HR Technology: Adapt Or Perish?

Is HR becoming the IT of the 21st Century?

In business, change is unceasing. A sense of change is especially true in the field of modern human resources.

As the HR profession changes, becoming high-tech and advanced, professionals must keep up by becoming technologically savvy-perhaps even with a hint of IT expertise.

Analytical skills and software competence are becoming essential proficiencies. Talent acquirement, recruiting, onboarding and development are increasingly moving online, evidenced by the sharp increase of cloud-based software, and apps for mobile devices.

These new tools are rapidly taking the lead in HR services- companies like Jobvite, Ovation Technologies and HR Concepts. They are affordable, easy to implement, and require a level of computer literacy.

In response, the successful HR professional cannot go by human management-or soft skills-alone. The new HR specialist needs to be able to incorporate the new tools of the trade, such as job posting software, applicant tracking, software-as-a-service and hiring management systems.

New advances assure that companies that rely solely on the old ways of recruiting, training, hiring and onboarding will be left in the dust-as forward-thinking companies take control. These new tools will ensure even the smallest of businesses can compete with the big players for all the best qualified talent.

It has become a matter of change, or perish. Perhaps not so dramatic, but the key point is the same.

The future of HR can look forward to the ability to provide an integrated workforce experience-combining information, data metrics, collaboration and execution into a personalized employee experience. This individualized relationship with employees-especially during onboarding-will secure the goodwill of the corporate culture by starting the new hire on a positive note.

As opposed to travelling to an employer when applying for a job, applicants have the ability to begin the process online. This one revolution exponentially expands the pool of potential candidates. No more physically arriving at a location just to fill out an onsite application.

The old ways were time-consuming, especially for hiring managers responsible for several units, chains restaurants or convenience stores. Often they would spend days traveling to locations, just to pick up applications.

By employing Web-based talent management solutions, hiring kiosks and company employment pages, the process of collecting resumes, generating assessments and evaluating skills needed for the job become productive and streamlined. In addition, candidates appreciate the opportunity to apply comfortably at home, resulting in a larger, higher-quality set of possible applicants.

According to Cisco’s “Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update,” mobile data traffic more than doubled in 2011; the latest in a four year course of exponential growth. Cisco estimated that by 2016, the total number of mobile devices per capita will reach 1.4 -more than 10 billion units. Ironically, the number of mobile devices will exceed the global population, estimated to reach 7.3 billion.

It is clear that with mobile HR management technology, spreadsheets, ledgers, burdensome reporting methods-even pen and paper-will become curious anachronisms. Routine tasks and reports can be completed from anywhere. Scheduling, vacation and time-off requests are approved-or denied-within moments.

This requires managers and human resources staff to have more than traditional soft skills-like personal interactions and negotiations. They have to have the ability to analyze larger numbers of data-more than was even possible in the past-to arrive at better, more insightful, decisions about legal issues and workplace problems.

As technologies like social media surface in the workplace, new challenges pop up; issues like compliance, employee ethics, behavior and more. This does not mean the old norms of workplace performance will go by the wayside; it simply means that the breadth of topics falling under the umbrella of HR substantially expands.

One thing may be true from all this; when viewing the big picture, Human Resources has become the potential to be the new IT of the 21st Century.

This trend also requires the most fundamental choice for HR professionals-adapt, or perish!

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Learn What You Should Know About Home Security Systems

Just what does safety mean to you? It must mean knowing everything you can about home security systems. It is very important make sure your valuables and family are secure if in your residence. Keep reading this informative article for various tricks and tips to complete the job in your house.

Never give anyone the password to your residence alarm system unless it is absolutely necessary. Even if you know someone well, you ought to be very wary regarding this. If you have to have to someone for whatever reason, be sure that you change it shortly after in order to avoid any issues.

In order to start your doors to permit the light in, purchase storm doors which have their very own strong lock. This may make certain that nothing goes into your house aside from the sunlight. Doors with mesh on them are no deterrent to thieves, so don’t depend upon them for safety.

If you have bushes outside your house, keep these trimmed. Even though the bushes may look attractive, they are able to provide easy cover for someone that would like to enter your own home without permission. The best way to prevent this is certainly by getting a wide open space all the way around your home, especially near your windows.

