Segregate Waste by Using Colorful Trash Bags

They said that if you love the environment you should do your part in saving it. There are lots of things we can do to take part for a healthier nature. We can help clean our streets, we can plant new trees, we can recycle our plastic bags, and we can simply segregate our trash.

Trash or waste segregation is basically the process of sorting out the garbage to make sure the right waste go to the right place. This is usually done by putting the same kind of garbage in one trash bag and other kinds in another bag. This is primarily to organize wastes, to reduce litter and segregate those materials that can be reused or recycled.

Sometimes people are having a hard time separating their trash. Often they would just put all kinds of trash-whether wet or dry, plastic or cans, left-over foods and papers-into one bin. Do you think this is a wise way to handle the garbage? This would just clutter your bin, emit unpleasant odor, and make decomposition difficult.

For this reason are the trash bags made specifically with varying colors. They are created so as people can properly segregate any kinds of garbage. While specific colors are assigned to each kind of trash, it is the people’s responsibility to know which trash is for what color so they can segregate their trash accordingly.

Here are the basic colors we need to familiarize ourselves for proper waste segregation:

• CLEAR – is normally used to hold recyclable products or things we can reuse or remake into something new. Clear or white color is beneficial so as materials inside can be easily seen even without opening it. What we can put here are tin cans, bottles, papers, etc.

• BLACK – is generally used to hold non-biodegradable and non-infectious wastes, which means those that cannot be easily decomposed. Examples of which are plastic cans, Styrofoams, candy wrappers, Popsicle sticks, etc.

• GREEN – is mainly used to carry biodegradable materials or those wastes that can be easily decomposed. We can see these as left-over foods, vegetables and fruit peelings, dried leaves, twigs, etc.

• RED – is commonly used for bio-hazardous or infectious waste products or those that could be harmful to the public’s health. Usually these trashes are taken from the hospitals or clinics such as syringe, cotton, disposable cups, plastic food bags, human wastes, etc.

• BLUE – is usually used to handle industrial materials or those bulk goods for businesses. Examples of these are glasses, heavy plastics, fabrics, woods, etc.

So the next time we are going to put away our trash, we already know in what trash bag they need to be placed. By proper waste segregation, we are doing our part for a cleaner environment.

Eco Skincare – Is it Ethical to Use Beeswax in Beauty Products As the Bees Continue to Vanish?

Einstein is rumored to have predicted that if bees disappear from our planet, mankind will soon perish. Although it is not proven whether the great scientist said this or not, our scientists are worried.

Wild bee populations are being wiped out by a parasitic mite and beekeepers are working hard to protect their farmed bees from the same fate.

As the bees vanish we take a look at the bee and the issue of beeswax, ethics and skincare.

Beeswax (or cera alba as it is listed on ingredients labels) is an ingredient used by both commercial skin care manufacturers and many natural and organic skin care producers.

Beeswax is obtained from the honeycomb of bees in the hive and used in skincare as an emulsifier and thickener, as well as for its reputed skin care benefits.

People choosing to buy natural and organic skin care expect green, eco and ethical credentials from the producers.

Cruelty-free is high on the list for green and ethical shoppers which is why it is important to look at the question of bees and beeswax.

Most vegans do not eat honey or use bee products although generally speaking vegetarians do.

The Vegan Society condemns the use of all bee products such as honey, beeswax, propolis and royal jelly.

According to the Vegan Society exploitation of and cruelty to bees consists of:

  • Bee farming
  • Cruel treatment of the Queen bee
  • Wing-clipping
  • Killing bees when harvesting honey comb
  • Use of artificial food and pesticides
  • Vivisection
  • Destruction of hives.

Pretty damning, don’t you think. Or is it?

Looking further into the issue it would appear that not all beekeepers employ the above methods.

Whilst it is true that most if not all commercial bee farms do practice cruelty towards bees, many small ‘local’ beekeepers are more ethical.

The independent beekeeper would argue that the bees’ welfare is the most important thing to them, both as a moral obligation towards the bees and in favor of good sense for the small business.

On many small bee farms the bees are given extra room for their hives, the bees enjoy working and make more honey than they need, and by the use of pesticides they are protected from deadly mites, parasites and fungi that are killing wild bee colonies. Beekeepers are also keen to point out that although it does happen on large commercial bee farms, they themselves do not kill off the bees or destroy their hives.

