Vendor-Client Relations – Winning Strategies

It’s not our fault; it’s the vendor’s fault! Sound familiar? After over 25 years in the Financial Services industry as a vendor and a contractor of vendor services, I have seen the best and worst of vendor relations. From this experience, I offer you a brief outline of practical strategies to create a win/win scenario with your vendors.

The best place to start on building a solid vendor relationship foundation is to know what you want to accomplish with your vendors and your vendor relationships. Define your approach to vendor relations clearly within your business organization through your strategic plan development. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of a thorough iterative strategic plan for your business organization that includes initiatives necessary to promote good vendor relations. Don’t stop there! Cascade your strategic initiatives into ethical policies, procedures and practices throughout the organization so that you build a culture around good vendor relations. Make sure everyone knows, understands, and is committed to adopting and practicing the strategic concepts supporting good vendor relations. Consider using a documented positioning statement requiring attestation such as a Vendor Code, Vendor Affirmation, or Vendor Ethics publication.

Once your business organization’s strategic intentions are clearly defined and cascaded throughout the organization, evaluate your vendor selection processes. Vendor selection processes should be driven by selection guidelines and methodologies divided into two components, general and specific criteria. General criteria apply to any vendor and would include evaluation components such background reviews of vendor financial performance, references, litigation history, principle leadership, and industry information. Specific criteria apply to the specific vendor product requirements needed to satisfy the business objective and include items your organization would put in an RFP or a call-for-bids. There are vast bodies of knowledge (BOKs) on building sound ethical general and specific selection criteria in various purchasing and supply chain professional groups. This body of knowledge far exceeds the scope and capacity of this article to define. I refer you to these ‘well-healed’ BOKs for detailed analysis and guidance on developing your final detailed selection process. However, from a relationship standpoint, here are a few key points to remember during your vendor evaluation and selection:

o Does the vendor have a clearly defined strategy for client relationships that goes beyond an organization chart and hierarchical account executive and sales representative assignments?

o Do key executives for the vendor organization make their contact information available to you in addition to the assigned account executive or sales executive?

o Does the vendor organization have a mechanism to periodically evaluate customer satisfaction and remediate any areas of concern?

o Does the vendor seem to make an effort to know about your business and your industry?

o Is the vendor willing to go beyond the scope of your agreement to provide meaningful recommendations to your organization that can help build revenue or cut costs?

o Does the vendor extend an open invitation to visit or tour their home office and or remote locations?

All of these are questions designed to help you determine if your vendor is “vested” in the business relationship beyond the clinical terms of your agreement and willing to embrace the opportunity for a healthy vendor relationship.

With an ethical vendor selection methodology in place, and a vendor(s) selected, the next step is to negotiate an agreement. Never accept the vendor’s standard agreement at face value. Negotiate the basic terms of your agreement and let the legal staff’s of both organizations build a binding contract that includes the basic terms of your negotiated agreement and reflects each organization’s values toward vendor/client relationships. Many of the contract terms are customary, mechanical in nature, and include NDA’s, cost schedules, prescribed duration of service(s), SLA’s, performance rewards and penalties, and specific deliverables. While these are undeniably important to creating a clear understanding of each party’s performance obligations, certain other language in the contract will point to an agreement that also represents obligations toward establishing and maintaining a healthy vendor/client relationship. Too often, the sensational wording of the mechanical and legal aspects of a contract take precedent and relationship tactics place second – if at all – to the necessary legal tedium required to pin down deliverables. Each of the mechanical and relationship agreements are equally important to a defining a healthy vendor/client relationship.

I strongly encourage you to define and commit to relationship initiatives that cultivate the business relationship on an ongoing basis. Don’t wait until there is trouble to begin this effort. For example, contract language should define minimum intervals for constructive contact ranging from periodic phone calls from account managers to onsite visits by vendor executives. Invitations to be involved in vendor sponsored user groups, slotted invitations to vendor/client annual meetings, and advanced notice on product developments. These agreements represent a forward looking and proactive effort toward client satisfaction and healthy vendor relations. Taking preventative actions like these can prevent difficulties and reduce costs. Contract language should also delineate constructive and cost effective approaches to problem remediation including vendor/client negotiations and structured arbitration options as a means to civilly resolve problems and preempt costly and damaging litigation. A litigious solution is the absolute last resort and can signal the end of any hope at restoring vendor/client relations.

