What a pleasant surprise I had yesterday! I added three life birds (Horned Grebe, Lesser Scaup, and American Golden Plover) to my birding list, and saw lots of migrating water birds and several neotropical songbirds near Lake Erie.It was wonderful to see the life birds, though I wish I had been able to capture better shots of them (you’ll see a shot of the Horned Grebe at the end of this post).Nonetheless, one of the birds that stood out for me was the Black-crowned Night Heron I saw at Erie Marsh Preserve in Monroe Michigan, just north of the Ohio border. The bird was perched on a tree limb as you entered the preserve; his white and light gray/blue color stood out on the limb, though I expect in a few weeks, the tree foliage will easily conceal him.I was surprised since I usually see Black-crowned Night Herons at dusk or early morning, when they’re foraging for food. And they’re not easy to find, since they often are hidden behind branches or foilage.And it’s been years since I’ve seen a Black-crowned Night Heron in Michigan, but I see them in Florida and along the eastern U.S. shoreline.First time I saw one was about 15 years ago, at the retention ponds in a Chicago suburb at dusk. I followed the bird as it flew from retention pond to retention pond, until it was too dark to spot him.At last month’s Michigan Botanical Club meeting, I chatted with Chris May from The Nature Conservancy who was the guest speaker, talking about the wetland restoration at the marsh. I told him I thought the sign at the entrance said for people to stay out.But Chris assured me the sign was from a private homeowner, who had the sign turned the wrong way. He encouraged me and other birders to come out for spring migration, so I planned a trip.Here’s a few more birds I saw yesterday at Erie Marsh and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge: Solitary Horned Grebe at Erie Marsh One of dozens Greater Yellowlegs at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge near Oregon, Ohio Mute Swans, an invasive, aggressive swan at Erie Marsh Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading…RelatedThe Biggest Week: Birdwatching at Magee MarshMy Mother’s Day weekend isn’t complete without a trip to Magee Marsh in Oregon, Ohio, on the shore of Lake Erie. What I love about Magree Marsh on Mother’s Day weekend is that it coincides with The Biggest Week, a week of birdwatching activities held throughout northwestern Ohio. In the…In “Nature”Photo of the Week: Birdwatching at Magee MarshThe boardwalk was congested with people peering through their binoculars at the dense foilage of the forest. There was no option to get past the crowd, but who would want to? Whenever there’s a crowd on the Magee Marsh boardwalk, there’s always a rare sighting of a bird. Did you…In “Nature”Enjoying The Biggest Week in American Birding“Do you need an American Redstart?” asked the fellow with the green “Biggest Week” baseball cap as he looked upward at the 25-foot tall tree in front of us. “Yes, I do,” I replied. And he proceeded to tell me where to look. “It’s at 11 o’clock. Look at the…In “Nature”
Tigers have 16 hits in road winBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterTOMAH — The Marshfield softball team began its 2016 season with a bang, routing Tomah 14-3 in a nonconference game Tuesday afternoon.Megan Donahue was 4-for-5 with two doubles and four RBIs and also struck out nine batters in 3 2/3 innings on the mound for the Tigers.Emily Draeger also went 4-for-5, Jenna Jakobi hit a two-run home run, and Maddie Mews drove in a pair for Marshfield.Kaitlyn Konrardy earned the win for Marshfield, allowing two runs in 2 1/3 innings.Eight of the Tigers’ nine starters had at least one hit.Marshfield will head to Illinois to play three games later this week. The Tigers will take on Hersey High School in Arlington Heights on Friday and will play a doubleheader at Ottawa on Saturday.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)Tigers 14, Timberwolves 3Marshfield 405 113 – 14 16 3Tomah 101 010 – 3 4 2WP: Kaitlyn Konrardy. LP: Reis Dermossean.SO: Konrardy (2 1/3 inn.) 3, Megan Donahue (3 2/3 inn.) 9; Dermossean (4 inn.) 0, Morgan Wright (2 inn.) 0. BB: Konrardy 3, Donahue 3; Dermossean 6, Wright 0.Top hitters: M, Jenna Jakobi HR, 2 RBIs; Emily Draeger 4×5, 2 2Bs, 3 runs; Donahue 4×5, 2 2Bs, 4 RBIs; Morgan Nordbeck 2 runs; Konrardy 2×3, 2 runs; Alyssa Ede 2B, 2 runs; Maddie Mews 2B, 2 RBIs; Melissa Roberts 2×4. T, Makayla Hove 2×4.Records: Marshfield 1-0; Tomah 0-1.
