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What is Visual Search?

As per a statistical report, 62% of millennials and Gen Z would use visual search over all other search methods.

Before we dive into the best practices, let’s see what Visual Search is and the best practices to implement one, if you haven’t already.

Source: fullestop.com

What is Visual Search?

Visual Search exploits Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help people perform their search by means of the real-world imagery rather than text search.

For example, if a person takes a photo of an object by Google Lens for example, teh software can identify the object within the image and provides feedback and details about it to the user.

This technology is especially useful to retail and eCommerce businesses — if you implement well-optimized content, you can stand a chance of being the returned search result for a user.

Such an approach will result in attracting more users and increased profit.

Source: analyticsinsight.net

How does Visual Search differ from Image Search?

Visual Search involves searching for the specific item via text, voice and vision — it belongs to a category known as ‘sensory search’.

Both visual and image search are based on imagery but there is an important difference — for image search, people still use words while for visual search, users can utilize an image to handle the same search.

Image search has been present for a long time, nearly 20 years — Google introduced this search format back in 2001 due to the inability of a search engine to cope with all the searches of Jeniffer Lopez and the green dress she wore on Grammy Awards back in 2000.

Visual Search works with a combination of Computer Vision and Machine Learning.

Computer Vision helps machines to interpret what they ‘see’ before deciding what to do with the information.

Computer vision has been present for a long time but with the progress of Machine Learning it became more advanced.

Machine Learning brings details that Computer Vision needs to understand better what is on the image.

Google lens, with help of this technology, cross-referenced the details with Google Knowledge Graph.

Source: youtube.com/h&m

The Biggest Platforms in Visual Search

Google and Bing visual search are mainly used for information retrieval alongside shopping while each of the major visual search platforms offer slightly different search options.

Pinterest Lens

Pinterest Lens was introduced in 2017 and already in 2019, they announced that the technology is able to recognize over 2.5 billion items.

With Pinterest Lens, users can submit images of almost anything and the platform can save the or shop the object on the photo. Pinterest stated that 90% of users’ purchasing decisions were enabled via the information gathered through this technology.

Clothes retailers can post ‘shop by look’ pins so that users may identify or search for garments within a certain image.

The engine can also find similar items to recommend to users in case a user decides that they do not want the exact product but would like something else similar to the original one.

Google Lens

Google Lens was launched back in 2017 and due to its advanced visual search abilities, it quickly became the most popular visual search platform.

In the following year, Google Lens was integrated with Google Image Search and in 2019, a study was published stating that their image recognition technology was more accurate than other similar platforms.

Google Lens technology is present in many Android applications like Photos, Google Assistant and Google Search.

The capabilities to combine multiple apps gives Google Lens a head start over the other similar engines — for example, if a user takes a photo of a sign in a foreign language via Google Lens, it can instruct Google Translate app to provide a translation in their own language.

Source: selesti.com

Bing Visual Search

Bing Visual Search is a bit different as it provides users with both information and products, similar to Bing search engine. It provides users with related items and pricing details.

Bing works similarly to other visual search engines and it has an extensive developer platform.

For example, if Bing guides a user to a particular item on your website, a developer has the ability to define the actions that will be offered to the user.

Source: mspoweruser.com

Amazon StyleSnap

Amazon’s visual search app was announced in June 2019 — it allows users to take photos of objects or products using this function within Amazon’s mobile app and then users are provided with the relevant details and similar items.

Amazon StyleSnap has already been working with Instagram platform for creating an integrated shopping experience for its users.

This technology is very useful for companies that sell on Amazon as they can get their products in front of consumers in an already competitive market.

Developers are also given the opportunity to read the latest guides for implementing StyleSnap.

Source: newsroom.snap.com

Snapchat Camera Search

Snapchat announced their Camera Search in September 2018 inviting users to search for products on Amazon via their app.

It works in a way that the app recognizes a barcode and then an Amazon card is provided to a user offering a link to a specific product or selection of similar products from their store. If the user has their app, they can click on the app and will be directly led to the wanted page.

Unfortunately, Snapchat did not post any latest updates or additional features, but you can read more about their AR and other features in their help guide.

Visual Search Best Practices

There are numerous benefits if implemented visual search but we will talk about these in one of the future articles.

Let’s check the best practices that websites should stick to so to appear in visual search:

Use Structured Data

One of the most important things is to provide as much information as possible to search engines, when adding any kind of content to your website.

