Get Around in Comfort With Car Rental in Gold Coast

Gold Coast is one of the most famous tourist places in Australia, as well as around the world. This magnificent coastal city is located in the southeast corner of Queensland, Australia. The major draw for tourists in Australia is its sunny subtropical climate, providing loads of sunshine all year round. The pleasant weather of Gold Coast is a major contributor in making it a favorite tourist destination. The best way to travel across this marvelous city is getting car rental Gold Coast.

Although, this destination has everything that makes for a perfect holiday spot, but it is well revered for its sparkling surfing beaches, interesting waterways and canal systems, a skyline dominated by high-rise buildings, pristine rainforest hinterland in the west of the city, dazzling nightlife, and other tourist attractions. With so much to do, seeking a Gold Coast car hire is a great option.

With over 57 kilometers of coastline, australia boasts of some of the most popular surf breaks in Australia and the world including, South Stradbroke Island, The Spit, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach, Nobby Beach, Miami, Burleigh Beach, Burleigh Heads, Tallebudgera Beach, Palm Beach, Currumbin Beach, Tugun, Bilinga, Kirra, Coolangatta, Greenmount, Rainbow Bay, Snapper Rocks and Froggies Beach. If waves aren’t your thing, you can find some of the most beautiful still water options in Australia including our stunning Broadwater and inland rock pools. Moreover, you can easily find car hire at Gold Coast airport to travel around.

As the name suggests, Surfers Paradise is a fascinating place for surfers as well as beachgoers. Considered as the suburb of Gold Coast, this place is true to its name with clear waters, clean sands, sparkling surfs and plentiful of activities to do. Surfers Paradise is flocked by sports lovers and adventure seekers as it provides outstanding facilities for surfing, paragliding, beach volleyball, bungee jumping, golf and other water sports. Apart from that, its closeness to high rises, nightclubs, restaurants and shopping complexes are major draw cards for tourists. With so much to do, you can avail Australia cheap car hire facilities to make the most of your holidays.

With millions of tourists, visiting the city all year around, car rental in Australia is a serious business. If you are traveling during the peak season, then it is recommended that you book a car well in advance. There are many reputed companies offering car hire from Gold Coast airport, so that you can get around in comfort at incredible prices.

Economic Conditions Have Turned Off The Light

Due to current economic conditions the light at the end of the tunnel has been turned off…

I saw this posted at the end of an email I received today. I know it was meant to be funny, and I did laugh when I first read it. Then I couldn’t get the impact of the statement out of my head. It kept repeating like a song that gets stuck in your head.

I want to believe the glass is half full. As a person trying to live in the real world and on the internet, the very thought that there is no longer any light at the end of the tunnel is devastating.

Fortunately I surround myself with fantastic people who always believe in a better tomorrow. Small business entrepreneurs, they come from all walks of life and they all believe in the light.

One guy buys distressed homes in the nicer blue-collar parts in town, doing most of the contractor type work himself he fixes them up. A new coat of paint, kitchen floor and clean the carpet so he can make them available for rent at affordable rates. Investing his future in the housing market in these economic conditions is a very risky and long-term investment. But he believes the light at the end of the tunnel is on.

Another couple of business owners started their own niche bar and club, party style, tour business. They work to bring paying customers to not only the larger clubs in Las Vegas, but the smaller locals style mom and pop bars around town.

They lead by example. Not only do they have fun making money while having a rolling party, but they are actively bringing the stimulus through the doors the local businesses need.

And another guy, no longer working at a local Vegas club decided to build an online business he could pass to his son after his college graduation. I’m assuming that he’s going to need a good hearty income to pay off his college loans.

He chose the niche market of sports clothing. He’s not trying to run Nike out of business or take jobs away from Big-5 Sporting or even Wal-Mart. But he does believe that even in these economic times, if you have a dream your willing to combine it with hard work there will be a light at the end of the tunnel.

By surrounding myself with people who still believe in a brighter future. The people who will never except that economic conditions are so bad its time to turn the light off.

I can change that song in my head, change it to a song I learned as a child.

And with the current economic conditions, it’s needed more today than ever.

This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine…

The Kinds Of Car Keys To Choose From

The automotive industry has come a long way and today car keys are no longer the old style mechanical cut versions. Of course there are several brands that still use this form of keys, but there are numerous other versions out there as well. In mechanical keys, they are machine cut as the name suggests and are more popular with brands such as Ford, GM or even Chevrolet. There are quite a few truck models too that works with these forms of keys. Despite the numerous models of cars on the road, the machine cut continues to be a favourite.

