E Cigaret – Benefits And Controversies

After the discussion of e cigaret, there have been discussions throughout the world out of which majority concentrated on security of the cigarette. An elektronisk cigaret is into existence for several years and has been a good alternative to smoking conventional cigarettes. Not only is this but also an el cigaret helps smokers to lessen smoking.

Benefits of an ego cigaret:

An e cigaretter finds number of benefits associated with the electronic cigarettes, which are enumerated as under:

• Similar taste of conventional cigarettes: Electronic cigarettes contain similar tobacco taste but are free of other harmful substances being found in the conventional cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes allow smokers to remain satisfied without breathing in harmful toxins.

• User friendly: Fourth generation of an ego cigaret has become much user friendly than that of the initial versions that had been larger in size and could not encourage the mass.

• Creating smoke as vapor: An atomizer, a battery as well as an inexhaustible nicotine chamber allowing smokers to smoke, even create vapor and burn at end just like other traditional cigarettes.

• Reduced quantity of nicotine: Nicotine chamber in an elektronisk cigaret proves fruitful for smokers since the cartridges are being found in varied strengths, which permit users to lessen intaking, the quantity of nicotine.

• Saves on expenditure: Nicotine cartridges contain nearly 15 – 20 cigarettes that can be huge savings on your expenditure. Low, medium, standard or no nicotine contains different cartridge strengths.

• Environmental friendly: Smoking an e cigaret seems to be a healthier alternative to the conventional cigarettes as it is legalized to smoke in public places. For an instance: An e cigaretter needs to come out of public places such as pubs, restaurants, multiplex etc for smoking. However being eco-friendly, electronic cigarettes are being authorized to be used anywhere.

• Reusable: Smokers can make use of the electronic cigarettes, which means that only lesser quantity of vapor is required to be filled for every use.

• No smoke: One of the best things about an elektronisk cigaret is that it never produces smoke and are lesser risky to non-smokers and air quality. Owing to this reason, an ego cigaret is also referred to as smokeless cigarette.

Things to consider:

While there are so many benefits associated with an elektronisk cigaret, there are certain things that need to be considered prior to making the purchase. There are numerous groups pointing out the adverse effects of an ego cigaret. It came as a warning that children might get attracted towards the item given to its originality and alternative for varied flavorings. This is due to the fact that though most of the electronic cigarettes resemble conventional cigarettes yet others seem as USB sticks or pens.

There is not enough data stating the quantity of nicotine being used by a smoker and if it has severe effects. An e cigaret is much safer than conventional cigarettes, but it does not qualify them as extreme inhalation can leave dangerous effects on the body of smokers. Therefore, it is recommended to read the reviews clearly before purchasing the product.

The Kinds Of Car Keys To Choose From

The automotive industry has come a long way and today car keys are no longer the old style mechanical cut versions. Of course there are several brands that still use this form of keys, but there are numerous other versions out there as well. In mechanical keys, they are machine cut as the name suggests and are more popular with brands such as Ford, GM or even Chevrolet. There are quite a few truck models too that works with these forms of keys. Despite the numerous models of cars on the road, the machine cut continues to be a favourite.

The next version you have is the laser cut automotive keys. These are the advanced versions of the machine cut keys and are also called the sidewinder or the internal cut keys. They have a square edge which have matching cuts on either side. These can fit into a car’s ignition any way you like. Their advantages are that they are not easy to pick and will need specialized help. There is a unique software used in its production and those manning the machines will need specialized training as well. These are found in luxury brand cars like that of Mercedes as well as Audi.

There are several other popular styles of car keys available. You have the transponder keys that have a minute computer chip inserted in the key handle. This is for additional ignition security and to prevent the key from being forged. There is the remote or the switchblade form of transponder keys.

Then you have the smart keys which have a laser cut key that is built in. These kinds of keys gives the driver the flexibility of entering the car and starting it without actually taking the key out of his pocket. Then you have what is known as the VATS keys. This has a unique chip on the blade which though not electronic in nature, has got the name.

And then you have what are known as valet keys. These are given along with a regular transponder key. There is however a slight modification to it, where you can open doors and ignition, but not a locked boot or trunk. These can be made out of plastic or metal.

