Posts Tagged ‘bookmarks’

Smart Phone Etiquette

smart phone etiquette
Is the person supposed to call to tell you if you got the job or not?

I recently completed a job interview on Monday and an observation time on Wednesday. The lady who interviewed me said that she would call me on Friday. It is now Saturday and I haven’t heard anything. My question is, is the person supposed to call you to tell you that you didn’t get the job. Also I want to know what is proper phone etiquette when trying to get a hold of the person…I have already called once and was sent to her voice mail I left a message saying has she talked to the person I observed…so should I keep trying once a day until I get in contact with her.
I also emailed her to thank her for interviewing me and in the email I very casually wrote “i hope i am offered a job at such a wonderful establishment” Do you think this was a smart thing to do? Please help me I am freaking out I really want this job.

I agree with the people who are saying that usually the person who is offered a job gets the call. I hope that’s not the case in your situation because you clearly show enthusiasm for it. You’d be surprised how many people don’t even send a thank you note of any kind! I would not call again in case she was sick, on vacation or too busy to make all of her calls on Friday.

That said, she may not share your good attitude. She doesn’t need to acknowledge your thank you email but she definitely should address your voicemail. She can call or email you with an explanation. If not, I’d be concerned about whether she has any respect whatsoever. If she’s good, she’ll make sure you know where you stand.

How to Practice Smartphone Etiquette

Smart Phone Prices In India

Smart Phone Prices in india

Videocon V1604 Mobile Phone

Videocon V1604 works on a dual SIM standby with a GSM + GSM configuration at 900/1800 MHz. It features a 2.4 inch TFT screen capable of delivering a resolution of around 240 x 320 pixels. The 2 mega pixel camera further adds to the feature list and includes 4x digital zoom, with video recording and playback in formats including 3gp, and mp4. Videocon V1604 further features a multi format music player that supports major audio formats including Mp3, Midi, AMR, and WAV.

As far as memory is concerned, it features a 12 MB phone memory along with expandable options ranging up to 8 GB, which is more than enough to store your favorite songs, images, videos, and games. The Videocon Mobile also features a 1000 phone book memory along with a 500 SMS memory.

Videocon V1604 features motion sensor games, which are capable of sensing motion while giving you an exquisite gaming experience. The battery of the handset provides up to 4 hours of continuous talk time along with a 150 hours standby. The Mobile Tracker technology is further introduced to track down the device in case of loss or theft. Videocon V1604 Mobile Phone Price in India is Rs. 5200, and accompanying all these features, it offers a good value for your money. V1302 is a Videocon Mobile phone which features a Dual SIM and Dual Standby (GSM + GSM) capability.

It features a 1.5 inches wide color display with a resolution of around 128 x 128 pixels. The battery offers 8 hours of talk time along with 500 hours of standby time, which is pretty good for that matter. It also embeds an FM Radio that comes with the FM recording thus enabling you to record your favorite songs while listening.

Further, to make sure that you don’t fall short of storage space, this Videocon Mobile Phone comes with expandable memory support up to 8GB. It is a music phone and therefore comes with a multi format music player which supports major audio formats including Mp3, Mp4, and Midi. The mobile tracker feature further ensures the device against any theft or loss. Additional features include Voice Morphing, Background Noise Simulation, EMS, Smart Messaging, WAP browser support and MMS support. This Videocon Mobile phones is available across all leading Mobile Stores in India.

For more information on Spice Mobile, Lemon Mobile Phone prices, and associated features, please log on to www.consumemate.com.

About the Author

John Wells provides you the best and latest information on Olive Mobile Phones and Olympus Digital Cameras . he suggest you log on to http://www.consumermate.com

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Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 rise 0.5 to 0.6 percent, pointing to a stronger start on Wall Street on Friday

Smart Phone Penetration Uk

smart phone penetration uk

Experiencing World Class Service Excellence

Experiencing World Class Service Excellence

US Service Excellence Tour November 2001

The Stimulus to Go

This tour has excellent credentials – it has been running annually for many years under the auspices of Manchester Business School. There is a sister UK tour.

For us, the visit was part of a continuing professional development programme- a sort of experiential MBA – visiting world-class companies. Interestingly and appositely the CEO of Federal Express in a video we saw said that

‘the most important thing to invest in is yourself’.

It was also a chance to spend time with a group of senior people from diverse backgrounds and understand some of the business challenges they are facing. Fellow travellers were directors and senior executives from companies including Sky, Argos, Legal & General, Nationwide, Alliance & Leicester and Bristol Airport.

The Main Objective

The hypothesis is that a reputation for Service Excellence is the outcome of how companies align their strategic focus, key processes and people in effectively delivering their customer proposition.

Programme of Experiences

Monday Stew Leonard’s Elizabethtown Water

Tuesday Ritz-Carlton FedEx Hub Night Visit

Wednesday FedEx Express

Thursday USAA Nordstrom Sewell Village Cadillac

Friday Southwest Airlines

Making Sense of It All

The concept of  ‘a line of sight’ through a company’s activities has been chosen to both analyse the experiences and to help surface any alignment gaps there might be (see below).

In true marketing fashion the start point should be with the customer. In narrative terms, however, the flow is better starting with the Context which is important for two reasons. Firstly, to help understand how companies got to where they are today. Secondly, because of the implications it has for the culture and leadership style that we were likely to experience.

Business Model is used instead of Strategic Intent because it has more commercial overtones.  Quite simply how were these companies making their money given their Service Excellence ratings? What trade-offs were there?

In between the Business Model and the Customer, many companies have Processes and indeed design Products in such a way that staff are caught between a rock and a hard place as they intermediate between the company and its customers – ‘Company Push’. How were staff encouraged to behave?

Lastly what evidence was there of an open and timely dialogue with customers? How closely were companies listening to their customers? What were they doing about it? What evidence was there of the customer manifestly influencing what the company was doing? – ‘Customer Pull’.

Inevitably some visits were more fruitful than others in providing input for the analysis and much information had to be taken at face value. Quantitative performance data was almost universally absent.

The Visits

Stew Leonard’s

Format of Visit

  • Tour of store with introductions from heads of sections (coffee, bakery, fish etc.)
  • Classroom presentation by Stew Leonard’s daughter
  • Time –half day
  • Location: Yonkers New York

Context

  • Founded 1969
  • Graduated from doorstep delivery of milk
  • Invested everything to fund first store
  • Mom & Pop store to world class cited by Tom Peters
  • Three stores now all family run
  • Big personality of Stew Leonard writ big across the business
  • In Guinness Book of Records for sales per square foot

Business Model

  • Limited product range – 1000 items only
  • Focus on fresh produce where margins are typically higher (provided wastage is closely managed)
  • Concept of life time value
  • No overt premium for service

Processes

  • Single aisle only so customers trail round like a guided tour
  • Section heads treated as owners of small businesses do buying and set prices
  • Frequent, immediate & varied internal communications highlighting staff performance
  • Underlying logistics not examined

Product Variables

  • Bulk purchasing cost benefits shared with customers to generate higher volumes still
  • Freshness & perceived value for money critical
  • Quick (days) trial and error product development process
  • Only recently introduced wine section which has been very successful
  • Disney style entertainment a feature

Staff Management

  • Department managers introduced their respective areas with walk-throughs
  • We were able to talk to customers and floor staff – good eye contact
  • Front line staff encouraged to deliver outrageous service (see story)
  • Hire for attitude – use bespoke psychometrics – three interviews
  • Focus on self supporting teams; close attention to under performance
  • Promote from within
  • Handwritten notes recognising exceptional performance – ‘a moo to you’
  • Fund of stories which make staff heroes & demonstrate exceptional customer service
  • Strive to create an atmosphere of smiles
  • Staff given time off to visit competitors but must  implement one improvement in 72 hours
  • Use tours as income stream but also energises staff

Customer Dialogue

  • As you enter the store there is a ‘rock of commitment’ which says:
    ‘Rule 1 –The Customer is always right
    ‘Rule 2 – If the customer is ever wrong, reread rule 1
  • Tangible customer involvement and entertainment; factory outlet/market feel
  • Staff encouraged to imagine that they are the customer
  • As in a theatre, the customer is an integral part of the interaction
  • Constant product sampling so immediate response
  • Instant refund policy
  • Customer Suggestions Boxes – all responded to whether acted on or not
  • Customer Panels with store management team
  • Customers encouraged to comment on staff
  • Satisfaction Surveys

Commentary

  • The ‘line of sight’ was crystal clear throughout the store particularly the behaviour of the customer facing staff and the level of immediate and on-going dialogue.
  • This experience should be relatively straightforward to engineer and deliver but there is no comparison between the robotic and sterile experience of many UK supermarkets and the vibrancy of Stew Leonard’s.
  • Their biggest challenge – which they acknowledge – is scalability.
  • There is nothing to say they have to get bigger – ‘right sizing’ has a number of connotations and they may be the right size now.
  • The showmanship is the velvet glove of a very focused business model but their people are used and encouraged to make a difference
  • Clear ‘Stick to the knitting’ approach.
  • Had only recently introduced a wine department in the Yonkers store which was going well which suggests corporate flexibility against perhaps a prevailing paternalism.
  • There seems to be a virtuous circle between, competitive pricing, engaging service standards, higher volumes and win-win distribution of the benefits between company and customer.

Some Delegate Comments

Sell to all the five senses (sight, smell, sound, taste, touch)

Epitomized all the learning that is necessary to create a ‘wow’ in any company

Effective staff orientation can result in excellent service but slogans can ‘tell a story’

Stew Leonard’s – A Service Excellence Story

At five minutes before closing one Sunday night, a customer said to cashier Betty Mucci, ‘We’ve just returned from vacation and are so happy you’re open. Our refrigerator is empty, and we needed this bread and milk for breakfast and the kid’s school lunches tomorrow.’ When the total of $37.12 was rung up, the customer panicked and said, ‘Oh my gosh, I forgot my wallet. I don’t have any money!’

Betsy just smiled and said, ‘That’s OK, just give me your name and address.’ Betsy wrote the information down, put the void slip in the register drawer, and said, ‘Don’t worry, the next time you’re in the store you can pay for your groceries.’ The customer asked, ‘Do you have the authority to let me walk out without paying for all these groceries?’ Betsy said yes, but the customer wasn’t convinced and asked to see the manager.

When the manager appeared and the customer explained the problem, he said, ‘When it comes to keeping our customers happy, we have no hard and fast rules. Each of us has the authority to use our own best judgement and treat every customer the way we’d like to be treated our self’.