Aside from litigation driving vendor change, how do you gracefully change vendors even when vendor/client relations are good? The answer lies in setting up the terms for this inevitability at the outset of your vendor selection and contract negotiation phases. The reasons for discontinuing a vendor/client relationship are limitless so make sure you “leave the door open” for a graceful parting for both parties. This is otherwise known as an exit strategy. For example, I have participated in vendor selection and contract negotiation for dual suppliers with contract commitments representing a 50/50 percent volume commitment, room for renegotiation of changes in volume commitments, or exclusivity. Each vendor knew there could be three possible outcomes to this arrangement; continue at 50/50 volume commitment, shift a majority volume to one or the other vendor, or exclusivity.

Why bother putting so much effort into vendor/client relations? The reason is that the investment is worth more than the cost of a bad decision. It only takes one explosive ethical issue or one costly litigious engagement to realize the value represented by investing in good vendor relations. Treat your vendor relationships as valued partnerships in the pursuit of accomplishing your business organization’s strategic mission. Include language in your business organization’s value statements that respect and embrace vendors as well as your industry, your customers and your community. You and your vendors are a mutual extension of each other. So, be careful to enter into relationships that represent a good alignment of values, business objectives, and mutual cooperation which will reflect well on both the vendor and client.

Encoder: Definition and Application for the Industrial World

Based on some of the references I read, I concluded that an encoder is a sensing tool that provides feedback. Encoder devices were created by Encoder Manufacturers to lighten human work. Encoder products convert the motion to electrical signals that can be read by several types of control devices in motion control systems. For example, in an elevator, the encoders notify the controller when the elevator box has reached the correct floor and the correct position. This means the encoder feedback to the elevator controller ensures the lift door opens with the floor. The encoder sends a feedback signal that can be used to determine position, count, speed, or direction. The controller can use this information to send commands for specific functions.

Have you ever seen an automotive company when assembling a car automatically? We may wonder why the robotic arm can do the welding on the right part and on time. Well, that’s because on an automated assembly line, the encoders provide motion feedback to the robot. On an automotive assembly line, this could mean making sure the robotic welding arm has the correct information to weld in the correct location. All systems are run continuously over a long period.

One type of encoder that is often applied in industry is a rotary encoder. Rotary encoder is a precision measurement of the displacement angle sensor based on the principle of electromagnetic induction, rotor and stator winding. Rotary encoder for speed and position feedback sensor mainly applied in servo motor, induction motor, elevator traction machine, elevator door machine, axis mechanic, etc. Rotary encoders manufactured by Encoder Manufacturers aim to meet the needs for speed and feedback transfer of automation control to ensure high precision and stability in the operation of industrial machines. The presences of Encoder Manufacturers are indirectly able to help manufacturing companies increase productivity efficiently and ensure safe operations.

The manufacturing industry will become a pillar of a country’s industrial progress. Modern industry has left behind the old production system, which always consumes a large amount of energy and produces only a small scale of products. The encoders that are applied to all industrial machines help companies produce large quantities of goods quickly, precisely, and efficiently. Encoder products continue to develop, and they can be applied to a wider range of industrial field such as, industrial control, environmental protection, agriculture, multimedia imaging, aviation, and many more.

In any industrial application, the encoder plays a very important role. The digital signals are generated by the encoder and sent to the controllers. Then, the controllers send signals to the machine to perform a certain function continuously.