In case you have jet skis, boats, or anything similar, have them in your garage or shed when not being used. Intruders see these things and assume you have a ton of money. This offers them ammunition to get rid of into your home to check out other valuable items. Also, never leave the secrets to these items within the ignition.

Reputation is essential in relation to home security companies, so be aware of it. Look round the Internet to discover what people are saying about the company. Ask some friends and neighbors for advice. Watch the neighborhood news to determine if the company is mentioned in a positive or negative light. By doing this, you can be assured you’re getting a great company that people trust to aid protect your house.

Have someone you trust come and reduce your lawn if you may be away from town for awhile. If you do not desire to hire someone, have a family member or friend do it. If you grass gets way too high, burglars knows that no one is home, giving them the desire to interrupt in your home.

Have sensors attached to all of your windows. This enables you to leave windows open when you find yourself not home, in addition to when you are sleeping, while not having to be worried about an intruder having the capacity to sneak in. They are very inexpensive and can be obtained in your local department or home improvement store.

Your property is your castle, but it will probably be nothing more than a pit of despair in the event you don’t protect it and what resides inside. This information has given the knowledge you require, yet it is your choice to implement it. Start today and rest well tonight, tomorrow and to the future.

Home Equity Line of Credit or Second Mortgage Loan Online – Things To Do With Your Homes Equity

If you are wanting to get a home equity loan, rates are still low enough that you may want to make use of that equity in your home. Do you need some ideas on what you could do to multiply your equity or make some extra money off of the capital that could be available to you?

Here are some suggestions of ways to put the equity to good use when you go to take out a home equity or cash out refinance loan.

1. Do a home improvement that will increase the equity in your home more than the cost of doing the improvement. As an example, I have heard rumors that adding a deck to a home, because of the amount it increases the homes resale value, can add up to 4 times the cost of actually installing the deck.

2. If you have a low interest rate on your home, invest your equity in a low risk investment that has a much higher return on your money.

3. Buy an existing business or start a new business with the equity capital in your home. If you can start a low risk business, take the opportunity to let your equity work for you.

4. Use the equity as a down payment on an investment property or a rental.

5. Use it to consolidate high interest debt and possibly save yourself hundreds of dollars a month to put toward something else.

6. Use it to finance your education and increase your earning power.

7. If you live in an area zoned for this, you could finish a basement or area of the house to rent out. You could create a separate living space or apartment on your property.

Just be careful to not do anything risky with the equity in your home. If you can get a low enough rate, it may be worth taking that money and investing it somewhere else.

If you would like to view our recommended home equity loan lenders or get more information on home equity loans click here:
Recommended Home Equity and Second Mortgage Lenders

Taking a Look at the Handyman Home Repair Online

The use of the internet has now become a good place for handyman home repair businesses to advertise. These businesses can increase their customer base by simply answering questions regarding house repairs or home remodeling. Thus, customers can find solutions to their questions online and if they need an in-home visit, then they are reassured that this company is a good one.

The main service that these handyman home repair businesses provide online is information. While this won’t increase business directly, it is a means to an end. Some of these sites will send out daily or weekly emails to subscribers about how to prevent a problem around the house, which tool to use, and how to avoid costly mistakes. Once a person feels comfortable with these tips and solutions, they may find that they have a major repair job to be done and will use that business. Home improvements are a major concern for all homeowners, and having quick access to information makes a repair or remodeling job that much easier.

A website for handyman home repairs also gives a business the chance to post items like photos and videos, which are essentially free advertising. Photos and videos can be part of an article on how to repair something, or they can show before and after scenes promoting the value of home improvement projects. They can also show the demeanor of the owner and workers, so potential customers can put a face to a name.

A lot of times a handyman for hire is needed for a simple house repair job, only because the owner wasn’t able to get an answer on how to solve a particular problem themselves. Yet having an online site means that there is the possibility of allowing visitors to send their questions by email. While the business may not directly receive revenue from answering those questions, it does lead to a more positive image, and then when people find they need a quality handyman service for a job they are unable to do on their own, they are more likely to go with a business that they have already had some form of interaction with.