Two weeks later, Stew Leonard ran into a friend at a local restaurant. He came up to Stew all excited and said, ‘Stew you won’t believe this story!’ He proceeded to tell how it was his wife that had been the customer who forgot her wallet, and how she had been telling the tale to everyone she met. ‘But what I don’t understand,’ he said, ‘is how you can afford to do it. Aren’t you afraid cashiers will use poor judgement and you’ll lose money?’

Stew responded, ‘How can we afford not to do it?’ Ninety nine percent of people in our store at any given moment are repeat customers. They’re back because we satisfied them the last time they shopped with us. Our attitude is that everybody’s honest If we occasionally run into someone who isn’t, we just take it on the chin. But the important point is that 999 out of 1000 customers are honest. We simply refuse to let one dishonest customer determine how we are going to treat the other 999.

Source: American Management Review

Elizabethtown Water

Format of Visit

  • Talks from

Andrew M. Chapman, president –

Derek Stroud, vice president of Customer Relationship Management,

Beth Neafy, Change Project Team Leader

Professor Bruce Hawthorn, External Process Design Consultant

  • Time: 2 hours
  • Location: Head Office Westfield New Jersey

Context

  • The seventh-largest water company in the US with 500+ staff serving more than 1m customers in New Jersey
  • In November 2000 became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Thames Water
  • Regulated monopoly, have to apply to the Board of Public Utilities for rates increases
  • Company historically consisted of three distinct silos on split sites– water & waste management, engineers and billing
  • Since current CEO appointed in 1997 have been going through major process and organisational change programme to deliver a more customer focused organisation.
  • CEO also felt that customer satisfaction could be a positive differentiator as an acquisition tool for municipal water authority management & should industry become de-regulated
  • Also felt that fewer complaints would lead to happier staff and hence lower staff turnover.
  • Implementing a SAP CCS customer billing and account management system (the first of its kind in a US utility).

Business Model

  • Shaped by regulatory rules
  • Pricing is a cost plus model
  • Penalties if historic customer satisfaction criteria not met

Processes

  • IT Strategic Review identified opportunity to bring together activities of silos
  • Customer Relationship Management is defined as Single operational view of the customer
  • Used SAP Enterprise wide system to re-define processes
  • Key process Revenue Management i.e. Meter Reading to Receipt of Funds

Product Variables

  • Responsibility is only for water supply to property boundary. From road to property is owner’s responsibility

Staff Management

  • Exemplified by internal team approach to process re-design – led by very credible long serving member of staff
  • Quote ‘People march to their measurements’
  • Need to re-skill Customer Representatives to problem solve (improved thinking) and understand issues around water quality (chemistry) and pressure (engineering) – described as getting the crew ready to run the new ship

Customer Dialogue

  • Little evidence that customers have had an input into the process design and change management programme
  • Industry prescribed measures for customer satisfaction a given although they were attempting to redefine these.
  • Implied customer frustration given fragmented delivery through historical silos

Commentary

  • A different context from Stew Leonard’s and the other visits
  • The impetus for change was driven solely by the vision of the CEO – there were no external drivers – arguably the company was ahead of the curve.
  • It emerged in conversation that the heads of the business silos had acted as brakes on the proposed process re-focusing.
  • The pace of the change programme was accelerated with the arrival of a UK Thames Water executive some eighteen months ago
  • The orthodox view would be that processes should be re-designed before IT is applied although it could be argued that the approach was contextually appropriate
  • The absence of any customer input into the re-design suggests that a supplier mentality still prevails and therefore potentially a serious line of sight misalignment.
  • Because of the way rate increases were signed off, provided the regulator agree, the customers would of course effectively be paying for the change programme.

Some Delegate Comments

Similarities with our current situation and interesting to see mechanisms and structures put in place to direct transitional change

Change is always difficult, particularly when your colleagues only pay lip service to it

Placing an employee of long standing with the respect of her colleagues teamed with a visionary leader is a recipe for success

Elizabethtown Water

Customer Service Vision

To provide an appropriate level of service for each type of customer which they value, appreciate and would choose in an open market.

Customer Mission

To provide value to our customers by providing safe, adequate and proper service at the most economical cost by continually improving our facilities, our work processes and the capability of our employees.

Customer Service Strategy

  • Billing: to provide accurate and timely bills that our customers understand
  • Payments: to collect all monies in a timely manner using all reasonable methods
  • Billing Contacts: any contact with a customer should add value in terms of cash, image or both
  • Service Contacts: To provide a level of service that eradicates the need for customers to contact the company more than once and that customers value.

Source: Boardroom Posters

Ritz-Carlton

Format of Visit

  • Presentation from Stephanie Thomas Training Manager
    Back of House Tour
  • Time: Half Day
  • Location: Buckhead Atlanta

Context

  • Group founded by Horst Schulze 1983
  • Based on the legendary Ritz Carlton Boston which revolutionised hotels in America by creating a luxury setting
  • Now 40 hotels worldwide, 22000 ‘ladies & gentlemen’
  • Winner of Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.. First and only hospitality organization to win, first in 1992 and again  in 1999
  • Only 3 hotels owned by company – rest independent ownership but  using Ritz Carlton systems & processes
  • In 1995, Marriott International purchased 49% interest. Three years later increased to 99%.

Business Model

  • Superior environment and psychology of comfort a critical part of the experience – the mystique of the Ritz Carlton
  • Market niche is essentially corporate business travellers
  • Premium price
  • Occupancy & revenue per room (REVPAR) key metrics

Processes

  • Set of core values collectively called The Gold Standards: The Credo, The Three Steps of Service, The Motto and The Twenty Basics captured in pocket card held by all staff
  • Daily departmental “line-ups” attended by all employees including senior executives dealing with one of the 20 basics each day.
  • Use Project Teams to continually review key processes and also problem solving self directed work teams
  • Computerised record of guest’s preferences (often from observation) – staff complete Staff Preference Notes
  • Guest Incident Action Forms
  • Much attention is paid to the psychological attributes of comfort – the furnishings, the quality of the dressing gowns, towels& bedding etc.
  • Backstage photos of table layouts, areas in bedroom to dust & repeat cycles are on display – this helps with the ethnic diversity of the staff

Product Variables

  • Quality Hotels
  • Club lounge, Room Service, Casual restaurant, Banquet Food, Recreation/Fitness
  • Luxury residential condominiums located at The Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts.
  • The Ritz-Carlton Learning Instituteopen to executives from other companies wanting to learn and adapt the principles of service and leadership to their own organizations.

Staff Management

  • Motto ‘We are Ladies and Gentlemen serving Ladies and Gentlemen’
  • Intensive orientation for new employees – 2 days to orient & select, 21 day review, 30 day Certification Programme
  • Customised psychometrics covering empathy, Caring, Exactness, Professionalism, Politeness and Positiveness
  • Staff encouraged to take ownership of problems – $2000 per guest ‘recovery’ discretion
  • Complaint handling scripted ‘I apologise’ – try to make problem really small – move the customer out of the public areas
  • Recognition – ‘Five Star Employee of the Quarter’

Customer Dialogue

  • By observation
  • Satisfaction surveys
  • JD Powers rating

Commentary

  • Ritz-Carlton is a high quality operation. Was the ambience tangible in the hotel? – Yes. Was the quality evident in the Club Lounge and the bedroom? – Yes. Was the high service palpable from the people? – Not uniformly.
  • Ritz Carlton is process dominated in principle in the same way as McDonalds – another franchise operation. The scope is, of course broader.
  • Inevitably franchises have to be rules based and much time and effort goes into embedding these into the employees – though it has been called a cult occasionally.
  • Whilst they premium price for the service,  they still face the same occupancy challenges as all hotels to get ‘heads on beds’. It is not clear if their model is more resilient or how they have fared post 11 September.
  • Behind the scenes there was evidence of the rhetoric breaking down – Ladies and Gentlemen referred to as ‘employees’ in memos for example. The administrative staff offices were very cramped – not a case of treating your staff as you treat your customers.
  • There was some evidence of staff trying to introduce spontaneity into the prescribed daily routines.
  • Understanding customer preferences and invading their privacy is a fine line that the hotels are careful not to cross.
  • On paper using an 80/20 basis the alignment was strong. However, it is not clear how open the dialogue with the customers is and how this informs the process improvements that the Ritz Carlton carries out.
  • It was also not clear what the trigger criteria would be for employees to use their personal discretion of $2000.

Some Delegate Comments

‘All that glitters is not gold’.  It is easy to present a veneer but very hard to embed values effectively in some environments

Reinforcement through ‘over the top’ communication programme works well

A simple message to staff relating to ‘values’ can encompass an entire culture and consequent behaviour

Ritz Carlton

7 Year Vision

  • To be The Premier Worldwide, Provider of Luxury Travel and Hospitality Products and Services

2 Year Mission

  • Product and Profit Dominance

The Vital Few Objectives

  • Improve Employee Pride and Joy
  • Improve Customer Loyalty
  • Reduce Customer Difficulties
  • Enlarge REVPAR
  • Improve Hotel Profitability

Method

  • TQM – Application of Quality Sciences
  • Baldridge Quality Awards Criteria

Foundation

  • Values and Philosophy
  • The Gold Standards
  • Credo
  • Motto
  • The Three Steps of Service
    – A warm and sincere greeting. Use the guest name, if and when possible
    – Anticipation and compliance with guest needs
    – Fond farewell. Give them a warm good-bye and use their names, if and when possible.
  • Basics

The Employee Promise

  • At the Ritz-Carlton, our Ladies and Gentlemen are the most important resource in our service commitment to our guests.
  • By applying the principles of trust, honesty, respect, integrity and commitment, we nurture and maximise talent to the benefit of each individual and the company.
  • The Ritz-Carlton fosters a work environment where diversity is valued, quality of life is enhanced, individual aspirations are fulfilled, and the Ritz-Carlton mystique is strengthened.

Ritz-Carlton – A Service Excellence Story

Enrique, a bell hop, noticed that a lady customer was having difficulty shutting her suitcase – he tried to help but in fact the catches were broken and there was no way to secure the suitcase. The guest was due to leave shortly and there was no time to go to the mall to buy a replacement. Shortly after Enrique went off duty but he continued to be concerned about the guest. He went home, took a suitcase he had recently bought for a holiday from his wardrobe and returned immediately to the hotel to give it to the guest.

