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What NOT to do when choosing a career path!

By Morgan International Writers

Choosing a career path can be difficult enough without having obstacles along the way so here’s the top 10 things you definitely SHOULDN’T do when making that all life-changing decision!

  1. Don’t be pushed into a certain career based on someone else’s experience or advice. No two people are the same.  What might perfectly fit with someone else almost certainly won’t fit with you or your skill set.

 

  1. Don’t choose a career because either you (or someone else) considers it as being “easy”. You can almost guarantee that it won’t be.

 

  1. Don’t choose a certain career because you think it’ll make you a) famous or b) rich. That’s not to say that it won’t, of course, but you have to stay realistic on this.  And always remember that fame and fortune isn’t always quite what it’s cracked up to be!

 

  1. Never be afraid to explore your individual talents or instincts. More often than not these will almost certainly lead you in the right direction.  If there’s something you love doing then pursue it.  It doesn’t have to be a six figure salary.

 

  1. Never be afraid to challenge your own learning style to reach your ultimate goal. Whilst some students are happy in university others are equally as happy doing a practical job with no academic requirement.  Everyone is different.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to explore different careers before you settle on the right one. There’s no formula to achieving this so don’t be afraid to try your hand at more than one career before deciding on which is best for you.

 

  1. Never be put off by salaries. To get into the right career you might well have to make a financial sacrifice but remember, money isn’t everything.

 

  1. Don’t expect to go into your chosen career without encountering any obstacles because there will almost certainly be some along the way!

 

  1. Don’t be too harsh on yourself if you don’t land the career of your dreams. This could be for a multitude of reasons which very often can’t be helped.  Instead focus on the more positive attributes you have and turn those negative niggles on their head!

 

  1. Finally, don’t ever lose sight of your dreams. If you want to achieve it – you almost certainly can; so never give up hope or aspiration.

 

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Waving Goodbye to Supply Chain Fraud

By Rebecca Langdon

It is an unfortunate fact that supply chain fraud takes place, and can be an expensive and unforeseen cost of doing business. One of the roles of a supply chain professional is to ensure that there are robust policies and procedures in place to make fraudulent activity very difficult to carry out. Don’t forget this activity might happen from within the business, or outside. We are going to look at a few common avenues from fraudsters with recommendations to resist their attempts.

 

Scenario 1 – A business stakeholder hands out contracts to their friends/family

This is one of the most common types of supply chain fraud. A business stakeholder who has control over budget or signing off invoices will offer a contract to their friends/family. This might be in exchange for some sort of monetary payment outside of the formal transaction, a gift, or simply to help them out. The issues are that the vendor might not be suitable, or the best people for the job. Furthermore, they are unlikely to be the most cost effective option, and I suspect limited commercial negotiations will take place. Finally, the business stakeholder may not do the appropriate due diligence or implement a robust contract.

 

Solution 

Make it company policy to run tender processes or at least some sort of formal due diligence before vendors are appointed. The brevity of the procedure will typically be governed by the value and risk of the product/service. Furthermore there should be a gift policy.

 

Scenario 2 – Vendors over invoice for products/services that have not been consumed

Most supply chain managers will have been in the situation where there are a huge amount of vendors, invoicing at different times, on different terms, and against varying commercial structures. This can very easily lead to incorrect invoices being approved. Now they may be incorrect because the vendor genuinely made a mistake or perhaps they are attempting to defraud you.

 

Solution

Somebody needs to be responsible for understanding the commercial arrangement with the vendor, and then checking every invoice against that. For some vendors this will be simple as there will be a fixed fee, but for others that are based on consumption it will be a little more complicated as the business will need to track for themselves what they use (or at least be able to confidently validate the vendors number). There are also an abundance of really useful AP systems that can help with wider validation between PO’s and invoices.

 

Summary

Attempts at fraudulent activity are not going to go away, despite the potential repercussions. A qualified Supply Chain professional should be equipped with the tools and knowledge to build robust policies and procedures.

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How to get your company inclined towards 6 sigma?

By: Morgan International Staff Writers

As a professional you know that six sigma is a complete set of tools and techniques applied for the process improvement. It is not department specific and gets the best results for the organization. However, before the application it is important that your organization gets to know the features so that it can support the model in a way that increases its productivity.

 

The following are some points that can be used to gather sufficient support for lean six sigma and its implementation in your organization.