There are several varieties of keys and the kind you get will depend on the kind of vehicle you pick up. This is essential to the safety of your car and you.

Blu Cigs Cyberbanking Cigarettes

An cyberbanking cigarett (or ” Blu Cigs Cyberbanking Cigarettes “) is an another to smoked tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. But now smokers accept a safer another to tobacco smoker application the (vaping) ???Blu Cigs Cyberbanking Cigarettes??? or e- cigaret It can advice you abstain all the abandonment affection and auspiciously abdicate smoker for good.

It is a battery-powered accessory that provides inhaled doses of nicotine by carrying a vaporized propylene glycol/nicotine solution.. The cyberbanking cigarettes feels and looks like a absolute cigarette. It aswell tastes like a absolute cigaratte and you can drag and breathe a baptize breath that looks like absolute cigarete smoke.

The way the e-cigarette works is, you artlessly allegation up your cyberbanking cigarette battery, which looks actual agnate to a acceptable cigarette, and instead of inhaling the added baleful toxins that a accustomed cigarette has in them, the ??â„¢smoke??â„¢ that is emitted from the e-cigarette is in fact just baptize breath that contains aqueous nicotine, and is controllable to those about you.

Family associates of smokers who are anxious about additional duke smoke may acquisition this advantage a lot added tolerable. Some smokers see the smokeless cigarette as a abundant added able way to ???quit??â„¢ smoker always as it gives them the activity that they are still in fact smoking, even admitting they are not inhaling the aforementioned adverse chemicals as they were with approved cigarettes.

You will boring be abbreviation the bulk of nicotine your physique consumes and accordingly your physique will not accept to go through the acrid nicotine abandonment symptoms. You aswell wont ache from the cerebral furnishings that one goes through if you abdicate smoker because you will still be captivation the cyberbanking cigarette like a absolute cigarette and you will abide to inhale/exhale smoke. However, this smoke is baleful free, which agency it does not accommodate any blight causing ingredients.

The Blu Cigs e-cigarette uses technology agnate to added e-cigarette brands. Like a lot of added e-cigarettes, the Blue Cigs e-cigarette is not absolutely smoked but instead is “vaped”. That is because e-cigarettes do not bake anything. Instead, e-cigarettes vaporize aqueous nicotine into a accomplished brume that is inhaled, appropriately the appellation “vape”. The aqueous nicotine, which is independent in a appropriate cartridge, is angry into a brume by apparatus accepted as an atomizer. The atomizer in the Blu Cigs e-cigarette is powered by a baby rechargeable lithium ion battery.

Travel Nursing Benefits

Travel nursing gives you the right opportunity to satisfy your medical aspirations. With travel nursing jobs, you can choose the most stressful and fulfilling process of serving people, located in various states of the United States. All you have to identify a good placement agency where your dreams can be turned into a reality.

There are many traveling agencies who recruit travel nurses to place them in different hospitals and medical facilities in order to fulfill the shortages of medical personnel in different parts of the US. However, the compensation package, accommodation and utilities of each placement agency vary from each other. Being a new phenomenon in the healthcare sector, travel nursing is seen as the bright future for women going for full time nursing career. Normally, traveling nursing jobs are set up for a short term basis but it can be extended after the mutual agreement from both the employer and nurses part.

This can be chosen for many reasons. One of the main reason is this job can fulfill your traveling desires. You gotta see different geographies and feel their difference and exclusive beauty. Secondly, you can experience the working of nurses in different cities or states of the United States. Besides these, you will be awarded with a good and well furnished home, attractive salary package, other allowances and benefits to enjoy a great and high standard of living. Above more, it is the duty of travel agency to help nurses to get their passports, work licenses and other documents in order to work comfortably.

These jobs also offer other advantages including above market payment rates to live and work in a new place or area. It also includes provision of certain utility services, health, dental and workers compensation as well as payroll benefits. Many times a traveling nurse agency also offers 401K and other retirement plans. A travel nurse is paid by the agency it contracts with and the mode of payments is generally by direct bank deposit checks.

So if you are a nurse, trying to make a good career, opting for travel nursing can give you some of the added advantage.