If you place your handyman home repair business on the internet, then you are taking a strong step forward in increasing your chances of gaining more revenue. Such a business tends to require a solid customer base in order to be successful, and many of the techniques mentioned above are easy steps to take to gain the trust of clients. While it can be seen as a free service, ultimately it is about advertising and letting everyone know how dedicated you are to your work and helping others.

Benefits of E-Commerce in Modern Times |

In the last era, we have seen E-Commerce websites working on the Internet. Every businessman is looking to have an online store where they can sell their range of products and services by expanding the requirement for the E-Commerce industry. One can get a lot of benefits by opting for E-Commerce as it delivers a comprehensive range of benefits to retailers and merchants.It benefits your companyIt goes without saying that your company is your priority in this case; but without satisfied customers, there won’t be a successful company – which means that everything goes hand in hand.The benefits your business will experience if you invest in an E-Commerce website for it are abundant. First of all, think about how expensive it is to rent out a shop space where your shop is well seen and in a prime area. If you have your shop online, anyone can see it; not only the people who happen to walk past it. This benefit saves you and your business plenty of money. We’re not saying that you should give up having a floor shop altogether, but it certainly saves you from having to rent out something extravagant in an expensive area or shopping center.Low Operational CostsTo generate an E-Commerce website requires very little capital investment compared to purchasing business premises. The difficulty with ‘physical’ business premises is that there is a need for high visibility and the location will always be a key issue. The design and development of an E-Commerce website can be a comparatively moderate investment relative to a business’s turnover. The potential to save money on personnel as checkout, payments, delivery and all over operational processes can be fully automated in the E-Commerce website.Convenience & EasinessE-Commerce becomes one of the preferred ways of shopping as they enjoy they are online in today’s the world, because of its easiness and convenience. They are allowed to buy products or services from their home at any time of day or night.The best thing about it is buying options that are quick, convenient and user-friendly with the ability to transfer funds online. The consumers can save their lots of time as well as money by searching their products easily and making purchasing online.Selling Products globallyIf you are running a store, it will be bounded to the geographical region for which you can provide service, but on the other hand with an E-Commerce website, you can sell your goods and services globally. Additionally, the remaining limitation of geography has dissolved by m-commerce that is also known as mobile commerce.Expand Customer ReachE-Commerce provides new channels for you to reach more customers. Whether you’re just starting out or an existing seller, there are new customers to serve.Existing brick and mortar sellers can be limited by their location. Customers must travel to visit your store. With E-Commerce, you can sell to customers anywhere, anytime. This allows you to serve customers across or internationally.Minimal Barriers To EntryAny new or existing business has the ability to create and run a successful E-Commerce website. The technology is in position for any business to hold the Internet and enjoy the many benefits which E-Commerce offers. As discussed, the costs of running such a business are minimal and the initial investment is moderately low. Many of the barriers which are associated with having a physical business location are removed and a business only has to concentrate its efforts on creating a service which addresses the needs of its customers. At IT companies, we specialize in E-Commerce solutions and would welcome the opportunity to discuss your requirements.

