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How-to-Get-Your-Company-Inclined-towards-Six-Sigma-02

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.

What-you-need-to-know-about-financial-statements-02

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.

 

 

7 Things I Wish I Had Known About the CFA Exams-02

7 Things I Wish I Had Known About the CFA Exams

By: Rebecca Langdon

For most people exams are daunting – particularly as you are pretty much entering into the unknown. However the reality is that you are far from the first candidate to be sitting for the exams, so there is lots of really great insight and tips out there from people who have taken the exams and know the keys to success, and failure.

1) They aren’t easy
We hope this is not a shock to you. This is a professional qualification, and the standards are high – so do not underestimate the difficulty of the exams. Having this in the back of your mind will help to ensure you are adequately prepared.

2) Finding study time is hard
A lot of you will have full time jobs and be trying to study in the evenings and at the weekend. Studying in the evening after a full day of work is challenging. You are not superhuman! Start early on exam preparations so that you can cut yourself some slack when you really can’t face that after work session.

3) Practice exams are your friend
Undertake timed practice exams. This will help you with time management, getting used to the format of the exam, and also scoring your efforts thereafter to see how much more revision you need to do. Remember that simply by taking and scoring exams, you are learning the content.

4) Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Believe it or not, there is lots of help and support out there that you can tap into. It might be as simple as needing assistance with a study plan. If you are studying with Morgan International we are always on hand to help you.

5) Group study sessions are great
Studying on your own all the time can become lonely and tedious. Inject a bit more sociability and interest into your exam preparations by getting involved in a group study session. You can perhaps use this time to test each other, have group discussions, or even study individually but in a group setting.

6) Free mock exam
The CFA institute provides a free mock exam for each candidate. DO not miss out on doing this. It is invaluable learning and practice.

7) The exam proctors are hot on cheating
Do not do anything that could get you accused of cheating. Keep your eyes on your paper at all times, don’t write on your hands before the exams, and all of the standard stuff! The proctors take the exam process seriously, and you should too.

In Summary
The CFA exams are passable – we know this because thousands of students pass each year. However almost none of them achieve this on luck alone. Read our tips and take them on board. If you want a reminder of the qualification take a look at our website.

Delivering-Facilities-Management-Successfully-02

Delivering Facilities Management Successfully

If you are interested in Facilities Management I suspect you have read a lot recently about how it is no longer just an operational department, but has a huge amount to bring to the table from a strategic perspective. So there is a clear and definite shift in the industry and a very keen interest by many to review how Facilities Management can deliver successful outcomes. There are a few particular areas of opportunity to be mindful of and check is already being done in your organisation.

  • Implement a maintenance structure

From a building services perspective, there will broadly speaking be preventative and reactive maintenance. Generally preventative maintenance is more cost effective overall than proactive maintenance. There are a number of reasons for this but preventing issues from ever taking place will mean less downtime organisationally as preventative maintenance should stop issues occurring in the first place. Furthermore, appropriate maintenance of assets should extend their useful life.

  • Encourage accountability

Every day employees are within the building and accessing the services provided for by the Facilities Management team. It is important that the employees understand how they should be consuming the services. This might be encouraging black and white print only and explaining the unwarranted expense of printing everything in colour. It might also include asking employees to ensure lights are turned off at the end of the working day. Get employees involved in the importance to the organisation of the successful delivery of Facilities Management.

  • Don’t dismiss the data

We operate in a world where many of the devices used by the FM team fall into the IoT category. That means they are connected to the internet and feed the data they collect back to a system of choice. This data is typically hugely valuable if it is analysed in the right way. One example of self-diagnosing devices are some models of printer that can schedule an engineer to carry out a visit. The data gets even richer, down to how much each printer is printing each day, therefore allowing devices to be repositioned so that devices in a fleet reach the end of their useful life at the same time.

In Summary

Facilities Management has a huge role to play organisationally, but to optimise that impact there are some key things to bear in mind as described above, which will also give structure to the approach. A Facilities Management qualification is the way to go if you want to be involved in the revolution currently taking place in this industry.

Finance Salaries in the Middle East 2017-02

Finance Salaries in the Middle East – 2017

By: Rebecca Langdon

There has been a period of uncertainty in the Middle East which has been driven primarily by OPEC reducing oil outputs. This has had a knock on effect as some projects have been put on hold and of course this inevitably causes challenges for those professionals already trying to enter the industry, and also new entrants. However there is strong evidence that the situation is stabilising which is being driven in part by the government encouraging small businesses to set up operations in the region. So what does this mean for job opportunities and salaries of those working in finance roles in the Middle East?

