Friday, May 7, 2021

Is your tech costing you talent?

 


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As we start to emerge from the pandemic and see light at the end of the tunnel, companies are realizing that working from home (WFH) didn’t kill productivity after all.  In fact, employees are more resilient and engaged than ever.
Instead of going MIA as some employers feared, employees crushed it. Eighty three percent of employers say the shift to remote work has been successful for their company, compared to just 73% in June of 2020. 

Now that hybrid or fully remote work is a part of our business infrastructure moving forward, companies need to make sure they are helping employees rather than hindering them. And since finding a job close to home (or even in the same state) is no longer a parameter for many job seekers, it’s game on for companies who want to find and keep top talent. 

Turns out, technology plays a major role in how employees evaluate employers and whether they stay or go. Nearly half of all workers - 49 percent - say they’re likely to leave their current job if they’re unhappy or frustrated with workplace tech.

McKinsey estimates employees spend 1.8 hours a day searching and gathering information. The tech gurus at IDC put the number closer to 2.5 hours per day, or 30% of the workday.

If employees are spending that much time looking for information, you can almost guarantee they’ll also be looking for another job soon. Do whatever you can to eliminate the cut and pasting and put information at their fingertips. Great employees need great tools to do their jobs well. Help them help you. Employees want direction from their employers. They want to know the game plan so they can execute.

 When technology gets in the way and sends them back to the dark ages, it’s frustrating.

And here’s why it should really matter to you if you care about recruiting and retaining the best talent, especially millennials:

• 20% of Millennials are more likely to apply for jobs if the company has a reputation for great technology.
• 34% of managers, directors, and executives have turned down a job because the technology was out of date or hard to use.
• 84% of all knowledge workers say their companies are missing opportunities by not moving to modern technology solutions.
• 83% of workers across age groups say having the right tech improves productivity.

There’s a lot of technology out there you can invest in. Choose to invest in your people first and everything else will follow.


Sometimes just by re-architecting and augmenting the systems you already have, you can drive better business results across the entire organization. Not to mention save a lot of money.

More than ever, the way to an employee’s heart is through technology that woos and wows their desire to do great work, with great tools and great people. 

Let us show you how to  make that happen !! 
Copyright © 2021 The Systems House, All rights reserved.

Friday, February 26, 2021

What about fresh strawberries?

Part IV in our seemingly never ending series... 


This week some ideas on what makes your company different , is it a software toolset? who knows - read on to keep growing your business. 
Hat tip to Compliance Expert Health Wruble for the excellent content.

Happy Friday.. 


Thinking Strawberries in the 21st Century
-Heath Wruble

As a C-level consultant and business owner, I was recently reminded of a public speaking course I took back in graduate school. One of our professors, Michael LLorenz was tasked with getting us prepared to make solid presentations in the real world. His public speaking course was essential for his students and one of the most important and practical courses we have taken. His wisdom helps his students to this day forge ahead in the business world and most of his students still keep in touch with him, which shows the impact he has had and still has on his students.

Professor LLorenz would assign each of us a famous speech, have us read the speech, as a homework assignment and then stand up in front of the class and present a 3 to 5-minute outline of the speech and the lessons we learnt from the speech. The class then would have the opportunity to challenge us, ask questions, and debate the subject matter. It wasn’t so much about the takeaways we got from the speech itself but how we were able to break it down and present it to our peers in a short amount of time and then be able to have a group discussion about the speech.

One of the many speeches assigned to me resonated with me at the time and I still use it as a
management training tool, I apply it to every business situation I have gotten myself into including working in securities, in real estate, and in owning a bar, and it works. All you have to do is apply the lessons presented in the speech to each situation. Of course, you have to think outside the box: which was the point of the lesson, so many years ago.

The speech was Thinking Strawberries, Everybody Sells by James Lavenson who first presented this speech to the American Medical Association in February 1974. Mr. Lavenson was the president of the Plaza Hotel in New York City. At the time he gave this speech, he wasn’t a “hotel man”, because before he headed the Plaza Hotel, he was a corporate marketing director for Sonesta Hotels, which owned the hotel at that time. He commented within the speech that the Plaza, one of the most well-known hotels in all of New York City, perhaps the world, was losing money, so they said how bad could it get with Mr. Lavenson at the helm. 

