Category Archives: Blog

Main Category – Blog

Why-choose-to-take-a-live-class-over-other-forms-of-learning-02

Why Choose To Take a Live Class Over Other Forms of Learning?

 

By Morgan International Staff Writers

While self study is one option for reaching certification, live classes offer a range of benefits that you won’t find by simply opening up books alone at home. If the thought of going back to ‘school’ feels slightly daunting, it certainly shouldn’t, because this is one way of ensuring you get all the help you need to push your studies forward.

For the past 19 years Morgan International has been training people to achieve professional certification and this experience is distilled in each of its live classes, where students interact with an instructor receiving real-time insight and feedback.

But why choose to take a live class over other forms of learning? There are many answers to this question. For one, it provides a great framework to students who require structure and guidance in their studies.

The value of the people leading the classes should also not be underestimated. Not only are they selected for their experience and qualifications, but most of them are also working professionals. This means that what they share with you goes far beyond academic definitions: they can provide you with real-life case studies and perspectives from the workplace, something that you won’t find in your textbooks. Additionally, their certification means that they’ve already sat the exams you will be studying for – in other words they’ve been in your shoes, know how it feels, and can give you tips and hints to maximize your exam preparation.

Of course while your instructor is a goldmine in terms of what you can learn, your co-learners also bring something to the table. A live class gives you the opportunity to interact with other professionals, opening up networking possibilities and useful contacts for your future career. The presence of other learners just like you in your class also creates a mutually beneficial environment, where each person’s input brings gains to the others. Whatever questions they raise will bring with them answers and a fresh perspective from your own.

And let’s not forget: the value of joining a live class goes far beyond the actual time you spend in the classroom. Booking with Morgan International brings with it peace of mind, knowing that from the time of your registration up until to the day of your exam you will be receiving follow-up, guidance and support, as and when you need it.

 

How-to-develop-an-effective-supply-chain-strategy-02

Developing Effective Supply Chain Strategies

 

By Rebecca Langdon

The first thing to tell you is that developing efficient and robust supply chain strategies is an art, and it takes thought and consideration. You can’t turn to a catalogue and pick out a particular strategy that you think will perfectly suit your particular product or service. Instead you need to take each product or service, or group thereof, and design the most effective supply chain. These are my top tips for approaching supply chain development.

  • Review the current supply chain first

Unless you are launching a completely new product or service, you will have a current supply chain that you can analyze. It may be that you think it is inefficient or perhaps it seems to be working smoothly. Your goal is to ensure that the supply chain delights your customers and aligns with their expectations. At this stage you need to do your research and produce a gap analysis.

  • Consider improving the supply chain

Once you have determined any gaps, you can begin looking at options for improvement. This might be a different warehouse facility, a new logistics plan, or perhaps you want to go to tender to seek new suppliers.

  • High versus low risk

You need to consider the issues your organisation will face if the supply chain breaks down and the product or service is either delayed, or is substandard. There may be some products or services which are lower risk, perhaps because they are easily substitutable. For these products/services you may not be too worried about having a backup plan. For critical products/services you should look for any weak points in the supply chain and ensure you have a secondary option. As an example, your core product is handmade sofas and you currently have one supplier. If that supplier loses resource or has a material constraint, you would be unable to fulfil customer orders. You have a single point of failure for your main revenue stream. A Supply Chain Manager would spot this risk and contract with a backup supplier or perhaps hire in a small internal manufacturing capability.

In Summary

The purpose of this article has been to highlight that a supply chain can either delight or disappoint the customer. There is an art to developing world class supply chains. For a business to be successful they need to invest in a talented and accredited Supply Chain Manager who can develop effective and robust supply chains. In many cases, organisations are turning to CSCP professionals to assist them in this area.

Project management

4 Effortless Ways to Improve Your Productivity

By Lyndsey Mclaughlin

A project manager is responsible for overseeing a project and ensuring it is delivered on time and within budget. It can be a highly challenging role, as you will be overseeing a team and will need to be able to identify the best use of your resources. Project managers are expected to stay within a specific budget and are also responsible for dealing with any challenges which arise. In order to rise to the challenges of managing a project, it is essential for the project manager to be productive. These are some of the ways to do this to achieve the best possible results.

Remain Focused

It is important to be focused on the project and not to let other distractions get in the way. For example, having dedicated times to check emails and attend meetings. If the focus is taken off the project for long periods of time, it can easily lead to the project being delivered after the deadline or generally not being delivered to the best of the project manager’s ability.

