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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

ERP Analytics vs. BI for Manufacturing: Which Is Right for Your Organization?

Organizations are constantly looking for ways to maintain their competitive advantage and increase sales while lowering costs. Analytics helps organizations identify whether they are getting the most out of their resources. Is the money they spend going to good use? Are they proactively identifying ways to cut costs while maximizing resources?

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for manufacturers have analytics embedded within them. But do these systems actually give organizations the depth and breadth of analytics required to sustain a competitive advantage? Or is business intelligence (BI) for manufacturing the better solution?

In some cases, ERP analytics will be enough to meet an organization’s needs. But what about those organizations that aren’t lowering production costs, improving sales, or managing their supply chains effectively through the use of their current systems? In this case, BI for manufacturing may be the better way to meet and exceed an organization’s strategic goals. Let’s explore both options to help you determine which type of analytics is more beneficial to your organization.

Organizations using an ERP solution should ask themselves whether their ERP system helps them

* determine which customers are most profitable
* understand their company’s inventory worth
* track which items have remained in inventory for too long
* identify what products have the best margin growth
* recognize how company profits are developing

Organizations implementing an ERP solution need to have a continual view of the organization’s operational status, have access to business indicators that influence the organization, and have a visualization feature that provides management with constant access to business strategy. ERP analytics allows organizations to address these issues through financial, operations, and workforce-based analytics. But what does this really mean for the organization? Why are these analytics important as an enhancement for an ERP system?

Components of ERP Analytics

Aside from tracking order processing, getting products to the right place at the right time, and creating accurate sales forecasting, ERP analytics allow organizations to hone in on financial, operations, and workforce-based analytics to move beyond a traditional ERP solution and thus create and sustain a competitive advantage.

ERP analytics includes the following:

* Financial analytics, which help the organization develop business plans and budgets, and track performance during execution. Financial analytics includes financial and management reporting, planning, budgeting and forecasting, scorecards, working capital and cash flow management, and payment behavior analysis.
* Operations analytics, which help the organization optimize its supply chain, improve revenues, and increase customer satisfaction.
* Workforce analytics, which help the organization understand workforce trends, measure workforce processes and benchmark results against what is happening in the market, align business activities with the strategic goals of the organization, and measure the success of employee compensation programs.

How BI Differs

Organizations that want to move beyond the limited scope of ERP analytics and manage performance on an organization-wide level should consider a BI solution. This will help them move toward an inclusive approach to setting metrics, collaborating on tasks, and tying initiatives to the organization’s overall goals. By focusing on organization-wide business issues, a more cohesive view of the organization is created.

For manufacturers, the added value of implementing a BI solution includes

* Increase in profitability
o Gain visibility into demand and sales trends to minimize inventory investment.
o Analyze cost components and drivers to reduce the cost of goods sold.
* Improvement in sales performance
o Analyze sales trends and customer buying behavior.
o Monitor key sales, marketing, and revenue metrics.
o Analyze pipeline and performance by brand, product, customer, channel, and geography.
* Improvement of operational effectiveness
o Monitor key operational metrics.
o Identify and analyze excess, obsolete, or slow-moving inventory that can be scrapped or repurposed.
o Receive timely notification of events, such as late supplier delivery, changes in customer demand, or production stoppages.
* Optimization of the supply chain
o Evaluate supplier performance in terms of quality, delivery, and price.
o Monitor and analyze freight costs.

