Hitting the "Business" Wall

Hitting the Business “Wall”

There will be times when nothing you do will work. You cannot seem to make a difference in the business, at any level. Maybe sales have flat lined or inventory keeps piling up and getting more expensive or even your long-term employees seem to be fighting and arguing with each and even with the customers! Perhaps worse, some event in the public eye has created controversy or possibly a catastrophe that has you wondering if you should even be in business. To say it another way, your business has hit the proverbial wall. No matter how hard you pound against it nothing seems to break through the wall.

You’re Not Alone

You are certainly not alone. Every business on the planet Earth has had issues similar to what you are experiencing and some of them are far beyond what you are dealing with. Some companies overcome them and some don’t. Examples are all around us. Remember the Samsung Note 7 exploding cell phone disaster. Estimates are as high as five billion dollars in lost value not to mention degraded customer confidence.

And even more recently, the reaction to the United Airlines violent removal of a passenger has hurt both their customers’ perception and their stock price. I am certain the police who came onboard the aircraft thought they were doing the right thing but events got completely out of hand and were captured on multiple cell phone videos.

Now they have more serious issues. Today’s social media environment was able to transmit the incident at the speed of light, and it has rocketed around the world millions of times over as the company stumbled around with different responses. Social media sites lit up with charges of racism and promises to never again fly that airline again. Even Congress has vowed to investigate. The bottom line is this is a public relations disaster for United.

Is It a Perception or Something Worse?

Going back a few years we had the television host and author, Paula Deen, who had social media explode around her use, 30 years earlier, of a horrible slur. The trolls and haters labeled her with all sorts of evilness but it turned out to be nothing more than a perception. The haters wanted her to be something she wasn’t. Some in the public perceived her to be less than an honorable person. Essentially she lost it all, the stores that sold her cookware stopped selling them, her publisher, and her television shows, all of it, fell apart. But with some image consultants she just waited until the storm blew over and slowly started to build up her brand once again. She has made something of a comeback and is on television again, albeit in a more subdued manner.

Ownership Issues

Much more often than these crazy problems are the old fashioned problems like slow sales, negative social media reviews of your products or just not making decisions in a timely manner. For some owners, letting go is absolutely fraught with danger. Ask yourself, has your business grown to the point you can’t keep track of each tiny development? Are you feeling like you are losing control of your “baby”? Are you reluctant to hire a few more people or promote someone to help handle the business?

Executive counseling can make all the difference in these cases. It isn’t a “business” problem so much as it is an “owner” problem. Talking with a professional consultant who can counsel you in how to grow the business and get past the small thinking will allow you, the owner, to see the future a little clearer.

Of course your business may not be having these types of over the top issues, but every organization has situations that come up, time after time, that can cause the C.E.O. serious heartburn. If you are seeing problems starting to boil up, like an increasing rate of customer complaints (you are tracking them right?), sudden high employee turnover, or my personal favorite, the water cooler scuttlebutt that indicates things are not exactly going swell, consider bringing in a business consultant. They can usually get to the bottom of the situation(s) and offer one or more solutions.

The Solution

Be forewarned, the solutions may be ugly, or expensive, or simply unpalatable. The recommendations I’ve given have ranged from reducing headcount, removing one or two specific employees who are causing trouble, to dropping one obstinate customer. Often the answer isn’t so drastic, but rather simple. Perhaps some new processes have been recently instituted that need a tweak. Maybe your vacation schedules have left the customer service people constantly shorthanded. Until the underlying issues are discovered, you just don’t know the cause of the heartburn.

Please don’t fall victim to the swan song of those that think there is an easy, quick fix to the problem at hand. Often the phrase “more training” is heard. But when the main issue hasn’t been identified, the nebulous concept of “training” won’t solve anything. More often than not, a deep dive into the business is required to fully identify the problem that you are trying to solve.

But my favorite types of problems to solve are those involving good problems. How about a company that is bursting at the seams because of high order volume? Too much business, in a very short time, will draw out the flaws in your business model, your organization structure, your processes and so forth, and leave the customer wondering what happened. All of those can usually be solved with an outsider, such as a consultant, who doesn’t have the baggage of an employee or isn’t embroiled in the office politics.