Source: Ritz Carlton Presentation

Federal Express

Format of Visit

  • Evening visit to Memphis SuperHub
  • Half Day Workshop
  • Presenters:
    Myron Bowery: Manager Corporate Communications
    Kathy Bergeson: Quality Process Manager
  • Location: Peabody Hotel Memphis

Context

  • Founded in 1971 at the age of 27 by Fred W Smith ex US Marines Corp who flew 230 combat missions in Vietnam and based on a paper on logistics which he wrote as a student at Yale (marked C)
  • Quote from corporate history ‘ Fred Smith and Fedex are a virtual case study in how entrepreneurial America should work’
  • Created modern air/ground express industry; invented overnight parcel delivery; first to provide on-line shipping and tracking
  • Pioneered hub& spoke approach
  • 1983 first US company to reach $1bn revenues without merger or acquisition
  • 1990 First Service Company to win Baldridge award
  • 215k employees worldwide, 600+aircraft
  • Currently shipping at 1998 levels

Business Model

  • Philosophy ‘Take care of your People. They in turn will deliver the impeccable Service demanded by our customers who will reward us with the Profitability necessary to secure our future’
  • Have redefined themselves from Parcels to Airline to Information Technology Company
  • Have a number of companies within group which ‘operate independently, compete collectively’
  • The 2001 Annual Report quotes ‘Only FedEx remains focused on a unique business model – to operate each company independently, focused on the distinct needs of each customer segment, but also to compete collectively, leveraging our greatest strengths, the power of the FedEx brand and information technology.’

Processes

  • See model below
  • Baldrige Award 1990 but ISO now benchmark driver
  • Activity a mix of low skilled highly labour intensive (making sure bar coding on packages is face up for the readers) and highly automated (bar code sorting)
  • International package scanned 11 times which provides data for track and trace system
  • Very heavy focus on ‘scientific’ problem/process analysis
  • Use actual numbers of defects not %’s as even 1 is too many
  • Heavy investment in FedEx TV as means of internal communication
  • Have high level Weekly Analysis & Review (WAR) Committee
  • 98% response to annual employee survey – results published within hours of cut off time
  • Employ 12 weathermen to help with routing of flights

Product Variables

  • FedEx Express: time definite global express package & freight delivery
  • FedEx Ground: small package ground services including home delivery
  • FedEx Freight: regional less-than-truckload freight deliveries
  • FedEx Custom Critical: exclusive expedited door to door delivery
  • FedEx Trade Networks: Customs brokerage & trade facilitation systems
  • Recently invested in ground presence in US as losing out to UPS
  • Recently gained US Postal Services Airport to Airport contract

Staff Management

  • Hub has 60% staff t/o
  • Focus on experiential (85%) rather than classroom training (15%)
  • Recently withdrew ‘on the spot’ rewards system (Bravo Zulus – a US Navy term for ‘Well Done’) as belt tightening move
  • Upward appraisal process which outputs a company wide Leadership Index which has improved year on year since inception
  • SQIs used as the basis for bonuses at all levels.

Customer Dialogue

  • No single view of customer and value
  • Their Service Quality Index is weighted and varies year on year depending on what customer thinks is important
  • Have used television advertising extensively which shows an engaging sense of humour

Commentary

  • The hub visit was a classic example of what the tour is all about. An intellectual understanding of what was going on was no preparation for the raw energy, cacophony of noise and pure hard metal rock that confronted us.
  • Fedex is an operational giant and what we were seeing was no more than the tip of the process iceberg. The service chain also includes the door to door pick up of parcels and delivery at destination.
  • Like a class sportsman it was apparently effortless professionalism – there was also a sense of the quickness of the hand deceiving the eye!
  • In terms of alignment it was interesting that FedEx claimed to have no single composite view of a customer relationship although their SQI measurement factors shaped by customers was a particular plus point.
  • The withdrawal of the Bravo Zulus – the on the spot reward scheme – was contentious. It was presented as a much needed opportunity to tidy the scheme up but there was a feeling that it could be interpreted negatively by the staff. Outstanding service should be rewarded at all times.
  • There was a suspicion also that it may have been being used to get round an inflexible pay scheme.

Some Delegate Comments

How to change from a transportation company to an intelligent service provider

Good effective process management is possible.  The operation was very impressive

The operation is more important than the staff (Process before people)

Night Visit to the Memphis SuperHub

Getting into the hub was like going to a football match. At 10 o’clock at night there were long queues snaking back from the security checkpoints. In any one night some 8000 people might be on duty. It was a wet and windy night and since many employees work out in the open loading and unloading the planes they were wrapped up like Michelin men (and women of course).

From the observation tower we could see planes lining up to land. – 85 in an hour. On landing, planes moved quickly and efficiently to their berths where in minutes the doors were opened and the specially designed containers – which mimic the shape of the aircraft- unloaded. We were told planes could be emptied in 17 minutes. Trains of containers pulled by small tractors – or tugs as they are called- drove off smartly to the sorting areas – on this night in heavy and persistent rain.

Here letters, packages and parcels streamed along conveyer belts to be divided amongst teams of workers whose role was to turn packages upright so the scanning system could do the automated sort. Parcels then tracked along a series of conveyer belts where computer controlled arms sent them to the right distribution point. Further sorts would separate out priority express packages and narrow the destinations down by cities and even the suburbs of the major large cities. Shortly after the planes were unloaded, screens throughout the complex show the projected time at which the sort will be completed.

Unbundled and re-bundled as it were, the packages were then loaded back into containers and back on to the planes which then left. Memphis can deal with as many as two million shipments (overnight – 30%of the total volume in the FedEx system.

As we toured the hub, small teams of maintenance men were on standby like rapid response units should the machinery splutter. Indeed such is the contingency planning that spare planes are kept in the air in case of mechanical difficulties.

FedEx – A Service Excellence Story

The call from a big medical laboratory in Phoenix was urgent. Shipments of amniotic fluid from two high risk pregnancies had failed to arrive for testing. If they didn’t come soon, the mothers to be would have to endure the difficult procedure again. Senior customer service representative Brenda Currey got on the phone and found the shipments on a truck near Dallas. With help from FedEx operations staff, she had the truck stopped and 20,000 pounds of freight unloaded to retrieve the two samples. ‘Get them to Phoenix and I’ll take care of them’ Currey told the Dallas ramp manager. She met the flight carrying the shipments at 11pm, stored them in her refrigerator as instructed by the lab, and delivered them personally next day. ‘Why did you do this?’ asked the laboratory technician. ‘It needed to be done,’ Currey replied. ‘and I was there.’ Three days later the laboratory called to let Currey know her efforts had paid off. The samples were just fine. (Brenda Currey has been with FedEx since 1985.)

Source: ‘How Time Flies – Fedex delivers the 21st Century’

USAA

Format of Visit

  • Half day visit
  • Presenters:
    Donna Wildey Planning Manage
  • Joe Bruha VP Brand Management
  • Beverly McClure Customer Relationship Management NE Region
  • Location: Corporate HQ San Antonio

Context

  • Founded by Army Major William Garrison in 1922
  • USAA (United Services Automobile Association) serves present and former members of the US military and their families
  • One of America’s leading insurance & financial services companies; 4.7m customers, 23,500 employees, assets $62.4bn
  • President & CEO the most decorated combat veteran to lead USAA. Board chairman retired US Air Force four-star general and former vice president of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Essentially a direct operation with most business done by phone, mail & web site
  • Strapline ‘We know what it means to serve’
  • Largest mail order company in US and third largest in world

Business Model

  • The mission of the association is to facilitate the financial security of its members, associates and their families through the provision of a full range of highly competitive financial products and services; in doing so USAA seeks to be the provider of choice for the military community.
  • Have extended definition of target market to include enlisted men but still remained within military affinity

Processes

  • Use Balanced Scorecard
    Market Performance 35%      Financial Performance 35%
    Projects  20%                        Mission Accomplishment 10%
  • Within Market Performance lost members = 50% of score
  • See detail of Key results areas below
  • Key Service tenets
    – Trust & reliability          – Simplify the Process
    – Multiple Access           – Customer feedback
  • Aim for what they call the ‘Wizard of Oz effect’ i.e. the illusion of simplicity
  • Evidence that planning process is used to drill down understanding within the company

Product Variables

  • Wide range of insurance and financial products including: property and casualty insurance, life and health insurance, annuities, mutual funds, discount brokerage, credit cards, banking services, travel services and alliance services
  • They had a diagrammatic wheel incorporating  six Business Divisions, ten Key Life Events and ten products to give 600 potential segments.

Staff Management

  • Must be a/the major employer in San Antonio
  • Work spaces heavily personalised; much use of the American flag; military memorabilia in public spaces
  • Head office in San Antonio has three on-site fitness centres, health clinics and cafeterias which also offer take-home meals.
  • There is also a sophisticated system for interacting with staff  and they have never had to lay off staff.
  • One third of the employees have their college education sponsored by USAA.
  • Have a Workforce Transition Team which employees join for 12 months if job disappears through re-structuring etc.
  • Managers have their own restaurant & restrooms – shades of officers & enlisted men

Customer Dialogue

  • No real time IT single view of customer but periodic snapshots they gave themselves a 5/10 rating on current capability
  • Re-aligning products & support areas into customer focused centres of excellence
  • Customer numbers doubling every 10 years
  • Minimalist branding and advertising – rely on word of mouth in close knit military communities
  • Claim 98% ‘loyalty’; products per household 4.97; less than 2% churn
  • Have only recently introduced rules for direct mail volumes – two pieces per member per month
  • Key marketing tasks seen as
    Prospecting – Segment Management – Life Event Management – Product Design & Delivery – Retention – Brand Management
  • Extensive Customer based feedback loops in place using formalised research processes; retention a key focus
  • One of their secrets is the 140 personal characteristics they are reputed to keep about each customer

Commentary

  • USAA have cornered an outstanding affinity market in the US military. Their focus on family and community is reflected in the way they value customer and staff loyalty.
  • Whilst they have broadened their segment definition, for example, to include listed men, and they have a tremendous heritage, there must be a suspicion that they could be heading for a cul de sac given an ageing customer base and the lower numbers of recruitment into the military overall.
  • Their tone could be characterised as one of quiet understatement – certainly the branding is low in personality.
  • Many of their practices and processes seem familiar nowadays and their approach to direct mail is dated. Clearly it was not possible to benchmark their pricing but this together with the product range and features must be a critical part of their offer.
  • It was interesting that despite the strength of the brand in the target market there was no evidence of brand stretch beyond financial services.