The best is to use structured data for images as it can help your website to appear in Google rich snippets.

There are general structured data guidelines in Google for you to learn more about but also the type of structured markup that you can also add.

Add Alternative Text

Alternative texts are also known as ‘alt tags’ or ‘alt descriptions’ — it appears in place of an image in case it fails to load on the screen.

Alternative text is ‘read’ by search engines to help understand the meaning of the image. Users that use screen readers would also need alt text to understand the context of the photo. Alternative text should be authentic, concise and well written.

For example, if your image shows a man holding a red cup of coffee, your alternative text may sound like this: ‘Young man holds a red cup of coffee at home’ or in more details.

Source: moz.com

Use Descriptive Filenames

A popular phrase today says: Context is everything.

Majority of image files are commonly named like this: ‘IMG 12345.JPG’ but you should try better and provide as many details as you can.

If we follow the above example, instead of using such an impersonal name, rename it to: ‘man-with-red-cup-of-coffee.jpg’.

Although it is difficult, try to provide a unique filename to that image besides being clear and concise.

Have an Image Sitemap

If you provide an image sitemap, you can increase a chance for your images to be discovered by search engines. This is especially useful if you have Javascript loaded images.

If you provide an image sitemap, Google will easily identify, crawl and index your images.

Source: mural.co

Use Suitable Image Size and File Type

Having optimization of your content in mind, it is important to use the appropriate file size of images as it can affect the loading time of your site for your users. A site with slow loading speed can trigger users to leave your site.

There are some sites which are excellent for compressing images like: TinyPNG, CompressNow, Optimizilla and more.

Besides file size, pay attention to the type of files you use on your website. For example, Google Images supports the following file types:

  • Bmp
  • Gif
  • Jpeg
  • Png
  • WebP
  • SVG

Each file type has its pros and cons, where for example GIFs may not be suitable for some commercial websites.

Other Elements

The above listed recommendations relate only to images, but you should consider the other elements like SEO and other associated items to appear in visual search results:

  • Overall site speed
  • Overall site performance
  • Your site’s accessibility
  • Quality of images
  • Originality of the content and the images

FINAL WORD

Today’s technologies like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) can help provide users with sensory search in all its forms.

As major search platforms push the boundaries of search features, it is vital for marketers and website owners to make plans for the future search options.

Keep in mind that younger internet users will expect such features so try to decide which approach can be the best for your business to follow.

Top Methods To Secure Your Business After A Data Breach

A cybersecurity attack occurs every 39 seconds and can cost your business significantly. Your business is responsible for keeping customer and client data safe, keeping your tech stack secure, and ensuring trust for all your stakeholders.

How can businesses respond to a data breach and prevent a second incident?
Here we’ll discuss the top methods to secure your business after a data breach. These tools, trends, and technologies will help you to ensure your business does not suffer a second data breach, equipping your business to meet the security demands of the current climate.

Source: due.com

Best Methods For Securing Your Business After A Data Breach

Here are the best cyber-physical methods to secure your business after a data breach.

Invest In Physical Security

Protecting your business from data breaches doesn’t just require cybersecurity – it also requires physical security protection. 

So, which are the best tools for physical security? 

To keep your server rooms and the data stored in your office building secure, you must ensure that no intruders can enter the property.

Implementing access control is the best solution to prevent unauthorized parties from entering your building. Modern access control solutions help secure your facility without sacrificing convenience for the daily user. You can use keycards for entry or invest in a mobile-first access control system that allows users to download access credentials onto their mobile devices. 

Utilizing modern card readers for access control allows for door access via cloud-based and mobile-enabled applications. It also enables for the management of security data and operating door locks remotely.

Entering the building with a mobile-first access control solution is also convenient. Rather than the user rooting through their bags and pockets to pull out their access device, they can enter without presenting the device to the reader. 

All the user needs to do is trigger the motion sensor on the access reader with a wave of their hand. Having detected this motion, the reader will then communicate with the user’s mobile device and unlock the door. The reader uses three remote communication methods (WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular) to ensure no failure and permit entry on the first attempt.

Your employees can enter with their hands full, and no queues will form at your building’s entrance – cloud-based access control doesn’t hinder productivity for your business.