Get Help Quickly

When nothing you do seems to have an effect on the problem, that’s the time to bring in outside help. A basic rule of business is, the longer you wait, the worse a problem becomes. It is always bad to wait until events get out of hand. What did you expect, that the problem would self correct?

Yes, you should have resolved it sooner and it might have been less expensive had you recognized the problem quickly and applied your business acumen for a solution. But sometimes that’s just not possible, and, as we have seen in the news, events can very quickly spiral out of our control. Sometimes the problem was never in our control, as in the United Airlines event. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem becomes. Every. Single. Time.

He who hesitates is lost. Act quickly and with resolve. Use a consultant!


Source by Lee West

Not All the New Toys for Kids Are the Same

Learning toys for kids is a decent approach to keep your little ones connected with. But how do you decide what are the best toys for your little ones?

Remember, not all learning toys are appropriate for all ages. This means you should consider the age of your little one before you pick one. Most toys have ages suggested on the packages, which can help you pick the correct product for the right age.

Many of these kind of kids toys come with small parts that may choke young ones. For example, some electronic toys have pointers attached to the screens which may cause injury to small kids.

Second, look for the language in the learning toys – if they have audio in them. Toys for small kids have easy vocabulary and concepts.

Third, decide what you want them to do for kids. If you are thinking of a skill set, choose the toy accordingly. Is it basic math or alphabet, or spellings or even computer skills, or cognitive skills that your little one needs to develop – there are learning toys for kids of all ages.

Fourth, keep interests in mind while buying these kids toys. If your little one likes music, maybe you can buy him a toy guitar. If he or she likes cooking, maybe you can gift her a toy kitchen.

Fifth, read product reviews for the learning toys. There are lots of review sites and parenting magazines which do this on a regular basis.

Sixth, ask for advice and suggestions from other parents, teachers or experts on learning toys for kids. If your little one has just started school, his or her teacher can guide you best what toy your kid needs.

Seventh, look for product warranties for these toys. Most toys are economical, but some are quite expensive.

It is easy to get flummoxed with the variety in learning toys for kids that are available in the market. We should not buy whatever catch our fancy but should go for the ones that will help our children develop some skills. Toys are not just meant to keep our little ones busy and occupied – they have a bigger purpose and role to play. However, at the same time, we should remember that even learning toys for all the ages of kids are not enough – we should also have personal interactions with our children.

Source by Abhijit Gogoi

Top 3 Reasons to Choose the Audit Command Language for Risk Analytics

The one thing that is consistent and never changes is the aspect of change itself. As the data analytics industry has evolved as the industry has grown. As a matter of fact, the growth of the industry has spawned inquiry into new services within the analytics domain. Risk analytics is one such area. As the name suggests, risk analytics can be applied across industries and across different data sets. After all, as the name suggests, the aim is to identify potential risks among various future or current options is to ultimately evaluate the best choices out of the many that may be available.

As the field of inquiry evolves, the tools may also evolve or existing tools need to be used slightly differently. Originally tools like MS Excel and SQL were decent placeholders to provide insights. Although these tools are just as relevant, they are not complete solutions in them. More powerful tools have become available like the ACL Audit Command Language. It provides some advantages over the traditional tools.

1. Easier User Interface – The Audit Command Language was designed to allow the end-user to be able to work with the data sets and see live changes. The tools and graphical user interface are laid out in a way to enable exactly this goal. For instance, the users can make changes to the table to create fields in existing tables and create new tables in the project itself and export these changes into report ready formats.

2. Logs – In the domain of risk analytics, it is not just important to be able to create new tables with data but also to keep track of them. It in these domains, it is expected that all data transformations are kept track of in case there is a need to go back to verify or rectify the approach.

3. Automation with accuracy – Tools which are designed like the Audit Command Language, allow for a focussed approach to work on data of a particular project. This allows for focus and data integrity. Additionally, a properly designed workflow in the tool allows for a degree of automation and accuracy which is not available in the traditional tools that were being used.

