Diet, Nutrition and Healthy Living

Diet and nutrition products have helped countless individuals maintain a healthier lifestyle, by providing essential vitamins and minerals in an otherwise poor diet. Diet and nutrition is important for everyone but it is especially important for runners, or for those who exercise vigorously. If you are dieting, you are ill, or you are regularly eating a fast-food diet, you should be especially concerned about what you and your family are getting as proper diet and nutrition from your food.Nutrition is important for everyone because food gives our bodies the nutrients they need to stay healthy, grow, and work properly. In 2005, the government’s revised Dietary Guidelines for Americans introduced the term “nutrient density,” which sounds complicated but simply refers to how much nutrition a food provides. Nutrient density is especially important when overall nutrition and health is considered.Experts believe these nutritional substances may help prevent heart disease, fight certain cancers, ward off dementia, and even slow certain aging processes. And so if you are like many of us, not quite hitting the entire food pyramid, you might be trying to outwit your body by giving it nutritional supplements to make up for the sins of food-group omissions.Even the results of the best diet supplements are improved by proper nutrition and regular exercise, because when people eat healthy foods and exercise, they feel better, have more energy and are less prone to health problems. Health and nutrition products can help ensure that adequate levels of nutrients provide your body what it needs to stay healthy.Nutritional snacks can be very important to our overall health and nutrition. When you snack, you can fill in nutritional gaps, if you boost your intake of fruits and vegetables. This helps you keep your mood on an even keel, and helps with appetite suppression and weight control. However, snacking can be a bad thing too, and can definitely contribute to weight gain. If you’re searching for a villain in America’s obesity epidemic, most nutritionists tell you to put one picture on the wanted poster: a cold, bubbly glass of soda pop.Good nutrition is one of the ways the body restores itself to health. Restoring and maintaining good nutrition is a key principle in the management of diseases like Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Diet and nutrition concerns of patients with inflammatory bowel disease are extremely common, and appropriate. Because IBS, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis are diseases of the digestive tract, it is only natural that you will have many questions about diet and nutrition, if you have been diagnosed with one of these disorders. As research continues, we will learn even more about the relationship between nutrition and IBS, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis, and how to treat and or avoid them altogether.As you can see, good nutritional habits and adequate caloric intake are very important. However, it’s desirable to also maintain intake of at least some dairy products because they represent such a good source of nutrition, particularly calcium and protein, contributing to even more good nutrition. And, good nutrition quite simply equates to good health.In summary, while diet and nutrition may not play a role in causing IBS, and some other digestive diseases, maintaining a well-balanced diet that is rich in nutrients can help you to live a healthier life. As stated earlier, if you are dieting, ill or eating a fast-food diet, you should be concerned about what you and your family are getting as a proper diet and nutrition from your food.Or, maybe you feel as though you are just missing something while trying to sift through all the information out there about diet and nutrition. Either way, it is up to each of us to learn all we can about diet and nutrition, and then to apply that knowledge to our own lives. Good nutrition puts us on the path to good health, and good health is something we all should desire in order to live and be happy.

Best in Class Finance Functions For Police Forces

Background

Police funding has risen by £4.8 billion and 77 per cent (39 per cent in real terms) since 1997. However the days where forces have enjoyed such levels of funding are over.

Chief Constables and senior management recognize that the annual cycle of looking for efficiencies year-on-year is not sustainable, and will not address the cash shortfall in years to come.
Facing slower funding growth and real cash deficits in their budgets, the Police Service must adopt innovative strategies which generate the productivity and efficiency gains needed to deliver high quality policing to the public.

The step-change in performance required to meet this challenge will only be achieved if the police service fully embraces effective resource management and makes efficient and productive use of its technology, partnerships and people.

The finance function has an essential role to play in addressing these challenges and supporting Forces’ objectives economically and efficiently.

Challenge

Police Forces tend to nurture a divisional and departmental culture rather than a corporate one, with individual procurement activities that do not exploit economies of scale. This is in part the result of over a decade of devolving functions from the center to the.divisions.

In order to reduce costs, improve efficiency and mitigate against the threat of “top down” mandatory, centrally-driven initiatives, Police Forces need to set up a corporate back office and induce behavioral change. This change must involve compliance with a corporate culture rather than a series of silos running through the organization.