3 Barriers to Break and Get Your Service-Based Business E-Commerce Ready |

You might not think your service can be sold online but here’s 3 reasons why you might be wrong!We’ve all seen how rapidly e-commerce has taken over but many service-based small business owners and entrepreneurs are still gun shy about taking their business to the next level online.Whether you sell a physical product or provide a service you could benefit from online sales.In this post we’ll look at the barriers presented by e-commerce for service providers and how many perceived obstacles are easily and affordably addressed by planning your approach like a pro (or with one) and using third party tools that make the whole process much easier.Want to use sponsored posts on Instagram to grow your business? Try our post: 3 Beginner Steps to Building Your Business on Instagram Using Sponsored Posts.Here’s 3 common barriers business owners face when contemplating adding e-commerce to their business tools:1. You Don’t Sell a ProductMany businesses sell a service that can’t draw a clear line between the user and the service.Whether it’s consulting, speaking, coaching, or any other industry where you are the product, the perception is that e-commerce isn’t something you should pursue.In reality you do sell something, but you’ll have to be an out-of-the-box thinker if you want to use e-commerce to build your business and your personal brand.Are you a consultant? Consultants tend to adapt to the project and use their experience to guide business owners or other service providers through a lengthy process that evolves as the problems are discovered.Sometimes there are consistent problems that are encountered and that’s where you will see your opportunities.If you see that company after company is hitting the same wall and you have helped previous clients get past it, then that solution can be a product you can sell.Get creative! Many successful apps started because someone like you saw an opportunity no one else was addressing and pounced.This can be said for other service industries as well. It’s not the only approach though; if you’re a coach or a speaker you’ve got potential for e-commerce as well.Speakers and coaches undervalue themselves habitually. Your value is clear to many other businesses who have hired you so understand that your personal brand makes a big impact.Take that knowledge and monetize!Write a book, have shirts and mugs printed, or look at any other way to turn your knowledge into tangible items. These could be promotional items or anything else you think of.You’ll then not only be making money through sales but building your brand at the same time.The big point here is not to limit yourself to your service and to recognize the potential of your knowledge. If you’re having issues with this, we have a great mentoring program that can help you discover the hidden potential for e-commerce your brand offers.2. You Don’t Have the TimeThis is the biggest reason most people don’t get into online sales.The setup, the maintenance, and the eventual product shipping all look like major time commitments.The new reality of e-commerce for small businesses is these things take very little time.The setup can be quick or take a long time and the barrier will actually be you. Being overly picky about design elements or quirky functionality always hold businesses back.Always put the emphasis on your business servicing the user.Really all you need to do is make sure your website can take and process an order and the information and products are presented clearly with as few steps as possible for the user to complete their purchase.Maintenance can vary and often it’s a good idea to start things yourself and then hire a third party or freelancer to handle the maintenance.Sometimes there isn’t much required other than logging in a few times a week, though once you see it all working you’ll likely be inclined to check all the time (in a good way).Shipping is as easy as applying an app to print shipping labels and then having the item picked up for delivery or taking the items to the post office.Look at your potential profit margins and see what selling could mean for your business. You might be surprised at how much revenue you’re missing out on!3. It’s Too ExpensiveThis is a major obstacle for many service-based businesses because they’ve seen how expensive it used to be to get into e-commerce, but it’s not anymore.We looked at the barriers such as making your service viable and how time can factor in. Both indicate loss of revenue for the existing business if you split your time and start up some e-commerce.In reality it’s unbelievably cheap to start selling online.Whether you choose Woocommerce for your WordPress website, open a Shopify store, or opt for BigCommerce you won’t have to break the bank to get up and running.With Woocommerce the expense is whatever your professional web developer costs. This system works with WordPress so if you’re already up and running with WordPress then you’re cost will either be your time in trying to set it up yourself or the cost of getting it done professionally.Shopify and Bigcommerce both make it much easier but they’ll also either need to be installed as a subdomain of your existing website or you’ll be setting up a whole new one.These two have near identical pricing starting at $30 per month and this includes your hosting. They take care of everything such as credit card processing and there is no shortage of apps to handle functionality not native to their platforms.Taking this approach will be time consuming though.If you hire a professional developer for any of these systems, make sure they really know the platforms beforehand because they differ greatly right down to the programming languages they’re built with.Of course, there are plenty of other options to consider such as 1ShoppingCart or even Infusionsoft and Magento, which are considered to be higher-end options for large-scaled shops.Ultimately, the short answer to the question is: no, it’s not too expensive. This is because the price range starts with FREE.The real cost is your time and the only risk is wasting it.If you do elect to explore e-commerce as an option, put a lot of time into the planning. Not just one day of grinding out ideas but weeks of spit balling and brain storming.Look around at what others in your industry have done and even more importantly what they’ve not done and plan everything out properly.Hiring a professional business mentor to guide you can be the best decision you ever made. You’ll be walked past the typical hiccups and hurdles and on your way to launching your e-commerce project much faster and with much less effort.More and more service-based businesses are seeing the potential of e-commerce so the quicker you jump into the ring the better. For many, the e-commerce even takes over as the primary revenue driver.

