Monthly Archives: September 2020

An Information Technology Consulting Company That Is Perfect for a Biotech Firm – 7 Signs

Small and midsize Biotech companies do not have the financial resources that their larger pharmaceutical counterparts have. This means that they must be even smarter in how they spend. Larger firms have deeper pockets for their projects while Biotech startups and medium sized firms must find investors if they do not have enough in the R&D budget. Thus, due to budget limitations, the small to midsize Biotech companies must find creative methods to use their limited resources while growing their business. The most effective way for them to do this is to make sure that the company they are hiring is a great long term match. When looking for an Information Technology firm to hire, Biotech companies should look for seven major signs.

An Information Technology consulting company that truly understands and embraces their Biotech clients’ needs should be experienced and knowledgeable in serving the Biotech industry. We believe there are seven traits that a successful IT partner should have:

1. They should have an understanding of the biotechnology industry and specific needs that may come up such as regulatory requirements, clinical trial needs, GMP standards, HIPAA (in some cases), FDA compliance, ISO certifications, trade secret protections, vendor relations with proprietary lab equipment manufacturers etc.

2. They should have a leadership background and many years of experience in the industry (over 10 is a good number). They should be able to work with C-level executives as well as line workers so they know the needs at the front line as well as the needs of a growth business at a high level.

3. They must be responsive and agile. In the biotechnology industry, innovation is key and getting to the market faster means reaching profitability sooner and thus, having less need to get additional rounds of funding. In other words, an agile response is equal to time and money saved.

4. They must work closely and strategically with the company. They should not just be on-call technicians who come and fix things without seeing the big picture. There are two distinct needs within every biotechnology company: administrative and research. Therefore, technicians must be able to keep computers working for admin purposes but must also be technologically strategic enough to leverage their knowledge of technology into profits; thus allowing their clients to increase productivity, decrease costs, and get to the market quicker.

5. An Information Technology firm that has their clients’ best interests in mind will consistently be thinking about cost savings. Based on their years of experience, a veteran IT firm will have several methods as to how to cut or even eliminate extra costs dealing with equipment, labor or time, for their client. Thus, by choosing an IT money saving expert, the client will be able to save on expenditures.

6. An efficient IT firm knows how to find creative solutions to a current network issue a client may have and may even be able to foresee related issues in the future and prevent them from happening.

7. An Information Technology firm that is familiar with the nuance associated with proprietary lab equipment is able to understand that they are manufactured differently and that they are unique in their operation. For example, some are standalone units, some work in an active directory domain environment, some operate in a quasi-domain environment, and some come with very lax security protection that should be corrected. The IT firm will also understand that they all require careful security reviews and possibly security changes in order to integrate it to the company network.

As the owner of an Information Technology consulting company in San Diego, I have had the opportunity to work with a number of San Diego based biotechnology companies. Often times, the pains and needs that they share with me are very similar. After all, they are all racing to bring their products to market sooner, they want it done right the first time, and done cost effectively. Some say, with this economy we have to do more with less. I say, you should do more with less – always!

Being well-versed with the biotechnology sector does not give the IT consulting company license to overcharge their Biotech clients. A good Information Technology partner will have a good handle of human resources on their team to appropriately assign the needed resource when that expertise is required on a project.

An IT firm that is dedicated to their client establishes a relationship with them that is more of a partnership. Instead of labeling the client as just another account, an Information Technology consulting company that truly cares for their client’s best interests goes the extra mile for them. Here in San Diego, we once got a call from a client that had a problem with his laptop computer. He could not get it to work and had an important presentation at an executive meeting to do. We took his laptop, fixed it for him and delivered it to his meeting just in time. Our client was very pleased and so were we.

The perfect Information Technology partner for a technology, research and development oriented company is one that can leverage IT and help their client move agilely with the market, get their products to market sooner and, most importantly, do more with less.

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 clichĂ©’ 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.