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It's About Time! The Journyx Blog
Today's post is from guest blogger, Myrna Vaca, Head of Marketing and Communications at Lyoness America. She is responsible for marketing, communication and business development efforts. Lyoness is an international shopping community and loyalty rewards program, where businesses and consumers benefit with free membership and money back with every purchase. Check out Lyoness on Twitter.
It can be difficult to feel like your business is part of tightly knit community - a place, like the fictional bar 'Cheers,' "Where everybody knows your name." But if you're a small business owner, creating a community of the folks who love your business and support it on a regular basis is imperative. After all, these are the people who keep you in business. Furthermore, they provide the best type of advertising that exists: word of mouth.
So the big question is, how do you keep your regular, loyal customers satisfied? You could simply hope that they continue to support your goods and services without any clever incentives or strategies. Or, you could come up with a few ways to reward these fine shoppers and let them know that you hope to continue a long, fruitful relationship with them.
Why not reward the whole crowd?
You may be wondering why we aren't telling you to reward every single person who happens to run across your business. You may be eager to kiss the feet, so to speak, of anyone who walks into the doorway or clicks on your website. And, of course, being gracious to all your customers goes a long way. But special rewards for your repeat customers will encourage the new crowd to keep coming back.
Create Repeat Customers
How do you entice the once-in-a-while customers to become loyal followers of your business? There are a few different ways.
How will your customers fall for your business if you and your staff aren't readily available to help with their needs? If you're a small business in particular, make sure that you approach each and every person who visits your business. Be courteous and assist them in finding the product or service they seek. Ways to assist might include:
- Show knowledge about products and services.
- Be a thought leader in your industry and offer insights.
- Recognize whether your company offers options such as layaway and special order and offer those when necessary.
- Be patient, encouraging and cheerful. It sounds obvious, but it's important!
Create a Contact List
Perhaps the most popular and the easiest way to gather your fans closer is to put together a list of contacts. Be forewarned that you should let the customer decide whether or not they would like to be part of your contact list. It should never be forced on a customer; this causes resentment. Two ways to approach gathering your list could be as follows:
- When a customer purchases something, invite them to sign the list so you can notify them of other items they'd be interested in.
- Invite customers to view your website or blog. Then, set up your blog to keep track of those who frequently pay a visit.
Reward Repeat Customers
Once you've figured out who your most loyal customers are, it's time to get to work rewarding them for supporting your business! Try these ideas.
Everyone loves a sale, but what everyone really loves is a sale for just a few people. Private sales aren't just for retail stores, either. Service providers - from hair salons to automobile mechanics - can benefit from offering a private sale event.
What kind of sale should you have? Consider these ideas:
- Holiday Sales
Don't just wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanks to the Internet, you can find a quirky holiday - National Cookie Baking Day, for example - that suits your business and is worthy of celebrating with loyal fans.
- Bring-a-Friend Sales
Another good idea is to offer the chance for a discount if your fans invite family members or friends to shop along with them. It's the perfect opportunity to bond with your loyal customers and to perhaps gain new ones.
"Member" Cards or Referral Rewards
Providing special cards or rewards for your loyal patrons can also work out well. The great thing about member cards is that you can choose whatever "deal" you want to offer. A few ideas:
- Visit a certain number of times and get a discount or freebie.
- Receive a special discount or freebie at certain times of year or certain days.
- Receive a special discount or freebie after spending a certain dollar amount.
- Refer to a friend and get extra licenses
Remember, rewarding the people who continue to shop with you is the best way to create a loyal following for your business. Keep up the great work, and your community will grow.
The holidays are starting and that means pumpkin coffee drinks, holiday music, colder weather, and a whole lot of stress! There’s the elaborate dinners to prepare, the countless gifts to find and purchase, and the numerous events to arrange. But fortunately at Journyx we’ve come up with some time saving tricks for the holidays.
If you are preparing holiday dinner, save time on the dessert. Instead of making an elaborate cake or pie, just put out supplies for sundaes or check out these desserts for more time-saving ideas. This way you can focus your time on the main courses.
