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Daniel Ferguson

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Learning and Development Methods to Improve Employee Engagement

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Mon, May 04, 2020 @ 04:15 PM

Stevie-winner The LMC Group is a consulting firm that assists small to medium-sized businesses in updating their approach to training and engagement.

Having a process of learning and development in place for your employees is vital; it is the first step to improving employee engagement. With the right training and development program, you can positively impact efficiency and productivity and retain great employees. Remember to consider your end goals when putting a training program in place. A well-thought-out program needs to work for both the company and the employees. It must also deliver what you need when you need it.

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Training Goals 

Look at your training program holistically. Ask yourself why you’re doing it and how the program is going to help you. Consider the problem you are trying to solve, and evaluate how the training you have in place is going to fix it. First you need to understand how to achieve your business goals with the training program, and then you must put measures in place that ensure you reach those objectives. 

Due to funding constraints, it can be difficult for smaller businesses to implement targeted employee training initiatives. If your small to midsized company needs guidance bringing an updated approach to your training and engagement systems, consider outsourcing. A niche of companies provide this service, including the LMC Group.

LMC Group_logo-1“It’s exciting to bring cutting-edge approaches to organizations lacking the funding, revenue, and resources that larger firms enjoy and often take for granted,” says an LMC Group representative.

By engaging your employees and showing them the benefits of learning systems, everyone involved is more likely to have a positive experience. The most impactful way to accomplish this is by designing trainings that meet defined needs. If you can't demonstrate to your staff members that their efforts in learning and development will be useful and effective, it will be difficult to persuade them to engage and to improve their skills. 

Evolution and Evaluation

You can't expect your years-old training and development program to keep pace with your business needs, technology, and workplace advances. You need to keep your training sessions fresh if you want to keep your employees enthusiastic about their learning. Don’t put out stale content if you wish to keep moving forward. Remember, the best learning and development programs are continually evolving and improving. Evaluate your training by seeing how employees interact with the program. Don’t forget to seek their input about how to make it tailored to their needs. 

Feedback

Ask your employees and service users about their pain points. If you have defined questions or problems to solve, you can better focus your efforts on these critical areas. If you use e-learning, for example, review the end-of-unit tests to ensure no questions are consistently being answered incorrectly. If such problems do exist, this is a sign to reevaluate how certain information is presented or to expand on that point in the training. You can also review customer satisfaction responses to ensure the training you have implemented has had the desired effect.  

Even if you are a small business, you can put some measures in place. You can either do this in house or through an external consultancy that can support you with various technologies and innovations. These days you can’t rely on a tired PowerPoint presentation or some dated online learning to help your employees develop. You need goal-specific training that fits the needs of your company and your clients and makes everyone’s experience more positive. 

The LMC Group, of Manchester, New Hampshire, United States, won a Bronze Stevie® Award in the Company of the Year - Business or Professional Services - Small category at The 2019 International Business Awards®

Interested in entering The International Business Awards?

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Topics: International business awards, The International Business Awards, 2019 International Business Awards, business services awards

Meet the Next Outsourcing Hot Spot: Vietnam

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Tue, Apr 28, 2020 @ 12:15 PM

Vietnam has become a popular location for business outsourcing, and Stevie-winner Swiss Post Solutions thrives on solving customer challenges in the most effective manner.

For decades, India ruled the roost as an outsourced software development destination. While it continues to attract businesses looking to build IT teams overseas, it’s not the only major country doing so. Most prominent among these emerging destinations is Vietnam. Its lower costs, favorable business policies, robust economy, and increasingly skilled workforce are driving investments from businesses like Intel, Samsung, IBM, and Microsoft.

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Vietnam’s Rise Through the Rankings

In 2010, Gartner released a list of the top 30 countries for offshore IT services, and Vietnam made its first appearance in that year. Five years later, in a similar report by Gartner, Vietnam rose to one of the top five countries, and it has maintained its ranking ever since.

Vietnam’s outsourcing industry has grown between 20 and 35 percent every year over the past decade. In 2015, it surpassed $2 billion in revenue.