Investment in the traditional tools is something of a necessity as they provide certain familiarity as they have been around for a long time and have served well. They will be around as core technologies for a long time. However, tools like the Audit Command Language and SAS have some clear advantages which can no longer be ignored as the results of inquiries in the field of risk analytics become more and more relevant in today’s world and shape our choices of the future.

Source by Mohit Prabhakar

The Dog’s Circulatory System

The system that is called the circulatory system of the dog is comprised of the blood, the blood vessels and the heart. The heart of the dog is a four chambered structure that consists of the right and left upper chambers called the atria and the two lower chambers that are called the ventricles. Essentially the heart is a two sided pump, a right side and a left side. They are independently dependent, that is, the upper right chamber or atrium receives the used or deoxygenated blood from the body and them it goes through the right A/V valve or tricuspid valve into the right lower chamber of the heart or the right ventricle and then pumps it to the lungs through the pulmonary valve into the pulmonary artery. Then the left upper chamber or atrium receives the blood from the lungs and then it goes through the left A/V valve called the bicuspid or mitral valve into the lower left chamber of the heart called the left ventricle.

It is then pumped out the aortic valve through the aorta and out to the body. The two sides of the heart are separated by a muscular wall called a septum. The left side of the ventricles is much thicker than the right side due to the fact that the pressure inside the left ventricle is much greater than in the right ventricle and so it has to withstand more pressure and so it is thicker. In a fully developed heart, the blood cannot get from one side of the heart to the other without first going around the circulatory path that all the blood has to follow. The four valves that we have mentioned are in place to keep the blood flowing in only one direction. When the heart or the valves are diseased, blood can leak through the valves and flow backwards, creating more compromise in heart and circulatory function.

We have talked about the heart being a right sided pump and a left sided pump and that they are independently dependent. This means that the one side acts independently of the other, but its function is totally dependent on the function of the other side. For example, if one of the valves of the arteries, like the aortic valve, is leaking and does not seal the opening properly, then blood can flow back into the ventricle and create a flow problem for all the blood that is coming from the lungs or from the body. Over time there are two things that the heart itself tries to do to make up for the inefficient action of the leaking valves. First the heart tries to increase its rate of action in an attempt to increase the volume of blood that is being pumped. Then it tries to increase its stroke volume by filling the chambers more and so it dilates in an effort to increase its volume pumped with each stroke or contraction. These two mechanisms fail in a short time and then the heart ends up failing and the dog develops congestive heart failure or CHF.CHF results in fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity or in the chest, depending on which side of the circulation is affected by the left or the right side of the heart that is failing.

Source by Bonna G Ormond

10 Ways to Overcome Exercise Procrastination

So you've made up your mind to get in shape, but can not summon the willpower to follow through? Nowadays more people are aware of the benefits of exercising and deciding to enroll themselves in a gym. The problem is, exercise demands a lot from you, and not just in terms of money. It takes time, effort and will to stick to exercise every day, and most of the time exercise does not yield immediate results. Luckily there are ways you can turn to for you to bypass procrastinating on working out, no matter what the day and mood you may be in.

1. One way to bypass procrastinating in exercise is time management. You need to allot a specific time to working out. Whatever time that is and how long is up to you. The key is to make exercise a non-negotiable, high-priority item in your schedule. Treat exercise as if it is a lunch meeting or an important event you absolutely must attend. This way you'll always have the time to hit the gym.

2. Another way to do this is to give yourself little rewards. And, no, the reward is not a trip to the buffet table. Rather, you must reward yourself with something that complements your goals and makes you happy at the same time. Treat yourself to a relaxing massage, for example, get a facial, or excuse yourself from that little chore you detest doing but can be put off. Reward yourself, and do it often.

3. It's also good to know that exercise itself is a good stress management technique. This is because exercise decreases the levels of cortisol and other stress hormones as well as boosting the levels of endorphins, thus alleviating stress and replacing it with a feeling of well-being. Exercise is also a healthy outlet for venting unhealthy emotions, and serve as a distraction. So if work gets you down, be sure to hit the gym.