What is Mobile Commerce (M-Commerce)? |

Overview : Internet now can be browsed by PDA and Mobile devices. Mobile Screens are increasing day by day. Mobile users love to check e-mails and many other applications on their mobile devices. e-business or e-commerce turning into mobile commerce.What is Mobile Commerce (m-commerce)? E-commerce will coming soon become Mobile Commerce (m-commerce) because mobile devices are more user friendly than computer. Peoples checking movies details and many other useful information on their mobile devices. Many companies accepting payment by SMS payment system. In future Mobile Commerce (m-commerce) will be sales and marketing showcase, educational application for companies.Why Mobile Commerce (m-commerce)?Companies can use Mobile Commerce (m-commerce) to increase sales of their products and services. Mobile commerce can bring huge buyers for companies.Benefits of Mobile Commerce (m-commerce)

Buyers can access products catalog on their mobile devices.
Companies can do promotions
Companies can show products.
Customers can price details from any palce.
How Mobile Commerce (m-commerce) can help Companies?Companies can make websites for mobile devices, which is popularly known as WAP or Wireless Application Protocol. Companies can make online catalogs of products and services so that mobile users can access that catalog from their mobile devices. Companies can offer their services for mobile users bigest community.

E-Commerce Website Design vs Web Design |

Not all websites are the same. And while all webmasters need to take web design into account, those dealing directly with money and customers have extra considerations to make. After all, for owners of e-commerce (or sales) websites, “conversion” is the number one priority. Conversion refers to turning visitors to a website into paying customers, and the “conversion rate” of an e-commerce site is hugely dependent on how potential customers feel about the site itself.This brings the question… When designing a website, what is the difference between e-commerce web design and regular web design? Can you design an e-commerce website just like you would an informational web page? The answer is no. Though they are similar in concept and execution, there is quite a lot of difference between e-commerce web design and regular web design– it’s all in the details.E-Commerce Web DesignersWhen an Internet user visits an e-commerce site, he/she is often looking to buy. But the truth is, if that potential buyer doesn’t feel good about the website, they won’t buy– even if the items for sale there are just what they’re looking for.Since turning browsers into paying customers is the way for an e-commerce site to make money, e-commerce website designers must keep in mind the importance of creating trust and good feeling with potential customers. Before deciding to spend money, most online customers look for security, convenience, and accessibility, and a successful e-commerce site must make all three a priority. Because of this, e-commerce web designers must put a special focus on:BrandingIn order to create trust and a feeling with security with potential clients, it’s important that an e-commerce website be well branded. This means that sales websites must put more effort into logos, mottos, designs, etc., than non-commercial websites.Shopping CartsThe ease and convenience of e-shopping carts, shopping baskets, etc., is an important factor in converting browsers into customers. Because of this, most e-commerce website designers should offer custom shopping cart design for websites. This includes but isn’t limited to shopping cart appearance, databases, product display, and email receipts.Security and Merchant AccountsThe biggest reason why online shopping is such a huge industry is convenience. And what makes shopping online so convenient is the ability to pay online securely with credit cards. Since paying online is one of the last remaining “sticking points” for reluctant online shoppers, it’s important to make them feel safe and secure when ordering from an e-commerce site. Because of this, e-commerce web designers are specialized in creating secure websites, and often help users to apply for and create secure e-commerce merchant accounts for credit cards.Of course, all of this specialized knowledge requires specialized training, and an e-commerce web designer needs to be trained in this highly specific field. An e-commerce web designer must know both regular web design and the specialized skills in the areas listed above, as well as other e-commerce related areas.

