Finding a Safe Dating Site

Seems like everywhere we surf on the Internet nowadays we run across this little advertisement: ‘Free online personals’.

They are everywhere, they are dating sites, and more are opening up shop every day.

Welcome to the newest internet gold rush.

More and more people are signing up to these new and “free” dating sites.

What they are really getting is a place on the web where they can post their profile and let strangers contact them.

As more and more dating sites pile up on the web, more people are ending up with very distasteful experiences because of this.

Why? 99% of today’s (and tomorrow’s) dating sites do not screen their members at all. This means there are sex offenders, predators, scam artists

mixed in with genuine people who are looking to find a match.

Dating services need to be very discretionary and much safer, until that time comes here are some important things to consider

when thinking about joining a dating site.

1). Examine the site’s physical properties. Is it poorly constructed with missing graphics or jagged fonts, mis-aligned sections? If so, this indicates a lack of attention to detail in the construction and layout of the site. It may have been pre purchased and the owner does not have the skill to alter it correctly. Why would you care? Well, a site in a state like this gives a clue that the back end program probably is also in a state of disarray or disregard. If the webmaster cannot construct the face of the site, then it is likely they cannot also construct important safety features behind the site. A hacker then could easily penetrate it and get your personal information including your photo. If you eventually pay this site, your credit information could be stolen as well! A nicely designed site means careful construction and a better chance of good quality code running the site in the background.

2). Look at some sample profiles on the site before you sign up by running a quick search. Do the profiles look a little bogus? A lot of them are. Many sites (especially new ones that have just started up) pad their membership database with photos of models or random (usually good-looking people) to attract new members. Do the profiles have a lot of jibberish characters or nonsensical phrases in the descriptions? That means the dating site you are at does NOT screen the people who sign up. This welcomes people with ill-intent. You should get out of there immediately and go to one that does.

3). Does the site have a privacy link? Look at the bottom of the site’s main page. If they have a privacy link, click it and examine. Make sure they specifically state that they do NOT sell your information to anyone. This is an invitation to a spam and junk-mail nightmare. Also look for some sort of a web site rules page or a terms of use page. Check to see if they screen their profiles or somehow >disallow racial, hate or overly sexual material. If they don’t state this than, anything goes for this site, another reason to leave.

4). Does the site have a links page? If so click and examine. See who they are affiliated with. Usually, there will be graphical banners or icons next to the names of their associations. Are they sex-sites? Spam sites? Even a quick glance in this area could tell you what kind of a dating site you are at.

5). What is the copyright date at the bottom? This could indicate the age of the site. If it is very young, this could help you determine if the site has worked out all the kinks (program bugs) and how many members they have accumulated.

6). Be wary of statements like “You are the 4697th member to join today.” and “Search through millions of profiles.” these statements are usually false. Major sites, which have been running for YEARS usually can support these statements. look for a “whos online” link. If you are the only person (1 guest online means JUST you are there) then you know these claims are false. A site with millions or even thousands of members will always have a bunch of people currently online. If you detect this in a dating site, it is better to leave than to take a chance with a dishonest site. This is just a short list of ideas to help keep you safe when dating online. Be leary, be safe.

250 Watt Grow Light – A Steady Supply of Illumination

Many at-home gardeners have a small plot of land set aside for their plants to grow, and are seeking a growth lighting solution that best addresses this small surface area in the most efficient manner possible. In this case, 250 watt metal halide grow lights are one of the best possible solutions. Providing a strong, energy-efficient glow, a bulb of this wattage can service up to 10 square feet of garden area, particularly if placed directly over the plants being served. There are growth light hangers and stands that allow for perfect positioning of the bulbs.

Every plant needs light to live and grow, making the use of an indoor grow lighting scheme a mandatory one for the indoor gardener. By using a 250 watt grow lights, a gardener is choosing one of the most versatile options on the market, making this a great primary light for all plant types. Just as in the wild, a plant will need to go through the simulated cycle of night and day. To this end, automatic timers can be set that will alternate 12 hours of light with 12 hours of dark. This makes sure that the plant gets to go through its normal rhythmic cycles.

Metal halide bulbs are ideal for those plants that are in the first stages of growth, as well as down the road. This is because they emit a blue-hued tone that falls at the cool end of the color spectrum. a 250 watt metal halide grow light has been shown to increase the rate and power of plant growth. For those plants in the first stage of the life cycle, known as the vegetative stage, this cool light is extremely important to allow for the natural growth processes to occur at the best of the plant's ability. This is in contrast to high pressure sodium lamps, which emit a warm color tone better suited to the plant's reproducible stage.

In any case, using a grow light is a safe and dependable way to light up your home garden without any sort of hassle. These are safe light with a high energy output and a low overall cost level. This makes it an ideal lighting setup for any type of home garden, and a good neutral light for all types of plants that are accredited to sunlight. With the inclusion of accessories such as timers and hangers, growing plants indoors is easier than ever before.