To save time and money on gift-wrapping, buy solid colors that can be used for every holiday, including birthdays. This way you don’t have to buy different, holiday-appropriate gift-wrapping for every event. And you can always use newspapers if you run out!
Plan Your Travel in Advance
If you plan to go see friends or relatives over the holidays be sure to plan your trip far in advance. The good deals on flights and hotels go fast, especially for holiday vacations, and most people will be looking to take off time from work around this time.
Make Good Use of the Internet
Instead of braving the cold and the crowds to buy all your gifts, go online. Most retailers will offer deals and discounts on shipping over the holidays, so there’s no money to be saved for finding gifts in-person. Just be sure to start early so that your gifts arrive in time.
Make It a Potluck
Instead of preparing all of the holiday dishes yourself, get all of your friends and relatives to pitch in with a potluck dinner. This is more fun and will save you a huge amount of time and effort.
Hopefully, these time tricks will help you have a more stress-free, fun-filled holiday season!
Learning a second (or third or fourth!) language can be a great asset for professionals in today’s global economy. Being bilingual can especially be helpful if you interact with the public directly, such as with sales and customer service jobs. It can also open up new career opportunities (such as a job as a foreign language teacher), help your resume stand out, and give you numerous cognitive benefits.
The problem is: learning a language is hard! And time intensive! Fortunately Smigin helps you learn a new language quickly and easily. Smigin focuses on helping you learn conversational Spanish by emphasizing common words and phrases. It also allows you to customize the program to relevant topics.
The system uses videos to make the process fun. The videos are shot on location and utilize both a beginner and a native speaker, so that listeners can get a real sense of each word or phrase. Users can then play games to put their newly learned words and phrases to the test. The games increase in difficulty as the user progresses.
The system currently offers courses in Spanish but it will soon be expanding its offerings to include French and German. It’s free to register for Smigin, which gives you access to essential phrases. You can then upgrade to a paid version. The one month version is $19, the six month version $89, and the one year version $149.
Business trips are an important part of business. A recent study by Oxford Economics found that investing in face-to-face interactions with out-of-town clients and potential clients has a significant payoff – for every dollar invested in travel, companies made $9.50 in revenue and $2.90 in profit.
However, as any frequent business traveler knows, business trips are often stressful and time-consuming. You can’t avoid having to make these excursions, but you can make the experience more stress-free and time-efficient.
While it might be tempting to fly out of one of the big airports, smaller, regional airports often offer a quicker, easier experience. There is usually less traffic to and from these airports and fewer people to deal with inside.
Your company will probably book you on the cheapest flight – which might not be the most direct one. Do your own research for the fastest flights, and then download FlightTrack on your smartphone. FlightTrack will keep you informed of any delays, changes, or cancellations, and will provide you with alternative flight options.
If you are a frequent business traveler, keep a bag packed at all times. Make sure to include the essentials: toiletries, casual and professional clothing, etc. Also remember to print out your boarding pass beforehand, so that you don’t have to wait in line once you arrive at the airport.
Stick with Carry-On
Be sure to pack light, so that you can limit your luggage to a carry-on. This way, if you print out your boarding pass and check-in beforehand online, then you can breeze past the check-in lines straight to security.
Staying organized throughout your trip can help you save time that might have been wasted trying to figure out your next step. TripIt, a smartphone app, can help you stay organized by keeping all your travel information (boarding passes, hotel reservations, or rental service information) in one place and integrating it into a seamless itinerary.
Business trips can be a source of stress and hassle, but if you follow the steps above you can have an easier, more seamless experience.
“You can have an impact anywhere you are.” –Tony Dungy
We’re deep in the heart of Texas once again, but we had so much fun in Tampa while we were there! This year was absolutely huge, drawing in almost 750 GP attendees and around 4,000 attendees overall. It was so great to meet all of you there! We got to see many people in capes, decked out in handmade GPUG gear and proudly wearing their own company’s logo. A bunch of you even stopped by our booth and tried your luck with the slot machine.
With 185 interactive sessions to choose from, 176 sponsors and exhibitors, 101 volunteer presenters and an inspiring keynote address from NFL Super Bowl winning Coach Tony Dungy, we’re reeling in the photos and best moments in case you missed out or just want to relive the fun.