4. Yet another way to avoid procrastinating is by working out with a fitness buddy. It helps to have someone friendly with you when doing the most challenging workout routines to cheer you on and rejoice and despairs with, and to remind you of your goal to be fit when you're feeling too much food On your plate.

5. In connection to number 5, participate in a community of people committed to fitness. Read blogs with success stories of people who lose weight, share your experiences in online forums, and ask questions. That way you get more support as well as insight into your journey to getting fit.

6. If you have the money to spare, invest in a personal trainer. Not only is a personal trainer apt to give extra motivation, but it's good to have an expert to help and advice you in your efforts.

7. It may also be helpful to have a workout routine. By its very name, a workout routine gives you a fixed set of activities that, if done consistently, will feel like a natural part of your day-to-day life that you'll be bothered about if you do not do it. Just remember that sticking with a workout routine requires dedication, too.

8. Incorporate simple exercises into your daily activities. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Park your car so you get to walk a reasonable distance to your office. Do stretching exercises every hour or so when you're stuck in front of the computer. That way you're always exercising, even if you're not in the gym.

9. Take pictures of your progress. If you're just starting out, take a picture of yourself and place it beside a picture of your ideal body. Put these on the fridge or some other visible place in your house. This should serve to remind you always.

10. Set specific, time-bound goals and write it down. Planning to lose 10 pounds? Make a specific timeframe for you to achieve that, say this month. Chances are, you will actually lose 10 pounds this month if you put it on paper.

There is no doubt that being fit is important, and the only way to being fit is through exercise. So do not let yourself sink into the couch and chicken out on your workout. Just keep your goals in mind, surround yourself with the people and the things you need to get going, and just get to it.

Source by Rick R Young

Review: Tom Hess Guitar Lessons – Worth The Price?

At this point, I’m sure you’ve heard of the popular guitar teacher, Tom Hess. His articles and videos are all over the internet, he even offers music career advice to people looking to get into the music business (something that I hope to do someday for myself). But does he get results? As a guitarist looking to hone my skills and build a little speed, I decided to investigate – and here’s some interesting information I came across:

Reviews About Tom Hess Guitar Lessons:

Immediately I noticed a review of Tom Hess’s guitar lessons by Mike Philippov. I’ve seen his guitar playing in several videos on YouTube, and he can really play. In his review, Philippov talks very highly of Hess and makes a very convincing case – Hell, with those kind of chops, he must be doing something right.

After Google, I tried YouTube. I got many results, but the one at the top was a video with tons of reviews by actual Tom Hess guitar students. A lot of people seem to have really benefited from his lessons, and many of the can really play.

In the end, I felt pretty intrigued by all the positive results people were receiving. I found other results with negative things to say about Hess, but they all came in the form of “I can’t stand Hess”, “I hate Tom Hess” and so on. Not much for me to go on there, but then again, I tend to steer clear of blind, vitriolic internet hate.

Quick Review: Tom Hess’s Music Career Mentoring Program

The first Tom Hess music careers mentoring program review I came across was by someone named Lee Gattenby, a guitar teacher in Alaska. Seems he has built a pretty nice teaching business for himself and released his own music. Not bad… I continued searching…

Next, I found what seems to be an interview with Tom Hess about music career advice. Not so much a music careers mentoring program review as it is Tom debunking various music career myths. Very insightful though – worth a look.

In the end, I seem to find a lot of positive reviews for Tom Hess and his programs. I can’t help but be intrigued by this guy. He talks a big game, and a lot of people vouch for him. I say he is worth a look if you are a guitarist/musician, but it’s up to you to do your own research. Regardless, Hess really comes off as genuinely serious about helping his students… a rarity for guitar teachers.

Source by Jared A Young

The Arousal Wall

One of the most common problems that I help people with is low sexual desire. This can be either (or both) wanting sex but not being able to become sufficiently aroused (e.g. lack of erection or lubrication) or lack of interest (just simply not being interested in sex, not thinking about or fantasizing about sex anymore). Either way, feeling disconnected from your sexual self is an extremely demoralizing and upsetting experience.