The next version you have is the laser cut automotive keys. These are the advanced versions of the machine cut keys and are also called the sidewinder or the internal cut keys. They have a square edge which have matching cuts on either side. These can fit into a car’s ignition any way you like. Their advantages are that they are not easy to pick and will need specialized help. There is a unique software used in its production and those manning the machines will need specialized training as well. These are found in luxury brand cars like that of Mercedes as well as Audi.

There are several other popular styles of car keys available. You have the transponder keys that have a minute computer chip inserted in the key handle. This is for additional ignition security and to prevent the key from being forged. There is the remote or the switchblade form of transponder keys.

Then you have the smart keys which have a laser cut key that is built in. These kinds of keys gives the driver the flexibility of entering the car and starting it without actually taking the key out of his pocket. Then you have what is known as the VATS keys. This has a unique chip on the blade which though not electronic in nature, has got the name.

And then you have what are known as valet keys. These are given along with a regular transponder key. There is however a slight modification to it, where you can open doors and ignition, but not a locked boot or trunk. These can be made out of plastic or metal.

There are several varieties of keys and the kind you get will depend on the kind of vehicle you pick up. This is essential to the safety of your car and you.

Combining Accupuncture and Modern Medicine in Infertility Treatments

You might think that acupuncture and modern medicine do not mix. Acupuncture is a traditional treatment that has no absolute scientific proof. Modern medicine is an image of rigidity that uses scientific processes and methods to get results. But a combination of accupuncture and modern medicine has been found to actually benefit you in treating your infertility.

Acupuncture is a traditional for of medicine. It originated in China over about thousand years ago. It uses needles inserted in to the human body at very specific entry points to control the body’s chi. This so called chi is believed to be the energy flow of the body and, by inserting needles in its path, the flow can be redirected to places where the body needs energy.

Even in its traditional use, acupuncture has been found very helpful to people suffering from infertility. Ancient Chinese documents describe how it affects the body to regulate menstrual cycles and help out with pregnancy. Today, we know that acupuncture does this by stimulating the nervous system of the body. Although the actual process is still a mystery to medical science, it has been shown that acupuncture helps the body regulate itself better, leading to better blood flow and blood pressure and better hormonal production. This helps a body suffering from infertility due to malfunctioning organs and hormonal imbalances return to normal. You can find this very useful if you have been diagnosed with conditions that affect infertility through hormones like hyperprolactenemia or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).

In combination with modern day procedures like in vitro fertilization, acupuncture has been shown to be a very effective partner treatment. Recent studies have shown that acupuncture boosts the success rates of treatments like in vitro fertilization (IVF). IVF is an advanced medical procedure that can be very expensive, costing up to $12,000 per cycle. This isn’t helped by the fact that the procedure is not always 100%. According to the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) only 40% of IVF procedures result in a successful pregnancy. This number lowers further as you go pass certain ages. The boost that acupuncture gives can be indispensable if you are on a budget or are past the statistical prime ages of reproduction (around 35 for women). Because of this boost, some clinics actually require sessions of infertility in correlation to their IVF treatments.

These sessions may be scheduled in advance as acupuncture can sometimes take months to prepare the body properly. In the case of IVF, it may take up to 4 months of preparation to get the body ready for the procedure.

You can also use acupuncture as a supplementary treatment. It has been shown to be a very effective stress reliever. Stress can sometimes affect pregnancy and fertility negatively and work against your treatments and medications. Acupuncture can help you relieve some of the unwanted stress levels and make other medications work better. It can also help you heal faster. Medical bills can quickly pile up on you with every day you stay in a hospital bed. Faster healing can help you reduce costs.

Acupuncture is relatively cheap and safe. You may hear about acupuncture horror stories where the needles are broken and left inside the body, or the needles accidentally puncture organs, or disease and infections being spread through them but these are due to human errors. You can avoid these situations by choosing your acupuncturist well. Some states have acupuncture regulatory boards that you can consult in selecting your acupuncturist. Some medically trained doctors also perform acupuncture. Check your acupuncturist’s license and experience before selecting one.

Accupuncture is a real traditional treatment that found its way into the modern world. We may not understand it fully yet, but we can benefit from it. In today’s world, combining the old and new can sometimes give us fantastic results. Just the thing you might need in dealing with your infertility.