GPUG 2014 isn't far off, either. In the heart of America, GPUG Summit is set to be in St. Louis Missouri in 2014.
Did you love it as much as we did? Tell us your favorite moments in the comment section below! And from all of us here at Journyx, we hope to see you there next year!
Don’t underestimate the work that needs to be done when purchasing a new ERP system such as Dynamics GP. With a whole new system being put in place there are many things that can cause problems, some which are not necessarily intuitive. Critical delays and added costs could turn what would be a successful implementation into a disaster. To thwart this from being your experience, consider enlisting the help of a Value-Added Reseller, such as Journyx. While your IT staff is top notch, unless they’ve done implementations for GP before, they must work as a team with the VAR to ensure success.
Here’s a countdown of the top 5 reasons to use a VAR:
1.Prevention—If the VAR have encountered snags in the installation process, they can work to prevent them from happening or mitigate the issues.
2.Mapping—The VAR will help you map out the settings of the application. Many of which need to be decided before using the system such as:
- How the Chart of Accounts will be set up
- How you want the transactions from the sub ledgers to post to the general ledger
- How security within the application should be set up for good internal control
3.Resources— The VAR have resources that can manipulate data from the current system and will ensure that the information is loaded in correctly.
4.Experience—Dynamics GP is designed with a lot of flexibility to accommodate add-on modules. The VAR have experience in dealing with 3rd party add-on applications. They can also recommend 3rd party apps if the business has a different way of handling transactions.
5.Training—While Dynamics GP is a great ERP system, it is not something that you can just pick up and intuitively know how it works. The VAR will have the capacity to provide user and administrator training.
Don’t use price alone to determine who you are going to go with for your VAR. Ask questions about their user experience. Make your own list of needs your company has and needs met. Prioritize your most important problems that must to be solved and go from there. When building your house, you use a building contractor; when starting a business you need a model in place. In this same way, a VAR will be the best guiding hand to starting up a Dynamics GP implementation, giving you the right tools to dive in.
Do you have trouble keeping your friends’, family’s, and clients’ addresses and phone numbers organized and updated? Have you sent letters to the wrong address and called the wrong number trying to get in contact? Don’t worry! The software program Plaxo offers the solution.
John McCrea, vice president of marketing for Plaxo, calls this free system a “smart address book you can use for your entire life. It’s self-updating, so whenever someone in your address book changes jobs, moves, gets a new cell phone number, your contact information is automatically up-to-date.”
With its free service, the system lets you consolidate contacts from the leading online services, and receive automatic updates from contacts also on Plaxo. The contacts are accessible on mobile through Plaxo’s free mobile applications, including iPhone, Andriod, and Blackberry. Additionally, for $5.00 a month, the system will sync contacts through email, including Google and Outlook. You can also merge duplicate contacts and receive birthday reminders.
When you sign up with Plaxo, you can provide as much or as little information as you want, including email address, phone number, physical address, and birthday. Whenever you meet someone new you can figure out if they are already in the system, and the system will automatically sync their information.
The highest tier Plaxo service (Plaxo Personal Assistant for $6.67 a month) will search out contacts online through publicly available information from sources like White Pages, LinkedIn, and Facebook. This way, even if the person isn’t in the system, you can still get their contact information.
You can access Plaxo from a regular Web browser at home, in the office, or on a mobile phone. So, instead of wasting time trying to update and organize your contact information yourself, invest in Plaxo.
Out of all the necessary weekly errands, grocery shopping is probably the most time consuming. If you have a family, your grocery list will probably be long and involved, and collecting all of those items can take hours. How can you save time at the grocery store? Here at Journyx, we’ve compiled a list of Time Tricks to help your next grocery trip go more quickly and seamlessly.
Plan out your meals for the week, and keep a running list of everything you will need. If you have a family or partner, keep the list in a place where they can easily add items. Also check your cupboards and refrigerator to make sure you have all the basics on hand (bread, butter, sugar, flour, etc.). There’s nothing worse than trying to make a new cookie recipe only to find that you’re out of sugar!