Thrifty Car Rentals – Tripling Your Savings

Thrifty car rentals are becoming popular as an option for people who hardly drive their car except on extended trips. Then there are those people who would prefer not to use their own car on trips over uncertain roads for fear of the wear and tear in will cause. People also rent cars to upgrade or downgrade on the size of the car that they own. For instance, an architect might own a large SUV which he uses for bringing his materials to his projects. For non-business trips, the car has much more room that he requires and more engine power than he ever needs to avail of. So he visits a thrifty car rental to get a smaller car for his daily use. Again people might want to rent a car because they are interested in buying that exact same model but just want to try it out first for a week before actually making that purchase.

If you are thinking of a renting a car, you should know that they usually cost less than the up-front price. This is because thrifty car rental companies offer discount bonuses on most cars and at most times of the year. Discount bonuses can shave of from 10% to 50% of the amount you need to pay after renting it. Price shave-offs can be availed of if you rent on weekends or during off-peak season. You can also have price reduction on the average cost if you rent for a week or a month. The specifics for extended rental discounts may vary from company to company, but they are always there.

Right now, the going price for high-powered cars, has gone down with the recession. Due to the need to save, people are buying cars with less power and smaller build. The result is that cars like the SUV are rented out instead of sold. Now would be the right time to try out renting a SUV from a thrifty car rental. This car is ideal for outdoor adventures on virgin terrain, like camping in the wild or fishing out in a secluded lake. The SUV is also ideal for visiting friends who live in isolated areas.

Before renting for an extended period, you need to consider the amenities or accessories that are included or excluded for monthly or yearly rental plans. Before settling on a monthly rental plan, be sure to calculate whether renting daily for 28 days will cost more than an outright 30-day plan. There are some thrifty car rental companies whose price structure sets a higher basic rate for monthly plans. If such is the case, there may be amenities or add-ons for monthly rentals that you are not aware of. Ask the personnel about it.

Other than the basic discounts on the rental fees of thrifty car rentals, some offer discount coupons for tourist spots, hotels and restaurants. These discount coupons are issued by the establishments to encourage more visitors to their place. Among these establishments, you have Disneyland, Sea World and even Universal Studios. Holiday Inn and Grand Hyatt are two hotels that offer discount coupons for travelers.

Get Around in Comfort With Car Rental in Gold Coast

Gold Coast is one of the most famous tourist places in Australia, as well as around the world. This magnificent coastal city is located in the southeast corner of Queensland, Australia. The major draw for tourists in Australia is its sunny subtropical climate, providing loads of sunshine all year round. The pleasant weather of Gold Coast is a major contributor in making it a favorite tourist destination. The best way to travel across this marvelous city is getting car rental Gold Coast.

Although, this destination has everything that makes for a perfect holiday spot, but it is well revered for its sparkling surfing beaches, interesting waterways and canal systems, a skyline dominated by high-rise buildings, pristine rainforest hinterland in the west of the city, dazzling nightlife, and other tourist attractions. With so much to do, seeking a Gold Coast car hire is a great option.

With over 57 kilometers of coastline, australia boasts of some of the most popular surf breaks in Australia and the world including, South Stradbroke Island, The Spit, Main Beach, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach, Mermaid Beach, Nobby Beach, Miami, Burleigh Beach, Burleigh Heads, Tallebudgera Beach, Palm Beach, Currumbin Beach, Tugun, Bilinga, Kirra, Coolangatta, Greenmount, Rainbow Bay, Snapper Rocks and Froggies Beach. If waves aren’t your thing, you can find some of the most beautiful still water options in Australia including our stunning Broadwater and inland rock pools. Moreover, you can easily find car hire at Gold Coast airport to travel around.

As the name suggests, Surfers Paradise is a fascinating place for surfers as well as beachgoers. Considered as the suburb of Gold Coast, this place is true to its name with clear waters, clean sands, sparkling surfs and plentiful of activities to do. Surfers Paradise is flocked by sports lovers and adventure seekers as it provides outstanding facilities for surfing, paragliding, beach volleyball, bungee jumping, golf and other water sports. Apart from that, its closeness to high rises, nightclubs, restaurants and shopping complexes are major draw cards for tourists. With so much to do, you can avail Australia cheap car hire facilities to make the most of your holidays.