Spotlight on Vietnam, a PwC report released in 2017, highlighted business process outsourcing (BPO) as one of the key opportunities for foreign investors.

“The growth so far has been encouraging,” said Dinh Thi Quynh Van, general director of PwC Vietnam. “Vietnam is already the second-largest outsourcing partner for Japanese IT firms, just behind India. We hope to see many more industries in the future.”

The Vietnam Advantage

Almost two-thirds of Vietnam’s population is under 35 years of age. This young generation is highly skilled and motivated. According to a 2015 report by the World Economic Forum, Vietnam is one of the top 10 countries in terms of most engineering graduates.

Also, with the government’s push to teach English as a second language rather than a foreign language, this young workforce is actively scaling the language barrier that was once a cause for concern.

Workplace loyalty is strong in Vietnam, which is why they have low attrition rates (between 6 and 8 percent). This is another strong point in the country’s favor, as businesses grapple with high employee turnover in most Asia-Pacific (APAC) countries.

Besides an improving infrastructure and access to inexpensive, highly skilled talent, the government’s proactive efforts to attract foreign investment are also critical to Vietnam’s continued growth. The Doing Business 2020 report, by World Bank, ranked Vietnam 70th among 190 economies in ease of doing business. As of October 2019, foreign direct investment (FDI) into Vietnam has risen by 7.4 percent year over year.

Challenges in Outsourcing to Vietnam

As with outsourcing to just about any country in the APAC region, cultural, logistical, and legal challenges present themselves when working with Vietnamese providers. One way to anticipate these challenges and to learn how to tackle them is to send an on-ground team to Vietnam that can build relationships and get familiar with the Vietnamese culture. This will help organizations understand the business and political landscape, including taxation, paperwork, and procedures. It will also allow a business to get a head start on recruitment.

There are also productivity challenges that come with working with remote teams. This can be addressed by following best practices, instituting training, and ensuring extensive documentation.

Finally, Vietnam currently does not have the infrastructure to support large teams with thousands of employees. At the moment, the country is best suited for small to midsize operations.

One of Many

Swiss_Post_Solutions_logoOne of the companies that bagged a Silver Stevie® Award in the Company of the Year - Business or Professional Services - Large category at The 2019 International Business Awards® was Swiss Post Solutions Vietnam, which is based in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

“We are a young, competitive, and innovative organization that thrives on solving customer challenges in the most effective manner,” says Ha Doi, corporate marketing executive at Swiss Post Solutions.

Swiss Post Solutions, which focuses on providing high-quality document management, BPO, and IT operational services, is one of many Vietnamese companies backed by a young team with an innovative culture. Any of these could be your next outsourcing match as you scale your business.

Interested in entering The International Business Awards?

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Topics: International business awards, company of the year, The International Business Awards, 2019 International Business Awards, business services awards

Businesses Recruit AI in Fight Against Mobile Ad Fraud

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Mon, Apr 27, 2020 @ 05:29 PM

As mobile ad fraud becomes more sophisticated, it becomes more difficult to catch using traditional methods. Stevie-winner Scalarr, Inc. is a mobile fraud detection company that uses machine learning to identify and prevent fraud.

Online fraud is almost as old as the internet itself, and as this technology progressed, fraud evolved and kept pace. In mobile ad fraud, fraudsters abuse mobile advertising technology to swindle online publishers, advertisers, and supply partners.

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According to The Economic Cost of Bad Actors on the Internet, Ad Fraud 2019, by Cheq, a cybersecurity company based in New York, United States, direct and indirect economic and social costs of global ad fraud could amount up to $30 billion in 2019. 

“I have studied the economic costs of fraud in many sectors for decades, and I was left stunned by the scale of fraud in online advertising,” economist Roberto Cavazos said in the report.

Cavazos is a professor at the University of Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland, United States, and he worked on the report with Cheq.

AppFlyer, a mobile app analytics firm headquartered in San Francisco, California, United States, monitored 2.5 billion installs across 9,500 mobile apps in the first six months of 2019 and extrapolated their results to a global scale. They revealed a whopping 22.6 percent of nonorganic app installs globally could be classified as fraudulent. They published this and other findings in a report titled State of Mobile Fraud, 2019.

