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How To Safeguard Your Company Data

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | How To Safeguard Your Company DataIt doesn’t matter what kind of business you run, you will need to take steps to safeguard your company data, and that of your customers, from cybercrime and data loss. Losing important business information or having it stolen by a hacker could easily spell the end of your enterprise altogether, and it will certainly have a negative impact on your reputation. Therefore, it makes sense to put in safeguarding measures to protect the information and yourself. Here are some ways to do it.

Back Up

Backing up your information is simple and effective. Although it won’t protect against an attack by a cybercriminal by itself, it will allow you to restore the potentially missing or corrupt information left in the hacker’s wake, or as a result of a system failure.

If you can restore the information then you can continue working, even if there are other problems that still need to be dealt with. Without a backup of your work, you may well lose everything and have no way of continuing your business at all.

The most important thing to remember about making backups is that you will need to use a reliable external source to do it. There is no point in backing up your information to another computer on the same system; this is not going to keep it safe. Ideally you should use the cloud as not only will the information be protected but you can access it from anywhere – this is perfect if you are unable to get to your office or if there was a fire, for example, that destroyed your computing equipment.

Use A Firewall

A firewall will give you an extra line of defence against cyberattack. It works as a barrier against any malicious software that you may have inadvertently downloaded. This barrier, when correctly installed, will ensure that the virus cannot reach the more vulnerable and important parts of your computing system, blocking it completely.

The idea is a simple one, but there are many different types of firewall and it can become confusing and even overwhelming when you start to look more deeply into it. Because of this, it is best to have IT services Birmingham find the right firewall for you and install it – that way you know you are protected.

Password Protection

It is possible to set passwords on some programs such as Adobe Acrobat and the Microsoft Office suite. This adds an extra layer of security so that only those who have the password are able to open the document.

You can even password protect entire folders and networks if you want to and feel that this would be a useful protective measure that will safeguard your company data. When you are choosing a password, it must be something unique that cannot be guessed easily; never use phone numbers or birthdates or names. For the best password, you should use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Although this will be harder to remember, it will also be harder to guess, so your information will be much safer.

Mastering the Tech: 4 Strategies for Getting the Most of Your Medical Cart Computers

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article | Mastering the Tech: 4 Strategies for Getting the Most of Your Medical Cart ComputersThe modern medical cart is a lot more than a cabinet on wheels, it is an advanced system that combines digital processing power, safety, and efficiency-enhancing physical features.

Despite the power and potential that the best computer-equipped medical carts bring to the table, many organizations end up sticking to the absolute basics. Use the following four strategies to ensure your hospital, clinic, or other facility can make the most of your medical cart computers.

1. Stay Organized

Medical carts were invented to make sure professionals would always have access to important resources like medications, bandages, and instruments. Even the simplest, most traditional Med Carts from Capsa Healthcare and other leading producers include plenty of features that make the organization of their contents easy.

The mere fact that a med cart includes a computer should never be seen as a reason to fall behind in this important respect. In fact, adding a workstation to the equation makes it even more important to stay on top of physical organization.

It also means the digital contents of each computer will need to be made just as accessible. Should the users of a fleet of medical carts end up struggling to find the software features they need, productivity and efficiency will suffer.

A medical cart that makes its contents readily available but never gets in the way will always be welcome in any facility. Make organization of both physical and digital kinds top priorities and your medical carts will serve your organization very well.

2. Keep Things Secure

Concentrating potentially dangerous or theft-prone supplies in a small area can be problematic. Medications that are normally held under lock and key sometimes end up becoming vulnerable when they get loaded aboard medical carts.

The same goes for the valuable, important information that med cart computers often hold. While laws like HIPAA provide appropriate guidance, some organizations fail to keep up.

Medical cart computer security should be seen as every bit as important as any physical sort of protection. That means making sure workstations on wheels receive plenty of attention from digital security experts.

3. Streamline Your Processes

Medical carts of all kinds allow healthcare professionals to provide care more efficiently. Adding a computer to a med cart, though, sometimes means slowing down experts who could be working more quickly.

In just about every such case, thinking about ways to simplify common processes will enable plenty of progress. From single sign-on systems to improved user interfaces, medical cart computers should support productivity and never interfere with it.

4. Don’t Forget Training

Handing computer-equipped medical carts to staff members without preparation is always a recipe for disaster. Plan your roll-out carefully and be sure everyone who will work with a computerized medical cart receives appropriate training.

Anytime a system is to receive a major update, it will be wise to hold a refresher session. Making sure that staff members are always comfortable with the technology they are to use will emphasize the benefits and keep the drawbacks to a minimum.