A super-sensitive passenger scanner that reveals hidden security threats is being trialed in the UK.The walk-through scanner, which uses space technology to image human body heat, is the result of a collaboration between Sequestim Ltd. and Cardiff University scientists.Computer learning allows the scanner to distinguish between threats and non-threats but without the need for passengers to keep still or remove outer clothing.See video of scanner hereGlobally, around 12 million passengers travel by plane every day on 120,000 flights.The technology has the potential to cut queues at airport terminals as it screens people on the move. It will also impact on the effectiveness of security and help keep passengers safe.“Passenger numbers are expected to double in 20 years, putting airport security facilities under immense pressure,” said Ken Wood, Sales and Marketing Director of Sequestim Ltd, a joint venture between Cardiff University and QMC Instruments Ltd.“Our scanner combines a number of world-leading technologies developed by our team here in the UK. It uses the human body as a source of “light”, in contrast with existing scanners which process reflected and scattered millimetre-waves while the passenger is required to strike a pose.”“Our system only needs a few seconds to do its work. Passengers walking normally through security would no longer need to take off coats and jackets, or remove personal items such as phones.”The trial takes place privately, by invitation only, from 4 to 7 December 2018 at Cardiff Airport and will not affect passenger journeys.The project is one of eight to receive some of the £1.8m funding made available by the UK Government earlier this year through a Defence and Security Accelerator themed competition. Part of the five year Future Aviation Security Solutions (FASS) programme, the multimillion-pound initiative seeks innovative ideas such as this new passenger scanner to help strengthen aviation security.Originally built to study the furthest reaches of the universe, the technology used is so sensitive it could see a 100W light bulb at a distance of 500,000 miles (twice the distance to the Moon.)The scanner quickly “learns” the difference between items that can and cannot be taken onto an aircraft, reducing the risk of false alarms which inconvenience passengers and slow down screening.“The detector technology was originally developed to study the most distant astronomical phenomena. For example, we study how stars are born from gigantic clouds of gas and dust,” explained Mr Wood.“It detects millimetre-waves, which are just like visible light but at a wavelength more than one thousand times longer. The ability of the scanner to reveal hidden objects has also attracted interest from Border Force, responsible for the UK’s frontline border control operations at air, sea and rail ports.“Any concealed items show up very clearly as a shadow because the human body, by dint of its heat, acts like a light bulb for our scanner. The new scanner images do not present any ethical issues because anatomical details do not show up. No-one will need to see the images when the technology is eventually used for real, however, because the system will be completely automatic.”The airport trial aims to prove that passive terahertz imaging is robust, versatile, fast and convenient.UK Aviation Minister Liz Sugg said: “We have a proud history of innovation here in the UK and passenger safety across all modes of transport remains an important priority for the government. The Future Aviation Security Solutions programme demonstrates our support for pioneering projects that can help to reduce security threats in airports. I am pleased to see that the funding awarded to Sequestim has helped the team take space technology and trial it as part of a new passenger screening system at Cardiff Airport.”Cardiff Airport was bought by Welsh Government for £52m in 2013. Nearly 1.5m passengers passed through the airport in 2017. The trial of the passenger scanner in December represents a first for Wales, and a local collaboration with enormous impact potential.First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, said: “Welsh Government and Cardiff Airport are delighted to be hosting the proof-of-concept trial of Sequestim’s innovative technology. This cutting-edge security camera not only promises a huge improvement in our experience of air travel, but also brings with it the prospect of job creation as Sequestim aims to manufacture future scanners here in Wales.”The purpose of the trial is for key members of industry, the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, the Civil Aviation Authority and other government bodies including BorderForce to see the technology in action.
Our next livery has been cleared for takeoff. Stay tuned right here for more from our celebration in Chicago tomorrow! pic.twitter.com/n4CJrAJERG— United Airlines (@united) April 24, 2019 Photo: United Given the plethora of blues in the new United Airlines livery, it was only fitting that it was unveiled in Chicago.The new paint job had already leaked, as these things tend to do, ahead of the ceremony and the carrier released a time-lapse video of it being applied.Speculation that the gold in the previous livery would disappear proved correct and it was in with three versions of blue: Rhapsody, Sky and United.READ our ratings for the airlineThe three blues were introduced last year, along with purple, in new uniforms. United is reducing the use of gold, which was added to the brand 30 years ago.The tail is now a gradient of all three blues and the gold and white globe on the tail is now a cleaner, mainly Sky Blue version.The gold in the sweeping line along the fuselage, known as the swoop, is now Rhapsody Blue.The new tail. Image: United/TwitterThe most striking changes are the giant United logo (the “wordmark”) on the side of the aircraft and the striking United Blue engine nacelles and winglets.A new tagline “Connecting people. Uniting the World” appears near the nose and the plane’s belly is painted “Runway Gray”.The US carrier said the modernized livery would bring a refreshed look to its fleet that was “a visual representation of United’s ongoing brand evolution while staying true to the history it has developed over the last 93 years”.“As we improve and elevate our customer experience, we are changing the way people think and feel about United, and this branding captures that new spirit,” United chief executive Oscar Munoz said in unveiling the livery.“Each improvement we’ve added to our service advances our evolution as an airline, furthering our effort to elevate and redefine customer service in the sky.“This modernized design, especially our iconic globe, enhances the very best of United’s image and values while pointing in the direction of where we intend to go next in serving our customers.”The airline said its aircraft on average receive a new paint job every seven years so it will take some time for the new livery to work its way through the airline’s 779 mainline aircraft and the 569 regional aircraft operated by affiliated carriers.The 737-800 unveiled Wednesday will be joined by a mix of narrowbody, widebody and regional aircraft with updated livery throughout the year.