 

  1. Work at the grass root level to overcome skeptics

Don’t expect your organization to adopt the process as soon as you introduce it to the staff working. Always remember that you will face skeptics in your department that might hinder your plans. Have trust in your abilities, in your plan on making 6 sigma a huge success. Following are some points that would help you out:

  • Always remember your organizational culture before marketing the program
  • Ensure that your staff understand it well
  • Get the management to sell the program to the employees
  • Define the process improvement that entails six sigma
  • Try to defeat the status quo by marketing the benefits
  • If you are in a position then announce employee benefits to show your management skills

 

  1. How to motivate the ready staff?

It is advent that the organizations always resist changes that they are unfamiliar to. If you are thinking that how this alien program can achieve success in your organization then follow the points that are mentioned as under:

  • There is always some support internally for any program
  • Motivate your employees by making them believe that they would ultimately become an asset to their organization
  • Financial or advancement opportunities must be promised or provided beforehand if necessary
  • Make the employees believe that their positions and work in the organization matter a lot
  • Manage the supportive population efficiently and this will lead to even more lead generation

 

Conclusion

 

It is never easy to implement lean six sigma in your organization with ease. There are some questions that you should ask to yourself or even the top management and motivated staff. These are:

 

  • How much is the company committed to the program?
  • Is it really necessary?
  • What are the possible counter arguments which I will be facing?

 

Six sigma is a complete process shift. If your change management skills are good then it’s not a problem otherwise be ready for strong and massive resistance.

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What you need to know about financial statements.

By Morgan International Staff Writers

With more of us turning to stock investment as a means of making money, it becomes increasingly important to understand how a financial statement is constructed and what information you can get out of them.  If you interpret the information correctly, you could end up making some impressive investments, but it does need training and good eye for business.  But how do you get the most out of them?

 

The first thing to understand is that financial statements are essentially scorecards that reflect the health of a business, and the Prudent investor will seek out quality companies with strong balance sheets, solid earnings and positive cash flows.  This means that to get the right information for investing you should be looking at the balance sheet, the income statement, the cash flow statement, the shareholders' equity and retained earnings.  All of those elements reflect the financial health of a business and demonstrate its ability to grow, which is a key feature for companies looking to invest themselves.

 

To make the most of financial statements, you need to understand balance sheets, income statements, the equity set aside for shareholders and company retained earnings.  These values represent real-world figures for the company rather than something more esoteric such as value based on assets alone which may give a highly distorted picture. There needs to be some caution though as are those in the general investors who tend to focus on just the income statement and the balance sheet, thereby relegating cash flow considerations to a lesser role in the consideration, which can be a mistake as the cash flow statement contains critically important analytical data that will help you make an informed decision.

 

It is important that you understand the diversity of business reporting and feel confident in understanding what each reported feature relates to and how it relates to the overall health of the company.  That means knowing what is actually behind the numbers and how their rations describe the viability of the investment.  Ideally, before starting a series of business investments, it is wise to ensure that you understand the business world, and take at least a beginners accountancy course and possibly even finances for non-financial managers.  These will give you the background that you need to make informed decisions.

 

 

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5 Tips to Retain Top Talent

You have worked really hard to hire the right candidate for the role; it took time, effort, and financial resources. Over time you have invested in these resources by giving them training and ongoing support, and they now have a mass of intrinsic knowledge about your business. I suspect you are keen not to lose your top talent! However top talent will always be the subject of head hunting activities as other organisations seek to steal the competitive advantage your top resources offer you. So how do you hold onto this set of employees?

  • A culture of reward

Recognise and reward talent. The process for doing this can vary quite widely from a simple thank you from a line manager, to a formal appraisal process. The reward itself may not be monetary, it might be a day of leave or perhaps a gift token.

  • Salary benchmark

Money isn’t everything, but it is very important for most employees! Stay competitive and ensure salaries are on par with the market, or even a nudge in front if possible.

  • Provide growth opportunities

Top talent are typically looking to progress in their career and will become frustrated if they feel they are stuck in the same role with no possibility of promotion. Set out progression plans with these employees and provide as many opportunities as possible to satisfy their aspiration for growth.

  • Encourage feedback

It would be better to deal with any potential issues top talent have before they decide to leave. This feedback will be far more forthcoming in an environment where honest and open communication is encouraged.

  • Assets not numbers

Do not treat your employers like they are no more than a number. They are an asset and they should be made to feel that is the case. There are many ways to do this, but examples include consulting them in business decisions and sharing information with them.

In Summary

Hiring, and training talent is expensive and the costs of losing that talent can be considerable. The HR team have a responsibility to design an appropriate retention strategy. If you are interested in pursuing an HR qualification, take a look at our website.
 

 

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How to elude most common tax mistakes?