The Different Faces of Mobile Ad Fraud

Fraudsters attempting to steal advertising budgets are an ingenious lot. According to Stevie-winner Scalarr, a mobile ad fraud detection company based in Wilmington, Delaware, United States, new and increasingly sophisticated frauds emerge every day. These include smart bots, intelligent device farms, and mixed fraud. 

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“Fraudsters have become so smart that you can’t catch them by traditional methods anymore,” says Olga Bazarova, marketing lead at Scalarr.

The AppFlyer report reiterates this sentiment. It reveals that fraudsters are reacting to protection measures at an unprecedented pace. In 2018, it took them a month or two to react; now they do so in a couple of days. 

The upshot of many of these reports is that mobile fraud is ubiquitous, and no platform or publisher is safe.

“Mobile marketers tend to believe that ‘trusted’ traffic sources, such as Facebook, Google, and ad video networks, are a panacea against fraud, and they redistribute marketing budgets there. In 2019, though, we saw a lot of examples of fraud on trusted sources, confirming that fraudsters always follow the money,” said Bazarova.

Mobile ad fraud targets all stages of online advertising, from impressions to clicks to app installs. It even targets in-app purchases. The Financial Times, a daily newspaper headquartered in London, England, United Kingdom, was shocked by the scale of domain spoofing against its site. In domain spoofing, fraudsters eat into advertising budgets by masquerading as a popular domain that can display ads.

“The scale of the fraud we found is jaw-dropping,” says Anthony Hitchings, the digital advertising operations director at the Financial Times. “The industry continues to waste marketing budgets on what is essentially organized crime.”

AI to the Rescue

The speed and scale at which mobile ad fraud has evolved indicates it’s not something mobile developers or marketers can tackle alone. Detecting fraudulent installs is a mammoth task requiring analysis of numerous parameters and correlations.

Mobile ad fraud intelligence and protection solutions are increasingly and successfully relying on machine learning (ML) and big data to identify and to prevent fraud. Scalarr, AppFlyer, Cheq, and several other companies offering fraud detection and protection use ML algorithms to counter the attacks and to ensure marketers acquire only real users.

While the assumption is that fraudsters can’t work around these AI-backed countermeasures, only time will tell how this plays out. 

Scalarr Inc. recently won a Silver Stevie® Award in the Tech Startup of the Year - Services category and a Bronze Stevie® in the Startup of the Year - Business Services Industries category at The 2019 International Business Awards®.

Interested in entering The International Business Awards?

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Topics: International business awards, The International Business Awards, Startup of the Year, 2019 International Business Awards, business services awards

How Mobility as a Service (MaaS) Is Changing the Way the World Moves

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Fri, Apr 10, 2020 @ 03:45 PM

Stevie-winner Cubic Transporation Systems has capitalized on the need for transportation services to create a service that allows travelers to plan effectively and stay on the move.

In the next decade, research suggests that fewer than 25 percent of Americans will own private cars. Instead, people will be making smarter choices inspired by environmental or budgetary concerns. Car sharing and taxicab-style options, such as Uber, are becoming even more popular. Travelers are also using traffic management apps to plan and to pay for their journeys on public transport to help ensure delay-free commuting. The future of transportation in cities is expected to change radically in the future, and mobility as a service (MaaS) has a large part to play in that.

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What Is Mobility as a Service (MaaS)? 

Mobility as a service, or transport as a service, places the consumer firmly at the center of the travel experience. MaaS provides an on-demand, mobile-friendly platform for commuters. It seamlessly integrates a combination of transport methods, from bike sharing to taxis to short-term car leasing. From travel planning to end payment, the consumer can organize an entire trip via the MaaS platform. By simply subscribing to an app such as NextBus, you will have real-time passenger information at your fingertips. 

Cubic_logoWhether you want to access an electric scooter to whiz around your city or you want to find the best route to your next business meeting, there is a specific MaaS app to get you there. Your journey will be faster, easier, and more affordable than if you’d used traditional transport methods. 