richard macmanus Listened to the latestGillmor Gang Show, with Jonathan Schwartz as guest. Sun’s Schwartz is one very smartcookie and a very effective speaker. The following quote in particular stood out forme:“We [Sun] want a world where there are tons and tons of interesting, interactive iPodequivalents – where people are doing interesting things with their devices attached to anetwork. Why? Because that creates more demand for network services, where we[Sun] can actually come in and do a good job at monetizing it with more scalablehardware, more affordable storage or better infrastructure software.” [at about 46 minmark]He goes on to talk about “lots of added value” on the network, citingtelecommunications carriers / network operators who give away mobile phones in order tosell services. He used the phrase “cost compression” several times near the end toemphasize that businesses (like Sun and Microsoft) need to find new business models onthe network.A lot of what Schwartz said (especially that last point) complementsthe ideas that came out of myinterview with Tim O’Reilly. Web services business models is a fascinating subject,but rather than focusing on the bigco’s I prefer to look at how the little companies arecreating new opportunities in this Web 2.0 world. Companies like Bloglines, Flickr, Feedburner, TheRobot Co-op.And by the way (as Jonathan might say), an eBook Reader is one device beggingto be attached to the network. One problem is that there’s noiPod-equivalent for eBook Readers. There are many reasons for that, which I won’t gointo right now. My point for this post is that there are many potentialbusiness opportunities for new companies to create network services around eBooks, shouldthe right platform ever be put in place (in the same sense that the iPod is a platform formusic services). 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#E-Books#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts
“Great ideas are worthless unless they are put into practice.”Most, if not all, of us have experienced this maxim time and time again in our business careers. We have a brilliant plan that will significantly reduce shortage, improve efficiencies, and increase safety of our employees and customers. There is just one problem: we can’t get the organization to approve it.Dr. Richard Hollinger highlighted some of these same frustrations expressed by loss prevention executives in trying to accomplish their goals in past findings from the National Retail Security Survey. In his survey, loss prevention executives identified such issues as “lack of upper management support,” “staffing,” “ineffective training,” and “budgetary pressures and constraints” as major impediments to the success of the LP department.- Sponsor – While many factors went into those responses, we must continue to look within and decide if we are doing a sufficient job in presenting our proposals in such a manner as to gain support from the organization.This post looks at how we improve our odds of getting approval for what we’re requesting. While it would be impossible to give an exact formula for success in every company and project, it is reasonable to explore a framework that can be used to increase our chance at getting our proposal approved and implemented.A Framework for All Levels of ManagementIt is also important to understand that this framework can be applied at all levels of an organization. Too often, we think in terms of corporate executives maneuvering the political landscape to get budgetary approval, corporate blessings, and senior executive support.However, proposals and projects have to be sold at all levels of an organization. At the same time the vice president of loss prevention is sitting in a budget meeting with the CEO and CFO, the store-level LP manager in a location far removed from the corporate office is having an important meeting with the store manager of operations and his district LP manager, trying to sell them on his proposals for addressing issues at his location.Whether you are a senior loss prevention executive, store detective, regional LP manager, or an investigator, you have to sell your ideas to others to get buy-in, approval, and budget. In fact, most senior loss prevention executives want their direct reports to do a better job at presenting proposals.One loss prevention executive confided, “It seems as if my regional directors believe it is my job to get approval for projects. They simply send in a list of what they want without presenting any real justification or argument for it.”There are at least two important lessons in that comment. First, no one has a better grasp on the proposal you are submitting than you do. If you want to see it succeed, you have to help those who are responsible for approving it understand its importance. Second, the manner in which you present proposals reflects on you as a professional and establishes—or undermines—your credibility. An individual who presents well-thought-out proposals that are convincing and effective is not only improving their odds of getting that “Yes” answer, but is also building their own long-term credibility as an independent thinker and leader within the company. Your ability to be a salesperson and present good projects in an effective way affects your future success.This can often be seen at budget time within an organization. It is certain that your financial staff has developed an informal list of those individuals who present well-supported budgets that have clear data to support them and those executives who don’t. Do you want to guess whom they spend more time with during budget reviews and whom they challenge more aggressively?Think about the implications. If you present a budget that gets challenged and ultimately reduced by a significant amount, what reputation are you establishing within the organization? How receptive is your audience going to be in the future to your proposals?What you need is a framework to improve your odds. The framework we will examine involves four key components—process, premise, proof, and presentation. In this post, we examine the first two components.ProcessWhen setting out to construct an effective strategy for selling your proposal, the first thing to consider is the process that you will need to follow to succeed. This includes considerations such as:What are the protocols in my organization for presenting this type of plan?Is approval dependent primarily on one person or a committee?Who will be the decision makers? How do they feel about me and my department?What are the priorities of my audience?How does my proposal fit into overall corporate strategy?What are the most likely objections to my proposal?How have they reacted to similar proposals in the past? Have they said or written anything in recent months that might give an insight as to how they will react to this proposal?Will there be others who support or oppose the plan?Do you see the common theme? People. The whole idea of selling your proposal is about persuasion. Persuasion is about people. We’re trying to persuade someone to adopt an idea or viewpoint they don’t currently hold. Or, at minimum, we are asking that they not oppose or fight us on an idea until they have all the facts. In many cases, we are asking them to spend money on an idea that could otherwise be spent in hundreds of other worthwhile efforts.So, before you think about premises, proofs, and presentation, you have to understand that it’s about people. You must consider who you’re trying to influence, how they view the world, how they are predisposed, and what biases they may hold.This process also involves considering how your proposal fits into the decision maker’s interpretation of corporate strategy. For example, in the retail sector, let’s say the CEO has just been in a chain-wide meeting where she announced the corporate strategy for growing the business is to focus on creating an upscale environment and make the shopping experience as pleasant as possible. How would that impact a proposal you have been preparing to lock up all of the high-shrink accessories? How do you think the CEO is going to respond? In other words, how does locking up accessories align to a corporate strategy of a luxury shopping environment?In addition to how this affects the current proposal you are considering, you must examine the consequences of the proposal to your long-term credibility and expertise. If you go forward with your proposal to lock up the accessories, what will the CEO’s perception be of your business acumen and understanding of corporate strategy? This is not to suggest, in this hypothetical example, that you should automatically drop your proposal. Rather, these are considerations that must be factored into the process.During this phase, it’s helpful to consider the types of arguments that have been successful with the audience in the past. In addition, what types of arguments do they use when they’re selling a proposal? Recognize what works for them, and, if it fits your proposal, you may want to appeal to them on the same level. It is also