By Morgan International Staff Writers

Unlike any individual, large corporations and businesses need to maintain tax records so that they never get into any hassle. There are many factors that contribute towards tax hiccups and companies always want to avoid them. Following are the top 9 mistakes that are to be avoided to overcome the costly tax returns:

 

  1. Retention failure

Quality of people is always correlated to the work they perform. For corporations one of the main reasons for large tax imposition is the fact that they fail to retain the top level staff. Good tax and accounting professionals are necessary and should always be retained no matter what.

 

  1. Botch of financial files to personal devices

Financial files are very sensitive in nature and corporations know about this fact. However at times some top level employees use their personal devices to save such files. Data security is a menace and by applying stricter file policies the breach and the related tax can be avoided with ease.

 

  1. Inefficient use of excel

This also leads to disaster. Regular sharing of excel and accounting files might end up in deleting the custom made excel formulae. If the creator does not work with the company then hours have to be spent in reconciling vivacious tax information.

 

  1. Figure estimation outside of the system

Companies spend millions of dollars in tax systems. However the tax department might calculate the figures and returns outside of this system just to ease the workload. This is a malicious mistake that leaves no audit trail or log for any auditor to figure out what happened.

 

  1. Wi-Fi Security breach

Using secured Wi-Fi networks is once again a menace that should be avoided. Such devices are prone to attacks by the intruders if the Wi-Fi is public or keyless system is being accessed. Proper Wi-Fi security and avoiding public networks can put an end to this issue.

 

  1. Closing the books impulsively

Closing the year books impulsively not only leave out important process data but can also lead to mismatched balance sheets at the end. This issue has been faced by enterprises all over the world that ultimately leads to surprising fines and future number skew.

 

  1. Unawareness of the top management

It is a dilemma that the top management of most organizations does not put their time and effort in going through the basic level tax processing. The result is that they never invest in top quality tools and people putting entire process at risk.

 

  1. Misunderstanding city level tax regulations

In accounting there is no shortage of laws. Tax departments often miss the important information about the city level regulations that can result in huge tax exemptions. The effect can be seen at the year end when huge returns are filed which could have been avoided easily.

 

  1. Tax tool investment elusion

Companies often make no to trivial investment in tax and accounting systems. Free or half functioning tools can never give the desired results and it’s a fact. Proper accounting and financial controls can only be implemented if tools are paid for and are up to the mark.

 

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4 Tips to Implement a Successful Hiring Assessment

 

It will unlikely come as a surprise to you that an objective element in a hiring process is highly recommended for a number of reasons. Primarily, it allows for a fair and balanced assessment to be made of the applicants without subjective bias of hiring managers creeping in. The assessment itself can take various forms; it might be a psychometric test, a maths exam, or perhaps a test of knowledge very specific to the role. Regardless of the type of assessment being used, to be objective they must have a common and standard scoring process that is not subject to any interpretation. These are our top 4 tips to implementing a successful hiring assessment:

  • Research

It is impossible to design and implement a successful assessment unless you understand the specific roles being hired, the types of assessments being used in the marketplace, and what your internal stakeholders feel would be sensible to administer. You should set out with a very clear set of objectives about what you are expecting to achieve and how you will achieve them.

  • Gain Buy In

Some hiring managers will inevitably view a change to the process as non-essential, and even detrimental to the process they have run over a long period of time. In the research phase, discussing the change and getting input from the stakeholders will help to gain their buy in for the change.

  • Share data and feedback

You set out with objectives at the beginning and to continue to promote buy in to the new process, you need to demonstrate the improvements the change has hopefully brought. So get feedback and share data. There are always going to be occasions when things don’t go to plan as you had expected – don’t hide away from these issues – get feedback – make the necessary changes and try and get everything back on track.

  • Train and keep training

To ensure successful implementation of a change and for that to be embedded well and continue on, you need to train the appropriate individuals within the business. This is also important in terms of the purpose of the tests being communicated appropriately to external candidates.

In Summary

Not every business or particular hiring requirement will benefit from a hiring assessment. However where it can be useful, it will provide not only an objective element, but should also help to eliminate unsuitable candidates quickly and easily. It is important that the design and implementation of the assessment process is done by a qualified HR professional.

 

 

 

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Empower Your Supply Chain with Social Media

By Rebecca Langdon

If you haven’t heard of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest then you must have been living in a cave for the last ten or more years. In the last 5 years the use of social media has been hugely pervasive across almost every facet of our lives – professional and personal. We are going to take a whistle stop tour of how social media can empower your supply chain.

