The biggest season for retail sales is just around the corner. Are you ready to compete with the big guys? How can you take on big names with national advertising campaigns and ensure you also have a successful holiday sales season? Here are a few tips:
Security is a looming issue for businesses. The threat landscape is increasing and attacks are becoming more sophisticated. Protecting servers at the software level is no longer enough. Businesses need to reach down into the physical system level to stay ahead of threats. With today’s increasing regulatory landscape, compliance is even more critical for both increasing security and reducing the cost of compliance failures. In the new world of hybrid IT, the lines are blurred and the perimeter is fluid, changing with the needs of the business. Internet of Things (IoT), for instance, is quickly changing the security focus from a pure software discussion to including hardware and firmware because of the proliferation of devices that must now be considered. Business protection must now happen from the edge, to the core, to the cloud.
If there’s anything for certain in IT, it’s that things are uncertain. Computers crash, software doesn’t work as it should, and small problems can easily derail your day to zero productivity. When that happens, the way that you respond can be the difference between a minor hiccup and a full- blown business interruption. What if you could catch and address those issues before they become a big deal? Wouldn’t it be great if that happened automatically, without you even having to get involved? This might sound too good to be true, but that is actually exactly what a Remote Monitoring and Management tool can do for you!
The use of electronic access control is gaining popularity as an approach to aid businesses in securing their facilities. Access control has been in place since the invention of the mechanical key to keep people secured or locked out of areas. Just like everything else, technology now plays a large role in today’s access control by eliminating the need to deploy physical metal keys through the use of electronic locking solutions. Today’s systems allow detailed control over the physical security of the business by controlling who has access to the building, which doors they have access to, and at what times they can access that door.
Thirteen years ago, I was hired in the Marketing department at Nex-Tech and thought to myself, “What a fun job, I just get to come up with cool campaigns and spend money!” While my job is fun, what my 23-year old self wasn’t thinking about was all the backend work that goes into marketing. One of those backend items is a marketing budget. A necessity for any business.
Shared-usage of computing resources, better known as virtualization, has been a technology staple for a long time. Back in the 1960’s, IBM developed a system to time-share their mainframe computing power to their customers. IBM posited that their mainframe resources could see more efficient use if they could spread those resources to many different clients at the same time. From those beginnings at IBM, virtualization has grown, but the basic principles remain the same. Virtualization is simply the process of creating a software version of what was once a physical piece of hardware. Virtualization encompasses servers, storage, networks, and even PCs. The rationale for virtualization also remains the same in that it gives the benefits of reducing capital costs, minimizes downtime, increases efficiency, provisions faster, and simplifies management of resources.
You hear it everywhere… Ransomware, hacker attacks, data breaches… Cybersecurity is such a hot topic that we frequently hear new stories, one scarier than the other. Amidst all that, it’s usually the big players that get the media coverage; big national chains like Yahoo, Target, or LinkedIn. So, the fact that the majority of attacks actually target small and medium businesses in small town communities often gets lost. In addition, there is so much out there that it is just overwhelming. We’ve gotten so desensitized to the news that we usually just brush it off: “I know it’s out there, but I don’t know what to do about it and it’s probably way to expensive, so I’ll just keep doing what I have been and pray it won’t hit me”. Unfortunately, that attitude can cost you everything you have worked for! So, instead of rattling off more stats to show you the mathematical likelihood of your business being a victim of cybercrime, I will simply ask you to consider and come up with a reply to three questions. This will help you determine how big of a risk cybercrime is for your business and what priority you should give it:
Topics: Business Technology Watch
Your employees are like family. They’ve been there through the good and maybe not-as-good years, you’ve celebrated personal and professional milestones together, and you trust them to help run your business. You would never think that they would be capable of stealing. But with 75% of employees admitting to stealing from their employers, it is likely happening to you.
Unfortunately, employee theft is on the rise. According to a recent report, U.S. businesses lose $60 billion (yes, that’s BILLION with a B) a year to shrinkage, with employee theft identified as the single biggest cause. That’s equivalent to 7% of annual revenue – 7%! What would you do with an extra 7% added back to your bottom line?
This isn’t to say that all employees are bad and steal. Instead, it’s to bring awareness that theft happens, and it is happening at your expense. Check out the list below for 4 common ways your employees are stealing from you.
THEFT OF TIME
There are hundreds of different ways employees can steal time. Coming in late, taking excessive or longer breaks, falsifying timesheets, spending too much time on social media or taking personal phone calls. While many employers have come to accept this, theft of time is just as costly as theft of merchandise.
Be especially aware of ‘Buddy Punching’. A common form of time theft where employees will clock in for someone who may be running late, or clock out for someone to give them extra time.
THEFT OF PRODUCTS
Stealing products is not only common but the way they are being stolen is getting creative. During the day an employee takes the trash out to the dumpster. This doesn’t seem out of the ordinary because it is a daily task. Fast forward to later that night, and the employee comes back to the store and grabs the bag of trash out of the dumpster. But why would they want that trash? Because it’s actually a bag filled with new, expensive merchandise that was disguised as trash to sneak it out of the building. While it may sound extreme, this form of theft is preferred because it is discreet and usually reaps big benefits for the thief.
Some forms of product theft are not as extreme, for example not charging a customer for a drink with their meal, or not scanning all of the merchandise brought to the register but putting it all into the customer’s bag.
It’s also possible that employees aren’t stealing products, but are stealing supplies. Office supplies are a necessary cost of doing business. However, when employees think the supply closet is for their own personal use, the cost of doing business increases.