Demand for Real-Time Passenger Information Drives Business Forward for NextBus

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (PRWEB) December 17, 2014

New contract awards include San Francisco MUNI, Jacksonville Transit Authority, and State University of New York Purchase College

NextBus, the leader in Real-Time Passenger Information Systems (RTPIS), has been awarded three prestigious contracts for its in-demand product suite. Awards include an existing customer contract extension, a new transit agency agreement, and a new university. This achievement further accelerates the company’s rapid growth in bringing innovative solutions to the global transportation market. Overall, the awards total more than $ 4.3 million.

NextBus is a subsidiary of San Diego-based Cubic Transportation Systems. Its capabilities are a key component of Cubic’s NextCity strategy for delivering integration and application of payment, traveler information and operational information and analytics to travelers and regional transportation networks around the world.

NextBus vehicle predictive arrival information can be accessed through its regularly updated app or website which is accessible on any Internet-capable device and is visible on LED/LCD signs at bus shelters, transit depots and stations. Using GPS technology, NextBus automatically determines a rider’s location and the nearest stops. Riders can locate this data on a live map at http://www.nextbus.com.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) has exercised an option with NextBus valued at $ 2 million under a contract awarded in 2013. The contract includes the RTPI system that NextBus hosts for Muni as well as maintaining onboard hardware, bus shelter signs and LCDs in subways. The original contract included three years of options. In addition to the NextBus contract, SFMTA is a long-time Cubic customer, most recently since implementation of the regional Clipper card system.

Jacksonville Transportation Authority has awarded a $ 2 million contract to NextBus to deliver its RTPI system, bus shelter signage and LCDs for displaying arrival predictions.

The new university customer is the State University of New York Purchase College. The contract is for five years and includes services to support the NextBus system. NextBus technology is in service at more than 40 universities throughout the United States and Canada.

For transit operators, the NextBus system provides a host of management tools that enable operators to maximize their on-time performance and transit planning. Tools include headway management that track how far apart buses are spaced out, schedule adherence, replay maps that utilize historical travel data to show dispatcher past vehicle location, and the real-time map interface, which allows transit managers to monitor their vehicles and know if they go off route and see if they’re stationary, early, on-time or late.

“NextBus has a proven track record of success with more than 130 transit agency deployments in the United States, Canada and Australia,” said Ian Newberg, president of NextBus. “As we expand into the international market, we will continue to take the guesswork out of riding public transit for riders and improve performance and planning for operators and also help increase ridership.”

For more information, visit http://cts.cubic.com/en-us/solutions/real-timepassengerinformation/nextbus,inc.aspx.

About Cubic Transportation Systems

Cubic® Transportation Systems, Inc., is part of Cubic Corporation. Cubic Corporation is the parent company of three major business segments. Cubic Defense Applicationsis a leading provider of realistic combat training systems and secure communications systems. Mission Support Services is a leading provider of training, operations, maintenance, technical and other support services for U.S. and allied nations.

Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc., is a leading integrator of payment and information technology and services for intelligent travel solutions. Cubic delivers integrated systems for transportation and traffic management, delivering tools for travelers to choose the smartest and easiest way to travel and pay for their journeys, and enabling transportation authorities and agencies to manage demand across the entire transportation network – all in real-time. Cubic specializes in design, development, manufacture, supply, installation, integration, services and information. Services provided by Cubic include on-site management, central systems, operations support, patron support, business support and field services.

Every year, more than 24 billion transportation payment transactions are processed using Cubic payment and information systems worldwide. Cubic has delivered over 20 regional back office operations which together integrate over 450 transport operators and serve over 38 million people every day in major markets around the world. Active projects include London; Brisbane (Southeast Queensland) region, Australia; New York/New Jersey region; Washington, D.C. /Baltimore/Virginia region; Los Angeles region; San Diego region; San Francisco region; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Chicago; Atlanta region; Miami (South Florida) region; Vancouver and Edmonton, Canada; Sydney (New South Wales), Australia; Germany; and Scandinavia.

For more information about Cubic, see the company’s website at http://www.cubic.com/.

Contacts:

Megan Shamas

Montner & Associates

PH: 203-226-9290 x115

Cell: 203-231-9280

mshamas(at)montner(dot)com

Suzanne Hatcher

Corporate Communications

Cubic Corporation

PH: 858-505-2430

Cell: 858-774-4736

suzanne.hatcher(at)cubic(dot)com







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Software Company Anahata Offers Services to Perths Sustainable Energy Industry

Perth, Western Australia (PRWEB) December 14, 2014

Anahata Technologies Pty Ltd was launched five years ago in Perth, Western Australia as a software development company specializing in the design, implementation and maintenance of customized ICT solutions. The company delivers cost-effective solutions that are reliable and have a long lifespan.

