Cargo management organizations invest in new software to prevent theft

Of the many advantages gained by investing in new software systems, one of the most important is the increased level of security. Organizations that procure new solutions can go a long way toward protecting sensitive information and preventing theft.

That’s why many companies in the cargo management industry have implemented software designed to track cargo and prevent theft. This is becoming a pressing issue as well. An article in the online publication Fleet Owner examines the rise in this crime. Randy Ortiz, the president and CEO of LoJack, told the news source that cargo criminals are using more advanced systems to assist their malicious activity.

“Cargo theft is becoming an increasingly sophisticated and lucrative opportunity for professional thieves, requiring businesses to take progressively more steps to ensure their mobile assets are protected both proactively and reactively,” Ortiz said. “To do so, businesses are relying on new technologies more and more for safety and security services.”

By using software to better track shipments and inventory levels, companies can give themselves a better view of real-time operations, which can assist in identifying and stopping criminals. A custom database software system designed to monitor all important pieces of information can allow cargo security professionals to make better decisions as it pertains to the management and protection of cargo.

For example, when work gets busier and cargo shipments build, organizations become increasingly vulnerable for theft. It is at these times when companies must put forth a stronger effort to fight off crime and protect cargo. Using software to keep everyone on the same page can reduce the risk of theft going unnoticed.

Ultimately, the risk of theft is one of the biggest threats to any organization. Investing in custom application development and using FileMaker to create solutions designed to fight off these threats can significantly increase profit margins at any organization.



Custom software can assist healthcare marketing

While some organizations aren’t typically perceived as moneymakers, it doesn’t mean their marketing efforts are any less important. Healthcare, for example, is viewed as a service, but hospitals have to make money. Doctors must be paid. New equipment must be procured. As a result, many healthcare organizations have to find ways to improve revenue streams. Much of this can be accomplished through advanced marketing strategies, but many hospitals have struggled to find ways to successfully market themselves.

An article in the online publication My Digital FC examines the struggles healthcare organizations have encountered with their marketing operations. The article implores healthcare marketers to take advantage of their resources and deliver a clear and concise message.

“The marketer should balance between environmental design and marketing as it involves a healthcare facility,” the article says. “Too much of in-your-face advertising can backfire as people are there for an unpleasant reason. When spending a lot of money on interior design, they need to have a clear mandate: Help patients get better fast. If you overdo the branding or advertising just because the media is free, it can work against the mission of the hospital and patients may shun the hospital.”

While this is certainly important, it’s equally as crucial for healthcare organizations to compile all of the data that results from their marketing strategies and incorporate it into new operations. This can be difficult in healthcare IT environments that contain a number of complex systems spanning a wide range of departments, so using FileMaker to develop a centralized database software system is ideal. By creating this custom solution, healthcare companies can realize the potential of their marketing campaigns by easily processing data and giving themselves a clear view of pertinent information. 

Use FileMaker-based software to bring ownership and operators together

ZTE was once a leading provider of telecommunications and network solutions, as it has worked with the top carriers and mobile software developers to produce fantastic devices. However, the company’s success has dwindled and now executives are searching for answers as to how to turn things around.

A report in the online publication China Daily examines the Chinese company’s struggles, such as a loss of profits last year. According to the article, this may be due to the fact that ZTE has completely separated ownership from operation, meaning that none of the company’s employees – who man the daily operations – are shareholders. 

The article suggests that this structure can only yield two possible results: either the company operators don’t have the incentive to work hard for the shareholders or the shareholders will lose control of the company because they are not immersed in the day-to-day grind, thus leaving managers with no ownership to make decisions.

“The former result can be seen in some state-owned companies where the efficiency is low and corruption is rampant,” the article says. “While the latter one can be found in some multinational corporations, to avoid the management hurting the interests of owners, the shareholders usually offer the executives big salaries and a benefits package that includes a golden parachute.”

Owners likely prefer the latter as it gives them an opportunity to manipulate operational control, but all of this can be avoided if companies simply invest in new software solutions that build efficiency and promote communication and transparency. Using FileMaker to build a custom database software solution can collect data and display it in a way that ownership has a clear view of what is happening, what’s working and what isn’t.

Such a solution could have helped ZTE improve its economic viability. Its ownership structure isn’t necessarily wrong, as long as proper actions are taken. 


Custom software can assist social marketers of any size

Today’s marketers have to be more than just smart and innovative. They have to be resourceful. This is particularly true in small and midsize businesses (SMBs) that have limited marketing personnel and resources.

Fortunately, the internet has leveled the playing field and has allowed small companies to compete with their much larger counterparts. Websites and social media accounts are staples of every company in virtually any industry and has streamlined many processes that were traditionally difficult for small businesses to accomplish. Today, companies can use several online channels to reach out to customers, compile pertinent data and orchestrate new strategies.