Clear Steps

Although it is important to always have the end result in sight for the project, it is also essential to define clear steps to reach the end goal. This is what makes a project manager most effective. If you embark on a project without knowing exactly what you want to achieve and when, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Delegate Tasks

An important part of being a productive project manager is the ability to make good use of your resources, which means being able to delegate tasks to those who are most capable. In order to do this, you must define the key skills and qualities of your team and assign them to the most relevant parts of the project.

Enroll in a PMP Program

If you really want to set yourself apart and become as productive as possible within your role, it is worthwhile enrolling in a Project Management Professional certification program. This will improve your knowledge of managing a project, including how to delegate tasks, stick to a budget and to cope with any challenges. These skills can not only improve your productivity when managing a project, but enable you to further your career by becoming equipped with the knowledge and expertise to manage projects effectively. The most effective project managers will be continuously focused on personal development and this program can help achieve those results.

Key-Ethical-Guidelines-for-Best-Practice-in-Financial-Services-02

5 Key Ethical Guidelines for Best Practice in Financial Services

 

By John Alexander Adam

It should be stated from the outset that while financial services as a wider industry get a bad rap, there is nothing intrinsically unethical about it as a sector. An external observer subject to regular headlines denouncing the latest scandal involving bankers, traders and other financial services professionals bending, or outright breaking, the rules in the pursuit of financial gain might, however, be under a different impression. On the one hand, the huge sums of money swirling around financial markets, the competitive element to who makes money and who doesn’t and intrinsic human greed mean that financial services professionals and companies are under more pressure than most to make ethical choices. On the other, financial services are a vital component to a functioning modern economy and are not in any shape or form inherently ‘unethical’. In fact, financial services’ intrinsic role is that of the protector of wealth and the smooth functioning of the global economy.

As such, it is even more important than in other industries that financial services are conducted according to a strong code of ethics and adhere to a moral compass that, in some cases, can go even beyond legal and regulatory frameworks governing how their work is done. So, what does an ethical financial services industry look like? If the culture of financial services professionals and the companies and institutions they work for follow these 5 principles unerringly, we will all live in a better world that would provide greater wealth and opportunity for everyone:

  1. Profit, but Not at Any Cost

A modern, capitalist economy has at its very foundation the principle of profit. Without a surplus, or profit, the economy doesn’t work. As such, financial services professionals are obliged to pursue a profit as the result of their activities. However, a modern economy only works if that profit is earned within a framework of rules and regulations that apply and are adhered to by everyone. Financial services are obliged to pursue profit maximization within the applicable framework and not by seeking an advantage by conducting activities that could be considered outside of that framework. Like sprinters competing in the 100 meters, the conditions should be the same for all competitors and the race conducted in an ‘honorable’ fashion.

  1. The Client’s Interests First

Financial Services is a wide sector and the ‘client’ may take many shapes and forms. At the highest level, in the case of a country’s central bank, the ‘client’ would be at one step removed the ‘Government’, and ultimately the population of the country.  At another level further down the ladder, the ‘client’ would be the investors in a fund or the private investor whose money a CFA® charterholder manages. Whoever the ‘client’ might be, an ethical approach to Financial Services will always put the client’s interests first. A doctor is paid but receives that payment on the understanding that their primary responsibility is to look after the health of their patients, not their own financial wellbeing. A doctor whose work routinely meant that the health of their patients suffered, would not receive their salary for long. In the same way, Financial Services should see their own income as reward for improving the financial health of their clients. There is nothing wrong with a fund or its manager making money, but their profit should not come at the expense of their clients. A truly ethical Financial Services industry would not see a small profit eaten up by fees, leaving the client with far less gain, or even a loss, while the financial services professionals and company supposedly working for that client make a tidy profit.

  1. A Commitment to Excellence

An ethical approach to financial services would see professionals and the organizations that they represent constantly striving to do the best job they possibly can under the circumstances. This means avoiding a mentality of doing ‘enough’, and stopping there. Commitment to both excellent results and technical accuracy in each step of the processes leading to that result is required.

  1. Ethics Prioritized Over Client Instruction

Of course, unethical behavior in Financial Services can also be provoked by clients themselves. Whether it be through strong encouragement to help them minimize tax within the gray areas of international tax law, or any other activity that could be interpreted as giving them an unfair advantage, it is far from uncommon for financial services professionals to be put under pressure by their clients to conduct activities they may not consider ethical. Financial Services run ethically will prioritize ethical conduct even when by doing so they may decline to undertake activities expressly requested by the client, even at the risk of losing that client’s business.