Developing a Best in Class Finance Function

Traditionally finance functions within Police Forces have focused on transactional processing with only limited support for management information and business decision support. With a renewed focus on efficiencies, there is now a pressing need for finance departments to transform in order to add greater value to the force but with minimal costs.

1) Aligning to Force Strategy

As Police Forces need finance to function, it is imperative that finance and operations are closely aligned. This collaboration can be very powerful and help deliver significant improvements to a Force, but in order to achieve this model, there are many barriers to overcome. Finance Directors must look at whether their Force is ready for this collaboration, but more importantly, they must consider whether the Force itself can survive without it.

Finance requires a clear vision that centers around its role as a balanced business partner. However to achieve this vision a huge effort is required from the bottom up to understand the significant complexity in underlying systems and processes and to devise a way forward that can work for that particular organization.

The success of any change management program is dependent on its execution. Change is difficult and costly to execute correctly, and often, Police Forces lack the relevant experience to achieve such change. Although finance directors are required to hold appropriate professional qualifications (as opposed to being former police officers as was the case a few years ago) many have progressed within the Public Sector with limited opportunities for learning from and interaction with best in class methodologies. In addition cultural issues around self-preservation can present barriers to change.

Whilst it is relatively easy to get the message of finance transformation across, securing commitment to embark on bold change can be tough. Business cases often lack the quality required to drive through change and even where they are of exceptional quality senior police officers often lack the commercial awareness to trust them.

2) Supporting Force Decisions

Many Finance Directors are keen to develop their finance functions. The challenge they face is convincing the rest of the Force that the finance function can add value – by devoting more time and effort to financial analysis and providing senior management with the tools to understand the financial implications of major strategic decisions.

Maintaining Financial Controls and Managing Risk

Sarbanes Oxley, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), Basel II and Individual Capital Assessments (ICA) have all put financial controls and reporting under the spotlight in the private sector. This in turn is increasing the spotlight on financial controls in the public sector.

A ‘Best in Class’ Police Force finance function will not just have the minimum controls to meet the regulatory requirements but will evaluate how the legislation and regulations that the finance function are required to comply with, can be leveraged to provide value to the organization. Providing strategic information that will enable the force to meet its objectives is a key task for a leading finance function.

3) Value to the Force

The drive for development over the last decade or so, has moved decision making to the Divisions and has led to an increase in costs in the finance function. Through utilizing a number of initiatives in a program of transformation, a Force can leverage up to 40% of savings on the cost of finance together with improving the responsiveness of finance teams and the quality of financial information. These initiatives include:

Centralization

By centralizing the finance function, a Police Force can create centers of excellence where industry best practice can be developed and shared. This will not only re-empower the department, creating greater independence and objectivity in assessing projects and performance, but also lead to more consistent management information and a higher degree of control. A Police Force can also develop a business partner group to act as strategic liaisons to departments and divisions. The business partners would, for example, advise on how the departmental and divisional commanders can meet the budget in future months instead of merely advising that the budget has been missed for the previous month.

With the mundane number crunching being performed in a shared service center, finance professionals will find they now have time to act as business partners to divisions and departments and focus on the strategic issues.

The cultural impact on the departments and divisional commanders should not be underestimated. Commanders will be concerned that:

o Their budgets will be centralized
o Workloads would increase
o There will be limited access to finance individuals
o There will not be on site support

However, if the centralized shared service center is designed appropriately none of the above should apply. In fact from centralization under a best practice model, leaders should accrue the following benefits:

o Strategic advice provided by business partners
o Increased flexibility
o Improved management information
o Faster transactions
o Reduced number of unresolved queries
o Greater clarity on service and cost of provision
o Forum for finance to be strategically aligned to the needs of the Force

A Force that moves from a de-centralized to a centralized system should try and ensure that the finance function does not lose touch with the Chief Constable and Divisional Commanders. Forces need to have a robust business case for finance transformation combined with a governance structure that spans operational, tactical and strategic requirements. There is a risk that potential benefits of implementing such a change may not be realized if the program is not carefully managed. Investment is needed to create a successful centralized finance function. Typically the future potential benefits of greater visibility and control, consistent processes, standardized management information, economies of scale, long-term cost savings and an empowered group of proud finance professionals, should outweigh those initial costs.