Sentry Fire Safe – The Ultimate Data Protection Chest

SentrySafe has gone a long way. It has been around for about seventy-five years already. With Sentry Fire Safe, you have several options to choose from. They have different types of safe, different dimensions and protection levels. The safes manufactured by this company are very popular worldwide. Although a lot of people and businesses already attested on the premium quality of their product, one of the greatest perks when purchasing their product is being given a whole year warranty and being provided a replacement when the SentrySafe chest was scorched by a blaze. Although you never really wish for fire to happen, it is always better to know that you are provided a replacement once the safe you purchased was already burned by the fire.

There are three main categories Sentry fire safe offers:

1. Fire chests
– Sentry offers several varieties of fire chests. They have a USB data fire chest, which has a USB connector at the back. You can keep the hard drive safely tucked inside the chest. Whenever you need to store additional data on the hard drive, you can just stick in the USB connector. SentrySafe was the first company who was able to produce the first data protection which was both fireproof and waterproof.
– They also have data media fire chests which protect CDs, DVDs and USB sticks. Although data data are expected to burn at a temperature higher than 52 degrees Celsius, this fire protection chest is able to keep the temperature inside for less than 52 degrees Celsius for thirty minutes.
– Waterproof fire chests are among the list of chests which Sentry fire safe has. These are the chests which are not only fireproof but waterproof as well. There are Sentry chests where you can put documents in the hanging suspension files. It can also hold CDs, DVDs, and USB sticks.
– They also have regular fire chest which can end being in a blaze for thirty minutes, but it can keep documents safe. It is one of their most popular chests since the chests are even known worldwide.

2. Fire boxes
– Just like the fire chests, fire boxes have different varieties to brag about. These are only reliably smaller compared to the Sentry chests. Most of these, these are designed to keep small number of documents. And again, there are fireproof and waterproof fireboxes to choose from. There are those which can keep either documents or data media or both. Its size will depend on how many you can put inside.

3. Fire safes
– These fire safes have special digital locks and tubular key lock for security. Just like the first two classifications, it will again depend whether you particularly want a fireproof safe or a waterproof safe or both. It can accommodate both documents and valuables.

In case you are contemplating on which to buy: either a fire box, or a fire chest, or a fire safe, the information given may be of help. It is just better to be safe than sorry, especially for this kind of fire situations.

Flooring Installations – Things to Ensure For Achieving Fabulous Flooring

Flooring installations such as laminate wood flooring provide the look of real wood and are far more convenient, low-maintenance and cost-effective than hardwood. Laminate wood flooring is comparatively more durable, comes in numerous patterns and colors, and is much less expensive than hardwood. Laminate flooring provides the best look of natural hardwood and can easily pass for the real thing.

However, getting the floor installed requires specialized experience and knowledge. Remember, every hardwood installer may not have the same level of expertise and professional skill. Therefore, you need to know for yourself some of the things that are vital for achieving great looking flooring installations.

Below are some of the key points that you need to know in order to get a fabulous floor.

Sub Floor Preparation

Although laminate flooring can be installed over almost any floor type such as concrete, vinyl, tile and natural stone, there is one area that needs to be taken care of. With floating floor types, there may not be a need for a great deal of preparation; however, you need to make sure that is absolutely level and flat.

Ask your hardwood flooring installer to remove all the old lumps of glue and carpet nails that are higher than in inches. Make sure that all the holes larger than three inches are properly filled in and that the sub floor is fully cleaned of any dirt, debris, and dust before the installer starts the actual flooring.

Using the Right Type of Underlay

While installing flooring installations, it is quite imperative to use the underlay and that too, of the right kind. An underlay is a 1/8 inch thick cushioned plastic that is laid under the laminate. This functions as a sound and moisture barrier and is extremely vital if you want to have durable and long lasting laminate flooring. Make sure your installer uses the best quality of underlay that is suitable for your particular type of flooring.

You also need to ensure that the installer rolls out the underlay in the direction where the flooring would be laid. Ask your hardwood installer how he plans to trap the moisture between the sub floor and the laminate wood. Asphalt and rosin paper are some of the ideal choices for this purpose.

If you take the time to consult with your installer and ask the right questions and ensure every precaution is taken for flooring installations, you can be the proud owner of a fabulous looking floor that adds value to your property. Now you are ready to move your blessings back and invite your friends over to receive many compliments for your new floor.

Your Most Important Launch Tool: Building Your List

Growing your business from scratch every day is not easy.

Maybe you are not completely starting over, but if you're working to grow your business online, it sure can feel that way. Every day is a new struggle to build your email list. Each morning you start at zero for the day and work to see how many new subscribers you can get.

It can be frustrating, adding new email subscribers. It's hard work convincing people that you really want to help them, to provide them with terrific content that they are going to love. You work hard to write terrific emails and engaging blog posts and yet your subscriber list builds slowly. You feel like the tortoise.

You know this is work you have to do, but boy, is not it easier to just hop on to your social media account and engage with your fans there? Images, video, fast moving comments – these are the things that pump you up and get your juices flowing. Be careful, this is where you become dangerously close to becoming the hare.

Sure, it's nice to have a massive following on social media. It feels good to know that people respect you, that they enjoy interacting with you, but have you ever considered that these leads, these social media fans you have are not your own?