How to Start an Oil Extraction Factory for Edible Oil

The concept of extracting edible oil from seeds such as olives, soya beans and groundnuts is on the rise globally. For instance, in the United States of America alone, there is an annual production averaging more than 16 billion pounds. This huge production can be attributed to the increasing demand for edible oils. As the living standards or people continue to improve, so does the consumption of edible oils. It is used for various purposes such as cooking. Therefore, the extraction of edible oil is a profitable venture that in most cases rewards manufacturers with profitable returns. Although it is not difficult to start an oil extraction factory, the below steps will help to simplify the process further. They are the primary steps that have to be followed for one to start a successful oil extraction factory.

The first step to starting any successful business venture lies in the ability to have enough knowledge about the business. Thus, the first step would be to know more about the edible oil industry, its trends, and the factors influencing it. The edible oil industry information or data can be sourced from the internet, government agencies or from the already established edible oil manufacturing industries. An investor can seek the opinion and view of an expert in the edible oil industry to get a more informed opinion about the market trends. Also, this will give you an opportunity to know more about the different firm in the market that you will come to compete with.

Second, create a business plan for the manufacturing venture. A business plan will act as the guide or central reference point for the business. The importance of planning is best captured in the popular cliché’ failing to plan is planning to fail’. Without a business plan, the oil extraction factory set up venture will fail. In fact, it might not even takeoff. When coming up with the business plan, it is advisable to engage the services of an expert in the field. He/she will help you to create a comprehensive business plan that covers all aspects of the manufacturing process. A business plan is basically a formal statement that highlights the goals of the business, and plans of achieving these goals. Also, the business plan will contain sections that cover the financial needs of starting the manufacturing plant. Without enough funds or capital, the business might stall on the way. Hence, a business plan will help you to know the cost of the venture (cost such as equipment costs, transport costs, capital for running the plant, and wage costs), and the subsequent sources of capital needed to start it. A business plan will clarify the target market for the product and how to gain a competitive edge or advantage in the market.

Third, figure out where you will get your raw materials. Raw materials are the backbone of the manufacturing plant. Without the raw materials, the plant will not. Also, during this step, it is vital to know the type of materials that will be used for the oil extraction since edible oil can be processed from many sources. Availability of the relevant raw materials is also a major factor. The raw materials should be adequate enough for the business to run. A small source will be depleted quickly. Since edible oil is extracted from arable grains, the investor can decide to plant his or her own raw materials or buy them from another party.

Location has a significant effect on the success of the manufacturing business. The plant should be located near the source of raw materials. This will help reduce the transportation costs incurred when moving the raw materials from the field to the factory.

Fifth, apply for the relevant licensees and certification from the state or federal authorities. This will make you to run a legal and licensed edible oil extraction business. You can be arrested and charged if you run a business without a license.

Lastly, get the funding of the project and subsequently purchase the plant equipment, hire employees, and advertise the business.

These steps if followed strictly will make the process of starting an oil extraction factory for edible oil easy and simple.

Get Ready To Shine In The Industry With Microsoft Courses

Microsoft® has been giving vital items and administrations for a very long time to help lead business forms in a basic and smooth way. It gives these applications in the field of distributed computing, database, server, trade server, progression, and so forth. It has along these lines likewise made various openings for work for the individuals who have what it takes and the information to work with Microsoft applications Microsoft offers an extensive variety of items, administrations, and advances to its purchasers, administrations, and organizations.

The candidates can join any Microsoft certification courses online to know more about its products and functionalities. The online or offline training classes give the student a capability in Microsoft items and innovation and enable them to learn and utilize the basic apparatuses that are esteemed by numerous associations. Additionally, the accreditation in any of the Microsoft Domain would get the working experts to accomplish a higher and presumed assignment in the association. The accreditations offered by Microsoft® likewise upgrade the chances of a getting a magnificent pay scale in the IT business.

Among the diverse confirmations offered by Microsoft, Microsoft SQL Server 2012 certification is one of them. It is a social database administration framework (RDBMS) intended for the endeavor condition. It offers an assortment of authoritative instruments to facilitate the weights of database improvement, support, and organization. It additionally offers far-reaching security includes that ensure the information very still and in movement. Moreover, it additionally enables associations to increase further comprehension of their information and present rich perceptions for their business bits of knowledge. There are a few different highlights of SQL Server 2012, some of which are recorded below:

Enhanced Auditing Features: Auditing highlights are currently accessible in all versions of.