  1. Legal is Not Always Ethical

While legal and regulatory frameworks are, in theory, in place to govern ethical practice in Financial Services, there may be many instances where a particular course of action may be considered unethical despite not directly contravening laws or regulations. The legal framework governing Financial Services is not perfect and finding loopholes or other means to circumvent it is common. In fact, many areas of Financial Services specialize in doing just that. However, ethical Financial Services means choosing not to act in a certain way, or perform certain activities, despite the fact that doing so may not technically mean breaking any laws. Choosing not to exploit technicalities that may mean an activity is legal because it is considered unethical is the mark of a truly ethical approach.

If you would like to improve your understanding of business and finance, why not take a qualification such as the CFA® Program. Morgan International offers a number of different professional finance, investment and accounting qualification programs at locations across the Middle East.

 

Behavioral-competencies-explained-02

Behavioral Competencies Explained

By Remie Worrall

 

A successful career in HR relies on a number of key competencies and it is these competencies that will be tested when obtaining a SHRM qualification. In order to stand out as a leader in your organization, you will need to demonstrate the following behavioral competencies.

 

Leadership and Navigation

 

  • In order to be successful in your field, you must be able to demonstrate effective leadership. In times of change, you will be expected to be at the helm of new processes setting the tone while championing the company’s mission.
  • You will not only embody the organization’s culture but set an example to other members of the team.
  • Being able to accomplish tasks in the most efficient manner with minimum guidance is what a career in HR is all about.

 

Business Acumen

 

  • As a HR professional, you are in a position to directly contribute to a company’s success. In order to do this, you should be able to showcase your business acumen skills and your ability to understand the core business functions associated with your company.

 

Ethical Practice

 

  • As a HR professional you will be required to act with integrity at all times and it is your responsibility to help build an ethical working environment.
  • Among other things you will be expected to maintain confidentiality and transparency in the workplace while establishing yourself as a trustworthy and credible resource for other employees.

 

Relationship Management

 

  • The SHRM test will asses you on a number of competencies including relationship management.
  • Here you will be assessed on your ability to build relationships with clients and co-workers. This is all part and parcel of providing excellent customer service to clients but you will also need to showcase yourself as an approachable and credible candidate.

 

Consultation

 

  • You may be expected to address issues related to staff training and development during your role as a HR professional and as such you will be tested on your ability to demonstrate coaching and consultative skills.

 

Critical Evaluation

 

  • This competency relates to decision making and the candidate’s ability to research and analyze information.
  • Being able to use HR metrics in this way will only add value to your role.

 

Global and Cultural Effectiveness

 

  • A HR professional should be able to work with people from all backgrounds and interact with diverse cultures.
  • One of your responsibilities will be to contribute to creating an inclusive working environment.

 

Communication

 

  • One of the main responsibilities as a HR professional is to keep everyone in the organization informed.
  • This can involve everything from keeping employees informed with the development of a project that they are involved in to the effective filtering of information down from management levels to employees.
  • HR employees should be able to demonstrate good oral and written communication skills and will be tested on their ability to plan and deliver oral and written communications effectively.

 

If you want to become SHRM certified, you can find out more about the qualification here.

Middle-Eastern Marketing Geniuses-02

Middle-Eastern Marketing Geniuses of 2016 (So Far)

 

By Luci M Iley

 

In marketing, there is a fine line between genius and crazy; finding that line and staying on the right side of it can be difficult, but these three marketing geniuses managed to venture quite close to the line, whilst ultimately succeeding in their goal – raising their business’ profile and gaining exposure. Here’s how they did it, and the lessons you can learn from their stories;

Anand Kapoor – Midcom Group

Anand Kapoor grew Midcom Group from a start-up, twice. First as a foreign exchange bureau, then as a mobile phone distribution network. Now the business has its own handset assembly brand, Fero, which has allowed Anand to begin targeting the GCC region - Saudi Arabia in particular - with mobile phone handsets in the mid-to-top-end price range, but also offering $8 handsets for season such as Hajj – where phones are often disposable by necessity.

Moral: Marketing geniuses look closely at their customer’s needs and provide products accordingly.

Dietmar Siersdorfer – Siemens.

The Chief Executive of Siemens Middle East and UAE has seen the spotlight a few times over the past year – and it’s hardly surprising given that his department have successfully closed several multi-billion dollar deals to create new energy-saving power stations across the region. Siersdorfer knows what he is doing, too – when asked whether he thinks the low oil price environment across the GCC will affect the company, he replied that the oil price crunch has only led to a greater consciousness surrounding energy efficiency – a fact that ties in nicely with his new contracts.

