Friday, August 31, 2012

The Experience of Dealing With Drop Shippers

Who is a drop shipper? He is someone who takes your products and ships it to your customers and is an asset to e-commerce. People engaged in e-commerce need not worry about the hassles shipping might create because shippers can easily do this work for them.
However, there are certain aspects you need to consider that include finding a reliable shipper. A very crucial element of your drop shipping business would be to find a suitable shipper. You need to make sure that the shipper you have chosen is honest because this can impact your work immensely.
In most cases, the people at the upper level of a hierarchy are more reliable as compared to small distributors. Companies that manufacture goods make them in bulk and then look for companies to finance them. Hence, mostly those businesses are safe to work with because only reputable businesses usually have a good track record.
Another fact is that usually first and second tier distributors are more reputable because they supply to a wider range of area. However, the situation is opposite with small distributors who tend to increase their prices unnecessarily.
The risk of low tier manufacturers is that they have a high probability of closing down overnight and disappearing without any prior notice. Therefore, you should make sure that whenever it is possible, deal with the direct manufacturers of the product.You need to think about the shipping costs involved in selling your product before you are actually putting it up for sale. However, in case your shipper is located in another country, then you should make sure that your products are at least in the price range of hundreds or thousands.
You should go for direct distributors or manufacturers because their prices are not marked up by middlemen. As soon as your customer orders a product, you can call your drop shipper and ask him to deliver the required quantity to that customer. Then, as ordered, your shipper will ship the specific quantity needed of that product to your customer safely.
You need to think about the shipping costs involved in selling your product before you are actually putting it up for sale. However, in case your shipper is located in another country, then you should make sure that your products are at least in the price range of hundreds or thousands.
However, you can sell cheaper products if your shipper is in the same country. In order to search for a good drop shipper, you can take guidance from a 'manufacturer's directory' or 'drop shipper's directory'. These mediums will help you find a reliable and trustworthy drop shipper to do business with in the long run.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Make "Backing Up" Part of Your Business Routine

Are you one of those people who make backups? I bet you only started because you lost something important. Human nature, as it is, means we only change our ways when circumstance forces us to. An important document was lost by accident, a book you were working on is lost when your hard drive crashed. Worst of all is when you delete the file you need because you thought it was something else.
We learn to make backups because of past experience, not because people warn you to do so. How many articles have you read about changing the way you do something before it causes a problem? We often wait until it's too late and there is no way to recover the situation.
This unfortunately also applies to business as well. However, losing a personal letter is one thing but the loss of a spreadsheet you have been working on for months can have a much bigger impact.
I am sure your account was insist you keep all paper work, you will end up with folders full of... well... paper.
Bills arrive in paper envelopes, advertising leaflets etc. So much for the paperless office.
But what happens if you lose your business paper work? Your accountant will be upset but those who will want to audit you at some point may be even more upset.
So it's time to take control of all the information in your office.
The website
Don't rely totally on your web host to keep a copy of your website. Web hosts can and do get themselves in to situations where backups go astray. Servers can fail, that means not only will your site be office line but a greater chance of your site being useable.
Make it a habit that you make a copy direct from the server itself. Do not use tools that access the site as a browser would. Ask your web host how you can access the site direct, you need to know about File Transfer Protocol (FTP) and the usernames and passwords that go with it.
FTP is very similar to connecting to a disk drive, only a piece of software, FTP Client, is required to make things easy for you. Easy as in dragging and dropping from the server to your computer.
The office paper work
If there was a single step to make a copy of an important document, would you do it? A decent scanner can be bought for under €200. Installation takes minutes, change the settings to store scans in a folder just scans.
Each document can be scanned and named so it has meaning, without having to look at the scan itself. They can be copied or stored direct to an external hard drive. As an extra step you could also store it on a cloud based service.
The financial considerations
Hardware needed to keep your data safe is getting cheaper all the time. Making your data safe can cost under €300, a small investment. Now consider how much your website generates in sales direct or other, how long can you afford to be without it?
Keeping your business documents safe could be priceless. Considering penalty payments that might be due and of course account fees if anything was lost or replacements delaying tax submission.
There is already a lot of information on the Internet on how to backup websites and best software to use with scanners. Read, research and prepare. Don't let a problem force you in to action, be ready before it happens!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Basic Principles Of Precision Sheet Metal Fabrication

