Overcoming Pitfalls in Large Capital Projects

Overcoming Pitfalls in Large Capital Projects

While problems may seem unavoidable, you can avoid pitfalls and ensure the success of your large capital install projects. Your current projects can provide a learning experience if you identify the pitfall or failure it’s experiencing, then re-focus to get it back on track. You can then start your next project out right the first time. Read on to find out how.

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Reverse Logistics: Why Returns Are so Important Today in Driving Customer Loyalty

Reverse Logistics: Why Returns Are so Important Today in Driving Customer Loyalty

Reverse logistics occurs after the sale. It includes an array of potential activities that recapture value and extend the lifecycle of the item. For example, consumers in many states participate in bottle return of glass soda pop bottles. Returning the bottles nets them a few cents and enables the manufacturer to cut costs by recycling the bottles. That small discount adds up to customer loyalty.

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Should We Transform Our Business to the Cloud?

Should We Transform Our Business to the Cloud?

Using cloud solutions opens your workforce to using virtually any Internet-connected device to access and process data. That means everyone gets to use the computing tool with which they feel most comfortable whether it’s the office’s iPads or a Windows computer. Another benefit is your office can purchase exactly the number of licenses it requires, then add to it as it hires office staff.

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How Blockchain Could Transform Logistics

How Blockchain Could Transform Logistics

Organizations across the world are finding themselves with increasingly complex supply chain processes to manage. While in the past most commercial enterprises were local, modern enterprises cannot survive in this way. Many modern businesses are finding themselves having to develop new technologies to manage these strategies — one of which may become the blockchain.

The Supply Chain is Broken

Current supply chains are still using management and logistics processes that were developed a long time ago. These are very streamlined processes that involve a small number of components. But supply chains are operating internationally now; even organizations that only deal in local trade are often sourcing their materials from another country.

This introduces many logistical concerns. Supplies and assets must now change hands a multitude of times, shifting responsibility from one organization to the other. Supplies need to be able to be tracked by multiple vendors and businesses, which can be difficult when they are traveling such tremendous distances. Blockchain technology may be able to help.

How the Blockchain Can Revolutionize the Supply Industry

Blockchains provide a completely transparent and consolidated transaction sheet, which can comprise a multitude of different transactions and verifies each transaction with all other users of the system. In the blockchain, a transaction can be logged and then immediately propagated throughout the system, carrying with it information about the transaction and verifying that the transaction did take place.

Blockchains provide a completely transparent and consolidated transaction sheet, which can comprise a multitude of different transactions and verifies each transaction with all other users of the system.

As a consolidated but decentralized system, blockchains provide for superior security as they cannot be controlled by any one individual. Data cannot be lost because this data is held by anyone who uses the blockchain, and consequently suppliers don’t need to worry about issues such as securing and managing their own transactional data.

All transactions can be traced easily back to the original source through blockchain, and each entity in a blockchain can be tracked through multiple transactions. This has opened the door for companies such as diamond companies to track their individual assets throughout the entire supply chain, from initial mining to customer purchasing. Not only does this heighten security and streamline logistics, but it also provides vital data throughout the customer purchase process.

The blockchain is a relatively new and disruptive technology, but it has been around long enough that many companies are now seeing its true value within their organization. Through the blockchain, supply chains can enter into a new generation of scalable, consolidated, and decentralized solutions.

Companies will be able to track extremely complex supply chain management protocols with complete transparency and organizations will be able to work together with transparent and easy to access data. All of this will reduce supply chain overhead and costs and make it easier for companies to thrive. For more information about business intelligence and data analytics, contact the experts at Starr & Associates.

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Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence: A Long-Term Marriage?

Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence: A Long-Term Marriage?

Many businesses rely on data analytics to help them improve customer satisfaction and lower their costs. But when paired with artificial intelligence, or AI, data analytics can further help your business. Here is some information about data analytics, artificial intelligence and how they can work hand-in-hand to benefit your business. 

What are Data Analytics?

Data analytics are pieces of data that are used by managers, business owners, and marketing managers to help them determine their customer base and how to grow their business. Data analytics can show you who visits your business, who is interested in your product, what price point your product can best sell at, how engaging your advertisements are and who your target customer should be. 

What is Artificial Intelligence? 

Artificial intelligence takes your data analytics and kicks it up a notch. Much of your data is achieved through actual testing. For example, if your target market is females aged 18 to 25, you may have tried to market to those who are younger and older to see what their interest was and failed. This helped you determine that those in this age group are most interested in your services. Artificial intelligence uses predictive behavior to predict that those who were older or younger wouldn’t have been most interested in your product. Ultimately, this predictive behavior helps the trial and error that goes into the pricey and time-consuming testing that goes along with data analytics

Data analytics and artificial intelligence work hand-in-hand because your data analytics are fed into the AI system to give a basis for the predictive behavior that AI is able to determine. Artificial intelligence relies on data analytics to provide a full and accurate assessment for your business.

How Can the Two Work Together?

Data analytics and artificial intelligence work hand-in-hand because your data analytics are fed into the AI system to give a basis for the predictive behavior that AI is able to determine. Artificial intelligence relies on data analytics to provide a full and accurate assessment for your business. 

What are the Benefits of Using Artificial Intelligence in Data Analytics?