Sadly the numbers of small, caring, ethical beekeepers is far outweighed by the huge commercial bee farms meeting the demand of even bigger commercial companies wanting large quantities of cheap product, regardless of the cost to the bees.

And the question of exploitation remains as the bees are still kept and farmed for their monetary value.

It is therefore important to choose cruelty-free natural and organic beauty products. This is not as easy as it sounds. Beeswax is a predominant ingredient in commercial and natural skincare, but there are bee-friendly alternatives so read the literature, website information and product ingredients carefully.

It is not enough for skincare producers to claim to be against animal testing. If in doubt, ask!

A UK natural skincare company called Maia Skin Care (http://www.maiaskincare.co.uk) believes in using only cruelty-free ingredients. They do not use any bee product in their natural beauty products and have excellent green ethics. All their products are vegan-friendly and free from beeswax, honey and any other ingredients derived from bees.

Unique Bridal Shower Favors

If you’re planning to tie the knot, one of the very first things you need to plan is how to make your bridal shower memorable. There are lots of unique bridal shower favors that are available for any would be bride to choose from. Here are some great ones to consider:

Handbag Holder – Available in 3 beautiful color floral design accented with rhinestone, this purse caddy is set on the table to hold your purse or hand bag near you so that you won’t forget about it or have to set it down on a dirty floor.

Corco Coin Purse – Croco Coin Purses are stylish, practical and colorful – available in shades of Black, Pink, Red and Brown, these functional little bags keep you organized…with a fashionable edge.

Personalized Bridal Shower Gel – Your bridesmaids and guests will enjoy being pampered with this lightly scented gel… kissed with the fragrance of sweet pea and violets, this is a flirtatious blend everyone will be sure to enjoy!

Izzy Straw Gift Bag – Your favorite girls will love to have these unique summer straw bags as their goody bag and keepsake of your bridal shower party – they come in different designs and you can add other goodies too such as lip gloss, soaps and other treats.

Manicure Bag – Unique color vinyl mini purse that includes a mini manicure set to go, they come in adorable colors, pink, blue, lavender and pearl white.

Mini Floral Jewelry Box – Mini antique finish floral design footed jewelry box – best for jewelry such as stud earrings, rings and silver chain necklaces and pendants but not suitable for larger jewelry items.

Make up Pouch – Available in assorted colors and patterns, this mini make-up pouch made with Asian design fabrics is unique because no fabric is cut exactly alike.

Bridesmaid Dress Sachets – These adorable scented sachets in the shape of bridesmaids’ dresses are fragranced with lavender and will delicately scent your bridesmaids’ pajama drawers or lingerie drawers – available in a variety of colors with a silver metal hanger for easy display.

Black Lace Corset Potpourri – Scented Potpourri in the shape of this beautiful black lace corset makes a great gift to the bride’s guest as her bridal shower favor – perfect as a decoration for the bedroom or as a linen sachet for the drawers.

These are just some examples of favors that you can consider for your very own bridal shower party. Hopefully this summary of unique and interesting products could make your selection much easier!

What it Takes to Be a Pilot Car Driver

You’ve seen them – pickup trucks or cars driving in front of a tractor trailer pulling a very wide load. These are called pilot cars, and the people who drive them are professionals who specialize in that form of driving. You may have thought that those cars and trucks were part of a team, but in fact the pilot car driver is usually someone contracted to get the load through a particular state. So what does it take to be a pilot driver? Read on and find out.

There is a certain amount of equipment your vehicle will require. For instance, you will need a fire extinguisher, a CB radio, flags, and an oversize load sign. It goes without saying that you need a highly reliable vehicle capable of handling long drives. Equipment requirements can vary from state to state, so it is important to have the equipment required by the states in which you work.

Gathering together the equipment you need is the easy part. The hard part is living the lifestyle necessary to be successful in the industry. The life of a pilot car is very similar to a truck driver in that it requires many hours of driving with limited interruptions. Just like truck drivers, they are paid by the mile. So the more miles you can drive in a day, the more you can earn.

There is one area where these drivers are at a disadvantage relative to their companion truck drivers – the pilot car driver has nowhere to sleep! When the day is done, a pilot car driver must find a hotel. This adds to his time on the road and is an additional expense to consider.