Real Estate Services – Business Immune To Internet?

Real estate services business is one of those verticals with an overwhelming number of websites. There are thousands of websites with apartments and villa listings. But does it really mean that this internet model of business generate a proportionate amount of revenue? Well, not really!

By many ways real estate services is one of those businesses that are ideally suited for a net based model. On one side you have a seller who wants to sell his property and other side you have a buyer who wants to buy a similar property. The seller lists the property for sale on a website. Prospective buyers finds it on the site and if found suitable, the buyer and seller come to an agreement for sale. No searching for agent, no commission. It all looks so simple. But it seldom happens that way.

The sale of a property incurs an agent commission of 2.5 to 6% (depending on your country, region, agreement with agent etc) of the sale price. The above described scenario means only a small listing fee to be spent by the seller. Consider the online recruitment business where a similar situation exists. It has done very well unlike real estate websites and sites like monster.com and hotjobs.com have a high brand recall. But a similar success is not found for real estate services websites. Spare a few like loopnet.com and costar.com which has found success in the commercial real estate sector. The truth of the matter is that the real estate multiple listing service (MLS) and agents tightly guard the seller data and other information. However, some other reasons also exist.

A real estate listing, unlike a job listing, needs to provide more information to look credible for the buyer. Collecting the required data, pictures of the property, (even videos some times) recent sales data, above all removing outdated data from the database, all this needs money to be spent.

Not all those who buy and sell property are negotiators. The agent claims to be one and normally takes such a role. But on most cases, they just make both the buyer and seller feel good about the deal. Both parties feel they negotiated and got the best deal. Also, not everybody wants to publicize that their property is up for sale, especially for commercial properties. An agent is entrusted to find buyers for the property.

There can be a solution for most of these issues. A real estate website can still provide the first level of information to seller. At least it can narrow down the search to a few properties of ones choice. With a little effort one can get additional information necessary for deciding the suitability of that property against your requirements and budget. As for confidential listing of property, this can be incorporated in a website. For example, KeralaListings.com a property marketing company hides the seller data and other traceable information from a property listing if tagged ‘confidential’ by the seller. This listing appears in search results for the given parameters and the prospective buyer can email the seller of his interest in the property.

As real estate websites adopt steps, to provide information which is updated and verified, this business model will gradually pick up. Though the cost of maintaining such sites is slightly more, this should gradually increase public trust on this model. Even with all this, the cost of property transaction can reduced considerably. Not to mention about the time saved for finding a property.

Earn A Full Or Part-Time Income From Digital Info Products

If you have ever wanted to know how to earn an income working from home then you need to read this article from start to finish. There are thousands of people all over the world that earn a full or part-time income from digital information products.

Just like any other business though it does take some effort on your part, you must treat it like a business. A great advantage is having the freedom to work wherever you like, whether that is from the kitchen table to the deck of a 5 star cruise liner. The choice is yours.

There are many advantages and good reasons to produce digital information products.

Here are just 5 reasons;

1) They are relatively simple to produce

2) The cost of producing them is within just about anyone’s budget

3) You can start today with just a computer and an internet connection

4) You can build a business in your spare time

5) You can sell the product that you create over and over again

Starting your own digital publishing empire is an easy way to start your own business without the massive overheads that are associated with traditional “brick and mortar” businesses.

Most households have a computer and internet access these days, so initial outlay is minimal to get started. Information delivered in PDF format is very simple, even if you have never done it before.

All you need is a free writing program software installed on your computer such as the free one available from OpenOffice.org and you can get started. The sort of products that are popular are ones that provide a solution to a problem or shows them how to do something.

Digital info products can be made and delivered in many different formats, people’s preferred learning medium differs, so you might want to consider the various possibilities.

This may be dependent on the subject that you choose, some will be better presented in a written format, while others lend themselves better to being visual. For example skill based information is often better delivered visually so the viewer can see and follow the instructions being provided.

While an information product about how to clear blocked drains would probable be better delivered in a written format.

Audio is great for those wanting to learn on the move, whilst travelling to their destination. Other learn better visually through video, pictures and diagrams. Consider these aspects when creating information products and how you will deliver them.

Digital info products are very versatile, they can be sold or given away from a website, you can even create work in kindle format and publish your work through Amazon.