Power View: It is a self-benefit BI toolbox that enables clients to make mashups of BI reports.

Column store Indexes: These are exceptional sorts of a read-just file intended to be utilized with Data Warehouse inquiries.

BI Semantic Model: It’s a crossbreed show that permits one information model will bolster all BI encounters in SQL Server.

Distributed Replay: It enables you to catch the workload on a creative server and replay it on another machine.

Notwithstanding, it is extremely important to appropriately appreciate these highlights and keeping in mind the end goal to work productively with SQL. To get a profound comprehension of the diverse highlights an online training can be exceptionally useful. The Microsoft online courses offered on SQL Server 2012 enables the student to:

Create a database table

Define consents and direct review of server

Installation of the server and portray the physical structure of the database

Create SQL server reinforcement and reestablish databases

Configure a Server database inspecting

Set up a Server database replication

Design and actualize information distribution center

Explore SQL Azure

Researching Before the Interview

As you read the following wrong scenario, ask yourself whether this has ever happened you. Jane is in the process of interviewing. She has applied for twenty jobs, three of which have asked her for an interview. On the first interview, she walks into the room and is invited to sit across from the interviewer. Aside from the welcome, the first thing that she says to him is, “What do you know about our company?” With a blank stare, Jane sits there and smiles trying to recall any scrap of detail she can. She can’t, however, because the company isn’t a name brand and it wasn’t one of his referrals. Saying, “I am not that familiar with your company,” draws from the interviewer what can be defined as ‘exasperation.’

If you even said that it happened one time, that is one time too many. I think that quite possibly the most embarrassing thing that can happen to a candidate during an interview is forgetting information about the company, the position or the interviewer.

In the News

According to a recent report from CNN, the majority of job candidates are not prepared when they walk into an interview. It is important to know that many organizations rely almost strictly on performance during an interview when making final decisions. In other words, if it comes down to two almost identically qualified candidates but one candidate represented him or herself better in the interview, it is almost a sure bet that the better prepared individual will get the job offer. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure the potential employer sees your “best self” throughout the process. This means knowing not only yourself, but also the industry and the company. According to his recently published book, “Next-Day Job Interview,” author Michael Farr says, “The more you know about the job, the industry and the employer, the more likely you are to present yourself well in the interview.”

Tips of the Trade

So how can you be better prepared and informed when your next big opportunity presents itself? Here are some tips:

Forward-Thinking

As you are in the process of applying for positions, create a file where you can keep the following:

  • Your Resume
  • Each position-customized cover letter
  • The contact information for the person to whom you wrote the letter
  • A copy of the job description for each position

Be Thorough

As soon as you have applied for a position, do research on the organization, the department and their general responsibilities, and any other information that you can find through the Internet or through your referral/source. These days, a lot can be learned about a company simply by accessing press releases. A general search in Google may turn up such information. If this does not work, then check the company’s web site to see if they maintain a library of archived public relations material. You can also gather additional information by reaching out to current or former employees, or even asking the interviewer ahead of time, if you can receive information such as brochures or pamphlets. This will provide you with the type of information you need to formulate a good company profile, and develop insightful questions for the interviewer.

Just remember that knowing general information, such as industry type and current stock valuations, will often not cut it by itself. You need to be thorough, accumulating enough information to tell yourself whether this potential employer fits your needs, goals and personality. You should not look at an interview as a one-sided event. As you may well know, not every interview which results in an offer is one you should accept. You should be interviewing the company just as much as it is interviewing you.

Think: Bigger Than the Box

I have found that interviewers/recruiters are especially impressed when you can come to the table knowing not only details about the organization, but also your perception of how you can add value in the prospective position. This can be found in the posting, and, if you wrote your cover letter well, it should also be included there. Note the areas that especially touch on your expertise in the description and make sure to mention those when asked why you are the perfect candidate.

