Three Common Logistical Challenges Businesses Face

Logistics are a vital part of the day-to-day running of your business. Whilst it’s always played a large role in customer satisfaction, today’s digital world has made logistics even more crucial to a company’s success.

Unfortunately, running a smooth logistics operation isn’t always easy. Below, you’ll discover just three common logistical challenges businesses face and how they can be resolved.

  1. Inventory issues

There’s a lot of things that can go wrong in logistics, but issues with inventory tend to be one of the most common challenges businesses face. This is especially true during peak times such as Christmas, Black Friday and any time a business launches a sale. It could be you’ve underestimated how much stock you’ll need, or you may have simply failed to keep on top of inventory levels.

The trouble is, if you find yourself running out of stock, it could lead many customers to become extremely unhappy very quickly. So, always make sure you’re keeping on top of inventory.   

  1. Slow delivery

Customers today expect fast, efficient delivery. This is especially true if you’re dealing with time-critical goods such as medications or important documents. If delivery is late, it’s going to damage your reputation and cause the customer or client to shop elsewhere in the future.

Always make sure you’re using a reliable courier service to take care of time-crucial logistics. It’s more important to focus on finding reliable and professional courier services than a cheap one; though it is possible to find both. It’s also worth noting that tracking is also an excellent service to look out for as it reduces the risk parcels will go missing or that there will be hold ups with delivery.

  1. Slow process

The final challenge you’ll want to address is if your logistics is moving a lot slower than it should be. The faster your employees can work, the more orders you’ll be able to fulfil and the happier your customers will be.

One of the main reasons businesses face issues with speed is because they’re failing to make use of automated software. For example, addressing software automatically adds the customer’s address onto packaging to speed up the process and reduce errors.

The above are just three logistical challenges you might face in the day-to-day running of your business. The good news is, all are fairly easy to resolve and if you take steps today to improve your logistics, you’ll soon start to see your business picking up.    

Why Investing in a Home Garage May Save Money in the Long Run

Investing in a home garage may sound like an enormous expense and not an ideal way to save money, but you will be amazed at just how much money you could save in the long run. The majority of motorists will take their car to a mechanic whenever there is the tiniest of problems, but the cost of this can add up very quickly.

Easy Fixes

There are actually all kinds of repairs and work that you can complete yourself in your garage provided that you have the right tools for the job and you are able to follow a simple set of instructions. There are many websites and YouTube videos that show you step by step instructions for simple car maintenance. Changing brake pads, changing the battery, changing spark plugs, replacing headlights, fixing chipped windshield and replacing air filters are all repairs that you can easily do yourself, but most pay somebody else to do.

When to Use Professionals

In addition to the tidy savings that you make by completing the work yourself, it can also provide a great sense of pride and satisfaction knowing that you have accomplished the task. Of course, not every bit of maintenance can be completed and you should always visit a mechanic for the larger issues. Examples of work that is best left to the professionals include body work, electrical work, fuel system fixes, transmission work and a blown gasket. If you are ever unsure, look online and never start work that you are not confident doing.

Tools

In order to carry out this work successfully and safely, you will need to spend some money on tools and equipment. You should always invest in high-quality tools, as this can make the work easier, safer and quicker. There are all kinds of tools and equipment to consider, but it is always worth obtaining these from specialists like SGS.

Other Uses

Of course, it is not just car repairs that you can use a garage workshop for. There are all kinds of DIY projects that you could take on in your garage which could save you money in the long run. Building your own bookcase, fixing furniture, working on your bicycle and all kinds of other projects can be completed in this space. Thanks to so many resources online, more people than ever are able to save money by completing projects themselves instead of using a professional service.

 

It may cost a little to set up initially, but in the long run, having your own workshop could save you a huge amount.

When is it time to refinance your home?

The last few years have been great for those who took advantage of the low mortgage rates the real estate market has been experiencing. If you did not take advantage of it, then you missed a really good deal.

The Fed has come in the recent times to increase rates bringing an end to the days of 3.55% financing. Since it is hard to identify the best times for home refinancing, we are going to look at the best times you can use .

When the interest rates are low

The current economic climate is right for a rise in interest rates. In the start of 2017, interest rates on 30-year mortgages climbed above 4% compared to 3.55% which was in 2016. By 2019, researchers predict that it could hit 6%.

These statistics show us that paying a percentage higher than the current rate in the market should be ideal for refinancing. This is the best time to refinance before rates move higher. When you get in when the rate is low, your monthly expenses will come down by hundreds of dollars.

When home values increase

Buyers can be pushed by rising interest rates. When the potential buyers jump into the real estate market, prices will rise, and it increases the value of homes. If you are planning to refinance, this is is the best time, and we are going to explain why.

  1. You will get great terms for a house that has a high appraised value and a mortgage balance that is low. This home is a low risk when the banks come into the picture, and they can easily recoup the loss in case you default.
  2. In case you have equity that is above 20% the value of your home, you can drop the insurance of the private mortgage you purchased using the original loan. PMI costs typically 1% of your loan on a yearly basis; when you have a $100,000 loan, you will be saving an additional $100.
  3. When the home values are high, you can go for a cash-out refinancing where you can access a new loan for part of the equity of the property, instead of going for alternative loan options.