Source: controltechinc.com

MFA, Biometrics, And Identity Verification

One of the main flaws in any access control system is the potential for an unauthorized user to gain possession of access credentials and use them to enter your building. 

To keep your data secure, you need assurance that this can’t happen and that only authorized users will be allowed to enter your building. You can use identity verification, biometrics, and MFA to ensure all users are who they claim to be:

  • MFA – multi-factor authentication requires the user to present two or more credentials before entering the building. These credentials might be mobile access credentials, passwords, biometrics, or facial recognition.
  • Biometrics – fingerprint scanners, retina scanners, and voice recognition tools can help you to ensure that the user is identified before they enter the building.
  • Identity verification – by integrating access control with video surveillance, you can implement identity verification software to verify the identity of users. The software helps you to automate the process and removes the need for manual intervention. If you invest in a video intercom reader, you gain a touchless access reader and a high-definition camera in a single device, facilitating identity verification. The intercom reader is also helpful for checking the identity of a building visitor before remotely granting them access.
Source: tgdaily.com

Integrate Cyber And Physical Security

You can integrate cyber and physical security to fortify your business against modern security threats. With so many cloud-based security tools being implemented, it becomes necessary for companies to consider cyber and physical security as interconnected.

Thus, security and IT teams must work together to ensure their cyber and physical security approaches are aligned. With both teams merged, you can integrate cyber and physical security tools seamlessly:

  • Cybersecurity protection – your cloud-based physical security tools require cybersecurity protection to prevent a breach of security data. 
  • AI and analytics – your IT team can help your physical security team to implement AI and analytics, screening surveillance footage and other security data for anomalies. If the AI software detects a threat, your team can receive alerts on their mobile device for a rapid response.
  • Zero-trust for physical security – you need to apply zero trust to your cyber and physical strategies. Your employees should receive permission to access only the physical and digital resources they need and nothing further. This way, you can mitigate the severity of an internal security breach. Install smart door locks to protect any areas in your building that host sensitive data and assets, and ensure that only high-level employees have permission to enter these areas.
Source: isc2central.blogspot.com

Educate Your Employees In Response To The Breach

If your security breach was caused by human error, you need to provide your employees with education on best cybersecurity practices. You can implement password management software to ensure your employees set strong passwords and do not reuse passwords. 

And, you can provide seminars on how to spot phishing scams. It is also prudent to establish a company-wide software update policy. Your employees should not be working using outdated software versions, as there could be vulnerabilities in older versions of the software that the developers remedied with the update.

Conduct Regular Cyber And Physical Penetration Testing

To implement an effective security strategy, you must perform consistent penetration testing.

Security threats are constantly evolving, and your system needs to evolve in response to these security threats. Regular penetration testing will identify vulnerabilities in your cybersecurity and physical security strategy and reveal areas that need revision.

Source: travelers.com

Businesses Need Cyber-Physical Strategies

The modern security climate requires businesses to merge disparate cyber and physical security strategies. Current security threats can be both cyber and physical. 

The only way to keep your data secure is to implement tools and methods that secure your business from both a cyber and physical standpoint. 

Consider these methods in line with your current security strategy, and identify whether these methods may remedy any vulnerabilities.

4 Ways to Use Blockchain to Improve Supply Chain Management

The supply chain in the past was way simpler than it is right now. With the world becoming more interconnected, the current supply chain has become incredibly complex. 

With larger networks, multiple products, millions of customers, multimodal transportation, several stages, several locations, etc. it has become much harder to manage the whole logistics process.

Problems Due to Complex Supply Chains:

Owing to its complexity, it becomes challenging for the organizations to coordinate, cooperate and keep a track of the whole logistics process to make it transparent. The lack of transparency and loss of track can result in the mishandling of the product, information or financial sprawl, counterfeiting, and above all the dissatisfaction of the customer.

These disruptions, in turn badly impact revenues, the overall cost of the product, sales, and, the speed of production and distribution in the longer run. 

Many companies have been looking for ways to make the supply chain transparent and increase visibility across the whole logistics process. Then blockchain came to the rescue.

Source: walletweekly.com

How is Blockchain Helping?

Blockchain operating principles are based on its three important features:

  • Immutability
  • Transparency
  • Decentralization

Immutability

All the links in the supply chain have become increasingly complex. Also with the involvement of third parties, suspicion of illegal practices increases. 