 

  1. Monitor demand Using social media, organizations can get to understand the demand of consumers in a more honest and transparent way than they could ever possibly access before.
  2. Research People typically have a lot to say on social media and this could give you great insight about your current and potential vendors, and perhaps even future clients.
  3. Find new vendors Through these channels you could find better vendors that you can build relationships with.
  4. Delay updates Shipment providers and other carriers may use social media as standard to provide status updates to communicate any delays both quickly and in real time.
  5. Know your customer Customers often won’t call you up to tell you if they have an issue – their first port of call will be to complain on social media.
  6. Communicate A lot of businesses now communicate with vendors on social media – answering queries and providing service updates.
  7. Collaborate and innovate Use social media as a business tool that provides you with the opportunity to learn from others and to collaborate and innovate. It is a huge platform for ideas sharing.

Social media can be daunting at first. It is a big place with lots of different channels, but don’t let this put you off. Social media offers huge potential to empower the supply chain if you are willing to put in the effort. Why not consider a supply chain qualification with Morgan International.

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Steps to growth and career success!

By Morgan International Writers

It perhaps goes without saying that most of us want to nurture our own careers and excel in what we do.  But how?  The word “growth” can be quite ambiguous and yet, broken down, it’s not so difficult to achieve.  Here’s how in 10 easy steps:

  1. Do what you’re good at! This might sound obvious but if you love your job it’ll soon rub off on others and above all else, your potential customers or clients.  No-one can possibly commit to growth without being passionate about what they do.

 

  1. Set yourself goals. It’s really important to prioritise your goals so that you not only utilise your time in the best way that you possibly can but also do so by delegating any tasks which can free up your time for more crucial things.

 

  1. Find the right support team! This will massively vary according to individual needs but if you’re truly committed to growth and success then you need the right people working with you and not against you  Whether it’s purely admin support, help around the house or even picking the kids up from school, success is very much dependent on multiple resources – and not just one.

 

  1. Always, always, look ahead. Whilst it’s obviously important to concentrate on the “now”; also be sure to look at what’s coming up in the pipeline and plan accordingly.  Don’t take anything for granted.

 

  1. Never rest on your laurels – complacency isn’t a great trait so never rely on it. Instead, continually ask for constructive feedback and act on it accordingly.

 

  1. Keep building your network of supporters. Whilst sometimes it might feel time consuming attending networking events, never underestimate the value of them either.  They can be absolutely crucial – particularly if you’re a new business or looking to expand.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to showcase your results! If you’ve done a good job – then let everyone know!  You’ll only ever achieve growth through reputation so be sure to keep working on it.

 

  1. Keep yourself visual in terms of marketing and make sure you maximise any space on free social websites. You’ll be surprised at how quickly good news travels fast!

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations from satisfied customers or clients. There’s nothing more reassuring than a job well done!

 

  1. Above all else, believe in yourself!
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4 Ways Project Management Can Help a Growing Business

By Rebecca Langdon

The larger organisations typically have a well implemented project management capability, often with a PMO team, a host of PM’s, the works. Their size often makes it economic and efficient to have this separate team. However what about smaller businesses that are growing, doing an increasing number of projects, but are still feeling the way in terms of project management processes and what they can do for them? These are the 4 key ways that Project Management best practice can help a growing business.

  1. Improve Project Estimation

What something is going to cost is almost always critical to whether or not that project is feasible or not from a business perspective. One of the key mistakes made when project management process is not employed is absent or inaccurate project estimation. Upfront estimation and a process for periodically updating that estimate is vital for project success. It also assists businesses to not carry out projects that are not economically viable, and to avoid unexpected cost slip during a project.

  1. Resource Capability Planning

If you are a small business you may not have a huge amount of resources, whether that be internal or an external pool you tap into. However, that does not negate the need to plan resources and assess what the output capability is of the resources that you do have. In fact, it is this project process of estimating resource output that is excellent best practice to be used more widely in the organisation.

  1. Encourage Team Collaboration

A Project Team when set up correctly will be able to efficiently and effectively communicate and collaborate, within the team itself, and to other stakeholders. This is often instigated via a set of project processes, but the result is typically increased collaboration which was spring-boarded from the initial processes.

  1. Improved Reporting and Transparency

The thing about formal projects is that they usually have reporting and data collection requirements built into their processes. Data collection and reporting when done correctly are valuable business tools that are useful throughout the business. Therefore if this can be learnt through the project process, it can be implemented more widely.

In Summary

Smaller businesses may not feel that they can afford project management from both a financial perspective and the burden of additional time. It is true that when implemented poorly, project management can cause unhelpful delays and unwanted costs. Yet in reality, when used appropriately, and mindfully of the size of the project and business in question, it can be hugely beneficial for the project itself and for the wider organisation to learn from. For further information on project management techniques, feel free to explore the PMP course.