Make a Route
Figure out the layout of your grocery store and plan a route before you get there. (You can even ask the front desk if they have a photocopied layout of the store that you can use). Then group all of your listed items by aisle, so you won’t forget anything.
If you are a coupon cutter, make sure to collect all of your coupons beforehand. You don’t want to be stuck flipping through a coupon book in one of the aisles.
Go on Off Hours
Don’t go to the grocery store in the middle of your Saturday or Sunday, when it will be packed with weekend shoppers. Instead, try to go either before or after work on a weekday. It will be much less crowded and you’ll be able to do your shopping in relative peace.
Go Alone and Full
If you have kids or a partner, don’t bring them with you on your shopping trip – having another person with you will just make things harder. And most importantly, don’t go hungry! You’ll just end up overbuying. Instead go when you are contently full, so that you only stock up on the things you really need.
Do you maintain several social media sites? Does your company? With the great number of social media sites available (Facebook! LinkedIn! Twitter! Pintrest!), it can be hard to keep all of your accounts up-to-date. That’s why HootSuite is such a handy tool. HootSuite let’s you schedule and synchronize posts on all your social media accounts, as well as track brand mentions and analyze social media traffic.
HootSuite’s streamlined interface lets you view up to five social media sites at one time. You can do most everything that can on their native sites – post, Tweet, message, etc. But the kicker is that HootSuite lets you schedule posts on multiple sites at once. That means no need to scramble trying to post all of your message – HootSuite lets you craft a post at your leisure (it can even include a link and a photo) and then choose a scheduled time and date for the post to be released. HootSuite’s Auto Schedule feature will even space out your posts to be published at optimum times.
Additionally, HootSuite is a great choice for any business trying to gain a social media presence. HootSuite supports company pages on all of the major social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. This lets you manage your company’s online presence in one place. HootSuite also lets you set up teams and members under their team management facility. This allows members to easily access the social media sites and share actionable social media tasks among each other. (The team management facility is available starting at $8.99 for HootSuite Pro.)
But HootSuite’s greatest differentiator is its analytics. HootSuite’s metrics will help you track your company’s brand name as well as general social media traffic. This information can help you develop social media marketing strategies and allow you to diffuse any negative activity your sites might generate (such as a customer posting about a negative customer experience).
HootSuite is available across a wide variety of platforms, including MacOSX, Windows, Linux and most mobile platforms. It is available in free, Pro, and Unlimited versions – so do some research before making your selection, and then enjoy easy, streamlined social media activity.
We are excited to attend the Great Plains User Group (GPUG) Summit next week in Tampa! We will be at booth #548 and if you stop by our booth, you’ll get a chance to take a spin and win on our slot machine! See if you get lucky with Journyx! We will have many gift cards on hand for winners, including Starbucks, AMC Theaters and more, plus big winners could receive a $50 Visa gift card. You’re always a winner with Journyx!
We are excited to tell attendees about our totally customized solution for Microsoft Dynamics GP that not only supercharges time and expense tracking, but provides a total enterprise package.
Our Journyx for GP solution includes:
- Journyx software: Web-based project, time and expense tracking software that allows you to conduct data entry validation, multi-level approvals and flexible accrual calculations.
- Journyx Accountlink for Microsoft Dynamics GP: Bi-directional, seamless integration between Journyx and GP.
- ProStart implementation services: We will have your team up and running quickly.
- Accrual Calculator: A simple interface for automating specific leave time accrual processes.
- Data Validation Tool: Allows you to validate time data entered into Journyx against customized rules.
- Interface with your payroll system: Your data is always totally synced with Journyx.
Journyx is flexible and totally customizable -- something you won’t find with the gigantic vendors. We offer mobile and offline entry, and a very competitive rate for customizations so you get a completely tailored solution that fits your unique business needs.
Check out our brief video that explains why so many Dynamics users love Journyx! See you at the show!
Forty (plus) hours of your week is spent at work, so any free time you have is precious. And often too much of that time is eaten up by errands, giving you little or no time to exercise, explore hobbies, and spend with family and friends. Fortunately at Journyx, we’ve come up with some Time Tricks to make your errand running faster, easier, and less stressful.