A Guide to E-Commerce |

What is it?E-Commerce, or electric commerce involves the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems. These include the Internet and other computer networks. The amount of trade conducted electronically has grown massively since the dawn of the Internet, and the rise is set to continue. In order to be competitive, it is an absolute must for most businesses to be involved with some type of E-commerce.A large percentage of e-commerce is conducted entirely electronically for virtual items such as music downloads and E Books. However most e-commerce involves the transportation of physical items in some way. Online retailers are sometimes known as e-tailers and online retail is sometimes known as e-tail.The meaning of electronic commerce has changed over the last 30 years. Originally, electronic commerce meant the facilitation of commercial transactions electronically. These included sending commercial documents such as purchase orders or invoices electronically. The growth and acceptance of credit cards, automated teller machines (ATM) and telephone banking in the 1980s were also forms of electronic commerce.Common applicationsSome common applications related to e-commerce are the following:Accounting and finance systems
Conferencing Content
Management Systems Documents, spreadsheets, database Domestic and international payment systems
E-mail and messaging Enterprise and client information reporting Messaging
On-line Shopping Orders and shipment informationAdvantages Of E-CommerceHere are some of the many advantages of E-CommerceLower transaction costs – if an e-commerce site is implemented well, the web can significantly lower both order-taking costs and customer service costs by automating processes.More purchases per transaction – Amazon for example offers a feature that no normal store offers. When you read the description of a book, you also can see what other people who ordered this book also purchased. Features like these mean that it is common for people to buy more books than they might buy at a normal bookstore.More customer information – A Web site that is well-integrated into the business cycle can offer customers more information than previously available. For example many companies allow customers to track their orders so that they can see exactly where their order is at any one time.
People can shop in different ways. Traditional mail order companies introduced the concept of shopping from the comfort of your home. e-commerce offers this same luxury, but with some new features. These include -The ability to build an order over several days
The ability to configure products and see actual prices
The ability to easily build complicated custom orders
The ability to compare prices between multiple vendors easily
The ability to search large catalogs easilyLarger catalogs – A company can build a catalog on the web that would never fit in an ordinary postbox. For example the millions of books Amazon sells could not be realistically added to any physical catalog.Improved customer interactions – With automated tools it is possible to interact with a customer in richer ways at virtually no cost. Many companies send the customer an email when the order is confirmed, when the order is shipped, and after the order arrives. This information is likely to reassure a customer, giving them increased faith in the process. A happy and reassured customer is more likely to purchase something else from the company in the future.Quick TipsHere are some quick tips to bear in mind when thinking of engaging in e-commerceYour prices – a big part of e-commerce is the fact that price comparisons are extremely easy for the consumer. Your price is very important in such a transparent market.Customer relations – E-commerce offers a variety of different ways to relate to your customer. E-mails, FAQs, knowledge bases, forums, chat rooms etc. Integrating these features into your e-commerce offering helps you differentiate yourself from the competition.Customer satisfaction – This can make or break any retail establishment. You must always be prepared to help your customers manually if there is no automated option. You may need to periodically refine your automated processes in order to remain time efficient.In order to stimulate long term sales, you may also wish to consider these other capabilities of e-commerce.Affiliate programs – you pay other companies to sell your products. This creates a win-win situation as you only pay when a sale is made. This can both raise your company’s sales, and its profile.Free gifts – they don’t necessarily need to cost your company anything. You could for example give away an E-book that has cost you nothing but the time it takes to write it.Enticing prospective customers (perhaps with free gifts) to join a mailing list where you tell them about your latest offerings.Discounts if people spend over a certain amount.
Seasonal or periodic sales.Common mistakes in e-commerceAlthough there is rapid growth in the use of e-commerce, not all e-commerce businesses are successful. Here are some common pitfalls.Some businesses just add up the costs of hardware, software, and hosting services. They forget to consider the total cost of ownership, including training, maintenance and support, upgrades, marketing and communications, and administration.Your business may start to grow quite quickly. In order to fully take advantage of this, you must understand the effect of increased sales. It is no good having an increase in sales if you are unable to deal with it. Do you know how you are you going to process and dispatch orders? Will you have the capacity to deal with these increased sales?Also you must understand the issues around postage and shipping costs and identify the geographical locations that you will ship to and where you will not. You must have a clear pricing policy for shipping, or you will simply confuse your customers, who might then go elsewhere.It’s surprising how many sites make the mistake of using too many complicated graphic or animation, which slow down the speed of the site. People on the web generally have short attention spans, and you could lose sales if people are waiting for pages to load.A website should be easy to use, and easy to find the information people require. Bare in mind the ‘three click rule’ where a person should generally be able to natigate themselves to where they need to be in three clicks.Web pages must also be designed to work with all the common internet browsers, such as firefox, internet explorer, netscape etc. If you do not, then you run the risk of isolating yourself from potential customers.Many businesses do not provide a good reason for visitors to return to their site. Keep your site fresh and regularly update it with news of your latest offers. Perhaps provide some free online tools or information.Make sure your marketing strategy is not overly aggressive and annoys customers who perceive it as ‘spam’.