There is also a certain level of danger associated with driving a pilot car. There may be times when quick lane changes or other repositioning is required to accommodate the needs of the wide load vehicle. Sometimes aggressive driving is required, so timidity is not a trait that will lead to success in this field.

This type of driving is not something that you should just decide to do with no training. Your best bet to get into the field is to find an experienced driver who will allow you to ride along, and later maybe even drive the vehicle yourself. The wider the load, and the more difficult the situation, the higher the level of training that will be required to drive safely and effectively.

Pilot car driving is not an easy life, and it definitely requires a high level of concentration and determination. But if driving is what you love, and you are willing to live a lifestyle similar to a trucker, then it is a profession that you might find very satisfying.

Dolce & Gabbana Perfume

Although the Egyptians were first to use perfume, never previously has there been so much choice available for women who want to smell good. Cologne, perfum, scent, body sprays – they’re all out there in all their adaptations, each of them vying for your attention.

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Marketing and product show are getting increasingly vital for smell makers, with the bottles being a major selling point. But what is the point of a pretty bottle if the contents don’t measure up to your expectations?
When purchasing scent it’s crucial that you understand the different concentrates available. Eau de cologne is the least concentrated and therefore the cheapest alternative. This is followed by eau de toilette, then eau de parfum and finally, the most concentrated and by far the most expensive, the parfum. The price difference is reflected in the amount of scent needed to enjoy the perfume at its best.

When buying a new fragrance, always try it on your own skin before making a purchase. Spray it on the inside of your wrist and then wait for at least five mins for the smell to develop.

As already mentioned, the kind of perfume you have bought will figure out how much you want to apply but still too many tend to wear too much, making others feel overpowered by their scent. This is especially true of older ladies whose sense of smell has now begun to reduce but it is’s also the case among younger women who aren’t yet used to wearing fragrance. They apply and then, when they can no longer smell it, they re-apply.

It takes our nose about 5 mins to get used to a scent after which time the brain no longer registers it. In fact , the job of the brain is to alert us to something that ‘doesn’t belong’, and a smell that has been with us for five minutes without inciting a reaction is obviously not threatening.

Most fragrances are designed to last for roughly 4 hours so while you shouldn’t re-apply as soon as you stop seeing the smell, it’s completely OK to re-apply once in the day and again during the evening.

Unless you take a shower, always stick with the same fragrance in a day as mixing never works.

Even though it’s recommended to have a perfume for every one of the 4 seasons, one for spring and summer and other for autumn and winter will do.

While no perfume will last forever, and most have a lifespan of approximately 3 years from the date of turn out. Remember that the date of manufacture isn’t the same as the date you purchased the perfume so if you’re spending a lot on your perfume, it’s worth checking when it was made. It’s for this reason that you should generally buy from quality department stores or reputable outlets.

Correct storage will help lengthen the life of your perfume, the most significant rule being that it’s stored in a dark, dry place instead of on your dressing table.
A dark, dry box is best.

Once you’ve found the perfumes that suit you, stick with them. Trends pop up and vanish and new scents are arriving in the shops almost every day, but unless your choice is discontinued, sticking with it give you a hallmark scent – a fragrance others will recognize as being you.
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Ford Motor Company – Case Study

Background (General Facts)

Ford Motors is one of three leading automotive manufacturing companies in the United States. Based in Michigan in 1903 by Henry ford and grew to reach revenue of $150 billion and more than 370,000 employees by 1996 [1]. In the 1970’s, the automobile market for the major auto makers – General Motors (GM), Ford, and Chrysler- was crunched by competition from foreign manufactures such as Toyota and Honda. In 1999, Ford acquired the Swedish Volvo model in an attempt to compete in the foreign market and expand to other regions. Furthermore, Ford launched a full organization re-engineering business process plan called “Ford 2000” aiming at reestablishing the company’s infrastructure. The process meant reduction in their Vehicle Centers (VCs) to only five covering the operations that spanned 200 countries. It also meant cutting redundancies and requiring Information Technology (IT) to be the driving force and the link between Ford centers worldwide.

