Many distributors across the United States and the world produce quality products that many people use. These might include soda beverages, weight loss supplements, or dietary supplements. With distributing so many items, manufacturers need a way to keep track of all these products.

One of the ways that this is done is through inventory management. We’ll focus on a few ways that manufacturing businesses can keep track of inventory.

Inventory Software

If you’re running a small business, you’re going to have to deal with inventory management. Whether your business sells dietary supplements, beverages, vitamins, pesticides, or conventional food, you’ll need a way to organize all these products. One manufacturing process tip to follow is to stay aware of how much product you have on hand.

One way that you can keep track of your inventory is by using inventory management software. Utilizing such software as free digital asset management software can help you to ensure that you have an accurate count of your product. Let’s say you’re a dietary supplement manufacturer. For your previous month of business, there was an increase in interest for soft gel weight loss capsules. This caused your products carrying your dietary supplement labels to fly off store shelves across the United States.

On the other side of this, the same software can let you know where demand is lacking. Let’s say that your business also specializes in producing beverages for sale throughout the United States. For the past two months, a particular brand of your beverages hasn’t been selling as well as other brands. Maybe the potency of the taste wasn’t what customers were looking for. This can also help you to determine the amount of interstate commerce that might need to be lessened due to the lack of demand. Inventory management can act as a sort of quality control for your business. Manufacturing businesses would do well to invest in inventory management software.

Notebook & Spreadsheet

One of the simplest methods of keeping track of your inventory includes using a pen and paper. This is the easiest way of keeping track of your inventory. No matter the merchandise, this method can be utilized by any type of manufacturer. This can include dietary supplement manufacturers, beverages manufacturers, and any US food manufacturers across the United States.

You begin the process by making a list of every item that you currently have for sale. As you sell or add to your store’s inventory, simply delete or add the items from your list. This is a simple method that retailers across the United States utilize to keep track of their inventories.

Another method that you can use to keep track of your inventory of herbal products or other botanical dietary supplements is to use a spreadsheet. If you want, you can also keep track of the active ingredients that you keep on hand to produce your products. For example, you can attempt to locate vitamin A that’s found in your gummies. You can also conduct advanced search functions as a keyword search to find certain items.

Stock Controller

Another method to employ in keeping track of your inventory is to hire a stock controller. A stock controller can keep track of everything from your active ingredients and raw materials to finished goods. This can include the raw ingredients that are used to make your stock of vitamins or tablets. A stock controller comes in handy for companies such as dietary supplement companies, supplement manufacturers, or any business that handles the manufacture of a dietary supplement.

Many of these companies have to adhere to federal law, letting them know what active ingredients are found in their products. This helps to ensure that the wellness of the customer is maintained when the items reach the marketplace. Having a stock controller keep track of these substances can ensure that the supplement company is providing the correct supplements. This ensures that the company is keeping the health of the public in mind and not being violators of the law. Your stock controller will be the one responsible for keeping track of your inventory from beginning to finish.

We always learn a ton about how leaders are thinking about challenges, and their approaches are to address these headwinds through our executive coaching and consulting work at The ExCo Group, and our multiple interview series with senior leaders. In today’s increasingly complex and remote world, here are a few ideas that stuck with us. 

How do you build Culture in a WFH environment?

Driving cultural transformation in a work-from-home environment can be especially challenging. The Journal of People+Strategy had an insightful Q&A with Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Here are a couple of highlights:

“How do we maintain the social capital that comes from being together in the workplace? While we are building some new forms of social capital, we’re also burning some of the social capital we’ve built over time, and we will need to replenish that.”  

Add this the endless list of leadership challenges: How do you build culture and cohesiveness when so many people are working remotely?

On resetting Microsoft’s mission: “We asked ourselves, ‘what would be lost if Microsoft just disappeared?’ We had to answer for ourselves, ‘what is the company about? Why do we exist?’”

Satya’s “what would be lost” provocation is useful for any organization as that it grounds the discussion about mission and purpose in concrete terms, rather than the too-lofty and vague statements that many companies adopt.

What are the critical qualities to lead through uncertainty? 

One of the biggest challenges facing boards and leaders right now is planning. Margaret Heffernan, best-selling author and Ted talk star, has an incredibly timely book out called, “Uncharted: How to Navigate the Future.” In an issue of People+Strategy, she elaborated on themes of the book that included this powerful reminder of what will set the best companies and leaders apart in this new environment. 