Forecasting E-Commerce |

No one can deny the strong effect that e-commerce has had on our daily lives. E-commerce is an USA $5.2 billion market. Many companies use e-commerce to order products for sale, service or general operational needs. Consumers use e-commerce for many reasons. From ordering the favorite blouse they can’t find in the local store to researching the vacation of their dreams. The difficulty of the business to consumer relationship is providing ease of ordering as well as exciting options. This is the same for the business to business relationship. Companies strive for the best and the easiest possible way to promote their product. Ease of ordering can make it a fluid transaction for both parties involved. It can be a technology manager’s best moment when he is able to orchestrate that perfect marriage between point of sale and the actual exchange of funds. The introduction of new technology as well as the ever changing needs of the consumer make it difficult to predict the future of e-commerce. By analyzing some of the technologies which are currently successful, it may be possible to road map future e-commerce possibilities.The following ideas about Road mapping have come from the article Road mapping Integrates Business and Technology. Some The Road mapping Concept – which by definition is “a process that contributes to the integration of business and technology and to the definition of technology strategy by displaying the interaction between products and technologies over time, taking into account both short- and long -term product and technology aspects” has many key points that make the process work. The long term view of Road mapping helps to serve markets with the right products at the right time, improve new product creation, and stimulates learning in organizations through openness and desire to perform better. Road mapping can take up to ten years to fully execute. This includes two-three years in the planning phase (looking at available resources for development) and three -six years in the vision phase(highly important in the road mapping process). Some requirements of road mapping must show alternative product of technology developments and use standardized formats which describes the product characteristics and technologies. The process of Road mapping is supported by other tools. An example of one of the tools includes Quality Function Deployment (QFD). These tools help structure the relationship between the parameters of product, technology and time. Customer oriented approach that links customer requirements (whats) with product characteristics (hows). This might alternatively be considered linking future product with future technology, which is the essence of Road mapping.The benefits of Road mapping include: The creation of a shared product-technology strategy, the creation of long-range product and technology planning, facilitates learning which ensures that functions communicate and collaborate, and road mapping improves a competitive edge.
Two important factors to consider when considering good e-commerce practices are functional requirements and non functional requirements. Each of these affects the daily operation of the online procurement system. The consumer interacts with each item and their sub compartments during each purchase. Functional requirements are the expected services provided by procurement systems. Non functional requirements deal with how well the systems work. The difference between the two is important, but they cannot operate fluidly without each other.Functional requirements of the procurement system can support the identification, selection and execution phases of the procurement process. In the identification phase the vendor must provide descriptive information and attempt to entice the consumer to seek more guidance about products offered. It is the front line of the system and the first opportunity a consumer gets to see the product. In the selection phase the vendor needs to provide pricing and other relevant information that lets the consumer compare different product offerings. This can be comparison within your business and comparisons with other items offered online from competitors. The execution phase facilitates the exchange of information needed to complete the transaction. Ease of purchase, online tracking and post sale follow-up are all factors of the execution phase of procurement. This is the final exposure a purchaser has with the company. At this point many simple things should be established to solidify a repeat customer.Non functional requirements focus on the usability, security, reliability, and the performance of the procurement system. The usability function refers to the ease a particular system is to understand and use. Security of the procurement system touches on the hazards that someone may encounter while using the system. Over the past few years this has become one of the most important issues in online purchasing. Consumers are targeted often by criminals who fleece them of their money as well as their information. Reliability refers to the proper functioning that will allow the system to perform effectively every time. The overall performance of the procurement system must incorporate all these factors to maintain all the non functional requirements.A comprehensive study reported in the article assessing critical functional and non functional requirements for web-based procurement systems shows the importance of the relationship between functioning and non functioning web based procurement systems. The findings below were accessed by using a questionnaire. The findings show no significant difference between early and late participants, the base group reflects a large population of corporate buyers.The graph can help technology managers developing a business to business procurement system. This graph shows web systems rate high on usability and on the identification function. Users also see a reduction in search costs. The down side of the study shows that consumers rate web systems low on reliability, security and post sale follow-up. A technology manager can use this information to create a better procurement system to improve what is perceived as lacking by the consumer.Incorporating new technologies like 3D modeling and 3D video into a business’s procurement system has improved the identification and selection processes. Companies including Land’s