Cities that buy into MaaS, or what is sometimes called smart mobility, aim to reduce traffic congestion and to make getting around more efficient. 

Benefits of Mobility as a Service

The benefits of MaaS are numerous. Both end users and transport authorities note the following as reasons for its success:

  • An Intelligent Service: The personalized service MaaS provides is undoubtedly a huge plus. An app can build a relationship between consumer and provider by using past journey information and data gleaned from a user’s profile, meaning apps can continually refine travel suggestions and maintain all-important customer focus.
  • Secure Payment: With a variety of payment methods, users can pay for their trips without the hassle of carrying cash for each transport method used. Using a smartphone, smartwatch, or subscription service, travelers can plan the trips that best meets their needs—without worrying about payment. 
  • Simple Route Planning: When using multiple transportation methods, the ability to plan a journey in real time is invaluable. MaaS apps allow the consumer to get from one place to another by any method that suits his or her previously logged preferences, and the apps can also map a route that avoids congestion. 

With the continued interest of city transport planners and planning solution end users, the global conversation regarding MaaS has become more intense. Cubic Transportation Systems, from San Diego, California, USA, is comprised of innovators who, with their Trafficware, NextBus, and other proprietary systems, are collaborating with cities from Vancouver, Canada, to Sydney, Australia, to keep travelers moving. 

The United Nations estimates that by 2050 more than half the world’s population will be living in urban areas, compared to only one-third in 1970. With this massive change in global living habits, planners need to deploy intelligent solutions, such as MaaS, to ensure transport continues to flow. 

Because of their industry-leading MaaS travel solutions, Cubic Transportation Systems was named the winner of four Stevie® Awards at The 2019 International Business Awards®. Cubic received awards in the following categories: Gold in the Big Data Solution category; Two Silvers in Integrated Mobile Experience and Travel; and Bronze in Best New Product or Service of the Year – Transportation.

Interested in entering The International Business Awards?

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Topics: International business awards, The International Business Awards, new products and services, 2019 International Business Awards, mobility as a service

A Handyman’s Perspective On Building an Award Winning Business

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Sun, Apr 05, 2020 @ 09:16 PM

Stevie-winner Chíc Creations Heaven started out as a two-person operation that has since expanded to two locations. Read about Daniel and Rebecca's story of growth and success.

Think about the success stories you love. Maybe one of your heroes or heroines overcame great adversity to be a successful athlete, or maybe that person became a doctor and now serves those suffering across the world. Maybe he or she wrote a song that changed your life. Everyone and everything has a story, and the most inspiring tales tend to be those of victory, where an individual or group rises up and conquers with integrity. In many cases, these heroes and heroines receive recognition for their work, whether that’s media coverage, a title, a medal, a trophy, or another award.

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Daniel Foster and his wife, Rebecca, built their business, Chíc Creations Heaven—Gardening, Handyman, Joinery, Decorating, from scratch. Daniel went from having no work to operating two branches that serve Bridlington, England, and Yorkshire, England. He projects opening two more branches in the next 18 months. Receiving their due recognition, Chíc Creations Heaven recently won a Gold Stevie® Award in the Startup of the Year - Consumer Services Industries category at The 2019 International Business Awards®.

Interested in entering The International Business Awards?

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Unemployed & Depressed to Business Owner

Daniel was unemployed and living in a seaside town with waning seasonal business. Tourists just were not coming to the area as much, and Daniel eventually started to fall into depression. In the meantime, he did odd jobs for his landlord to earn extra income, which used the labor and trade skills he had acquired throughout his life. 

“This gave me the confidence boost to seek more work in this area,” explains Daniel.

Daniel had worked previously in sales, and he began to use social media to launch Chíc Creations Heaven. He also focused on doing reputable work at an affordable price. If Daniel couldn’t complete the job himself, he hired another tradesman to complete it, paying a good wage.

“A happy worker is a productive one,” says Daniel.

The company has even generated temporary employment opportunities for seasonal workers. 