With millions of tourists, visiting the city all year around, car rental in Australia is a serious business. If you are traveling during the peak season, then it is recommended that you book a car well in advance. There are many reputed companies offering car hire from Gold Coast airport, so that you can get around in comfort at incredible prices.

Three Tips to Run a Car Wash Business

The car wash business is considered as a safe business, as it provides regular profits. It is not a sector that millionaires would like to dabble in. However, it does offer people, who look for reliable investment options and are willing to work hard, an opportunity to do something worthwhile.

As with any other business, the car wash business too has its own tricks of the trade. It is definitely a sure-fire profit making sector. However, that does not mean that you just have to start a company and profits will follow automatically. No business ever guarantees that.

The following are some tips on how to run a car wash business professionally and profitably:

Tip 1: Invest wisely in cleaning machines

Cleaning machines have to be the first priority of the investor. There is no use or purpose of spending extravagantly to buy the so-called best machines. On the other hand, it would be disastrous to buy the cheapest machines. You need to do a bit of home work before making the purchasing decision.

The problem with auto detailing is that it requires the use of multiple cleaning machines. An automobile consists of different types of surfaces, with each having varying levels of hardness. The exterior body and engine parts are hard and sturdy, windshield glasses are obviously, and fabric seat upholstery and carpets are soft.

A single machine cannot be used to clean all these types of surfaces. As a result, a car wash business essentially requires different types of machines that are pressure washers for cleaning the hard surfaces and carpet cleaners to clean the soft surfaces. Steam cleaners, too, do a good job of cleaning the hard surfaces.

Tip 2: Focus on quick delivery

One of the secrets of success of an auto detailing business is the quick delivery of the vehicles. In this busy world, owners want the vehicles as quickly as possible. The average delivery time in this business now can be within several hours. So, how can you ensure that the cleaning is done quickly?

Employing the right mobile car wash machines would help. You should use carpet cleaners equipped with low flow technology and pressure washers having a low flow rate. Using steam cleaners with dry vapor output is another good option.

In short, make sure that all the car detailing machines transfer less quantity of water on to the vehicle surfaces. While doing this, you have to ensure that there is no compromise on speed or efficiency of the mobile car wash machine.

Tip 3: Use green chemicals

A good cleaning agent improves the cleaning power and speed of most car detailing machines. However, synthetic detergents do more harm than good. These products improve the efficiency of car wash equipment, but leave more toxic residues on the vehicle surfaces than the dirt they help to remove.

This is the reason why most reputable suppliers recommend using green chemicals along with their car wash equipment. These products are derived from plants and vegetables, and do not contain a single toxic substance.

Reminders on Your Safety When Traveling Out of the Country

Traveling is exciting but of course before getting excited you have to think about your safety when traveling abroad especially on places where you are not familiar with. Tourists are always the target of crimes and violence because tourists are usually not accustomed on the places they are visiting. Always remember that your safety should be your priority when traveling. Here are some tips to ensure your safety when traveling out of the country.

Before traveling abroad the very first thing that you should do is leave photocopies of your passport and itinerary to your family or close friends just in case you need to be contacted for emergency. It is best that your family and the people close to you know where you are and how you can be contacted. It is important that you have a travel medical insurance because you will never know when sickness or accident will hit you. It is best to be always prepared and mind about your safety when traveling out of the country.

When you are entering another country, you are subject to its laws so it is best to learn their local laws and customs before visiting. Read magazines, books, inquire in the embassies and most of all be updated with the current news about the country you plan to visit. Even as simple as photographing certain places or situations could put you in trouble. It is best to be informed than be sorry.

As mentioned earlier, tourists are usually the target of crimes so avoid being a target. To ensure your safety when traveling out of the country, be discreet on your clothing and accessories to avoid attention from people around you. Wear simple dress and avoid wearing expensive looking jewelry. Take care of your passport, cash and credit cards. Do not bring your wallet that contains important cards like social security card and all your credit cards. Avoid carrying large amount of money, one or two credit cards and a traveler’s check would be enough. Bring only those that you need. Do not use shoulder bags or body bags that are easy target for pickpockets or thieves.