A Great Addition to Many Healthcare Facilities

Medical carts with integrated digital workstations are becoming more and more common. In some cases, hospitals and clinics fail to make the most of their potential. Keep the four tips above in mind and your own organization should benefit greatly from its use of medical cart computers.

How Much Does Geofencing Marketing Cost? A Helpful Guide

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | How Much Does Geofencing Marketing Cost? A Helpful GuideAround 71% of consumers prefer more personalized ad experiences. Examining the cost of geofencing marketing will teach you a lot about the value you’re getting out of a campaign.

About 3 out of 4 consumers complete an action after receiving a message thanks to location-based marketing. With geofencing, you can target exact audiences in precise areas and drive sales your way.

Even if you don’t get sales, geofencing still increases brand awareness, so it’s a win/win strategy. Nonetheless, how can you be sure you’re getting your money’s worth?

Here’s what you should know about the price breakdown of geofence marketing:

Geofencing Marketing 101

A geofence is a virtual boundary that defines a specific geographic area with GPS (global positioning system) or RFID (radio frequency identification). When someone enters this defined area, your business’s advertisement will appear on their device/smartphone. They could also see a message, update, or other notification about your promotion.

Strategically placing geofences around certain hot spots will encourage customers to check out your business. This includes competitors’ businesses.

CPM

Many geofence companies charge based on CPMs. CPM stands for Cost Per 1,000 Impressions. Dividing the number 1,000 by the rate will tell you how many impressions to expect.

For instance, a $14 CPM rate equates to 71.428 impressions. This means your ad or notification will appear 71.428 times on people’s devices as they pass through your geofenced area.

Geofencing campaigns usually charge rates between $15 to $17 CPM. Higher-end geofencing services could cost up to $25. However, costs could also depend on the following:

Number and Size of Geofences

Other marketing companies charge based on the amount and size of the geofences they build for you. Some charge $5 per geofence while others prefer a monthly fee of $20 or more.

The cost is largely determined by the size of the geographic area you’re geofencing. A larger geofence typically costs more than a small geofence. For this reason, you could easily get 10 to 20 geofences out of a $1,000 Google geofencing budget.

This is a good option for business owners that have a limited marketing budget.

Take the Professional Route

Using your own marketing software will give you the biggest inside scoop. Square Marketing pricing starts at $15 per month. Researching different kinds of geofencing software also gives you a better idea of pricing rates.

Warning: Learning about geofencing and marketing takes a lot of time and effort. Mistakes could cost you big time.

It’s safer to hire trusted professionals to execute a geofencing campaign for you. Their skills and expertise are worth the money! Feel free to find out more about the top geofencing companies through the aforementioned link.

Let Geofencing Benefit Your Business

BIA Advisory Services predicted that location-based marketing spending in the U. S. will increase to $38.7 billion in 2022. Still, the cost of geofencing marketing also depends on how many other features are included in it. For instance, social media notifications and advertisements cost more in the geofencing world.

Companies offer different levels of transparency. More information translates it into higher costs. It also might cost more to convert an existing marketing campaign into a geofencing one, but you’re better off late than never!

Boost your business – learn more about the services we offer. We’ll take your brand to the next level.

7 Ways a Senior Concierge Business Can Help Senior Citizens

StrategyDriven Customer Relationship Management Article | 7 Ways a Senior Concierge Business Can Help Senior CitizensSenior Concierge businesses help senior citizens with some of their day to day tasks that are becoming difficult for them to accomplish alone. They aren’t home health aides or any other type of medical caregivers. Rather, they allow those who need in-home senior care to get many of the things on their to-do list checked off. Think of them as errand services or personal assistants.

There are many tasks a Senior Concierge can assist with. These seven are some of the most popular reasons to use a Senior Concierge.

A Senior Concierge Can Grocery Shop for an Older Person

Grocery shopping can be difficult for a senior citizen. Getting to and from the store as well as maneuvering grocery carts and reaching many items is more than some elderly people can manage.

A Senior Concierge can accompany an older person to the store, assisting them as they do their shopping. Or, the concierge can go to the store for their client, making sure to get all the items the senior has asked them to buy. A concierge can also help to put the groceries away.

A Senior Concierge Can Accompany the Elderly to Medical Appointments

While concierges aren’t medical professionals, they can take senior citizens to and from medical appointments when a family member or friend is unable to. Not only does this ensure the client gets to and from needed appointments, it gives the senior an extra set of ears to listen to the doctor’s instructions.

An important thing a Senior Concierge can do at these appointments is to write down everything the doctor says, making sure nothing gets overlooked. That written information is valuable to both the senior and to any family member or friend who would like to know what happened at the medical appointment.