It's All About Your List: Your Email List
In the world of online marketing, where everything is virtual, all you really have … is your list.

The list of people who love what you're doing, will follow your every word and are likely to buy whatever you sell. If that valuable list of people who love you is only on social media, you are operating at the whim of a company you can not control.

What if you woke up tomorrow and Facebook was gone? How would that affect your business, your client interaction? What if it was Pinterest, or Instagram or Twitter?

Over the past few years we've seen how platforms modify their policies, change their algorithms, and decide to start charging us if we want followers to see our content. This is no way to build your business: at the mercy of someone else's business success.

Whether you have hundreds or thousands of followers on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter, you ever need to move them to your email list if you want to be able to market to them. This can be much more difficult than it sounds. It is easy for people to decide to engage with you on social media, there's very little commitment on their part. All they have to do is click a button. They can log in or out at will, they can block you, or they can unfollow you and you'll never even know. Do not let a huge social media following to give you a false feeling of your popularity.

Just yesterday I responded to someone who is launching her product and since the fact she has thousands of followers on FB who love what she's doing and like her posts, she's unable to get them to buy. That's because social media is for interaction, not sales.

Building Your List is Personal
Getting into someone's email inbox is much more personal than getting them to "like" or share something you've posted on social media. Instead of your message being one of thousands that they scroll through quickly and "like" without reading, now your message is among those the people they care most about: their family and friends.

Once someone trusts you with their email address, once you start offering them amazing content as your beloved subscriber, they will tell you that they appreciate what you have to say by engaging with you, by buying from you. They are allowing you into their inner circle. Make sure you deserve to be there.

Yes, building an email list is hard. Yes it can be slow, but it is also the very best way to give your business a firm and solid foundation. You may feel like a tortoise, but at least your home moves along with you, it is not left behind in the interest of the next flashy new thing.

If you want to build an amazing online business, if you want to be able to launch incredible products to the people who most respect and admire you, trust me. Your most important launch tool is your email list.

Top 10 Points of Encouragement for Weight Loss

On the road to weight loss, fitness, and health, you can easily become discouraged. In fact, discouragement is what leads many people to give-up when they may have been near a point of significant progress and encouragement in their program.

I’ve put together my “top 10” points of encouragement to help keep your spirits high on your road to weight loss, fitness, and health.

1. It does get better – and often very quickly! Many people that are significantly overweight or that have been sedentary for a long time, find any activity, even walking a few hundred feet, to be very difficult and uncomfortable. Be encouraged, many physiological changes happen very quickly once you start moving. Walking, for example, starts getting easier and more comfortable within a couple of weeks. Keep moving – every day will be a little better! Be encouraged!

2. I love this lady’s story. It just makes you want to cheer for her while sitting at your computer. Margie from Madison, Wisconsin weighed 296 pounds when she started walking in her neighborhood. She says she started by walking about half a block twice a day and that it was incredibly difficult at first.

After the second day she had decided to quit but a neighbor encouraged her to continue. Every day she walked the same route but added a little distance each week. She says there were many days when she wanted to quit, but she wanted very badly to lose weight and be healthy. After several months the people in her neighborhood started noticing her consistency and her progress and started giving her compliments and words of encouragement. She said that after a few months of walking, it went from painful to enjoyable.

About ten months into her walking program, she began her morning walk as usual, but she noticed people out in their yards. As she passed each yard they were clapping and cheering for her, “go Margie”, “we’re proud of you Margie”, “congratulations Margie!” She said tears of happiness flowed through her entire walk that morning as over a hundred people cheered her on all along her route! Be encouraged!

3. The visible signs of progress in a weight loss program are often very slow to come. Healthy weight loss takes time, but that can be very discouraging. Be encouraged to know that for each day that you exercise and eat healthy foods in moderate quantities, you have made progress. It might not be measurable that day, but you have made progress and it will be measurable over a period of weeks and months. Be encouraged!

4. Katherine was 43 years-old and had been sedentary for 20 years. The scale had not changed in those 20 years – she still weighed 136 pounds, but she knew she had lost muscle and gained fat. Her waist was bigger and she couldn’t fit into the same size clothes that she did 20 years earlier. What bothered her most was that she was always tired and never had energy.

She decided to start walking and weight training but quit after a week. She said, “it’s too uncomfortable, I can’t keep doing this.” I encouraged her to continue and told her that it would get better. She “quit” three times during the next two weeks. We talked frequently. Six weeks later she started to notice some muscle tone and she noticed that her endurance and energy level had increased dramatically. She said, “I’m very encouraged!”

Eight months later she had gained two pounds on the scale but lost three inches in her waist – and she walked a marathon! Yeeeeeeesss! Be encouraged!

5. The whole idea behind physical training is that you push your body to do a little more than it’s comfortable with and it responds by making physical and physiological changes. These changes make you capable of doing a little more with less discomfort. Be encouraged!

6. Gerald in New Orleans, Louisiana lost 85 pounds after he started walking and weight training. Once he had lost the weight, he decided to do something that would allow him to fully appreciate his weight loss. For an entire day, he carried around a sack that contained 85 pounds of metal weights.