The Positive Aspects of a Travel Nursing Career

If you are happy with your job as a nurse but feeling stuck in the particular location you are working in then why not live like a nomad for a while and try a traveling nursing career on for size? As a nurse who is willing to relocate you can help people while at the same time indulge your passion for seeing the world. Whether it is beaches that are your thing, mountains or islands, working in a traveling capacity allows you to fulfill both your professional goals as well as your personal ones all at once.

In the pursuit of a nursing career you can break away from the confining feeling of working at the same place day in and day out. You can rediscover and reconnect with why you became a nurse in the first place. You can focus on the profession you love and the patients that need your care. There is also freedom in this way of life, a level of flexibility and financial success (leading to financial stability).

In order to become a nurse willing to move around you can look online to find nursing agencies that work with nurses to connect them with travel opportunities. Take the time to do a search over the Internet. Look for opportunities that are a good fit for you. There are many different options and the key is to find the one that fits your criteria for work. Read through what each nursing agency has to offer you in terms of benefits, advantages, guidelines and rules. Take the time to compare and contrast each agency. Your number one goal should be to find a reputable nursing agency. Many of these agencies are not reputable so do some thorough research before you sign a contract with an agency.

The pay for a travel nurse is very lucrative. The pay varies from one agency to another. Rates are competitive because each one of the nursing agencies wants to sign on as many nurses as they can. The hourly wage for a travel nurse is dependent upon your specialty, the region you are working in and the facility you are working in. As a general guideline you can expect to earn in the range of $22 to $40 per hour. Some agencies offer a sign-up bonus that can range anywhere from $500 to $5,000.

Some of the most obvious benefits of a nursing career include free deluxe corporate housing, a flexible spending account, financial success, and travel reimbursement. There is also free dental, health, disability and life insurance.

This is only the beginning of why a nursing career can be a dream could true for a dedicated nursing professional! To learn more about the opportunities that wait you as a nurse do an online search right away!

The Life Cycle of Acquisition-Based Companies

A few years ago, I was discussing this phenomenon with the CEO of one of our clients. His company had grown almost entirely through acquisition, and for several years the company had experienced revenue growth rates exceeding 20%. However, the company had plateaued with respect to earnings, and looking at their overall performance it became clear to him (and to the Wall Street analysts that watched his company) that a great deal of money had been left on the table. Working with that CEO, I developed a model called the ACL Life Cycle. Understanding and using the ACL Life Cycle has proven enormously beneficial to clients depending on an M&A strategy for continued growth.

The ACL Life Cycle

The ACL Life Cycle describes the maturation process of companies who grow substantially through acquisitions and mergers. Using the ACL model, we can clearly identify the company’s current position. Knowing that position, and then looking forward at the company’s financial objectives through the lens of their business strategies, the specific actions that are needed become clear. Those actions can then be formed into an executable plan with associated performance measures, and managed through completion to bring the overall enterprise to heightened levels of financial performance. It is important for acquisition-oriented executives to understand the major phases and characteristics of the ACL Life Cycle.

Businesses who have survived one or more acquisitions and/or mergers are usually left with some degree of disintegration among their processes and systems. A company’s success in reaching the financial objectives of the merger or acquisition is directly correlated with the degree to which that disintegration has been replaced by a set of business processes and information systems that are common enough to generate enterprise-wide leverage. Implicit in that commonality is enterprise-level direction and guidance, manifested in company-wide business strategies and performance measures that align all of the combined business units. These businesses move, in this post-acquisition or post-merger environment, from an acquisition-based operating model to one characterized by shared services and a general commonization, to a stage where the enterprise “whole” really is able to become something greater than the sum of its business unit “parts”. It is more than the typical cost-reduction synergy anticipated in most of these transactions; it is a new platform for innovation, and an even higher level of innovation-based leverage.

Companies who experience substantive growth as a result of business acquisitions typically follow the ACL life cycle. ACL in this context stands for: Acquisition, Commonization, and Leverage. Many companies never leave the first stage of this maturity scale, and still more remain at the second stage. The most successful companies are usually those who recognize the importance of moving through all three stages, and consistently implement a structured process for doing so.
All companies experience pressures that push them toward decentralized operations, including idiosyncrasies of specific market niches served, the uniquenesses of isolated business processes, unusual needs of specific customer populations, and Uncategorized organizational entropy. At the same time, most of the companies that are successful in achieving the financial performance objectives established for the newly merged enterprise manage to overcome those challenges, electing to pursue the advantages of leverage, including:

  • broad synergistic brand recognition, enabling cross-selling, bundling of products and services, and improving revenue
  • interchangeability of business process resources, enabling the company to reduce its asset base
  • commonality and scalability in equipment / skills / facilities, facilitating innovation and growth into additional markets
  • higher utilization of business assets, reducing unit cost
  • lower levels of redundancy, resulting in reduced operating costs

These companies also typically find that maintaining compliance with financial reporting standards such as Sarbanes-Oxley requirements are enhanced as a result of strengthened internal controls.
Some companies make a deliberate decision to remain “holding companies”, which simply buy and sell diverse businesses that have only marginal relationships with one another. These conglomerates prefer to manage the portfolio through buying and selling components, and allowing the leadership teams at the individual companies to manage ongoing operations from strategy through execution. A few of them have been quite successful, and this article is sometimes not as directly applicable to those at a corporate level. It works very well, however, for their major divisions. Companies that benefit most from understanding the three stages of the ACL Life Cycle are those companies who have decided to focus on a single core industry – Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Chemicals and Polymers, Textiles, Electronics, Telecommunications, Consumer Products, Medical Equipment producers, Healthcare providers, and Financial Services providers are all good candidates. 

The Acquisition Stage of the ACL Life Cycle

Companies in the Acquisition Stageof their life cycles are usually focused on revenue growth, and capturing market share. They are characterized by high levels of autonomy in management, in the reporting of site-level data to the corporate parent, and in the design of their business processes and systems. Companies who remain in this stage for long periods of time following acquisitions usually act as holding companies, with the corporation allowing individual divisions or sites to operate almost as independent companies with their own P&L, strategic plans, and market-facing branding. Often, companies in the Acquisition stage lack a common vision of the future of the overall business, and tend to operate at cross-purposes among the operating units. They sometimes even compete against one another for the same customers. They share little operating information, making it nearly impossible to coordinate and deploy “best practices”, effectively distribute work load, utilize general market intelligence, and grasp other elements that could provide corporate-wide leverage of the businesses’ assets and resources. A few industry-specific examples here should help to illustrate the situation:

Manufacturing companies in the acquisition stage are usually characterized by redundancies in raw materials, equipment, staffing, and other business resources. Because manufacturing companies are relatively material-intense, a great deal of cost can be tied up in raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods. Since acquisition stage companies have so little visibility between business units, there is little opportunity for them to reallocate these assets in order to use them effectively. As a result, the most costly resources remain the most underutilized. In addition, acquisition-stage companies have not centralized the management of even commodity-level business processes, such as finance, human resources, and information technology. This lack of centralization leaves additional inefficiencies in place around accounting staff, employee benefits provider subscriptions, business software applications, data centers, and computing equipment. 

Telecommunications companies in the acquisition stage also have unrealized opportunities for greater leverage from their business assets, but these more often take the form of redundancies in network equipment, network coverage, retail outlets, partner agreements related to the sale of their products, and interconnection agreements with other carriers. In addition, acquisition stage telecom companies often have a substantial amount of unrealized leverage in the lack of integration among the data bases and information of their various divisions that could enable shared service operations for commodity-type processes such as billing and cross-selling of products and services. Like manufacturing companies, telecom companies in the acquisition stage also typically have unexploited opportunities around the consolidation of data centers and related equipment and staffing.

Healthcare providers in the acquisition stage usually find opportunities in different areas of their businesses, because of the differing cost structure of their operations. The bulk of their costs and their opportunities while in the acquisition stage of maturity in the ACL Life Cycle are related to employee salaries & benefits, and to medical supplies and drugs. It is less common for these businesses to be able to effectively share inventories and equipment, since the nature of their business is rooted in community health care that requires local service provision. The opportunities that do exist, which are typically not exploited well in acquisition stage health care companies, are related to centralizing commodity type business processes such as finance, human resources, and information systems, and leveraging required service and supply procurement across the enterprise. 

Financial Services providers, such as banks, brokerages, credit unions, financial planning companies and tax & audit services exhibit yet another cost profile, with the largest elements typically including personnel and occupancy costs. In these businesses, like health care provision, being where the customers are is critical. The companies’ ability to understand the changing demographics and match up their branches as well as their skills to the targeted customer base is often a differentiator between the companies that succeed and those that fail. Financial services providers who are still in the acquisition stage of maturity in the ACL Life Cycle often do not have the commonality in fundamental business processes and systems to readily reconfigure their operations to meet the changing needs of their marketplace. Their acquisitions or mergers have enabled them to grow horizontally, typically into adjacent markets. However, lacking an adequate foundation of commonality in processes and systems, there is substantial money left on the proverbial table as a result of ineffective resource deployment, and delays in the reporting of operational performance data that would enable the company to be more responsive. These companies also fail, in their acquisition stage, to take advantage of their larger purchasing power to gain leverage around purchased services spanning items as diverse as employee health care and branch-level office supplies.   