Although you are enjoying your trip, be vigilant to avoid being a victim of crimes. Avoid or be extra cautious on places where you are more likely to be victimized by people looking for an opportunity like public markets, poorly lit streets, narrow alleys, underground passages and subways. Do not ride the elevator or take public transportation like taxis alone. With regards to strangers, it is okay to be nice but be cautious because there are crimes or pickpockets that will create scenarios like asking for directions or time just to have the opportunity to victimize you, so avoid interaction with people you do not know. To ensure your safety when traveling out of the country, never accept food or drinks from strangers, there are women raped or people murdered by drinking drugged foods and beverages.

Keep an eye on your luggage and never leave them unattended. Carry your passport and important documents with you and never leave them in your luggage that needs to be checked in. As much as possible do not bring too many things to make your travel easier.

Select a hotel with highly structured security to ensure your safety when traveling out of the country. When you get to the hotel, make sure you know the nearest fire exit and you should know the emergency numbers just in case you need to call. When going out, do not leave your valuable things in the hotel.

It is always fun to travel but of course your safety should always be your priority. Another thing that makes traveling really exciting is when you get to find discounts on airfare. Do you want to know how to obtain ridiculously low-cost airfare? Visit Save on Airfare Secrets

The Life Cycle of Acquisition-Based Companies

A few years ago, I was discussing this phenomenon with the CEO of one of our clients. His company had grown almost entirely through acquisition, and for several years the company had experienced revenue growth rates exceeding 20%. However, the company had plateaued with respect to earnings, and looking at their overall performance it became clear to him (and to the Wall Street analysts that watched his company) that a great deal of money had been left on the table. Working with that CEO, I developed a model called the ACL Life Cycle. Understanding and using the ACL Life Cycle has proven enormously beneficial to clients depending on an M&A strategy for continued growth.

The ACL Life Cycle

The ACL Life Cycle describes the maturation process of companies who grow substantially through acquisitions and mergers. Using the ACL model, we can clearly identify the company’s current position. Knowing that position, and then looking forward at the company’s financial objectives through the lens of their business strategies, the specific actions that are needed become clear. Those actions can then be formed into an executable plan with associated performance measures, and managed through completion to bring the overall enterprise to heightened levels of financial performance. It is important for acquisition-oriented executives to understand the major phases and characteristics of the ACL Life Cycle.

Businesses who have survived one or more acquisitions and/or mergers are usually left with some degree of disintegration among their processes and systems. A company’s success in reaching the financial objectives of the merger or acquisition is directly correlated with the degree to which that disintegration has been replaced by a set of business processes and information systems that are common enough to generate enterprise-wide leverage. Implicit in that commonality is enterprise-level direction and guidance, manifested in company-wide business strategies and performance measures that align all of the combined business units. These businesses move, in this post-acquisition or post-merger environment, from an acquisition-based operating model to one characterized by shared services and a general commonization, to a stage where the enterprise “whole” really is able to become something greater than the sum of its business unit “parts”. It is more than the typical cost-reduction synergy anticipated in most of these transactions; it is a new platform for innovation, and an even higher level of innovation-based leverage.

Companies who experience substantive growth as a result of business acquisitions typically follow the ACL life cycle. ACL in this context stands for: Acquisition, Commonization, and Leverage. Many companies never leave the first stage of this maturity scale, and still more remain at the second stage. The most successful companies are usually those who recognize the importance of moving through all three stages, and consistently implement a structured process for doing so.
All companies experience pressures that push them toward decentralized operations, including idiosyncrasies of specific market niches served, the uniquenesses of isolated business processes, unusual needs of specific customer populations, and Uncategorized organizational entropy. At the same time, most of the companies that are successful in achieving the financial performance objectives established for the newly merged enterprise manage to overcome those challenges, electing to pursue the advantages of leverage, including:

  • broad synergistic brand recognition, enabling cross-selling, bundling of products and services, and improving revenue
  • interchangeability of business process resources, enabling the company to reduce its asset base
  • commonality and scalability in equipment / skills / facilities, facilitating innovation and growth into additional markets
  • higher utilization of business assets, reducing unit cost
  • lower levels of redundancy, resulting in reduced operating costs

These companies also typically find that maintaining compliance with financial reporting standards such as Sarbanes-Oxley requirements are enhanced as a result of strengthened internal controls.
Some companies make a deliberate decision to remain “holding companies”, which simply buy and sell diverse businesses that have only marginal relationships with one another. These conglomerates prefer to manage the portfolio through buying and selling components, and allowing the leadership teams at the individual companies to manage ongoing operations from strategy through execution. A few of them have been quite successful, and this article is sometimes not as directly applicable to those at a corporate level. It works very well, however, for their major divisions. Companies that benefit most from understanding the three stages of the ACL Life Cycle are those companies who have decided to focus on a single core industry – Aerospace & Defense, Automotive, Chemicals and Polymers, Textiles, Electronics, Telecommunications, Consumer Products, Medical Equipment producers, Healthcare providers, and Financial Services providers are all good candidates. 

