Before praising a vendor as the perfect business partner or giving underperforming suppliers the boot set up a clear and easy to use system for choosing the right vendor. Using metrics helps you objectively assess whether or not you should choose or release a potential business partner. Severe relationships with poor vendors quickly to make room for new, prospering relationships with quality suppliers.
Build a Plan to Evaluate Vendors
Use software applications, system metrics, surveys and forms to rate a vendor. Build an intelligent plan to evaluate vendor performance effectively. Ask employees to rate vendors via software packages and do audits to see who is up to the task. Track customer complaints due to bad vendor service, product returns due to a vendor’s inability to meet specifications and list each corrective issue you encountered to gain a better understanding of how vendors can improve their performance and how they stack up against competitors. Build reports running through the purchase point on through the vendor and supplier relationship to pick the right vendor for your needs.
Classify Your Vendors
Applying the same strict standards and surveys for similar vendors can help you organize potential long term partners. Categorize each vendor based on their level of importance to your organization. You can use levels 1, 2 and 3 to gain a better understanding of which vendors you truly need to grow business. Check to see what percentage of vendors handle your overall volume of work. Typically 20% of your vendors handle 80% of vendor business. Trim the fat to streamline your vendor relationships and grow your business.
Set Up Performance Indicators
Decide what characteristics your vendor needs to embody in order to continue your relationship. Track vendor metrics on an annual, quarterly and monthly basis to spot trends which might be helping or hurting your business. Observe the financial stability of the company as well as complaint history, quality management systems, number of certifications and size of the company to determine if you have a good fit between a vendor and your organization. Determine how quickly vendors respond to quote requests, how frequently your business receives a quality product from vendors and the percentage of on-time performance. Does the vendor have a system for handling complaints or products? Check for corrective or preventative protocols to effectively handle crises.
Gauge Your Red Flags
Decide protocols for issuing a red flag to effectively label which vendors are on the hot seat. Causing customer problems or offer a substandard or flat out poor product or service are grounds for receiving one or a series of red flags. Dropping an underperforming supplier is a possibly but it is more wise to retain vendors who might be slipping up from time to time instead of changing business partners frequently. Firing and replacing vendors on a persistent basis destroys your business continuity and delays the all critical relationship-building process between business and vendor. List number of corrective actions, return rate and on-time delivery rate to gauge whether or not a vendor is performing as it should.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about a variety of topics related to business-vendor relationships, from purchase order finance to how to negotiate better prices.
If you have ever been on vacation at a nice resort, one of the first things that jump out at you is the posh atmosphere of the outdoor areas. Luxurious, yet comfortable and welcoming. Would you love to create that same type of look in your patio? Here are some tips to help you do just that:
Design with the Home’s Architecture in Mind
The ways you can design your patio are limitless, but keep in mind the style of your home when plotting your makeover. Look at the rest of your home to guide your selection of colors, materials and overall design.
Keep it Simple
The first rule in creating a posh patio space is keeping things simple. Opt for timeless patterns and shades rather than ultra-trendy looks you may tire of quickly. Neutral shades are always a good bet. Resist the tendency to mix a lot of colors and patterns—choose a main shade and build your design scheme around that. This is especially important if your patio area is surrounded by a variety of plants in all different textures.
Keep it Comfortable
While you want to create a look of luxury, do not sacrifice comfort as this is ultimately the most important consideration when it comes to creating a space to be enjoyed. Choose comfortable furniture with plenty of cushioning. If you use the space a lot during the day, retractable window awnings are definitely worth considering to keep out the sun and create a more comfortable temperature. If your patio area is blocked by your roof, install a ceiling fan to ensure nice, cool breezes.
Lighting goes a long way in creating the desired atmosphere. Ideally, you will have a combination of standard and low voltage lighting. The former is important for making sure you can safely see when necessary, while the latter is ideal for entertaining. If you feel you need your standard voltage lighting on, consider installing dimmer switches to reduce its harsh effects. There is a variety of lights you can choose for your patio area, such as path lights, lantern lights, floodlights, brick lights, rope lights and deck lights. Place lights so that they provide illumination but are not shining in people’s eyes. This means placing standard voltage lights at least 7 feet above the ground and low-voltage lights at least two feet.