The Sustainable Energy Industry is a highly advanced sector that requires accuracy and timely solutions by the way of making accurate predictions and experimentation. Businesses in this industry are faced with these challenges and it is only the large scale enterprises that can afford the required ICT solutions due to their expensive prices. In addition, such applications suffer from breakdowns occasionally. Anahata has made a foray into the market to provide affordable and durable solutions that small and medium scale enterprises can use and thus remain competitive.

Anahata delivers cross-platform solutions. As such, the Mac platform can also be used when deploying Anahata software with Mac applications. Consequently, the company has developed a Patient Records Management System that is seamlessly integrated into existing systems.

The company has also gained experience in embedded device development. As such, Anahata delivers embedded applications that run on low resource devices which include ARM and Intel Atom processors. Such devices can be linked to external sensors using Ethernet, USB or CAN.

For more information, visit the official company website at http://www.anahata-it.com.au

About Anahata Technologies Pty Ltd

Founded in Perth, Western Australia in 2010 by Pablo Rodriguez Pina, Anahata Technologies Pty Ltd is an Australian privately owned software development company specializing in the analysis, design, implementation and support of cost-effective, custom built software applications.

Anahata’s preferred delivery approach is an iterative, agile, customer centric software development process where business analysts and developers work with the customers to gather requirements and an understanding of the current business processes, and to design and deliver a software solution that not only meets the business’s needs, but also is desgiend to improve business productivity.

During development, a continuous integration process allows customers to test the application regularly as it is being built. Upon implementation, customer’s staff are trained on the usage of the new system.

A key target for software developed by Anahata is quality. Quality is achieved by leveraging agile processes and tools, where customers can engage in the development process to define the scope of development iterations, tasks and prioritize goals.

Web based and manual code review processes along with comprehensive unit tests and integration testing ensure that delivered projects meet quality expectations of the customer.

Anahata offers its customers a 3 month warranty and support period where users can have unlimited phone or email consultation. Customers can access an online task and issue management system to log requests for enhancements (RFEs) or report any defects encountered during the testing or production stages. Anahata seeks to be the most customer centric of all Melbourne software companies.

Anahata’s preferred technological choice is to deliver cross-platform solutions based on open standards and open source technology that ensure stability, compatibility, and security over a long application lifespan. This enables a reduction in upfront and ongoing licensing fees.

Anahata is an Oracle Certified Partner and delivers custom software solutions based on Oracle Technology, such as Java, Java Enterprise Edition, MySQL or Oracle Database. The Perth software company is a also certified MYOB developer partner providing Custom Software solutions that can integrate seamlessly with any MYOB software package such as MYOB AccountRight desktop or MYOB AccountRight Live (cloud).

Anahata partners with a number of local companies to deliver integrated turn key solutions including hosting, infrastructure, barcode printing, mobility and RFID scanning amongst other technologies.

As a cross-platform software vendor, Anahata can deliver solutions for the Mac platform and integrate with existing Mac Applications. The Melbourne software company is experienced in developing Patient Record Management Systems running on the Mac Platform and integrating with medical applications such as Geniie.

Anahata is also experienced in embedded device development using cross platform technologies to deliver embedded applications that run on low resources devices such as Intel Atom or ARM processors. These embedded devices can connect to external sensors via CAN, USB, ethernet or similar. An example of embedded development is a mining vehicle activity monitoring application for a local mining company.

Once a project has been delivered, Anahata works with its customers to promote the developed solution or the customer’s business in general on the digital media providing services such as search engine optimization, content writing or email marketing.

Anahata Technologies in Victoria, Australia

In May 2013, founder and director Pablo Rodriguez Pina appointed Joana Lopez Castrillo as Regional Manager for Victoria and started offering software development and consultancy services to medium and large companies based in Victoria as well as the local Victorian governments and universities.

For more information about Anahata’s service in Melbourne, visit our website or type or Melbourne software development companies in your favourite search engine.

Anahata Technologies India Pty Ltd

In 2013, director Pablo Rodriguez Pina established the fully owned subsidiary Anahata Technologies India Pvt Ltd aimed at providing software development and database development services.

In November 2013, Pudattu Vijay Simha, a senior software engineer and employee of Anahata Technologies Pty Ltd was was appointed director of Anahata Technologies India Pvt Ltd to manage operations in India. Anahata Technologies India Pvt Ltd is based in the city of Hyderabad state of Andrah Pradesh.

Anahata Technologies India Pvt Ltd specialises in Oracle Java development and offers software development and custom software development services to companies worldwide.

Anahata Technologies India Pvt Ltd provides business process outsourcing services to companies worldwide helping a wide range of businesses (from small family owned businesses to universities or global companies) reduce business process costs.

Anahata Technologies in Europe

Since 2013, Anahata Technologies offers services to any country within the European Union and has presence in Spain and Croatia.

In November 2013, founder and director Pablo Rodriguez Pina appointed Goran Lochert, a Senior Software engineer and employee of the custom software company as Europe Regional Manager to manage projects for customers based in Europe.

Anahata Technologies Pty Ltd And Thermal Building Inspections Pty Ltd

Since 2013, Anahata is the official software developer of Perth Building Inspections company Thermal Building Inspections.