Some Delegate Comments

Niche markets are wonderful things, especially if there is an emotive pull

Customer loyalty and trust attracts higher profits

Understand your target market

USAA – Key Results Areas

Service Goals

  • Trust & reliability
  • Simplify Processes
  • Customer Access & delivery
  • High levels of persistency
  • Evaluate lost member trends
  • Use member feedback to improve processes & service
  • Community outreach
  • Legislative & regulatory flexibility
  • Industry affairs
  • Civil justice reform
  • Public education
  • Education outreach
  • Loss control
  • Synergy among lines of business
  • Expand breadth & depth of member relationship
  • Cultivate member feedback
  • Educate members
  • Strengthen community affinity
  • Build strategic alliances
  • Promote personalised solutions
  • Sufficient net worth & liquidity
  • Strongest possible ratings
  • Maintain capital self sufficiency
  • Optimise USAA investment portfolio
  • Migrate losses
  • Improve our operations environment
  • Implement efficient business practices & solutions
  • Quality financial products
  • Co-ordinated packages of products
  • Tailored information
  • Increase penetration of core markets

Public Outreach Goals

Relationship Building Goals

Financial Strength Goals

Product Value Goals

Mission Support Goals

  • Facilitate responsive, value added response services
  • Promote productivity, health, safety and welfare of USAA employees
  • Provide high quality facilities & services
  • Diverse, flexible, motivated, multi-skilled workforce
  • Foster highest ethical standards
  • Value diversity of employees as we value the diversity of members
  • Cultivate employee feedback
  • Educate employees on  products and issues relevant to USAA
  • Encourage employee self development
  • Integrate information technology architecture
  • Develop and manage common information & technology systems
  • Enhance data infrastructure

Strategic Assets – People

Strategic Assets – Technology

Source: CDRom ‘Take a Quality Journey with USAA’ 12/98

Nordstrom

Format of Visit

  • 1 hour Lunch time visit
  • Presenter: Cindy Mahan Store General Manager
  • Location: Dallas Store

Context

  • In 1901, John W. Nordstrom – who emigrated from Sweden aged 16 -used $5000 of his stake from the Alaska gold rush to open a small shoe store in Seattle, Washington
  • Store subsequently passed to sons and grandsons and Nordstrom still remains family owned
  • Expanded from shoes in 1960’s and is now one of the nation’s leading fashion retailers, with 132 stores in 25 states

Business Model

  • Family management, values and approachability
  • Entrepreneurial focus for staff with income largely commission based on sales – have own business
  • Successful sellers may earn more than senior management team
  • Sales staff build and manage own portfolios of customers

Processes

  • Underlying logistics not examined

Product Variables

  • Perception of premium pricing created by environment and ambience but do not premium price per se
  • Aim to never be out of stock of any one size of shoes catering for exceptional widths & lengths
  • Ambience important – wide aisles & low racking so can see length of floor

Staff Management

  • Employee handbook is a double sided card with the only message ‘Use your good judgement in all situations’ see below
  • Look to recruit ‘nice’ people
  • Frequent performance recognition ceremonies and celebrations

Customer Dialogue

  • Quality and frequency essentially in hands of sales people who manage own contact strategy using phone & thank you notes etc.

Commentary

  • We had the opportunity to see their corporate video tracing the history of the company and talk briefly with the Dallas Store Manager – a lady who had previously been a buyer with them.
  • One member of staff (see story below) was grossing $1.5m sales a year and earning more than the store manager.
  • Subsequent shopping confirmed the appeal of the environment and ambience compared with other US major retailers
  • Staff were particularly personable and appropriately attentive in initiating the sales process. Prices were comparable with the other major stores in the Shopping Mall.

Some Delegate Comments

The natural confidence that comes from empowerment

Pride in your work is noticed and appreciated by your clients (and rewarded by your company)

Empowerment of key staff works for the bottom line (regardless of status) – ask people to do what they are good at

WELCOME TO NORDSTROM

We’re glad to have you withour Company.

Our number one goal is to provide outstanding customer service

Set both your personal and professional goals high.

We have great confidence in your ability to achieve them.

Nordstrom Rules

Rule#1: Use you good judgment in all situations

There will be no additional rules.

Please feel free to ask

Your department manager,store manager or division general manager any question

at any time

nordstrom

Nordstrom Service Excellence Stories

  • Nordstrom is famous for is refund policy. The archetypal story told by Tom Peters is of a customer returning two tyres to a store for which the customer was given the money back. Nordstrom don’t sell tyres but apparently there was a garage on the site before Nordstrom arrived.
  • A male customer arrived with a bag of some fifty pairs of socks at the Dallas store. He emptied the socks over the counter and asked for a refund on the basis that they had been uncomfortable to wear. The salesman – relatively new – started to say that they would need to see the receipts at which point a more senior colleague took over. A full refund was processed and it transpired that the socks had not fitted properly. A suitable make was found and the following day the customer returned to buy $1000 worth of shirts. The senior seller in question grosses $1.5m in sales!
  • The Dallas Store Manager was having a difficult time over a piece of jewellery valued at $10000. The circumstances were not elaborated on but the Store Manager decided to personally ring the Nordstrom family member responsible for this product line. ‘You know,’ he said, ‘we knew this was a difficult product area to get into and this was our decision not yours. You do what you feel is right for this customer and you’ll have my full backing’. The cost of the jewellery was refunded.

Source: Dallas Store Manager

Sewell Village Cadillac (www.sewell.com)

Format of Visit

  • 2 hour tour of two showrooms
  • Guide: Chip Besio Sales & Marketing Director
  • Location: Dallas

Context

  • When Carl Sewell joined his father’s car dealership in 1967 he set out to make it the best in the world.
  • Thirty years later the company has grown from $10m turnover to $500m
  • In four locations Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio & New Orleans
  • Co-wrote book ‘Customer’s for Life’

Business Model

  • Exponent of life time value
  • Mission: We will provide the best vehicle sales and service experience for our customers. We will do this in a way that will foster the continuous improvement of our people and our company. We will be a top performing, thoroughly professional and genuinely caring organization in all that we do.
  • Early to recognise that car purchase only (minor) part of potential income stream  – servicing , parts and second hand car sales significant

Processes

  • This is about the integrated engineering of the total customer experience to which every employee contributes
  • Have computer terminal in car park so when mechanic drops off one car can key in to see where next job is  and thus minimise downtime
  • Automated German parts storage system
  • McDonalds type tiles on the floor – justified by business case
  • Customers stay with same Service manager/team

Product Variables

  • Cadillac, Hummers, Lexus, Saab, GMC, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Infiniti
  • Use physical cues to denote quality and care – leather couches, private working areas for customers, chandeliers & flowers, tiles on the workshop floors, chrome plating
  • Pays to have grass verges cut more often than corporation would do

Staff Management

  • Used same psychologist to select staff for last 25 years  – then staff take applicant out to lunch as part of selection process – if staff don’t want to spend time with the applicant then customers probably won’t either.
  • Service staff are self employed – faulty work is corrected in the technician’s own time

Customer Dialogue

  • Post purchase/service surveys
  • Mystery shopping

Commentary

  • It’s often said that ‘retail is detail’ and this is an impressive example of where the ‘line of sight’ factors have been engineered to create a memorable total customer experience.
  • It also again emphasises the core role of product in the total experience and the added benefits of tangibility that are missing in most services contexts.
  • In the suburb of Dallas that Sewell are in, they have three substantial showrooms and workshops in a matter of say 500 yards – a saturation strategy.

Some Delegate Comments

Need to continue to innovate. Differentiation is always key.  Understand the subtleties of your market

Environment is important – it helps to attract good staff and encourages custom

Engineer the total bundle of benefits to deliver superior customer experience.

The Ten Commandments of Customer Service

1. Bring em back alive

Ask Customers what they want and give it to them again and again

2. Systems, not smiles

Saying please and thank you doesn’t ensure you’ll do the job right first time, every time. Only systems guarantee you that.

3. Underpromise, overdeliver

Customers expect you to keep your word. Exceed it.

4. When the customer asks, the answer is always yes

Period.

5. Fire your inspectors and customer relations departments

Every employee who deals with clients must have the authority to handle complaints.

6. No complaints? Something’s wrong

Encourage your customers to tell you what you’re doing wrong

7. Measure everything

Baseball teams do it. Basketball teams do it. You should, too

8. Salaries are unfair

Pay people like partners

9. Your mother was right

Show people respect. Be polite. It works.

10. Japanese them

Learn how the best really do it, make their systems your own. Then improve them.

WARNING: These ten rules aren’t worth a damn…..unless you make a profit. You have to make money to stay in business and provide good service.

Source: ‘Customers for Life’ by Carl Sewell & Paul B. Brown

Sewells Village Cadillac

Beliefs and Values

  1. We will be at the top when measured against appropriate business standards or performance in every function, in every department, in every dealership.
  2. We will pursue quality and profitability with the aim to stay in business and provide jobs for our people.
  3. The development of our people is essential to our growth and future success. We will provide training and education to encourage the long-term employment and professional advancement of all our Associates.
  4. We will earn and re-earn the good will, trust and confidence of our customers and colleagues every day.
  5. Our suppliers are important to our success. We will establish long-term relationships with suppliers whose values and quality are consistent with ours.
  6. The highest ethical standards will guide everything we do.
  7. We will strive for constant improvement and innovation in all that we do.

Sewell Village Cadillac – Service Excellence Story

Some of our most appreciative customers are people who’ve left us to buy a Jaguar, Mercedes or BMW and have experienced the customer service those dealers provide.

I have a great memory of picking up the president of a company here in Dallas who was standing out front of the Mercedes dealership waiting for a taxi to take him to work. He needed to call a cab because he couldn’t get a ride from anyone at the Mercedes dealership. I was driving down the street, and I saw him waiting there, so I picked him up and took him to his office. On the way he shook his head and said, I don’t know why I left’. Twp years later, when it came to trade in his Mercedes, he traded it to us and bought a Cadillac. He said the Mercedes was a nice car but it just wasn’t worth the hassle of getting it serviced.