When you are in need of precision prototyping services you may start off your search with an internet search engine to check out what kind of products and information you will be able to find. The internet is becoming more and more of a valuable resource and selling tool where you can find almost anything that you are looking for from products to information and even customer reviews for most industries. In terms of prototyping you'll really need to find a company who can aid in making prototypes in the kinds of materials that you are in search of in the sizes that you need. Some prototyping firms are meant to make huge prototypes and some are designed to make very small prototypes and you wouldn't want a firm made to prototype computer components to create a prototype truck engine, or vice versa.
Precision sheet metal fabrication describes the producing of products from materials for example steel, stainless steel, spring steel, titanium, aluminum, copper and brass. The products are typically designed by companies in high-tech industries such as aerospace, automotive, defense and medical. The design files will then be uploaded into state-of-the-art equipment and manufactured using leading edge equipment and engineering systems. There are various different precision sheet metal fabrication processes. Like for example, cutting, forming, bending, assembling and finishing.
Cutting sheet metal to size is possible by sawing, shearing or lasering. While shearing had been the standard in the industry, it is quickly being replaced by lasering. Plasma and laser cutting tables present you with a cleaner cut as compared with shearing and can cut through either thin or thick materials-including .500 inch steel-quickly and efficiently. Sheet metal fabrication companies which have these capabilities normally have a shorter turnaround time.
Stamping forms the metal and will work on the material meant for bending and assembling. The formation of the product can include a number of fabrication processes including but not limited to punching, blanking, embossing and deep drawing. It could be done with either a mechanical or a hydraulic press; one is certainly not better than the other. The best press could eventually depend upon the application.
Bending is often a flexible process in precision sheet metal fabrication which allows the formation of different shapes with the use of hammering and press brakes. It requires complex mathematical formulas to find the correct bend allowance for the compression and stretching of the material. Lots of companies have found that reverse engineering with the use of CAD programs is the most proper way to calculate the bend allowance.
The moment all of the components are prepared, they are assembled. Welding is sometimes performed by a highly skilled craftsman, but the use of programmable spot welders is becoming more and more common. Programmable welders, at times known as robots, make the manufacturing process safer, less expensive, and more efficient. In some instances riveting and threaded fasteners will also be used to assemble the products.
Some products will be needing additional finishing. The product could possibly be sandblasted and painted or maybe powder coated. Powder coating is a type of metal coating that is applied as a dry powder rather than a liquid. It is cured under high temperature to bind it to the material and for an exceptionally durable, hard skin. The finished product is then usually examined and shown to the customer.

Friday, August 10, 2012

ABDX Battery Discharger

What is the capacity of your battery just now?
When will you have to change your battery?
What can you do to improve the life expectancy for your battery?
These are the principal questions because you should perform discharge test to your batteries. The batteries are composed of electrochemical cells. The fabrication technology for these products is complex, so it is not strange to find manufacturing faults. On the other hand, the degradation of the batteries is inevitable. In order to avoid unexpected costs stem from a fail in your batteries, it is important to schedule preventive maintenance for batteries in your company. That's why it is so advisable to know the answer to the previous questions at every time. The BATTERY DISCHARGE TEST is the most simple and efficient way to analyse the main parameters of your batteries.
The ABDX battery discharger purpose is to check the efficiency of any type of battery. It is a versatile device, based on MOSFET or IGBT technology (depending on the size of the discharger), it can be used with batteries of any technology and voltage/capacity. The ABDX controls automatically the discharge current and keep it constant, so the total capacity of the battery can be easily calculated once the test is finished.
The following test parameters must be introduced before performing the test:
Stop voltage
Maximum time allowed for test
Discharge current
Then, the test runs automatically until the STOP VOLTAGE or MAXIMUM TIME is reached.
The following parameters can be visualized on the display during the test:
Capacity discharged
Battery voltage
Programmed stop voltage
It is easy to download the test data to a computer and to make graphics and reports with the provided software.
12-48V - 0-100A
12-48V - 0-200A
12-80V - 0-150A
12-80V - 0-200A
12-96V - 0-100A
12-96V - 0-150A
12-96V - 0-200A
24-135V - 0-150A
48-240V - 75A
48-400V - 40A
600V - 15A
*Other voltages and currents available on request
Lead acid
Nickel-cadmium battery
Both supported by ABDX Battery Discharger
These situations lead to a gradual loss of the battery capacity, which can be easily detected by performing a BATTERY DISCHARGE TEST.
Periodically perform battery discharge tests and impedance tests.
A typical period is 25% of life expectancy for the battery.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Protecting Trade Secrets