When you lose your desire, often your sexuality feels alien and strange to you. You forget what used to turn you on and cannot remember your cues to sexual excitement. What this exercise does is ask you to commit to examining your previous sexual experiences and identifying your own triggers for arousal. Thinking about sex is one way of awakening desire. At the very least you will have learned something about yourself and, if you are part of a couple, so will your partner. This exercise is an adaptation of one of Tracey Cox’s and I am happy to acknowledge her contribution.

You will need a pin/cork board, some postcards/notecards and some pins. The idea is that twice a day for 14 days, you write and answer a question about your triggers for arousal and then stick the card to your board. The board is ideally placed in the bedroom and making it constantly visible is best. Depending upon the age and curiosity of any children you might have, you may choose to put it somewhere else. It does need to be seen though, as it is a reminder of who you are as a sexual person and the pleasure that you have felt in the past. Some ideas for questions: What I would like more of sexually is …..My favourite part of my partner’s body is ….I am most sexually confident when ….Where is my favourite place to make love? What is my favourite sexual position – and why?One of my favourite sexual fantasies is ….One thing I have always wanted to try is ….. Over the 2 weeks you will have amassed a great deal of information about what arouses you the most. If you are a couple, you can choose to have a board each and share results at the end of the fortnight. Another option is to leave the board up and both of you add to it each day, with your Q &A being visible to your partner each day.Your choice will depend upon how you feel about your partner, the relationship, yourself and your confidence and communication skills at this stage.

Of course this exercise may not by itself resolve your disinterest in sex. It is a first step to helping you see yourself as somebody who is entitled to and capable of having a great sex life. You may need to work with a coach to help you gain some perspective on the causes of your lack of interest in sex before you can reach the core of your sexual dissatisfaction.

Source by Tara Few

Starting a Hip Hop Blog – 5 Easy Steps to Rap Profits

Are you a hip-hop artist, producer, entrepreneur or fan who wants to make money in the rap industry? Have you ever thought about starting a hip-hop blog? Believe it or not, hip-hop blogs are becoming more and more popular, and there are plenty of opportunities for hip-hop bloggers to make money online. If the idea of getting paid to share your thoughts and opinions about rap is music to your ears, here’s how to get started.

Step 1 – Choose a Domain Name and Web Host

A domain name is the website address that people will use to visit your blog. In general, you will want to choose a domain name that is easy to remember and gives people an idea of what type of content they will find on your site. Examples of things you may want to use as a domain name are:

  • Your stage name (if you are an artist)
  • Your company name (if you have an entertainment company or independent record label)
  • Your blog name
  • Catch phrases or descriptive names

Chances are, your first option for a domain name will already be taken, so be prepared with alternates.

Once you find an available domain you like, you will need to register it quickly to prevent someone else from using it. There is a small domain registration fee, but many web hosting services will waive the domain registration fee when you sign up for hosting.

Step 2 – Install WordPress

WordPress is blogging software that has been used to power over 200 million websites. There are a number of reasons WordPress is so popular:

  • Affordability – WordPress is 100% free
  • Ease of Use – It does not require any computer or programming skills to install or use
  • Highly Customizable – There are thousands of free themes and plug-ins available for download
  • Supported – WordPress has one of the largest development communities of any open source software, so it’s easy to find free technical support online

WordPress can usually be installed in less than five minutes through your web hosting control panel. Once installed, you can customize your blog by downloading the hip-hop theme of your choice and installing whichever plug-ins you want to use through your blog’s dashboard.

Step 3 – Start Publishing Hip-Hop Related Content

Once you set up your blog, you will be ready to start publishing content. In general, you will want to publish content of interest to hip-hop fans. This could include:

  • Hip-hop related news
  • Music, videos and images featuring rappers
  • Reviews of new rap music
  • Information about upcoming hip-hop events
  • Links to other hip-hop blogs

If you are a rapper or producer, you should have no problem creating content based on your own music. Similarly, if you are starting your own entertainment company or independent hip-hop record label, you can blog about the artists you’re working with. If you are not in the music business at all, you can spend a couple of hours each day reading other hip-hop blogs and write a post each day about the hottest hip-hop topics. The key is to create as many good hip-hop related posts as you can each week.