Plants and Flowers
No beautiful patio would be complete without some plants and flowers. Place them in decorative containers that match your design scheme. If you want to keep things as low maintenance as possible, look for plants that naturally grow in your climate zone. They require less watering, less care and are naturally resistant to local pests. Good choices for hot outdoor areas include angel’s trumpet, agave, angelonia, bamboo, banana, canna, lantana, mandevilla, passionflower, pentas, plumbago, salvia, sky vine, solanum and tropical milkweed.
Don’t Forget the Accents
No matter your patio design, don’t forget some tasteful accents to really pull the look together. This is where you can really let your personal style come through and make the space feel truly your own.
About the Author: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys blogging about home improvement; if you are interested in learning more about awnings for your outdoor space, you can find more information at Sunesta.
In the last couple of decades, the number of employee labor laws and regulations has exploded. Even a business owner with just a handful of workers can feel a bit overwhelmed by payroll taxes, benefit administration and other employee-related duties. You may worry about liability issues and staying compliant. This is where professional employer organizations, or PEOs, come in. Here are some frequently asked questions about these companies and the services they provide.
What is a PEO?
A PEO serves as a co-employer. While you continue to manage the day-to-day aspects of your business, such as customer service, product development and the like, a PEO takes over the administrative tasks associated with human resources, such as payroll, benefits and worker’s compensation.
Who Uses PEO Services?
At first glance, this may seem like the type of service utilized by big, fancy companies, but actually, the average client only has about 20 employees. Larger companies tend to handle all HR matters within house, but an increasing number are turning towards PEO companies because of their expertise in HR and the advanced web-based technologies used to administer their services. In these cases, the PEO usually works in tandem with the in-house HR staff.
Why Should I Use a PEO?
There are numerous advantages to outsourcing your human resource functions to an employee services company. First and foremost, it allows you and your staff to focus on the activities that directly contribute to growing revenue. Payroll taxes can be complicated and mistakes can be expensive; and with a PEO, you have the experts handling it. Because the firm serves as a co-employer, much of the liability and risk related to employees is shifted from you to them. Because the PEO handles all human resource functions, companies typically have no need to pay in-house staff, or are able to maintain a very simple infrastructure.
Since PEO firms act as co-employers to hundreds or even thousands of employees, they can offer benefits packages that would normally be out of reach for your company. This co-employer relationship also means that smaller businesses with less than 50 employees, can offer protections and benefits to workers that normally would not apply. While hiring is still ultimately in your hands, the PEO can provide valuable services to help you recruit and maintain quality employees. All of these aspects can give you a competitive edge in hiring.
What is the Difference between PEOs and Employee Leasing?
Much of the terminology used to describe employee leasing carried over into tasks that are now considered the purview of PEO firms. For this reason, there is often confusion about exactly what these companies do and whether it is similar to employee leasing. These two services are very different, however. Employee leasing involves staffing firms providing workers to a company, either for a specific project or set amount of time. Once the work has been completed, these workers go back to the staffing service for new assignments. PEO firms do not provide employees, they simply manage the ones a company already has.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who covers all things business, from human resources to internet marketing tips.
Patiently placing a vinyl sticker on your boat will save you headaches in the long run. Avoid the urge to rush through the cleaning or adhering process to place your decal effectively. Adhere your sticker on a fair weather day but make sure to avoid directly sunlight and any sandy or dusty conditions for a flawless placement.
Be careful to peel the sticker slowly on a windy day since the sticky decal can easily fold older itself or crease in such conditions. Use oven cleaner to remove old painted letters where you want to place your new sticker. Always wear eye protection and gloves during the cleaning process to be safe. More than anything else simply take your time during the adhering process to effectively place your sticker.