To reduce the commercial, operational and capability risks, the finance functions can be completely outsourced or partially outsourced to third parties. This will provide guaranteed cost benefits and may provide the opportunity to leverage relationships with vendors that provide best practice processes.

Process Efficiencies

Typically for Police Forces the focus on development has developed a silo based culture with disparate processes. As a result significant opportunities exist for standardization and simplification of processes which provide scalability, reduce manual effort and deliver business benefit. From simply rationalizing processes, a force can typically accrue a 40% reduction in the number of processes. An example of this is the use of electronic bank statements instead of using the manual bank statement for bank reconciliation and accounts receivable processes. This would save considerable effort that is involved in analyzing the data, moving the data onto different spreadsheet and inputting the data into the financial systems.

Organizations that possess a silo operating model tend to have significant inefficiencies and duplication in their processes, for example in HR and Payroll. This is largely due to the teams involved meeting their own goals but not aligning to the corporate objectives of an organization. Police Forces have a number of independent teams that are reliant on one another for data with finance in departments, divisions and headquarters sending and receiving information from each other as well as from the rest of the Force. The silo model leads to ineffective data being received by the teams that then have to carry out additional work to obtain the information required.

Whilst the argument for development has been well made in the context of moving decision making closer to operational service delivery, the added cost in terms of resources, duplication and misaligned processes has rarely featured in the debate. In the current financial climate these costs need to be recognized.

Culture

Within transactional processes, a leading finance function will set up targets for staff members on a daily basis. This target setting is an element of the metric based culture that leading finance functions develop. If the appropriate metrics of productivity and quality are applied and when these targets are challenging but not impossible, this is proven to result in improvements to productivity and quality.

A ‘Best in Class’ finance function in Police Forces will have a service focused culture, with the primary objectives of providing a high level of satisfaction for its customers (departments, divisions, employees & suppliers). A ‘Best in Class’ finance function will measure customer satisfaction on a timely basis through a metric based approach. This will be combined with a team wide focus on process improvement, with process owners, that will not necessarily be the team leads, owning force-wide improvement to each of the finance processes.

Organizational Improvements

Organizational structures within Police Forces are typically made up of supervisors leading teams of one to four team members. Through centralizing and consolidating the finance function, an opportunity exists to increase the span of control to best practice levels of 6 to 8 team members to one team lead / supervisor. By adjusting the organizational structure and increasing the span of control, Police Forces can accrue significant cashable benefit from a reduction in the number of team leads and team leads can accrue better management experience from managing larger teams.

Technology Enabled Improvements

There are a significant number of technology improvements that a Police Force could implement to help develop a ‘Best in Class’ finance function.

These include:

A) Scanning and workflow

Through adopting a scanning and workflow solution to replace manual processes, improved visibility, transparency and efficiencies can be reaped.

B) Call logging, tracking and workflow tool

Police Forces generally have a number of individuals responding to internal and supplier queries. These queries are neither logged nor tracked. The consequence of this is dual:

o Queries consume considerable effort within a particular finance team. There is a high risk of duplicated effort from the lack of logging of queries. For example, a query could be responded to for 30 minutes by person A in the finance team. Due to this query not being logged, if the individual that raised the query called up again and spoke to a different person then just for one additional question, this could take up to 20 minutes to ensure that the background was appropriately explained.

o Queries can have numerous interfaces with the business. An unresolved query can be responded against by up to four separate teams with considerable delay in providing a clear answer for the supplier.

The implementation of a call logging, tracking and workflow tool to document, measure and close internal and supplier queries combined with the set up of a central queries team, would significantly reduce the effort involved in responding to queries within the finance departments and divisions, as well as within the actual divisions and departments, and procurement.

C) Database solution

Throughout finance departments there are a significant number of spreadsheets utilized prior to input into the financial system. There is a tendency to transfer information manually from one spreadsheet to another to meet the needs of different teams.

Replacing the spreadsheets with a database solution would rationalize the number of inputs and lead to effort savings for the front line Police Officers as well as Police Staff.

D) Customize reports

In obtaining management information from the financial systems, police staff run a series of reports, import these into excel, use lookups to match the data and implement pivots to illustrate the data as required. There is significant manual effort that is involved in carrying out this work. Through customizing reports the outputs from the financial system can be set up to provide the data in the formats required through the click of a button. This would have the benefit of reduced effort and improved motivation for team members that previously carried out these mundane tasks.