The Acquisition Stage of the ACL Life Cycle

Companies in the Acquisition Stageof their life cycles are usually focused on revenue growth, and capturing market share. They are characterized by high levels of autonomy in management, in the reporting of site-level data to the corporate parent, and in the design of their business processes and systems. Companies who remain in this stage for long periods of time following acquisitions usually act as holding companies, with the corporation allowing individual divisions or sites to operate almost as independent companies with their own P&L, strategic plans, and market-facing branding. Often, companies in the Acquisition stage lack a common vision of the future of the overall business, and tend to operate at cross-purposes among the operating units. They sometimes even compete against one another for the same customers. They share little operating information, making it nearly impossible to coordinate and deploy “best practices”, effectively distribute work load, utilize general market intelligence, and grasp other elements that could provide corporate-wide leverage of the businesses’ assets and resources. A few industry-specific examples here should help to illustrate the situation:

Manufacturing companies in the acquisition stage are usually characterized by redundancies in raw materials, equipment, staffing, and other business resources. Because manufacturing companies are relatively material-intense, a great deal of cost can be tied up in raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods. Since acquisition stage companies have so little visibility between business units, there is little opportunity for them to reallocate these assets in order to use them effectively. As a result, the most costly resources remain the most underutilized. In addition, acquisition-stage companies have not centralized the management of even commodity-level business processes, such as finance, human resources, and information technology. This lack of centralization leaves additional inefficiencies in place around accounting staff, employee benefits provider subscriptions, business software applications, data centers, and computing equipment. 

Telecommunications companies in the acquisition stage also have unrealized opportunities for greater leverage from their business assets, but these more often take the form of redundancies in network equipment, network coverage, retail outlets, partner agreements related to the sale of their products, and interconnection agreements with other carriers. In addition, acquisition stage telecom companies often have a substantial amount of unrealized leverage in the lack of integration among the data bases and information of their various divisions that could enable shared service operations for commodity-type processes such as billing and cross-selling of products and services. Like manufacturing companies, telecom companies in the acquisition stage also typically have unexploited opportunities around the consolidation of data centers and related equipment and staffing.

Healthcare providers in the acquisition stage usually find opportunities in different areas of their businesses, because of the differing cost structure of their operations. The bulk of their costs and their opportunities while in the acquisition stage of maturity in the ACL Life Cycle are related to employee salaries & benefits, and to medical supplies and drugs. It is less common for these businesses to be able to effectively share inventories and equipment, since the nature of their business is rooted in community health care that requires local service provision. The opportunities that do exist, which are typically not exploited well in acquisition stage health care companies, are related to centralizing commodity type business processes such as finance, human resources, and information systems, and leveraging required service and supply procurement across the enterprise. 

Financial Services providers, such as banks, brokerages, credit unions, financial planning companies and tax & audit services exhibit yet another cost profile, with the largest elements typically including personnel and occupancy costs. In these businesses, like health care provision, being where the customers are is critical. The companies’ ability to understand the changing demographics and match up their branches as well as their skills to the targeted customer base is often a differentiator between the companies that succeed and those that fail. Financial services providers who are still in the acquisition stage of maturity in the ACL Life Cycle often do not have the commonality in fundamental business processes and systems to readily reconfigure their operations to meet the changing needs of their marketplace. Their acquisitions or mergers have enabled them to grow horizontally, typically into adjacent markets. However, lacking an adequate foundation of commonality in processes and systems, there is substantial money left on the proverbial table as a result of ineffective resource deployment, and delays in the reporting of operational performance data that would enable the company to be more responsive. These companies also fail, in their acquisition stage, to take advantage of their larger purchasing power to gain leverage around purchased services spanning items as diverse as employee health care and branch-level office supplies.   