End, Lane Bryant, and Glamor all use virtual model technology. The My Virtual Model helps shoppers input their personal information into a database and they receive a 3D model image which they can use throughout the website. They can try on clothes and accessories and compare them from the comforts of their own home. Currently there are more than 5 million registered models. This technology is used in business to business e-commerce activities. A business can develop their item/product and compare how that product interacts with the other products vendors are offering. Seeing a 3d model of a product can make it easy to compare the product to what they are currently using and this can aid in the decision process. One important tool in the 3D model is the zoom tool this is a key effect that shows first hand, close-up detail of the product. This is a very costly system that many companies simply cannot initially afford. Faster download times and improved navigation are making this easier to market. Many companies are interested in the basic tools and steer away from the “extra features”.3D video tours are another important topic to be considered. Most hotel sites, cruise lines and many university campuses use this application to aid the consumer in visualizing their environment. This is becoming a standard in the selection phase of hotel comparisons. By offering a 3D video tour hotels can show of their best features while the consumer sits back and watches in the comfort of their own home. This can also work for businesses trying to offer new products into the procurement process. The business can use video streaming to show quality control, as well as, the overall operation of the company. This is a good way to get a foot in the door while consumers compare products offered on the internet.A technology manager’s job will always change while he absorbs new technologies available. One of the biggest obstacles is trying to entice your target consumer to use your site. An example of this can be found in an article from Design Tips magazine in May 2008. The article focuses on teenagers and online shopping. Even though they don’t have their own credit cards they still shop online. Teenagers are more plugged in to the net than we realize. As a technology manager you must try to keep the interest of the teen consumers to your website. Teenagers are attracted to sites that are hip looking and offer cutting edge graphics, but in the end they want things done.They want to explore the product site and the feel a sense of accomplishment at the end. This also is important for business to business procurement. The consumers’ equipment and speed of information exchange must also be considered. The customer may not have the newest equipment and best connection while surfing your site. This is referenced from a quote within the article which states “Teens often use outdated equipment, including donated equipment at schools and libraries. Even if their parents have the latest gear, teens are often working with hand-me-down equipment.” Not having adequate equipment is not often a problem in businesses, but is there equipment better or less operational than yours? By not having a good grasp on your consumers’ abilities and needs then you may lose their interest even before you can show them a product.Many of the buyers for corporate organizations are young and have a vast exposure to computers. This consumer will want to explore websites that are interesting as well as informative. Some of the key rules listed include: show prices upfront, allow sort preference, offer wish lists, don’t require registrations and a speedy checkout. With any procurement system the easier the product is to understand the better the consumer can make their decision. If the information in the description will not answer the consumer’s inquiry then the product will be over looked. Many products sold business to business must be specific in their description. There is a fine line between fulfilling the basic information and flourishing the description with too much technical information.Starting your own e-business has its own challenges. Developing a basic business structure is the easy part. The most difficult aspect of any e-business venture includes a business plan. There is a difference between the two. In a business structure you choose your software, develop a marketing plan, open a credit card account, and don’t forget all the cash outlay needs. The business plan is essentially what it means to do business online. “The biggest favor you do yourself in the beginning is to take time to really think about what you are doing-make deliberate decisions,” says Jeff Binder, CEO of Saffron Rough and an expert in starting online businesses. What makes your site different than the other sites selling the same widgets you may produce is a key factor in the success of your e-business. Your site may simply be easier to use and more efficient that the other sites and this will ease the customer towards the checkout process. The ultimate goal of an e-business is to make that sale. Scope out the competition and gather information to add to your business plan. Find out who are your customers and end users.Evaluate their needs. Try to find your niche. Before you start your online business realize that other competitors have established some of their own ways to entice consumers. One example is, they will ship any product for $2.99. You can purchase a 70lb bed frame for $300 and have it shipped to your door for less than $3. This is basically free shipping to the customer. An important part of the technology manager’s job is finding that hook will set your e-business apart from all the others.E-commerce has proven itself to be a growing force to be reckoned with on the internet. Trying to forecast the success of your business to business e-commerce venture has many different paths to consider. Each day technologies become better, faster and cheaper to operate. This affects how successful the business operates online. Businesses seek information through online research. They make purchases and evaluate whether they will make additional future purchases each time they compare your company’s product with others online. Having a strong front line of technology managers who can take into consideration all the aspects of a successful procurement process can secure your site a place in the successful world of e-commerce.