Getting around during that day was a struggle and very tiring. At the end of the day he was exhausted! Life without the weight is great! Be encouraged!

7. Keep records of your progress. Every day write down the positive changes you’ve noticed and also keep a record of the exercise you do every day. Write down what you did, how long you did it, and any thoughts about your exercise that day. Keep a running total of your minutes. You can look back at what you’ve done with a great sense of accomplishment and you’ll be motivated to do more. Be encouraged!

8. Daily exercise will change your life! I believe God designed humans to be active on a daily basis. Why? because when you are, lots of good things happen..

– you are healthier

– you feel better and have more energy

– you are less likely to develop cancer, heart disease, stroke, etc.

– you sleep better

– you have a better outlook on life

– your relationships with people are enhanced

– your skin looks healthier

– you are sick less often

– your immune system is stronger

– you lose fat

– you gain toned, lean muscle

– you look healthier

Be encouraged!

9. Betty Jo in Tuscaloosa, Alabama wrote to me.. “Greg, After 24 years of being married to a grouchy, pessimistic man who didn’t enjoy life, I saw all that change over a period of about a year. Harold was the classic 70 pound overweight couch potato when he was scared into exercising and healthier eating habits by the death of his 46 year-old friend.”

Harold’s doctor recommended that he start walking every morning and after a couple of weeks Harold told Betty Jo that he wanted to start eating better. Harold really took-off with this “health thing” and lost 72 pounds and become a new man – inside and out. In Betty Jo’s words, “I have a new husband. He walks for an hour every morning and he is a joy to be around. His enthusiasm for life makes our marriage fun.” Be encouraged! 10. Progress and improvement generate encouragement. YOU can progress and improve and be encouraged to do more. Tomorrow morning, put on your walking shoes and take a walk, even if it’s just a few minutes. The next day, do it again – progress and improve.

Be encouraged!

copyright 2001 by Greg Landry, M.S.

Pan Tilt and Zoom Surveillance Equipment or PTZ Equipment

Pan, Tilt and Zoom, abbreviated to PTZ, is commonly used terminology within the security and surveillance industry or marketplace. The PTZ acronym can be applied as follows: – a ptz camera, a ptz controller, ptz equipment or ptz software. A PTZ enabled surveillance camera can be controlled remotely in the following manner: –

– To PAN means to move the camera from side to side or control movement in the horizontal plane.
– To TILT means to move the camera up and down or control movement in the vertical plane.
– To ZOOM means, as you'd expect, to zoom in towards or zoom out and away from your subject.

As with almost all aspects of life the introduction of computers and development of technology has brought huge developments to the security and surveillance industry. The modern PTZ camera will be a digital camera such that the zoom is no longer a movement of a lens rather it is digital zoom and all the movements, the pan and tilt, can be controlled remotely.

A PTZ camera is obviously going to be more expensive than a static or fixed camera but the versatility of the camera enables you to monitor an area which may have required 5 or 10 fixed cameras. The PTZ camera can be controlled in number of different depending on your own requirements.

A number of companies manufacture dedicated PTZ controllers and these will typically allow you to control the functions of multiple cameras from a dedicated controller which probably includes a joystick to enable the pan and tilt to be controlled simultaneously.

Some of the most advanced ptz software available is from a company called Milestone which has a range of products based on IP technology enabling any IP camera to be directly accessed via a standard computer network (cabled or wireless). [IP is computer jargon but simply means you give a device, a PC, laptop, printer, camera etc an IP address then it can be accessed using industry standard commands]. PTZ surveillance then takes a new meaning because the Milestone software integrates the movement controls of the camera, that is the PTZ, and images from the camera thereby providing you with an IP based network video recorder.

The modern IP based Mega Pixel camera will record enough pixels to provide a high level of zoom or magnification and still display an easily readable image. If you link a smart PTZ enabled IP Mega Pixel camera with a variety of detectors, such as motion detectors, panic alarm button or magnetic contacts for doors or windows, then you can see just how powerful a system you can create. Whilst you can easily imagine these systems behind the scenes in large casinos you can also begin to understand how perhaps one or two versatile ptz cameras could provide a very sophisticated home based security and surveillance system.

If you do create an IP based CCTV surveillance system with PTZ equipment then you'll almost certainly have the ability to monitor and interact with your system from any remote internet connection. Your software will also allow you to quickly search any current or archived information.

Jeep Tops – Preparing For the Fall

The final days of summer are winding down. Before you know it, the leaves will be changing colors, the kids will be heading back to school, and pumpkin patches will be sprouting up. The endless summer days filled with cloudless skies perfect for off-roading will soon fade into misty, overcast mornings and cool, crisp evenings. It's important to realize that the change of weather will have an effect on your Jeep.

Jeep tops are basically an essential component for any Jeep once the colder weather starts to sink in. Not only will you want to avoid shivering when that sharp, cold wind hits your skin, but you want to protect the integrity of your jeep from the harsher, unpredictable weather. Of course depending on where you live, the change from summer to fall can be a gradual progress or a very sudden shift. Not all environments will need the same type of Jeep top. Thankfully, there are a variety of Jeep tops available that range from just a little extra protection to complete coverage.