Never Do Just One
It will help you save gas and energy if you group your errands together into one trip. Don’t just grab your kid from band practice – pick up the milk and bread too. Make sure you organize your errands geographically, so that you don’t waste time going back and forth across town.
If you have a partner or children, consider off-loading some of the errand responsibility on them. You don’t need to Swiffer the kitchen or do the dishes everyday; delegate those tasks. This will give you the time and energy to focus on the important errands.
Keep a List
Keep an errand list with you at all times. Make sure there is a running list of normal errands, as well as small things you might have forgotten (buying a present for a party; picking up new shoes for your daughter). Also consider keeping a master grocery list on your computer. Your grocery list shouldn’t change very much from week to week, and this way you can update it easily by adding or removing items.
You never know when you might have a spare moment to run an errand; maybe you get out of work early, or a Saturday appointment gets canceled. Make sure you are always prepared by keeping supplies in your car. These should include a cooler and a basket for grocery shopping, bills that need to be paid, and stationary for writing letters.
Errands can be tedious and exhausting. If you have kids, you almost certainly bribe them to go errand running with you. Why don’t your bribe yourself as well? Include a treat for yourself on your errand list, whether it’s a dessert, a movie purchase, or a new luxury soap.
Don't let errand running take up all of your spare time. Use these Time Tricks to organize your errands and free up time for the things you really want to do.
Did you know that the average worker spends enough time on email to fill 73 days per year? That’s a whole lot of time! Fortunately the web app AWAYfind has come up with a solution. Instead of having to sort through your inbox several times a day, AWAYfind sends you an alert whenever an important email has arrived in your inbox.
With AWAYfind, you are alerted for emails depending on the filters and criteria you have set up – so the app will never alert you for spam or noncritical email threads. Additionally, there are numerous ways the app can alert you, including SMS, phone call, email, Yahoo! Messenger, AIM, Google Talk, and native iPhone push notifications.
Signing up for AWAYfind is quick and easy. Just use your Google login and the site will guide you through the registration process. Decide how you want to be notified and your initial criteria for notification. The site has pre-programmed two filters for notification: emails sent by a contact with a calendar appointment within the next 12 hours, and emails with “urgent” or “ASAP” flags. You can set up new filters based on email subject, contact name, who is included among the email's recipients, and more.
AWAYfind offers several other features including:
- Integration with Gmail and Outlook for seamless filter setup and editing.
- A “Beginners Guide to Eliminating Email Interruptions.”
- Flexible alerts that allow for a specific time scope (for example, if emails from a contact are only important that day).
- Calendar Alerts that notify you automatically for emails relating to upcoming meetings.
- Integration with both iPhones and Androids.
AWAYfind offers several plans for different users’ needs. There’s a personal plan for $4.99 per month, which includes 100 alerts per month for one email account. Then there is the pro version for $14.99 a month (1,000 alerts for five accounts), and the max version for $49.99 per month (unlimited alerts for unlimited accounts). Depending on the nature of your business, it might make the most sense to get AWAYfind for everyone in your office or department.
AWAYfind is easy to use and a great time saver. Many workers spend far too much of their work day checking and sending emails. AWAYfind goes beyond normal email filters (such as those on Gmail or Outlook) by making it so that you don’t have to check your inbox at all. AWAYfind alerts you personally whenever an important email comes in, so you can devote your attention to other, more important tasks.
Ah, the dreaded business meeting. All businesses have them, and invariably a good percentage of them don’t have any real outcomes. In fact, Nancy Koehen of the Harvard Business School did a survey and found that, "Over half of the people surveyed say about half the meetings they attend are unproductive."
So how can you make your business meetings more productive? Here at Journyx we’ve come up with a few Time Tricks for scheduling and leading meetings.
Use Other Tools
First thing first: do you need to schedule a meeting? Many meetings can be handled through email, IM, or quick face-to-face conversations between the pertinent parties. And if you decide that a meeting is necessary, then make sure to only invite the people directly involved.