In close collaboration with Thermal Building Inspections staff members, Anahata and Thermal Building Inspections have developed a tailored made Business Management System also known as TBI BMS which allows TBI staff members to quote, book, and produce foto featured reports and Building Integrity certificates within the application.

The system is a cloud based solution developed on Java EE 7 with a desktop (JavaFX 8) frontend deployed via Java Web Start allowing staff members to login either from within TBI office as well as remotely. Via Java Web Start, version upgrades are rolled out in a way transparent to the user.

The system, developed with technologies such as GlassFish v4, Eclipselink, Context And Depency Injection, Enterprise Java Beans and a number of in-house Anahata libraries ships with a cloud based document management system which allows users to upload photos asynchronously, view inspection photo thumbnails or access generated Building Inspection Reports and Building Inspection Certificates.

TBI BMS uses Docmosis, a document generation library for java which allows users to edit email and document templates using LibreOffice and can produce documents in a number of formats such as Word, Libre Office, PDF or HTML.

The BMS comes with an error detection toolkit which monitors application logs for application errors and reports errors on the server or the client to Anahata’s engineers.

Thermal Building Inspections is a Perth based Pre-Purchase Building and Termite Inspection specialist. Using the latest Infrared Inspection technology, the team can assess any current or past Termite activity. Thermal Building Inspections offers a wide range of Building Inspection services for both residential and commercial premises in Perth. Inspections are offered at highly competitive prices and all Inspection packages are conducted in a single visit.

Thermal Building Inspections can also conduct Pest Inspections utilizing the latest Thermal Imaging Technology. All Inspections are conducted in accordance with Australian Standards AS4349.3/AS3660 General Timber Pest Inspection. Pest damage is not always obvious and may require a specific diagnosis as to whether there is any Pest activity. A non-invasive Thermal Pest Inspection gives you peace of mind that you’re not going to be sharing your home with any unwanted housemates before purchasing your next property. Potential residential and commercial customers can view more details about the service on TBI’s web site at http://www.tbiwa.com.au







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Norwegian Cruise Line Hosts the Best In Class Web Experience; Leaves Competition in Their Wake

Miami, FL (PRWEB) December 10, 2014

Key Lime Interactive (KLI), an industry leader in competitive index reporting across a variety of industries, released the results of their Contemporary and Premium Brands 2014 Cruise Competitive Benchmark Study at the close the third quarter ranking Norwegian Cruise Line as Best-In-Class. The report compares the website for seven cruise brands including Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America, Disney Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd. and Norwegian Cruise Line. The report reveals that Norwegian Cruise Lines offered the best “overall site satisfaction” over a variety of indices such as brand affinity. The Key Lime Interactive Competitive Benchmark study defines these indices as “behavioral loyalty.”

“Consistently positive emotional experiences result in consumer loyalty,” reported Ania Rodriguez, Founder and CEO of Key Lime Interactive. “Norwegian’s site visitors indicated that they had a high likelihood to return to the site and book a cruise in the future. Most importantly, the site significantly outperformed its competitors’ in terms of time spent on the site. Time spent increased the brand’s perception relating to attributes such as ‘entertaining’, ‘appealing’, ‘fun’, and ‘family-oriented’.”

These emotional experiences and demonstrated behavior were measured using a task-based user research approach in which hundreds of users participate in a study passively, in their natural context, from geographically widespread locations. A mix of experienced and inexperienced cruisers were recruited to visit a cruise website and perform a series of tasks. Before, during and after task completion, several lines of questioning were asked so that Key Lime Interactive’s team of researchers could evaluate a series of drivers and determine how each site performs. These detailed results help design and digital marketing professionals at each brand better understand the online customer journey. Digital marketing and product development teams count on these findings to meet the needs and expectations of their target audience in strategic planning sessions.

Norwegian significantly outperformed the other players in areas such as “Offering Satisfaction” and “Value Proposition.” Additional analysis across six other drivers is featured in the report.

Norwegian stakeholders responded favorably. “…Not only are we prioritizing what users claim they need, but we get a first-hand view of what users are doing on the site. In our experience, what our guests say, and how they actually behave online doesn’t always align. This methodology provides the details we need to in order to focus our development plans in the coming year,” says Rob Casas, Vice President of eCommerce at Norwegian Cruise Line.

Casas and others rely on Key Lime Interactive reporting to drive the development roadmap into the next quarter and beyond. In many cases, deficits or strengths easily translate to quick fixes or strategic change to improve prospective buyer experience.

Additional Report Information

Key Lime Interactive’s Cruise Experience Mobile Heuristics were used to determine the overall score and ranking of seven (7) companies including Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America, Disney Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd. and Norwegian Cruise Lines. These heuristics consisted of a capabilities assessment, comparative feature ranking and overall user score and ranking.

The methodology first aimed to understand by using consumers’ self-reported preferences; which features and tasks were must-haves when it came to interacting with the site. These identified features were then placed into priority order to highlight their importance. This ranking was used in an algorithm to tabulate the final scores.

