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Choosing An Erp System For Freight Forwarding And Logistics Business

Business

The complex nature of the shipping and logistics industry combined with the fierce competition that exists in this sector brings unique challenges to the small and medium-sized operators. This makes it imperative that freight forwarding firms, non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs), custom house agents, international freight brokers, shipping agents and cargo agents streamline their multifarious business operations to remain competitive. Deploying the right ERP system dedicated to logistics and freight forwarding can help firms efficiently realign and scale up their activities whilst being adaptable to the rapidly changing regulatory environment.

Whilst an ERP framework can go a long way in helping you integrate diverse business and operational functions, choosing an ideal freight forwarding software that allows you to manage, access, and share information coming from and going into various departments is not easy. Before planning and deploying an ERP system, it is important that businesses analyse their potential keeping the following factors in mind:-

Integration of all operational and accounting elements within a single platform

The most important factor to consider is the degree of integration your ERP allows. For instance, a small and medium-sized freight forwarding agent who uses different applications to manage functions, including freight management, customs brokerage, documentation, container tracking, shipment tracking and compliance services would benefit more if all the applications are integrated into a single master application based on Tally ERP 9 platform. This customised Tally solution makes the operation more efficient, cost effective and provides the owner with real-time visibility of in-bound/out-bound shipments and their corresponding payables/receivables.

Avoiding duplication due to centralization of multi-branch tasks

The second parameter to consider is to what extent the ERP system allows the centralization of key multi-branch tasks. Consider each branch of a multi-location shipping agency using a separate business accounting application. This will result in disconnected pools of data independent to each other causing unnecessary delay, disruption and data re-keying whereas the business owner needs real-time business and operations data monitoring. On the other hand, if the same agency decides to partner with a Tally services provider and deploy a centralized software application, it has a greater predictability of its operations. Since this scenario allows the master application to read, write and edit data to and fro from each of the branch offices, it helps business owners track shipment-wise payment, performance, profitability and outstanding details.

Enhanced financial control and greater visibility

The ERP system that you choose to implement should provide a greater financial control by cross-integrating data from operational tasks and data from actual transactions. The system should allow the owner to calculate the expected profit per shipment and then compare it to the shipment’s actual cost and profit (using the data from transactions, receivables, payables and brokerage expenses). This helps the owner to track each jobs profitability which in turn can help them to focus on future shipments/jobs that have a greater profitability ratio.

Quick information access, report generation, and data archiving

Information reporting, data archiving and data storage are all important aspects of the logistics and shipping business. The ERP system should be able to generate and archive reports, including balance sheets, shipping-related MIS reports, packing lists, purchase orders and multiple invoices for different chain partners and quotations. Furthermore, cargo documents, including Cargo Arrival Advice (CAA), Cargo Arrival Notice (CAN), Delivery Order (DO) and House Bill of Lading (HBL) should be directly generated from the application. This helps business owners not only to retrieve but send these documents directly from the system to the logistical chain partners.

How Dimensional Letters Attract Customers Attention To Your Business

Business

Dimensional letters are made from a number of materials including bronze, aluminum, stainless steel, foam, PVC, brass, copper, and flat cut metals. These signage products are difficult to miss, helping new customers to find out about your store. Dimensional signs not only attract new and existing customers, but also direct them where to go inside your store or business facility. The greatest benefit of these products is that they are truly eye-catching. It is also the best way to promote your brand identity.

Dimensional logos and letters have unique design and construction, rendering a 3D effect to your brand message. These signs create the first good impression no matter where they are installed whether it is inside your facility or in front of your store. Business owners use stylish, gleaming and elegant metal letters to display their company name and logo to develop their corporate image.

These materials are not only visually appealing, but also durable and can withstand harsh climatic conditions. This means they will last for several years and is more cost-effective than traditional advertising.

Letters made of high quality aluminum, steel or bronze add a classic touch to your business. Remember that its the first impression that counts and your customers will remember. Whether you are displaying the list of your products or services offered on your buildings exterior or interior, metal dimensional letters will help your business stand out from the rest.

To make your logo and business name eye-catching, its important to integrate your brands color, tagline and graphics. These elements should look consistent and convey your brand message in a bold way and help in effective promotion of your products/services.

A striking store sign is the key to the success of your business and without them; your prospective customers will not know that your business exists. These products if professionally designed and installed make them visible from a distance. This is important to let passersby know about the location of your store.

