Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Difference Between Credit Unions and Banks in Your Town

You probably have a checking account with one of the banks in your town. You have credit unions as well. Perhaps you never realized how different these two institutions are, or your decision was made based on hours of operation, and where the closest ATM was located. Looking for a financial institution based on convenience is not a bad thing. Convenience is one of many things we should consider. Another factor we should consider is how important supporting our own community is. How important is it that our financial institution work for us?

Perhaps the biggest difference between the two types of institutions is who they work for. A credit union is not for profit. This means that decisions made are made by volunteers, and shareholders in your community who were voted in to take on this responsibility. You are a shareholder if you have a share draft or checking account. When you make a deposit you are buying shares in the company. They pay you back with the lower interest rates on loans and the higher interest rate on checking. The downside to these institutions is getting money out may require going to a branch. ATM cards may have fees, or there may be few ATMs to withdraw money from without incurring fees. Another downside might be not having online bill pay. Of course some credit unions may offer more than others, you simply have to stop in and see.

When considering banks in your town you will see that they spend money on advertising. Why is that? They need to compete with other institutions, and have something that draws customers in. Free checking, no minimum savings or free use of ATM's, conveniently placed all over your town and neighboring towns may be their edge. However, while these services are often very convenient, they still might not be right for you. Banks are primarily interested in making money, and turning a profit whenever possible. When you deposit your money you are lending it to them, which, of course they pay you back with interest. However, that interest may not be very much.

In the end you are left to make your choice. You can, of course, use both institutions, but most people prefer one, or make the decision based on what is important to them. You may find that a credit union is more convenient for your family, and feels more secure since you know everyone who works there from your community. Or you may feel that using a bank in your town makes more sense because they have ATMs in the town you work in too. More access to your money might be your motivating factor. Both institutions have their place.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The 3 Most Important Factors of Catering

Whether you're planning a small dinner with friends or an enormous banquet for a fundraiser, the importance of good catering cannot be overstated. Not only does depending on an outside company to prepare the meal free you to concentrate on the other aspects of event planning, but if you choose wisely you can serve your guests a meal that would have been nearly impossible to pull together on your own. When it comes to choosing a company, there are many similarities to the factors you would weigh when choosing a restaurant. But there are other considerations as well. Here are three of the most important factors to think about when hiring one.

The Cooking

Obviously, it begins-if it doesn't necessarily end-with the food itself. Your first goal should be to find catering that will "cater" to your guests. In other words, you might not choose a four star gourmet company for a kids birthday party. Likewise, you might not choose a place that specializes in greasy BBQ if you're planning a white tie affair. But beyond making sure the food is appropriate, you also need to make sure it's actually good. Many places will allow you to taste test their wares before committing. It is a good idea to take them up on that offer.


Many local markets have news stations that provide behind-the-scenes looks at area restaurants, expose them for dirty practices, and warn consumers when an eatery is slipping underneath regulations. These stations rarely go after catering companies, however, which leaves the research to you. And, if anything, it's even more important to make sure the caterer you're thinking of hiring adheres to proper food safety techniques. This isn't coming straight from the kitchen to your table, after all. Make sure the company you hire has the means and capabilities to keep your food safe and warm (or cold) before it arrives in front of your guests.

Customer Service

It is as important in the catering business as it is in the restaurant field and it is something you should look into carefully before hiring a company. This is something you can usually form an opinion about well before the event itself. Most companies will work with you to create the perfect menu for the dinner. Before even that begins, you should be watching how their personnel interacts with you and what level of service you're getting. If you feel as though you aren't being treated like an important client, you may want to take your business to someone else.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Nothing More Important Than Aviation And Transport Security By Tracey England

In the past 10 years, many of us have experienced the increase in airport security that has been introduced due to external threats to air travel both for leisure and commercial purposes. Passengers and employees are looking for peace of mind when they are travelling or working in this now hostile environment.

The department of transport and other regulatory bodies are constantly working to ensure the safety and security in these transport hubs, whether its airports, sea ports or railway stations. Regulations are now being put in place to ensure companies are working by set rules and guidelines to reduce the risk of threats to the public and employees.

Each year in the UK there are millions of passengers utilising air services, and demand is constantly increasing; the requirement for better security services is also intensified, creating more pressure on the regulatory bodies to ensure that all areas are covering protocol correctly, efficiently and strategically. Advances in technology are a constantly working on developments; hold baggage screening, CCTV monitoring, passenger profiling and the protection of aircraft, ships, and trains are all areas where continuous expansion and equipment are vital for the future running of the transport industry.