Key Lime Interactive recognizes the importance of aligning business-centric goals with consumer-centric needs to produce winning solutions and makes this a core component to all deliverables. This incorporation of user feedback is a primary component for this and all studies across various industries ranging from finance, retail, hospitality, etc.

“Other reports highlight what we’re doing well from an expert user experience researcher perspective. This report is different because it tells us what we’re doing well from the user perspective. When adjusting the opportunities for improvements listed we can see the direct impact on overall site success.” says Casas as he anticipates Norwegian’s scores in the next report release.

All assessments are as of August 22, 2014. The next iteration of the study will be available in the summer of 2015.

To purchase the published report, please reach out to Key Lime Interactive for more information at sales(at)keylimeinteractive(dot)com

Researchers, Designers, Executives, Journalists and Bloggers in the Cruise, Travel and Leisure Industry are encouraged to contact Key Lime Interactive with any additional questions.

About Key Lime Interactive

Key Lime Interactive is an user experience research firm with proven excellence in both quantitative and qualitative user and consumer testing. To serve our growing client list of Fortune 100 companies, we conduct competitive research, true intent / voice of customer studies, and prototype studies using quantitative methods. Additionally, we’re experienced in moderating one-on-one interviews/ usability studies, focus groups, and eye-tracking studies for both the traditional and mobile web. Currently, Key Lime is working to help top brands better understand their customer via behavioral personas and customer journey mapping. Ultimately, our goal is to empower teams to use consumer/user experience data at any and all phases of product development; from strategy to implementation. We aim to provide the true perspective of target users and build exceptional consumer-driven solutions.







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Talent Management Expert Mary Schaefer Highlights Four Key Ways to Grow a Career at Inspiring Women in STEM Conference

Wilmington, DE (PRWEB) November 24, 2014

Over 300 women scientists, engineers, educators, and other professionals attended the second annual Inspiring Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Conference in October. Talent management consultant Mary Schaefer offered a speech called “GPS Your Career: Tools and Tips to Get You Where You Want to Go.”

“I started by thinking of how your career is similar to the Global Positioning System (GPS) devices we’re all familiar with. Here’s the key: Where we start from impacts our whole route and trajectory. I wanted to give some career advice on how to pay attention to the road, avoid the potholes, and most importantly, know when to reroute!”

Schaefer offered four main ideas about how to grow a career:

a) Own it!

b) Make your value visible.

c) Expand individual influence.

d) Don’t go it alone.

In order to “own a career,” Schaefer suggests employees conduct regular check-ins with themselves, paying special attention to values and goals. “It’s sometimes hard when your nose is always to the grindstone to know if you’re on the right path. You must take time on a regular basis to check in with yourself. You have to assess what is right for you – and no one else can answer that.”

Schaefer has special advice for making the employee-boss relationship work. “Part of making your value visible is having a good relationship with your boss. So I gave the audience my most powerful sentence you can use with your boss near the start of any conversation that might be difficult. Here it is: ‘Please know I’m bringing this up because I want to do a good job.’ This sets a great tone to be heard.”

Employees can capitalize on the value of their own networks, particularly “loose” connections, in order to expand their influence. “I say ‘loose’ connections to mean leveraging your relationships with people you know – and the people they might know. The intention is NOT for you to get an assignment, or a job without earning it. Rather, it’s a recognition that people like to be helpful, and there is no reason to deny them this! In fact, you will probably have an opportunity to pay it forward someday.”

Finally, Schaefer suggests that the best career management advice always includes taking care of all of your own needs. “As much as we try to compartmentalize, the different parts of our life impact each other,” says Schaefer. And how to institute self-care routines or techniques? First, build or maintain an active network of friends, family members, and colleagues. Second, make taking care of one’s needs a priority, not just in terms of people, but also in all activities and areas of life.

“By building up satisfaction in the areas of your life such as personal growth, physical activity, or fun, you create a cushion for yourself,” says Schaefer. “If things aren’t going so great at work, at least that is not your total focus in life, so you don’t have to over-focus on what’s not going great.”

“Let these four ideas guide you, but don’t be overwhelmed,” says Schaefer. “Start with the one thing that might help you most quickly. Do not pick the hardest thing. Pick the easiest thing. Give it a try and get a success under your belt.”

As the principal of her own business, Artemis Path, Inc., Mary Schaefer is an expert in empowerment. She coaches, trains and consults on talent development, change management, and workplace interactions. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies and local businesses. Mary has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, a Master’s in Human Resources, and is certified as a Professional in Human Resources.

Mary concluded her 20 year career at DuPont as an HR Manager. She applies her fierce idealism to create work cultures where organizations and human beings can both thrive. She publishes on this topic and more at maryschaefer(dot)com, and other sites. Mary is on the coaching staff at Barton Career Advisors, an OutsideIn™ Company. She is also a co-author of the book, “The Character-Based Leader,” and recently spoke at the 2014 TEDx Wilmington Conference on “Putting the Human Back into Human Resources.”