Review & Study Your Research

Once you have been asked for an interview, go back to your folder and pull out all the related information for that position. Read over it immediately and then read over it again before you walk into the interview. If there are areas that you don’t understand or areas for which you may not qualify, such as software skills you do not have, or a particular area of study with which you are not familiar, do the background searches on those as well so that you are at least able to speak to them intelligently. This may help play down the fact that there is a learning curve and display to the potential employer that you’re serious enough to have researched it ahead of time.

Be Careful

While being knowledgeable is a key to your success, being too knowledgeable can come across as cocky. For instance, don’t tell an interviewer that you reviewed their Website, and, “Here are 101 ways to improve it.”

One Last Word

While been thorough is your very best bet for success during an interview, there are a few questions to ask the interviewer that will go further to demonstrating your interest in the position. Just a couple include the following:

  • Was that position recently created what has it been in existence? If newly created, make shore the interviewer can adequately explain why it was created and the expectations of the new role. Don’t challenge. Instead, ask insightful questions that will lead you to the conclusion for which you are searching.

Ask the manager or interviewer what he/she believes is the greatest challenge faced by the organization, namely the department within which you would be hired to work. This demonstrates your interest, your realistic approach to the situation by gathering information on all sides, and will also tell you if you own special talents or skills to help face or solve that/those challenge(s), which you can then discuss with the interviewer.

The Best Sources of Information on Aviation

We currently live in what is known as the information age. This is because the most important resource that anyone can have is information. The Internet happens to be the biggest source of information that we currently have and it covers almost every topic. Most companies, individuals, organizations, institutions and other groups have some sort of web presence where they share information about themselves, their interests and their areas of expertise. Since the Internet does not have moderators to check on all content that is posted online, there is currently a lot of misleading, fraudulent and even dangerous information accessible to all.

Since aviation is a highly sensitive undertaking, it is extremely important to ensure that all the information that those working in the industry consume is accurate. This is only possible by ensuring that your sources of information are reliable, professional and can be trusted. Pilots, engineers, flight attendants, air traffic controllers and other ground crew need to keep themselves up to date on national and international aviation issues. While getting the correct national information may be a much simpler affair, the international issues may not be as straight forward.

Establishing reliable news and information channels on the Internet will require a lot of research. You will need to compare what is presented in one website with other sources. This could involve sending emails or even calling national aviation bodies in the concerned countries. The national aviation organizations will in almost all cases provide you with the correct information. If you are able to corroborate most of the information available in a particular website, then you could consider them as a reliable source.

With the Internet however, it is important to constantly counter check information as some sources will be good today and fail the credibility test the next day. Until a particular source has proved reliable over time, frequent checks and counter checks must be conducted. With constantly changing rules and regulations, it is important to make sure you have the latest and most accurate information.

Reliable news channels are another excellent source of aviation information. Though they may not have extensive information especially on what they might consider to be minor issues, they will keep you updated on major aviation related happenings around the world. Depending on the reports indicated, you might need to confirm the story as there are sometimes errors made by journalists when reporting.

Similar to all other professions, working as a pilot or in any other position in the aviation industry will require constant reading. Books are among the best and most reliable sources of aviation information. You will rarely find publishers releasing books that are misleading or containing inaccuracies. A reading professional is definitely a leading professional. With the correct quality of information, all those working in the aviation industry will be able to offer better services to their clients.

As a bush and aerial survey pilot. I have been through the entire process of pilot training from a Private Pilot License, Instrument Rating through to a Commercial Pilot License.

The Important Role of GPS in the Transportation Industry

The global positioning system, or GPS, is a solar-powered satellite navigation system consisting of 24 satellites located 11,000 nautical miles in space. The United States Department of Defense placed these satellites into orbit for military operations but in the 1980s, made the system available at no charge to the public. Since the system works anywhere in the world during any time of day and in any weather conditions, there is a place for GPS in the transportation industry.