“Those who rise to the leadership challenge will be outstanding convenors, better chosen for their skepticism and curiosity than their confidence. They may be more similar to artists than engineers. Collecting voices, structuring exploration, keen listening and synthesizing success and failure will be the focus of their work. They need to be excellent interrogators of the ecosystems in which they reside, aware of where they fit and the impact of their decisions on others. Being able to reconcile opposites—efficiency and robustness, complicated and complex—is a hallmark of their adaptive minds. Successful leaders will have to hold the tension between urgency and integrity, to stiffen resolve for what is confusing, frustrating and frightening and to resist simplifying what is innately complex. They cannot be expected to deliver reliable perfection, but they can and should be held to account for decisions that can be explained and understood.”

We will be hosting a live webcast with Heffernan on September 29th at 5pm ET. Be sure to check out the event and register.

Are you looking for opportunities?

The challenge of long-term planning has come up as a running theme in many of our interviews. For our directors series, we spoke with Eric Spiegel, the former CEO of Siemens USA about his extensive experience on private and public boards. He shared this perspective about not responding to uncertainty with broad-brush actions. 

“The pandemic has hit different businesses disproportionately. Some of them are doing great and are ahead of plan. Others have ground to a halt. They may be cutting costs and laying people off, but you want to make sure the cuts don’t go too deep because there is an investment in the business that has to be protected. It really requires understanding things at a greater level of detail in each division rather than looking at the overall average of the company’s performance. 

You also have to make sure you’re looking at opportunities, and not just firefighting, because all this disruption has created a lot of opportunities, both for organic growth and also for potential acquisitions. You can get so hunkered down and shortsighted that you miss how part of the industry is changing and creating opportunities to improve your position.”

Finally, in these uncertain times, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Leadership coaching can help accelerate performance against your organization’s strategy today, and prepare them to deliver on tomorrow’s.

This article was contributed by The ExCo Group, an executive coaching and leadership development firm comprised of experienced former CEOs, independent directors, and global business leaders.

Did you know there are now 42,266 bitcoin ATMs in the US? As the popularity of this crypto currency has grown, so has the technology to make using it easier. But would you know how to operate one?

Luckily, it is just as easy as a standard ATM. Read on as we discuss how to use a bitcoin ATM.

Using a Bitcoin ATM to Buy

The first step is to provide user verification. This will depend on the country or state you are using the machine in. It is often to comply with KYC and AML laws. 

After this, scan your Bitcoin wallet. This uses a QR code. Some machines may even print off the code on a receipt for you to use instead of having it onscreen. 

In some instances, you may find you can even send Bitcoin to your email address. The email will contain the QR code for scanning via your inbox. 
After this, enter the fiat amount you want to spend when buying bitcoin. Cash will then be entered into the machine as if you were depositing in an automated bank.

The machine will take a few minutes to process the transaction and close the sale. Bitcoin should take around ten minutes to an hour to arrive in your wallet. Take the number of the ATM teller in case it does not arrive. 

Steps for Selling Bitcoin

Just like buying, the transaction begins by registering and providing user verification if required. After this, you will be asked to select the amount of bitcoin you would like to buy. 

The ATM will then prompt you with a QR code. This should be scanned using the wallet on your mobile device. Once it sends, you will get a receipt to confirm the transaction. 

The deposit from your wallet can take around ten minutes to an hour, so be patient. This ticket can then be used to withdraw fiat cash from the ATM. 

How to Find Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin ATMs are now popping up in towns and cities around the world. However, they are not the kind of ATM machine you often stumble across. You can find bitcoin ATM machines in your local area here

What Are the Transaction Fees?

The transaction fees for bitcoin ATMs do tend to be quite high. You can expect to pay around 8.93% of the amount. For this reason, some people prefer to do their cryptocurrency transactions the traditional way. 

Withdrawal limits are dependent upon the location of the ATM. Generally, around $9500 dollars in fiat currency is the daily limit. 

Reasons to Use a Bitcoin ATM

Despite high transition fees, there are a number of reasons as to why you would use a Bitcoin ATM. Some of them are listed below.

  • Convenience 
  • Secure and trustworthy
  • Ease of use when converting to fiat currency

Investing in Bitcoin

If you are either investing in bitcoin or using it as daily currency, bitcoin ATMs can be a huge help. Find one in your local area and try it out. Once you have used it for the first time, it will begin to get easier. 