Use acetone or similar aggressive cleaning solution to clean surface of dirt and grime. Clean once again with soapy water to remove any residue consistent with old sticker decals. Allow area to dry so no residue affects the placement of new decals. The optimal temperate for sticker placement should be between 45 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Note that applying stickers in environments where the humidity rises above 90% can adversely affect the application process.
Mark off where you want to place the sticker with masking tape. Underline this region to pinpoint the spot or simply use the ghosted image remaining from your former sticker.
Mix a cleaning solution of water and liquid detergent. Separate the decal from the paper backing and mist water on the spot where you wish to place the decal. Spray mist on the decal’s sticky side.
Position the decal in the desired position while the area remains very wet. Slide the sticker into place using the soapy, viscous water. Note that the water does not affect the adhesion of the sticker. Using fluid simply helps to reduce air bubbles and with positioning of the decal.
Squeegee water from under the decal. Work your way toward the edges from the middle to effectively remove water from under the sticker. Stroke in one direction at a time. Using a back and forth motion will not effectively remove water. After repeating this motion for several times you will have reduced air and water build up from underneath the sticker.
Allow the decal to dry. Drying times vary with the air temperature from 15 minutes to 3 hours. Shade the treated area to avoid direct sunlight during the drying process.
Peel the clear tape so the decal affixes to the boat. If the decal does not stick effectively to the boat allow the sticker to dry before trying to peel the translucent tape.
Observe the decal for bubbles. Burst big bubbles with a small pin and address smaller bubbles by using a squeegee to smooth it out to the closest edge. Tiny bubbles will disappear after being exposed to the sun for an extended period of time.
About the Author: Ryan Biddulph shares tips to help you adhere custom vinyl lettering stickers
Whether you need to get rid of trash before a big move or simply need to rent a receptacle for summer cleaning at your school or place of business using a roll off dumpster provides you with a convenient means to dispose of unwanted materials. Before you decide to rent a roll of number become aware of any hazards associated with using such a receptacle. Keep small children away from dumpsters and evenly load the containers to avoid any tragic accidents.
Think safety and research all that you need to know before using any roll off services.
Resist the urge to overload your dumpster just to take the most advantage of your rental. Avoid any additional fees from the rental company by loading responsibly. You might not even be able to get your dumpster picked up if you overload the receptacle. Prevent any safety hazard as items stacked too high tend to fall off of dumpsters and can damage properties or harm individuals in the vicinity. Never load your roll off dumpster above the container top to stay safe.
Since many children see dumpsters as play things be mindful of safety. Prohibit kids from playing by or near dumpsters. Since people using these containers might not see or hear small children playing by dumpsters you can avoid a dangerous situation by not allowing kids to be anywhere near the receptacle. Many items being tossed into dumpsters contain nails or sharp edges which can injure children and adults alike. Since kids like to play hide and go seek or similar games close the dumpster side door if you are not actively using the container. Talk to your children about dumpster safety lessons to drill home the point that these large containers are dangerous and should never be viewed as a play thing.
Never Toss Forbidden Materials in Dumpsters
Avoid tossing any toxic, flammable or hazardous materials in dumpsters to adhere by safety regulations. Be mindful of any local ordinances related to prohibited materials. Dangerous materials can threaten residents who live or walk by the dumpster during the rental period. Be safe to protect your family and friends. Keep workers at the facility working with the dumpster as well as the driver transporting the dumpster in mind too. Tossing hazardous material into a roil off dumpster might seem like a quick and easy way to dispose of materials but you can jeopardize the safety of many people through your moment of mindlessness. Dispose of such trash in accordance with local laws. Avoid any stiff fines and think about others. Leave dangerous materials out of your dumpster.
Even out the Load
Spread out trash materials evenly to safely use your roll off dumpster. Load heavy materials from front to back to evenly distribute any weight throughout the container. Piling all heavy materials near the end of the dumpster can create a safety hazard during transport. Distributing the load evenly can help workers pick up your dumpster and transport the materials from the rental spot to the warehouse.
About the Author: Ryan Biddulph enjoys sharing roll off dumpster safety tips to help you avoid accidents.