Business Tips

Working with Different Personality Types.

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Managers have the difficult task of overseeing diverse teams in the workplace, and finding ways for them to be as productive, creative and efficient as possible. While this may seem like an impossible task, especially as organizations cut back on resources and spending in an effort to survive the recession, it is not impossible to create harmony in a diverse environment. The key is understanding these different office personality types, and how to motivate them and keep them happily working together.

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Business Tips, Delivery Service

UDS Keeps the Focus on Customer Service with Real Time Tracking!

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Keeping the focus on customers has always been a priority. For years, business leaders have touted the virtues of a high customer-service orientation as a means to retain customers, grow market share, and ultimately increase revenue. And while it’s never been easy to accomplish – whether you’re a distributor, retailer or a logistics service provider – today it’s even more challenging.

One service we like to extend to our customers is VPOD/VPOA(Visual Proof of Delivery/Visual Proof of Attempt).  The importance of proof of delivery in the shipping business cannot be understated. Currently, many proof of delivery and chain of custody processes are largely paper-based, increasing the risk of mistakes, disputes, and lost or misplaced shipments.

Whether you need B2B or Residential delivery solutions, United Delivery Service is ready to partner with you to service your customers. Our United Delivery Service programs have been designed and developed over many years to cater to a wide range of shipping needs. Should the occasion arise, our software and services are flexible enough to respond and adapt quickly to meet any customer’s needs.

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Real Time Package Visibility

 Through the use of our own proprietary technology such as geocodes, GPS, mapping API’s and other technologies, UDS can offer total visibility into the delivery process. Innovative Technology Seamless Integration Proprietary Software Real Time Tracking Barcode Scanning VPOD / VPOA GPS / GEO Coded Load Balance & Optimization.Real-Time Tracking (imported, received, out for delivery, delivered) exception tracking (i.e.: damaged, short, delayed) electronic signatures, VPOD, VPOA (visual proof of attempt) GPS reading.

United Delivery Service provides expertise that can deliver competitive advantages for your company through our proprietary software technology. Call us today 630-930-5201. http://www.uniteddeliveryservice.com

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Business Tips

Combat The 5 Biggest Time Wasters in the Workplace!

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The majority of workers spend an average of eight hours every single working day sitting at their desks, so it’s hardly surprising that sometimes we don’t have the motivation to work. It’s only natural, right? But momentary blips of concentration aren’t the only ways we waste precious time at work. What takes up the most time of our working day? You might be surprised. Here are five of the biggest time wasters we all face at work (some more than others), and also provided advice on how to tackle those distractions.

Time Waster #1: Emails

Emailing has become the number one form of communication at the workplace, as it’s convenient and a great way to keep an electronic record of your correspondences. But, a LOT of the working day is spent fielding constant email, which can cause us to lose up to 10 IQ points (the same as missing an entire night’s sleep). What’s more, a lot of these emails are internal. A study by Halton Housing Trust found that out of 95,000 emails sent, 75,000 were internal.

Solution: If there’s something that needs to be discussed, opt for a phone or face-to-face conversation instead. It can mean the difference between an hour of work and a two-day back and forth email discussion.

Time Waster #2: Meetings

Forty-two percent of employees feel that work meetings take away from their productivity and are basically a huge waste of time. Meetings are a necessary evil. You need to keep your team on the same page. You need regular updates on what’s happening in each of your projects. But too often, meetings get drawn out, stealing away valuable minutes in your day.

Solution: The next time you’re invited to a meeting, have a discussion about the agenda with the meeting host and ask why they think you should attend. Then set up a system where other executives go in your place and brief you on what you need to know later. It will save you time.

Time Waster #3: Social Media

It’s tempting. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – they’re all so easily accessible to you while you’re on your computer during the day. Yet the moment you land on one of these websites, you’ve stolen away valuable minutes from your day.

Test yourself to see how much time you’re wasting on social media. Set a timer each time you head over to one of these websites. You might surprise yourself.

Solution: To avoid wasting excessive time on social media, set a time limit for each day. Promise yourself that you’ll only spend one hour a day on social media for work and personal tasks. When that hour is up, close the windows and stop your snooping until the next day.