In building Ford’s IT infrastructure, the company focused on implementing a setup that supported the TCP/IP communication protocol based on the U.S. department of Defense requirements. At those days, Ford internal network was meant to serve files transfer unlike most companies that used the network mainly for email communications. Throughout the 1990’s, Ford developed a cost effective Global Enterprise Network Integration (GENI) process to link all its locations compromising on the type of the connection and the cabling in favor of full coverage. During the same time, Ford started building its Web Farm, which was basically a set of hardware and software managed by a team for building Ford’s public website. The work started by publishing documents for technical references and moved to more advanced images from a live auto show. As a result, the website received 1 million visits a day in less than 2 years after its official launch. Throughout the end of the 90’s, Ford established its web services by increasing the amount of information published, building more intelligent and standard web application in 12 weeks period, purchasing more Netscape browsers for setup on its users’ machines, and creating a B2B server to allow the suppliers secured access to Ford’s Intranet.

In the path towards service cost reduction and bringing more business through the web, Ford worked closely with its competitors in the U.S. market GM and Chrysler to establish what came to be known as “Automotive Network Exchange” (ANX) certificate. The protocols aimed at providing a unified communications standard through the Internet to enable suppliers to provide common technology for all manufacturers. Moreover, Ford focused on making information on its web site more accessible and useful by deploying a team to manage the process of adding and updating information based on an analysis of how humans deal with information. One final aspect of Fords endeavor was to try to build a model through its infrastructure that benefited from the model implemented by Dell computers to improve their supply chain and delivery process. The direct model would not work well for automotives as it would with computers, as a result Ford worked on its retailing network remodeling and identifying what would eventually give it the extra edge in delivery time.

Enterprise Architecture Issues

  • Ford’s regional expansion to address the competition for market shares demanded cost management for the infrastructure upgrades
  • IT infrastructure places limitations on the type of application development based on the platforms
  • Easy access to information and prompt delivery of vital data to key individuals requires proper knowledge managementOrganizations reengineering and process remodeling is necessary when adapting new technologies to maintain the cost and increase efficiency
  • Supply chain errors and delays can severely affect the progress of the business and the market value of the corporation

Analysis

Infrastructure Upgrade

Since the inception of the Internet in the 1960’s, much effort has been made in standardizing how computers connect to it. In 1982, the International Organization for Standards (ISO) realized that during that period many ad hoc networking systems were already using the TCP/IP protocol for communications and thus adapted it as a standard in its model for the Internet network [2]. The main driver for IP convergence, at that period, was the growth in data traffic through wide area networks (WANs) established by local companies. Furthermore, in 1991, the Internet was open for commercial use, and that demanded a reduction in the total cost of operating the network to cope with 1 million Internet hosts that materialized in only 1-year time. Telecommunications companies like AT&T understood the potential and worked on standardizing the network offering voice services over IP networks that managed the separation between voice and data transmission [3].

At the same time, Ford had launched its plan to update its infrastructure, and seized the opportunity brought by the global movement of integrating the voice, fax transmission network with data transmission and expanded its WAN to include its offices in Europe and elsewhere. The financial benefits also came from the fact that Ford adapted the TCP/IP protocol from the beginning and made sure that all its technical infrastructure upgrades adhere to the standards. This made the transition of its system to the Internet as cost effective as it could be.

Web Technologies

Intranets employ the hypertext and multimedia technology used on the Internet. Prior to 1989, when Tim burners-Lee invented the Web [4], most applications used standard development languages such as C and C++ to create desktop applications that were proprietary and dependent on the platform. For example, applications running on a command-based operating system such as UNIX would not run under Windows, and those working for PCs might not work on Apple computers and vice versa [5]. The invention of HTML (Hyper-Text Markup Language) introduced a new model for applications that conform to the standards provided by a single program, the “Web Browser”. Unlike standard applications, the browser brought a unified interface that had a very fast learning curve. Users seem to require no additional training to work with web browsers. Furthermore, system administrators did not have to spend time installing upgrades on users’ machines, since the Intranet client/server architecture facilitated all the updates through the connection with the web server [6].

Since Ford established its Intranet, it was aiming at building web applications through the initial analysis of “Mosaic”, the early form of web browsers. The technical department at Ford used web languages to create the first web site in 1995. In 1996, the team started building applications making use of the unified “Netscape” browser that was deployed on all machines at the company, and working on a standard template to cut on the development life cycle. There was a substantial cut in training cost due to the user-friendly interface of web applications. Furthermore, the speed of development made vital applications available to different individuals across the company. For example, the B2B site allowed suppliers remote and secured access to various sections of Ford’s Intranet. In addition, the development team created an application as a virtual teardown on Ford’s website where Ford’s engineers could examine parts of competitors’ cars and evaluate any new technologies. The alternative would have been an actual trip to a physical location where Ford tears down cars to examine the parts.