Bikini & Brief Jeep Tops
As the leaves become brittle and begin to fall from their precarious perches, the last place you want them to land is the interior of your Jeep. But if you're ever forced to park under a tree and do not have the protection of a Jeep top, the cab can quickly fill up with this suddenly annoying foliage. Bikini and Brief Jeep tops will keep them out, and provide a number of other benefits.

  • Provide basic overhead coverage from leaves and other debris.
  • Act as a sunshade against the lingering summer rays
  • One of the cheapest and simplest available
  • Best for environments where the weather stays pretty steady and you just need a small amount of protection.

Windjammer & Duster Jeep Tops
As you're driving your jeep to work one morning, you suddenly notice what was once a cool breeze wafting across your face is now a biting wind that feels like it's cutting into your cheeks. Bikini and Brief Jeep tops do not have the side panels to protect you, which is where Windjammers and Dusters come in.

  • As their names suggest, they will protect you from wind in addition to any overhead leaves and debris.
  • Are more effective at keeping out rain
  • Slightly pricier but still on the more affordable side
  • Best for environments where you'll see a slow progress from summer to fall to winter.

Jeep Soft Tops
These are the ultimate fall Jeep tops. Not only are they made from heavy-duty fabric that will protect you against cold wind and rain, but they are also incredibly easy to remove in just a few minutes so you can still take advantage of those last few sunny days. Plus, they'll last for years to come.

  • Marine-grade fabric will be long-lasting and will not stretch out from changes in temperature
  • Will protect you and the interior of your Jeep on all sides
  • If you live in a mild climate where the weather remains fairly consistent year-round, these are perfect because you will not ever need more protection than this.

Jeep Hard Tops
Even though winter is still months away, do not waste your money on a Jeep top that will be great for fall but fail you once winter hits. If you know that you live in an environment where you'll always have to deal with snow, it's not practical to consider Jeep tops that are only good to you a few months out of the year. Look to hard Jeep tops instead.

  • The solid material provides the ultimate protection
  • Include a lot of optional features, like rear window defrosters and dome lights, to make for a more comfortable ride
  • Best for the harshest climates, as they will stand up to pounds upon pounds of snow

With so many types of Jeep tops on the market, it's not difficult to see that there's a Jeep top for everyone's environment and needs. Now you can welcome the colder seasons feeling confident that with your new Jeep top, you will be prepared and your Jeep will be protected.

Patio Awnings – Style and Practicality

For many families nowdays, the patio is the heart of their home. They entertain there, they sit back and relax on fine afternoon, and sitting around a fire pit after a hard day at work is a great way to unwind. You can relax and read a book as the kids play, or chat with friends while ribs sizzle on the barbecue. Many of us spend a substantial amount of money buying good quality patio equipment and furniture, to make sure we get as much use as possible from our patio area, and to make it elegant and comfortable for visitors and ourselves.

Sometimes, though, the great outdoors can be too much a good thing. That's where patio awnings can be great, because they give you more options for using your patio. In summer, when the heat outside can be unbearable, a patio awning can keep your patio shaded and comfortable. More people are realizing just how useful patio awnings can be, and because of their increasing popularity, they can now be purchased in a huge range of colors, styles and options.

One of the reasons that more people are turning to patio awnings is the fact that it's almost like adding another room to the house. The patio can be an attractive part of your house anyway, but with awnings added it can be turned into a huge outdoor room. With tasteful decorations, you get the feeling that your home has been extended out onto the patio, which gives you more options for entertaining.

You can buy patio awnings that are operated either manually or electronically. With a manual awning, you can choose exactly what depth, or pitch, you want for the awning's fabric. Depending on the conditions, you might like to have the awning fully extended, or perhaps only partially open. Electronic, or automatic patio awnings have electronic 'arms' that operate at the push of a button. Some may also have a remote control for easier operation. Most automatic awnings also have a manual option, so that you can still adjust the awnings even during a power outage or if the motor fails.

Global Accounting Information Systems – Some Assembly Required

Financial accounting and reporting can be challenging for many organizations, but for the world’s largest home furnishings company this proved to be especially difficult at the end of the 20th century. IKEA, the Swedish-founded global furniture giant based in the Netherlands operates 280 retail stores in 26 countries, 29 trading offices in 25 countries, and 11 distribution centers in 16 countries. IKEA also owns and operates its own industrial supplier called Swedwood, which has 5 production units in 5 countries. Add to the mix over 1000 other suppliers across 55 countries and the framework is set for a truly global organization where the potential for growth is seemingly limitless, however at the same time it creates a complex global network where accounting information can be hard to manage.

IKEA has experienced solid sales growth every year since its first store opened in Almhult, Sweden in 1958, yet the company has just recently started to grow at a rapid pace. Since 2000, annual sales have more than doubled from 9.6 million euros to 23.1 million euros in 2010. IKEA is able to achieve these results for a number of reasons, such as its strong focus on supply chain management, raw material sourcing, cost management, manufacturing efficiency and economies of scale, and company-wide culture of frugality and doing things within small means. However, despite all of these strong attributes the success of any company is highly dependent on its ability to manage cash flow and financial information so that it can make strategic business decisions and drive future growth.