Source: ‘Customers for Life’ Carl Sewell and Paul B. Brown

Southwest Airlines

Format of Visit

  • Day visit
  • Presenters: Pat Jansen
    Brian Allen Career Coach
  • Location Southwest Airlines University for People Dallas

Context

  • Profit making for 28 consecutive years
  • Has announced no lay offs before or after 11/9 ; share price fell only 24.1% v United 43.2%
  • Within days of 11 September they had transferred the Staff profit Sharing Fund to a trust account so the funds would be there to distribute
  • Faced years of legal battles and obstruction from established players and vested interests
  • Have a history of moving quickly if a new business expansion opportunity occurs e.g. failure of a competitor, gate availability at a desirable airport – based on scenario planning
  • Stock Exchange ticker symbol is LUV
  • Marketed itself as the LUV airline
  • 33000 employees; 84% unionised
  • Strongly associated with the personality of Herb Kelleher who is frequently quoted around the company – he once settled a major legal dispute by arm wrestling – and lost!
  • Described by Tom Peters as ‘Air Travel’s Greatest Show on Earth’

Business Model

  • Low cost domestic airline
    – fly 737s only – 15 minute scheduled turn rounds- no seat reservations – no meals
    – plastic re-usable boarding cards- no hub – city to city only – first to use two tier peak and off peak pricing
    – use smaller city not international airports
  • Perfected niche of short flying trips 10.5 daily flights per gate v industry average of 8.0; typical plane flying 11.5 hours per day v industry average of 8.6
  • Each station functions as an independent business unit

Processes

  • Percentage ‘on time’ arrivals shown on a live display on all computer screens

Product Variables

  • Frankly the university looks like a playschool. Walls are unfinished. It’s decorated by murals depicted cities and places in the US – they take pride on how little money they spent and the unfinished nature symbolises that minds are always under construction
  • Have a programme of ‘Gate Games’ if flights are delayed

Staff Management

  • Talk about the 4 E’s – Employment, Empowerment, Environment & Enjoyment. Encourage staff to ask for forgiveness not permission. Promote it’s OK to be ‘Younique’
  • Staff encouraged to ‘own’ their part of the business
  • Look for Warrior Spirits (see below)
  • Have Career coaches & Culture Committees
  • Put their staff before their customers – the customer is not always right
  • Family spirit is sustained by customised environment, spontaneity and frequent staff events – pizza parties, barbeques etc.
  • Casual dress is a given – not restricted to specific day

Customer Dialogue

  • No suggestion boxes – challenge managers to interact with staff and staff with customers
  • Strong JD Powers ratings

Commentary

  • By any standards this was a remarkable experience – a rigorously applied business model that has been copied many times but without replicating its total success;
  • Have consistently stuck to the knitting and not been sucked into other value destroying areas;
  • Emotion, passion, and fun are used as strategic assets. The family card is played very strongly. They go public on putting their staff before their customers.
  • It’s often remarked that people park their brains when they come to work but personality is important too;
  • Succession in a company where there has been a dominant personality is always a challenge. The sense is that the culture is so well rooted it will live on anyway;
  • Another challenge Soutwest face quite simply is the current economic climate – what damage would there be to the culture if the company had to lay-off staff? Again one would be confident given the rigours they have historically faced that they could win through this too.

Some Delegate Comments

The most powerful force for excellence in service is your people and how you treat and lead them

The importance of celebration, attitude and living the values to the creation of a truly innovative organization

Culture is at the heart of organizational success – it is at least as important as process

You are the SPIRIT of Southwest Airlines

Service – make it positively outrageous

Productivity – always give your personal best

Individuality – you can make a positive difference

Responsibility – hold yourself accountable first

Imagination – create some fun in your work

Teamwork – together we accomplish great things

Southwest Airlines Service Excellence Story

In the height of summer, a young man boarded a flight in shorts and T shirt. He took his seat, but as the plane taxied away from the stand – and against the Civil Aviation rules – he ran quickly to the toilet. The flight attendant banged on the door and remonstrated with him to return to his seat. When he sheepishly opened the door she asked him what was wrong – suspecting a surplus of beer. Embarrassed and red in the face he admitted ‘My balls are on fire!’ ‘Excuse me,’ she replied. He repeated himself and explained that somebody had left some dried jalapeno chilli peppers on his seat and they must have worked their way into his shorts. The flight attendant, suppressing the urge to laugh, took charge and immediately bought him the necessary first aid – a towel, an ice pack and a blanket.

Source: Presentation

The Brits are Coming

The day we arrived at Southwest University was the day George Harrison died, The meeting started with one of his songs being played on the hi fi system. As representatives of the UK we were offered the presenting teams condolences.

The same day was the graduation day for some 200 cabin crew. They had been whittled down from 90,000 first stage applicants and from 200,000 overall.

They had been on the training for five weeks without pay and (this was the end of November) would not get their first pay until early January. We were invited to go down – to the chant of the Brits are coming – and join them – and what an experience it was! A ten-minute ‘Hi’ turned into an hour long cultural exchange.

The energy, enthusiasm and positive emotion in the room was PALPABLE. For us reserved British people it was a bit like an Oprah Winfrey show in your office. We were paraded to the front and listened as personal tributes to the Southwest Airlines family, spirit and community came from young and old, coloured and white and male and female. Individuals stood up and personally recounted why they were proud to be part of the Southwest family to the accompaniment of cheers, whistles and clapping.

Such was the infectious nature of the enthusiasm that we responded by doing a tour of the room ‘high fiving’ with as many of the people as we could.

This personal story telling and spiritual commitment seems to be a feature of the company. It happened again when we sat down with the training team as a relatively new recruit recounted how she had been made redundant from her last three jobs and had been expecting the same again given the difficulties in the airline industry as a whole. So far, SWA have laid off no staff.

Summarising the Findings

A quantitative evaluation to give company rankings was considered. However, given the varying formats of the visits, the data collection was uneven and this approach was therefore discounted.

Dealing then with the ‘Line of Sight’ components in turn:

Context

  • An important part of the context is the concept of the American dream and an equal opportunity society. Many companies played to this with their oft-repeated ‘rags to riches’ dynastic corporate history, incessant stories, Mark Twain type aphorisms, and a focus on friends, family and community. In the context of UK companies, they were also relatively young.
  • The tour took place as the American economy was in a recession and post the 11th September. There was evidence that companies were tightening their belts and trading conditions were more difficult. For many, the well being of their company was under threat.

Business Models

  • Business models were consistently well defined niches ranging from the extended ‘mom and pop’ store of Stew Leonard’s to the low cost model of Southwest Airlines.
  • In all cases their origins were in an innovative definition of the markets they were in, the customers they were serving and how they chose to deliver their proposition.
  • In some cases these models appeared to be tiring and strategic renewal was becoming a necessity. There was a sense, also, that some of the models risk becoming jaded although there is no particular evidence of consumer backlash for the time being.
  • Well-communicated and shared values were an explicit part of the Business Models. Leaders personified these and put great emphasis on removing the perceptual and actual gaps between leadership, ownership and management. In many cases this made the resulting model highly entrepreneurial and high levels of personal involvement as staff think and act like owners.
  • Whilst Service Excellence was a unifying goal for the companies visited, this was not a blank cheque and investment had to be justified against business benefits.

Key Processes

  • In most cases the stories told by the companies we visited were similar to well rehearsed case studies. Their enterprise wide operating models were well established and in the time available it was difficult to uncover the gaps.
  • Exposure to Baldridge and other Quality measurement systems has made process management extremely detailed and scientific but in a way which is largely accessible and comprehensible for the majority of staff. As a result they are actively involved in process re-design and continuous improvement and own and deliver the outcomes.
  • Processes are fundamental because in the same way that they can promote alignment they can also engineer in misalignment and higher operational costs. The switched-on companies made a point of backward engineering from an understanding of their customer’s requirements into the organisation (as shown in the ‘Customer Pull’ feedback loops in the earlier ‘Line of Sight’ diagram) – and keeping it simple.
  • One tends to think of processes as having a manufacturing or production connotation. However, many of the tools used by companies in the management of staff such as internal communications had the same structured and focused rigour.

Product Variables

  • Functional value and competitiveness of core products remain a fundamental.
  • No overt evidence of overall premium pricing – although this may have varied for individual product lines – (apart from Ritz Carlton) for service or ambience benefits.
  • At a given volume, typically margin will be traded against volume to share the benefits with customers and deliver greater incremental income.

Staff Management

  • Most companies had developed their own psychometric recruitment models with a focus on good personal qualities and positive attitude rather than academic capabilities.
  • Training programmes were as much to do with culture and ethos as technical skills. There were frequent opportunities to re-affirm the personal and cultural fit.
  • There was a strong focus on personal accountability reinforced by family, team and community values. Employees are encouraged to about their feelings.
  • Entrepreneurial models prevailed and were reflected in the measurement and reward processes – ‘Go Huge or Go Home!’.
  • Promotion from within is a regular occurrence; companies worked hard at being an employer of choice.
  • Staff are encouraged to bring their individual personalities to work and see things through the customer’s eyes.
  • Fun and emotion are seen as strategic assets in delivering the WOW facto

About the Author

How do consumers wish to engage with travel companies via mobile in a market like Europe?
A decision, valid from 1 July, has been taken in order to ensure that consumers do not end up worrying about accidentally running up huge bills when they connect to the Internet using mobile networks via a phone or computer when abroad in the EU.

Windows Smart Phone Vs Blackberry

windows Smart Phone Vs Blackberry
[mage source=”flickr”]windows smart phone vs blackberry[/mage]

Blackberry 8120 Pearl 2 Titanium Vs Sony Ericsson C902 Bronze

Let us have a close look at the BlackBerry 8120 Pearl 2 Titanium and Sony Ericsson C902 Bronze phones to have a complete insight to find out the true winner by having a comparison.

The Sony Ericsson C902 Bronze is a compact power-packed camera mobile phone which has recently joined in the family of Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot series. It appears slim in size and is stylish with its appealing looks. This sophisticated handset has a bright 2.0 inches TFT display that supports 256K colours and offers a high resolution of 240 x 320 pixels for watching animations, images and videos on it. To hold it in a hand or to to keep it in pocket is a matter of no hassles, this elegant phone measures 108 x 49 x 10.5 mm in dimensions and weighs just 107 grams. Its 5.0 mega pixels camera offers an exceptional image resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels and allows the users to capture and save the memorable moments of their life. It is empowered with some of the advanced technology modes, features and applications like autofocus, geo-tagging, image stabiliser, 8 illuminated camera touch keys, flash including a Picture editor/blogging feature to edit and upload these images at mobile blogging websites, automatically. The video recorder (QVGA@30fps) and secondary QCIF videocall camera are other additional features of this digital camera mobile phone.

To connect the Sony Ericsson C902 Bronze handset to other Bluetooth compatible devices like laptops, digital cameras or printers, the users are not required to make any tiring attempts. It comes preloaded with all the world class features and connectivities like class 10 GPRS, 3G-HSDPA, class 10 EDGE, Bluetooth v2.0 with A2DP and USB 2.0. To browse all types of search engines over the Internet at a high-speed, this sleek device has a WAP 2.0/HTML (NetFront) enabled Internet browser along with RSS reader. Some of the other amazing features of the C902 mobile phone include an MP3 player, FM radio with RDS applications, TrackID music recognition, Voice memo/dial, SMS, MMS, Email, Push Email, Instant Messaging and Memory Stick Micro (M2) memory card to expand the external memory of the phone.