Knowledge Management

While there are many definitions for knowledge, each company might adapt its own based on how it analysis data and information to acquire knowledge. The University of Kentucky, for example, defines knowledge as “a vital organization resource. It is the raw material, work-in process, and finished good of decision-making. Distinct types of knowledge used by decision makers include information, procedures, and heuristics, among others… ” [7].

Organizations go through different activities to manage the amount of information they collect to form the knowledge base of the company. Activities include creating databases of best practices and market intelligence analysis, gathering filtering and classifying data, incorporating knowledge into business applications used by employees, and developing focal points for facilitating knowledge flow and building skills [8].

Ford was excited about the traffic it was receiving on the Web site and everyone was publishing all the material they have on desk on the Intranet. Nevertheless, there was a growing concern about the usability and usefulness of the material people were adding. As a result, Ford created a “Knowledge Domain Team” to build complete information in nine areas that were identified as vital to the business. The process Ford took was based on surveys and specialists input in how people perceive information, and what is considered vital and what is distracting in the structure of Ford’s website. The aim behind the initiative was to reduce the time individuals spent in searching for information through proper indexing of the website content, and making sure that what was important could be accessed in due time, and what is trivial did not overwhelm the researcher with thousands of results.

Business Re-engineering

In the area of organization’s re-engineering process innovation is the set of activities that achieve substantial business improvements. Companies seeking to benefit from process innovation go through the regime of identifying the processes, the factors for change, developing the vision, understanding the current process, and building a prototype for the new organization. History shows that organizations who define their processes properly will not have problems managing the issues and developing the change factors [9]. When introducing technology, business redesign is necessary. The industrial fields have been using Information Technology to remodel processes, control production, and manage material for generations. However, it is only recently that companies recognized that the fusion of IT and business would go beyond automation to fundamentally reshaping how business processes are undertaken [10].

When foreign companies were allowed to compete in the U.S. market, Ford understood that to succeed in business in a competitive arena it needed to implement strategies that competitors find difficult to imitate [11]. As a result, Ford bought Sweden Volvo to enter the European market, and partially owned Mazda to have a competitive edge with Japanese cars1 [12]. To achieve that it re-engineered its production development activities and global corporate organization and processes for dramatic cost reduction. Furthermore, it understood that expansion requires collaboration and alignment, and thus planned to establish the IT infrastructure through a WAN that connected all the offices. In the process of innovation and re-engineering, Ford has set policies to manage the cost of establishing the network, built models for continuous implementation, and organized global meetings to align all parties with the process. Adding to that, when it came to managing the website, Ford facilitated an awareness campaign for all the branches to understand that Ford is using the web to collaborate and research and adapting information technology as a way to maximize its business value. The goal for Ford was to maintain its leadership in the market and to do that in the most efficient and cost effective method that is there.

Supply chain management

Supply chain management (SCM) is about coordinating between suppliers, manufactures, distributors, retailers, and customers [13]. The basic idea that SCM applications revolve around is providing information to all those who are involved in making decisions about the product or goods to manage delivery from the supplier to the consumer [14]. Studies show that reducing errors in supply chain distribution, increases revenue, enhances productivity, and reduces the order-to-fulfillment period [15].

Ford often compared its supply chain process to that of Dell’s, in an attempt to close the gaps in its own process and reach the level of success Dell has reached. The difference in the distribution model between Dell and Ford lies in the middle link of using retail shops. Since Ford cannot skip retail as a focal distribution point, it worked on establishing a network of retail shops that it owned. Ford made sure shops are not affecting each other in terms of sales, and gave them all a standard look and feel to establish itself in the consumer’s market as a prestigious cars sales retail company. Furthermore, extensive re-engineering initiatives were undertaken to enhance Ford external network by eliminating the correlation with smaller suppliers. In that way, Ford made sure that key suppliers have access to forecasting data from customers’ purchasing trends and production information to enable a faster order-to-delivery cycle. Ford vision was to create a model that allowed flexibility, predicable processes and delivered the product at the right time to the right consumer.