Prepare for It
Make sure to have the meeting’s objectives outlined before the start of the meeting. You can also circulate information packets to the attendees and find a way to have attendees submit questions and ideas. This way, all parties will be informed and ready to make decisions when the meeting starts. As Seth Godin says, “Don’t bother having a meeting if you’re not there to change or make a decision right now.”
Don’t schedule your meeting in a room that’s far removed from the attendees’ offices or far too big or small for the number of people involved. Instead pick a convenient, appropriately sized location and remove all potential distractions, including food, cell phones, and even chairs! Standing meetings are usually more productive, as seen in this study where the standing group came to a decision in 34% less time than the sitting group.
Track Meeting Time
Figure out the key objectives to your meeting and then assign a time estimate to each objective. Track your time as the meeting progresses and enforce the time limits for each objective – time estimates don’t do any good unless they are enforced. To keep things moving along without interruption consider using a “talking object” so that only one person is speaking at one time.
Take Minutes and Assign Actions
Make sure that someone takes minutes for you meeting; ideally this should be the same person every week for consistency. Additionally, everyone at the meeting should be assigned specific actions based on the conclusions reached during the meeting. These actions should have specific scopes and deadlines, and they should be recorded with the minutes.
Meetings are often unnecessary and unproductive. But if you take these Time Tricks into account, you can have quick, productive meetings in no time.
As a professional in the business world, you probably have numerous important interactions with other professionals on a daily basis. And you want to be able to keep track of your contact information and conversation summaries– which often means rifling through business cards and napkins scribbled with notes. Fortunately Jibber Jobber offers a better way to organize your business relationships.
“It’s important to consciously manage relationships with your contacts over the long term,” says Jason Alba, CEO of Jibber Jobber. “Using Jibber Jobber, you can quickly and privately import contacts from a variety of sources, rank relationships, log notes about relationships, create action items and tie them to people or companies.”
Billing itself as a career toolset, Jibber Jobber offers many important networking tools, including:
- Contact management: You can import contacts from social media sites, place them on a map, add descriptions, and detail the relationships between contacts.
- Action Items: Need to remember to call a certain contact? Jibber Jobber can remind you to follow up on important tasks at a specified time.
- Company Database: You can easily import your contacts’ companies, and organize them under their company name.
- Custom report building: Keep track of your expenses.
- Daily Planner: Maintain an up-to-date schedule in the same place as your contact information.
- Webinars and FAQ: Jibber Jobber has many resources in place to help new users get the hang of its interface.
Jibber Jobber was designed as a job-hunting tool, but it also has long-term value for professionals with established positions. As Jason Alba said, “[Jibber Jobber] is not a band-aid solution, or a throwaway job search tool. It is a long-term career management solution to be used from now until you are done with relationships (or your career).”
There is both a free and a premium version of Jibber Jobber. The premium version is $ 9.95 a month and includes several special features, including the ability to import contacts from Outlook, receive reminders via text or email, and save an unlimited number of contacts.
So if you need help with your job hunt or networking, look into Jibber Jobber today.
At Journyx, we know your time is important, and we want to help you save it. Last week, we gave you five tips for saving time in the morning. This week, we’re moving on to the workday. We know how difficult it can be to avoid distractions and stay motivated at work. Fortunately these tips can help you stay organized and on-task throughout your day.
Streamline Your Email
Did you know that most workers spend half of their day on email? Emailing is a convenient way to stay in touch with coworkers, clients, and superiors, but sorting through non-essential emails can be a huge time waster. So use mail filters and folders to stop spam and sort incoming emails. Additionally, Boomerang helps you stay on top of your emails by reminding you of important email threads at designated times.
Block Non-Work Sites
Sixty-nine percent of employees visit websites unrelated to their work every day. News sites and social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are the big culprits. Keep yourself on track by blocking tempting sites from your computer and limiting your social media usage to the mornings and evenings – before and after your workday.
Type More Efficiently
Typing takes time. Make typing more efficient with autofill programs like Text Expander. These programs will help you fill in forms, type signatures, and write standardized letters quickly and easily through typing shortcuts. Text Expander even allows you to customize your own typo-fixer and generate entire paragraphs with just a finger stroke.