 

We have taken a look at the highlights of the Robert Half 2017 salary survey.

 

  • 68% of employers will seek to hire new employees in the next 12 months.

 

  • 80% of CFOs said they were confident about the UAE’s growth prospects. With 85% saying they were confident in the growth prospects in their own company.

 

  • 85% of CFOs are concerned they will lose top performers in the next 12 months. This has been fuelled by a number of factors including 38% of employees saying they are concerned over company performance, and a large proportion of candidates deciding to emigrate to undertake work in the UK, US and Europe, and Asia.

 

  • 25% of CFOs said they found it difficult to hire Financial Management and Control and Business and Financial Analysis professionals. This makes it an opportune moment to undertake a CFA qualification as where supply is restricted, and demand is high, salaries should naturally increase.

 

  • The salary increases from 2016 to 2017 are all minor but are all positive increases. For example a Financial Analyst in a large company in 2016 could expect $69,750-$97,500 and in 2017 this increased by 1.6% to $72,000-$98,000.

 

In Summary

There has been some contraction within the Middle East due to the economic factors we discussed in the introduction. However all salary increases year on year have been positive, albeit minor. The emergence of small businesses setting up in the Middle East is generating demand for innovative Finance Professionals, and the opportunities in other countries globally remain attractive.

8 CFA Exam Commandments-02

The 8 Commandments for the CFA Exam

By: Rebecca Langdon

I am going to guess that as you approach your CFA exams, you are nervous, apprehensive, and worried about the possibility that it won’t go well. The main way to ease some of these pre-exam jitters is to be really well prepared, and follow these 8 commandments to get you exam ready.

  1. Focus on the curriculum

Learning wider than the curriculum is always encouraged as it provides the learner with a richer experience and makes them a well-rounded candidate as they enter the world of work. However, the exams are based on the curriculum so do not forget to have that covered.

  1. Keep up to date

Ensure that you are following the latest curriculum. This is a basic one, but be aware that the curriculum does change and you need to know about it if it does.

  1. Practice writing

This is one of the common issues students don’t envisage they will face, and it becomes a painful downfall on the day of the exam. We don’t use a pen very often anymore – most of us use a computer for the work we do. So when it comes to trying to write for hours on end, our hand may not want to comply. Practice writing and get your hand used to it.

  1. Be familiar with the exam format

Take a look at the exam formats and ensure you know exactly what will be required. This will allow you to work on time management before you take the real exam.

  1. You aren’t psychic

Do not attempt to guess at areas of the curriculum that will and will not be covered and use that to guide your revision. There is no way for you to predict what will be on the exam, so do not even try.

  1. Time Management

If you run out of time you are going to feel pretty upset with yourself, as those are points you have no hope of achieving. Work out in advance of the exam how much time you have for each question, and do your best to stick to it.

  1. Pay attention to the detail

The exam will have instructions and perhaps scenarios to read. Give yourself ample time to read these. Do not rush this part.

  1. Take a deep breath

Exams are pretty stressful for most candidates. Give yourself time to relax and be mindful of your stress levels.

In Summary

We hope that you found these tips useful, and all the best if you have an upcoming CFA exam.

Financial Institutions Can No Longer Ignore Fintechs-02

Financial Institutions Can No Longer Ignore Fintechs

By: Rebecca Langdon

For a time long, the financial institutions held all of the cards – this was particularly true for the Banks. Fintech was not even a phrase that most of us had in our vocabulary until a few years ago. A decade ago the use of technology by the financial industry was typically seen as a means to an end, as opposed to an opportunity to gain significant strategic advantage over competitors and break down barriers to entry. In fact a lot of institutions used the same platforms, or built their own and managed it over a number of years. This led to a few dominant software vendors and pervasive homogeneity from a tech perspective in the industry.

So what changed?

Simply, the global economic crisis of 2007/2008 significantly disrupted the industry. Institutions that had held dominant positions fell. In many countries and regions, regulators and governments had no other option but to rethink the dominance of the older institutions and the barriers to entry that they had enforced. As the giant banks scrambled around to try and regain composure there was a surge of additional protections implemented, such as Dodd Frank in the USA and a far wider implementation of the Basel III Capital Framework. Interestingly while on the one hand the regulations became far more pervasive, governments were now encouraging innovation and supporting new entrants who would challenge the status quo. New entrants typically competed through innovation – namely Fintech solutions.