The Commonization Stage of the ACL Life Cycle

Companies in the Commonization Stage of their life cycles have usually awakened to the value of focusing on Return on Net Assets (RONA) and Return on Invested Capital (ROIC). In order to begin to capture improvements in these areas, companies in the Commonization Stage often turn to shared service models of operations for selected business processes and systems. Strategies and performance measures begin to crystallize around common themes that span multiple operating units or divisions. Among the areas of focus for a shared service model in this stage are Finance (A/R, A/P, General Ledger, and Financial Reporting), Human Resources (Payroll, Benefits, and Employment Records), and Information Technology (Computer Hardware, Network Administration, and selected Software Applications Management). Some companies in the Commonization Stage also move Procurement and other aspects of Materials Management to a shared service model, enabling the corporation to more effectively leverage its broadest possible purchasing power.

Manufacturing companies in the commonization stage of maturity typically have shared services in place for commodity types of business processes such as finance, human resources, and information systems management. As they advance through the commonization phase, some of them also begin to pull together a common platform for procurement, encompassing at least their most costly and common raw materials. A few in this stage reach a point where their data center
operations are completely centralized, and may even be outsourced to a third party like CSC. Toward the end of the commonization phase, centralization of work deployment and capacity utilization as well as process quality emerge as companies begin to deploy common processes and systems in customer requirements management, enterprise requirements planning, manufacturing execution systems, and distribution management systems. 

Telecommunications companies in the commonization stage of maturity also typically have shared services in place for commodity types of business processes such as finance, human resources, and information systems management. As they advance in maturity through this stage, telecoms also become aware of the available leverage in centralizing the management of some of their most valuable assets. However, unlike the manufacturer’s raw material focus, for telecommunications operations those elements are things like spectrum licenses, network equipment, connection agreements, partner agreements, distribution centers, and retail outlets. Centralizing the management of those assets to identify overlaps and redundancies enables telecoms to emerge from the commonization stage with much more effectively leveraged business assets, providing broader market coverage with a lower total asset base and generating much higher earnings on that consolidated foundation.

Healthcare companies in the commonization phase of maturity find substantial benefit in the commonization and centralization of their commodity type processes and systems.  This is primarily because of the impact on cash flow and earnings when the employee base is reduced through shared services, and employee benefits and supplies are both leveraged in terms of the broader purchasing power of the company following a business acquisition of significant size. However, there is also an especially rich opportunity available to healthcare companies in the commonization stage that stems form the leverage available related to insurance coverage – not for the employees directly, but covering the potential liability of the company itself. This category of cost is typically about the third largest slice of the pie, and significant reductions there can translate quickly to a meaningful earnings impact. 

 Financial services providers in the commonization stage of the ACL Life Cycle, like healthcare providers, often find substantial benefit in the commonization and centralization of their commodity type processes and systems. With roughly half of their cost of operations wrapped up in employee salaries and benefits, there is an opportunity for meaningful impact on cash flow and earnings when the employee base is reduced through shared services, and employee benefits and supplies are both leveraged in terms of the broader purchasing power of the company following a business acquisition or merger. The next significant area for financial service providers in the commonization stage is the capability for rapid reconfiguration of the business based on enterprise-wide visibility of operational data and market intelligence.

The Leverage Stage of the ACL Life Cycle

Companies in the Leverage Stage of their life cycles are usually embarked on a fierce drive toward adding real value. They are relentless in their efforts to fully utilize the assets of the entire corporation, driving out redundancy and its associated costs. They are then able to pivot on the fulcrum of those more agile processes and systems to implement innovations that foster organic growth resulting in greater market share, greater revenue, and improved earnings for their shareholders. Leverage Stage companies also establish a structured and repetitive process of assimilating new businesses, gathering and incorporating market intelligence into company-wide strategies, and innovating on the basis of these new combinations to capture additional market segments. These companies are characterized by coordination and centralization of major business functions such as the planning and allocation of R&D, production work, inventories, raw material purchases, personnel, and factories & equipment. They centrally manage a broad spectrum of common business processes and systems, including customer requirements management, product data management, enterprise requirements planning, manufacturing execution systems, and logistics management. They are constantly changing, evaluating and configuring business assets to meet future market needs, acquiring and developing new businesses, and shedding assets that no longer fit their evolving model.

