the next five years.

– Nearly 50 percent of companies now have content marketing strategies. Content is the king and always be will be, thus there will always be need for organic content which will attract your audience’s attention.

– Email with social sharing buttons increase click-through rates by 158 percent. Creating email marketing campaigns with more shareable content and the ability to easily share will help increase your reach.

– Seventy percent of B2B content marketers are finding events to be a very effective marketing tactic.

– Seventy-four percent of reporters think press releases should include images. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words and three-fourths of the reporters agree with the same quote as well.

– SEO (search engine optimization) is vital – 33 percent of traffic from Google organic search results goes to the first item listed. Make certain you are optimizing all of the Google tools such as authorship markup, Google+ Local listings, Maps, etc.

To his SEO point, I’d add it’s important to avoid six SEO errors.

While I don’t disagree with his observations, I think it’s important to remember too many marketing campaigns have focused on fads.

Marketing is the understanding of your customer for the cost-effective process of selling the right product or service at the right time and at the right price.

But they haven’t delivered a cost-effective return on investment.

Marketing fails to work when it isn’t grounded in principles. Integrated brand strategies should be reality-based.

Marketing is the understanding of your customer for the cost-effective process of selling the right product or service at the right time and at the right price.

So what is important is being relevant to your target audience.

Focus on these priorities:

– You need to emphasize tailored marketing messages for your target demographics. You won’t ever lose by using cause-related marketing. But you must remember to target increasingly narrowed audience segments.

– Learn from traditional principles. For instance, just as radio personalities have been successful at talking with listeners – one at a time – you must focus on personalizing your messages.

– Relevance matters. Information overload is clutter to people. Cut through the clutter with short messages with links to comprehensive content.

– Streamline your marketing with mobility and real-time experiences. Customers want fast interaction – increasingly with mobile devices.

– Focus on developing centers of influence – Web sites and individual influencers – to send business your way.

– Tell your story with videos.

– Be consistent – never let up.

-Be aware of trends in micro-content marketing – for example, Apple Watch.

– Data is fine but very buying decision is based on emotion. That goes for B2B marketing, too. Businesspeople make emotional decisionjs to buy. So tap into emotions.

– Make marketing content shareable.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are related tips:

Critical Factors Google Uses to Judge Your Content Quality – As you no doubt know, Google has long judged your Web site on content quality. But unless you are a mega brand, new research reveals vital factors about Google’s algorithm changes.

4 Best Practices to Enhance Your Google Ranking with Digital Content – There are four best practices if you want strong ranking from Google’s search rank algorithms, higher click-through rates and more social sharing from your content and press releases. That’s according to the Ranking Factors Study from Searchmetrics. The study shows the four practices improve message visibility and campaign results on the Internet.

8 Ways to Get Transparency from Your Retargeting Campaign – If you’re a major advertiser, you probably use behavioral remarketing or retargeting strategies. That’s to reach prospective customers based on their Internet searches, if they leave your Web site and don’t buy from you. Other firms use retargeting to purchase advertising. Basically, retargeting is accomplished by using a cookie or pixel, to show banner ads to Internet users. But transparency is a significant problem for advertisers.

Forecasting 5 Trends and the Future of Marketing – With all the dynamic changes that businesses have experienced in opportunities and threats, it’s important to anticipate the future. But forecasting can be tricky. So, the one dynamic you can anticipate – constant change – both positive and negative. Be aware of these five marketing trends.

“What happens when you combine blogs, Google and millions of dissatisfied customers? An e-mob.”

– Bob Garfield


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




The New Face of $1 Trillion in Cybercrime on Business – Account Takeovers, Credit Card Fraud



Business Web sites are facing an increasingly intense full-court press from cybercriminals – the aggregate cost of cybercrime annually, which includes prevention strategies, has exceeded $1 trillion.

Large-scale data breaches are savagely victimizing new accounts while account takeover attempts and credit card fraud has doubled, according to a fraud-data study in June 2013 .

A report by ThreatMetrix shows that Web fraud attacks endanger the full customer life-cycle: New account registration, authentication and payment transactions. ThreatMetrix (www.ThreatMetrix.com) is a provider of cybercrime prevention solutions. The study included the experiences of 9,000 the firm’s customers.

“Nearly one in every 10 new accounts opened online is done using a spoofed identity, and the incidence of account takeover attempts and online payments fraud have both doubled in a six-month period,” said Alisdair Faulkner, the ThreatMetrix chief products officer.

“Data breaches are imminent and given the increased sophistication of malware, organizations should assume that a material percentage of their customers and user accounts are either compromised or criminal and invest accordingly,” he added.