Moral: marketing geniuses can use any situation to their advantage.

Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre’s Digital Marketing Team

After attracting a lot of attention through their Instagram campaign, Pullman Dubai Deira City Centre’s marketing team have been mentioned in multiple lists and pieces of content, noting their bravery in using staff members in precarious situations to promote their company. Doing so has only improved the fun-loving brand personality they portray.

Moral:  Marketing geniuses are not afraid to have fun with their campaigns.

Want to know how to think like these marketing geniuses? How about pursuing a short diploma in digital marketing to learn all of the inside tips and tricks to create great digital marketing campaigns?

 

Cut costs now on your online campaigns-02

Cut Costs Now on your Online Campaigns

 

By Nick Cassells

 

Marketing on a restricted budget can be pretty awe-inspiring and sometimes depressing for

any business, but luckily, as the online world becomes more central to everyday

communications, digital marketing can be a relatively low cost option for getting seen

amongst the crowd and competition. However, planning and preparation are going to be

your greatest allies.

 

Here are a few tips to make sure investment is likely to give good returns:

 

1. Know the territory

You need to place your money where it is going to be most effective. The internet is

home to a plethora of different tools and channels each of which have relevance to

unique target markets, your ultimate marketing goal, and overall budget. Research

channels and approaches which suit your industry before you rush into using what is

allegedly “trendy”. If it all seems confusing and bewildering, consider further training in

digital media.

 

2. Understand your target market

Different target markets will relate more readily to specific approaches and use specific

channels on the web, so spend time clarifying your target market and online behaviour.

For instance, an older prospective client is less likely to use social media. Instagram is

used largely by females, Facebook is a social arena and Linked In is for networking and

great for B2B.

 

3. Quality website and platforms

Get the fundamentals right. As with all products, quality attracts buyers. On the internet

- quality content is king. So if your website is top notch – it offers your target market

powerful and useful information - this will provide a springboard to good results by

default.

 

4. Determine what is free

The internet really is the home of free dinners. In any other sphere we get suspicious

about anything which is free, but advertorial systems allow companies to offer free use

of apps and tools. Check out whether you can get the same quality marketing tool for

free.

 

5. Smart goals

You need to be looking ahead so you can determine whether the money you are

outlaying is giving acceptable good return on investment. Therefore, goals need to be

measurable and you need to be able to know how to measure them.

 

6. Set a budget

This may sound obvious but due to the way you pay for online marketing (i.e. pay per

click) money can disappear very quickly if it is not monitored closely and changes are

made to enhance future investment. Set a short-term and long-term budget and keep to

it.

 

With the right strategy, you can dramatically reduce spend and increase value from your marketing.

Our Professional Diploma in Digital Strategy and Planning allows you to do just that.

 

Top-10-reasons-to-sit-for-the-CPA-exam-before-April-2017-02

Top 7 Reasons to Sit for the CPA exam before April 2017

 

By Rebecca Langdon

As you may or may not know, the format of the CPA exam is going to change from April 2017. There are a number of reasons why it would be beneficial to sit before the format changes. These are the top 6 reasons:

  • The new exam is expected to be harder

 

The current exam tests two core skill sets; knowledge and understanding, and application. However the new format will test four core skill sets; remembering and understanding, application, analysis, and evaluation. The additional testing of analysis and evaluation will increase the difficulty of the exam as these are considered to be higher cognitive skills.

  • Task-based simulations are increasing

 

The AICPA will increase task-based simulations from 40% to 50% on the FAR, AUD and REG exams. They will introduce task-based simulations to the BEC exam.

  • Multiple choice questions will decrease

 

The number of multiple choice questions will reduce to make way for task-based simulations which encourage critical thinking.

  • You will have to wait longer for your results

 

The AICPA has indicated a 10 week delay after the initial testing window when the new exam is released. This means you will have a gruelling wait to know if you have passed or now.

  • The testing time will increase from 14 to 16 hours

 

This is to make way for the reduction in multiple choice questions, and the increase in simulations.

  • The exam will be more expensive

 

As the testing time is increasing, the exams will be more expensive.

  • Get your career started!

 

The sooner you pass the CPA, the sooner you can receive your accreditation and kick start your career.

Plan to Pass before April 2017

You may be reading this and have passed none of the exams yet, or perhaps you are part way through. The good news is that if you are ready to sit your exams and want to finish before the new exam format is introduced, it is entirely possible. As an example you could sit the exams as follows:

  • First section: beginning of September
  • Second section: end of October
  • Third section: beginning of November
  • Fourth section: end of January

This timetable provides a break in December, but also leaves some time in case of any retakes. This timetable may seem compact, but it is entirely possible, particularly with the support of Morgan. We offer a range of study options and can help you to fast track your learning with the aim of passing all of your exams before the format changes.