wise to consider whether there will be people involved in the process who already support your plan or, conversely, may oppose it.On the tactical level, one of the best ways to answer many of these questions is to meet one-on-one with all key decision makers you want to influence before you formally present your proposal. This will accomplish many of the goals identified above and one more, very important result—it gets them involved in the process. The others involved and impacted by your proposal need to feel as if their input is valued and matters to the direction it will take. Surprisingly, this step is often overlooked to the detriment of the process.On this point about decision-making: Jim Collins, author of business best-sellers Built to Last and Good to Great, says one of the best things CEOs can do to make better decisions is to say, “I don’t know,” and let other people give the answers. While the CEO still makes the ultimate decision, he or she can involve other people by listening to their reasoning as a part of the process.Unfortunately, when we don’t involve people in the process, we open the door to a potentially hostile environment and possible backlash. Why? Because the others were left out of the process; they didn’t get to buy-in to the result. Remember, the process has to start with people.PremiseIn order to effectively sell your proposal, it is critical that you identify the underlying premise that it is based upon. In other words, what are the primary reasons, from the viewpoint of the audience, that your plan should be adopted or invested in?Identifying your premise is important for at least two reasons. Most obviously, it is the building block for your proposal and subsequent steps in our framework. However, clearly identifying your premise serves perhaps an even more important purpose—it allows you to clearly articulate your message repeatedly and consistently.You are attempting to convince others to “vote” for your plans. That requires you to consistently and repeatedly articulate the underlying premise of your argument. It is important to realize that there are many different types of premises you can use and, in choosing one, you may drastically alter the appeal you are making to your audience.It is worth noting that you may use multiple premises–that is, two or three underlying reasons–for adoption of your plan. However, one should be cautious of trying to use too many. Even if your argument is supported by every category of premise listed here, you must be careful to avoid muddling the water by using them all. You should consider picking the two or three most important and persuasive premises and build a clear, “on point” proposal around them.Mandate. Perhaps the most straightforward argument is based on the premise that the proposed action is mandated or required by law. Businesses and organizations must comply with numerous federal and state requirements, including those regarding financial investments, disability accommodations, safety, employment, data security and protection, and many more.Other legislation that impacts retail LP operations includes various state laws around licensing, regulation, and screening of retail security officers.But perhaps the most common “mandate” of all comes from your boss, rather than a government agency. The fact is that sometimes there is little justification needed for a project if your boss or the organization simply tells you that it has to be accomplished. However, if that is the case, it is a worthwhile exercise to see if you can find another premise to support the initiative, in addition to the charge from your supervisor.Aligning to Corporate Strategy. An initiative’s primary selling point might be that it supports the business and aligns to the corporate strategy. There are several examples of this specific to our industry, including open merchandising of product and brand protection.Thirty years ago, the “open merchandising” of women’s accessories, a historically high-shrinkage item, was an issue that caused LP executives to examine new strategies. In the past ten years, the issues are the same, but the product affected now includes video games, ink toner cartridges, and jewelry. Why would organizations put these high-value items out in easy reach of potential shoplifters? Of course, the answer is to increase sales and make the customer shopping experience more seamless.As a result, savvy LP executives had to devise alternate protection or mitigation strategies to limit the losses on these items. The premise behind the deployment of these strategies (such as EAS) has largely been around the issue of “supporting the business,” or, in other words, aligning to the corporate strategy.Another example where corporate strategy plays an important role in the approval of loss prevention initiatives is in brand protection. This can mean different things for different companies, but many retailers are concerned about product diversion, organized retail crime, and counterfeiting of proprietary product in relation to the impact these problems have on brand image and perception.For example, they’re concerned about their products being sold on eBay or other online auctions—not just because of the financial loss if the merchandise was stolen, but, more importantly, because their product being sold in this channel (or in swap meets), cheapens and devalues their brand image.If aligning to corporate strategy is not your primary premise or, as importantly, if you’re proposing a project that might conflict with certain aspects of your corporate strategy, you will want to come back and examine this issue. It is not to suggest that you should never propose an initiative that flies in the face of corporate strategy. However, you must recognize the risks this involves and make sure that the other supporting reasons are so strong that it justifies the project.You must also recognize the possible risks to your professional credibility. The last label you want to have hung on you by the CEO is, “Here’s someone who doesn’t understand the needs of the business.”Financial. In most businesses, this is the most important premise you can use. If you use the classic business objective of “delivering shareholder value,” then financial return on investment (ROI) is a great premise. In fact, one of the major perceptions that CEOs have of our functions that we have to overcome is that we are simply a cost center. If, by contrast, we can make an ROI argument for a project, we will capture their attention.When your premise is financial, you speak the language of senior management. You are also speaking the same language as most of your competitors within the organization. Remember, you are competing for a limited pool of funds within your organization. Your “competitors” are operations, HR, real estate, merchandising, buyers, and any other group that is seeking funding for their initiatives. If they are all speaking in terms of ROI or payback period and you are not, you are out of step and have a harder sell for your initiative.Emotional. Most executives don’t want to admit they use emotion as a premise for justifying their initiatives. Perhaps this is because they view it as a “weak” premise. But, in reality, it is used often. In fact, most loss prevention practitioners have probably said, on at least one occasion, something like. “If we don’t do this, we are going to have [insert fear] happen.” Maybe it was an increase in theft or a lawsuit or any number of other possible negative outcomes.It can also be used to fund an initiative designed to bring about a positive emotion. For instance, there are many times after an incident occurs at a store that extra measures are taken—increased attention, contract guards, improved physical security—in large part to make the store staff “feel better.” Or, in a publicly traded company, many initiatives are undertaken to not only make employees feel better, but also investors who might be concerned about short-term results in the stock market.Another emotional response can come in the form of a reaction to an emotional event in a company. If an employee or customer dies in a store location from a heart attack, it might prompt a company to make a significant investment in the deployment of automatic emergency defibrillators (AEDs) that are not required nor do they make financial “sense.” Rather, it is an emotional reaction to a tragedy that causes the reaction.Risk Management. This is a common premise, if for no other reason than the fact that much of the LP discipline is based in risk management theory. Many of our programs fall into such classic risk management strategies as risk avoidance, risk transfer, risk reduction, and risk mitigation. How many times have you argued for a proposal based on the fact it will reduce liability? Or that it will limit losses should an incident occur?Additionally, many loss prevention groups are getting more actively involved in safety issues and the management of general liability expense. At a recent meeting with senior LP executives, several major retailers reported that their