For businesses or individuals looking to emulate this model, here are five takeaways:

  • Don’t discredit any of your life or work experiences.
Daniel had worked many jobs before he discovered his niche. All those experiences worked together to form an entrepreneurial success story.
  • Being resourceful is essential to achieving business success.
When Daniel didn’t have the skills or time to meet a customer’s request, he found someone who did, and he paid that person well.
  • Even in this tech-focused economy, practical solutions at affordable costs are still pillars for success.
This business model isn’t a fancy app driven by artificial intelligence. It is a straightforward model of a person helping people with their property needs, and it is thriving.
  • Social media is a driving force for budding entrepreneurs.
Daniel launched his entire business with the help of social media. Networking and word of mouth helped the business grow. 
  • Paying people fairly helps build a strong reputation and helps grow a business.
If you pay people competitively, you are more likely to keep the right employees. Not only will you build employee loyalty, but you will also build customer loyalty, which can earn you repeat business. 

Two-Person Operation Opens Two Locations in One Year

Daniel and his wife, Rebecca, started this business. Daniel focused on operations, while his wife worked on marketing and graphics and took charge of the accounts. They currently manage a team of six, as well as two branches servicing North Yorkshire, East Yorkshire, Humberside, and West Yorkshire (all in England). They passed their annual business goal of over £10,000 in one month, and they earned a profit of nearly £30,000 in the first year alone. 

They increased growth and had a particularly significant breakthrough after successfully putting up PROMESH security for a local beloved nonprofit, the Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary rescues and rehabilitates approximately 4,000 wild animals a year from anywhere in the United Kingdom and transports them back to their natural habitats. The nonprofit just celebrated 10 years.

“We gained a lot of business where they are located after that job was complete,” Daniel shared. 

Here are five more takeaways for aspiring entrepreneurs:

  • There is no shame in starting small. 
Sometimes the vision exceeds what the current situation is. When people haven’t fully achieved their visions yet, they can get discouraged. Even the biggest corporations started small, though. The Fosters went from having several clients to opening two branches in one year. 
  • Trial and error is part of growing.
There is always a learning curve when operating a business, meeting client needs, and regulating costs. This can be particularly tricky when labor and time are variable and higher cost. Daniel noted how learning to quote for work was a difficult process.
  • Perseverance is key.
People make mistakes. That’s part of business. It’s part of life. Keep at it. Learn from your mistakes, and keep going. 
  • Referrals help grow your business.
A lot of Daniel’s business, and some of his biggest growth, came from referrals after servicing the local nonprofit. It was a tipping point, of sorts, for his company. 
  • Doing the right thing counts.
Integrity goes a long way. For Daniel, this means paying employees and contractors fairly, offering work for seasonal employees, fixing homes for the elderly at a reduced rate, and working responsibly with community nonprofits. 

Winning Awards Is Good for Business 

Awards like the Stevie® Awards offer a standard and a metric for success that current and prospective clients, partners, and businesses in other verticals understand. After a successful first year, Daniel wanted to know where his business stood in the world. He searched and found the Stevie® Awards and submitted the application. As a result, Chíc Creations Heaven is now a Gold Stevie® Award winner.

The win strengthened this company’s brand locally, nationally, and internationally. It also instilled a deeper confidence in the Fosters and inspired them to pursue greater success as entrepreneurs. The Fosters’ goal is for Chíc Creations Heaven—Gardening, Handyman, Joinery, Decorating to become a national company in England and a major employer that offers great wages, benefits, and training to those who want to further their trade skills.

Topics: International business awards, The International Business Awards, Startup of the Year, 2019 International Business Awards

Call for Entries Issued for The 2020 Stevie Awards for Great Employers

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Mon, Mar 30, 2020 @ 09:00 AM

Fifth Annual Awards Honoring Employers and HR Professionals Is Accepting Nominations

The Stevie Awards has issued the call for entries for the fifth annual Stevie® Awards for Great Employers, which honor the world’s best companies to work for and the human resources teams, professionals, suppliers, and new products and services that help to create and drive great places to work.