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10 Tips for Weight Loss Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s

Indianapolis, Indiana (PRWEB) November 30, 2014

Start a New Year’s resolution early and lose weight before the end of the year with these ten tips.

Why wait until the new year to start a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight? Dr. Jennifer Whirley-Diaz gives ten tips to weight loss.


Eat smaller amounts of food more frequently. It is better to eat every 4 hours with small meals than to eat larger meals three times a day. The smaller amounts of food will help keep insulin and blood sugar levels more stable and help decrease hunger.
Weigh in regularly, daily or at least weekly. Don’t let a weight change be a surprise. Don’t become stressed about small fluctuations, but deal with significant changes immediately so they don’t get out of hand.
Find an exercise that is comfortable, challenging and fun. The goal should be to get three to three and a half hours of exercise at least three times a week with 80% cardio and 20% strengthening.
Opt for a lower carbohydrate diet. Fruits and vegetables are healthy go-to complex carbohydrates, but do monitor the intake. Chips, crackers, pop corn, etc. are high carbohydrate snacks that don’t provide significant nutritional advantages.
Portion control is important. Make sure to determine the difference of being full and over full. Consider being over full as 100%, then stop eating once at 80% full. Also, read packages for portion size and stick to one serving. Never eat out of the box or package, there’s no control of the portion.
Be careful of the food preparation, control the ingredients and use spices to add flavor. Grill, bake, steam or broil. Look for healthy recipes.
Always eat breakfast. Eat a high protein breakfast within two hours of waking up.
Eat at home to have more control of the meals. It is easier to control portions and food prep style.
Make sure to hydrate, at least 64 ounces a day.
If you eat out, have a plan. Most restaurants will have their menu available on line and sometimes even have the calories of the meal options listed. Review the menu, research the calories and have a plan for the meal before arriving to the restaurant and stick to it. Split entrees and appetizers when at a restaurant. Share with a friend or take the other half home for an additional meal at a later time.

Losing weight is not the point of going on a diet. It is the mentality of making a lifestyle change. These changes can be small steps to make sure that they become part of the new lifestyle.

Medical Obesity Management of Indiana (MOMI) is a physician owned and operated program to help lose weight and learn how to maintain weight loss success. Our healthy lifestyle focus will result in numerous health improvements, including medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol. Look and feel better. We offer the most intensive and effective diet options tailored to food preferences, schedule, and nutritional needs. Patients are closely monitored by Dr. Whirley-Diaz, a Board-Certified Obesity Specialist. We will support and inspire as goals are met, and celebrate with the healthier, happier lasting skills to maintain the success. Our programs are designed for weight control success-even for those who have failed on other diets and are discouraged. MOMI will help achieve the desired outcomes-looking better, becoming healthier, and feeling better.

MOMI offers programs for whatever the weight loss needs may be, whether it is 10 or 100 pounds or more! We provide the education, direction, and support to make the weight loss experience a success and help develop sustainable eating and exercise styles for life. Join our professional and private practice where we specialize in the treatment and prevention of obesity.







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Using Plant Recruitment and Mortality to Support Rangeland Management

(PRWEB) November 18, 2014

Rangeland Ecology & Management – Scientists have been collecting data on the different rangeland plant species since the early 1900s; these data are now being synthesized to build a predictive model of plant mortality and regeneration. The article “Incorporating Plant Mortality and Recruitment Into Rangeland Management and Assessment” in the journal Rangeland Ecology & Management provides an in-depth analysis of how information regarding plant life cycles may change rangeland management from an observatory, reactionary approach to a more predictive one.

The authors begin by discussing the concept of regeneration niche (mortality/recruitment) and the difficulty of determining a plant’s life span. Some grasses may have an average life span of only 10 years whereas some woody species have been known to live for 1350 years. By looking at both the biotic (positive/negative impact of surrounding adult plants) and abiotic (drought, temperature, soil characteristics, etc.) factors that can affect the mortality and regeneration of a species, patterns may begin to emerge.

The authors found that there are many definitions and conceptual approaches surrounding how plant species react to disturbance. Overall, disturbances do influence the regeneration niche. One example of disturbance is fire, which is a common occurrence; however, a lack of fire to clear out the underbrush of dead/dying plants has an acute or immediate effect on mortality. The authors also considered critical transitions or tipping points that refer to conditions that enable an ecosystem to transition to an alternative stable state. These transitions may be the appropriate time to investigate how the system copes with the disturbances, and to determine the amount of disturbance necessary to induce mortality and the type of species that would grow in the newly created regeneration niches.

The authors indicate that additional emphasis on regeneration niche (mortality/recruitment), disturbances/resilience, and critical transitions will result in more accurate and predictive management decisions. Much of the current data needs to be synthesized and there are gaps to be filled with new research, including research into life span, community, seeding issues, sequences and timing, and disturbances and transition; but having a more predictive ecological model will support sustainable rangelands.