On the other hand, the Blackberry 8120 pearl 2 titanium attracts the attention of the users with its fascinating sleek dimensions and user-friendly QWERTY keyboard. To extend its services to the segment of business mobile users, BlackBerry has introduced this phone with Document viewer feature. This sophisticated feature allows the users to find or view all the Windows’ format files like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF so that the users can complete their professional works at any time and from any place. Its colourful display is capable of supporting up to 65K colours and offers a resolution of 240 x 260 pixels. The 3.5 mm audio output jack feature of the BlackBerry 8120 pearl 2 titanium mobile phone supports all the high and great quality audio and video file formats. Its 2.0 mega pixels digital camera comes along with flash and video features. To offer ultimate mobile navigation experience to its users, this user-friendly phone is installed with SureType keyboard software. To satisfy your musical needs, this smart phone comes embedded with a media player which offers good quality music.

Both the BlackBerry 8120 pearl 2 titanium and Sony Ericsson C902 Bronze phones are exceptional in their own ways and the onus of selecting the best of the two lies solely with the prospective mobile uyer.

About the Author

If you like to get the latest mobile phones and Free Laptop with best deals, visit our on line mobile shop.

Smartphone Typing Throwdown – Windows Mobile vs iPhone vs Android vs Blackberry vs Palm

Smart Phones On Sale

smart phones on sale
I recently broke my cell phone in half and was wondering if I could just take the smart chip out of my LG from

att wireless and put it in a new iphone? Is it the same chip or what? I saw that iphones are on sale for $299.00 right now is the main reaaon I am asking, that I broke my phone in half.

yeah, that happend to me, too.
and ATT does run on SIM cards, so yes, you can do what you were thinking of.
when they upgrade your phone, thats what they pretty much do anyway. you dont even have to tell them what happened, you can just buy the phone outright, if you dont qualify for an upgrade, but check to make sure, so you can save.
i love ATT for that, im a klutz with my phone, and its good to know that you can just replace your phone as long as you have your SIM card.

King Wind Smart Phone For Sale* Great Specifications* Sexy Body

Smart Phone Penetration Canada

smart phone penetration canada

Mobile Marketing with SMS

The prospect of opening your first mobile marketing campaign can be downright frightening. Mobile is a new platform with new Conventions, new language and new metrics. You may have read a white paper in the past. It was probably dozens of pages long and filled with incomprehensible Jargon. He discussed mobile marketing campaigns paradigm shift that promised results. The only problem with the paper was that the campaigns said they were shockingly complex, and they seemed to technologies that have come out really. They were also expensive, and they require that your business into the hands of an expensive marketing firm.

We understand where you are coming. And that is why we have together this Ez Guide to Mobile Marketing with SMS. What makes this paper different?

  • Simplicity: Mobile Marketing includes a number of exciting different methods of mobile video on Location Based Advertising. The problem with these methods is twofold: they are unproven and require sophisticated consumers have the tools, and they are incredibly complicated to implement for businesses. Therefore, we want to focus on SMS. Text Messaging avoids these obstacles. Almost every cell phone supports text messaging and SMS with 600 billion per year in the U.S., the majority of consumers are sent familiar with the technology.
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Ready to learn how easy it is to start your first mobile marketing campaign?

About eZ Texting:

Since 2006, Ez Texting, the mobile marketing industry in which a simple LED, affordable text messaging platform for small to medium businesses. We are proud to be the only American turnkey online solution, provide customers from all sectors – education possible, hospitality, Religion, Politics, Non-profit organizations, technology and more – development and implementation of an SMS campaign in minutes.

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Ez Texting is currently supporting the U.S. and Canada messaging for a rapidly growing customer base of over 40,000 users.

A Note: By Shane Neman, CEO of eZ Texting, Inc.

A few years ago, the term "Mobile Marketing" was a concept too esoteric and technical to be recorded for business, let alone tried to implement in-house. Ez Texting offers a web-based mobile text messaging platform for businesses. Here is how it works: you connect to Ez Texting online, tap a message and then it is out of your target audience (customers, organization members, employees, etc.) sent. For marketers, customers on the receiving side can choose to either ignore or respect you react to the support.

If a local sales team remember from Jostens, the yearbook and class ring company, recently used Ez Texting because students in the Puyallup, Washington, area about payment dates, number of People who paid for the company ahead of schedule even as graduation products rose 40%. Because of this success Rating Jostens team scrapped its direct mail campaign, it save about $ 1,000 in postage.

We love helping people to achieve that "Aha!" Moment. So many customers come to us with ideas that they only . Conceptualise It is rewarding to them with techniques that help to develop present their ideas into concrete results.

We also educate the customers love what exactly is mobile marketing, how to use it and show them what results they can expect. This is a great achievement for a small Team of people, but we have managed to help over 40,000 customers and continue to do so every day.

– Shane Neman
CEO, Ez Texting, Inc.

What is Mobile Marketing and why is it different?

Mobile marketing is, simply put, the practice of expanding your marketing efforts to mobile devices. Today's mobile devices means primarily mobile phones, including smart phones like the BlackBerry and Apple iPhone. In the future we will probably see full-fledged mobile computers, with persistent connections to the Internet. Such devices offer a rich media marketing platform. However, these services are not yet a meaningful scale. For example, less than a quarter of Americans have ever searched the mobile Web and this is the basic dilemma faced in your company, to consider whether you start your first mobile marketing campaign. You have heard that mobile marketing is not just the future of advertising, but.

Only this is not the case.

Contrary to what you may have heard, mobile marketing is here, and experienced companies from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, are already successful mobile campaigns. SMS text messaging is the key to this puzzle.
Almost every phone in the United States support text messaging. About half of all

The Americans have sent or received an SMS message. The average mobile subscriber sends nearly 200 text messages per month. When you look closer to the coveted 18-29 demographic, the adoption rate is even higher, edging towards saturation at 85%. Under the old 30-49 years, the adoption is at 65% and climbing

The Americans are clearly SMS. But what do they think it will be marketed to via SMS? In a recent study by the Direct Marketing Association, 70% of the sample indicated that they responded to a marketing text message. To this in perspective, adds to the DMA, that only 30% of respondents to a Marketing e-mail.

Why are consumers so eager to respond to marketing text messages? The response shows the value of offering text messaging for both you and your customers:

  • It is interactive – 21 Century Marketing is about a conversation with your customers, instead of yelling. A world with Intrusive Advertising such as spam saturated, pop-ups and advertising has overwhelmed consumers. Increasingly, they are in broadcast messages to a wide audience, whether through the use of digital video recorders the last commercials, or just skip the banner ads are ignored at their favorite website.
  • It's Personal – your customers To expect that you speak to them, and text messaging allows you to reach them individually, when, where, in the palm of the hand. Achieving this is of value to you the marketer. It is also the added value for your customers. With a few clicks their fingers crossed they can to respond to that message that you sent them. SMS can help relations build with your customers.
  • It is immediate – text messaging, such as Twitter and instant messaging, is incredibly fast. With SMS, you can use Their customers communicate as soon as they are now accustomed to live. You can also move quickly. Suppose you are a winter wear shop and you will see that today a Snowstorm on the way forward. In less than five minutes you can create a text message to your customers with a special offer to send hats and gloves.
  • It is Trackable – If for sending text messages to your customers, you can in real time, which has answered your message.
  • It is new – Although thousands of big and small companies are already marketing to their customers via SMS, the medium is still in its infancy. If you act now you can know your customers, that you are a forward-looking company. Your marketing efforts to break through the traditional clutter.

What Is the Value Proposition?

Mobile marketing is different in many flavors. For the vast majority of companies, we believe that is text-messaging the best way to reach your customers. To give you a quick overview of your options below us through the forms of mobile marketing other than text messaging, that are available on foot, with an explanation of their advantages and disadvantages.

  • Advertising on the Mobile Web – Many prominent sites now offer customized Web sites for mobile phones, using WAP, and specially designed iPhone or BlackBerry websites. The problem is to use, less than a quarter of Americans the mobile web. This limits the range of your mobile advertising campaign. Also, if a banner ad for the mobile Web, you must ensure that it displays correctly be in thousands of different devices, made design of over a dozen different manufacturers.

    If your company does not decide their own WAP site Create, you can you integrate it in your text messaging campaigns.

  • Bluetooth / Infrared – In recent years a number of Trademarks Bluetooth and infrared-marketing campaigns have rolled. In a typical scenario, a street advertising offers consumers the opportunity to receive marketing content wirelessly on the "hotspot". We have such initiatives by the Discovery Channel and Pepsi with New York City bus shelters seen. These campaigns, while technologically innovative, are rare.
  • Location Based Advertising – Many mobile phones are equipped with Global Positioning System receivers. In a typical scenario, a Business can have a special offer to a consumer, if they send in the vicinity. This technology is increasingly popular overseas, but it is very much in its infancy in the U.S..
  • Multimedia Message Service (MMS) – Most mobile phones support multimedia messages, images, can contain text, sound, and even videos. The iPhone is certainly not supported MMS. The disadvantage is that MMS can receive such marketing messages are expensive for the consumer. Moreover, different networks and different devices will comply with different standards, hindering easy, ubiquitous campaigns. Successful MMS campaigns run normally "on deck", which means that it is limited to a single airline. While running an "on-deck" campaign can They use the power of MMS by adaptation to a particular carrier technology, you are on the Airline Customer
  • Mobile Search – Marketers familiar with cost-per-click (CPC) search engine advertising programs like Google AdWords, may be aware that these programs are now on the mobile Web. Expand It makes your search CPC campaign on the mobile Web a number of challenges. First, the mobile search is suffering the same "REACH" disadvantages, such as mobile advertising. Above also hope the major cellular carriers to keep the searches in the house, instead of assigning their users to a mobile search engine, and if the consumers of their search Mobile device, their intentions are very different than when they make their desktop session.
  • Mobile Gaming – Consumers have begun to embrace gaming on the mobile. Some companies have begun to advertise within freely available games. Mobile gaming is certainly popular, but it does not scale. Above addition, your company may have difficulty finding suitable placements.

As you can see, all these formats marketing major drawbacks. We were not surprised to see them more profitable in the future. For the present, but none of them offer the range, the simplicity and low cost of text messaging.

Let us now look to mobile marketing with text messaging:

  • You Can Do-It-Yourself – Small and medium enterprises, which have not the inclination or resources to a marketing agency of the work a text messaging campaign in-house start with a simple Web-based software / Service as Ez Texting. All you need is a web browser and a credit card to get started.
  • Text messaging is cheap – the cost Text messaging is important that both you and your customers. Send a lot of text-messaging campaign cost (prices as low as a nickel per message). Receiving text messages is a very reasonable price: Most cell phone plans include at least a few hundred messages per month, and costs only pennies more news to obtain. Heavy texters – most of them are concentrated in the 18-35 age group – are likely have unlimited message plans.
  • High Penetration rate – half of all Americans already have SMS, and even those who do not the lyrics are almost certain to support your own text messaging, a phone. More than 250 Millions of Americans own a cell phone, and almost all of them are ready to receive your message. can offer no other form of mobile marketing text messaging reach.
  • Start the conversation with text messaging – Other types of mobile marketing will grow in importance in the future. If you start text-messaging with your customers now, you will have the relationship (and data) have in place to reach them in new ways in the future.