As reported in the Wall Street Journal and other media, notoriously secretive Apple Inc. was forced to divulge many diverse, and fascinating, trade secrets in its closely-watched litigation with Samsung (now in jury deliberation). Witnesses were compelled to testify concerning Apple's development of the iPhone and iPad, its marketing budget and other sensitive matters, including - ironically - measures taken to protect the confidentiality of its trade secrets.
Unlike patents, a trade secret cannot gain protection through registration, but only through reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy. For Apple, such efforts included "locking down" one floor in a building and installing cameras and keycard readers to ensure that Project Purple, their code name for development of the iPhone, would remain confidential. Team members were recruited only from within the company and were only told the nature of the project after they had joined the team.
While few of us deal with trade secrets of that magnitude, virtually every successful company has some commercially valuable information that derives its value from not being widely known. In a future blog post, we will address judicial, legislative and administrative issues relating to trade secrets, but this post concerns practical measures that should be considered to protect the confidentiality of trade secrets.
Perhaps the first step in any comprehensive effort to protect a company's intellectual property rights is to perform an IP audit, interviewing key personnel from various departments and functions, including R&D, product development, marketing, sales, legal and financial, compiling a list of all proprietary information, describing the nature of the information, how it is being protected, who has access to it (internally and externally), its approximate value, the cost of developing it, how easily it could be duplicated without authorization, and so forth, in order to develop a rational plan of protection.
Physical security measures may be employed, such as erecting barriers to prevent unauthorized entry onto the premises or to sensitive areas, employing security guards, requiring employee and visitor ID badges, storing materials behind locked doors or in locked cabinets, requiring users to sign a logbook, installing security cameras, requiring regular use of shredders (or employing a professional shredding service) and labeling confidential documents and materials as such. Computers should require passwords, which should be changed regularly, and copiers should record the user's ID.
More basically, sensitive information should be disseminated only to those with a need-to-know. In particular, employees should be instructed not to cc confidential information to the whole company, or worse yet to outsiders. After all, an item is - by definition - not a trade secret if reasonable efforts aren't made to keep it secret.
Each new hire should be required to sign an agreement containing confidentiality and non-competition provisions and a clause stating that all IP developed during the course of employment is assigned to the employer. Comparable language may also be stated in the Employee Handbook.
Confidential information should be shared with customers, vendors, contractors or other outside parties only to the extent absolutely required and only after receipt of a satisfactory, signed Non-Disclosure Agreement.
When an employee resigns or is terminated, the company should consider restricting the employee's access to sensitive materials and monitoring the employee's emails, downloading and copying activities.
Prior to departure, a checklist should be reviewed to ensure the employee has returned all company property, including notebook computer, ID badge, keys and so forth. The employee should attend an exit interview, where he or she is handed a copy of the confidentiality and non-compete agreements that were signed at hiring, is reminded of those continuing obligations and asked to sign an acknowledgement.
After departure, the company may wish examine the employee's computer, work area, files and other confidential information he or she was privy to, to ensure all appears to be in order. Finally, the company should preserve the former employee's emails and hard-drive temporarily (not simply assigning the computer to a new colleague), just in case of trouble.
While the unauthorized theft and misuse of a company's trade secrets can have devastating consequences that can be hard to quantify and even harder to remedy through legal action, at least the types of measures describe above can go a long way towards minimizing the risks and enhancing the odds of a satisfactory final outcome.