Full text of the article, “Incorporating Plant Mortality and Recruitment Into Rangeland Management and Assessment,” Rangeland Ecology & Management, Vol. 67, No. 6, 2014, is now available.

###

About Rangeland Ecology & Management

Rangeland Ecology & Management is a peer-reviewed journal of the Society for Range Management that is published six times a year. The journal provides a forum for the presentation and discussion of research information, concepts, and philosophies pertaining to the function, management, and sustainable use of global rangeland resources. The journal is available online at http://www.srmjournals.org. To learn more about the society, please visit: http://www.rangelands.org/







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Newport Board Group, an Advisory Firm Serving the Middle Market, Advises CEOs to Defy the Laws of Gravity by Preparing Now for the Coming Recession

San Francisco (PRWEB) November 28, 2014

While the pace of the economic recovery since the 2008 has been subject to much debate, the fact is that the U.S. has clearly been on a growth trajectory for the last 6 years. Unemployment has dropped from a 2009 high of 10% to 5.9%, negative GDP has reversed and is trending at a 3.5 percent growth rate in 2014. The U.S. stock market is at an all time high and interest rates at near all time lows. By most measurements, the U.S. economy is robust while Europe and other economies such as Japan are lagging. So why be worried?

The U.S. has a cyclical economy, impacted by world events and more importantly the global growth of consumer demand. On the negative side, the growth of consumer demand in China is slowing and wages are rising, Europe is worried about disinflation as consumers are out of the market and U.S. government support for stabilizing the economy appears to be ending. After 6 years of economic recovery, it’s time to think about the inevitable – there will be a recession and it’s not too early to think about how to prepare your company to survive and prosper during tough times.

Smart CEOs and boards are now considering steps to take to prepare more a less robust economic economy. Here are 5 steps to take:

1.    Hedge a Bet!

Companies can turn to commodity derivatives to hedge raw material prices and assure adequate supplies. Commodity derivatives are contracts that draw their value from the price movements of an underlying asset. Companies can hedge the prices of oil, gas, coal, metals, agricultural products and even electricity through commodity derivatives.

If a company is a producer or supplier of these materials, recessions will likely push down prices and forward contracts can lock in your sales price – smart oil companies recently locked in high prices when the price of oil recently dropped from $ 100 barrel to $ 80.

The buyer of a futures contract benefits from an increase in the price of the underlying commodity. Contract sellers root for a decline in prices.

Consider seeking advice from experts in hedging transactions as to how to structure transactions to prepare for a decline in prices.

2.    Swim the Channel

One of the most important assets is the company sales channel and existing customers. To position in the coming downturn, consider using that channel to expand sales of new products and services. There are several strategies and methods to increasing sales – consider:

    Adjacency Strategy – are there “adjacent” areas around the company’s core products or services that are natural extensions of the core? Examples might include a warranty or expedited delivery service offering to your existing product line.
    Extension Strategy – extensions involve the concept of the “extended enterprise.” Consider reaching beyond natural adjacencies to product or service extensions that might position the company for growth beyond the core business.
    New Channel Strategy – consider entering new markets through alliances, partnerships, mergers or acquisitions or even franchising the company’s product. Alliances and partnerships might be a less capital-intensive way of growing the company without having to make an investment in new production facilities or inventory.

3.    OPM (Other Peoples Money)

Most small businesses have some form of a line of credit, an agreement between a financial institution, generally a bank, and a borrower to provide a certain amount of loans on demand. Many banks today have more money than borrowers and report that only about 40% of the existing lines are drawn. Many businesses do go out of business during a recession and it is for one fact – they run out of capital. Consider increasing the company’s line of credit and establish new credit facilities even if the company does not need them now. A large line may come in handy later.

Another strategy for increasing a company’s cash flow, critical in a downturn, is through a change in credit terms from vendors and to customers. For example, if a competitor pays suppliers in 45 days and the company pays 30 days, money is being left on the table. Conversely, if sales terms are overly generous, the company is effectively financing customers cash needs that could be met by better billing and collection practices.

4.    Outsource Everything (that’s not strategic)

Most companies are already a big user of outsourced services. Typically companies probably don’t deliver products directly to customers, companies don’t do their own audits or taxes and don’t self-insure the business. Many companies out source some or all of manufacturing oversees. In an economic downturn, a key strategy is to convert fixed costs to variable costs and outsourcing is one way to do this.

Consider outsourcing everything that is not strategic to the business. This includes human resource support functions, accounting, manufacturing, transportation and even the executive staff. Does the company need a full time CFO or controller or would a “fractional” CFO or controller that is a shared resource with other companies work?

Most HR functions can and should be outsourced for small and mid sized companies. A Professional Employee Organization (PEO) can help process payroll and offer employees a better offering of benefits. In addition, by pooling with other companies through a PEO, companies can get significant pooling discounts on the cost of benefits.