general liability reserves are almost as high as their shrinkage reserves, so the financial impact here is significant.This can also lead to an argument to support an initiative based on reducing insurance premiums. When dealing with major insurance and reinsurance packages, premiums can run into the millions of dollars and can be negotiated provided that you can convince your insurance carrier you are implementing initiatives that will reduce their financial exposure.Shift in Environment. A crisis, a competitive threat, or a sudden or gradual change in demographics can drive a need for new initiatives or proposals. For instance, the tragic events of 9/11 caused many loss prevention professionals to face new issues. Suddenly, business continuity planning was thrust onto the plate of nearly every senior loss prevention executive. While no one might have seen these events coming, the sudden impact of the terrorist attacks caused a major shift in environment that necessitated different strategies, initiatives, and budgets.Fortunately, not all shifts in environment are so tragic, but they may still be extremely important to the business. For instance, a change in the competitive environment may provide an impetus for new strategies or proposals. As noted in an earlier example, many companies have moved to “open merchandising” of high-risk product. In the office superstore segment, this has resulted in the major players merchandising their ink-jet and laser cartridges on the floor. Once one company in this segment takes this action, others may follow. If you are at a company where this strategy has not been considered, you may find yourself implementing the same initiative in your organization because of this “shift in environment.”Finally, there are major shifts going on with the demographics in the United States. Notable in these shifts are the generational and ethnic changes in the makeup of our customer base and employee population. The aging of the Baby Boomers and their retirements from the workforce require us to consider how to mine their expertise and knowledge for lasting impact into organizational performance. The entry of a younger, more diverse workforce (Generations Y and Z) requires us to examine the strategies we use to influence, train, and engage this new demographic group.This article was originally published in 2005 and was updated July 11, 2018. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
From our sponsors: How to solve the mystery of what your customers really want How to solve the mystery of what your customers really wantYou are here: How well do you really know your customers? If your company is like most brands, you already realize that you don’t really know them at all. In fact, a 2015 study from Aberdeen Group found that just 4 percent of organizations are fully satisfied with their ability to ensure data-driven conversations with their customers.That’s a shockingly small number. And it’s also a huge problem, especially in today’s customer-first culture. Data-driven insights are the key to increasing customer satisfaction. If you don’t know your buyers, how can you really help them? That disconnect can very quickly translate into reduced ROI and decreased revenue for your business. That’s why it’s so important to incorporate data and analytics into every activity designed to support the customer experience. It’s simple math: better customer interactions equal superior business results.So, if it’s so simple, why aren’t more companies doing it? What does it take to use analytics effectively, and how can you turn data into the kinds of insights you can use to meet the rapidly changing needs of your customers? Let’s look at three key strategies for success.Start with a unified view of the customer journeyEvery customer travels on a unique path to reach your organization. By understanding the different channels they use, the changing needs they have during various stages of their life cycles and what their behaviors are telling you over time, you can gain a clear view of who they really are — and what they want. Business intelligence and customer journey mapping tools can help you fill in the gaps in the customer picture. But of course, that information is just the beginning.Turn data into insights you can actually useKnowing your customers is only valuable if you actually put that information to work for you. That’s why it’s critical to take the huge volume of data you gather (and it will be huge) and make sure it’s integrated into everything you do around the customer — and across every team that’s involved in shaping your customers’ experience with you. It’s also important to keep that insight current. Buyer needs change quickly, and it takes a steady, ongoing assessment of the data to keep up with them.Make sure the data is really working for youCreating happy customers is only the beginning. It’s also important to make sure those customers are doing what you want them to do and converting in ways that matter to your business. So in addition to using analytics to personalize and customize their interactions, you need to continually track how your customer experiences are performing — and how they’re impacting your key indicators.Putting it all togetherHere’s an example. Let’s say you’ve just released version 2.0 of an exciting new smart watch. The company has set and is pursuing an aggressive target of increasing revenues by 10 percent in a very competitive market. They plan to achieve this business goal by developing and launching a multichannel campaign that targets customers based on preferences. A few days after launch, the marketing team logs into IBM Customer Experience Analytics to check the results. Traffic is up and customers are adding the smart watch to their shopping cart, but conversions are down.Using the same solution and interface, the marketing team quickly identifies which customer segments are not converting. They drill directly into sessions and discover that a promo code entered by customers is not being accepted by the system.The team wants to know where this bad code came from. They examine the entire customer journey and discover a typo in the promo code distributed on Facebook.The team quickly takes action to fix the issue by issuing a correction. They identify the segment of customers who experienced the code denial and follow up with a personalized message apologizing for the error and providing the correct code. Once the code is fixed and the follow-up messages sent out, the team sees their conversion rate return to normal, positioning them to meet the desired 10 percent increase in revenues.Only by using in-depth customer analytics, with a comprehensive view across channels, at a macro and micro level, and over time, can you really get to this degree of insight. Posted on 13th June 2017Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share HomeDigital MarketingHow to solve the mystery of what your customers really want Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019
Following Alabama’s loss to Florida in the SEC Tournament this afternoon, many believe Anthony Grant’s time with the Crimson Tide will soon be over. The 48-year-old coach has been leading the program since 2009, compiling a 116-83 record and making the NCAA Tournament once (in 2012). Billy Donovan is not among the people who think Grant should be fired. The Gators’ coach, who had Grant on his staff in Gainesville, Fla., for 10 years, campaigned for his former assistant to keep his job following their game Thursday afternoon. Grant is 0-10 against Donovan at Alabama. “I don’t think people have any idea how great of a coach Anthony Grant is” – Billy Donovan— Graham Hall (@Graham311) March 12, 2015Billy Donovan on Anthony Grant “People don’t understand just how outstanding of a coach he is… He took over a very difficult situation.”— WVUA-FM Sports (@Capstone_Sports) March 12, 2015Billy Donovan stumping for Anthony Grant keeping job. Talks tough situation he took over at Bama, importance of developing young men.— Reid Forgrave (@ReidForgrave) March 12, 2015BillyD gives impassioned endorsement of Tide coach/close friend Anthony Grant. “Put it this way: Alabama better hope he comes back.” #Gators— Chris Harry (@GatorZoneChris) March 12, 2015Billy Donovan fervently defending Anthony Grant, says if Alabama knew what was good for them, they’d bring him back next year.— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) March 12, 2015It’s not too surprising that Donovan thinks highly of Grant and wants him to keep his job; they’re former co-workers and likely remain close. Will Alabama hold onto Grant, though? Kevin Scarbinsky of AL.com reported earlier today that the Crimson Tide may be turning in favor of keeping their head coach. “The more you talk to people around the program, the more likely it appears that Grant will return for his seventh season as head coach,” he wrote. Alabama (18-14, 8-10 SEC) is a contender for the NIT and will likely play more games this season. Grant’s future in Tuscaloosa, Ala., probably won’t be decided until after the season ends.