Target refinancing toward the end of the month or at the end of the year

Mortgage loan officers normally work to reach their targets by the end of the month. Financial Samurai stated that loan officers normally put their foot on the gas during the last part of the month. When you refinance during the last week of the month, you are more likely to get better terms because the loan officer is working to meet the monthly targets.

Individuals in the field of financial services depend on bonuses at the end of the year, and this makes them desire to close more deals by the end of the year. The trick to use in this scenario is identifying an institution’s fiscal year cycle, because it may not be parallel to the calendar year. If you seek to refinance during the last quarter of the institution’s year, you are more likely to benefit because loan officers fight to shine for bonus evaluations.

We hope you will take advantage of the points highlighted above to make the most of your home refinancing plans.

Ways Not to Go into Debt on a Move

Let’s face it – moving can be expensive. You have all sorts of things to pay for, and this includes things like packing supplies, a moving van or service, gas for the moving vehicle(s), utility deposits to have your utilities turned on at the new place, and if you will be renting, you will also need the first month’s rent and deposit. These are just the basic things you will have to pay for and they can add up quickly. However, with some careful planning and the tips you will read here, you don’t need to go into debt to get moved into your new place.

Professional Movers

If you know a few people who have trucks and strong backs who are willing to help you move, great! If not, you will be stuck doing it on your own. You might think that doing a DIY move will be cheaper than hiring professionals, like North American Van Lines, to handle your move, but that isn’t always the case. Depending on when you book the move, how much you are moving, and the distance, it might actually be more cost effective to hire someone to do it for you. See, there are always hidden costs to moving, whether you do it yourself or have someone else do it. If you book a move early enough and during the offseason, you can be surprised at how much you might save. Just check around and get estimates IN WRITING, before making any decisions.

Make a Budget and Stick to It

This is a step in your move that is critical. If you don’t create and stick to a budget for your move, you might be shocked to find out what you spent, which can lead to even more frustration and debt. Moving sucks enough already, you don’t need to make it worse by not budgeting. Take a few minutes to sit down and make a list of everything that will have to be paid for during the move and how much will have to be paid. This will ensure that you are more prepared when the time comes and will have one less thing to stress about.

Packing Supplies

This is one of the easiest ways to save money on your moving expenses. You don’t need to go out and spend a small fortune on things like boxes, markers, bubble wrap, moving blankets, etc. Some of those things you might already have something in your home that you can use instead. You can use the blankets and sheets you already have to protect your furniture. You might have Sharpies already (or kid’s markers) that you can use to mark the boxes. Instead of bubble wrap, you can use old newspapers. You might also use things like Styrofoam plates to put in between your dishes as you pack them so they won’t break. You can pad your glasses by slipping each one into a clean sock. Creativity here can save you a lot of money. As far as boxes go, you can easily get them for free. Call or go to your local grocery stores, liquor stores, and even some offices to see if they have any empty boxes. Most of them will tell you to help yourself.

Get Rid of It

Moving is a great time to get rid of things you no longer need. This is one of the few times in your life that you will literally be going through everything you own. As you are packing, make a pile of things that you don’t need anymore to get rid of. You can take this stuff and make money with it by having a moving sale. You might also sell it online at sites like eBay or Craigslist, or on apps like 5Miles and LetGo. Beyond that, anything that doesn’t sell can be donated to charity. If you do this, be sure to get a receipt so you can use your donation as a tax deduction when tax season rolls around.

As you can see, there are ways you can save money on a move instead of going into debt. The ones listed here are just a few of them. If you are creative, there are so many more ways to save on your move.

Paying Online: How Much Does it Cost You?

Taking your wallet out of your pocket and handing over the cash to the merchant is by far the cheapest way to pay today – and it has been ever since the invention of money. Today, we have many other – more convenient – forms of payment at hand that allows us to walk around with no cash at hand, pay for stuff over the internet or even order the next revolutionary thing from a TV shop. But all these cost us money – and, depending on the form of payment chosen, this cost can add up to a nice sum at the end of the year. Today, let us take a look at what payment solutions are the most common and how much they cost the payer – you.

E-Wallet services

E-Wallets have seen a rise in the last decade, becoming a widespread payment method online. No wonder – they are an instant and quite convenient way to send and receive money to and from people all over the world. One of the many reasons for their spread was the emergence of online casinos, services that were made possible by the introduction of secure online payment services. Today, Red Flush offers safe and secure banking in an amazing variety to its players, covering everything from traditional bank transfers to a variety of web wallets. Using a web wallet makes it easy for Red Flush players to top up their accounts, and allows the Red Flush to transfer their winnings to them faster, thanks to the instant transactions offered by these services. But how much do they cost?

Depending on the service you use, there might be no charge for you sending money to someone else (or a business) or there might be a small fee deducted on your side. Besides, there may be currency exchange fees applied to your payment, too. Make sure to check them before committing to one or another. Yet there is no maintenance fee applied to your account ever, which makes this method perhaps the cheapest way to pay online.