The Workings of GPS in the Transportation Industry

Twice a day, GPS satellites circle Earth, moving in a precise orbit and transmitting signals. GPS receivers capture this information and calculate the exact location of a user through triangulation. An electronic map on the receiver displays this location in either 2D or 3D depending on the number of satellites in view from the receiver. After determining the position of the user, the unit can calculate distance to destination, speed, bearing, directions, and other information.

GPS tracking systems have been important to the development of the auto transportation industry. Reputable ground transportation companies use this technology to strengthen their businesses. GPS is used to constantly track the location of transportation vehicles so supervisors know where each member of the fleet is at all times. Customers may have access to this information, allowing them to monitor shipments.

Safety and Emergency Roles of GPS in the Transportation Industry

With major investments in fleets and expensive cargo on board, safety becomes a top priority for shipping companies. An accident or other emergency can occur at any time and GPS allows supervisors to quickly identify when something goes wrong during transport. They can see a vehicle veering away from the intended course or making unscheduled stops, allowing them to respond immediately.

When GPS is used for fleet tracking, data is transmitted in real-time. Emergency services also use GPS to locate and respond to vehicle accidents and other roadway emergencies. Drivers who encounter trouble rely on this technology to keep their cargo and themselves as safe as possible. Quick response to an emergency can mean the difference between intact and lost cargo and more important, life and death.

GPS is extremely accurate due to the parallel multi-channel design of current receivers. The newest receivers improve accuracy to an average of less than three meters. Signals can pass through glass, plastic, and clouds and satellites are built and launched to replace existing satellites, which have an approximately ten-year life span.

The Unpredictable International Fashion Industry

Fashion is the driving force behind the fashion industry. But, fashion keeps on changing. Leading brands invests millions of dollars to study the latest fashion trends. Therefore, they usually work under high pressure to complete orders. But, for fashion loving people, this unpredictable international fashion industry is the interesting one. They feel that fashion plays a crucial role in bringing wide changes in our society. Diverse factors mold this industry. The major aspects include external influences, economic conditions and local atmosphere. Outside influences are an everyday occurrence.

Professional designers try to change things, but ultimately, the finest style will be of the most influential in the industry. Money creates a huge existence in this unpredictable international fashion industry. High profile professionals constantly search for profitable and emerging markets. Cultural and heritage factors also affect the image. The international fashion business is more of a joint industry. A great deal of factors that affects the worldwide industry are usually those that comes forth from recognizable industries. Apart from the industrial changes, often the requirements also changes. It is important to consider this factor while analyzing it from a universal perspective.

The unpredictable international fashion industry is amongst the most vital sectors, with regards to employment generation, investment, trade and income. This industry offers diverse kinds of products, volatile and unpredictable demand, long supply and inflexible procedures. But, through the need of garments are increasing considerably, still the production rate cannot go with the increasing demand. Globalization is playing a crucial role in the success of this industry worldwide. Some merchandise policies are very much in support of developing countries. Paris, Milan, London, New York are eminent as the top capitals for fashion trends. They always move forward in this industry. More importantly, it feels really soothing to discover that in spite of advancing in the digital world, this business helps us remain reminiscent and grounded.

Top 5 Global Industries That Need Translation Services the Most

When considering the global community and the thousands of different languages used worldwide, we often forget the importance of translation services to facilitate understanding and communication. The language service industry is not a high profile industry. It quietly acts in the background for all the other local and global industries that utilize their services.

However, the industry is actually a huge one, which is estimated to be worth about $33 billion a year, with most of the revenue coming from Europe, North America and other parts of the world. In itself, its annual growth is 12 percent, while the job growth is already in the high 40’s percentile. So which industries are in most need of translations services? Check out the top 5 below:

  1. Information and Communication Technology

Information and communication technology is one of the backbones of international commerce. This industry sector is regularly involved in a variety of projects globally. The ICT industry needs their multiple technical documents translated into various languages to cater to global customers. Technical documents require subject matter experts (SMEs), as technical information has its own set of jargons and terminologies.