Kolkata: Two separate incidents of mysterious death have occurred in the state, with local residents claiming that the fear of being driven out of the country due to NRC was the probable cause.The NRC fear continues to loom large in the districts after some people failed to arrange various documents related to the issue. An elderly man from Basirhat’s Sashan, identified as Ayub Ali, has committed suicide in the fear of being driven out of the country, after implementation of NRC. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaThe local residents said that the victim had been visiting the local BDO’s office for some documentation work, but failed to get some papers which he thought were essential for NRC. The family members said that Ali went to the BDO’s office on Saturday as well. He had repeatedly told his neighbours that he would be asked to leave the country after the NRC comes into force. The panic stricken man suffered a massive heart attack on Saturday night and was eventually declared brought dead by the doctors at a nearby hospital. The family members claimed that the threat of NRC claimed his life. The reason of his death is yet to be confirmed officially. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayIn a similar incident, Kalachand Midhe (42), a resident of Falta in South 24-Parganas, was found hanging from a tree inside a mango grove in his locality. The incident triggered tension among the local residents on Sunday morning. His family members and local residents claimed that he committed suicide after becoming apprehensive that his name would feature in the NRC list. His family members later identified the body. Midhe had been absconding since Saturday morning. Police have started an investigation to ascertain the cause of his death.
Hyderabad: Popular Telugu comedian Venu Madhav, known for his rib-tickling performances in films like ‘Chatrapati’ and ‘Sye,’ died here on Wednesday. He was 51. Venu Madhav, who has been suffering from multiple ailments, including chronic liver cirrhosis, breathed his last at 12.21 am at a private hospital here, hospital sources said. Madhav, also anacclaimed mimicry artist,made his debut in the movie ‘Sampradayam.’ Recalling his association with Venu Madhav, veteran comedian Ali said the former acted in more than 600 films. Also Read – ‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ has James Cameron’s fingerprints all over it: Arnold Schwarzenegger Expressing grief over the demise of Venu Madhav, TDP Chief and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu said the departed actor had liking for the party and its founder N T Rama Rao a lot. His mimicry performance at TDP’s party conclave ‘Mahanadu’ had won appreciation from late NTR, Naidu said. Venu Madhav’s demise is a great loss to TDP and the Telugu film industry, he said. Meanwhile, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao,state Congress president and MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy, actor-turned-politician and Jana Sena Party founder Pawan Kumar and several other leaders condoled the death of Venu Madhav. Venu Madhav had a great fan following, Rao said. Venu Madhav, who belongs to Kodad in Suryapet district, is a pride of Telangana, Uttam Kumar Reddy said. Pawan Kalyan recollected that he had acted with Madhav in several films. “He (Madhav) has a very good sense of timing as a comedian,” Kalyan, younger brother of Megastar Chiranjeevi, said in a release.
Pune: Social activist Anna Hazare has expressed surprise over NCP president Sharad Pawar’s naming cropping up in the multi-crore Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank scam. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a money laundering case against Pawar, his nephew Ajit Pawar – a former deputy chief minister of Maharashtra – and others in connection with the scam. An Enforcement Case Information Report, equivalent to a police FIR, has been registered by the central agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Also Read – 2019 most peaceful festive season for J&K: Jitendra Singh The case is based on a Mumbai Police FIR which had named former chairmen of the bank, Ajit Pawar, and 70 erstwhile functionaries of the cooperative lender. “When this case came to me, Sharad Pawar’s name was not there anywhere. How did his name crop up, who mentioned his name, all these things only they know,” said Hazare on Thursday when asked about the ED case and the Maratha strongman’s alleged links to the scam. The anti-corruption crusader, a Pawar critic, expressed the hope the truth will come out after the ED carries out a detailed investigation in the scam. Also Read – Personal life needs to be respected: Cong on reports of Rahul’s visit abroad “The ED will come to know how his name figured in the case,” said Hazare, a veteran of many anti-corruption agitations. Pawar has denied any wrongdoing and said he was not associated with the bank in any capacity and questioned the timing of the registration of the case which comes just weeks ahead of the October 21 Assembly polls in Maharashtra. The former Union minister has asserted he would not bow before the ‘throne’ of Delhi, apparently referring to the BJP-led government at the Centre. The NCP has termed the ED case as politically motivated.