One often-overlooked aspect of a company’s financial success is the quality of its accounting information systems. Because of its global nature, IKEA was forced to examine its financial system in the late 1990’s due to euro compliance regulation and the Y2K threat. Roger Neckelius, IKEA’s Chief Information Officer and other IKEA executives quickly realized that the company’s myriad of antiquated accounting systems was inadequate for their short term goals of regulatory compliance and their long-term goals of a common, streamlined system that could be used across the IKEA world.

Ulrika Martensson, the Project Manager responsible for implementation of the replacement system began her search with certain criteria that had to be met, such as having one system for all of IKEA that was flexible enough to handle the different needs of the various business units and its users. The system would have to be capable of a quick implementation, and possess the ability to grow along with the company.

Martensson got everything she wished for when IKEA decided on Coda Financials from the United Kingdom, but wasn’t quite prepared for the amount of work that was required to tailor their product to IKEA. The Coda system required that every type of financial transaction was “defined” such as payables and receivables. However, in a way this was a blessing in disguise because of IKEA’s enigmatic and complex organizational structure. As mentioned earlier, IKEA has a vertically-integrated supply chain with numerous components all over the world. But it is also a privately-held company with a unique “ownership” structure. The IKEA Group is the group of companies within IKEA that handles the core elements of the business such as product research and development, production and distribution, and retail sales. The IKEA Group has a parent company called INGKA Holding B.V., which in turn is owned by the Stichting INGKA Foundation, established by the IKEA’s founder Ingvar Kamprad. Furthermore, the Stichting INGKA Foundation funds the Stichting IKEA Foundation, a Dutch charitable organization which supports humanitarian initiatives throughout the world. Because the Coda system was customizable, it allowed for a much easier conversion process for the variety of business units within IKEA.

Martensson also took advantage of the system’s flexibility to solicit input from end users across IKEA and tailor the system to their needs. This is an ingrained part of the IKEA company culture – to work together and come to an agreement before making a decision. However, when it comes to financial information system standardization and compliance this democratic approach isn’t always ideal. Martensson admitted that she gave the users too much leeway and instead should have taken a firm stance that the users were required to adapt to.

Nonetheless, Martensson and her team made quick progress rolling out Coda to 12 countries over a 4 month period. They overcame differences in foreign banks automated payment systems, Europe’s complicated VAT system, and the complexity of IKEA’s organization itself to achieve their goal of a September 1st, 1999 go live date.

IKEA’s journey in the late 1990’s to switch over to a common financial system shows the effect of globalization and the need for companies to adapt in an ever-changing business environment. Not only did the successful implementation of CODA ensure regulatory compliance by IKEA, but it also enabled the company to be more transparent in terms of financial reporting throughout the organization. Executive management no longer had to extract information from the myriad of financial reports that existed prior to the CODA implementation; it had common information in a common format at its fingertips to help make sound decisions to secure the long term financial success of IKEA.

Residential Painting Contractors

This is a professional who paints exterior and interior walls, the trim, and porches on a home. Professional residential painting contractors have specialized knowledge in knowing what the right types of paint to use for a job along with adding details to the painting job such as borders or texturing. There are some that also have the equipment that will allow them to reach places up high such as window shutters or second stories. Their primary job will be to provide paint applications in various homes. They may also work for a builder painting the homes that are being built.

Due to many homes now having vinyl siding that is paint-free homeowners no longer need the outside of their homes painted. There are some homeowners who do prefer the authentic wood look and may still need an exterior painter to do this work. Some residential painting contractors have their own business and will hire work out to subcontractors if they are extremely busy or have a rush job. Other times they may do all the work themselves so they will make a bigger profit.

There are benefits of hiring residential painting contractors instead of the homeowner doing all the painting. In addition to there being less painting for the homeowner the contractor has the special equipment and tools that can help the job go faster, the paint job will have a more professional look to it, and the contractor may have employees to help with the work. Some examples of special equipment and tools can include specialized lifts or ladders, extensions to attach to paint rollers so they can reach higher areas, knowledge how to do decorative details and more. Residential painting contractors are often skilled in many other tasks besides painting. They know how to get walls ready for painting by being able to sand and prime the walls and how to fill in holes and cracks so when it is painted it looks like nothing was wrong with the wall.

When hiring residential painting contractors you want to make sure that they have the experience to do the job. You can find a local contractor by checking with their local phone directory, asking friends and family for references, or looking online. Ask to see their license because in some areas they have to take the same exam as the general contractors. You should also ask how long they have been in business and what specialize training they have. You should also ask if they charge by the hour or by the job and if they give free estimates. Get everything in writing in the contract.

Boost Your Interior Decor With Chandeliers

There is no reply here. A chandelier has got to be just right. If you make it even an inch larger than it should be, it will look overpoweringly out of place. If you make it an inch smaller than it should be, it will look so small and so out of place. With this kind of lighting fixture, you should not take any chances.

