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1 month ago

Southbourne Positive Living Group: 8 Tips to Help Create a Positive Mental Attitude

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt


For years I lived an uneventful existence. I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t unhappy either. I was just sort of stuck.


I had a good career, earned lots of money, and I had great friends and a loving family. You would think that this doesn’t sound too bad, but I felt unfulfilled and unmotivated. I repeatedly lived each day like the one before.


I looked around me and saw that everybody within my own circle of friends, relatives, and immediate family were no different. They too seemed stuck. They seemed unmotivated—like they were living their lives on automatic pilot.


I began to question why this was. Why do so many people just accept this pattern as normal, as if this is the way it is supposed to be?


I read hundreds of books on philosophy, psychology, and spirituality. I continued with this for a couple of years until I gradually I began to see things with greater clarity. I began to wake up. Then one day, out of the blue it just hit me, like a ton of bricks.


The key to unlocking my prison door was not contained in any books I read (although they did help me somewhat). It was in my ability to accept what “is” in this moment. So I now I make that choice.


Southbourne Positive Living Group (SPLG) meets on the last Wednesday of the month (excluding holidays).


Join a group of like - minded people and rediscover the purpose and meaning of your life.

5 months ago

Online Security: A shoe e-retailer takes steps to improve its fraud detection

Fast-growing Schutz Shoes upgrades its fraud detection software to slash manual reviews and improve order processing.


Online orders were flowing into shoe e-retailer Schutz Shoes, the U.S. division of Brazilian-based shoe retailer Arezzo & Co., but the small team spent an increasing amount of time checking whether an order was fraudulent. When one employee on a staff of seven has to manually review the legitimacy of an online order, that’s time away from customers and other business, says Kimberly Gort, e-commerce manager for Schutz.


Schutz Shoes started selling online in 2014 operating its e-commerce site in the basement of its New York City store. That first year, Schutz had about $350,000 in online sales. In 2015, about half of its product catalog was available online and sales grew to $1.5 million. Now, with all of its products available online, Schutz Shoes projects about $3 million in online sales for 2016, Gort says. The retailer also opened a store in Los Angeles.


With triple-digit percentage growth comes growing pains. When the e-retailer received a modest five online orders a day, using the free tool from its e-commerce platform provider (Shopify Inc.) worked fine, Gort says. The plugin would flag orders that might be fraudulent, and the retailer decided to approve or decline such orders.  For example, the tool flagged an order if the credit card and shipping addresses didn’t match, so a Schutz employee had to call the customer and determine if it was a legitimate order. Deciding what was and wasn’t fraudulent often was difficult, Gort says.


“There’s always a risk,” she says. “It was like we were playing roulette.”


The situation frustrated the retailer and the shopper, as some shoppers were blocked from placing an order or their order was delayed or they had to deal with a phone call from the retailer. Schutz was missing out on orders, devoting almost a full employee to manually check the orders and seek out consumers to verify information. As order volume and sales grew, the manual-review model no longer worked, Gort says.


In July, Schutz Shoes decided to integrate fraud detection software provider ClearSale onto its platform, choosing the vendor because it was used by parent company Arezzo. It took about two weeks to integrate the technology onto Schutz’s site, Gort says.


ClearSale factors in about 100 variables to approve or deny orders, and then has its 500-person team to dig deeper on flagged orders, says Rafael Lourenco, vice president of operations at ClearSale. Orders can be approved within three seconds, while an order that requires manual review will take 24-48 hours, he says.


The impact of adding ClearSale was almost immediate, Gort says, as Schutz Shoes was no longer on the hook to manually check flagged orders. The e-retailer now approves 94-96% of its orders, which is about a 5% increase from when it relied on its free plugin, Gort says.


ClearSale charges per transaction and takes a 0.4-1.5% cut of the sale. The commission is worth it, Gort says, as more sales are approved. In August, Schutz Shoes paid ClearSale $1,500. The retailer processed 1,200 online orders that month, 1,002 of which ClearSale reviewed in some capacity; of those 1,002 orders, 973 (97.1%) were approved.


ClearSale has about 2,000 clients, and more than 90% are retailers, Lourenco says. Across all of its clients, 93.5% of orders are automatically approved, Lourenco says.


Recently, ClearSale updated its formula with another variable to approve or deny orders. The feature factors in how long a consumer is on the website before she purchases. The shorter it is, the more suspect. However, this is only one variable and a short time between landings on the site and purchasing will not automatically flag an order, Lourenco says. The new feature increased ClearSale’s average approval rate by 1%, he says.

6 months ago

Pacific Associates Limited: Medical Device Healthcare

Japan is firmly implanted as one of the foremost global authorities in the medical technology market and is home for local offices of some of the most innovative leaders in the business. Our medical device team was created with the singular goal of serving this emerging field, and with this exclusive focus, we offer a specialization and understanding of our clients' needs that no other company in the industry can match.


Pacific Associates Limited is uniquely positioned with a history, experience and passion for this ever-changing and dynamic market with a practice that serves candidates and clients across all medical and life science segments. We are dedicated to helping our partners excel in the global medical technology market by connecting the best people with the best companies as they work to change the world around us.