With immutability, meddling with the data becomes impossible. Whatever changes are made, all the information is shared with the people involved. Hence, the chances for fraud and counterfeiting are almost reduced to zero. Blockchain can help improve the efficiency of the whole logistics process. 

Providing a single source of information that is too dominated by the features of transparency and immutability, blockchain helps build trust among the stakeholders.

Decentralized Data Structures

Blockchain having decentralized data structures provides public and private digital ledgers that can assist in the coordination of important information and in keeping a track of it. 

As they are decentralized, they are not owned by a single entity, and the data is shared among everyone who is a part of the whole network.

Source: btcmanager.com

Transparency and Traceability

Blockchain can help logistics and freight forwarding companies handle their business with a larger network that may be spread across several cities or countries efficiently. Not only this, but blockchain can also build up a system that ensures better security and more transparency across the supply chain giving the organization opportunities to grow exponentially.

Technology has transformed all aspects of our lives, intending to make it easy and efficient. Though the technology of blockchain was developed for bitcoin, it is considered to be the game-changer in the field of logistics as it brings reliability and integrity to a company. 

The companies with the help of blockchain can track the shipment at every step; from the order placement to its delivery with guaranteed transparency. Thus, it can help organizations to improve customer relationships by earning their trust.

Tracking in Real-time

As discussed earlier, blockchain can provide tracking at every step of the supply chain. From the order placement to its delivery, all the stages can be easily and speedily traced without any hassle. 

Blockchain can be used to track the whole life-cycle of a product and trace its movement and status from the manufacturer to the consumer.

Tracking Eatables and Medicines

It has proven to be extremely beneficial for companies that deal with eatables. Checking on the credibility of the food items including vegetables and fruits has never been that easy. 

Moreover, it helps ensure the safety of the product. Data security in the health department is paramount. 

The transportation of temperature-sensitive items including medicines is a huge responsibility. 

Security of Product Ensured

Any kind of delay or product manipulation could result in grave consequences. 

But with blockchain, as the tracking becomes easier, the product’s security can be ensured.

Source: supplychain247.com

Building a Customer’s Trust

Some companies are using this technology to let their customers look up the chain history by using blockchain-based QR codes with the help of a smartphone app. 

This traceability protocol is allowing its customers to trace the product to the point of its origin leading to sustainable consumption and building trust in the customers.

Digitally Secure Transaction

Blockchain agreements allow digital transactions to offer a transparent and secure process. Moreover, it can help spot any sort of financial anomaly in billing, invoices, and payments by taking care of all the critical data and the chances of counterfeiting are reduced to zero. 

With a single data silos, blockchain enables multi-party transactions resulting in transparency and facilitating automated business transactions. It offers innovative business models with more transparency and more visibility.

Automation

Many parts of the logistics procedure are still required to be done manually and depend on some paper-based documentation which can create trouble to track the product. Blockchain can help overcome these problems. 

Blockchain enables automation. Having the ability to store a large amount of unstructured data digitally, the commercial process can be automated as soon as the terms and conditions of the contracts are met. 

The self-regulation of the contracts saves time, and hassle and secures the interests of the people involved.

Trusting Each Other

Blockchain’s feature of immutability makes it impossible for anyone to manipulate or corrupt the data. So blockchain helps build a good level of trust and credibility in the supply chain. 

Whether it’s about the transactions or the safety of the product, all can be ensured using blockchain as it also enhances the visibility in the supply chain. Nothing can be tampered with.

suuplychainbeyond.com

Confidence and Trust

The efficiency and reliability of the supply chain can considerably be improved using blockchain as it requires minimal bureaucracy and paperwork. 

The lengthy paperwork can be replaced by an automated digital data structure that can’t be played with. It ensures that the information is accurate as controlled access is given to everyone involved giving confidence and trust.

Security

Blockchain provides security against the prevalent risks of hacking or data manipulation. The information and data breach in the older ways of agreements could be easily compromised.

Blockchain-Based Smart Contracts

As discussed earlier, smart contracts can be self-executed and are fully autonomous after being launched.  

Moreover, the regulation of manual contracts often requires the involvement of lawyers, brokers, litigators, etc. which costs a lot of money. This money can be saved with the help of blockchain technology.

Source: cubix.com

Locating Any Condition in Agreement

Business agreements often involve a great number of pages and hundreds of clauses and sometimes it becomes hard to keep a track of them and to make sure that every step is being followed. 