As a hanging light with branches, this fixture should really be part of the decor. It should merge and flow with everything else in the room. This is where the skills of an interior decorator are put to the test. The larger the room where you are hanging your fixture is, the larger this fixture should be, and vice versa. Anything else and it will either be too unnoticeable or too conspicuous.

The most important factor to consider in chandelier lighting is the general scheme of the room that you want to have it in, and how well it matches with this scheme. For example a modern, simple and elegant room is suited to a chandelier that is simple and not arrogantly decorated. On the other hand, a more traditional room with a high ceiling, paintings and a rustic country look would be more suited to overly decorated, multi-tiered chandeliers.

Since chandeliers are going to be noticed in the room that you put them in, then the best you can do is to make sure that you have the best. For the dining table, maybe you need to have one with allowances for dimming or brightening the lights. This is important because in most cases, this fixture gives off more light than is really necessary.

Before you buy a chandelier, consider the weight. Some of them are really heavy and therefore, according to the weight, you should know enough to hang it more tightly and more securely. The last thing you want is to have several light bulbs and pounds of metal crashing onto the heads of your guests at the dinner table.

Experts advise that chandeliers are not islands and therefore you should have more supportive lights around them and around the room too. Remember that these fixtures are actually meant to serve more as decorative fixtures rather than light sources.

For the most effective chandelier lighting, you will need the proper light bulbs. For those with crystal glass enclosures for the bulbs, you will create a sparkle with clear bulbs.

Chandelier lights today are a very big industry. The only thing that you are required to do is to login to the internet and find loads of information relating lighting. You will also be able to view images of as many of these fixtures as you can, from the traditional varieties to the more contemporary. If you love your home, you must do justice to the walls and the ceilings. Gone are the days when you could only hang your chandelier over the main entrance. Any space and place today is good enough for one.

Trump May Make History As a ‘Great’ President

When the United States election campaign commenced Donald Trump was not expected to win. Everybody including the political pundits had forecast that the winner would be Hillary Clinton. However, it did not happen that way and the Dark Horse Donald Trump stormed and won the election. He did not have the popular vote when he became president but that is because of the convoluted system of votes in America. Political stalwarts made forecasts that Donald Trump would be impeached. They also said he was unfit to be the president of the United States of America. Water flows down the river and like the Amazon it doesn’t flow back. Donald Trump has surprised many people by taking decisions which previous presidents had not touched with a pole.

Important decisions

The decisions that Donald Trump took are going to place Donald on a different footing than the earlier presidents. He has shown that he is a man made of a different metal as he has taken decisions that nobody else took. To start with he took the historic decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This was a momentous decision and now orders have been passed to shift the US Embassy to Jerusalem. Earlier American presidents all would put this shifting in their election manifesto but when it came to brass tacks developed cold feet and never carried out the shifting. One reason was they were scared to antagonize the Muslim world and the Arabs in particular. Donald, as I have said, taking the decision and though he angered the Arab world, he has not changed it. This shows that Donald has honored the pledge that he made during the election campaign

Another important point which needs to be mentioned here is that he has stopped the free lunches for the Palestine Arabs. The Palestine leader Mohammad Abbas was using American funds and paying them to the next of kin of terrorist killed in combat. Donald’s put a stop to and now there are no free lunches. He hs said that no aid from the USA would be coming in case it was being paid to terrorists. This is another major step which the previous American presidents were scared to take. This is a lesson to India where something similar is happening in Kashmir.

Terrorism and Islam

Another major decision Donald Trump took is identifying the source of terror. Terrorism, as we know, is the biggest danger in the globe today. Donald Trump has been the first man to identify Islam as a source of terror. He has repeatedly used the word “Islamic terrorism”. This word was an anathema to the previous American presidents, who were scared to use the word and identify terrorism with Islam. No such inhibition with Trump, as he has clearly identified Islam as a source of terror. He has followed up with the travel ban on Muslims from a few countries associated with terrorism to travel to the USA. This ban was challenged in court but now has been upheld by the US Supreme Court. Donald Trump has done a great service to mankind by identifying the terror groups as drawing sustenance from Islamic scriptures. Obviously, this is not to the liking of the Arabs and the Muslims but it is only a man like Trump who will call a spade a spade

Trump also identified Pakistan as a source of terror. This is something which was overlooked by American presidents, even when the Pakistan army had given shelter to the notorious terrorist Osama Bin Laden for close to 6 years. Trump has accepted that Pakistan needs to do much more to fight terrorism

One of the most far-reaching decisions of Trump is his slated meeting with the Korean Dictator Kim Jong. No American President had met any North Korean leader for the simple reason they could not look beyond their nose. Trump has broken the shackles and even earlier he had said that he would have no objection to meeting Kim Jong in the right circumstances

Great president

All this happens just after one year of Donald Trump rule. There are many more points which will not be part of this article which puts Trump as something apart from earlier American presidents. There is no doubt in case he completes his full term as the President of the USA he may very well be considered a great president for giving a new direction to the world, more for identifying Islam as a source of terror.