Medication Pick Up and Organization Gets Done On Time with a Senior Concierge

Getting medications on time is important for senior citizens, and a Senior Concierge can ensure that prescriptions and over-the-counter medications are picked up from the pharmacy in a timely manner.

Another medication service a concierge offers is to organize medications. They can put medications in daily pill boxes to make sure the senior is taking the right medications at the correct times.

A Senior Concierge Can Make Sure Seniors Don’t Miss Face Time with Family

Many seniors delight in the chance to video chat with their children, grandchildren, and other family members, but sometimes technology can be confusing for them.

A Senior Concierge can come to the home to facilitate video calls between seniors and their loved ones so they don’t miss valuable face time chatting with them. They can make sure the chat gets started correctly and help if it becomes disconnected.

Pets Are Easier for Seniors to Manage when a Senior Concierge Helps

Pets offer senior citizens many benefits. They’re great companions and can decrease loneliness and depression in the elderly. It sometimes becomes difficult for an older person to take care of their pets.

A Senior Concierge can help manage pets. They can take dogs for walks or empty cat litter boxes. They can also take pets for their veterinary check-ups.

Seniors Can Continue to Send Gifts the Way They Love to with the Help of a Senior Concierge

When it comes to buying gifts for birthdays and holidays, many seniors would love to be able to shop the way they once could, but physically they are unable to get to the stores. Purchasing gifts from the Internet can be an intimidating task.

A Senior Concierge can help purchase gifts, either by going to the store to buy them or assisting an elderly person to shop online. They can also wrap gifts or address greeting cards. If gifts need to be mailed, they can take care of that, also.

The Elderly Laundry Gets Done Right by a Senior Concierge

Not all seniors have their laundry room on the same floor as their living area. Managing steps makes it difficult to do their own laundry.

Going up and down the stairs is something that a Senior Concierge can do for their clients. They can wash, dry and fold laundry, carrying the laundry baskets that might be difficult and dangerous for an elderly person.


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Kelsey SimpsonKelsey Simpson enjoys writing about things that can help others. She lives in South Jersey and is the proud companion to two German Shepherds and spends her free time volunteering in dog shelters.

Fixing Quality Control Issues Is Easier Than You Think

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article |Quality Control|Fixing Quality Control Issues Is Easier Than You ThinkFor a lot of companies, quality control is a substantial issue. As any executive will tell you, there’s a tremendous difference between producing a hundred products well and tens of thousands. Often you have to rely on entirely different processes. And that’s where the problem lies: making the transition to a new way of doing things isn’t easy.

Quality control has always been important, but in today’s market, it is essential. If there are issues, customers will moan about them in online reviews and cause your ratings to crater. Prospects will then see these reviews and give your brand a wide berth. That’s not what you want.

Excellent oversight over product quality begins at the top of the organization. If you make it a priority of yours, then it will trickle down to everyone else and change the way that they approach business. Fundamentally, you need a more detail-orientated company. So what should you do? Let’s take a look.

Make Quality An Aspirational Goal, Not Something Oppressive

Most companies want to achieve a high level of quality in everything that they do. That’s understandable. But a lot of firms take it too far, turning the pursuit of excellence into a form of oppression that undermines their efforts.

The current system of quality control has removed the fun factor from a lot of companies. Every day becomes a kind of dreary slog where nobody ever has the confidence to branch out and try something new. It creates a suffocating environment where everyone is terrified of being innovative and introducing ideas, just in case it has some unwanted knock-on effect.

Performance reviews are a case in point. A lot of managers will sit back and evaluate employees on their mistakes alone, instead of looking at the other side of the equation: the business that they won. This negativity changes people’s behavior. Instead of thinking about what they could do to make the company better, they’re consumed by thoughts of how to prevent negative evaluations at their performance review. And this hinders any independent activity in a way that hurts business.

Fixing people-related quality control issues, therefore, should be about reframing workplace activities. Management should sell workers’ tasks as noble, exciting, and worthwhile. People aren’t machines, but how you sell their roles can contribute enormously to their overall pursuit of quality. Plus, by reframing performance, you provide them with scope to bring new ideas that could make your business better.

Introduce Voluntary Quality Circles

Quality circles are a dated idea that came out of Japanese corporations in the 1970s. Even though they have fallen out of fashion, they’re not defunct. In reality, they’re one of the most powerful tools at your disposal to improve your output.

The critical factor here is that these organizations should be voluntary. You want to attract people with intrinsic motivation to help the company and place it firmly on the straight and narrow.