The premise of his speech was how to inculcate all employees with a sales-oriented culture. To accomplish that Mr Lavenson began getting the employees to answer some key questions to change their perception of who they were in relation to their work at the hotel.


He queried: What’s the difference between a $150 a night hotel room and a $200 a night room? 
The answer isn’t $50, it’s the $200 a night room has a beautiful view of central park. 

What’s going on in the lounge tonight,
The answer isn’t some singer is performing. It's, have you heard of Lady Gaga, she is taking the stage at 11, can I make you a reservation?

I’m not interested in New York Night Life. Any suggestions? 
Have you seen the latest Star Wars movie? We have it streaming to your room for only $5.99. 

Oh! And you can also order room service from our 5-star restaurant. Would you like dessert after your meal, no thank you, cheesecake is too heavy for me. 
I understand, Mr. Wruble, what about fresh strawberries. Oh, that sounds wonderful, does it come with whipped cream? But of course. I will take it.

Everyone is selling!


I don’t want to give away all the amazing insights from Mr. Lavenson’s wonderful speech, I encourage you to read it for yourself at the link above. However, I want to impart some lessons I have taken from the speech hoping that you also start “Thinking Strawberries'' in your business. To that end, I am going to share some real-life examples.

First and foremost, understand your employees and your customers. If you understand and respect your employees, you will be better able to motivate them. Educate them on the products they sell, do not just send them out and expect them to sell. Think Strawberries taught me that a good business has everyone selling all the time.

Lesson one, respect your employees. Once, I had the perfect saleswoman working for me in my cigar club: she was bright, energetic and always smiling, but she had never worked with cigars or wine before. I spent several days with her showing her each and every product, teaching her about cigars, showing her how to light and smoke a cigar, all about the various bottles of wine I sold, before you knew it she wouldn’t just sell you a glass of wine but the entire bottle and you wouldn’t just buy one cigar you would walk out with ten. She became my top saleswoman, everyone loved her, you walked through the door, you received a smile, she called you by your name, and she gave you a big hug. I explained to her that I might make more money from selling a single glass of wine; however, if the rest of the bottle of wine didn’t sell within a few days I would risk the remainder spoiling having to be discarded. 


I explained that it was less costly for customers having three or more glasses to buy the entire bottle. Also,  the more bottles I sold, the larger my discount from the distributors. So, in the end it worked out for all of us: she got a bigger tip, the customer got a great deal, and I made my profit and then some. She loved coming to work and my customers loved her.
At the same time, the customer doesn’t want to be just another sale. They want to feel special. They do not appreciate getting a feeling of being used. Without a strong customer base, you won’t get far.


Lesson two, respect your customers. I have a friend, let’s call him Jerry. He sells cars, but he isn’t your typical car salesman. You know the type, you buy a car and drive away feeling dirty. Jerry and his family go out of their way for their customers because they know and respect their customers, they buy the cars their customers want. As a result, they have not only repeat customers, but also generational customers .These are signs of a solid customer base. It's not because they have the best pre owned cars around, which they do. It's because they get to know their customers’ needs and work hard to ensure the customer drives away in a car they want and can afford. Jerry and his family “think strawberries.” If you want a hard to find car, give Jerry the description and budget and he will find it, and if you are in California and don’t trust the sales team there you can order from Jerry in New Jersey, he will face time the car with you, spend as long as you want on the phone answering questions, take as many pictures of the car you want or even a video and once you are ready he will ship it straight to you. Want your oil changed? He does that. Want your car serviced, that too.


He sells strawberries, no lemons, because he respects and understands his customers
. In return, they trust him and his cars. Respect your customers and respect your employees. Consider again the Plaza Hotel. Mr. Lavenson realized that his sales-oriented message wasn’t getting to all 1400 employees through his newsletter because half of them didn’t read or speak English well. Recognizing the problem, he re-published the employee newsletter in Spanish and English and gave free English language lessons, demonstrating his respectful and caring communication.