5.    Understand Value

During the last recession, virtually every U.S. car company except one had to be bailed out by the government. The exception, Ford, saw the recession coming and sold and lease backed facilities, creating a war chest of capital to weather the recession. It might be reassuring owning your own real estate but if you are not a real estate company, consider reinvesting the capital tied up in real estate into the production and growth side of the business.

A Sale-Leaseback a transaction between a bank or an investor and a company that sells and leases back it’s real estate or other fixed assets over a long term. More complex than a loan and involves many accounting issues but the company still uses and controls the facilities, effectively turning a non-liquid asset into a liquid asset – an important decision when times are tough.

Of course, the storm clouds of a recession might be long off and far away but being prepared for bad weather is easier than weathering the storm with a leaky ship.

Michael Evans is the National Managing Partner of the Newport Board Group. He is based in Northern California – Michael.evans@newportboardgroup.com







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Almost Half of People Didnt Know You Could Claim Compensation for Back Injuries Caused by Lifting at Work

(PRWEB UK) 26 November 2014

Accident Advice Helpline commissioned a survey with OnePoll to ask consumers whether they believed they could make a compensation claim for a number of different accident scenarios. Of the 1000 people surveyed 46 per cent of them were unaware that you could claim compensation for back injuries caused by lifting at work.

The Manual Handling Operations Regulations 1992 (which was amended in 2002) was designed to protect employees from injuries caused by manual handling in the workplace. Manual handling covers not just lifting but carrying, lowering, pushing and pulling and back injuries are the most common cause of manual handling injuries.

More than a third of all accidents resulting in the injured person being absent from work for more than 3 days are related to manual handling at work. Accident Advice Helpline said “This research highlights a worrying gap in the knowledge people have regarding compensation meaning that many injury victims are probably not being compensated correctly.”

Your back is a delicate part of your body with your spinal cord running down the middle carrying signals back and forth between your brain and the rest of your body. An injury can disrupt these signals or dislocate vertebrae which are the bone disks that make up your spine and sometimes it doesn’t take much to hurt it.

Accident Advice Helpline said “Back injuries can be life-changing and result in a lack of movement; even if just for a small length of time. You could be lucky and just need some rest to recover from your injury but it could end up being more serious and potentially life-long.”

As an employer they should carry out a risk assessment of all manual handling which could be eliminated and which may cause an injury and should provide adequate health and safety support on how to carry out lifting tasks properly and avoid injury. Employers are obliged to provide the correct equipment to prevent injury and harm alongside training so it’s imperative as an employee that this advice is followed and equipment used correctly. Training can include good lifting postures, the use of lifting equipment and guidance for managing heavy and awkward loads.

If you do injure yourself the first thing you should do is report it to a senior member of staff or a manager and get it reported in your accident book. Once this is done it’s extremely important to seek medical advice about your injury as your back is a complicated part of your body and one wrong turn could be life changing.

If you’ve injured your back due to lifting at work then you may be thinking about claiming compensation. Remember with all compensation claims against your place of work you aren’t claiming directly from your employer – you’re claiming from their insurance – so there’s no need to feel guilty. If you plan on putting in a compensation claim then make sure you pick the right solicitor. You should speak to Accident Advice Helpline’s expertly trained staff on 0800 689 7221 where they can talk you through the process of claiming.

You can view the original press release through Accident Advice Helpline.







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Aleyant Systems Takes Stake in Tucanna

Wheaton, Illinois (PRWEB) November 19, 2014

Aleyant Systems, an innovative leader in providing robust software services to the graphic communications industry at value-driven prices, today announced that it has made a strategic investment in Tucanna, a global developer and supplier of software solutions for the printing industry, was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Carlsbad, California with an office in Verona, Italy.

“The goal of this strategic investment is to expand upon the partnership we announced two years ago,” said Greg Salzman, President of Aleyant Systems. “We will be working towards an even tighter integration between our two portfolios so that together they form a complete solution. In addition, we will be making investments in enhancing both the Tucanna product line and its marketing efforts. It is a good cultural fit, since both companies pride themselves on building affordable, easy to use software solutions that streamline workflow for printing and other operations.”

Salzman points out that both Aleyant and Tucanna will continue to nurture and support the wide range of other partnerships and alliances each already has in place in workflow, web-to-print, project management and MIS. “We expect this investment, and the results of our work with Tucanna, to be additive to the value of the entire Aleyant and Tucanna community,” he adds.

“We are excited about taking our relationship with Aleyant to the next level,” said Darrian Young of Tucanna Software & Development. “Over the past couple of years, we have established a good working relationship and brought additional benefits to our mutual customer base. This strengthening of the relationship will serve to make that even better, and to open up new business opportunities for both of us.”

The end result of integration efforts between Aleyant and Tucanna portfolios is expected to be a full suite of software solutions for digital, offset, large format and flexo printing businesses.