The biggest benefits associated with using artificial intelligence in data analytics is the cost and time-savings. Artificial intelligence is able to more accurately predict consumer behavior based on your data analytics, helping to ensure that you don’t have to go through the trial and error process of testing new products or defining your target audience. This helps you to save both time and money, ultimately allowing your business to grow faster and more rapidly. 

Are you looking to incorporate artificial intelligence in your data analytics in the greater Atlanta, Georgia area? If so, we at Starr & Associates would love to assist you. We understand how to use the tools of business intelligence, analytics, and data mining to improve process efficiency and customer service, while also creating effective strategies for improving the end-customer experience and lowering costs. Contact us today to find out how we can help you. 

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Metrics and Dashboards in Selling Company Initiatives to Executives

Metrics and Dashboards in Selling Company Initiatives to Executives

How do executives determine whether company initiatives are effective or not? Executives don’t have the time to regularly comb through lengthy reports. They need important information to be delivered to them in as concise of fashion as possible. This is the role that a dashboard plays. Through a well-designed dashboard, executives can get all of the business analytics data they need.

Building an Executive Dashboard

An executive dashboard must be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound. The statistics displayed should be relevant to the organization’s current goals, displaying both metrics that are over-performing and under-performing. These metrics should be displayed in a timely fashion and should allow executives to drill down to further information that is relevant to them.

At-a-glance, the executive dashboard must give a broad spectrum overview of company initiatives, including everything that needs to be improved upon or modified.

Choosing the Metrics of an Organization

Which metrics should an executive be shown? After all, a company is likely tracking hundreds of them — which are most important? Begin with your organization’s most important metrics, such as its net profits. From there, pare down to the metrics that are underlying that, such as sales and expenses. These underlying metrics are what influences your net profits.

At-a-glance, the executive dashboard must give a broad spectrum overview of company initiatives, including everything that needs to be improved upon or modified.

If an organization has current and specific initiatives, such as increasing returning customers or improving upon new sales, these metrics should additionally be tracked. This gives the executive actionable information regarding the company-wide initiatives that are currently on-going, so they can determine whether the company is moving in the correct direction or not.

Use Data Visualization and Analytics

Few people, even experienced company executives, can glean any information from charts upon charts of numbers. Data visualization makes it easier to analyze large volumes of seemingly complex data all at once. Through data visualization, patterns more easily emerge. Pie charts, for instance, can be compared quite quickly to each other to identify current trends.

The right data analytics dashboard will give you a variety of ways to display information. The more varied the information displayed on the executive dashboard, the easier it will be to compare different metrics and identify changes as they occur. There are many software suites out there built for visualizing complex sets of data.

A modern organization is only as good as its data. There is no way for a business to succeed today without tracking its metrics. Moreover, the metrics on a company dashboard give an executive the information they need to make powerful, well-informed decisions for their company. For more information about the role that information plays in business today, contact the experts at Starr & Associates.

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Creating a Data-Driven Culture in Field Service

Creating a Data-Driven Culture in Field Service

Data-driven cultures are far-reaching. Nearly every industry is currently being disrupted through data analytics, and the field service culture is no exception. Many companies are utilizing a combination of unmanned drones, sensors, and data analysis to make field service more effective and comprehensive. Here’s what you need to know.

Predictive Field Service Management Models

What if you could predict when a system would go down? With big data, you can. Big data uses a combination of sensors and historical data to identify environmental conditions that could indicate a breakdown. This data isn’t a replacement for traditional field service techniques, but instead, it’s designed to augment field servicing. Big data can be used to tell field service technicians when there could be a critical problem, as well as to fine-tune the number of times technicians go out and when they go out.

Predictive field service models work hand-in-hand with the Internet of Things. Internet of Things devices are utilized to capture data in the field, and this data is analyzed. Big data isn’t magic — it requires tremendous amounts of data which is then used to view patterns. As an example, a certain heat signature might only occur just before an element breaks. These patterns can then be used to create a risk assessment for individual machines and equipment on the field.

A data-driven culture is a cost-effective, safe culture. Better data means technicians need to be on the field less and are on the field when they are most useful. Not only does this reduce field-related industries, but it also reduces the overall cost to a business.

Creating a Data-Driven Culture

A data-driven culture is a cost-effective, safe culture. Better data means technicians need to be on the field less and are on the field when they are most useful. Not only does this reduce field-related industries, but it also reduces the overall cost to a business.

Creating a data-driven culture begins with the right hardware and software systems. Companies must take care to outfit their on-the-field infrastructure with the right sensors and IoT devices and must utilize state-of-the-art software to capture and analyze this data.

Companies also need to change their core business processes to directly relate to and manage this data. The technology has to be integrated at all levels of their field servicing so that data brought in and analyzed has an ultimate impact on when service calls are made and how service technicians operate.

Integrating data into field service is the first step towards making a more effective, productive, and competitive environment. Companies can substantially reduce their overhead while also reducing their risk, by utilizing an ecosystem that is less likely to experience breakdowns, delays, or injuries. For more information about this type of solution, contact the experts at Starr & Associates.

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Lean startup expertise to effectively guide entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs through launch and growth acceleration.

Starting a new enterprise is a rewarding but tumultuous experience. The journey is riddled with uncertainty, hidden pitfalls, competitors, and grueling hard work. All of this is compounded by the fact that very few startups or small businesses have the infinite amount of experience, time, human capital or capital to weather all of the potential storms that lie in wait. In today’s business landscape, developing the right product or service is not the only parameter for success. Perhaps equally as important is the timing to market and ability to adapt to market forces.

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