With blockchain, it becomes easier to locate any clause and the parties agreeing to a contract can easily ensure if the conditions are being taken care of or not.

Avoiding Delay

The contracts and agreements between different parties require time and the services of lawyers and bankers for their regulation. This can cause a delay in the whole process and a lot of costs.

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Danielle Gregory is a full-time Writer, Traveler, and Marketing Expert at Al Sharqi Shipping. She writes about a range of subjects such as Supply chain, Logistics, and IoT.

Why are Graph Databases an Essential Choice For Master Data Management

Unlike other databases, relationships between data is a priority to graph databases. This helps the querying of relationships to be done faster because they are perpetually stored in the database. 

Graph databases are useful for heavily interconnected data and are an essential choice for master data management.

Graph databases eliminate the need for programmers to devise temporary or workaround solutions in an effort to query the data in a way that takes relationships into account by including relationships directly into the database. Instead, relationship-based searches are simple to use and provide results very immediately. For a large and complicated amount of data, like the master data repository of a firm, this degree of query sophistication becomes more crucial.

Since master data management (MDM) is all about the consistency, accuracy, and accountability of an enterprise’s official shared master data assets, we can see just how important graph databases are to MDM. 

Let us see exactly why.

Source: trendsinmasterdatamanagement.blogspot.com

Helps Create Relationships Between Data Points

In MDM, programmers usually query voluminous and complex sets of data just like those in a company’s master data repository. In doing this, they have to create makeshifts or work around solutions to know what relationships there are between data sets. 

Graph databases can prevent this volume of work by building relationships directly into the database and so any relationship-based queries by the programmers are returned almost immediately because they are straightforward. So, unlike standard databases which only focus on capturing individual data points, a graph database consists of two entries which are the nodes and the relationships. 

The latter is very essential for Master Data Management and this additional context of relationships between data points helps companies gain a deeper understanding of important connections.

Takes Advantage of Machine-to-machine Communications

The next generation of the internet called web 3.0 or the semantic web is defined by the common semantic standard (W3C). 

Companies that embrace Master Data Management models always look at solutions that enable the shift to web 3.0, thereby allowing machines to communicate easily with each other. Graph databases are essential to MDM here because they will work well in web 3.0. Graph databases store information in a way that provides down-to-earth meaning with connections between each set of data. This helps machines like AI and robots make MDM work easier. This makes better decisions possible. 

Graph databases will also help to bridge whatever gaps there are between machine analysis and human understanding of Master Data Management. The building of relational information into databases makes it possible for AI to easily make something of the information and do the rest of the work needed for data management.

Source: dataversity.com

Helps with Data Compliance

When sharing data with stakeholders, it is necessary to remember one of the most pressing reasons for the shift toward MDM which is compliance. 

Data privacy regulations are key these days and there have been severe punishments to businesses that strayed away from that pathway. This is where graph databases come in. Graph databases usually offer flexibility and most importantly, security. This is because they are mostly secured by immutable ledger technology. So they are essential to MDM because they assure companies making use of it of the data lineage with a reproducible audit trail. 

For companies that use knowledge graphs to understand their customers, business decisions, and product lines, this level of traceability by graph databases, helps ensure compliance on an internal level which is very key to business growth and development.

Helps Make Sense of Big Data

Any data that is stored in graph databases as part of the Master Data Management framework is more discoverable and usable in the context of the semantic web. This allows interoperability by making it very easy to share with stakeholders and enabling them to make meaningful decisions. It is easier to make these data-driven decisions because graph databases help make more sense of massive data based on its accuracy and completeness. 

This is very important to companies, especially the FMCG that are always trying to make sense of their shipping and sales data and put it to intelligent use by projecting it for the future. The technology that supported these analyses in years past was too sophisticated then but now, graph databases have made it easier.

Source: trendsinmasterdatamanagement.blogspot.com

Final word

Traditional hierarchical data must be reinterpreted as graphs because business demands development and personnel reporting connections are only one illustration of this. Tracking data in a graph database is very simple after it has been restructured into a more flexible paradigm. 

With the use of graph databases as a critical tool, leveraging enterprise data to make information-based decisions has become way easier than years ago when companies relied on programmers to query relationships between data sets. Just like Master Data Management, graph databases are now playing an important role in shaping enterprise technology’s future.