What about the UAE

Challenger banks are entering the market and offering solutions that make banking on the move easier than ever. For example, Bank Clearly is a new digital banking service that is being set up in the UAE. This is an online only service which according to them “Clearly will change the way you bank so profoundly that you will never imagine going back to the old way of banking.”

In summary

The industry is speaking a lot more about Fintech and as financial institutions seek to gain advantage through tech, they are partnering with software vendors for mutual advantage. It is a really interesting time to work within a financial role, and if you are interested in seeking a qualification, please take a look at our offerings.

Source:

http://www.bankingtech.com/688091/new-digital-bank-coming-to-middle-east-bank-clearly/

Financial Outlook for 2017

By David S.

With 2016 being quite so unpredictable, you could be forgiven for thinking that we may be in for even more uncertainty during 2017.  With markets not sure how to react to global issues, banking as a sector is likely to expand their product base and move into new areas of commerce.  This fluid and changeable environment means that accepting new operating models and investment in emerging technologies that address the markets in different ways and open up new possibilities for investment and operations.

 

Many of the perceived changes are likely to take place in a number of areas of personal and corporate arms, including consumer banking, international trading and Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), commercial banking, and infrastructure activities.   These areas cover the huge subject of macroeconomic trends and it’s a side of the international banking business that is expanding fast.  Banks will be looking at major investments being carried out as well as forecasting interest rate rises in the developed nations and how gross domestic product (GDP) is utilized with those countries.  This information is key to the long-term forecasting needed to make the banking sector as stable as possible, and from that stability, be able to make informed decisions on investments and business direction.

 

In 2017, M&A is likely to see an increase in legislation, ensuring that takeovers are not only legal, but also acting in the interests of the many rather than the few.  Commercial banking will see prudent lending to ensure that markets stay optimistic but don’t start running out of control, and transaction banking will focus on a balance of product innovation while ensuring that costs are kept low.   The most obvious innovation for 2017 will be a stronger response to cybercrime and a strengthening of products and processes to ensure that customer accounts remain secure.

 

But the bank knows that key to understanding what is likely to happen in 2017 and beyond is having the right people in place and ensuring that the training they receive is pertinent to the task.  Above all, banks should not make non-serious decisions and predictions should be backed up with well thought out responses.  The changes that banking is likely to feel in 2017 will be based on people with the right skills and that is likely to be the biggest change to banking in the year; get the right people, and train them correctly.

Tips on Managing Cash Flow When Business is Rising

By David S.

One of the biggest problems a company can face is how to deal with the increased cash flow when business starts booming.   A smaller company with several departments can suddenly receive a deluge of requests for funding as managers’ eye a healthy company bank balance and start to think of all the new and exciting equipment that they could fit out their departments with.  A sudden upswing in business can also instill a feeling of overconfidence in the company and as well as new equipment, a managing Director may find that they receive requests for more personnel.   However, caution is always the best policy in these situations and rather than just spending out, there are ways in which you can protect your potential investment.

 

As a company you are likely to have a financial plan.  This is the document that shows how you intend to invest and grow over a period of years, but these can seem in need of an update if the company suddenly finds itself in a period of furious sales activity.  However, the best policy is to stick to the original plan and just bank any extra funds for future use.  You may find that the extra sales are actually just a blip rather than a concerted and long term shift in sales, and if the money is spent, it may leave you in an undesirable situation, so it makes sense to treat any extra sales as something out of the ordinary and carry on as usual.

 

Similarly, senior management need to take extra care with expenses – both their own and those of their team, who may feel as though they can spend more in the pursuit of business.  Once again the best policy is to stick to the original plan and not embark on a session of spending – you may end up regretting it. Of course, you may find that you have a sustained period of extra sales, and you do need to cope with those, but rather than take on staff who may not be needed in a few months, so temporary staff and sub-contractors are the best way forward in those situations.

 

Dealing with a sharp upturn in business can be as daunting as losing business.  It may well be worthwhile preparing for both eventualities, just in case they happen.

What You Need To Know About Financial Statements

By David S.

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 it.  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 vague 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 deliberation 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 finance for non-financial managers.  These will give you the background that you need to make informed decisions.