Manufacturing companies in the leverage stage of maturity typically have shared services in place for most of the critical business processes of their company, having reached beyond the commodity level processes and into those which deliver the most value to their customers. Examples include sales & marketing, order entry & customer service, capacity planning and management, production scheduling and shop floor control, and distribution requirements planning. As they move through the leverage stage of the ACL Life Cycle, some of these companies leverage the commonality of their processes and systems to produce innovative new products and services, identify additional market opportunities, and develop industry-changing relationships that reach through their supply chains. 

Telecommunications companies in the leverage stage of maturity also have shared services in place for most of the critical business processes of their company, including the seamless provisioning (often called “flow-through provisioning” by industry insiders) of all telephonic services to customers stemming from a single telephone conversation responding to an individual inquiry about a service. This type of capability is only enabled when all of the information from what have historically been disparate data bases is available in an intelligent form through excellent systems integration, based on exceptional levels of commonality and strength in enterprise-wide business processes.

Healthcare companies in the leverage stage of maturity have typically discovered and implemented leverage-based improvements in their major cost structure elements as a result of enterprise-wide information visibility flowing from systems integration and centralized management of critical business processes. Health care companies generally also have uniquely challenging business conditions related to three other areas where leverage level operations can be a powerful tool. 

The first of these areas is employee safety. Most health care organizations are spending a substantial amount of money in this regard, with training and documentation of company polices and safety-related practices requiring an increasing amount of company attention. The integration of systems and commonization of processes in a leverage stage health care company offers opportunities to more quickly incorporate internal best practices, externally imposed business requirements, and feedback about lessons learned across the entire health care organization regardless of geographic dispersion. Commonization and centralized management here can result in substantially lower cost, and more importantly, substantially higher and more uniform levels of employee safety. 

The second area is bad debt. The integration of customer data, and effectively interfacing a common set of enterprise-wide processes and systems with outside service providers such health maintenance organizations and insurance carriers, substantially reduces the amount of bad debt in leverage level health care companies. 

The third area, and perhaps the area of richest opportunity, is the area of patient medical information. This area is tricky because of legislation related to patient privacy and guidelines recently established for the maintenance and communication of patient medic
al information. However, one of the fundamental challenges faced by health care providers is the absence of available medical history, particularly when a patient is admitted to an emergency room or urgent care facility. Particularly when a patient is unable to respond to questions directly due to an incapacitation illness or injury, time can literally mean life or death. Making all necessary information available to the physicians and other health care professionals involved as quickly as possible is extremely important. When critical business processes and information systems for the management of this information are brought to an effective level of commonality, the rapid dissemination of the needed information can be greatly improved, while patients’ expectations around the privacy of their information are still met. 

Financial services companies in the leverage stage of maturity, like health care companies in some ways, must balance the needs of differing local customer geographies against the advantages of centralized management in critical business processes and systems. There is real value in allowing some latitude to local branch officers and customer-facing staff such as loan officers to accommodate the unique circumstances involved in specific cases. However, these companies often find that a significant advantage of the leverage provided by enterprise-wide commonization of processes and systems is the ability to see the nuances of differing markets at a corporate level, and recognize broader trends among those different markets more quickly and clearly than they could before. This improved visibility, in turn, enables management to reconfigure their service offerings, redeploy resources such as sales dollars, and organize sales campaigns for those specific markets more quickly than they could previously.  

The best of these companies, regardless of what industry they occupy, utilize their common platform of processes, systems, and information to understand the needs of their customers in unique ways, and fluidly translate those needs into the features of their products and services. A few, at the very top of the game, come to understand the customers’ needs even before the customer recognizes them, and when necessary they reconfigure their entire business to meet those needs, gaining unassailable competitive advantage. The enterprise-wide leverage they achieved as a result of carefully and skillfully handling the post-merger or post-acquisition integration of processes, systems, and data provided the platform from which innovation launched them to new levels of performance. Examples could as easily be provided for companies in pharmaceuticals, retail operations, or the food & beverage industry. The lessons learned and the techniques vary a little, but the principles are the same.