He said attacks on new account registrations using spoofed and synthetic identities saw the highest rate of attacks followed by account logins and payment fraud. About 10 percent of online services originate from a cybercriminal.

New account registrations include applying for new lines of credit, creating a profile on a social networking site or marketplace and enrolling in an authentication scheme.

Mr. Faulkner said the most common form of stolen identities is by human or bot-generated fraud attacks directed through proxies and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) intended to disguise the true origin of the attacker. These bypass IP address-based geo filter blacklists that also have the downside of unknowingly blocking legitimate visitors.

“The economic impact of these attacks varies by industry,” he added. “However, the common thread is that without automated visibility into the true device, persona, relationship and global behavior, the only alternative is additional verification roadblocks put in front of legitimate customers and extended review and hold-out periods.”

Payments Fraud

Payments fraud attempts, which include online credit card transactions and money transfers, increased from 3.1 percent to 6.4 percent over the six months ending in March 2013.

Mr. Faulkner explained the trends:

  • Sophisticated credit card cyber gangs adopting banking malware, normally used to hijack bank accounts, to steal full credit card information from customers as a fake verification step when attempting to log into a bank account
  • Increase in percentage of digital goods sold by ThreatMetrix customers that historically have a higher incidence of attack
  • The increased availability and adoption of free and commercial VPN services and the growing use of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) providers by cybercriminals to set up ad hoc tunneling protocols. VPNs are favored by cybercriminals because they are impervious to proxy piercing technologies and undetected by traditional IP proxy detection services.

Account Takeover

Based on data taken from October 2012 through March 2013, ThreatMetrix customers saw account takeover attempts nearly double (168 percent). These types of attacks have traditionally focused on banking and brokerage sites, but have recently escalated across e-commerce sites that store credit card details and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies that hold valuable customer data that do not yet have the heightened level of protection as banking sites.

ThreatMetrix has seen a rise in the sophistication of account takeover attempts using blended attacks to exploit companies that do not have an integrated solution for malware, device identification and bot protection.

They include:

  • Multi-stage malware exploits: Malware, typically using Man-in-the-Browser (MitB) Trojans, is used to extract login and setup verification credentials from a customer that is then used by a separate device or third party to avoid server-side MitB detection capabilities.
  • Multi-stage scripted attack exploits: Automated bot attacks test previously breached credentials from third-party sites, exploiting that many people reuse user names and passwords. After checking account balances or verifying whether an account has a stored credit card, a second attack is launched, typically done manually, to avoid any server-side bot detection.

Whew. So that’s more evidence that businesses need to be diligent in operating their Web sites and preparing with precautions and response philosophy.

Not only that, but most small businesses make you vulnerable to credit card fraud and identity theft.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are more IT resource links:

“If you spend more on coffee than on IT security, you will be hacked. What’s more, you deserve to be hacked.”

Richard Clarke


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.  




Seattle Tech Recruiter Provides Career Advice, Makes Prediction


As technology companies watch the debate in Congress on visas, one fact remains: They need skilled workers. Amid the debate, a top Seattle tech recruiter answers questions – from career advice to a prediction on future trends.



Updated March 5, 2014 –


U.S. technology companies need skilled workers, which they claim they can’t hire because there aren’t enough educated Americans. They say that’s why they want to increase the number of H1-B visas to recruit foreigners.

There are 85,000 available visas up for grabs when the filing season starts April 1, but that’s not enough to satisfy the requirements of tech firms.

But with high-skill immigration being rolled into the larger question of comprehensive reform, the issue remains at a stalemate in Congress.

Seattle tech recruiter

Amid all this, what does a Seattle tech recruiter think? “Our country needs to improve our immigration program so we can bring on more H1-Bs and allow them to become U.S. citizens,” says Jim Ange, CEO of ExecTap (www.exectap.com).

“They come here to our universities and then we have to send them home; this is a major loss to our countries IP,” he adds.

Launched in 2010, ExecTap has emerged as a top-notch boutique recruiting firm in competitive Seattle. That’s a noteworthy achievement considering Seattle ranks first in the nation in high-tech job growth, according to several published reports.

Seattle has nearly 130,000 tech workers and ranks in the top five for high-tech wages. But Seattle companies still need more skilled tech employees.

From an interview, here’s an edited excerpt of Mr. Ange’s answers:

Q: When and why did you launch ExecTap? A: In 2010, after years of using recruiting firms to help me find top talent which were mostly unsuccessful, I saw a hole in the market around the high-tech sector as many recruiters could not understand specifics around skill set and talents that are required in the variety of roles from CxO to a security engineer. I felt there was a need for a focused firm in this area that could understand the client’s needs and find the exact talent to fill the role.