Areas of specialty for Medical Device


・Country Manager

・General Manager



・Quality Assurance

・Clinical Affairs

・Professional Education

・Medical/Scientific Affairs

・Business Unit Manager

・Regulatory Affairs


Sectors covered within Medical Device


・Intervention, Cardiac Surgery, CRM, Neuro, Orthopedics, Surgical, Capital Equipment, Diagnostics, Bioscience, Woundcare, Endoscopy

7 months ago

Pro Axia Consultants: Why move traditional enterprise apps to the cloud?

Today, you can see enterprise IT departments having a hard time deciding whether or not to move to cloud. Many of which depend on traditional applications for their daily operations. Indeed, traditional apps are old but they usually serve business-critical functions. Pro Axia Consultants knows that a lot of people working in IT have encountered apps such as a five-year-old Java application or an owned .NET application that uses SQL servers.

Hundreds of articles available online had described the benefits of cloud-aware-apps, but this article aims to discuss some cloud benefits that were not usually mentioned in most of those articles.

Let's begin with cloud having the ability to adopt slowly. Companies being unsure where to start makes them put off cloud adoption. Cloud is not all about race; it should be considered by businesses as a process. In order for some enterprises to determine which parts of their application perform better and simpler to handle in cloud, they take their traditional, huge app and tease it apart to separate the pieces of the application.

Cloud is affordable, meaning you'll get more for less. Companies attempting to make their app work in the cloud will develop a version of it then call it a test and break it apart. Companies can spin up cloud servers and get rid of them, making it low-risk and high-rewarding. Its cost is only a small percentage of what companies are used to pay for traditional infrastructure.

Instead of hiring a full-time hardware specialist, cloud providers can handle much of the work involved in keeping the infrastructure running. Good news is that it is more affordable than hiring those full-time professionals. Delivering real value to the business includes new projects from the IT staff and cloud can help them fully concentrate on that matter.

Cloud is obviously one of the reasons why the nature of IT is being dramatically transformed. Cloud adoption allows your team to implement new agile development practices if your business involves software. With cloud, you can be sure that your business will stand strong amidst of the competition. The team at Pro Axia Consultants understands that the primary element vital to the survival of many businesses today is the ability to speed up the development lifecycle and reduce time to market.

Pro Axia Consultants also claims that every piece of a traditional app shouldn't be altered into a fully cloud-native app all at the same time to ensure that your business will not be left behind in the new generation of cloud IT. It is essential to find out first which components of your apps can live, and even succeed, in the cloud.

7 months ago

Bacall Development: Build-to-suit construction and its advantages

Bacall Development: Build-to-suit construction and its advantages

Build-to-suit buildings provide room for future expansions to current tenants. It is often viewed as a long-term investment which can be leased to several tenants according to reviews. Bacall Development and Associates can design a build-to-suit property that fulfills the needs of the tenants. The firm has well-known investors and developers of retail, office, hotel and congregate care assets in Southeast Michigan.

You will see some of the basic advantages of build-to-suit construction in the designing phase and in other areas including availability and reservation. The tenants can suggest ideas and goals during the designing phase of a build-to-suit development. The interior space is specifically designed to match the needs of the tenants.

It also allows tenants to choose their preferred location. And since build-to-suit developments are usually newly constructed, energy efficient construction materials were used and installed with the latest technology that can help tenants to save on operating costs.

Other tenants can also lease available space on build-to-suit locations, or do a reservation for future expansions. The rent for this kind of development is fully tax deductible over the full term of the lease.

In any case, Bacall Development and its associates also needs you to understand the disadvantages of build-to-suit properties since this matter is an important company decision. Build-to-suit properties require a long-term commitment and demand a good credit in order to gain financing. Moreover, it takes several years to construct a build-to-suit property.

Before engaging in a build-to-suit development, you must be knowledgeable of your long-term goals and needs. Make sure that the construction materials used along with the design and location of the property will benefit your company in the future.  Include flexibility to your plans because there's always the possibility of growth and expansion to your business.

Reviews advise that one must also know the credibility of the developers. Choose a developer that has reliable capabilities and has an excellent experience in building industrial properties, and a developer who can act as a point of contact throughout the entire project to ensure a smooth process.

Decades of expertise in commercial real estate made Bacall and Associates Development one of the most respected firms in Southeast Michigan. The firm is well-suited for, and welcome your build-to-suit needs, joint venture, and other strategic alliance proposals.


9 months ago

7 Critical Success Factors (CSF’s) of Axia Consultants

For selecting a new system


1. An actively engaged project sponsor


A board level director / executive who fully support, is actively involved with and champions the project. Ideally this would be the CEO. IT Director Support is required, but this is not enough. It should at least be the head of the relevant department eg Finance Director / CFO for a new accounting system, HR Director for a new HR system. Selecting a new system without a Project Sponsor will not only fail, but most likely not even start.


2. Clear objectives for the system selection


These include defining a vision for the new system, the objectives to be achieved, the scope of the project and hence, the parameters, tasks, project plan for the selection process.