Think Strawberries was published years before my father ran his businesses, but this amazing man and a phenomenal business man instinctually embodied its ideas, without ever reading or hearing the speech. He once owned a dry-cleaning plant, and every Thanksgiving and Christmas he would give turkeys or ham to his employees. The first time I saw this, I was impressed but noticed that not one of them said thank you. My father told me he isn’t doing this for recognition or a thank you, but to ensure that they have an amazing holiday with their families, if they had one less expense to think about during the holiday season, then my father was happy and so were his employees. Because of the way my father treated his employees they stayed with him longer, worked harder and respected him more, he built a following where people wanted to work for him, saving him a lot of time and costly training costs.

Another application of Think Strawberries occurred with a friend, let's call him Alex, he owned a restaurant and the food was amazing, but the service was very poor. It took forever to get a drink, I literally had to start coughing so loud until I got their attention or I actually had to get up and get it myself, which was frowned upon. The service was slow, and it wasn’t because he didn’t have enough staff, he did, they just weren’t motivated, and they just didn’t care. I knew the food was amazing and I knew he could be doing so much better and I wanted to help so I took Alex for drinks. During the first round he asked me what I thought of his restaurant. I said the food was amazing, but the service could be improved. I was not telling him something he already didn’t know; he could read the Yelp reviews. 

He asked what I would do to improve the service. I told him about “Think Strawberries” and told him he should read it and make it mandatory for all his employees to read. I said appeal to their pockets. Explain to them that when they see a customer’s glass is almost empty (about 2⁄3 thirds gone) go over and ask if they want another drink, make sure the hostess tells a customer about one special on the menu that night, get the customer excited to be there. “Welcome Mr. Smith, can you and your party please follow me, you came on a great night, they have the Hawaiian swordfish on the menu, it was just flown in this morning and is amazing, they gave a taste to the entire staff before our shifts started.” When the server comes to take the orders, have her drop a line about the new mixologist at the bar tonight and ask for the drink order. “Can we get you one of our famous mixed drinks, it's called the Zesty, or how about the Green Bourbon?” When the bussers come to the tables to clean up the dishes have them casually drop one of their favorite desserts. “Can I take these plates? I hope you left room for dessert, the peach cobbler is back on the menu and it’s out of this world.” 

As the customers keep ordering, their bill goes up and thus so does the tip, when everyone is involved everyone starts to enjoy their job, everyone is happy, the customers get amazing service, the bussers and hostesses get better tips from the servers, the servers get better tips form the customers and you the business owner starts to do better, and so are your yelp reviews. Alex did just that, he motivated his employees, the service improved, customer reviews improved and so did Alex’s business.

Understanding your market is key, in retail or real-estate each market is different, you can not go into a market and believe just because it worked in town “A” it will work the same in town “B”. Getting to know your market, the way traffic moves, the way people think, the way employees act, it is different in each town, your ideas may very well work in town “B” but it may take some time, do not rush and push your ideas, attempt to get to know your employees and your customer and let them get to know you. 

In the end with the right will and aptitude you will start to think strawberries and get everyone to sell.


Thinking Strawberries, Everybody Sells by James Lavenson, presented to the American Medical Association in February 1974

I want to thank Michael LLorenz, a mentor and one of my undergraduate and graduate school professors for developing my abilities as a young lad in college and graduate school. After 20 plus years, we are still in contact.

Heath Wruble, is an accomplished business leader who now resides in South Florida, he is available for big idea consulting contracts or to help build a more efficient business for tomorrow.
The views expressed in this commentary are the personal views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of anyone else.

For more information on TSH or MDS call The Systems House, Inc. at 1-800- MDS-5556. Or send a message to sales@tshinc.com

Click here and tell us how we can help you with your business solutions.


Friday, February 19, 2021

There are no mistakes only opportunities - Improv and Business

Part III in our seemingly never ending series... 

This week we learn that sometimes thinking on our feet is the way to growing your business. Hat tip to Compliance Expert Health Wruble for the excellent content.

Happy Friday.. 



Improv and Business - why leaders and influencers should take improv!

-Heath Wruble

While living in Austin, I stumbled across and attended an improv show called “Second Sundays” featuring the Improv troupe The Known Wizards, at the Zach Theater. I went back several times, and it was always a great night. In fact, I hadn’t smiled or laughed that much in a very long time. At the end of each performance, the troupe advertised their improv classes.