At the moment, fraud protection technologies, social media, and recommendation engines frequently use graph databases. In each of these situations, the additional information provided by the interconnections between the data pieces aids businesses in recognizing key linkages. All the big companies that had their work cut out for them with big data analysis now rely on graph databases to simplify the process with even more in the bag than a mere data analysis.

When is the Right Time to Replace Your Warehouse Management System and How?

If you notice any problems with the WMS, it may be an indicator that you may need to replace your WMS system – if you cannot keep up with the pace and scale of the broader manufacturing operation. 

Some of the problems listed are inventory management, overall warehouse productivity, order fulfillment and performance.

Your finance staff can assess how much sales, gross margin and yield was gone due to an inadequate WMS process. 

The following reasons are crucial to build a strong business case and replace your existing system.

Source: greytrix.com

REASONS TO REPLACE WMS

  • Planning within your supply chain gets interrupted or breaks down with the result of more allocations, changes in on-time delivery and more. 
  • Product quality issues from suppliers that were not detected within the preliminary warehouse assessment. 
  • Speeding up the production orders or payment of rush charges to deliver the final products as per agreed delivery dates. 
  • Yard Management fails while inventory is assembling
  • Applying and using the manual-based methods to get your warehouse levels balanced to have enough raw materials to complete the production gaps
  • The operational costs increase per distribution location
  • Affected schedules due to lack of materials in the storages
  • Previous taxonomies/classifications/nomenclatures start to fail leading to misplaced orders
  • Warehouse management becomes the primary source of cost overruns (higher costs per unit etc.)
  • Production outturns decrease with more flaws and rejects leading to gross margin reductions
Source: appwrk.com

STEPS TO BUILD A CASE FOR WMS

The following steps are important in order to build a business case for a Warehouse Management System (WMS):

Create a change management plan including C-level partners to support WMS implementation

The high-cost part of any WMS case is to change management and get staff onboard for the WMS system. It will be challenging to have supervisors or managers in production as well as every warehouse location to use it once it comes online. For each dollar you invest in software, have in mind that you will spend even to five times more on change management, training and reinforcing the value of the new WMS. 

Build a Multi-functional Team to Help 

When defining a multi functional team, you should include all relevant roles such as finance, legal, IT, logistics, sales, procurement and HR. 

These departments are important to create a strong business case. Finance team will be invaluable when designing financial statements, modeling different scenarios and coordinating operations to gain deeper insights into costs. 

Source: mobisoftinfotech.com

Define the scope and scale of your business case 

Before you arrange for a cross functional meeting, you should define the scale and scope of the case – rely on the first meetings to gather the feedback and calibrate the structure. 

It is important to understand the structure of your business case before the cross-department meeting to start building a roadmap. 

The structure of your business case should include:

Goals and Objectives

Firstly, you should define the most urgent issues that you can measure financially. Try to benchmark the losses from the issue sector and the financial performance based on the above listed signs. 

Define the scope and scale of the proposed WMS

What business needs the suggested WMS focuses on and check if there are any cross-functional aspects of WMS that should be improved. 

Summarize the requirements and define costs

Cooperate tightly with your financial department and catch the predicted costs for the new WMS based on the quotes. Additionally, calculate all the benefits and cost reduction of implementing a new WMS system. 

Finance team along with cross-functional teams will need to define the constraints and potential risks affecting the entire WMS business case. 

Define a proposed Project Plan

Make a Gannt chart along with all the necessary details included (resources, potential conflicts etc.) and meet with your C-level management – ask them for assistance in obtaining resources and engagement from other teams to get the WMS project implemented and finalized. 

Source: supplychain247.com

Summarize the Investment Benefits for WMS promotion

You should summarize the benefits via creating additional documentation for a new WMS. These documents can help you to support the proposed plan and to show potential outlines on how a new WMS can reduce costs and improve the total revenue growth and sales.  

Additionally, create a financial analysis outlining cost reduction, net gross margin and next sales over the past several quarters. Such data insights are helpful for building the business case while heading towards the new WMS. 

A good way to facilitate the implementation of a new WMS is to create a cost model which can quickly get updated on project management costs, redesign costs and costs of disrupting production. It indicates overtime labor, data cleaning and customizing WMS development. 

Make sure you invest in User Acceptance Testing within all locations where the WMS will be used. 