The posts you publish on your blog will eventually be “crawled” and “indexed” by the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.). Once indexed, your blog will start showing up in search results for hip-hop related content. The more posts you publish and the better the quality of those posts, the better chance you have of people discovering your blog through search engines.

Step 4 – Monetize Your Blog

There are lots of ways to make money as a hip-hop blogger. Here are some of the easiest ways:

  • Join an advertising network and earn money each time someone clicks on an advertisement on your site
  • Join an affiliate program and earn commissions by recommending products and services you use to your readers
  • Install a free e-commerce plug-in and sell your own CDs, digital downloads and hip-hop related merchandise
  • Sell ad space directly to artists and labels who want to promote their music through your site
  • Turn your blog into a membership site and charge people a fee for access to exclusive content
  • Charge a small fee for each CD you review on your blog
  • Charge people to post their rap videos on your blog

These are just some of the easy ways to make money as a hip-hop blogger. Experiment with each of these methods and see which methods earn you the most cash. Or, be creative and come up with something entirely new. As long as you keep coming up with content and getting traffic, the money will come.

Step 5 – Promote Your Blog

Now that you have got your hip-hop blog up and running, you need to start promoting it. The more targeted web traffic you get, the more money you are likely to make. Therefore, it is important that your blog gets seen by as many hip-hop fans as possible. Here are some free ways to promote your hip-hop blog:

  • Add your website to as many hip-hop friendly website directories as you can
  • Become an active participant in hip-hop forums and conversations on other hip-hop blogs (be sure to include a link to your blog in your “signature”)
  • Set up pages on social media sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, and link them to your blog
  • Talk to other bloggers about reviewing your site, swapping links and possibly writing guest posts
  • Write hip-hop related articles and submit them to article directories (like this one)

By following these quick, easy steps, you can start your own hip-hop blog and be on the road to rap profits in a matter of hours.

Source by O Marshall

10 Classic Compositions to Uplift and Empower Your Ritual Work

Centuries ago, composers were more aware of sacred geometry and its relationship to music. Their classical studies included studying Pythagoras and his theorems and basing their composition on these spiritual ideas. They weren’t the only artists to create inspiring and uplifting music, however.

By utilizing musical pieces by great composers, you can add power and energy to your ritual. They provide high, directed energy that can be dedicated in any way you choose through intention and work.

Playing them will clear your space. They will align your energy and provide healing. They will send your intentions into the universe for manifestation.

The following list is my suggestion of musical selections to use in ritual work:

1. Carmina Burana by Carl Orff a German composer. I also suggest his entire work, O, Fortuna for prosperity work.

2. Toccata & Fugue in D Minor by J. S. Bach. Any of Bach’s music is wonderful for aligning and healing your energy.

3. The Entrance of the Gods Into Valhalla by Richard Wagner. This is a great piece for those who use the image of the World Tree to travel into other planes.

4. The 1812 Overture by Peter Tchaikovsky. One used for a catsup commercial, this composition about the War of 1812 has energizing and uplifting qualities. The booming cannons can be used as visualizations to send intentions out into the universe with flair and power.

5. The Hall of the Mountain King by Edward Grieg a Norwegian musician is another good piece for traveling to other planes, especially to work with Elementals.

6. The Planets by Gustav von Holst an English composer will help you travel astrally to other planets and planes. Use this piece if you wish to contact other galactic cultures.

7. Swan Lake, another Peter Tchaikovsky composition can be used for shape-shifting work. Read the story of the prince and Odette to better understand ways Swan Lake can be utilized in your ritual work.

8. Sleeping Beauty, also by Peter Tchaikovsky is based on the fairy tale by the same title. In this tale, spinning wheels are hidden to protect a newborn princess. You might want to reread the fairy tale before beginning and work with Sleeping Beauty.

Spinning wheels have been associated with the Wheel of Life for thousands of years. This piece would enhance any Goddess rituals and any prosperity and manifesting work with Fortuna.