As the steps Start your text message marketing Campaign In 9

Since this is the EZ Guide to Mobile Marketing with text messaging, we hate to complicate things, but we have to do to help understand, an important difference between the two most common types of text message marketing campaigns. Do not worry – the difference is simple, but as you will see, the steps that You take to get started is, is based on the type of campaign that you plan differently.

There are two kinds of text-messaging campaigns: pull and Push. In a push campaign will start your business with a database held off in numbers. A pull campaign was developed to a database of phone numbers for the future use to build.

  • Pick A Firm – Can they handle volume; support them all air carriers, they offer simple to use software, they offer advanced features that you want to use, is available on the street?
  • The target customers / members want to achieve – the power of marketing with SMS messaging is that you can get to reach the desired customers. Figuring out who they are before you Design your campaign. (If you are implementing a push campaign, you already have these customers' phone numbers. If you are launching a campaign pull, you will design The campaign is best to reach your target customers)
  • Setup a means to Collect Numbers – There are three ways to collect figures on the phone. You can direct your customers opt-in by sending a message with your keyword a short code, you can collect customers' telephone numbers with a web widget, or if the implementation a push campaign, you can easily import previously collected telephone numbers in your campaign database.
  • Select a category – Can include a keyword is a short word (the numbers) that customers send a text message to to join your list. An example would be: 'Text Short code keyword list to join our text messaging. "If you choose marketing company to work a mobile, such as Ez Texting, it will allow you to their common short code to use. Ez Texting In case this code is to give 313 131 Feel free to try this! Text of the single number 313 131 and see what happens.
  • Choose A Good Call To Action (CTA) – want to join you offer your customers value in return for your database. A typical CTA could go: Text keyword short code to the list join our text messaging and receive a 10 percent discount on your next purchase at the boutique.
  • Design Your advertising – Your mobile marketing campaign can stand alone, or it can compliment your existing marketing campaigns.
  • Keep it simple! – If you send out a mass message, keep it simple. You have 160 characters. Use it wisely. And always send a test message to yourself!
  • Always allow your customers to opt-out – the first Text Your clients depend on you so they know how to opt out of receiving future text messages. This is usually achieved in replying STOP to any of your messages.
  • Track Your Results – If you receive data from a campaign you are collecting too much going on – response rates, time of day and other data points. Use this data to your next campaign design and achieve even greater ROI!

The price of Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Mobile Marketing

As we have already shown, mobile marketing with text messaging is simple. There are other advantages, the ease of use to DIY SMS:

  • Usability – A package such as mobile marketing Ez Texting is easy to use. It is web-based, ie there is no software to install. You can check on your campaigns and new projects from any computer with internet connection or directly from your own cell phone.
  • Cost – Our current economic climate is extremely challenging. It is a good chance that your customers are spending less. Meanwhile, your competitors to cut prices to make in the hope that what money they can. When starting looking for places to cut around corners, your marketing budget winds often in the crosshairs. A DIY mobile marketing campaign allows you to remain in contact to your customers, without the upfront costs of traditional ad buys. They can not afford to stop advertising and text messaging allows you to expensive, untargeted campaigns for affordable, targeted campaigns to avoid. Ez Texting Many customers tell us that they were able to return to other, more expensive advertising methods as soon as they built up an effective database opt-in customers.
  • Control – Everyone needs a helping hand from one and then, and one of the leading mobile marketing companies such as Ez Texting is always there, to help you get started and answer your questions. What you do not need is an expensive agency to do what you can do yourself, on their terms, instead of your own. Ez Texting The software allows you to send messages, receive, and on your own. More importantly, you control every dollar you can spend.
  • Information – When you data you manage your own mobile marketing campaign, you control your. Names, phone numbers, response rates – whatever data You collect, it's all yours. Do not rely on an agency for you with your data on request.
  • Campaigns that are allowed Yours is unique – instead of the Agency for new purposes, a cookie-cutter campaign with a DIY solution, you (or your marketing team) design campaigns that fit what your business does and what it represents.

Text Message Marketing, on the mere news Goes

SMS is the most popular and effective form of mobile marketing to do, because it does exactly what it is intended. You can enjoy huge ROI does nothing more than occasional SMS messages from your Customers, reminders and offers. But as you see, there is so much that we do. It is important for you and for your customers, all these methods simply too compelling things . Keep

  • Mobile Couponing – Load text in your keyword coupon to get your customer to be in your store for a discount now display can. In numerous surveys, consumers report that they, above all, to open news, we are worth.
  • Competitions – Commonly referred to as "Text-2-Win", a mobile competition offers consumers the opportunity to gain in value to text. Ez Texting's software includes built-in functionality of competition, so that you can randomly select the winner or the entries to offer prizes to the first x number of. Any person the texts in the competition will be added to your database of phone numbers
  • Voting & Trivia – working with consumers often produced the most successful marketing campaigns. Not only that, Voting & Trivia customers can put in their two cents on a topic, but collect valuable demographic Data about your target consumers' preferences, dislikes and personality trends.


Reviews & Tricks to Turbocharge Your Mobile Marketing Campaign

Do-It-Yourself Mobile Marketing with EZ Texting software is simple. This does not mean that our Software is not extremely powerful. After a few minutes of experimental broadcasts news, you'll be ready to try some of our advanced features:

  • Message Forwarding – The news that your customers will send mobile phone address can be forwarded to your e-mail or directly on your own. Radio stations use this feature to track relay questions to DJs. Churches conducted to a cell phone for anonymous prayer requests during church services.
  • Send Messages from your phone – When you can not just get a computer with an Internet connection you can still send messages to your database of customers. This is perfect for one-the-go clients and marketers. Busy working the floor at a convention or a trade fair? The sending of messages in real time to your customers from your mobile phone.
  • Message Scheduling If you know that you send a message to a certain point in the future, just enter it in the system, schedule, and then when the time comes, the message is sent out automatically.
  • Web widget – a fully customizable applications This widget allows patrons to the side you connect your text-messaging database from a website, e-mail BLAST, MySpace or Facebook. This security-enabled widget only subscribed unique active mobile phone numbers. Just copy the widget and you're done!
  • Random Sends – running a special offer? Just want some of your customers affected? With a chance to send the Ez Texting software sends messages to x number of random numbers in your database.
  • Application Programming Interface (API) API is general only for advanced users. If you do not know what an API is it's probably best to get to the next Page to jump. By Ez Texting your own account, you can integrate our API to send and receive text messages with your own website or application. This is helpful would like to companies with existing platforms such as medical practices, which add to an SMS notification system for their CRM tool.


Look Who's Texting

As we described in the introduction to this guide, mobile marketing with text messaging already there. Business small and large campaigns running at this moment. Last year, Super Stop USA, a gas station in St. Paul, MN, led to one of our most popular Ez Texting powered mobile marketing campaigns:

Super Stop USA – When gas prices go up are scheduled, USA Owner Tony Donatell Super Stop know in advance. He believed that his customers it would be to fill their tanks at one point his station when they were alerted in advance of the price increase. What took Mr. Donatell was a way to quickly reach its customers with this information.

Super Stop USA found a solution, with a program called Gas powered Ez Texting Alerts. To attract subscribers, entered the station Point of Purchase (POP) displays with CTA, from in-store signs at the registers advertising posters outside customers rely on the pump, Text to "GAS" to 25 827.

Super Stop accumulated over 70 participants in less than two weeks. They reported a response rate of more than 20% for each text message Blast. The program is still good a year later.

The following three campaigns have been around 2008 most prominent and most successful mobile marketing efforts:

American Idol – A few years ago, producers of American Idol and AT & T joined the audience to enable Idol on their favorite via SMS voting participants. In 2008, fans voted in droves, sending in 78 million SMS messages. In 2008, AT & T expanded their idol Efforts to include "Voting reminders, trivia, a TXT-n-Win contest promises the winner $ 50,000 cash and a trip for two to the Idol series finale in Los Angeles and participants ringtones and video clips with Audition outrageous moments. "

President Barack Obama's 2008 election campaign – political historians to study Barack Obama's historic campaign for the coming decades. It is one thing wrong communicate with everyone on already – Obama's New Media team leveraged the web, social networks and text messaging in an unprecedented manner with supporters, recruit donors, and better get-out-the-vote (gotv) efforts. Known, announced the Obama campaign, their vice presidential choice of Joe Biden decided to subscribers in via text message. The message was about 2.9 million mobile phones. The phone went into the campaign database.

Finally, when election day came, supporters received text messages reminding them to vote. This was much more than a nice way, a campaign that exploited so successfully text messaging – has research found that more efficient than SMS all other methods as gotv end is old-fashioned door-to-door canvassing. Acquisition can effectively turning out votes, as text messaging, but it costs almost 20x Sun more recruits per vote.

The American Red Cross – The American Red Cross raised $ 190,000 dollars a year in 2008 with his text 2HELP program. The Program is activated in the event of a disaster. According to the Wireless Foundation, "Subscribers of participating wireless provider can send a text message to" 2HELP "(24 357) give the word. "" A $ 5 will be made tax-deductible donation to the American Red Cross for disaster relief efforts. Donations will be on customer monthly bills appear or debited from a prepaid balance. "

In 2008, the text was 2HELP advertised campaign through various communication channels and received its biggest boost when both presidential candidates their constituents to act. During the Republican National Convention, Mike Duncan, the Chairman of the RNC asked to comment Convention companions, their Cell Phones and text into a donation. The Obama campaign leveraged its own text messaging campaign to help the Red Cross, by its entire database of subscribers, a message asks her to give the text to 24 537 (2HELP).

About the Author

Since 2006, Ez Texting has led the mobile marketing industry in providing a simple, affordable text messaging platform for small to medium-sized businesses. We proudly offer the only US-based turnkey online solution that allows clients from all industries – education, hospitality, religion, politics, non-profits, technology and more – to develop and execute a text messaging campaign within minutes.

Breakthrough Learning in a Digital Age – Closing Panel: Breakthrough Ideas to Drive Student Success

Smart Phone Penetration In Canada

smart phone penetration in canada
[mage source=”flickr”]smart phone penetration in canada[/mage]

E-Commerce Boom Leaves Small Business In Its Wake

Canadian small businesses (1 – 20 employees) have been slow to adopt e-commerce as a sales distribution channel, and they’re not alone, with their OECD counterparts showing similar patterns. In spite of the widespread availability of fast internet connections and cheap or free website builder tools, small business owners’ reticence to open their stores to online shopping is isolating them from an ever-increasing share of retailing revenues.