Tucanna Solutions

The Tucanna tFlow Workflow series offers a full production automation and online collaboration suite consisting of two key modules.


tFLOW Approval is an all-in-one job submission collaboration and project management solution that includes a real-time dashboard view of job status, comments and annotations, user load and capacity. Its robust automated preflighting ensures that problems are resolved long before they enter the production process. Adobe InDesign and Illustrator plugins make job creation and delivery fast and simple.

tFLOW Production offers a simple and flexible automation process for error-free prepress and production. Automated file repurposing optimizes files for different printing conditions and technologies. tFLOW Production includes an Adobe CS Connector. Centralized color management allows management of all color options from a single window.

The Tucanna ColorPro series includes:

PrintControlPro for intuitive color standards compliance, print curve compensation and optimization, and automatic classification of substrates within a robust substrate library. PrintControlPro’s knowledge base places all relevant print and standardization information at your fingertips.

RapidCheck offers simple reporting, troubleshooting advice, job comparison and trending information to keep print quality up to the highest standards, quickly and efficiently. The perfect companion for packaging applications, RapidCheck allows import of CxF data and comparison against Pantone color standards for high quality production of spot colors.

QualityControl works with X-Rite’s i1Pro and i1Pro 2, adding performance capabilities typically only available in higher priced spectrophotometers, minimizing the number and type of spectrophotometers needed for monitoring exceptional quality. With QualityControl and the iPro2, take advantage of spectrophotometry, densitometry and colorimetry through a single interface and using one affordable instrument.

Aleyant Systems

Aleyant Pressero™ is an affordable and easy-to-use cloud-based B2B or B2C online storefront solution that can quickly and easily be customized to individual client needs. This includes ‘mobile-first’ design for branded sites to ensure proper display regardless of the viewing device being used. Pressero can be enhanced with the addition of Aleyant eDocBuilder™, a web-based variable data publishing system built specifically to easily integrate into Aleyant or third-party web-to-print or MIS solutions features advanced typography control, imposition, scripting support, PDF workflows, rapid template creation, Excel merge capabilities and more. Aleyant’s Automated Workflow Integrator™ (AWI) uses a rules-based approach to automate such processes as file renaming, unzipping zipped files, or sending files and metadata directly to a RIP for processing, eliminating multiple manual steps in the workflow.

Aleyant Print Job Manager is an entry level cloud-based print job management solution that includes a fast means of generating market-driven pricing, job management, inventory control, planning and estimating. It will be launched to the marketplace in the first quarter of 2015.

For more information about Aleyant offerings, please visit http://www.Aleyant.com or call +1.630.929.0104. For more information about Tucanna visit http://www.Tucanna.com.

About Aleyant Systems

Founded in 2005, Aleyant Systems is an innovative leader in providing robust software services to the graphic communications industry at value-driven prices. Their expertise lies in developing highly functional and flexible applications using the most current Web development technologies available, including workflow aimed at lights-out automation. Their flagship web-to-print software, Pressero, is a highly customizable retail and business-to-business storefront interface and has launched many of their clients into the exciting world of Internet-based print sales. Aleyant also offers their Web-based online design and variable data publishing (VDP) system, eDocBuilder, as a separate product, and it is now integrated into multiple MIS and web-to-print systems.







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Office Insurance Website, http://www.rightpriceinsurance.co.uk, has Resource to Compare Insurance Choices

Birmingham, UK (PRWEB) November 13, 2014

Office insurance is a critical need in today’s business world, and a new website, http://www.rightpriceinsurance.co.uk, aims to help people find the best insurance for their needs. The website offers a free comparison tool designed to reduce the time it takes to secure a better price and cover.

“We will survive this competitive marketplace because we have the tools and people skills to do so,” said Mike Barrett, managing director of Right Price Insurance.

According to the company’s website, similar all other insurance covers, insurance for the office is important for business owners as it protects their place of business along with its contents from all the damages caused due to loss by misplacement, theft or accident. The types of insurances available through the website include contents insurance, building insurance and interruption insurance.

“Right Price Insurance is a no cost platform where you can compare office insurance in the UK absolutely free,” said Barrett. “We are a new start-up business, but we offer a better solution than most existing businesses at this present time.”

Business insurance covers the important things that a business owner needs to protect in the case of theft or natural or accidental damage. They include office contents, such as any personal or office property, the building that a customer owns or rents or portable equipment like computers, projectors or tools.

The website makes getting a quote fast and easy. Their simple online tools and forms make for an amazing customer service experience. The experts at http://www.rightpriceinsurance.co.uk will help customers determine the right policy and coverage for their needs without any hassle.

Barrett said that the quote form is FCA regulated and very safe to use.

The company’s website has been around since May 2012. The company’s officials said that they are helping more businesses every day with their office insurance needs. Their aim over the next few years, according to Barrett, is to grow double the rate at what they are today.

About http://www.rightpriceinsurance.co.uk

The new website, http://www.rightpriceinsurance.co.uk, is a business insurance resource that compares office insurance for UK business owners. For more information, please visit http://www.rightpriceinsurance.co.uk/







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