Time Waster #4: Motivation (or rather, a lack of)

When asked to choose the main reason why employees waste time at work, 11 percent said it was due to a lack of incentive, 10 percent said they were unsatisfied in their jobs, and 9 percent claimed boredom. Your job can easily become mundane and repetitive, and it can be difficult to muster up the appropriate level of enthusiasm from time to time.

Solution: Set personal goals. Nothing is more demotivating than working without an incentive. If you feel like you’re not getting paid enough, work towards getting a promotion within the next six months. If you don’t like what you’re doing, figure out where you want to be and how you’re going to get there. With clear goals, you’ll find yourself working more productively.

 

Time Waster #5: Disorganization

Your boss asks you for a copy of that important file, but you can’t find the hard copy through the huge pile of scattered papers on your desk, and your online document organization is just as bad. Being disorganized is one of the most common causes for slowing you down at work and wasting time. In addition, you’re more likely to forget something or miss that important deadline.

Solution: Declutter your workstation. Invest in a desk organizer and folders (a must if you’re constantly submerged with paper hard copies), and be sure to put everything in its proper place before you leave each night.

Don’t let your workday get away from you by wasting time on tasks that can easily be outsourced to another vendor or to an app. Make your life easier by organizing your workday. You’ll be amazed at how much time you save.

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Business Tips

Ecommerce Trends to Watch for 2017

united-delivery-service-ecommerce-delivery-service_630-675-0855Ecommerce is constantly updating with improved discovery, technology, logistics, and cool things to buy. Here are predictions for e-commerce in 2017.

 

 

 

1. Sales associates aren’t winning popularity contests.More than 55 percent of consumers say they prefer interacting with technology or automation over speaking to a real live person when shopping.

2. The cost of shipping matters.While customers say they’ll be willing to spend more to ship items faster, they hesitate to purchase. More than 80 percent of Amazon users admit — secretly or not — slow shipping dissuades them from buying. The secret is 88 percent of shoppers want free shipping.

3. Consumers want technology while shipping. Usage-wise, mobile coupons are used less than 60 percent of the time, while in-store geolocation sees 22 percent usage and push notifications receive 34 percent.

4. Technology follows. Customers say that in-store tracking with mobile push notifications doesn’t bother them. In fact, more than 70 percent say they’d willingly accept them.

5. Content is king. Nearly 90 percent of shoppers say detailed product content is important to them. They want to be informed and be able to make informed decisions.

6. Buy online, pick up in-store is happening … more. Two out of three consumers say they’ve already tried it using a mobile device. With more people having smartphones and retailers going mobile, this trend isn’t slowing.

7. Stars in their eyes — matter. More than 90 percent of consumers buying on Amazon say they will opt out of buying an item if it doesn’t have at least — yes, at least — three stars.

8. Chatbots are happening, and consumers don’t mind. According to [24]7, more than 40 percent of customers are perfectly happy chatting with a bot regarding a retail-related experience. (And in case you need more chatbot news, check out PYMNTS’ weekly Chatbot Tracker.)

9. Mobile payment and loyalty apps. Customers are still gaining on loyalty, with only 44 percent of retailers engaging with customers through a loyalty app. Mobile payments are on the rise as smartphone users get used to the magic of contactless payments. Starbucks was an innovator in mobile payments, becoming one of the first to trial it. And now, their mobile app (currently US only) is an unqualified success.

10. Increasing same day delivery. Drone delivery might still be a pipe dream, but 2017 should see the rise of local drop-off points for online orders and same-day delivery. A Forrester report states that 29% of consumers would be willing to pay extra for same-day delivery.

Making platforms more accessible, easy to browse and pay and addressing customer concerns and pain points as soon as possible, all these are going to play crucial roles in the ecommerce business in 2017.

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Business Tips

Sticking With Your Goals Once and For All!

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Want to achieve your 2017 goals? Yes, that’s right your goals, not resolutions!

There’s a difference between New Year’s Resolutions and goals. Goals imply that you are more committed to it. The word sounds stronger for some reason. But even still, many people go around thinking or talking about their goals, but they still don’t follow through.

So let’s talk about why it’s good to set goals and review some tips for sticking with them.