9. The Ride of the Valkyries, another piece by Richard Wagner is written around an ancient story making this composition useful for work with Elementals, particularly Mermaids and when working with visualizations with the tarot card, The Fool-in this story, Wotan the Wanderer.

10. Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky was introduced to children in Fantasia, but its usefulness in ritual work lies in its background story of spirits. Play this piece when practicing mediumship.

While there are many more compositions that can exalt your ritual work, these ten classic pieces are easily and often freely available. Use them often and experience an increase in the power and clarity of your work.

Source by Lillie Ruby

How Does a Laundry Company Track Their Linens?

How does a hospital laundry service with multiple clients keep track of all of the incoming and outgoing items to ensure that they get back to the right facilities, and in an efficient manner? The technology has grown increasingly sophisticated in the past couple of decades. Tracking systems are particularly crucial when dealing with unique items like personalized lab coats or uniforms, as a medical laundry service would.

There are two main types of systems: radio-frequency identification (RFID) and bar coding. RFID is the technology used in the microchips inserted into pets so that they can be identified and returned home if they get lost. Since RFID is the more modern, efficient one, we will focus most of our attention on how that works in tracking laundry.

RFID Systems

In an RFID system, a tag or chip is attached to each towel, sheet, garment, or other item. In some cases, they are installed by the manufacturer. In others, items are tagged by the laundry. The tags/chips are available with low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF) or ultra-high frequency (UHF) radio bands. The tags have a strong, yet small, thin plastic casing that does not interfere with an item’s use, but can withstand harsh commercial laundry processes that use very hot water and chemicals for up to hundreds of washings.

How RFID Tracking Works

Antennas linked to readers are placed in locations where items pass by or are stored at key points during their time at the laundry service. This includes entrances, soiled linen bins, clean linen hampers, and uniform racks. Entire bins of linens can be scanned at one time. The reader is linked to a software system that collects and manages the data. The system also allows a laundry to inventory its hotel, restaurant, and hospital linens quickly and accurately, with little manpower needed.

Bar Code Labeling

Bar coding is an older, simpler technology than RFID. It is generally less expensive, but not as efficient for tracking large amounts of inventory. A bar code labeling system, which is essentially what is used in stores to bring up the price and other information on the items we purchase, records information on each item, such as when it was issued, how many times it has been processed, and when it was last turned in.

RFID versus Bar Coding

  • Bar code labeling usually requires the labeled item to be within the sight line of the reader, and therefore necessitates that an employee is there to operate the reader. Most RFID readers remain in a fixed location, and items can be read even if they are not directly in front of it. Employees do not operate the readers.
  • Bar codes can read just one item at a time, while RFID systems can read multiple tags simultaneously.
  • RFID tags can be read at much greater distances (up to over one hundred yards) as opposed to about five yards for a bar code.
  • RFID readers can read much faster – several hundred or more tags per second.
  • A bar code is read-only, while most RFID tags can read and write, which means that new information can be written over existing information. It is something like the difference between readable/writable CDs and readable ones.
  • RFID tags can identify each tagged item individually, while most bar codes can only identify the type of item.

Some large laundry companies, such as those that handle medical linens for multiple hospitals, put both RFID tags and bar code labels on each of their items. The bar code is there as a backup in case the RFID system fails to read an item. However, RFID tags are nearly 100% accurate.

How Tracking Improves Laundry Services

Tracking systems improve efficiency and reduce the time and effort involved in processing, shipping and receiving at a laundry facility. They allow business owners to track every item in their inventory from purchase to rag-out. They provide an accurate inventory, so that laundry companies never have to run short of healthcare linens, tablecloths or any items they handle. The more advanced tracking systems can even generate billing reports when items are shipped to customers.

As Steve Kallenbach, a former member of the American Laundry News Panel of Experts, notes, “If you don’t have good reconciliation processes, any of these systems will only allow you to know what’s missing!” However, tracking systems can go a long way towards helping medical laundry services and other laundry companies operate more efficiently.

Source by Aly Merritt