An article in the Journal Gazette & Times-Courier examines the ways small businesses can compete with the use of online resources, namely social media. However, this is once again an area where resource discrepancy can be a factor, as smaller companies may not have the manpower to manage and updates all of their accounts at a necessary rate.

“No other form of advertising has the capability to reach more buyers and get them involved than social media marketing,” the article says. “But, for most businesses the idea of constant promotion through social networks is a wish list item. It is time and resource heavy, and although the benefits far outweigh the pitfalls, few businesses concentrate on managing their social networks.”

By implementing new software solutions, small businesses can mitigate this potential problem. Custom database software can give organizations a clearer view of pertinent social data and efficiency-building software can streamline the social media management process. By doing this, small businesses can capitalize their resources and adjust their customer engagement strategies. A FileMaker-based solution can allow companies of any size to get the most out of their social marketing efforts.  

Improved technology fuels Baker Hughes’ global growth

The oil company Baker Hughes is poised to grow in the coming year, mainly because of smart technological investments. 

The Houston-based organization is expected to benefit from the exploration and production sector’s continuous shift toward improved technology and efficiency. Analysts at the International Strategy & Investment Group (ISI) made this announcement earlier this week, projecting that Baker Hughes will grow by roughly 20 percent in the Gulf of Mexico region in 2013, but the organization indicated that real improvements will happen in Eastern continents.

“ISI is forecasting Baker Hughes’ strongest growth in 2013 to come from its Eastern Hemisphere operations, driven largely by new contracts in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and East Africa and continued solid growth in the North Sea, one of the company’s largest single markets, according to the analysts’ research,” wrote Deon Daugherty, a contributor with Houston Business Journal

It’s no surprise that technology is fueling global growth. Implementing new software applications designed to spur efficiency improvements can launch a company to greater heights. However, it’s important for technology to not only fuel growth, but to ensure it is organized so it can be sustained.

If new operations launch in various corners of the world, companies like Baker Hughes must be equipped with the right database software to properly view and process information. If data is not stored and evaluated correctly, poor decisions can be made that would be detrimental to the organization’s future economic viability.

However, if quality software applications are developed and implemented correctly, companies can use their improved resources to grow quickly and maintain operations on a grander scale. Custom application development can give organizations the flexibility to scale both vertically and horizontally, while increasing profits along the way. 


Citibank CEO promises greater business efficiency in 2013

Citibank is continuing to grow as a global financial leader and, according to CEO Michael Corbat, progress is satisfactory, but it could be better.

Corbat spoke with CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this week and indicated that overall, he is pleased with the way things are going.

“Our fundamental business is heading in the right direction,” he said, but he suggested his company’s situation could be improved overseas. “Europe remains challenging. Global growth is slowing.”

Corbat said that to ensure domestic growth continues on its impressive path and to give global growth the kickstart it needs, he is taking 2013 to focus on improving business efficiency. By getting workers across departments, branches and even continents on the same page, everyone can work toward the same ultimate goal. 

This can be done by implementing new technology or by partaking in custom application development. Installing a system that performs on a global scale and allows for easier access to data and content from across the globe, Citibank can provide its employees with the ability to improve their daily tasks, which in turn benefits the organization as a whole. 

For example, a system designed to identify financial risk will only reach its potential if all relevant personnel have access to pertinent, real-time data. By implementing a custom database software system built in FileMaker, employees will be able to examine information and make important decisions based off of that information quickly while alleviating the risk for error. 

Ultimately, growth is only attained if organizations can discover ways to increase profits without having to overspend on new systems or processes. By working with a custom development firm, companies such as Citibank can obtain a solution designed to improve efficiency while staying within budget constraints and without having to wait an extended period of time for their new software. 

Custom database software helps track energy efficiency initiatives

Earlier this month, this blog examined the fact that a number of companies are looking to decrease their carbon footprint as a 2013 initiative and discussed the strategies that can assist in that action. Custom application development can help increase the usefulness of mobile devices in the workplace, which in turn limits the amount of traditional energy used in a standard office space. However, simply suggesting that these plans will go into effect is not enough, as companies must ensure they have implemented a system designed to track any energy-saving project.

Any organized plan should be properly managed with the right database software. If a company is truly committed to reducing energy consumption, it is crucial to develop a system that tracks energy usage while allowing organizations to map out energy-related goals and strategies.

More companies expected to focus on energy efficiency in 2013

Power quality professional Michael Mallia spoke recently with the online publication ARN Net about the energy efficiency trend that has taken over a number of industries. He indicated that the trend’s growth will continue on its steady path in the coming year.