First, goals give you a map. Let’s say you wanted to take a road trip out to Orlando. Well, what would happen if you just hopped in your car without your GPS, a map, or the directions from Mapquest? Well, you’d probably wander aimlessly for quite a while…maybe forever. Having a plan will ensure that you actually get there. Otherwise it’s like saying “I really  hope I get there someday. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t.” But with a goal, you are making more of a commitment – it’s like a contract between you and yourself. And it will help you hold yourself accountable. So here are some tips to keep in mind when you are setting your own goals:

 

1. Set SMART goals.

The most critical component of sticking to a resolution is setting it. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound. For instance, “I want to lose weight” is not a goal — “I want to lose 10 pounds by March” is more specific, measurable and incorporates a deadline.

2. Write down your goals.

This will force you to clarify what you want and motivate you to take action. A study from the Dominican University of California found that people who wrote down their goals, shared this information with a friend, and sent weekly updates to them were on average 33 percent more successful in accomplishing their stated goals than those who merely formulated goals on their own.

3. Take notes when you give in to an addictive behavior.

Try to maintain an open, non-judgmental attitude by being an insightful and attentive “witness” to your actions. This will help you identify your triggers so you will be more aware of the emotions attached to the behavior. A willingness to looking at the “why” behind your actions will provide insight and assist you in conquering the habit.

4. No goal can be met without motivation.

Take time to define why you want to lose weight, mend a relationship or cut down on alcohol. Write down your reasons for changing the habit or behavior, and then create recurring reminders in the form of notes — placed on the bathroom mirror, in your car, or on the fridge. Alternatively, you can create calendar events or a voicemail recording to remind you of why you want to initiate the change.

5. Block out time.

Lack of time can serve as a perpetual excuse for us all. In order to realistically set yourself up for success you have to determine how much time you will need to devote to attaining your goal and schedule it on your calendar each week so you aren’t tempted to double-book.

6. Know your weaknesses.

Identify your triggers. Try to determine what throws you off course. Does stress provoke you to have a drink or to smoke? Do you binge eat at lunch if you skip breakfast? Take a good look at your behavior and identify what causes you to slip up — then find ways to prevent self-sabotage.

7. Don’t do it alone.

Find someone you trust and ask them to support you through the process, making you more accountable.

8. Try mindful meditation and breathing techniques.

Meditation and becoming more mindful can help reveal why cravings and addictive behaviors arise and may allow you to make changes with more ease.

9. Reward yourself.

Celebrate your successes (with something that’s good for you) for sticking to your new, healthier behaviors.

10. Surround yourself with like-minded people.

Try to spend more time with those who share the same aspirations and long-term objectives. Seek out others who are intent on making positive changes in their own lives — and encourage you to do the same.

 

Change is never easy — especially changing old habits. It can be done, but only with proper planning and consistent follow-through. Good luck with all of your accomplishments… you can do it!

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Business Tips, Holiday Season

New Year’s Resolutions to Put Your Professional Career in Focus!

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Yep it’s that time of year again, it’s time to reflect on the last year and start thinking of your resolutions for the new year! While the most popular resolutions include losing a few pounds, quitting a bad habit, or making an effort to spend more time with family, it is also important to consider goals that develop and prepare us for the challenges we face in leadership roles at work, as this is the place we spend the majority of our time. Creating easy-to-implement resolutions can help you become a better leader and advance at work, while also improving your quality of life. For 2017 we propose resolutions that keep your followers in mind, as the team behind the leader is a necessary component of success.

Set goals. At the beginning of the New Year gather your workforce and decide on what goals you would like to achieve for your organization. Fewer, higher impact goals are better than sheer volume of goals. Inspire and motivate your team to do their individual part to contribute to the organization’s overall success. Leadership comes down to how we positively influence people on their life journey. When people are inspired and motivated to achieve a result that seems beyond their grasp, the likelihood of achieving that goal is much greater.

Improve communication. A well informed team works more efficiently. Communication is more than just talking; actions speak loudly, so improve upon both verbal and nonverbal communication. Set up a time once a week where your employees can come together to discuss what they are working on, how goals are being met, and what can be done in the weeks ahead. By letting everyone know how they fit into the big picture, they can understand the impact that their job has on the organization. Keep your team constantly updated and encourage an open door policy.

Innovate. Be a more effective innovator by championing change. Enable innovation at the point of behavior so that the employee’s objective is not always to just maintain the status quo. Problem solving by further fostering diversity and inclusion moves the organization towards achieving its goals, and your motivated and engaged employees are helping to get it there. Taking note of new efficiencies and wins will help create a habit pattern of successful action, but be sure to also make note of the things that weren’t a success. With change comes failure; let your employees know that getting knocked down is inevitable but learning from these blows will create greater knowledge and resiliency.