Avoid Unnecessary Meetings
Most workplaces have a lot of meetings. Unfortunately, many of these meetings could easily have been resolved over email or in a quick five-minute chat between the concerned parties. In fact, professional workers lose roughly four days per month on unproductive meetings. How can you tell if a meeting is going to be unproductive? If a meeting has too many people invited (over six) or has no clear agenda, chances are it's not worth your time.
Set Aside Time to Plan
Start each day with a plan and end each day with a plan. On your commute to work, make a to-do list for that day. And instead of trying to cram in every last little thing before you go home for the evening, take some time to think about what you need to accomplish tomorrow. You’ll thank yourself when you start the next day with direction and purpose.
With the economy improving, staffing firms are making good business. Increasingly, job-hunters are looking to staffing companies to help them find jobs. One study by Addison Group found that half of job-hunters use staffing firms and that 70% of them expect to find higher paying jobs as a result. Companies also benefit; they don’t have to commit to keeping the employee permanently or pay for benefits or vacation days.
All of this is great news for staffing firms! But there is one problem: managing employees. Typically, companies pay staffing firms for the employees’ time, so the firms and the employees remain affiliated. And so, staffing firms are in the unique position of managing an ever-changing workforce of remote employees; their employees are never in-office and are never the same week-to-week.
Here at Journyx, we’ve come up with a few tips to help staffing firms manage their employees. This will be part of an on-going series, so check in next week for more on the subject!
Match Employee to Job
The first and perhaps most important task for a staffing firm is to place their employees in the right positions. Before sending an employee to any company interviews, set up an initial interview to determine which positions would be the best fit. These interviews should be in-depth and intensive. Determine the person’s skill set, strengths and weaknesses, and whether or not he or she will be a loyal employee.
To make you’re your employees are put in the right positions, try using Affintus. This cloud-based software helps you make better hiring decisions by matching applicants to jobs.
Stay in Touch
There are numerous ways to stay in touch electronically, from Skype to Google Hangouts. Staffing companies routinely use these methods to interview their remote employees for potential positions. But you should continue to use them even after your employees have been hired out. Check in with your employee periodically throughout his or her first few months, and make sure the arrangement is working out on his or her end – and then check in with the employer as well.
Tracking their Time
Time tracking is essential for staffing firms. Temporary employees are paid by the hour, so staffing firms need to keep close track of the number of hours their employees are working. Journyx can make this process easy with its customized time-tracking offering for professional staffing firms. This offering features variable billing based on people who actually used the Journyx system that week. So no money is wasted on unused licenses. The offering also includes integration into your accounting and payroll system, and a speedy implementation time.
When it comes to your time, technology is a bit of a double-edged sword. It can be a great time-saver (microwaves! GPS navigation!), but also a huge-time waster (hours of mindless web-surfing, anyone?). Here at Journyx, we believe that technology can help you make the most of your precious time – as long as you choose and use your technology wisely.
And so, in this series, we’ll be spotlighting a different time-saving technology every week. This week’s technology promises to solve one of the biggest modern inconveniences: losing your parked car. How many times have you parked your car in a parking lot or garage and then wandered aimlessly trying to find it again? It’s not just you: in one study, half of the participants admitted to having trouble remembering where they parked.
Fortunately, the AutoPark iPhone app offers a solution. The app will guide you to your parked car, warn you when your meter is about to run out, and help you find nearby service stations.
After you park, the app lets you mark your car’s exact location on a map. Then, when you are ready to leave, the built-in GPS application will lead you back to your car. No more aimless wandering! And if you are in a multi-level parking garage, an airport parking lot, or a shopping center, you can enter and save all the relevant information, including the name of the lot, the number of your space, the floor number, the color code, and the section number. This way, if the app’s GPS malfunctions, you will still have the necessary details to find your car.
The app also helps you avoid parking meter tickets. The app has an interface that allows you to enter the amount of time on your meter and set alarms to warn you when your time is almost up. You also don’t need to have the application open after you leave your car; it will warn you automatically.