“It will be more of the same and we don’t foresee anything too significant taking place,” Mallia said, although he agreed that space consolidation is a trend that should continue to grow. “Businesses may decide to consolidate facilities, and that will become more prominent this year.”

Mallia went on to say that energy efficiency will be driven by a number of needs. While saving the planet is a good idea in theory and it does wonders for public relations, what’s really fueling the need to cut down on energy usage is the rising costs of heat and electricity.

Developing a program in FileMaker will give companies the resources needed to properly focus on cost-effective energy management programs.

Database software can help make important business changes

Businesses need the flexibility to change processes whenever doing so is required. Oftentimes, any delay in making operational adjustments could cause irreparable damage to an organization. Whether internal processes change or customer behavior requires companies to amend their product lines and marketing strategies, they have to be made efficiently.

Take the retailer Borders Group, Inc., owners of the once-popular book, movie and music retailer. The company was once one of the prominent sellers of media, but it failed to adjust to changing times and in 2011, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. There were many reasons why the company went out of business, but one of the main theories is that it didn’t adjust to consumer reading habits.

A couple of years before Borders closed, the e-reader exploded on the scene and many readers ditched their paperbacks for tablet-sized devices. Amazon’s Kindle began the trend, which was later picked up by Barnes & Noble – Borders’ closest competitor. Borders, however, did not incorporate a tremendous amount of resources into developing its own e-reader. This half-hearted effort was recognized by consumers and the device did not sell well.

Had Borders been able to view pertinent consumer data, it may have been able to adjust its offerings with greater success. Instead, the company is now closed.

Companies need to be able to view information and make necessary changes when their data suggests that doing so is required for future viability. Jason Whitehead, a contributor with the online publication Customer Think, suggests that necessary changes vary in how easy they are to identify.

“While some changes are harder to map out and recognize [e.g., organizational culture change] other changes [e.g., adopting a new system or adhering to new policies] can be mapped out with clarity,” Whitehead writes.

By implementing a FileMaker-built custom database software system, organizations should be able to identify and organize all important information and make proper changes accordingly.

Optimize your applications with custom development

Business is constantly changing, regardless of the industry. Technological advancements have improved hardware functionality, which has benefited business operations. However, it has increased expectations and companies must ensure they can adjust and cater to new customer needs.

Since the development of the first software applications, businesses have been using them to improve operations. However, many apps are limited in functionality, which can hinder their usefulness. It’s up to businesses to optimize their application usage and get the most out of their solutions.

Custom application development can give organizations the flexibility and scalability needed to grow and adjust as needed. Companies that develop apps this way will not be confined by the restrictions of standard development and they will break through traditional barriers to achieve new levels of efficiency and productivity.

An article in ITWeb addresses the importance of application optimization and lists a number of benefits the practice can offer. One of them is the added value of new technological investments. Instead of holding back on new procurements due to software limitations, organizations can have the confidence to acquire new tools to really better their businesses.

“With guaranteed application performance and improved end-user experience, businesses will also have the confidence to evolve computing models by deploying other forms of technology that can positively impact on workforce productivity and business efficiency, like mobility, unified communications, software as a service and desktop virtualization,” writes Sean Nourse, the author of the article.

Improving traditional software applications can be accomplished a number of ways. However, FileMaker-based custom development can build applications that will truly deliver superb results. Organizations can benefit tremendously from their solutions created this method and many application development projects conducted in this environment are quick and cost-effective.

How custom database software can enhance social engagement

Social media engagement has become one of the most effective ways for companies to market themselves. Posting content on business Facebook pages or tweeting links to pertinent pages on the company website can develop an influx of new customers. However, this is a complicated process that must be properly managed.

As the digital information age took off roughly five years ago, it became apparent that having a website just wasn’t enough to develop an adequate online presence. Social media pages became increasingly crucial as networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google Plus grew in popularity. However, simply having these pages is no longer enough. Companies must actively participate on them to engage online consumers.

Doing so does accomplishes a number of business goals. It shows customers that the companies they “like” or follow online care about their brand image and actively participate in customer engagement. Creating content on the company’s behalf goes a long way in building stronger relationships with consumers.

“People share content more readily than they sign up for a stream of brand chatter. Content still works as a badge,” writes Matt Rosenberg, the author of the article. “Content is happy just being shared and does not ask for anything more. You’ll have to create more solid, not-overly-promotional content and spread it with a light hand.”

This strategy can also help businesses compile pertinent consumer data, which can be used to target specific demographics or even specific individuals. Suppose a company posts a video on its Facebook page and 300 saw it through their friends without actually liking the page of the organization that posted it. Those likes are important pieces of data because it gives companies targets to further engage and turn from prospects to regular customers.

However, this data must be properly managed. A FileMaker-based database software system can capture this information and allow marketers to process it in a way that enhances their customer engagement strategies.