Source: jasoren.con

Make WMS business case the most urgent initiative 

If you make the WMS business case support the most urgent initiative it will definitely increase the probability of success. Cost reduction is one of the most urgent priorities for many manufacturers. 

Try to outline the WMS business case from a cost reduction aspect and to forecast an increase in order performance in percentages, adding it to new revenues.  A properly deployed WMS can greatly reduce overall costs (operating or not) and drive up turnout rates. 

Recap the key benefits of the new WMS from a cost and revenue aspect and show the effects of improving supply chain and warehouse once the new WMS is implemented. 

Gather C-level leaders and the Board to get approval

If you have an allied group of C-level executives or stakeholders you need to present the WMS business case to, it can be a valuable asset. 

Delegating such a task to the team builds up the probability by over 60% within previous experiences. 

If you show them the impact of WMS on top-line revenue growth, it will significantly increase the probability of success. 

Gain the Funds and start with Implementation

You should assign the Project Manager leader to be in charge of the new WMS implementation. 

Make sure that the designated Project Manager has a valid PM certification and experience in leading enterprise software implementations. 

Source: lucasware.com

Conclusion

When implementing a new WMS, align it with the most urgent business priorities to increase the chance of success. 

You should balance top-line revenue growth requirements with the need for cost reduction. 

Keep in mind that having a scalable WMS is crucial to drive new revenue growth.

5 Types of Software for Businesses in 2022

In this fast-paced society, people want instant results, and businesses need to play along with the demands. By doing so, companies can meet customers’ needs and make them happy with the outcomes.

How can businesses, no matter the size, meet the demand without compromising the quality of their product or service?

Technology is the best tool businesses can leverage to meet their needs and provide what customers ask for.

Computer software is technology that helps businesses to be more productive today. These software programs can manage different tasks and help reach their long-term goals.

Therefore, finding the right tools makes a huge difference in how a business can operate.

Source: the-next-tech.com

Why Choose the Right Software Carefully?

Every business is unique. 

That means that one software program may work for one company but not for another. If you are a small business, you cannot use accounting software that covers a large base clientele like that of a large organization.

The point is finding the right tool is necessary – it will cut down your expenses, deliver improved performance, and help make smarter executive decisions.

Keeping detailed records of client contacts or stock rotation is vital depending on what your company sells and the market it operates within. 

However, a few software solutions require commercial operations.

Source: webbiquity.com

Computer Software for Businesses

Accounting Software

Instead of spending your time doing various tasks manually, accounting software can simplify things. Even accountants will find using accounting software an efficient method.

Accounting software must have the following or one of these features:

Payroll 

It allows businesses to accurately process employees’ payroll, pay-slip, yearly bonuses, etc. It streamlines services from other software to reduce manual approach and allow more timely operation.

Payroll software programs can pay employees on time, track expenses, etc.

Tax 

A comprehensive, user-friendly, and simply implemented tax software solution may give business owners just what they need to negotiate the complexity of any country’s tax regime.

One of the most critical components of preserving business integrity is complying with legal tax duties and estimating the optimal tax result for your company.

Tax software can record your company’s expenses, manage tax computation, or link an accountant to the software.

Source: fourlane.com

Bookkeeping Software

Understanding bookkeeping is critical to making valuable business decisions for a company. When it comes to accounting software, the ability of business owners to receive important accounting information in an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand format is critical. It allows business owners to focus less on complex accounting fundamentals and more on running their business.

Quickbooks

Quickbooks can track and manage expenses, income, accounting tasks, payroll, sales tax, inventory, and more.

It’s best designed for small businesses with 4 tiers offered. It has a mobile app version to help you manage your accounting performance on the go.

  • Job costing
  • Inventory
  • Track expenses
  • Reporting
  • Estimates
  • Tax deduction
  • Sales tax
  • Invoices
Source: accounting-software.financesonline.com

Project Management Software

Another computer software that must be included on every business list is a project management software application. It provides an invaluable logistic flow of projects and tasks in an overview manner.

This sort of software enables users to organize big projects by dividing them down into individual job pieces.

Project managers can track who, how, where and why to manage the organizational flow. They can check on the progress of tasks and where resources are going.

In addition, a competent and well-organized strategy is also necessary for assuring clients that their projects will be done on time and in a professional manner.