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All individuals and organizations worldwide—public and private, for-profit, and non-profit, large and small—may submit nominations to the Stevie Awards for Great Employers. The early-bird entry deadline, with reduced entry fees, is April 29. The final entry deadline is June 3, but late entries will be accepted through July 22 with payment of a late fee. Entry details are available at www.StevieAwards.com/HR.

Interested in entering The 2020 Stevie Awards for Great Employers?

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An international judging panel of more than 50 executives will determine the Stevie Award winners. Finalists will be announced on August 13. Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners will be revealed and presented their awards at a gala event at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on September 17.

The Stevie Awards for Great Employers recognize achievement in many facets of the workplace. Categories include:

There are many new categories in 2020 for HR achievements including Achievement in Accessibility, Achievement in Leadership Development, Best Employee Value Proposition (EVP), Best Team Development Program, Best Use of Mobile Learning, and Most Innovative Learning and Development Program. Of the 16 HR Individual categories, 14 do not require an entry fee.

Winners in the 31 industry-specific Employer of the Year categories will be determined by a unique blend of public votes and professional ratings. Public voting will take place from July 23–August 10.

Stevie Award winners in 2019 included Advisor Group (USA), Allianz Partners (USA), Cisco (USA), DenizBank A.Ş. (Turkey), ej4 (USA), Globe Telecom, Inc. (Philippines), IBM (USA), L&T Technology Services, Ltd. (UK), Paysafe Group (Canada), Productsup (Germany), Techcombank (Vietnam), Toyota Turkey (Turkey), and many more.

Topics: Stevie Awards for Great Employers, 2020 Stevie Awards for Great Employers

Call for Entries Issued for The 2020 International Business Awards®

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Tue, Mar 17, 2020 @ 12:49 PM

Seventeenth Annual Stevie® Awards Program to Be Presented This Fall in Paris

The Stevie Awards has opened entries for The 17th Annual International Business Awards, the world's premier business awards competition, which attracts nominations from organizations in more than 70 nations and territories each year.

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All individuals and organizations worldwide—public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small—may submit nominations to The International Business Awards. The early-bird entry deadline, with reduced entry fees, is 8 April. The final entry deadline is 13 May, but late entries will be accepted through 17 June with payment of a late fee. Entry details are available at www.StevieAwards.com/IBA.

Interested in entering The 2020 International Business Awards®?

Request the entry kit

Juries featuring more than 150 executives will determine the Stevie Award winners. The Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners will be announced on 11 August. Stevie Award winners will be presented their awards at a gala banquet in Paris, France on 24 October.

The International Business Awards recognize achievement in every facet of the workplace. Categories include:

There are many new and revised features of The IBAs for 2020:

  • Nine new categories to recognize singular business achievements in areas such as business turnaround, finance, revenue generation, and science and technology, among others.
  • The submission requirements have been simplified for 2020 in the following categories: Company/Organization Awards, Corporate Communications & Public Relations Awards, Marketing Awards, and New Product & Product Management Awards.
  • There are no entry fees for nominations in the Company of the Year categories and other select categories.
  • Entries may be submitted as a written essay or a five-minute maximum video essay.

Stevie Award winners in the 2019 IBAs included ASDA’A BCW (United Arab Emirates), Cisco Systems, Inc. (USA), DHL Express (worldwide), Dubai Health Authority (United Arab Emirates), IBM (USA), LLORENTE & CUENCA (Spain), Megaworld Foundation (Philippines), Meli Studio (Australia), NBCUniversal (USA), PT Petrokimia Gresik (Indonesia), Seoul Metropolitan Government (South Korea), Switching-Time (China), Tata Consultancy Services (United Kingdom),  Vodafone Turkey Foundation (Turkey), and many more.

Topics: International business awards, IBAs, The International Business Awards, 2020 International Business Awards

Enabling the Unbanked and Underbanked with Machine Learning

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Tue, Mar 17, 2020 @ 11:34 AM

Stevie-winner Braviant Holdings is a financial technology company that uses machine-learning to assess borrowers' credit and help them achieve lower rates.