CHOOSE THE RIGHT PAID WEB HOSTING THREE STEPS

Choosing a paid Web hosting services provider can be a challenge. There are literally thousands of companies that offer countless products and services. It can be a difficult task for a novice as well as for a seasoned professional, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve broken the process down into three steps.
Step One: Free or Paid Hosting?
Step Two: Determine Expectations
Step Three: Compare Hosts in the Right Category
Step One: Free or Paid Hosting?To pay or not to pay?A large percentage of Web sites are ‘free’ and posted by individuals for personal reasons. Typically, these sites are associated with one of the larger portals such as Yahoo or AOL and consist of a page or two with limited content. If you’re looking to put up a personal site like this, look no further than the solutions offered by these two companies. The tools and applications such as email, community interest portals and photo management software provided are straightforward and make setting your site up very easy.
The downside to free hosting? Generally you'll have to put up with banner ads on your homepage or other ads you don’t get to pick. To be fair, it’s how these companies can afford to set up your infrastructure for free. All the same, you have no control over whose ad shows up on your site. If that’s unacceptable, a paid hosting solution (some start lower than $5/mo) might be your best bet.
Most Web hosting companies bundle services into a series of packages. The standard hosting service component is normally a bundle of disk storage space (where your site is stored) and bandwidth (the capacity for data transfer of a wired or wireless communication system.) In addition, hosting companies usually bundle email services with standard plans. The email service contains POP and IMAP solutions which direct email received through your site to desktop applications (Outlook® or Exchange®.) “Web-mail” is also provided to view and manage email through a Web browser.
Frequently, small businesses want a Web site that functions only as an online brochure that provides information about the business but not sell products. Standard packages are ideal if you’re building a simple brochure site. Additional service packages offer eCommerce, media intensive applications for video and audio sharing and dedicated servers, designed to back-up more complex business requirements. Paid solutions pretty much come down to whether you’re going to sell products and services online or just display information in a brochure format and what kind of customer and technical support you’ll require.
Step Two: Determine ExpectationsYou Get What you Pay ForThere are basically two price levels prevalent in Web hosting. There’s a large group of Low Price or Discount hosts that offer nice solutions from below $5 to $15 per month and there are hosts that offer solutions that start above $15 and the pricing goes up from there. Companies such as Affinity have developed a number of different hosting brands to help simplify the customer experience. As an example, Affinity uses the Host Save and Win Save brands for their low-cost hosting solutions and the Value Web brand for their premium services.
Customer service is usually the primary difference between inexpensive hosting solutions and the higher priced options. Here’s where the “you get what you pay for” maxim comes into play. Prior to choosing a provider it’s important to determine how serious you are. In other words, if the site is your small business lifeline, where you’ll find customers, display, sell and even ship products you probably don’t want a hosting company that won’t answer calls when there’s a problem. On the contrary, many experienced professionals would rather not talk to someone and prefer technical support and customer service through email or online chat.
Clarifying expectations ahead of time can mean the difference between a great online experience or completely frustrated and without support. The extra $10 per month may be worth the piece of mind it buys.
Step Three: Compare Hosts in the Right CategoryOnce you know whether you need a standard hosting plan or an eCommerce solution and whether low price or premium (a.k.a. better customer support) hosting is right for you, it’s time to shop. Any of the major search engines will provide a multitude of responses with a query such as Web Hosting or eCommerce hosting. You can even narrow your search with more definition. A search for “Cheap eCommerce hosting” will yield mostly companies whose solutions fall in the low price category.
Take some time and visit several hosting company’s Web sites. Go over plan options and see which offer the services and support that match your expectations. Because of the similarities, hosting plans can become confusing. Most major providers have a “Compare Plans” page you can print. Its good to print out the various packages and have them in hand while you shop.
Using Affinity’s Value Web brand as an example, some hosts offer a portal where you’re free to ask existing customers if they’re satisfied and recommend the provider. Look for this function as you shop, it’s an excellent tool in how to determine whether a company is right for you. Unless you’re an experienced professional you shouldn’t buy a solution without at least first talking to a sales rep at the company. This gives a sense of the company’s commitment to its customers. Many also call the technical support numbers to see how long it takes to answer and how friendly and knowledgeable the staff is. Companies such as Affinity combined sales and support departments so when you order an account you’re talking to a technical support representative as well. This creates a forum in which all questions can be answered without having to be transferred to other departments.
It’s important to find a hosting relationship that fits your needs and whose level of involvement you feel comfortable with. Following these steps will make choosing a Web hosting solution easier and, hopefully, even fun.
1What do you look for in a web host? A low price? Reliability and good support I hope. If you’re anything like today’s ambitious webmaster, you’re on the hunt for the best features. There’s a lot of programs and management tools available to make your site standout but I bet there are some features you pay no mind at all. Often overlooked but one should never forget about critical security features as they will help to keep your web hosting environment protected from an array of threats. Security features are abundant but here some you simply can’t do without:
SFTPShort for Secure File Transfer Protocol, SFTP is more efficient and secure variation of FTP. In its purest form, FTP only has the ability to transfer files, leaving them vulnerable to a range of security breaches such as eavesdropping, tampering and even interception of the entire file. A web hosting company offering SFTP provides you with the ability to secure your files in transit with SSH (Secure Shell Host), a protocol that protects data with government recommended 128-bit encryption.
SSLSecure Sockets Layer or SSL, should be incorporated on any website that sells products or services. SSL is a standard encryption protocol designed to keep Internet communications secure. If a web hosting company doesn’t support a shared or private SSL certificate, you need to turn in the opposite direction and find yourself another provider.
Data BackupsData backup and restoration is not only something that should be practiced with the files on your hard drive, but those on the web host’s server as well. All it takes is one technical difficulty or natural disaster for the web hosting company to lose a server and all of your website data. The good thing is that most providers perform redundant backups to ensure that your data can be restored in the event of a failure. To be on the safe side, I recommend looking into a web host that offers a utility that allows you to backup your own data.
Network SecurityAside from protecting your files and website transactions, you also need to keep an eye out for security features that protect the web hosting company’s network. Do a little research to learn how the web host is protecting their infrastructure, keeping in mind that intrusion detection systems, firewalls, DDoS protection, virus and spam filtering are common features. Servers are prime targets of hackers and malicious code writers so if the hardware is breached or goes down, your website will suffer right along with it.These are just a few of numerous security features a web hosting company should offer to ensure the safety of your website data. Hackers are constantly trying to crack into web servers while malware writers are releasing new infectious strains everyday. A web host that doesn’t take this into mind is essentially leaving you wide open for exploitation.

