THE PRODUCTIVITY INSTITUTE NEWSLETTER
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Next edition will include our Featured Company
Newsletter topics: Marketing, Consulting, Press Release, Accounting Software, Human Resources
by Melanie DePaoli
If most of us are ashamed of shabby clothes and shoddy furniture, let us be more ashamed of shabby ideas and shoddy philosophies. . . . It would be a sad situation if the wrapper were better than the meat wrapped inside it. Albert Einstein
Once again, Einstein was ahead of his time! But, in this case, he was only half right.
There are many companies out there that have hired an incredible designer that was able to initially cover up the shoddiness of the business as Einstein might lament. On the flip side there are many GOOD companies that for whatever reason will not or do not invest in quality design, and this is as sad a situation as Einstein described.
How does good design affect your business, be it for a website, marketing materials or any other aspect that the public views? What is the value of design? Can you control the effect of quality design? Most importantly does good design impact my bottom line? (continue)
by Greg Coats
(Part 1 of this article discussed some factors to consider when selecting accounting software. Part 2 is a list of additional factors.)
Accounting software is integral to the well-being of every company. Regardless of the size of the company or what it does, the accounting software it uses must be able to support its financial needs. Properly evaluating the needed accounting software requirements for a company is therefore crucial.
Key factors to consider may include:
Security – This is more important than ever, today. While network controls are important, software security is also important. Do you need software that can “lock out” certain users from specific functions or only allow them “viewing” privileges?
Future Growth – Is the software modular? If so, can you add additional modules, as needed? Can the software handle a web store? Will it need to handle a high volume of transactions while maintaining historical information? Are there any available third party add-ons that can provide additional functionality?(continue)
by Douglas Castle
A news release, press release or press statement is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something claimed as having news value. Typically, it is mailed, faxed, or e-mailed to assignment editors at newspapers, magazines, radio stations, television stations, and/or television networks. Commercial press-release distribution services are also used to distribute news releases. Sometimes news releases are sent for the purpose of announcing news conferences. A press release is different from a news article. A news article is a compilation of facts developed by journalists published in the news media, whereas a press release is designed to be sent to journalists in order to encourage them to develop articles on the subject. A press release is generally biased towards the objectives of the author. The use of news releases is common in the field of public relations, the aim of which is to attract favorable media attention to the PR firm's client, and publicity, the aim of which is to attract favorable media attention for products marketed by the clients.(continue)
Outstanding Consultants Help Avoid Rework
by Bruce Newman
Avoiding the need to rework any project positively effects productivity. Since reworking a project usually incurs many additional expenses - sometimes more than double the initial cost - and much extra work and lost time, it should be avoided, if possible. First, it often requires the assembly of a new team or set of experts - a painful and time consuming step. Second, it requires a new assessment of the project design and plan, implementation, percentage of completion including what still needs to be done, and what needs to be fixed. Frequently, it is often cheaper and easier to start over than to attempt to fix a major problem. Having to rework a project may also result in additional complications and complexities particularly if it is subject to outside influences. Furthermore, if there is a problem with the initial design, subsequent changes or additions may not be possible without massive revisions.(continue)
Talking To Your CEO
by Greg Chartier, PhD, SPHR
Management cares about results. Historically, however, human resources has not understood nor attempted to understand what results were important. Two measures are most common, effectiveness and efficiency. I think we begin with efficiency.
Efficiency is a ratio of inputs and outputs; you put resources in and get results out. If you can decrease the inputs and increase the outputs, you are more efficient. Efficiency also allows you to spend more resources, assuming that the outputs will increase in a greater ratio than those inputs.
One of the difficulties in using the term “efficiency” is that we have multiple definitions for it. I will use efficiency to mean, “How much does a given expenditure on human resources produce in programs or practices?”
For HR people that means, what level of human resource programs (training, compensation, staffing, communications ,etc.) is generated for a given investment of resources (such as time and money)?(continue)
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