  1. Legal Industry

The legal sector is a heavy user of translation services. Whether you’re conducting business globally or locally, if you’re dealing with an international audience, you’ll need to have proposals and contracts written in a language that can be understood by other parties.

The legal industry isn’t just about proposals and contracts, though. It also pertains to civil and court cases and other legal matters that must be explicitly understood by all parties involved.

The translation service provider must ensure the accuracy of legal translation, as even the smallest error could involve not only huge amounts of time and money, but delayed proceedings, lost revenues and broken partnerships.

  1. Travel and Tourism

Travel and tourism are enjoying a healthy rise in revenues, as more travel services providers are able to provide information in many languages due to translation services. Many types of documents require translation, including terms and conditions, promos and special offers, brochures, leaflets, and travel documents. Thanks to translation providers, they are able to diversify and offer their services to local and international clients.

  1. Banking and Finance

When trading globally, international customers and clients normally prefer to have documents translated in their own language. There is a need for a higher level of consistency, and translation services are required to make every piece of communication and every transaction item clear and precise. Trust is a key component in strengthening business relationships, and one of the ways to ensure client confidence and trust in their partners is to have accurately translated documents.

  1. Medical and Life Science

Accuracy in the medical and life sciences industry is imperative. This sector includes the translation of prescription information, medical instructions, medical reports, leaflets, patient records and doctor manuals.

It can even be extended to the translation of medical books, medical journals, research materials, and other paraphernalia used by healthcare companies, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and other companies that are involved in the medical, scientific and life science industries. Health insurance, which is a hot issue that belongs to this industry, is another business that relies heavily on medical translation.

As with all of the other industries listed here, most require the services of translators who are also subject matter experts, with many years of experience and thorough knowledge of the particular field. Each of these industries has its own lexicon, jargons and terminologies that are understood by practitioners in each sector.

Of course, plenty of other industries, including government and private sector require translation services, and they must make sure to work only with expert vendors, to avoid costly errors. Translation services are an invaluable tool to help companies conquer existing markets and enter new ones, and the outlook for this industry is bright.

Important Factors to Consider in Competitive Analysis

To complete a comprehensive competitive analysis, you must know the competitive landscape. You must know who your competitors are. Prepare an overview of your competitors, their strengths and weaknesses. Position each competitor’s product against your products. Understand the customer needs and preferences that are you competing to meet.

When you consider your competitors, determine what are the similarities and differences between their products and yours. You must also consider how their prices compare to yours and how well they are doing. You must have a specific plan to compete. For example, you can offer better quality services, lower prices, more support, or easier access to services. You must address the following basic issues:

o Define your target market.

o Determine the size of the target market.

o Drill down to your specific segment within the target market.

o Define the size and the revenue opportunity that your segment represents.

o Determine how fast the overall market and your specific segment are growing.

o Learn what factors are most important to your customers such as price, technology, ease of use, or new uses.

o You must know the most important characteristics in your industry. Is is driven by high or low volume? Is it capital or labor intensive? Is it seasonal?

o Identify and profile your targeted customers by their consumer budgets and by how they make decisions to buy a product.

o Identify your direct and indirect competitors and understand their impact on you.

o Identify the features that differentiate your product from the competitors’.

In order to address the basic issues, you must know where to find competitive and industry information. Information is available from the Federal Commerce Department online or in the library. You can review Edgar Online and business websites to obtain required financial filings. Look for an industry trade association and industry publications. Go to Hoovers Online or Bacon’s to look for business publications in your industry. You can also check online for http://www.usdata.com or for North American Industry Classifications http://www.naics.com.

After all basic issues have been addressed and your competitive research is completed, you should be able to describe all of your competitors and their strengths and weaknesses. You should be able to clearly articulate what is different about your product and why customers will choose your product rather than the competitors’. You should also be able to describe your target market and target customer and what will motivate them to purchase your product. Finally, your should be able to explain how you will gain and keep a sustainable competitive advantage.

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