Eventually, I decided to enroll in the improv classes. Why not? What else was I going to do on a Thursday night? Three weeks into the Improv 101 class it dawned upon me that I should have been taking these classes all along, and eventually I came to the conclusion these classes should be taught in college, business school, and in leadership training classes at every major corporation.

By now you’re probably wondering – What are you talking about? How does this relate to business influencers? Are you seriously suggesting that I should take precious time out of my busy schedule to play games?

My answer is an emphatic, “YES.”

For most of my career I was based out of New York City and there things happened more quickly than, let’s say, in Austin, where I lived until recently. Decisions in New York were made much quicker, conversations lacked the usually southern pleasantries or “Southern Charm,” meetings got straight to the point, questions were asked answered, and assignments doled out. There was no hand holding in such a fast-paced environment.

When I moved out of New York, I quickly learned that is not exactly how business operates in most of the United States. I was going to have to relearn how to interact in different business environments.

As I said, this is something that should have been taught to us in college or in graduate school. After all, they are preparing us to be business leaders in the real world and in the real world there are places outside of New York in which we as professionals will have to interact with other professionals. We should all learn that not everyone operates in a “New York Minute.”

What does Improv teach us and how does it relate to the business world?

There is a motto I’ve loved hearing at improv – “Dare to Fail.” Improv teaches us to accept our failures with the “failure bow”. Basically, this means close your eyes and take that next step. Business leaders need to learn this concept as well. It is okay to fail, so long as you admit your mistakes, learn from them, and build upon them. Without acknowledging your failures, you will never learn from your past mistakes. Take that failure bow, admit your mistake, and improve yourself.



In the first few classes we played many different games, and one of the first was used to learn each other’s names; after all, we were going to be spending the next 8 weeks together and possibly longer if we continued to the more advanced courses. We had to become accustomed to each other, learn from our mistakes, take responsibility for our failures, not be embarrassed by them, and build upon them. By playing these games and making mistakes in the process, we learned to laugh at our failures rather than shrink from them.

Most importantly, the game reinforced that there isn’t an “I” in team, and we were building a team, an improv troupe. We learned that unlike other games where there is always one winner, our goal was to make others look good – if we accomplished this, we would all look good. This helped shy troupe members grow and become comfortable around others, inspire confidence, provide a new perspective on life, and builds character for all those in attendance.

The Pillars of Improv

There are several main pillars of improv which can help develop a business leaders’ tool kits. Bear in mind, managers are always collecting tools which we utilize during our busy days, dealing with staff and negotiating with counterparts or clients. Some tools we use once and then put away because it didn’t work, some we use once or twice in a blue moon, and some we use daily. We are actively collecting the tools, or pillars, used to develop our everyday lives.

These pillars are:

  •  Daring to fail
  • Critical thinking
  • Learning to listen
  • Bringing big ideas
  • Articulation
  • Being engaged
  • Encouragement

As I continue my improv education to this day, I learn new skills each and every class. I take my learnings from each class and add that new experience to my tool belt. I find that it helps to keep an open mind and go with the flow, trying not to be critical and helping all my teammates look great.

Daring to Fail – What does it mean to be daring? In simple terms, it’s learning to accept failures while making sure that others are winning. This is one of the best characteristics of a good leader. How often have you looked around and seen someone you admire in business taking a leap into uncharted territory? That individual is daring to fail, only to pick themselves up and do it all again and again, until one day they have built an amazing organization? And how many managers do you know that aren’t afraid of those around them succeeding because they provided their team with an opportunity? It’s important for the successful manager to bear in mind that if you did your job right and the person you hired moves up the corporate ladder and potentially even surpasses you, you were the catalyst for their success.

Approaching the uncharted is a critical component of improv. A group of actors performs in front of an audience, typically without a script, using audience suggestions to stimulate and build upon their act. They start small, developing a scene, fleshing out the characters and developing the story or plot. The actors start to improvise, working with each other, using only the words, phrasing, or descriptions provided by others to build upon the scene. The actor has to listen and pay attention and be quick to follow up, as they have to help and build the scene and continue the thought process, painting a picture for the audience. At its most basic, these actors are helping to make the other performers look good while daring to fail. This uses several leadership “muscles.”