Over 24 million American households are underbanked, and another eight million are unbanked (FDIC National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households, 2017). While the former have restricted access to financial services (primarily due to bad credit scores), the latter have little or no access at all. As one can imagine, this closes a lot of doors. Many of life’s necessities, such as getting a job or renting an apartment, call for a bank account and a good credit history.

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What makes this scenario even more unfortunate is that the unbanked and underbanked often land in these unfavorable financial conditions due to circumstances beyond their control. After all, not everyone with a low credit score is a habitual defaulter. For instance, many have low credit scores because of the 2008 financial crisis. Similarly, all those without bank accounts are not willfully refusing to get one. Many get their applications rejected because they have thin credit files or are migrants who don’t possess all the necessary documents.

Luckily, the fintech industry is now putting big data, machine learning (ML), and augmented analytics to work for these two neglected financial demographics, and the results are promising.

Banking the Unbanked

Online banking and lending services have made it convenient to access and maintain bank accounts, even for those in remote and rural areas. However, despite these advances, around 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked worldwide. Several fintech solutions are working toward making it easier for these individuals to create and to benefit from bank accounts of their own, though. The most notable among these is Onfido, an identity verification company based in London, United Kingdom.

Onfido does not follow the typical identity verification process. They pair highly advanced ML-based document checks with facial verification to compare user-furnished identity documents with their selfies. This makes it easier for individuals to prove their identities and open new bank accounts. This is particularly important for those with thin credit files whom banks are reluctant to trust and migrants who do not possess all the documents required for in-person verification..

Beyond Credit History and Scores

Fintech products are revolutionizing the way credit is assessed, and they are now paving the way for fairer access to financial services.

Zest AI, an artificial intelligence (AI) software platform for credit, based in Los Angeles, California, United States, helps lenders make faster and more accurate decisions on borrowers who are traditionally considered risky. It does so by using and analyzing thousands of data points to better assess predicted risk. Their clients have achieved, on average, a 15 percent increase in approval rates and reduced losses by almost 30 percent.

UltraFICO, a credit scoring system based on augmented analytics, was launched by FICO, a data analytics company based in San Jose, California, United States. It serves as yet another good example. While still in the works, it promises to be a huge step up from the antiquated FICO score system that prevents millions of people from receiving credit because of incomplete credit histories. UltraFICO will create more complete credit histories by using data from FICO, Experian, Finicity, different finance houses, and banks.

Braviant_holdings_logoStevie-winner Braviant Holdings, a fintech company based in Chicago, Illinois, United States, also offers financial solutions that help non-prime consumers graduate to lower rates as they work toward prime credit. They do so by building machine-learning decision models that look beyond a traditional credit score to more accurately assess the prospective borrower’s true ability and willingness to repay.

“Mainstream financial institutions cater to the needs of U.S. consumers with proven credit history, but more than 50 million adults labeled ‘underbanked’ are forced to look outside the traditional banking system to meet their needs,” says Stephanie Klein, CEO of Braviant Holdings. “Braviant offers tech-enabled credit products to help these deserving consumers access the credit they need today and work toward better rates in the future.”

Braviant Holdings recently won a Gold Stevie Award for Company of the Year in the Financial Services category at The 17th Annual American Business Awards®, 2019.

Interested in entering The American Business Awards?

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Topics: The American Business Awards, American business awards, company of the year, financial awards

Stevie® Awards Extends 2020 American Business Awards Entry Deadline

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Fri, Mar 13, 2020 @ 09:05 AM

Top Business Honors Will Accept Nominations Through April 14

The Stevie® Awards, organizer of The American Business Awards®, announced today that the final entry deadline for the 18th annual ABA competition has been extended to April 14. No additional late fees will be charged. Entries submitted through April 14 will not be penalized in any way in the judging process.

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“We’ve received so many requests for individual deadline extensions that we’ve decided to extend the deadline for everyone,” said Stevie Awards president Michael Gallagher. The original final deadline was March 11.

Interested in entering The 2020 American Business Awards®?

Request the entry kit

The American Business Awards are widely considered to be the premier business awards program in the U.S.A. All organizations operating in the U.S.A. are eligible to submit nominations— public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large, and small. The 2020 awards will honor achievements since the beginning of 2019. Entry details are available at http://www.StevieAwards.com/ABA.