Although 85% of Canadian small businesses have high-speed internet access, just 36% have chosen to make a business website of their own. And while 45% purchase goods online, only 6% have developed an e-commerce strategy by building an online store1.

Though they have one of the highest rates of high-speed internet penetration in the world2, Canadian small businesses are as slow as their overseas cousins when it comes to adapting to the shift in revenues online. In 2007, Canadian retailing revenues totaled C$413.1 billion3, with online sales taking 3.1% – C$12.8 billion – of the total4. To put the figure in perspective, that represents a revenue stream of $C4740 per small-business employee5 that is being almost entirely ignored.

Though some small businesses are poorly adapted to the e-commerce sales and distribution model, most are simply poorly prepared for a 21st century phenomenon that is rapidly leaving them in its wake. Larger businesses have been much quicker to embrace e-commerce, and an exponentially increasing number of online stores, together with widespread penetration of rapid internet connections and connected devices, have encouraged consumers to spend less time in traffic jams around crowded shopping malls and more time – and money – shopping in the comfort of their own home. The explosion in the use of other connected devices, such as smart phones, has only accelerated the pace of transition of discretionary spending from physical stores to virtual ones.

In parallel with the rise in the prominence of e-commerce, has been the availability and affordability of solutions enabling small businesses to make a website themselves, without engaging external contractors, and allowing them to build a website with an online store quickly and with little to no cost. Yet too many small businesses continue to ignore the significance of e-commerce for their business, and – rather than developing an in-house solution – continue to see revenues dwindle.

1 Statistics Canada, How many small businesses use e-business? 2009

2 OECD, OECD Broadband Portal (various data series), 2009

3 Statistics Canada, Retailers Competing for Market Share: 2007 Retail Sales in Review, 2008

4 Statistics Canada, Survey of Electronic Commerce and Technology (SECT), 2008.

3 Statistics Canada, Key Small Business Statistics – July 2007, 2007

About the Author

For more information on how to make a website using a free website builder to make a business website, using our free website builder tools, see doomby – make a website free.

Anthony Lacavera on Canadian Wireless Industry: More competition = Benefits for Consumers

Smart Phone Email Setup

Smart Phone Email setup
smart phone email setup

Smart Home Software

There are a number of applications for use with X10 and other home-automation standards, but it is fair to say that the software applications there are not well known. My contribution today, critically assesses the leading software packages that you use to automate your home can.

Active Home

One of the most popular home automation products on the market is the X10 ActiveHome Kit. The application comes with the CM12U module. Active Home is a good starting point for someone starting with … Home automation, but the program is looking rather old-fashioned and created simply to the bad reputation of home automation.

She would have that the application was approved have developed through the market, X10, which is the 70 years since have been that would be smooth and sophisticated Active Home in the meantime. It's saving grace is the fact that it is easily available in Europe.

HomeSeer

HomeSeer is an advanced software application as an Active Home because there is greater flexibility as possible, for example, controlling the Front Page of Web or e-mail, which Active Home does not initiate. The application supports Insteon, Z-Wave and X10 protocols. HomeSeer has an interface that a certain similarity to Microsoft Outlook with a bar of the left Side of the screen, which is the user with three options, equipment, events, and protocols.

A limitation of HomeSeer is the fact the PC must at all times want to be executed, there are no options to download pre-defined settings on a PC controller, you can in Active Home.

Power Home

Power Home differs from the better and probably ActiveHome and HomeSeer. The application has a fully programmable interface, that is, technically savvy Homeowner input custom Visual Basic scripts to enable greater control and flexibility. There are many advantages of Power Home, for example, you can the request for status updates via e-mail be sent to a mobile phone when on vacation, and the text-to-speech function is setup for visitors on arrival welcome via intercom or it can be used as alarm by warning visitors approaching in the night that the house is monitored by CCTV acting.

Home Power limitation is the fact that it is not very user, and the program is probably best be avoided when the user no programming knowledge.

Please visit http://smarthomeguru.blogspot.com For more information about Smart Homes.

About the Author

Smart Phone Penetration 2010

smart phone penetration 2010
smart phone penetration 2010

GTX Corp and MNX sign three-year exclusive contract to provide GPS tracking for critical medical and bio-pharmaceutical items

New market segment for Checks Secure Real-Time GPS Tracking business model that delivers Peace of Mind to navigation

LOS ANGELES, 8 June 2010 (GlobeNewswire / PRNewswire) – GTX Corp, a leading provider of embedded GPS tracking location based services and MNX (Midnite Express), a global specialty courier in Los Angeles with 27 branches in eight countries Headquartered have adapted into an exclusive three-year contracts for thousands of high-GTX, tracking industry's first GPS device with the GTX Corp tracking platform to be delivered to the shipping company.

As stated in the Form 8K reports GTX-Files, has MNX purchase and activate a minimum of 15,000 units over the next three years and expects to start using 2000-3000 units sometime in the third undertook and 4 Quarter of 2010. MNX will use initially to medical and bio-pharmaceutical items track, and finally roll themselves for their high quality and sensitive shipments.

The critical and security-global transport and logistics industry is MNX lively and makes the investment in a leading company to be by a fast, accurate and traceable "chain of custody" solution for this sector through the integration of real-time GPS tracking of GTX Corp. empowered This market is one of the fastest growing MNX channels, and with the implementation of this technology, They hope to significantly increase their market share this multi-billion vertical market.

"Real-Time GPS Tracking technology is game-changing for us and now we will be able to address a study on the location and path of the thousands of critical programs we manage for our customers, "said Scott Cannon, CEO of MNX. "The fact that both our customers and airline partners have full visibility into their broadcasts, MNX will offer a unique class of service, Security, temperature, integrity and reliability. GTX is at the forefront of this technology and provides a marked improvement over anything else in the industry, and We are excited about the opportunity to work with them, excited to pioneer the commercial use. "In cooperation with leading industry experts, this customized Solution will greatly enhance the value proposition MNX already in the life sciences, medical and pharmaceutical transportation business.

"GTX Corp's two-way GPS tracking technology is seen on the CBS News is already used in shoes to older people with dementia and in iPhone, Android Apps IPAD and enabling parents suffer Monitor keep track of their children, so this was a natural progression for the company, a partnership with MNX for the monitoring of high valued assets such as medical and pharmaceutical to formulate programs, "said Patrick Bertagna CEO of GTX Corp." Introducing our GPS tracking platform in this vertical market is an important milestone for the company. This partnership confirms our embedded licensing while expanding global market penetration of our products and brand. "

About GTX Corp
GTX Corp a leader in embedded real-time GPS tracking personal location services (PCS) was founded in 2002 and is located in Los Angeles, California. Known for his patented game-changing micro-GPS device in a shoe – that patented intelligent shoe, and his block buster Smartphone GPS Tracking App which hit number two iTunes on the top grossing chart, the company continues the way with innovative and specific geographical proximity alerting applications that you know where someone or something is on pave the touch of a button. Committed to be found as the "better people", owns and operates LOCiMOBILE GTX Corp, Inc., location-based social networks (LBSN) developed Applications for smart phones, Code Amber News Service, and Code Amber Alertag. The company has an aggressive strategy of intellectual property and has a comprehensive portfolio of Patents, patent applications, trademarks, copyrights and Web site properties. GTX Corp is well positioned to the DCS market through its many product platform, Licensing model, brand, traction in the market and capture strategic partner.

About MNX:
MNX supplies and safety-critical global transportation and logistics services for various industries, including media and entertainment industry, aerospace, consumer goods, financial and government, high tech, life sciences, medical technology and PL-4 Express. Formerly known as Midnite Express, MNX offers services in three key areas: express, supply chain and freight. mnx.com

About World Media Market
WorldMarketMedia.com (The Global Online Investment community) is a high traffic stock market, news-media cutting site with new data products and services for listed Companies worldwide. Our Editor's Desk authors insightful real-time reporting on the economy, the capital markets and its listed companies. WMM Research Group has the unique ability, media and journalism unbiased robust in-depth research in the nano-connect, micro-and SmallCap markets.

GTX Corp does not make any guarantees that any unauthorized use of materials from the content of this document are created, not against the rights of third parties not owned or affiliated GTX Corp. Further GTX Corp. assumes no responsibility or liability for the unauthorized use of this document, the contents of third parties.

This Press Release was by GlobeNewswire, globenewswire.com distributed

SOURCE: GTX Corp

CONTACT: Platform Group
Public relations
Henry Eshelman
323.337.9042 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

heshelman@platformgrp.com
GTX Corp
Investor Relations
213.489.3019 ext 646 end_of_the_skype_highlighting
ir@gtxcorp.com

World Media Markt
Editor's Desk
+1 877 801 8408 ext end_of_the_skype_highlighting. 402
editor@worldmarketmedia.com
worldmarketmedia.com

In view of this article at world market prices, media, click the following link: http://www.worldmarketmedia.com/779/section.aspx/1752/post/gtx-corp-and-mnx-sign-three-year-exclusive- contract to provide GPS tracking for-critical-medical-and bio-pharmaceutical items

Disclosure: no positions

About the Author

 

About World Market Media:
WorldMarketMedia.com (The Global Online Investment Community) is a high traffic stock market, news data website providing cutting edge new media products and services to publicly traded companies worldwide. Our Editor’s Desk authors insightful real-time coverage on the economy, the capital markets and their listed companies.

 

 

Waiting for The Tipping Point Tuesday, June 22, 2010 11:53:00 Now, if you will not notice the "Check-ins" strewn in your Facebook news feed, you probably have to take a second look. Slowly but surely, a growing and passionate group of users to make known – in a geographical sense, that is. Welcome to the world The Foursquare, the next step in social media platforms, including which location …

Using Smart Phone As Modem

using Smart Phone As Modem
Verizon omnia i910 contacts erased?

a few days ago most of my saved contacts on my smart phone just disappeared. and even stranger, it didnt lose the four newest contacts. to my knowledge the only thing i did that could have caused this is i used my phone as a modem for my laptop for the first time that morning. i followed all instructions on the software that verizon provided for this purpose.

is there any way that the contacts were moved to another location on my phone? its just so strange that it retained the four newest.

i have contacted verizon for help, but they have no idea what might have happened or how to fix it.

does anyone have an idea of what might have happened? even if i can’t get my contacts back i would like to know how to avoid the problem in the future. it’s a lot of work to re-enter 100+ numbers, not to mention running down the ones that i didnt have written down.

PLEASE HELP!
thanks

dont knw if this helps but take it in to ur dealer and see what they can do thats the only thing i knw…sry to hear ur phone is messing up

Turn a 3G Smartphone into a Wireless Modem