Creating a standardised approach to transport security has never been more important than in the current environment. Experience in the past few years of how gaps in security have caused major international implications has shown us where services need to be improved. Without this development, the same problems will continue to happen and put passengers and employees at risk to unresolved threats.

It's not only the passenger market that is affected by the constant threat surrounding the travel market as 95% of the UKs trade is handled through different types of port, security in varying environments differ to others whether it's airports, ports or rail terminals. With this we can understand the importance of using different security techniques in the appropriate situations.

One of the main technologies used in the security of any port is CCTV; it is important that only specific trusted members of personnel can access this level of surveillance. Control rooms, monitoring and alarms can be the key pieces of technology, however advanced or minimal they are, in tackling threats to the security of a port.

Another important step in security levels is understanding who everyone is; this can range from the passengers to the suppliers of the port. Using profiling and screening on anyone who has any interaction with ports is one of the most useful tools if anything goes wrong. With technological advances on identity checking, it is becoming easier to spot possible threats before they can become reality.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Electronic Security Systems Are Vital For Businesses

n today's society we are living with constant developments in technology in every aspect of our lives; from our personal homes to working environments, improvements are being made to help us feel more comfortable. Security is a factor that helps us with this level of comfort, because of this we strive for the latest advances in security management to help us feel more at ease in any environment.

Whether you're at home or at work, it is important for you to keep your belongings safes; with a constant increase in theft and intrusion, it is more important than ever to secure your property effectively with the most efficient equipment. However security systems are not only there to keep your possessions protected; personal safety can be drastically important too.

Electronic security systems can work on many different levels; utilising different strategies to keep you and your possessions out of danger. In your home danger can usually strike when nobodies around; with the use of modern wireless alarm systems this issue can be a thing of the past. Remote monitoring has become a way to check on your property whilst you are not there; it is now possible to spot threats before putting yourself at risk.

The same situation applies to industrial companies handling expensive equipment; with the rate of crimes like metal theft increasing, it is more important than ever to protect your business. CCTV systems have been in recognised operation for many years, and work effectively to monitor important areas; new developments in the systems mean that they are working more effectively than ever. With remote access and the ability to integrate them into existing company systems, closed circuit practice can deliver even better results than ever.

A more advanced technology on offer from CCTV is perimeter intruder detection; knowing who is coming into your business is vitally important for detecting threats; with the use of technology like registration plate recognition, fibre optic perimeter protection and vehicle entry systems you can manage any possible threats before they've even set foot on the premises.

It's not only strangers coming into your business that you need to be aware of; in larger organisations it can be difficult to monitor all the employees you manage. Because of this, access control systems have become a development worth looking into; the old clock-in systems still in place in most places of work can't monitor who exactly is coming in and interacting with the business. With the use of developed key cards and identity checks, this can now become an issue of the past.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Centralising Your Business Processes

Technology is at the forefront of innovation, it changes the way that business is done and the way that consumers go about finding business. So why not invest in a company who can keep you up to date with technological advances working in a faster and smarter way to ensure that you receive better services and get more for your money!

By partnering with an integrated facilities management service you will receive a computer aided facilities management system which is an up to date and highly innovative software package on the market. You can access the system remotely using the internet meaning that services can be tailored to suit your individual needs. The system allows helpdesks to function from any location, wherever suits you best.

Automating of processes is becoming much more common, this means that integrating the systems of a facilities management company with your company systems is much easier than you think; this is ideal for those offices operating across different sites. With up to date security technology you will be able to invest in advanced remote security, alarm monitoring and tracking services across your organisation.

You may be surprised to discover that there is a successful web-based portal available for your business which is specifically designed for large integrated facilities management clients so if your business falls within these parameters then you can benefit from a service that brings together the information from all of the facilities management services in one consistent, easy to use format which will successfully blend into your own data seamlessly. Amazingly the result is a one stop shop to monitoring and managing all of your organisations buildings and equipment in one place instantly.

This system allows you to dig a little deeper into the details of your organisation by viewing the big picture but also choosing to view more information by unit, site, and service and even by region.

The most appealing aspect of this service is the ability to manage all costs centrally. The system allows you to view how efficiently each site is being used by showing you infrastructure costs such as IT, rent and rates, building by building which allows you to cut your overheads where you feel it would be appropriate. Having this detailed level of information makes business processes simpler and easier than ever before whilst allowing you to keep a firm eye on your business and its outgoings.

Using these services, you are able to predict future changes and react quickly to these before further issues arise.