What-type-of-learner-are-you-02

Which Type of Learner Are You?

 

Online learning, self study or live classes…? Choosing between the different learning options is not as difficult as you think. Getting the choice right can simply boil down to knowing your personality. Read on to discover which one could be right for you.

The disciplined student

If you’re one of those people who never procrastinates, who can set a schedule and stick to it without anyone supervising you, then it’s a safe bet you are naturally disciplined. This is an essential characteristic if you’re considering self study, as setting your own timetable and sticking to it is part of your path to success.

The undisciplined student

Are you someone who feels good putting off till tomorrow what you can’t do today? Or maybe you need a schedule imposed on you to force you to open the books and get cracking. In this case self study is not advised and your best bet is to look into online learning or live classes: in both cases the program is fixed for you, and you will work to a set timetable, giving you that all important direction in your studies.

The busy student

Is your life all about juggling schedules, running from one place to another? Do you prize flexibility when it comes to fitting studying into your life? If so, self study will enable you to shape your timetable around your needs.  If you’re looking for some structure though, online learning could also be considered – your program would be set for you, but you would have the flexibility of connecting from wherever suits you.

The interactive student

Is feedback important to you? Do you feel the need to interact with peers and with instructors? If so, live classes should definitely be top of your list. You will be able to ask questions in real time and benefit from hearing the answers to other questions asked by your peers. Taking part in group discussion and receiving instructor feedback will also enrich the experience that comes with live classes.

Finally, how fast a learner are you?

One other important consideration is how quickly you feel you can absorb knowledge. A live class suits someone who is good at absorbing knowledge and moving on, while self study, with its freedom to revisit texts as often as one wants before moving on, would be a solution for those who like to learn at a slower or more flexible pace.

And the good news?

The good news is that studies have shown that no one type of technology is better than another when it comes to learning, in terms of the results produced. In other words your choice should not be swayed by thinking that one method is technically better than another – it is all about choosing the one that suits you personally and going with it. Good luck!

Explore our learning options here.

 

The-importance-of-Financial-Management-in-Facility-Management-02

The Importance of Financial Management in Facility Management

By Joanne Jeffries

Financial management in any business is key to success. In facilities management, not allowing the budget to run away with itself, planning and reviewing spending is important. There are many ways to keep tight financial control; these are our top 8 tips.

  1. Have a business plan

From contracts to SLAs, to a business-wide business plan, there is no substitute for understanding where your money will need to be targeted, how much of an emergency fund you will need and so on. The importance of financial management is such that planned expenditure always means savings over ad hoc expenditure.

  1. Monitor your financial position

Once you have planned your expenditure, apportioned sub-budgets and the like, you now need to monitor expenditure. If there is consistent over-spend on one area, there is obvious need for change. Don’t forget facilities management will not stay the same, thus your budget will need to change too.

  1. Credit control

Cash flow is important in facilities management; if it stops flowing, it presents significant issues. Credit control is more than just checking people have paid. It should also be about being pro-active in reducing customer debts rather than waiting for payment that may never come.

  1. Knowing day-to-day costs

Facilities Managers should have a firm grasp on the day to day operational costs they are responsible for. One key way to do this is to ensure all external costs via suppliers are clearly agreed within a contract.

  1. Up-to-date financial records

If you cannot lay your hands or eyes on the latest spreadsheet that gives you an immediate financial snapshot of the business, then you are divorced from financial reality. Of all the activities within the background running of your business, pro-activeness when it comes to keeping financial records is without doubt, top priority.

  1. Increase efficiency in overheads

Every business has overheads and when the budget starts to bite, controlling overheads can be the fastest way of saving money. Look at the average costs of heating, lighting, and air conditioning etc., checking you have the best deals. Don’t be lazy – always check for better deals via benchmarking and competitive negotiations with suppliers.

  1. Tackle financial problems as they arise

Allowing financial difficulties to fester is clearly not the best means of financially supporting and evolving facilities management. If there is a problem, deal with it.

  1. Become financial astute

This means including financial management training as part of your own professional development, and that of your employees.

In Summary

As a facilities manager it is likely that you will be responsible for the financial management of the services you manage. Whether it be budgeting, forecasting, or reconciliation, to be successful you need to be confident that you are managing the monetary aspects of your services. For more information, you might consider an FMP accreditation since within the syllabus Finance and Business is covered.