At least three militants were killed in an exchange of fire with security forces in Batote town of Jammu and Kashmir’s Ramban district on Saturday, an Army spokesperson said. An Army jawan was also killed, while two policemen were injured in the encounter. Searches have been carried out in the area presently. The encounter followed after a group of five armed militants took refuge inside a civilian’s residence after they targeted a Territorial Army patrol in Batote area earlier in the day. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange framework Sources told The Indian Express that the house owner, Vijar Kumar, and his family were taken hostage. The militants later released all members of the family except Kumar, a tailor. Subsequently, the house owner was rescued, Jammu and Kashmir Police confirmed on Twitter.The area is cordoned off, and vehicular traffic along the highways and adjoining link roads has been halted. According to sources, the militants were initially hiding near one of the quarters of the General Reserve Engineer Force (GREF) personnel. As the Territorial Army patrol passed through the area this morning, the militants panicked and threw two or three hand grenades at them and opened fire from their rifles, thinking they were being cordoned off.(Inputs from The Indian Express)
New Delhi: The government will launch the fourth installment of Bharat-22 Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) on Thursday, which is expected to help the exchequer garner up to Rs 8,000 crore from investors. The issue will open for anchor investors on Thursday and for other institutional and retail investors, the next day, according to scheme information document filed by ICICI Prudential Mutual Fund, which manages Bharat-22 ETF. The investors would get a 3 per cent discount over the issue price. Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: Icra”The offer is likely to have a base issue size of Rs 2,000 crore, with a greenshoe option to retain another Rs 6,000 crore, taking the total amount to Rs 8,000 crore,” a source privy to the development said. The decision has been taken after receiving robust response for earlier stake sale by the government in the product. The government has so far raised around Rs 35,900 crore through Bharat-22 ETF — Rs 14,500 crore was garnered in November 2017, another Rs 8,400 crore was mopped up in June 2018 and Rs 13,000 crore in February this year. Proceeds from the ETF will help the government meet its disinvestment target of Rs 1.05 lakh crore for the current financial year. The central public sector enterprises that are part of the Bharat-22 ETF include ONGC, IOC, SBI, BPCL, Coal India and Nalco. Bharat Electronics, Engineers India, NBCC, NTPC, NHPC, SJVNL, GAIL, PGCIL, NLC India, Axis Bank, ITC and L&T are the other constituents.
MUMBAI: Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank used more than 21,000 fictitious accounts to hide loans it made, according to a police complaint lodged by Indian officials, in the latest banking fraud case to spook the country’s depositors and investors. The complaint, filed with the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police on Monday and later seen by Reuters, accuses the bank’s management of concealing non-performing assets and disbursing loans leading to a loss of at least Rs 4,355 crore ($616.5 million). Also Read – Commercial vehicle sales to remain subdued in current fiscal: IcraA single realty firm and its group companies were the beneficiaries of 44 loans, according to the complaint. “The actual financial position of the bank was camouflaged, & the bank deceptively reflected a rosy picture of its financial parameters,” said the complaint, noting that the fictitious loan accounts were not entered into the bank’s core banking system – a factor key in the perpetration of a $2 billion fraud at Punjab National Bank that was uncovered in 2018. Also Read – Ashok Leyland stock tanks over 5 pc as co plans to suspend production for up to 15 daysThe complaint names the bank’s chairman Waryam Singh and its managing director Joy Thomas, along with other bank officials, and accuses them of criminal breach of trust, forgery and falsification of records. It also names bankrupt realty company Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd, along with its former senior executives Sarang Wadhwan and Rakesh Wadhwan, who were beneficiaries of the loans. A senior government official late on Tuesday said that the serious fraud investigation office will look into the alleged wrong doing by HDIL in the PMC case, expecting to complete the investigation in the next two months. PMC Bank and HDIL did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said it had no comment. The PMC case has sparked renewed concerns about the health of India’s troubled banking sector, which has been rocked by a multi-billion dollar fraud at a state-run lender, the collapse of a major infrastructure lender, bad loan issues at state-run banks and a liquidity squeeze that has hit shadow lenders. More than two dozen co-operative banks are now under RBI administration, but PMC Bank – with deposits of Rs 11,620 crore as of March 31 – is by far the largest. The RBI last week moved to take charge of PMC Bank, one of India’s top five co-operative lenders with more than 9,00,000 depositors, and suspended Thomas and the bank’s board after uncovering lending irregularities The RBI has barred the bank from renewing or granting any loans or making investments without prior approval of the central bank, while depositors have been informed they can only withdraw a maximum of Rs 10,000 ($140) from their PMC accounts over the next six months. Dozens of account holders gathered outside an RBI office in Mumbai on Tuesday to protest against the curbs and demand that the central bank and government intervene to release their funds. In a letter written by Thomas to the RBI that allegedly blew the lid off the scam, he says that he oversaw the fraud and hid details from the regulator for fear of reputational risks to the bank. Reuters reviewed a copy of the letter. The police complaint against PMC and HDIL officials was filed at the behest of an administrator, whom the RBI appointed last week to oversee the bank’s operations. The complaint alleges that the PMC officials misled the RBI for over a decade from 2008 to August 2019 by failing to disclose big accounts that had become non-performing assets by producing forged audit reports. It was reported on Sunday that PMC Bank’s exposure to bankrupt HDIL stood at Rs 6,500 crore, which accounts for 73 per cent of its overall Rs 8,880 crore loan book – well above the RBI’s permissible exposure levels to a single entity.
London: A UK High Court judge on Wednesday ruled in favour of India in a decades-old legal dispute with Pakistan over funds belonging to the Nizam of Hyderabad at the time of Partition in 1947 and deposited in a London bank account. The Nizam’s descendants, Prince Mukarram Jah the titular eighth Nizam of Hyderabad and his younger brother Muffakham Jah, had joined hands with the Indian government in the legal battle against the Pakistan government over around 35 million pounds lying with NatWest Bank plc here. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss account details under automatic exchange frameworkIn his judgment handed down at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Justice Marcus Smith ruled that the “Nizam VII was beneficially entitled to the Fund and those claiming in right of Nizam VII the Princes and India are entitled to have the sum paid out to their order”. “Pakistan’s contentions of non-justiciability by reason of the foreign act of state doctrine and non-enforceability on the grounds of illegality both fail,” the verdict notes. The dispute revolves around 1,007,940 pounds and nine shillings transferred in 1948 from the then Nizam of Hyderabad to the high commissioner in Britain of the newly-formed state of Pakistan. That amount has since grown into 35 million pounds as the Nizam’s descendants, supported by India, claimed it belongs to them and Pakistan counter-claimed that it is rightfully theirs.