Critical thinking – The actor needs to learn to think quickly based upon suggestions from the audience, and build upon that suggestion. This is essential in any business environment, as outcomes are usually stimulated by your own reactions. Improv helps empower you to learn to think critically and react quickly.

Learning to listen – If the actor doesn’t listen, the scene will not come together and will leave the audience wondering what just happened rather than laughing at the performance. In business, if you can’t hear what is being said or not willing to listen, then conflict and confusion arises, and nothing gets accomplished.

Bringing big ideas – In improv you are on the stage, and you have to exaggerate your performance. Typically, there are no props on the stage with you, so in order for the audience to understand the scene you have to explain it, utilizing your words and actions. By being bold and using your words you can literally develop the scene for the audience. When a member of your team brings that bold big idea to the stage, it creates the scene and others help to develop the scene, each line describes what is being played out so the audience can now live the scene with you. Prior to your big idea, no one knew what was happening in the scene, you didn’t know where the scene would go, who was in it? But by being bold the scene with the participation of your team developed into the big idea that everyone watching can follow and understand. The same is true in the business world, do not be afraid to bring your big idea to the team and let the team help develop the concept.

Articulation – Whenever you meet a group in the business world, there is usually that one person who is confident and articulate and who dominates the conversation. But there is also that individual who tends to stay on the sidelines and is quiet as a mouse. How often is that quiet person ignored, only to later realize they were the smartest in the room? Improv helps elevate confidence, enabling you to articulate your thoughts, a skill that is essential for any business environment.

Engage and Encourage – How often have you been at an event, waiting to be introduced to someone or to become engaged in the conversation or group environment? Improv helps build the skills that allow you to open the door to conversation. The confidence to engage and encourage conversation will get you critical information and build the groundwork for a relationship almost every time.

Improv may not be right for everyone, but it helps in business relationships and teaches us to be better at what we do. If you are too busy, or not 100% sure you want to take a class, I encourage you to at least take some of these ideas and implement them on your own. Perhaps you are looking for a team building experience, hiring someone who does improv can help build bridges and build a better team environment. Dare to fail, acknowledge your failures and build upon them, articulate your thoughts, smile and be confident, bring those big ideas you have to the table, listen to others and always remember you win if they win, and make them look good – and you will look even better.

I want to thank Shana Merlin, Kevin Miller, David Ronn and the team from Melrin Works in Austin, Texas (The Known Wizards) for helping me in my career path and teaching me to fail and never give up. I want to thank my troupe, formerly class 101, 201 and 301, now known as “When Life gives you Lemmings” for making our class enjoyable and helping us all build an amazing team all while having a great time.

I also what to thank Michael Llorenz a mentor and one of my graduate school professors for developing my abilities as a young lad in college and graduate school. After 20 plus years we are still in contact.

Heath Wruble, is an accomplished business leader who now resides in South Florida, he is available for big idea consulting contracts or to help build a more efficient business for tomorrow.



For more information on TSH or MDS call The Systems House, Inc. at 1-800- MDS-5556. Or send a message to sales@tshinc.com

Click here and tell us how we can help you with your business solutions.


Friday, February 12, 2021

The Internet has a long memory...

Since Heath was kind enough to keep sharing , This week he reminds us that sometime social media can be hazardous to your business health, This is especially  true around business and taking a political, religious or other stance today.  Read on for some Insight.. Hat tip to Compliance Expert Health Wruble for the excellent content.

Happy Friday.. 


Social Media Pitfalls!
Heath Wruble 

As a hiring manager, I see so many mistakes people make when interacting on Social Media, that I
sometimes want to cry. I am concerned that we tend to take our social media posts with a grain of salt
and do not really understand the long-term effect our posts and comments may have.
Although I believe social media is a great way to communicate with others and can be a fantastic
channel to advertise ourselves or our businesses, it’s also important to remember the societal and
career perils inherent to social media.

I recently received a resume in response to a job I had posted. The applicant had the education, the
background, was articulate, and appeared to have all the essential technical and business skills in a
desirable job candidate. After my phone conversation it was clear that he would not only fit into our
work environment, but could probably keep pace in our fast-paced environment and impress our clients.
Until, of course, we performed a simple google search of his name; up came pictures of him drinking
beer from a funnel at a party, as well as other pictures of him in less than professional settings. While
these types of pictures are certainly legal, and many of us have engaged in less than perfect behavior.
But were these the types of pictures we wanted to see as an employer? One might say these are just the
joys of growing up, which may be true, but one always must remember once a picture like that is out
there, it’s out there forever.