Q: What is the ExecTap business philosophy and/or mission?

A: Philosophy: Trust, honesty, value with both the employee candidate and the employer.

Q: How many people are in your firm?

A: Three.

Q: How has tech changed in human resources?

A: They have more automated tools, more ways of gathering information on their employees so they have become much more powerful.

Q: What job descriptions do you fill the most?

A: Senior sales and sales-engineering roles, director of development, cloud and or SaaS related services and CxO levels. The sales roles are the hardest to fill due to there are very few truly talented sales execs and sales engineers in the market.

Q: In what part of tech are the most jobs? Why?

A: That’s easy, development due to most high tech companies require some level of coding ether building something new or fixing an existing tool that the company cannot get rid of. Good developers are king!

Q: Generally speaking, what traits or attributes make a successful tech applicant?

A: They write their resumes to fit the job description and if they don’t fit they don’t apply with honesty, transparency and interest.

Q: What mistakes should candidates avoid?

A: Don’t post your resume for a job that you’re not qualified for; you waste your time and the recruiters.

  • Have your LinkedIn profile and the resume match up.
  • Don’t talk about what you want to be when you grow up.
  • Don’t make your resume too long, use short sentences or bullets and then use that as a deeper conversation during the interview.
  • If you get the offer don’t be greedy and try to negotiate after you have already agreed to the general comp package.

Q: What do applicants do right?

A: Respond quickly; be direct, speak up and act interested; follow up via email or phone with a thank you; and be humble.

Q: In what should college students major for a successful tech career?

A: Computer sciences with a finance and or business degree. This is the make of any true entrepreneur, write code and be able to sell.

Q: Because technology is so dynamic with ever-changing developments, how can tech professionals stay current?

A: With the information age we have choices galore. I like:

  • Something local depending your city
  • Venture Beat
  • Tech Flash
  • Wall Street Journal
  • LinkedIn

Q: What trends do you see in technology’s future?

A: The Cloud and everything around it, this is a long term mass migration that is becoming the standard. (BI) Business intelligence and artificial intelligence and other tools that learn from your daily input; imagine having your own assistant that is taking care of all of your ongoing needs from booking your flight to ordering food with all verbal commands. We are just scratching the surface but this one will be here very soon.

Q: What’s your branding/value proposition? Why is ExecTap a leading firm?

A: We want to understand our clients business as if we were becoming an employee directly. Our objective is to become one with our clients in every possible way. Every role to us is very important as we know the levels we are fulfilling will affect the clients’ bottom line. Our goal is to keep this a small focused firm and have very satisfied customers.

Q: What else would you like to add?

A: This industry drives all other markets and thus why we haven’t seen a drop during the recession. We also must simplify the tax code and lower the business tax rate to compete with other countries. This will attract more companies to build their business here in the U.S., which will benefit our economy.

From the Coach’s Corner, here links to HR-tech tips:

“Technology is anything that wasn’t around when you were born.”
-Alan Kay


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Trends in Attracting Start up Tech Capital, Exit Strategies



Good news if you’re concerned about obtaining capital for your startup, as long as you’re in mobile or other technology. Money is available.

That’s one of the conclusions according to the chair of two venture-capital panels at Digital Hollywood, the entertainment and technology conference in May 2013.

“There is plenty of capital available now for starting and growing a new business, particularly in technology and mobile,” says Joey Tamer, the chair of the two VC panels.

“The rash of IPOs last year (2012) seems not to have encouraged a strong IPO market, as the hype did not match the results, in many instances,” she adds.

The IPO trend impacts the type of exit strategies a company can implement.

“There are always many more exits by merger or acquisition than by IPO,” says Ms. Tamer.

“And this year (2013), with the IPO market limited, we are seeing a flood of companies ready to be sold, because all the companies that were ready at the end of 2007 (and onward for several years) and which have survived, are on the market now.

Joey Tamer

       Joey Tamer

With this development, she says “there are too many companies ready for exit for the demand of the buyers.”

More trends

In addition to the increase in available capital, she explained the trend since the Great recession:

  • Some of this capital is available because other vehicles for investing capital are still limited (or perceived as too risky).
  • This available capital is made more accessible in light of the reduced risks associated with start up tech companies, because there are so many more sources of capital:  incubators, accelerators, angels, super angels, angel groups, boutique venture funds, and large, established venture funds, and well as private equity capital.
  • Yes, there seems to be the “Series A crunch” which makes attracting professional capital difficult once your product is in the market but before it has significant market traction or share.  But that crunch has always been there. Years ago I called it the Series B Gap.