Forex Market History

This brief Forex market history will give you some insight into how this market has evolved.

The Forex market, as we know it, was established in 1971 when floating exchange rates for currencies began to appear. Prior to that, international agreements, including the gold exchange standard of 1876 and the Bretton Woods Agreement of 1945 prevented speculation in the currency markets.

With international trade expanding rapidly after the second world war and the massive movements of capital across international borders, the foreign exchange rates established by the Bretton Woods Agreement became unstable and the agreement was finally abandoned in 1971.

By 1973, international currencies began to float in value, driven mainly by the forces of supply and demand. The ensuing deregulation resulted in much more open trade and led to an increase in currency speculators.

With the growth of the computer age in the 1980's, currency movement across borders became a 24 hour-per-day business, trading through the various time zones. Major banks created dealing rooms where massive amounts of the world's various currencies could be traded in a matter of minutes.

Today, electronic brokers trade the Forex market. Single trades of tens of millions of dollars are carried out within seconds. Most of these transactions are conducted to speculate on the market, with the aim of making money from money. These brokers, or Market Makers, are allowed to divide the large inter-bank units into smaller lots and allow private investors, smaller banks, hedge funds, etc. to buy and sell into the market. These brokers negotiate buy/sell prices between each other, thereby having the ability to set market prices for the rest of us.

Generally, the market is divided into the Asian, European and American sessions. The trading week begins in Asia on their Monday morning, and continues until the close of the American market on it's Friday afternoon. 24 hours a day, 5-1/2 days per week.

Because there is no central exchange for Forex, exact figures on any aspect of it are hard to come by, but it is estimated by the Bank for International Settlements (or BIS) that the average daily turnover of the Forex market in April 2006 was $2.7 trillion USD. This figure includes the spot market (the one we trade), swap market, futures and options. In other words, the Forex market is more than 10 times the size of the daily turnover of all the world’s stock markets combined.

Forex is a group of interconnected marketplaces where currency instruments are traded. Each marketplace is at liberty to set it's own exchange rate, which means that your dealer may be showing you different prices than the guy up the street would. The reality is, the prices are usually very close from broker to broker.