Trello

Trello is an all-in-one project management software you can carry with you anywhere. It’s used to manage projects, improve collaboration, and enhance productivity for a faster and better project outcome.

It uses the Kanban-style of boards where you move a task to a new chapter or step once it’s accomplished. It makes managing projects and their workflow seamless. Users may create unique boards and lists with cards that incorporate files, links, checklists, due dates, and more using its simple and easy interface.

You can customize your boards with ready-made templates available. It also allows integration with other tools like Slack, Dropbox, etc.

Source: smallbiztrends.com

Communication Software

Communication is essential to all businesses of any size. It helps tackle issues, collaborate, manage projects, build relationships with customers, and more.

There is no need to go through a lengthy process of delivering a message or rely on emails at all. Now, you can provide instant messages and get answers as fast as you need them.

Communication tools are now comprehensive and allow teams to collaborate faster. It provides an efficient workflow process.

Tools for communication not only allow teams to send messages but permit video and audio calls, live presentations, sharing files, etc.

Slack

Slack is an excellent software for better communication and streamlines all project communication within the business. You can have real-time messaging, collaboration, and feedback.

You can create channels to manage communication faster per project or team. These channels can be private or public.

In addition, you can share files, schedule meetings, add third-party applications, and more. The search function makes it easy to look for a message or file. This eliminates the need to scroll through loads of chats and information. You can also mention a person to get their attention.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is another communication tool on our list. Why? If your business uses the Office 365 software, it’s generally the best communication tool to integrate with. However, Teams can also work as a standalone application.

This chat-based collaboration platform offers more than real-time messaging. It permits audio calls and recordings, video calls, online meetings, file sharing, and integration with Office 365 and other tools.

Teams can work with a small number of employees to more than hundreds.

Like Slack, you can create channels for each department for seamless collaboration. It has fast online video calling and screen sharing that can support discussions between members. Furthermore, there is the integration of SharePoint, document storage, for file sharing.

Source: financialtribune.com

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

Understanding your customers delivers a better way to drive growth and success. CRM software is a tool that can analyze customers and their interactions with them.

This tool provides crucial business insights and assistance that is linked with current and past customers, leads, etc. Identifying your data, trends, and multiple channels improves the overall operation and value of your business.

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is the most outstanding CRM tool. It fits any business size and makes it accessible always.

It works with businesses whether it’s in-office or remote work. Furthermore, it offers an improvement in the leads, increasing sales, and measures the overall performance of campaigns.

Zoho CRM is flexible for businesses, allowing them to customize themes, styles, reports, and forms. It’s easy to make them with the drag-and-drop feature.

Here are some features of Zoho CRM:

  • Classifies leads based on sources and filters to help sales representatives improvise on their pitch or approach to these leads.
  • Provides all details from the moment you get the lead to all the reports.
  • Tracking customer calls in a few clicks. It allows sales representatives to schedule calls and answers to satisfy customers.
  • Integration with other apps for better workflow and better collaboration.
  • Zoho mobile for easier access and faster response.
Source: syntacticsinc.com

Time-Tracking Software

Time-tracking software is for managing time and documentation of work performance. As time is a crucial source for businesses, time-tracking software can help employers check if employees are working on their tasks.

Time management software can track employees’ time and performance which help see areas of your business that need more time.

Time Doctor

Time Doctor is an application that monitors the activities of employees. It offers multiple services from payroll and project management. So, everything is integrated to help managers easily check on tasks, payments, and projects accomplished.

It monitors both the mouse and keyboard activity, getting screenshots at different intervals, and confirms employees are working on a task.

Other features of Time Doctor

  • Distraction alerts: It sends users alerts informing them they have gone off-track on their task.
  • Email notifications: Managers receive notifications or alerts regarding performances. These notifications can be customized depending on some triggers.
  • Works on multiple devices or operating systems.
  • It allows offline tracking.

These are the crucial computer software programs that businesses should have to help them with their tasks and improve their productivity. There are other software programs too, but it depends on how the business operates.

There is a wide selection of software for digital marketing, website building, online payment, cybersecurity, etc.

Source: macupdate.com

Conclusion

Knowing your business is the first step to identify the software your company may need. 

If you are familiar with what can help your business, you can now proceed to find a tool for that concern.

You don’t need the most expensive software for your business. Instead, look for one that offers the features that cover your requirements and allow you to adjust your premium plan as your business grows.