Losing your car is a major inconvenience, especially when you have places you need to be. Fortunately, all it takes is a quick app download and you won't ever lose your car again.
Here at Journyx, we know the importance of your time. Between your work, home life, and hobbies, your time is scarce – and so all the more precious. Unfortunately, there are countless distractions and hassles in daily life, just waiting to squander your time, energy, and productivity.
Do you often run out of hours in a day to do everything that needs to be done? Are you constantly running on a time deficit? Fortunately, Journyx’s Time Tricks can help you save time and boost your productivity in a variety of situations.
First up: Mornings. If you get behind schedule in the morning, it will impact your productivity for the rest of the day. In fact, a recent study found that morning people tend to be happier and healthier than night owls. So make the most of your mornings with these tips:
Prepare the Night Before
Prepare for morning the night before. Pick out your outfit, pack up your briefcase, and decide on what you will eat for breakfast. And don’t even think about skipping breakfast!
Pro Tip: Put ingredients for a healthy smoothie in your blender and store it in your refrigerator. That way all you have to do in the morning is press the blend button.
Make a List
It can be easy to forget things in the hectic morning rush. Make of list of everything you need to do in the morning and then tack it to your mirror. Stick to this list every morning so that you can develop a routine.
Pro Tip: Constantly forgetting your lunch or your phone? Put your car keys on top of anything you don’t want to forget.
Wake Up Effectively
Do you usually go through your mornings in a groggy haze? Help your mind and body wake up by drinking a glass of cool water and then doing a few simple exercises, such as lunges or jumping jacks.
Pro Tip: Hitting the snooze button makes waking up harder. Hide your alarm clock somewhere far from your bed so you have to get up to turn it off.
Keep Track of Your Time
At Journyx, we are big proponents of the benefits of time tracking – and not just during business hours. It can be easy to get lost in trivial morning tasks, like showering or checking emails. Set a stopwatch for yourself to stay on track.
Pro Tip: Save time on ironing your clothes by buying wrinkle-free shirts, slacks, and shirts.
Go to Sleep Early
On average, most adults need 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep at night. Getting less the necessary amount of sleep can make you sluggish, moody, and unable to deal with stressful situations. So be sure to go to bed early enough to get those hours!
Pro Tip: Calculate your ideal bedtime at sleepyti.me. This will help you wake up more alert and refreshed.
In Part 1 of this blog series, I talked about some of the top features Microsoft Dynamics GP find very useful in Journyx. We're preparing for the GPUG Summit coming up October 22-25 and want to provide some information about us that will be most useful to the GP audience.
Looking at the data, here are the most popular features in Journyx that our GP clients use the most:
- Reliable validation of data entry to make sure your information is clean, correct and useful.
- Multi-level approval paths make your processes completely flexible to your company's structure and needs.
- Set up alerts in the software where you can be notified by email when an activity occurs.
- Flexible accrual calculations- it's easy and accurate to provide calculations without any extra work.
- The Journyx integration features the importation of projects, cost categories and user data.
- Export Time and Expense Data so you aren't updating two different software tools.
We're a Gold Sponsor at the GPUG Summit and will be located at booth #845 with some great prizes and a fun game for the attendees. Stop by and say hello!
In preparation for the GPUG Summit in October, we wanted to provide a background of some specialties in our software tool for GP users.
Microsoft Dynamics GP is great for giving companies the proper direction and tools to cover their finances and resources. When businesses need extra functionality, they turn to an ISV like Journyx for a couple of reasons. Below are the features in Journyx that are focused in providing easy functionality that benefits GP users the most:
- Simple time and expense entry using one robust solution. You won't have to fumble back and forth between different software tools.
- Real-time, flexibile reporting functionality that's easy to use for GP administrators.
- Web-based and mobile entry so that tracking time is more accurate and can be done anywhere.
- The bi-directional data flow makes it easy to transfer data whether automatically or on-demand.
In Part 2 of this blog post, I'll get into specific aspects of our time tracking tool and key features around utility such as exporting time and expense data, importation of projects and accrual calculations.