Inside information in the foreign exchange markets is virtually non existent. Changes in exchange rates are usually caused by actual money flows. Expectations of changes in this flow, caused by changes in GDP growth, inflation, interest rates, budget and trade deficits or surpluses, etc. are major price drivers. This information is released publicly, usually on specific dates at specific times. Since so many people have access to the same news at the same time, any "insider advantage" is unlikely. The large banks do have an important advantage though, they can see their customer's order flow.

Currencies are traded against one another. Therefore, a trade will consist of two currencies, or a pair, such as EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, etc. The first currency of the pair is the base, and the second is known as the counter currency. Prices are expressed in terms of how much of the second, or counter, currency is needed to make up one unit of the base currency. For example, if the price quoted for EUR/USD is 1.3145, this is the price of one Euro expressed in US dollars, ie. 1 Euro=1.3145 US dollar.

We buy or sell the pair, at the market price, with an expectation the price will move higher or lower, towards our target.

Forex Market History

This brief Forex market history will give you some insight into how this market has evolved.

The Forex market, as we know it, was established in 1971 when floating exchange rates for currencies began to appear. Prior to that, international agreements, including the gold exchange standard of 1876 and the Bretton Woods Agreement of 1945 prevented speculation in the currency markets.

With international trade expanding rapidly after the second world war and the massive movements of capital across international borders, the foreign exchange rates established by the Bretton Woods Agreement became unstable and the agreement was finally abandoned in 1971.

By 1973, international currencies began to float in value, driven mainly by the forces of supply and demand. The ensuing deregulation resulted in much more open trade and led to an increase in currency speculators.

With the growth of the computer age in the 1980's, currency movement across borders became a 24 hour-per-day business, trading through the various time zones. Major banks created dealing rooms where massive amounts of the world's various currencies could be traded in a matter of minutes.

Today, electronic brokers trade the Forex market. Single trades of tens of millions of dollars are carried out within seconds. Most of these transactions are conducted to speculate on the market, with the aim of making money from money. These brokers, or Market Makers, are allowed to divide the large inter-bank units into smaller lots and allow private investors, smaller banks, hedge funds, etc. to buy and sell into the market. These brokers negotiate buy/sell prices between each other, thereby having the ability to set market prices for the rest of us.

Generally, the market is divided into the Asian, European and American sessions. The trading week begins in Asia on their Monday morning, and continues until the close of the American market on it's Friday afternoon. 24 hours a day, 5-1/2 days per week.

Because there is no central exchange for Forex, exact figures on any aspect of it are hard to come by, but it is estimated by the Bank for International Settlements (or BIS) that the average daily turnover of the Forex market in April 2006 was $2.7 trillion USD. This figure includes the spot market (the one we trade), swap market, futures and options. In other words, the Forex market is more than 10 times the size of the daily turnover of all the world’s stock markets combined.

Forex is a group of interconnected marketplaces where currency instruments are traded. Each marketplace is at liberty to set it's own exchange rate, which means that your dealer may be showing you different prices than the guy up the street would. The reality is, the prices are usually very close from broker to broker.

Inside information in the foreign exchange markets is virtually non existent. Changes in exchange rates are usually caused by actual money flows. Expectations of changes in this flow, caused by changes in GDP growth, inflation, interest rates, budget and trade deficits or surpluses, etc. are major price drivers. This information is released publicly, usually on specific dates at specific times. Since so many people have access to the same news at the same time, any "insider advantage" is unlikely. The large banks do have an important advantage though, they can see their customer's order flow.

Currencies are traded against one another. Therefore, a trade will consist of two currencies, or a pair, such as EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, etc. The first currency of the pair is the base, and the second is known as the counter currency. Prices are expressed in terms of how much of the second, or counter, currency is needed to make up one unit of the base currency. For example, if the price quoted for EUR/USD is 1.3145, this is the price of one Euro expressed in US dollars, ie. 1 Euro=1.3145 US dollar.

We buy or sell the pair, at the market price, with an expectation the price will move higher or lower, towards our target.

Margin Trading

Foreign exchange is normally traded on margin. A relatively small deposit can control much larger positions in the market. For trading the main currencies, Saxo Bank requires a 1% margin deposit. This means that in order to trade one million dollars, you need to place just USD 10,000 by way of security.