3 Tips For a Budget Holiday Road Trip

Looking for budget travel plans for your next long weekend holiday? A road trip might be your best shot!

1. Rented cars is the most economical solution for road trips.

Car rental companies normally offer a variety of ‘holiday car rental’ packages for holiday travelers to select from. These packages have to be affordable for travelers who are on budget and also wants to have a free & easy driving holiday.

Holiday car rental has been appealing to seasoned travelers and lately has attracted younger travelers that want to explore places that are less travelled. Competitive holiday car rental rates help travelers to save money and enable them to go to places less-travelled where ordinary holiday travelers are unable to explore.

With the advent of intra-Asia travel, holiday car rental will continue to grow as it offers the benefit of leisure travel at individual pace. As a result, many rental companies are aggressively marketing their holiday car rental program to meet the discerning needs of travelers. Several rental companies have seen double digit growth and demand continue to increase for this segment of the business.

2. Plan your route wisely. Use Google Map or GPS Navigation.

A traditional way of planning your driving route is to purchase a printed map from a bookstore. Today, it is a lot more convenient to just route your journey on Google Map, then just print out the map with specific driving directions. But for the adventurous travelers, a GPS navigation system is their best choice. And more than often, a GPS Navigator is included in your rented car for just a little extra money.

3. Travel packages for overnight trips – Low cost and safety.

If you are planning an overnight stay, then you should check with your rental company for any travel packages available. Many do offer competitive travel packages to attract budget holiday travelers. Working closely with travel agencies, they are able to offer special rates on hotels, motels and inns, which sometimes also provide occupants with complimentary breakfast.

It is also usually safer to go with the hotels, motels or inns associated with your rental company. Their relationships with your rental company should indicate that they meet a certain quality standard and are more trustworthy.

Earning a Nursing Degree Online – Advantages & Considerations

Nowadays, going to classes at college is not the only way to earn your nursing degree. Online education is an alternative where you can earn a nursing credential from anywhere you like and at the time when it’s most convenient to you. Earning a nursing degree online has many advantages over the traditional learning setting, but there are a few considerations that you must look into before sign-up an online nursing degree program.

Advantages of Pursuing Nursing Degree Online

1. Choose Your Major Regardless of Location Concern

Nursing degrees come with various specializations, but your preference major may not being offered at the nursing college near to your place. You found the nursing degree program with the specialization that you like to major with, is offered by a college at another state or at the college located far way from your convenient travel distance. But, lucky the college does offer it nursing degree online. You can become their online student to sign the nursing degree with your preference major.

2. Flexible Study Time from Anywhere

You can plan your study schedule and log-on to the classes from anywhere as long as you are at a location that has internet connection. Flexible study time from anywhere is the key advantage that will benefit those working individuals who want to earn a nursing degree without giving up their paycheck. Many people have a desire to enter the nursing field, which is a very rewarding and challenging career field, but they are unable to give up their current job to go back to school due to family & other obligations. Online education with it advantages in term of flexibility learning option will enable them to continue their current life while realizing their nursing career goal. This advantage will also benefit those working individuals who need to travel a lot due to their job assignment; they can log-on to the classes from where they are.

Considerations When Taking Nursing Degree Online

Although you can earn a nursing degree online, there are a few considerations you must take into account before you sign up your degree of choice:

1. The Nursing Program Meets Your State Requirement

Each state has it own requirement for nurses, you must make sure that the online nursing degree program that you are going to enroll is a nursing program that is recognized by your state. This is particularly important for preparing for the NCLEX examination, which is required for state certification before you can start your nursing career after graduation.

2. Clinical / Lab Work Facilities

Most nursing degree programs will require you to complete a certain lab or clinical assignments before you can earn the degree. Some nursing schools will require you to complete the clinical experience at the school while other may have co-operation with other health care facilities which may locate near you place to ease you in completing your clinical experience. If traveling to the school is not convenient to you, then you must consider those schools that offer online nursing degree program which can allow you to complete the clinical experience locally.

3. Be Prepare To Be An Online Student

Online learning is different from classroom-based learning style. Most materials are in text format and you must have good reading and writing comprehension. Self-motivation is another key factor that will determine the success or the failure of an online student. If you choose to earn your nursing degree online, you must prepare yourself to face the challenges in your online study and be a successful online student.

Summary

Earn a nursing degree online has many advantages that can benefit you, but at the same time, you must consider a few important factors to ensure you can successful earn a degree that can help in your nursing career.