(For more of her insights on the so-called Series A funding crunch and what she terms the Series B Gap, see this article: Are Startups Facing a Series A Funding Crunch?) 

Exit strategy advice

Ms. Tamer says exits tend occur between six to eight years following launch.

“Venture capitalists need to create an ROI on each of their funds in a similar time frame,” she asserts. “Companies need time to launch, scale and fully realize their potential to scale, to drive up their valuation at exit. Predicting the conditions of the exit market that far into the future is difficult.”

She’s a strong advocate for developing an exit strategy, and “track that strategy just as they track their other business planning issues, adapting to market shifts as necessary.”

She differs with the opinions of VCs who advise entrepreneurs to “build your company for value and don’t worry about when and how to exit…But I urge my clients to watch for their exits, and plan their growth strategies with a clear eye on the end game.”

That’s great advice. You should always have an exit strategy in place – no matter what. (See: When Should You Develop an Exit Strategy? Now…Here’s How.)

Ms. Tamer, www.joeytamer.com, is a strategic consultant to entrepreneurs in technology and digital media, and to experienced consultants in all fields to maximize their practices.

From the Coach’s Corner, editor’s picks for related information:

6 Patent Tips to Protect Your Inventions, Intellectual Property — Whether you’re a new or existing business, take precautions to protect your inventions. Entrepreneurs are well-advised to consider ways to avoid legal entanglements over their inventions and intellectual property. If you don’t take steps to protect a valuable invention, you risk two possible consequences. But you can do something about it.

8 Strategies to Consider Before Starting A Tech Business — Before you launch a tech business, here are eight salient strategies to remember.

How to Attract an Angel Investor — Not only will you get the funds you seek with an angel investor, you’ll get added value in expertise. An angel investor offers seven tips.

Angel Investor: Tips for Increasing Cash Flow, Profits — A successful angel investor shares his tips for good cash flow and other profit issues.

“Capital isn’t scarce; vision is.”

-Sam Walton

 


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.






Software Technology Trends – What’s Next on the Radar Screen?



We can agree the software industry has undergone dynamic changes as it continues to modernize. That’s true, too, as the industry stakeholders form alliances and partnerships. The focus is on tailoring software for the end-user or customer.

Tech companies, like firms in other industries, constantly develop new products and must continually improve the product or service utility of existing products. They must satiate customers, who routinely what to know: “What will this product do for me?” 

Indeed, we’ve enjoyed more technological advances in the last 30 years than any other time in history.

We’ve all noticed these trends:

Research

Software will continue to be valuable in research. For instance, IBM’s big data and analytics software helps scientists research the environment.

This video explains:

Automation

Businesspeople can easier analyze and operate for better operations and innovation.

Cloud computing

Outsourcing saves companies time and money while providing a service. Plus, the maintenance responsibility belongs to vendors.

However, there are risks to businesses if they don’t pick the best cloud storage provider.

Mobile app

Mobility is a by-product of technological development. Smart phones, tablets and notebooks for business and consumers have provided flexibility, which now commonplace and expected.

Modernization and saving costs

Because licensed applications are expensive to purchase and upgrade, business is increasingly using open-source. 

Plus, CEOS and CFOs have long complained about the need for IT professionalism and understanding about finance. Indeed, two studies indicate need for IT pros to get businesslike. (If you want to learn to speak the language of senior management, there are countless tips on this portal in the Finance category.)

It’s also why CFOs are still calling the shots in IT decisions.

Security

With the huge increase  in cybercrime, security is very important.

Social media

Companies have found it to be essential for their marketing mix.

Virtualization

It allows maximum flexibility because businesspeople and their employees can work offsite.

These are my thoughts about software technology trends. I’m not a futurist.

But I do know this: Look for increasing developments in security, mobility, speed and accuracy.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are additional resources:

How Mobile Strategies Are Most Effective with Cross-Channel Marketing — Businesses are increasingly using mobile apps to sell products, but the most successful know how best. They use cross-channel marketing tools.

Strategies to Create the Best Possible Mobile AppsConsumer and enterprise penchants for mobile technology have skyrocketed but we’ve only scratched the surface in developing quality, application solutions. Mobile apps are expected to support initiatives for a company’s return on investment. That includes competitiveness in the marketplace; efficiency; enterprise and consumer relationships; and revenue – better yet, profits would be more ideal.

Tech Planning: What If There’s Another Downturn?Technology-research firm Gartner recommends in a study that chief information officers should get ready for another downturn. That requires planning.