The American Business Awards recognize achievement in every facet of the workplace. Categories include:

The new Achievement categories  recognize singular achievements of various types of entire organizations (for-profit or non-profit, large medium or small, public or private) in nine categories. Among the category groups that feature one or more new categories are Information TechnologyNew Product & ServiceMobile Website & AppPublication, and Video.

More than 200 executives on 13 juries have already begun the process of rating nominations to determine the Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners.

Stevie winners will be announced on April 30, and the awards will be presented at a gala banquet on June 12 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. Attendance is not required to win.

The list of past Stevie Award winners in The American Business Awards reads like a who’s who of innovation and business success in the U.S.A. Explore the list of last year’s winners.

Topics: The American Business Awards, ABA, American business awards

Why Property Management Is Going High Tech

Posted by Daniel Ferguson on Tue, Mar 10, 2020 @ 02:31 PM

London Computer Systems is a property management software company that seeks to help businesses operate efficiently using their integrated technologies. Their Stevie Award-winning product, Rent Manager, is proven to help companies manage all types of properties.

As the property technology world develops, real estate firms are devoting more attention to how technology can help their businesses. Technology impacts real estate agents to an ever-increasing degree, and tools for every aspect of a real estate company are currently being developed.

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When Communications Are Down, Technology Helps

New programs and apps help manage and streamline real estate processes for realtors—not just in the course of their everyday work but also when disasters strike. For example, in areas of the country that suffer from severe weather-related issues, property management can be extremely challenging for industry professionals and their clients. 

Software products recently released on the market, however, can help property managers connect with residents and track communications. With just a few clicks of a button, the software can ensure tenants get the help they need by using targeted text messages and phone calls. This greatly eases the stress on client and owner alike. 

Increasing Industry Use

More than half of commercial real estate agents are now using at least one form of property technology. Two common ways they’re using technology are to analyze performance and to manage accounts and properties on their lists. The goal of moving toward artificial intelligence (AI) in real estate is to give business owners the freedom to customize information technology to better fit the needs of their companies. 

LCS_logo_2At its heart, property technology makes the realtor or property manager's job easier and helps that person do a great job for his or her clients. In the past, the industry relied on time-consuming paper management systems, which didn’t allow for tracking communication between manager and tenant. Today, there are more innovative products on the market. Rent Manager makes the process much more straightforward and transparent. 

Next-Level Integration

The industry’s goal now is to progress to the next level of integration, wherein platforms connect seamlessly. This evolution will enable different software systems to work together, which will allow businesses to personalize their systems. Modern application programming interfaces (APIs) allow programmers to construct solutions that work perfectly for them and their customers. 

What Is the Future of Property Technology?

In the future, the property management industry is likely to dive deeper into the world of artificial business intelligence. The world, after all, works on electronic automation in nearly all sectors. You can book an appointment with your dentist from a website, use the self-checkout at the market, and buy a car online; to keep up, managing your rental property needs to move in the same direction.

Property management companies are likely to automate processes and to move the workforce into service-focused tasks. In that landscape, attention to detail and a focus on customer service will become the things that make a property management system stand out from the competition. 

The ability to stay on top of trends in the property management industry keeps businesses at the top of their game. In 2020 and beyond, these companies need to operate efficiently and stay connected to clients in order to build a reputation for top quality service. That involves not only relying on property management technology but employing dedicated people to use it. 

This dedication to being at the forefront of property sector tech development, as well as a commitment to excellent customer service, helped London Computer Systems, a property management software company, earn recognition as a leader in their field. London Computer Systems is based in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States.

The Rent Manager Product Support Department was named the winner of a Bronze Stevie® Award in the Customer Service Department of the Year category in The 16th Annual American Business Awards® (2018). The Rent Manager User Conference was also named the winner of a Bronze Stevie Award in the Corporate & Community - Corporate Event category in The 17th Annual American Business Awards.

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Topics: The American Business Awards, American business awards, Customer Service