Create a healthy ethos and culture. An average person spends 30% of their life at work so it would only make sense to create a culture where people don’t fret returning to everyday. Your employees will thrive in an environment where they have a sense of belonging. When employees are engaged and celebrated for their work and accomplishments they will take pride and ownership for not only their work but the organization as well. The underlying sentiment of ownership of the organization will make employees want to maintain what they have built as it deeply a part of them.

Make time to celebrate. It’s a fresh new year with new opportunities to let your hard work and determination shine. While determination, hard work, competency, and drive are all important factors in success, taking time to celebrate a job well done is just as vital to maintaining a high-performing team. A little celebration here and there can do wonders for employee morale and engagement.

While resolutions aren’t meant to be conquered in a day we encourage you to practice continuous improvement through small steps. Or as the great basketball coach John Wooden said, “When you do little things each day, eventually big things occur.”

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Business Tips, Holiday Season

Stay Focused on Work During the Holidays

fullsizeoutput_4b19There are so many competing demands and expectations during the holidays that it is very easy to get overwhelmed. Many people lose focus during the holiday season because their to-do list swells while their time shrinks. Travel planning, guest preparations, gift shopping, children’s events, parties and so on, must be crammed into already-full schedules, which causes stress. Personal stress often affects work performance and can diminish productivity.

Another reason employees see a dip in productivity at work during the holidays: colleagues and managers may be on vacation. It can be extremely difficult to get things done and maintain a high level of productivity when people are out of the office, and the workflow subsequently slows down.

In addition, if you have kids home from school on winter break, balancing work and family becomes even more challenging!

However, if you do manage to maintain focus through the chaos, it gives you a chance to stand out. With lower and fewer expectations from your otherwise distracted coworkers, you can also use this time to get caught up on your important, but not urgent, tasks.

Here are 10 ways to stay focused and maintain high productivity during the chaotic holiday season:

  1. Take a few days off. If you have a few vacation days available, take the time to do a little shopping or enjoy a day with your loved ones. This will give you a chance to refresh and recharge during the busy holiday season.
  2. Clear your mind. Get your tasks and projects, both personal and professional, onto paper and out of your head. Once you see all your commitments and want-to-do’s, decide which to drop and which could wait until the new year.
  3. Avoid multitasking. Try to avoid working on personal and work-related tasks at the same time. Shopping online while listening in on a conference call could be disastrous.
  4. Start working on year-end projects and personal tasks early.The holidays don’t creep up on us! Start your holiday shopping earlier than you have in the past, and get a head start on any upcoming projects at work. This way, when you’re busy with office parties and planning family gatherings later this month, you’ll have fewer to-do items on your plate.
  5. Don’t take your work home. We all have family obligations during the holiday season. When at the office try to set clear and reasonable goals for what you want to accomplish and commit to a hard stop time. Use your motivation for getting out the door on time as a way to fight off those tempting distractions.
  6. Watch out for distractions. While at the office, don’t try to cram in shopping at lunch or buy gifts online. At work, focus on work. You can take on the holiday chores during your personal time. It will also free you up from trying to do too many things at once.
  7. Take care of yourself physically. Exercise more, not less, even if it’s just a walk around the block. Sleep more, not less, just thirty minutes more a night can make a big difference. And watch what you eat and drink – the increase in sugary foods and alcoholic beverages will impact you the next day at work, both mentally and physically!
  8. Don’t over-commit. With all the office parties, client events, and secret Santa exchanges it can be tough to stay focused on work. Be sure to prioritize and balance your holiday activities with your work obligations. Don’t feel like you have to go to every department lunch gathering or office party you get invited to. Keeping focused and maintaining a good work-life balance sometimes means saying no.
  9. Remind yourself to stay focused at work. The trick is to forget about “seasons” and focus on “today.” Is today a holiday? If not, behave as you would in September. Follow that procedure every day you work. On actual holidays or vacation days, forget about work and have fun. It’s that simple.
  10. Remember what the holidays are all about. Keep in mind the holiday season is for celebration. This should be a joyful time of the year. A chaotic holiday season is a choice, not a given.fullsizeoutput_4b19
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