In other words, you will have obtained a gearing of up to 100 times. This means that a change of, say 2%, in the underlying value of your trade will result in a 200% profit or loss on your deposit. See below for specific examples. As you can see, this calls for a very disciplined approach to trading as both profit opportunities and potential risks are very large indeed. Please refer to our page Forex Rates & Conditions for current Spreads, Margins and Conditions.

Forex Trading Slumdog - How To Make Millions With A Forex Trading Guide

What are most people actually looking for in a forex trading guide, so that it can help them achieve their dreams of making millions from forex trading? I would say that a good forex trading guide would have consist of forex trading basics, forex technical analysis, fundamental analysis, trading psychology, forex trading systems, money management rules, forex glossary, how to choose forex broker etc.
Some of the forex trading guides provides forex trading tutorials to introduce you to the global forex trading, so that you will know how to trade forex in a shorter time and help you become a successful and profitable forex trader. Along the way, you will gain an understanding of how foreign exchange prices move and how to develop your own trading system. Some guides include forex trading tips, which is important for those who are new to trading, but also adds value to advanced traders too.

Let's zoom in into some of the contents that are provided in a forex trading guide. Basically, you can find contents like the mechanics and introduction to forex trading, how to be a profession forex trader etc in the forex basics section. Forex technical analysis helps you to be able to read forex charts, use of Fibonacci, support and resistance etc.

Are you a very emotional person who reacts hugely to cases when you win or lose money? If you are, the trading psychology part will teach you how you can control your emotions, how you can overcome greed etc when it comes to trading.

You may find that most people first thing will look for the trading system, let it be a forex course, an ebook, or a tutorial. Why is that so? Most people thought that they can profit with the trading system alone, which is untrue as there is a need for money management and emotions control too!

There are many forex trading systems out there in the world, but you have to find one that fits your personality. There are methods like forex scalping, forex trend trading, breakout system and the list continues. Most traders love automated forex trading as a forex trading software will trade for them without having to open and close a trade manually. Of course, there are pitfalls in those systems too!

So by the time you have gone through everything in a forex trading guide, provided that guide is not a slumdog, and have found your trading system with money management, discipline and emotions control , you should be ready to make money trading forex online.

Understanding Forex Risk

Forex risk is a subject that deserves careful consideration. Individuals who have found the key to trading Forex have probably lost all the funds in their trading account... more than twice.

You can make money trading Forex, but there are no guarantees you will make money.

It is generally accepted that a new Forex trader
will lose their trading funds five times before
they begin to show consistent profits.

There are a HUGE number of traps, any one of which is capable of swallowing your trading account whole! Do yourself a favor... pay very close attention to the risk statements which most brokerage firms have you sign. Not only is there a risk of you "trading away" all your capital, but there is also a danger the brokerage operation themselves may go under, taking your money with them.

There are ways to reduce your exposure to Forex risk... but you can never completely eliminate it. Do not, for even an instant, believe claims of guaranteed success from "system sellers" out there.

There are, however, many things you can do as part of your risk management to swing the "odds" of success in your favor.

You cannot buy a "system" that will
guarantee trading profits


Never Trade with Money You Can't Afford to Lose!

Here is something to think about...

When trading, prices either move up or down. They never stay the same. Your goal, as a trader, is to speculate which way the price is likely to move, trade in that direction and then exit your trade with a profit. Sounds simple enough!

Professional traders generally agree on the following - give 2 new traders an equal amount of money, have them trade a position in opposite directions, and they are likely to both lose money. Try this same tactic on 2 experienced traders, and they are likely to both make money!

A Conclusion? You have your work cut out for you to become a trader who takes profits from the market. Read and understand everything I offer you on this website... it will help you become a better trader, which in itself will help reduce your Forex risk.

Disclaimer

Forex trading is not appropriate for everyone. There is a substantial risk of loss associated with trading this market. There has been no system or method developed that can guarantee profits or ensure freedom from losses. Losses can and will occur. No representation or implication is being made that using the information on this website or any of the material available for download will generate profits or ensure freedom from losses. This material is for informational purposes only.

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