The Commonization Stage of the ACL Life Cycle

Companies in the Commonization Stage of their life cycles have usually awakened to the value of focusing on Return on Net Assets (RONA) and Return on Invested Capital (ROIC). In order to begin to capture improvements in these areas, companies in the Commonization Stage often turn to shared service models of operations for selected business processes and systems. Strategies and performance measures begin to crystallize around common themes that span multiple operating units or divisions. Among the areas of focus for a shared service model in this stage are Finance (A/R, A/P, General Ledger, and Financial Reporting), Human Resources (Payroll, Benefits, and Employment Records), and Information Technology (Computer Hardware, Network Administration, and selected Software Applications Management). Some companies in the Commonization Stage also move Procurement and other aspects of Materials Management to a shared service model, enabling the corporation to more effectively leverage its broadest possible purchasing power.

Manufacturing companies in the commonization stage of maturity typically have shared services in place for commodity types of business processes such as finance, human resources, and information systems management. As they advance through the commonization phase, some of them also begin to pull together a common platform for procurement, encompassing at least their most costly and common raw materials. A few in this stage reach a point where their data center
operations are completely centralized, and may even be outsourced to a third party like CSC. Toward the end of the commonization phase, centralization of work deployment and capacity utilization as well as process quality emerge as companies begin to deploy common processes and systems in customer requirements management, enterprise requirements planning, manufacturing execution systems, and distribution management systems. 

Telecommunications companies in the commonization stage of maturity also typically have shared services in place for commodity types of business processes such as finance, human resources, and information systems management. As they advance in maturity through this stage, telecoms also become aware of the available leverage in centralizing the management of some of their most valuable assets. However, unlike the manufacturer’s raw material focus, for telecommunications operations those elements are things like spectrum licenses, network equipment, connection agreements, partner agreements, distribution centers, and retail outlets. Centralizing the management of those assets to identify overlaps and redundancies enables telecoms to emerge from the commonization stage with much more effectively leveraged business assets, providing broader market coverage with a lower total asset base and generating much higher earnings on that consolidated foundation.

Healthcare companies in the commonization phase of maturity find substantial benefit in the commonization and centralization of their commodity type processes and systems.  This is primarily because of the impact on cash flow and earnings when the employee base is reduced through shared services, and employee benefits and supplies are both leveraged in terms of the broader purchasing power of the company following a business acquisition of significant size. However, there is also an especially rich opportunity available to healthcare companies in the commonization stage that stems form the leverage available related to insurance coverage – not for the employees directly, but covering the potential liability of the company itself. This category of cost is typically about the third largest slice of the pie, and significant reductions there can translate quickly to a meaningful earnings impact. 

 Financial services providers in the commonization stage of the ACL Life Cycle, like healthcare providers, often find substantial benefit in the commonization and centralization of their commodity type processes and systems. With roughly half of their cost of operations wrapped up in employee salaries and benefits, there is an opportunity for meaningful impact on cash flow and earnings when the employee base is reduced through shared services, and employee benefits and supplies are both leveraged in terms of the broader purchasing power of the company following a business acquisition or merger. The next significant area for financial service providers in the commonization stage is the capability for rapid reconfiguration of the business based on enterprise-wide visibility of operational data and market intelligence.

The Leverage Stage of the ACL Life Cycle

Companies in the Leverage Stage of their life cycles are usually embarked on a fierce drive toward adding real value. They are relentless in their efforts to fully utilize the assets of the entire corporation, driving out redundancy and its associated costs. They are then able to pivot on the fulcrum of those more agile processes and systems to implement innovations that foster organic growth resulting in greater market share, greater revenue, and improved earnings for their shareholders. Leverage Stage companies also establish a structured and repetitive process of assimilating new businesses, gathering and incorporating market intelligence into company-wide strategies, and innovating on the basis of these new combinations to capture additional market segments. These companies are characterized by coordination and centralization of major business functions such as the planning and allocation of R&D, production work, inventories, raw material purchases, personnel, and factories & equipment. They centrally manage a broad spectrum of common business processes and systems, including customer requirements management, product data management, enterprise requirements planning, manufacturing execution systems, and logistics management. They are constantly changing, evaluating and configuring business assets to meet future market needs, acquiring and developing new businesses, and shedding assets that no longer fit their evolving model.