The list of your products, if professionally designed and stylized using attractive letters, will generate considerable interest in your business. This is an effective way to let customers know what products or services you have on offer. For example, if you have a large restaurant, you can decorate the front entrance using copper letters to give it a sophisticated look. It will encourage food lovers to saunter into your restaurant and find out what cuisines you have on the platter to pamper the taste buds of food aficionados.

You can choose from a variety of designs and metal letters to pique customers interest, and even those who happen to pass by your bistro or restaurant.

Business owners prefer dimensional letters to other signs because they make a lasting impression on the minds of your prospects. The greatest benefit is that they are designed in large fonts and are readable even from a distance. Uninterrupted visibility and readability are the two most essential aspects for any successful business signage.

So, if you are looking for a simple sign at the top of your building entrance or an elaborate reception decoration, get in touch with a professional sign company offering quality dimensional letters at competitive prices.

Create A Business Opportunity From A Problem

Business

Turn a Problem into a Business Opportunity by creative thinking.

People pay money to create a problem and then somebody else turns that problem into a business opportunity. How do we do this? First step is to examine and define in great detail what exactly the problem is? Then look at innovative ways to turn the problem into a business opportunity.

Problem – We are eating a lot more then we should. Opportunity – exercise classes, weight loss diets, larger size clothes & diet drinks / foods.

Think of traffic, then think of bottlenecks! Problem – a lot of people stuck in traffic. Opportunity – Billboard advertising & more demand for entertainment on the move!

Problem – In this day of high speed life, people don’t have time to sit down and eat. Opportunity – Create a fast food franchise that serves hot food within minutes for customers to take away and eat on the move.

Problem – people are drinking more. Opportunity – diet drinks, drink dispensers, low calorie alcoholic drinks, vitamins, more fun drinks & definitely more counselling!

In our previous business, we had a problem when we were manufacturing specialised, shock absorbing pallets. We always many pieces of a certain size of wood left. I sent our salesman round local businesses to see if he could find a use for it. In the end we ended up making “button-ups” which had a 100% profit margin after expenses for pieces of wood which we used to throw away!

Problem – Higher number of asylum seekers & refugees. Opportunity – low cost housing, lower paid labour force and increased demand for economy products!

Problem – More spam! Opportunity – more demand for new software, better firewalls & more experts needed!

What problems have you faced recently? Can you nail it down and turn it into an opportunity?

Here are the steps we should take to turn a problem into a business opportunity:

1) Identify the problem
2) Do overall market research
3) Get a team in to collectively debate the problem
5) Sleep on it
6) Do some more market research
6) Apply creative thinking and problem solving strategies to identify a business opportunity

Many questions can be answered by market research. What is the current state? Where is the market going? Who are the main players? How do consumers feel about the current solutions to their problems? How can we meet their needs better?

We can turn every challenge into a business opportunity. Every business process can be improved. Every problem is a business opportunity. Every time you have a bright idea, make sure that you write it down in an ideas notebook. Can you solve last weeks problems in a way which people will pay money?

Can A Recording Studio Business Be Profitable Today

Business

Why would you want to have your own recording studio? To build a career and business by renting it out to others or to have their own private studio to use when and how they please.

Of course, one could set up such a studio and do both of these things with it. Personally I use my home studio exclusively for personal use but do have several musician friends who started this sway and have decided to make it a full-time money making business.

Starting a recording studio is a really good idea but to make it successful you’ll need to follow a solid business model. While this isn’t very complicated for anyone with the desire to do it, the right plan and business model should be in place for success.

If you don’t understand the business part of it you can do all the technical stuff all day long and not be able to make any money at it. The savvy person can turn it into a money making business by using the proper know-how with only half the technical knowledge.

Competition?

A lot of people think that if there is lots of competition they have no chance. Lots of competition means lots of opportunities. Plenty of competition ensures a market will thrive.

In the world of music: bands, songwriters, singers, musicians there is always a never ending supply of potential customers for a good recording studio. It’s true that many are now making their own home studio but most of these setups are not and never will be a professional quality studio, meaning they will still be taking their home productions to be finished at a better studio than the one they have at home.

How Much?

Let’s face it, it wasn’t that long ago that you couldn’t even think about setting up a professional quality recording studio for under a few hundred thousand dollars but because of digital technology advancements, competition and very accessible quality equipment in the recording world this just isn’t even close anymore.

For these reasons, many amateur and pro musicians are building their own home recording studios.

You’re still looking a t several thousand of dollars to set up a pro studio but compared to hundreds as it was not a long time ago, anyone with the right mind-set can still get it done.

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