Tech Trends: CFO’s the Boss, IT Departments Are DisappearingTwo developments are clearly underway in information technology. Increasingly, the chief financial officer is in charge and IT departments are shrinking in size. Here’s why.

Why CFOs Are Still Calling the Shots in IT Decisions — The top IT decision-maker for many companies is not the chief information officer. The chief financial officer is increasingly calling the shots for IT. The CFO is becoming the top technology decision maker in around half of businesses

People who do the world’s real work don’t usually wear ties.


 __________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Developing Trends, and Solutions for Manufacturing Success



U.S. manufacturers are getting a reminder about how to be successful – it’s important to evaluate whether they have the human capital, processes, equipment and strategic plans for success.

That’s the result of a 32-page study released in 2011 by the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP).

It was conducted with the American Small Manufacturers Coalition.

ID-100122452 koko-tewanThe next generation manufacturing (NGM) study points out:

— Nearly six out of 10 U.S. manufacturers could have a new leader in the next five years — a five percent increase over 2009. This presents an opportunity for manufacturers to solidify leadership and direction for years to come if they develop their next generation of leaders now.  

— Sustainability is increasingly important to manufacturers, with 59.2 percent of manufacturers reporting that sustainability is important or highly important to their future, up from 35.1 percent in 2009. Many of these manufacturers are responding to customer demands for greener products, while others recognize cost-control opportunities such as reduced energy consumption and the re-use of materials.  

— Most manufacturers have systems and equipment in place to support the current requirements of the six NGM strategies, but few describe their equipment as “state-of-the art.” For example, only 18 percent have state-of-the-art equipment to support world-class innovation, and just 14 percent have state-of-the-art equipment to support world-class process improvements.  

— Few manufacturers have both talent and workforce development programs to drive world-class performance. Due to an aging workforce and gap in skilled labor, more professional training and development is needed to prepare manufacturers for the next generation.  

— Small companies need assistance in implementing NGM strategies. Smaller manufacturers are less likely than larger companies to be at or near world-class performance in the six NGM strategies, and are less likely to have best practices in place.

“Wisconsin developed the NGM concept and continues to identify new opportunities to help manufacturers in our state,” says WMEP Executive Director Buckley Brinkman. “We believe the six key NGM elements define the areas critical for success, and this study shows how our manufacturers can improve in the future.”

For many manufacturers, a culture change might be needed to get employees fully involved to plan for the next generation.

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”
-Peter Drucker

The six next generation recommendations:

1. Customer-focused innovation: Develop, make, and market new products and services that meet customers’ needs at a pace faster than the competition. 

2. Engaged people/human capital acquisition, development and retention: Secure a competitive performance advantage by having superior systems in place to recruit, hire, develop, and retain talent.  

3. Superior processes/improvement focus: Record annual productivity and quality gains that exceed the competition through a companywide commitment to continuous improvement.  

4. Supply-chain management and collaboration: Develop and manage supply chains and partnerships that provide flexibility, response time, and delivery performance that exceeds the competition.  

5. Sustainability: Design and implement waste and energy-use reductions at a level that provides superior cost performance and recognizable customer value.  

6. Global engagement: Secure business advantages by having people, partnerships, and systems in place capable of engaging global markets.

A press release indicates WMEP is a private, nonprofit organization committed to the growth and success of Wisconsin manufacturers. Since 1998, WMEP has helped to generate $1.7 billion in economic impact and create and save 14,000 state manufacturing jobs, according to results documented by customers.

WMEP receives financial support from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce and the NIST Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership. WMEP also partners with many public and private organizations to serve Wisconsin manufacturers.

WMEP’s Web site.

From the Coach’s Corner, consider these related resource links:

Best Strategies in HR Training to Fix a Company’s Culture — If your company is lacking in teamwork, morale is poor and profits are weak, chances are you need to change your organization’s culture. Be forewarned, changing a culture is a monumental chore because it will take strategic planning and super powers of persuasion.

Why Lean Manufacturing Principles Often Don’t Work — Many businesses love cutting waste and costs for profits by using lean manufacturing principles, but many global manufacturers have failed. The companies used the popular Six Sigma, Kaizen and Value Stream Mapping.

11 Financial Management Strategies for Turnaround Success — When it comes to management strategies for a successful turnaround, a quote by financial-world wizard Warren Buffett is apropos. “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing,” Mr. Buffett said.

Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”
-Peter Drucker


__________

Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Photo courtesy  of  koko-tewan at www.freedigitalphotos.net

Next Page »

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.