The Range of Gardening Tools Available

If you have ever been in a home improvement store and rolled past the aisles filled with gardening tools, you will probably understand this. Here are some descriptions of the common gardening tools and their functions.

Shovel or Spade

Every gardener needs a shovel for digging. The most versatile and widely used is the round point shovel. It is used to dig, scoop, or to carry dirt from one point to another. The square point shovel is similar except the name suggest; the tip of the shovel is flat and straight edged. It is used for leveling large areas and as a scoop for gravel, soil, or snow.

Trowel or Garden Shovel

These are the small shovel tools that you use for scooping out the soil to create holes for planting new flowers.

Gardening Forks

If you are planting a small area or are using planting containers, then you will only need a hand fork. Forks are used for working in tightly planed areas, removing unwanted weeds and for transplanting small seeds. Forks are also used to loosen and aerate the soil.

If you are going for a larger garden, a garden fork will be necessary. Garden forks are being used for digging and they can also be used for aerating the soil, moving compost and cultivating a garden.

Garden Rakes

Rakes come in many different shape, sizes and material. It is used for picking up leaves and to level the ground. Rakes can also be used to aerate a lawn. Be careful not to use steel garden rakes for raking leaves on your lawn, you will damage your lawn. Use a proper lawn rakes instead.

Garden Hoes

The traditional design of the garden hoe is a long handle with a flat blade set at a right angle at the end. Hoes are used for breaking up the surface soil, building up mines for vegetables and also for making a seed furrow. They can also be used to chop off pesky weeds and unwanted plants. The pointed corners can also be used as a light duty pick. Pruning shear

Your pruning shears will see a lot of action in the garden. They are used for trimming branches, overgrowth grass and foliage. It is important to buy a pruning shears, which fits your hand well and is easy to operate. There are different types of shears for different functions. For example, do not use a hedge shears for cutting big branches, they are detailed shaping of hedges only.

Personal Attire and Protective Gears

Finally, do not overlook the importance of proper attire. You will need good work gloves to protect your hands and kneepads to make kneeling more comfortable. Protect your eyes with a pair of safety glasses or face shield when using your string trimmer or pressure washer or when working with any power tools.

How to Develop an Effective Elevator Pitch

Many inside sales reps (outside reps, too!) struggle when trying to describe their company, products and services, in a succinct and compelling way that engages a prospect and makes them want to hear more.

Instead, a typical opening delivered to an unsuspecting prospect usually sounds more like a monologue meant to repel interest and generate the impulse to get off the phone as soon as possible. I’m sure you’ve been accosted in this way with something like:

"Oh hi, this is _______ _______ with ________ and my company, XYZ, is a leader in national and international shipping and freight services with offices in the top metropolitan cities across the world. We offer one of the lowest overall freight charges on transportation, and also on packaging and supplies. We’re going to have a representative in your city next week and we’d love to stop by to share some information with you and learn more about your business to see how we can help save you money and time as well. Would you be available next Wednesday at 2pm or would Thursday at 4pm be better?"

And companies and sales reps wonder why they aren’t successful…

Rather than break down everything that is wrong with this opening (how about everything?), what I’m going to do instead is give you two rules for developing an effective elevator pitch and then some examples that you can plug your product or service into.

Here are the two rules:

1) Make it brief – one sentence is best, two short ones if absolutely necessary.

2) Focus it on the direct benefits to your specific type of customer.

Remember, this is an "elevator pitch" designed to inform and grab interest in a prospect during the time you’re in an elevator together. Try working with the examples below:

Elevator pitch example #1:

" _________, we work with small business owners helping them save on average 20% on their shipping costs while also increasing their efficiency and tracking. To see how we can help you, I’d like to schedule a brief, 10 minute meeting next week… "

Elevator pitch example #2:

" ___________, we make inside sales teams as much as 33% more productive by providing them with a best practice approach that helps them cold call more effectively and close more qualified prospects. This means an immediate bump in revenue and profits often within the first 30 days… "

Elevator pitch example #3:

" ________ the ABC company gives homeowners complete peace of mind by eliminating routine maintenance costs and insuring against unexpected expenses. I’ve got just two questions to see which of our plans might work for you… "

Elevator pitch example #4:

" _________, our motto is: "A guaranteed comfortable night’s sleep or your money back." Now, have you ever tried this luxury brand of mattress before?"

Elevator pitch example #5:

" __________, at XYZ advertising, our small business clients get the most comprehensive online exposure, the certified highest traffic and the most qualified leads in the industry – all at the guaranteed lowest rates. Where are you currently advertising online now?"

As you can see by the above elevator pitches, not only are they short and focused on the benefits to a specific customer "small business owner" or "homeowner," but they often end with a qualifying question, "have you ever tried," and "where are you currently advertising online now?"

By ending with a qualifying question, you are not only engaging your prospect, but you’re also learning about their buying motives and uncovering their level of interest as well.

Take some time now to develop your own, concise and compelling elevator pitch and then replace your monologue with a more effective opening. Your customers (and your bank account) will thank you for it.

Copyright (c) 2016 Mr. Inside Sales