Give the people who volunteer exclusive authority to evaluate and review processes at every stage of your operation. Task them with creating reporting structures that allow them to collect information and set their agendas. Once you have the system in place, give members the freedom to experiment with different approaches and styles, even if you wouldn’t adopt them yourself. This way, you may be able to address concerns and track defects in ways that you couldn’t before.

Make Your Quality Control Processes High-Tech And Sensor-Driven

Getting a human to check one hundred products for defects is a challenge. Doing the same for a thousand is almost impossible. Thus, any decent quality control process needs to make extensive use of technology.

The range of sensor options available today is nothing short of extraordinary, and they’re becoming integrated into company networks. For instance, you can use a WiFi temperature sensor in a cold storage room to send alerts to employees via their devices instead of having to check it manually. In other words, you can get a heads up that there’s a problem with your refrigeration the moment that temperatures rise.

There are all types of other sensors you can use too. For instance, internet-enabled vibration sensors allow you to detect whether plant and equipment require maintenance. And motion detection sensors can indicate whether your production floor is within predefined parameters.

With the development of the internet of things, this type of quality control methodology will become increasingly popular. Companies will be able to rely on sensors instead of physical inspections to alert them to issues in the production process. Managers will be able to step in, evaluate the situation from a distance, and then schedule maintenance or product distribution reviews before the loss of stock or capital.

Get Experienced Employees To Train New Staff

When it comes to quality control, training is essential. But the type you choose can have remarkable, knock-on effects on the performance of your business.

A lot of managers and executives see quality control issues and then come to believe that they need to bring in outside trainers. Those with many years of experience in business, however, rarely take this route. The problem is that external trainers don’t have a full appreciation of your internal processes. They might understand the principles of quality control, but they don’t fully grasp the practice of it in your specific firm.

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article |Quality Control|Fixing Quality Control Issues Is Easier Than You ThinkSome CEOs, like Ari Weinzweig, recommend, therefore, that you do the training in-house, using more experienced colleagues to instruct the new starters. Often they know far more about the quality issues in your company than trainers or even senior management. Being on the ground gives them a clear view of the problems that the company faces and possible solutions.

Again, you’re going to have to trust in the better judgment of your people. If they see a problem and find a way to fix it, then you sometimes need to take a deep breath and let them get on with it.

Training should also occur at all levels of the organization, not just at the grassroots level. Mangers up the hierarchy also need a broad-level overview of how your company intends to approach quality issues in the future. Everyone needs to understand how they slot into the network of relationships that will ensure that customers get an excellent service.

Automate Your Quality Control

If there’s a specific person or process that is causing quality control issues in your organization, then automation probably won’t help much. If, however, you’re relying on manual reviews when you don’t need to, then there are probably opportunities for improvement.

The vast majority of quality control is repetitive. Workers on a production line might stand next to a conveyor belt all day long, looking for telltale defects that will make products unsuitable for market. While this kind of work is essential, it is also error-prone and can lead to a bad online reputation.

The solution here is to automate what you can and then augment your systems with real people. By doing this, you reduce the chance of human error and make up for the failings of the machinery. Remember, it too will make mistakes. You need people and automated systems working together if you want to see a step-change in quality.

Adjust Your Hiring Process

While there’s a widespread belief that we’re all equal, any executive knows that this is not the case. Twenty percent of your workers create eighty percent of the value.

Adjusting your hiring processes, therefore, can radically change the makeup of your firm and point it in the direction of quality.

But what does hiring competent people look like in this scenario?

Mainly, you’re looking for people with a level of conscientiousness. You want a team of individuals who will diligently go about their work and “sweat the small stuff.” You don’t want broad-brush people who will ship something, even when they know there’s a glaring problem.

At the same time, you don’t want to hire people who can’t break out from their process-driven box and make decisions for themselves. Fundamentally, you want a team of diligent innovators.

Your hiring process, therefore, should reflect this. You want to test candidates’ ability to not only sniff out problems but solve them with bright ideas. Monitor their commitment to quality. It will make a difference.

Prepare Yourself For Conflict

Whenever you make a change to your business model in pursuit of higher quality, it will create conflict. There will always be some losers: people who either have to up their game or get out. For that reason, executives often need to take a deep breath before taking on this fight. It is not easy.

Businesses that view quality as a single, non-negotiable goal typically have the best outcomes. Those that prioritize other things – such as quarterly revenue generation – encourage managers and staff to make tradeoffs.

Conflict, therefore, inevitably arises whenever anyone tries to increase quality. It is not just about making sure that the product is in good condition when it reaches the customers. It is also about changing the mission of your firm at a basic level. And not everyone will appreciate that.