In designing, procuring and implementing new technology enabling tools, a Police Force will face a number of challenges including investment approval; IT capacity; capability; and procurement.

These challenges can be mitigated through partnering with a third party service company with whom the investment can be shared, the skills can be provided and the procurement cycle can be minimized.

Conclusion

It is clear that cultural, process and technology change is required if police forces are to deliver both sustainable efficiencies and high quality services. In an environment where for the first time forces face real cash deficits and face having to reduce police officer and support staff numbers whilst maintaining current performance levels the current finance delivery models requires new thinking.

While there a number of barriers to be overcome in achieving a best in class finance function, it won’t be long before such a decision becomes mandatory. Those who are ahead of the curve will inevitably find themselves in a stronger position.

Why Your Business Needs Digital Marketing Services

Modern world screams technology from every angle, people are well occupied with their busy and demanding schedules, and don’t have time to look out for different brands, products and upcoming projects through the means of offline marketing, such as: paper-based newspapers, books, communication methods and traditional TV and radio broadcasts. In the current scenario internet and mobile phones are the most picked method to share any information, so when the term Digital Marketing is discussed, customers can access the information any time and any place as per their convenience. Internet and globalization have shrunk the world to an axis point, where people from all over the globe can access the information via computers, tablets or mobiles. Digital marketing is indeed a blessing for the business owners, where they can influence the image of their companies via digital marketing and can reach up to a larger chunk of customers globally.You Should Do Digital MarketingIn the era of technology, where Smartphone rules our life, we feel bound to access the product details online only through, mobiles, computers or tablets. A business turns does not mean the huge traffic on the product website, but that traffic converting to leads or boosting the sales. Online Marketing, is a tool which works on your customer’s psychology with the attractive content, ads followed by various other marketing tactics, Digital Marketing tools and techniques provide business owners the best chances for competition, survival and even for the business boost.Asking Price The first and the foremost reason to opt for digital marketing is, but obviously the cost-factor, which is quite economical, being compared to traditional offline marketing methods. To illustrate the fact a TV ad or newspaper advertisement can cost huge and with no guarantee of being noticed by everybody, on the contrary an email or social media campaign, can reach out to a mass population globally. Reliable Customer’s FeedbackAnother benefit, which really suits the need of the business, is the real-time and reliable customer feedback and reviews to upgrade the services with time. With digital marketing pattern business owners don’t need to spend excessively on surveys and customers’ feedback, but the unbiased information can be attained through internet marketing and ultimately win the customer’s trust. The better revenue growth expectancy of either small or medium enterprises can extend to 4 times much better by using digital marketing techniques, since it lets the product available to go larger and farther reaching markets both locally and abroad.Brand RecognitionOnline Marketing proves beneficial for the brand reputation, with satisfied customers and their real-time feedback, business owners can reach to other potential set of customers. This helps the business owners to make the brand reputation go viral as expected, further opening new doors of opportunities for reaching bigger markets and attain business growth.Conversion OptimizationSince the current era is turning more digital, than people do have the access over their gadgets at every time and business owners can remain available with their product, regardless of their time-zone restrictions and ultimately a larger reach to the consumers would lead to conversion, because the consumer would get what they are looking for a per their convenience. Without conversion, all the traffic would mean nothing and all the other marketing efforts would end in despair. This is the sole reason, why business owners put more efforts towards the digital marketing campaigns.Key Digital Marketing ToolsDigital Marketing can be done in various ways, below mentioned are a few of the major keys, although with the upcoming innovative technology methods, more would be added to this list.

Websites and SEO content

Blogs

Internet banner ads

Online video content

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising

Email marketing

Social media marketing (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.)

Mobile marketing (SMS, MMS, etc.)
When a customer walks into a shop, the first step he/she follows is to inspect the product and then might leave without buying anything. Undeniably a larger number only come and go and very small groups make a buy. Even if the product website receives tons of website visitors daily or weekly, but none of them ever convert, then it’s alarming, because it leads to clear indication that the business will also cease to exist. Digital Marketing helps the business owners to utilize the tried and tested marketing tactics, which not just attract the superfluous traffic, but highly potential target traffic and would ensure the survival of the business.