Conclusions

Ford is an example of how traditional organizations can mature to adapt what is current and maximizes the business value. The process that Ford went through necessitated the continuous support from management. In addition, it depended on alignment between those involved as a key for success. The correlation was not restricted to internal staff; it extended to cover competitors to reach mutual benefits, to work with suppliers to maintain similar grounds and adequate infrastructure, and to create training programs to educate all on the vision and organization’s objectives.

Ford technical progress came at a time where the Internet was yet to reach its full potential. The introduction of Fiber-optic cables in the late 90’s and the substantial increase in bandwidth would have helped Ford and cut on the cost in endured connecting its own offices. Furthermore, the ISP services that provided hosting servers were limited to only few players, which explained why Ford preferred to manage its own web server and maintain the overhead of the 24 hours uptime and backup.

From this case study, I understood the level of commitment large firms have to maintaining their position in the market. These companies know the revolving nature of business in the sense of how easy it is to fall back if they did not keep up with the change. The Ford process also shows the need for quick and resourceful thinking when faced with situations that might seem to be unfavorable. The way Ford ventured into the foreign market by acquiring local manufacturers was a strategic decision that did not only enabled Ford to merge with different technologies, but it also saved it the additional cost of establishing production centers in Japan and Europe.

Recommendations

  • Maintaining leadership in the market requires innovative organizations willing to reengineer to succeed.
  • IT fusion with the business means restructuring and remodeling to understand the role IT would play to meet the business objectives
  • Planning and modeling is vital when coordinating work with large teams.
  • Constructing websites is not about content; it is about understanding what adds value and how humans interact with information.
  • Knowledge management is a plan that companies need to develop as part of their initial business process modeling
  • It is not wrong for large firms to try to adapt to successful processes implemented by other firms.

References

  1. Robert D. Austin and Mark Cotteleer,”Ford Motor Co.: Maximizing the Business Value of Web Technologies.” Harvard Business Publishing. July 10, 1997. harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/b02/en/common/item_detail.jhtml;jsessionid=WDARNHINBSYKSAKRGWCB5VQBKE0YOISW?id=198006 (accessed July 30, 2008).
  2. Computer History Museum, Internet History 80’s. 2006. computerhistory.org/internet_history/internet_history_80s.shtml (accessed July 30, 2008).
  3. Darren Wilksch and Peter Shoubridge, “IP Convergence in Global Telecommunications.” Defense Science & Technology Organization. March 2001. http://www.dsto.defence.gov.au/publications/2400/DSTO-TR-1046.pdf (accessed July 30, 2008).
  4. Computer History Museum, Internet History 80’s.
  5. H. Joseph Wen, “From client/server to intranet.” Information Management & Computer Security (MCB UP Ltd) 6, no. 1 (1998): 15-20.
  6. R. Boutaba, K. El Guemioui, and P. Dini, “An outlook on intranet management.” Communications Magazine (IEEE), October 1997: 92-99.
  7. Joseph M. Firestone, Enterprise Information Portals and Knowledge Management (OXFORD: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2002), 169.
  8. David J. Skyrme, “Knowledge management solutions – the IT contribution.” ACM SIGGROUP Bulletin (ACM) 19, no. 1 (April 1998): 34 – 39, 34.
  9. Thomas H. Davenport, Process Innovation: Reengineering Work Through Information Technology (Watertown,MA: Harvard Business Press, 1993), 28.
  10. Thomas H. Davenport “The New Industrial Engineering: Information Technology and Business Process Redesign.” Sloan Management Review 31, no. 4 (Summer 1990): 11-28, 12
  11. Gary M. Erickson, Robert Jacobson, and Johny K. Johansson, “Competition for market share in the presence of strategic invisible assets: The US automobile market, 1971-1981.” International Journal of Research in Marketing (Elsevier Science) 9, no. 1 (March 1992): 23-37, 23.
  12. Austin and Cotteleer, “Ford Motor ” , 2.
  13. Henk A. Akkermans, et al. “The impact of ERP on supply chain management: Exploratory findings from a European Delphi study.” European Journal of Operational Research 146 (2003): 284-301, 286
  14. Thomas H. Davenport and Jeffrey D. Brooks, “Enterprise systems and the supply chain.” Journal of Enterprise Information Management 17, no. 1 (2004): 8-19, 9.
  15. Kevin B. Hendricks, Vinod R. Singhal, and Jeff K. Stratman. “The impact of enterprise systems on corporate performance:A study of ERP, SCM, and CRM system implementations.” Journal of Operations Management 25, no. 1 (January 2007): 65-82.