Do you find yourself having trouble sorting your ether from your dogecoin? if so, then we can help. Check out the rest of our blog for all the cryptocurrency advice and assistance you could need. 

Do you consider yourself credit savvy? If so, do you know the difference between secured and unsecured credit? Many Americans do not. They have no idea how lending works, let alone the finer details of our financial system in general. That is unfortunate. A lack of knowledge makes it more difficult to use credit wisely.

All forms of credit can be divided into the two categories of secured and unsecured. In all likelihood, you have experience with both. You may not know it, but it is pretty common for American consumers to utilize both types of credit simultaneously.

Types of Secured Credit

Secured credit is designated as such because there is some sort of asset that secures the loan from the bank’s perspective. If you have a mortgage on your home, the mortgage is secured by your house. What does this mean? It means that your home is a means of security for your lender.

If you decided to stop making your monthly mortgage payments, your lender could foreclose on you. That means the lender can legally take ownership of your home, kick you out, and sell the property at auction to recover the money it loaned you. This ability to foreclose essentially secures the bank’s interests.

Hard money is another form of secured credit. Salt Lake City hard money lender Actium Partners says hard money is typically off-limits to consumers. Rather, it is reserved primarily for investors and businesses. Hard money loans are secured by a variety of assets ranging from real estate to business equipment.

Other types of secured credit include:

  • car loans
  • home equity loans
  • secured personal loans.

Any loan that carries the risk of property being seized and sold in the event of default constitutes secured credit. That is pretty much it in a nutshell. Do you have any secured credit you are currently paying off?

Types of Unsecured Credit

Now that you understand secured credit, it should be obvious that unsecured credit is just the opposite. Unsecured credit is obtained without any hard assets to back up what is loaned. Lenders take a substantial risk by offering unsecured credit instruments.

The most common form of unsecured credit is, by far, the credit card. A credit card represents a type of revolving credit more or less issued on the honor system. When you apply for a credit card, you are promising to pay what you borrow without pledging collateral.

Revolving lines of store credit, payday loans, and traditional personal loans are additional examples of unsecured credit. Lenders rely on credit scores and histories to make approval decisions.

If you have ever wondered why credit card interest rates are so much higher than the rates you get for mortgages and car loans, it boils down to the lack of collateral. The fact that a credit card is unsecured presents more risk to the lender. Where risk is higher, so are interest rates.

When Credit Goes into Default

Collateral makes all the difference when a credit account goes into default. Default on your mortgage or car payment and the lender can seize your property and sell it. Default on your credit cards and there isn’t much the lender can do but take you to court. Even if the lender wins a judgment in its favor, you still control the outcome. You either pay or you don’t.

Credit is an important financial tool in the modern world. Whether you use secured credit, unsecured credit, or both, use all your credit wisely. Use it responsibly as well. Doing so will benefit both you and your creditors.

Portugal has some of the most expensive real estate when we compare with the average salary. The country has been a go-to place for foreigners looking to invest in property, and retirees looking to spend their last years in a sunny and welcoming country. This has driven the prices of real estate higher in the most important areas of the country, Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve. The spike in real estate prices around these regions has made it impossible for portuguese with lower salaries to buy or even rent a property. Portugal seems to be the biggest real estate bubble in Europe. As 60% of portuguese make less than €800 a month, the rise in property prices has forced them to allocate most of their salaries to rent or to pay mortgages. 

Rent controls

As a way of preventing this kind of situation, some countries, namely in Europe, have set up laws to protect tenants. These rent control laws allow every tenant to get an affordable house with standard living conditions. Many view this as an interference of governments in the free market. Real estate prices in countries with rent controls tend to be affected, reflecting the inability to raise prices. Prices should not be regulated, and governments should not interfere with the free market, but at the same time, some countries are deeply affected by high property prices. Housing has always made up most of a family’s spending, and it is to be expected. When these levels reach over 50% of the spending, then the situation changes. 

The reasons behind high property prices

One of the reasons behind the surge in property prices is the amount of capital that is just laying around ready to be deployed. Not everyone knows how to allocate capital in the best way, and real estate becomes an easy and simple way of doing it. This in turn creates a housing shortage that could last for a long time, and has a deep impact on different socioeconomic levels of society. Although there is no simple solution for this problem, rent controls emerge as the most obvious and simple way governments can address the issue at hand.

Author bio: Value of Stocks is an independent financial information provider. Focused on analyzing stocks with a value investing approach. Our main goal is to help investors make better investment decisions.