3. A solid business case for the project


These days, almost all system projects require a good business case prior to commencement or system selection. Whilst at a high or summarized level, the essential components include:


·         an outline of the project, what is being proposed and why

·         a positive ROI (Return on Investment) and a quick investment payback

·         a summary of costs (direct and indirect), benefits (tangible and intangible) and an outline budget for the overall project

·         an overview of how the new system will be implemented, key dates, departments, people involved, resourcing, outline implementation project plan, project risks and their mitigation

·         a budget available for the system selection eg for external purchases, consultancy and internal resources


4. Users driving the project


Driving the project forward is more than just user involvement – the users need to actively lead and be totally involved with the system selection. They should be willing to accept the need for change, not just to the system, but also to operational procedures / processes. And whilst IT is also heavily involved, it should be in more of a supporting role, rather than the driving role. After all, the system is for the users - who are responsible for the business need / business case.


5. Committed resources and experienced project management


An experienced project manager should manage the system selection process. All resources should have the skills, commitment and time available to carry out the selection tasks. There should be no conflict with their existing workloads, critical business dates / deadlines, etc. If there are insufficient internal resources with the right skills and availability, bring in external resources. They could either work on the selection process, or free up staff, who in turn, may work on the system selection.



6. Focus on the business requirements

The establishment of business requirements under pins the project. It is the ‘foundation block’ for selecting the right system, implementing and achieving the desired business benefits.


7. A sensible time scale for the system selection process


Too rushed and corners will be cut, not enough thought given to business requirements and potentially good solutions missed. But too long and the selection process becomes too drawn out, confusing and difficult to make head way. A balance has to be struck - which varies from one organization to another – so that there is sufficient time for all the software selection activities to be completed.

9 months ago

Existence at risk as fraud case widens of Mitsubishi's

TOKYO -- For the second time in about a decade, Mitsubishi Motors Corp. faces a scandal that could affect the company's existence.


The Japanese automaker has improperly tested the fuel economy of its cars for the past quarter century, widening the scope of misconduct that executives initially said dated back to 2002.


The Mitsubishi board has formed a panel of three ex-prosecutors to investigate for about three months. Until then, customers, investors and minicar partner Nissan Motor Co. may be left waiting for information about the number of affected models and details of compensation.


"I'm taking this as a case that could affect our company's existence," President Tetsuro Aikawa told reporters during a press conference Tuesday. "My mission is to solve the issue."


On Tuesday, Mitsubishi shares plunged for a fifth day, slashing the company's market value by half during that span to about 427 billion yen ($3.8 billion).


The deepening crisis is the worst since the automaker covered up defective axles that led wheels to detach in fatal accidents, prompting multiple bailouts from Mitsubishi Group companies.


"Right now, understanding which cars and how many of them are at stake is the most important thing," Koji Endo, a Tokyo-based analyst with Advanced Research Japan, said. After two press conferences in the span of a week, investors are "still waiting for a proper report."


Mitsubishi hasn't decided how it will compensate customers, Aikawa said. The company is in discussions about reimbursing Nissan, which was supplied about three-quarters of the 625,000 minicars that were improperly tested and relied on manipulated data. Nissan has since voluntarily stopped sales of the Japan-only models, called Dayz and Dayz Roox.


Depending on how many more vehicles were improperly tested, the company "will get into a situation where its survival is difficult," Endo said.


Widening probes


Wrongdoing by the Japanese automaker and Volkswagen Group has prompted a reckoning of the ways carmakers test for and label the fuel economy and exhaust emissions of their vehicles. Government investigators last week raided French manufacturer PSA Group as part of broader checks into vehicle emissions, while Daimler initiated an internal probe into its certification process at the behest of the U.S. Department of Justice.


The EPA and the California Air Resources Board also announced an investigation of whether models sold in the U.S. meet fuel economy regulations.


The EPA has instructed Mitsubishi to provide additional information on vehicles sold in the U.S. and will direct the company to conduct additional testing, EPA spokeswoman Julia Valentine said in an emailed statement Tuesday in Washington.


Japan's transport ministry asked Mitsubishi to re-submit findings from its investigation of improper testing methods by May 11. An initial report that the company provided the regulator ahead of a Wednesday deadline was insufficient, a ministry official said Tuesday.


In addition to potential payouts to customers and Nissan, Mitsubishi may have to pay back government tax rebates that its minicars shouldn't have been eligible for, Ryugo Nakao, an executive vice president, has said.


Nissan decision


Nissan first uncovered fuel economy discrepancies when working on development for the next generation of the minicars. CEO Carlos Ghosn said Monday that Nissan will decide on the future of the partnership after further verification.


Mitsubishi had set stretch fuel economy goals for its engineers to achieve. Aikawa, 62, and other executives attended meetings where the company raised targets for the Nissan Dayz, Dayz Roox and Mitsubishi eK Wagon and eK Space minicars, Nakao said Tuesday.


"We aren't able to deal with customers," Aikawa told reporters Tuesday, adding that he wasn't aware of the improper testing. "We're just telling them that we'll offer something."