small business information

Handheld Computers Liberate the Worker

As the cost of rugged handhelds has reduced and mobile communications have improved, you see them deployed in more and more applications across different industries. By giving the worker direct access to pertinent information and allowing them to conduct business at the point of a transaction or information capture, you increase efficiency and liberate your staff. What’s exciting is that the future of mobile computing is exploding before our very eyes. For instance, the recent introduction of Google’s Android will spur many hitherto unheard of applications. There is an Android application that lets you input barcode information into your phone in order to obtain information about products. So if you are in a shop and you see something that you like, but want some more informati... »

The SME Owner Manager Juggling with Technology

Picture this scenario, a small business that makes things, takes orders, packs them and ships them; usually starts out with quite basic processes and for a while, they fulfil the purpose albeit just adequately. The owner manager feels in control as he oversees the orders, adjusts his stock position and then coordinates delivery to the customer; he instructs his dedicated staff every step of the way. But what happens as his company grows? Enter technology. Many small companies start by putting in a system for this and a system in for that. The result being that instead of having an end to end integrated management system, they end up with a disparate technology environment with point solutions that do not communicate and often turns out to be a false economy. Today more than ever it’s... »

Charities Have Smartened Up

Not so long ago charity shops tended to be no more than glorified jumble sale outlets, so the fact that they have survived so long was more to do with the efforts of the persistent bargain hunter and charity supporter rather than smart merchandising. To think that the first charity shop or second hand clothing shop was set up by the Salvation Army in the 19th century. However, modern charity shops did not appear until after world war two with the first of these being operated by Oxfam in 1947. One of the main advantages the charity shop has is that many are located in the town centre high streets, taking prime positions along side mainstream retail outlets. Over the years the high street has experienced a major overhaul as shops and cafes modernised to cater to the increasingly sophisticat... »