Ways To Clean Your Leather Products

Did you know that leather was used as one of the first articles of clothing that was used by man? It has been used throughout history for various items due to its durability and versatility. Another one of the qualities that leather beholds is that it is beautiful, classic and long lasting. When you spend your well earned money on a product or article that consists of leather such as; shoes, handbags, clothing, luggage, furniture or car upholstery, wouldn’t you want to know how to clean leather and protect it so that it will last for years to come?

Leather comes in two different types and both require a certain product to clean and maintain them. Smooth leather has a hard and shiny appearance that is found in such items as car upholstery or handbags. The other type of leather is suede which is soft, grainy or furry in its description and can be found in products such as boots, shoes, handbags, coats and chairs for example. Both of these types of leather can be dyed in a vast array of colors and the type of dye that is used determines what type of cleaner that should be used to maintain them. Make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to clean leather or you can end up permanently staining or damaging it beyond compare.

There are some general rules that you can use to properly clean leather. These rules apply no matter the kind of item you are cleaning. Leather must be kept in an environment that is not wet or too dry, not hot or too cold. The extremes in temperature are what can cause damage to leather items.

Leather must breathe because it is a natural fabric. It must be kept in a cool area that is well ventilated and air must circulate freely around it. Direct sunlight can damage the color of the dye so be sure to cover your leather coat in a dark colored suit bag and leave the zipper open. Try to keep this in mind when you are placing leather furniture around in a room. Car seats can also lose their color if made out of leather, keep out of direct sunlight or buy some of those dark screens and apply to the windows when the car is parked. By doing this you will prevent the dye from fading due to exposure from the sun.

Other ways that you can prolong the life of your leather product is to protect it with a product that keeps the leather smooth and stop it from cracking; normally it will contain some special moisturizers that are made specifically for leather. Car interiors should be wiped as soon as there is a spill to make sure that a stain won’t set into the leather.

Mulberry Bags – Are They Worth the Money?

“Quintessentially English” is a term often used to describe Mulberry bags. Mulberry first burst onto the scene over thirty years ago and quickly become synonymous with exemplary craftsmanship and stunning creativity and design. Added to all this was a healthy dose of practicality enabling Mulberry to become a fashion icon and yet not distance itself from the high street shopper.

Over the years there have been many different Mulberry bags launched with some being more successful than others. Even the handbags that did not reach the dizzying heights of success as some of Mulberry’s best sellers were still very, very well made leather handbags. Perhaps the difference between a well made bag and a well made bag that becomes a global superstar lies in it’s design appeal, providing the right style at the right time.

One such Mulberry bag that became a fashion icon was the Mulberry Bayswater bag. The satchel-esque look of the Bayswater coupled with exquisite detailing ensured the Bayswater became one of the most popular Mulberry bags ever produced.

Fashioned from natural Darwin leather and featuring a rather appealing postman’s clasp lock on the outside (even with it’s own little key) this Mulberry handbag has gone into fashion folklore as an example of how to make beautiful handbags with commercial appeal.

The Mulberry Roxanne bag quickly followed and was also an international bestseller.

More recently the Mulberry Alexa has been attracting praise from around the world. In part inspired by the earlier Bayswater the Alexa is a more contemporary twist on an old classic. It was named after the British TV presenter, Alexa Cheung, who was well known for her stylish and quirky sense of style. Mulberry’s creative director once saw a photo of Alexa with an old, classic men’s Mulberry briefcase and thought it oddly looked right! She redesigned the Bayswater to make it cater to a more modern market and sales took off!

Celebrities started endorsing the product but not through sponsorship or advertisement deals but by actually choosing to buy Mulberry bags in their own personal life and of course to be snapped by the paparazzi swinging their bags around town!

Mulberry bags ARE expensive but when you buy quality you only cry once! In other words, after the initial purchase pang of guilt has worn off you will realize you have not only bought a top of the range leather bag but that you’ve also invested in a wearable and practical fashion accessory that will retain a significant amount of it’s value over the years.

Authentic Marc Jacob Blake Handbags and Quilted Keeper Handbags

A true handbag lover would have handbags from Paraguay to China. There are however, few handbags that truly deserve to be kept on a pedestal. Two of these are Blake handbags from Marc Jacob and quilted keepers.