Manufacturing companies in the leverage stage of maturity typically have shared services in place for most of the critical business processes of their company, having reached beyond the commodity level processes and into those which deliver the most value to their customers. Examples include sales & marketing, order entry & customer service, capacity planning and management, production scheduling and shop floor control, and distribution requirements planning. As they move through the leverage stage of the ACL Life Cycle, some of these companies leverage the commonality of their processes and systems to produce innovative new products and services, identify additional market opportunities, and develop industry-changing relationships that reach through their supply chains. 

Telecommunications companies in the leverage stage of maturity also have shared services in place for most of the critical business processes of their company, including the seamless provisioning (often called “flow-through provisioning” by industry insiders) of all telephonic services to customers stemming from a single telephone conversation responding to an individual inquiry about a service. This type of capability is only enabled when all of the information from what have historically been disparate data bases is available in an intelligent form through excellent systems integration, based on exceptional levels of commonality and strength in enterprise-wide business processes.

Healthcare companies in the leverage stage of maturity have typically discovered and implemented leverage-based improvements in their major cost structure elements as a result of enterprise-wide information visibility flowing from systems integration and centralized management of critical business processes. Health care companies generally also have uniquely challenging business conditions related to three other areas where leverage level operations can be a powerful tool. 

The first of these areas is employee safety. Most health care organizations are spending a substantial amount of money in this regard, with training and documentation of company polices and safety-related practices requiring an increasing amount of company attention. The integration of systems and commonization of processes in a leverage stage health care company offers opportunities to more quickly incorporate internal best practices, externally imposed business requirements, and feedback about lessons learned across the entire health care organization regardless of geographic dispersion. Commonization and centralized management here can result in substantially lower cost, and more importantly, substantially higher and more uniform levels of employee safety. 

The second area is bad debt. The integration of customer data, and effectively interfacing a common set of enterprise-wide processes and systems with outside service providers such health maintenance organizations and insurance carriers, substantially reduces the amount of bad debt in leverage level health care companies. 

The third area, and perhaps the area of richest opportunity, is the area of patient medical information. This area is tricky because of legislation related to patient privacy and guidelines recently established for the maintenance and communication of patient medic
al information. However, one of the fundamental challenges faced by health care providers is the absence of available medical history, particularly when a patient is admitted to an emergency room or urgent care facility. Particularly when a patient is unable to respond to questions directly due to an incapacitation illness or injury, time can literally mean life or death. Making all necessary information available to the physicians and other health care professionals involved as quickly as possible is extremely important. When critical business processes and information systems for the management of this information are brought to an effective level of commonality, the rapid dissemination of the needed information can be greatly improved, while patients’ expectations around the privacy of their information are still met. 

Financial services companies in the leverage stage of maturity, like health care companies in some ways, must balance the needs of differing local customer geographies against the advantages of centralized management in critical business processes and systems. There is real value in allowing some latitude to local branch officers and customer-facing staff such as loan officers to accommodate the unique circumstances involved in specific cases. However, these companies often find that a significant advantage of the leverage provided by enterprise-wide commonization of processes and systems is the ability to see the nuances of differing markets at a corporate level, and recognize broader trends among those different markets more quickly and clearly than they could before. This improved visibility, in turn, enables management to reconfigure their service offerings, redeploy resources such as sales dollars, and organize sales campaigns for those specific markets more quickly than they could previously.  

The best of these companies, regardless of what industry they occupy, utilize their common platform of processes, systems, and information to understand the needs of their customers in unique ways, and fluidly translate those needs into the features of their products and services. A few, at the very top of the game, come to understand the customers’ needs even before the customer recognizes them, and when necessary they reconfigure their entire business to meet those needs, gaining unassailable competitive advantage. The enterprise-wide leverage they achieved as a result of carefully and skillfully handling the post-merger or post-acquisition integration of processes, systems, and data provided the platform from which innovation launched them to new levels of performance. Examples could as easily be provided for companies in pharmaceuticals, retail operations, or the food & beverage industry. The lessons learned and the techniques vary a little, but the principles are the same.