Credit / debit card payments online

Another method that won’t cost you a thing – in short term. By using any payment gateway online, you will be able to pay for the products and services you order online with no further costs to you. The costs of handling such payments fall on the payee, the merchant or service provider accepting your payment. Well, most of the times.

When using a debit card, which only allows you to pay as much money you have in your account, this is where it all stops – aside from the monthly fee you pay for the card and the bank account it is attached to (usually not a very large amount). When it comes to credit cards, though, going into credit can be pretty costly – that if you don’t top up your card quickly. In that case, you may have to take out quick loans to get you through. Usually, you have a varied amount of time at hand – anywhere from two weeks to two months – to return the cash you borrowed without paying any fees. But after that, you’ll likely have to pay interest and various other fees on the amount, which makes this method a relatively expensive way to pay online.

Fast money transfer methods

Western Union, Moneygram, and their likes – these money transfer services have the massive advantage of being fast, but at a cost. They do provide a service that allows you to put cash into the funnel on one side of the world and have it end up in the hands of another person half a world away, but they do have fees that can be prohibitive in some cases.

These services represent the fastest way to get money from your hand to another – literally. But with great speed come great costs, too, so only use such a method to pay for your internet purchases if you have no other option.

When to Buy In Bulk

There are many stores out there now where you can go to buy items in bulk. These stores usually require you to become a member to take advantage of the savings they offer when buying the bulk items. When people want to spend money on groceries and household items, this is an area they tend to investigate to see if it is worth it to join. Do you really save money buying in bulk? Are there items that aren’t worth it? Below is my opinion on what is and isn’t worth buying in bulk to save money.

What to buy:

There are certain items in the bulk items store that are more appropriate to buy in bulk and will also save you  money. Things such as toothpaste and trash bags are great items to buy in bulk. They are reasonably sized so they won’t take up room in your house and they don’t go bad. Dishwasher detergent and Laundry detergent is something that is used in pre-measured increments so you won’t overuse. Soap in general doesn’t go bad so you can’t go wrong. You will save money and be stocked up for awhile which avoids you having to run out to restock all the time. Foods that are not perishable such as oatmeal, dry rice, dry beans and dry pasta are great as well. They can prepare countless meals and they last for a long long time. Diapers are one of the number one items commonly sold in bulk. If your baby just moved up a size than it is a good opportunity to stock up.

With the money you will save it is just like going on Casumo Online Casino and hitting the jackpot!

What not to buy:

Buying in bulk offers the incentive of saving money, but sometimes this just isn’t the case. For example, perishable items are not good items to buy in bulk. This is for obvious reasons. If they can grow stale or go bod in a relatively short time period than you are wasting money on buying the large amount of items. You are wasting money because you end up having to throw away most of the product. The same goes for any unnecessary items. This is a huge temptation in bulk stores. If you are using something more than before just because you bought it than it probably isn’t a good idea. An example of this is desserts. If you have a whole tin of brownies and are eating the brownies just because you have them, than it isn’t a good idea. You can also run into problems with buying items that you don’t have space for. Often times you are tempted in these stores to buy large amount of groceries and then you get home and have no where to put them. This is not good for anyone. While you think some of these things you are buying are saving you money, they are also adding hassle (and clutter) to your life.

Bulk buying can save you quite a bit of money, but only if you buy things logically. Choose bulk items that make sense, and you’ll find yourself saving more than cents.

Three Used Subcompacts that Depreciate Slowly

There are many important factors to consider when in the market for a second-hand car. One of the most important, but also one of the most overlooked, factors is depreciation. The majority of motorists change cars every few years, so you will want to avoid a large financial hit by purchasing an automobile that does not lose its value quickly. The biggest loss occurs in the first year, but it is still important to find a car that maintains its value for a smart financial investment.

Here are three subcompact cars to look out for used which are unlikely to drop in value:

Ford B-Max

The B-Max from Ford is a stylish subcompact car with sliding doors – this makes access and fitting child seats incredibly easy. It is also roomy inside, so families will love this car. It is a classic Ford in that it is well-built, fun to drive and very efficient with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost returning 57.7 mpg.

The B-Max depreciates slowly thanks to the brand status and the appeal of sliding doors. It is estimated that resale values are between 41 and 47% after three years. It can be affordable to buy second-hand from reputable dealers like AA cars too.

Skoda Fabia

The Skoda Fabia is proving immensely popular thanks to its excellent value for money and all round ability. It shares many underpinnings with the VW Polo (more on this below), but is available at more affordable prices. It is also surprisingly spacious inside despite its small dimensions, making it a great choice for families.

The Fabia also holds its value very well which is another key selling point. The entry-level 1.0 MPI 60 S retains almost 51% of its value after three years of ownership.

Volkswagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo remains one of the best subcompact cars on the market and has always been a great investment. As a VW automobile, you know that you are getting a reliable, practical and well-built car that will not let you down. It is also one of the cheaper to run vehicles in its class.

In terms of residual values, the Polo is a smart investment as the strength of the brand and recognisability of the model ensures that it retains its value well. The 1.4 TDI SE should retain 48.8 % over 3 years.

These three subcompact cars are all great investments as they are all excellent automobiles which manage to retain their value well.