Marc Jacob’s Blake

Nothing speaks of class and elegance more than a Blake handbag by Marc Jacob. With this exquisite piece in your hand, you can get away with looking like a celebrity. The Blake bag has been around since 2004. It has been four years since but its elegant style is still something to die for. Blake by Marc Jacob is made only from real calfskin leather. This ensures that every piece is soft to the touch with each piece having a unique leather grain.

Blake by Marc Jacob isn’t the biggest of bags. It is however the perfect size for any lady who wants to be able to conveniently carry her things. Even if it isn’t too big, it really does hold enough space with three parts inside and two pockets outside. Marc Jacob’s name is on the buckles of each external pocket. Blake can come in green, pink, black and cinnamon among other colors.

Naturally, authentic Marc Jacob Blake handbags have been liberally copied. If you aren’t careful, you could easily end up with a fake Blake. If you can’t really tell the difference between a real Blake and a fake one, you should shop only from popular luxury bag stores that have a reputation to keep. The price can also be a warning sign to you. Even if they have been around for some time, Blake bags do not usually cost below $200 unless you are buying a second hand piece that has seen better days.

Keepers in Quilt

Another fashionable bag style is the quilted keeper. There are of course so many different quilted keepers to choose from. They can be made of fabric, leather or synthetic fabric. The designs also range from very informal to classic elegant. It is probably because of its wide range of styles and designs that make this style perfect for all occasions.

Casual keepers are the cheapest of its kind. There are quilted designs that you can buy for as low as $30. These are perfect for carrying along on short errands or on coffee breaks on a weekend. Of course, you may prefer more formal quilted pieces if you need to go on semi-formal gatherings.

If a handy, formal quilted bag is what you want, you can try the luxury line of keepers. Marc Jacob does have a few pieces in quilted leather like the Stam. The authentic leather and the brand name of Marc Jacob is all you need to assure you that you will look fabulous.

It doesn’t matter whether you prefer quilted keeper handbags or classic handbags. There’s bound to be a marc Jacob design for you.

Items to Include in a Promotional Gift Bag

Promotional gifts are a great way to advertise your company while also giving people items that they really can use. Some promotional products are best out to people at conventions and fairs or thrown at parades, but in some cases, promotional gift bags can be a huge asset. You can give a promotional gift bag as a cohesive gift to new clients who have opened accounts with your business, to new employees, or to all employees during the holidays. You can also run contests and drawing and give out promotional gift bags as prizes, and it is a great idea to get involved with your community by offering promotional gift bags to organizations who are running fundraisers. But what should you include in your promotional gift bag? Here are few ideas!

First a foremost, you need the bag. Some companies choose simply to purchase gift bags, but another approach is to actually use a tote bag or plastic bag that promotes your company as well. When choosing the bag, remember that you should consider how they will be transported (if applicable). If you’ll be moving the bags a lot, a sturdy bag will be best. If, when you give them out, people will be carrying them around for a long time (such as at an event), look for a bag with heavy handles that won’t break. Keep in mind that the bag you use for your promotional gifts will be the first impression. Wrapping is important, because many people do judge a book by its cover.

What should you put into your promotional gift bag? That really depends on your business! Of course, it also depends on the size of the bag. Make sure that you can lift the bag with all items and without worry that the bottom will break. It should also be easy to carry if needed, without larger items making it difficult to use the handles. Consider that if your bags are difficult to carry, items may very well be thrown away right away due to this fact.

Try to include in your bag a good mix of items. Smaller items like pens and magnets can fill the bottom, while two or three larger items, like ceramic mugs, t-shirts, or Frisbees, can fill the most space in the bag. Include at least one item that kids will enjoy or can use and at least one item that adults will enjoy or can use. This will please everyone and increase the probability that your items will be saved.

Remember that you may need some filler. If you have items that are made from cloth, you can use this as filler. You may also not need filler if your bag is really stuffed with promotional gifts. If you do need filler, tissue paper is your best bet, but make sure it doesn’t hinder people from seeing the wonderful promotional products you’ve included in your gift bag.

Promotion gift bags can really take your promotional items to the next level. Make a “test” bag first with all the items you want to include, and you should be able to see if it will work well or if changes need to be made.