Organised in collaboration by ‘Surnai Theatre and Folk Arts Foundation’ and ‘Indian International Centre’ under ‘A Festival of Arts’, ‘Shabd Leela’ will present a dramatised rendition of Dr Dharamveer Bharti’s powerful and romantic words in Kanupriya, Andha yug and Ek Sahityik ke prem patra.Conceived, designed and scripted by Ila Arun, the presentation is directed by K K Raina. On stage will be Ila Arun; Rajeshwari Sachdev; Varun badola; K.K. Raina; Abhishek Pandey; Gaurav Amlani; Mayank Pandey; Navneet Raina; and Avinash Kumar. Shabd Leela basically means a unique presentation of letters, poetry and drama. WHEN: October 14, 2019 Where: Indian International Centre TIMINGS: 6:30 pm
Lille (France): Willian’s brilliant late strike gave Chelsea a precious a 2-1 win away to Lille that they will hope kickstarts their Champions League campaign, but it was the young stars in Frank Lampard’s side who stole the show again. The Brazilian volleyed home in the 78th minute on Wednesday to decide the game under the roof at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy on what was his 300th appearance for the club. Tammy Abraham had earlier put Chelsea in front on his 22nd birthday with his eighth goal already this season, only for Victor Osimhen to equalise for Lille. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuChelsea are now off the mark in Group H after losing at home to Valencia a fortnight ago, although it is Ajax who continue to top the section with a maximum six points. “Overall it was a good game. It’s never an easy place to play. Give it to the team, what a fantastic performance,” Abraham told BT Sport. Lampard’s team face Ajax next and will do so with renewed belief after this potentially pivotal victory. “It is such a tough place — the roof was on, the crowd were up for it, the speed in their team and on the counter-attack especially was very evident, so we had to be ready for it and I thought our performance was really good,” said Lampard. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersIt was a game decided by one of the most experienced players on the pitch but which was bristling with exciting young talent as these clubs adjust to seeing their standout players — Eden Hazard on one side, Nicolas Pepe on the other — depart in the close season. Lampard fielded two 24-year-olds as well as four more players aged 22 or under in his line-up here, as teenager Reece James started as a right wing-back in a 3-4-1-2 system. James only made his top-team debut for the club a week ago in a League Cup tie against fourth-tier Grimsby Town. His second-half replacement, Callum Hudson-Odoi, set up the winning goal. “This isn’t a game for niceties, we have to go and win these matches and improve all the time and there were loads of signs of team improvement tonight, and individuals,” Lampard added. “The young players are responding and they have to keep doing it because the Champions League level is something else.” Much has been made of Lampard’s promotion of youth this season in response to Chelsea’s transfer ban, although their team here also featured N’Golo Kante, with the France midfielder returning from his latest spell on the sidelines. Indeed, the average age of Chelsea’s team at kick-off was actually a year older than that of Lille. Chelsea took a 22nd-minute lead when Fikayo Tomori’s ball into the box was not dealt with by the home defence, and Abraham — capped by England but eligible for Nigeria through his father — emerged to control and fire home. Lille actually looked the better side going forward for long spells and Luiz Araujo was denied by a good Kepa Arrizabalaga save just after the half-hour mark. Moments later they were level, Bamba sending in a corner from the left for Osimhen, the gangly 20-year-old Nigerian striker signed in the summer, to head in his seventh of the campaign. Jorginho struck the outside of the post with a first-time strike from range just before half-time, while Kepa tipped a Benjamin Andre header around the post early in the second half. However, the introduction of Hudson-Odoi, the youngest of the lot at just 18, for James midway through the second half, and subsequent change of formation, breathed new life into the visitors going forward. Mason Mount was denied by Mike Maignan soon after, and just 12 minutes remained when winger Hudson-Odoi crossed from the left all the way to the back post where Willian connected with a volley that bounced down into the ground, over the goalkeeper’s head and in.
New Delhi: Delhi witnessed a dip in temperature by two notches on Friday morning, a day after rain lashed several parts of the national capital. According to a MeT department official, the minimum temperature recorded was 19.8 degrees Celsius, two notches below the season’s average. The humidity level was 86 per cent at 8.30 am. The weatherman has predicted light rains later in the day. “There is possibility of light rains in several areas today. The maximum temperature is expected to settle at 34 degrees Celsius,” he said The Safdarjung observatory, the recording of which is considered official for the city, recorded 47.3 mm rainfall in last 24 hours. At the Palam observatory, 30.2 mm rainfall was recorded during the same period. On Thursday, the minimum temperature settled at 23.8 degrees while the maximum temperature recorded was 34.8 degrees Celsius.
New Delhi: Foundation stones for several development projects of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) will be laid down in Delhi’s Dwarka area on Monday. The foundation will be laid down by Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs. The projects are worth Rs 300 crore and include a Golf Course, Sports Complexes, Foot over Bridge, Airport Drain, Cycle Track and Utsav Pandal. The projects will be started in different parts of Dwarka that includes sector – 8, 10, 11, 23 and 24 and are expected to be completed within 24 months. The sports complex in Sector 8 Dwarka will be a centre for wrestling, weightlifting, boxing, judo and kabaddi and is expected to cost Rs 66 crore. Besides, another Sports Complex in Dwarka Sector 23 will be started for Football, which will cost Rs 39 crore.