My friend’s daughter was preparing to apply to several universities. The family did all they could to
improve her chances. She volunteered at their religious institution on Sundays, tutored at the local Boys
and Girls Club, participated in her school’s soccer team, and had fantastic grades and scores on her SATs.
Unfortunately, they failed to review her social media accounts, and there were a few pictures and
twitter posts featuring uncompromising pictures of typical teenage activities, such as, well let’s just call
them… party photos and leave it at that, and some controversial twitter comments, which would be fine
if she wanted to be a model or political commentator for one party or another. Most exclusive schools
do not want to take on these adventurous types of students, they want the studious student. The
colleges she applied to did check her social media. She did not get accepted into her first or second
choice schools; the social media postings may have played a role.


I was recently reminded of an article in the NY Post I read by Bethany Mandel, the title really stood out
to me – “ Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t post about his kids on social media – and nor should we ”. The
premise behind the article is that if the founder of Facebook was unwilling to post personal content such
as pictures of his children and his private life, perhaps it is a good idea if we, as the consumers of the
application do the same.

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs limited their children’s access to technology . Even Tim Cook famously said in an
article in The guardian : “I don’t have a kid but I have a nephew that I put some boundaries on. There are some things that I won’t allow; I don’t want them on a social network.”
With that, allow me to remind you of some of my famous Social Media No-Nos!

  1. Never post anything on social media you do not want your mother or grandmother to see or read. Or your future in-laws.
  2.  Never post party pictures or especially costume party pictures; one day that picture of you might be offensive to our new visitors from Mars.
  3. Be careful in your commentaries when commenting on someone’s social media feed.
  4. Be careful what you like on social media, not everyone will agree, and some might hold it against you.
  5. Watch what you write on twitter or retweet, we have seen politicians retweet a cute meme which they later find out to be from a supremacist, only to then get lumped into the controversies.


Additionally, even if one isn’t looking to enter the workforce or maintain his or her job, we must always
be cognizant of our social media activities for personal safety reasons. These activities affect us in other
ways, they help make us a target or worse. Some helpful ideas to keep in mind whether you are a
teenager or a family, these social media no-no’s should be discussed as a family and followed.

  • When going on vacation, wait until your return to post your pictures. You do not want to advertise to the world that your home is a prime target for a robbery, because hey no one is there right now. (same goes for your voicemail, “hey guys we are in Sardinia for the summer, leave a message and we will get right back to your once we figure out how to use “viber”)
  • Never post pictures of the inside of your home, a smart criminal can then piece all those pictures together and figure out the best ways to break in and which rooms to “hit”.
  • Never post pictures of your children, why make them a target.
  • Never post your schedule or pictures of your tickets to a show or game (they show the date, time and location you will be at, opening up a prime window of opportunity).
  • Never post pictures of your cars (including license plates), watches, that new diamond ring you just got or piles of cash you have laying around (why help prepare those wishing to conduct nefarious operations against you a list of items to kindly request).


I admit I have a social media account; my accounts are locked for my friends only and I tend to only
allow family and close friends access. I rarely post pictures and use my account to communicate and
keep up to date with those friends.
Remind your children of the social media pitfalls, you do not have to go far; there are countless news
stories of children not being accepted to colleges or prestigious jobs because of something silly they did
ten years ago.
Set your privacy settings to the strongest levels as possible, as an example, only friends can see your
information, delete your history (Facebook has an option for that now), and don’t check into locations
such as restaurants, amusement parks, etc.
Education about social media and the pitfalls is essential to living a more normal quitter lifestyle.
Remember the less others know about you and your family the better off you and your family will be.




For more information on TSH or MDS call The Systems House, Inc. at 1-800- MDS-5556. Or send a message to sales@tshinc.com
Click here and tell us how we can help you with your business solutions.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Hackers Hackers Everywhere but none are targeting me...

In keeping with our theme of marketing help, I wanted to share some interesting insights on the world of cybersecurity and how it may likely affect you.  Hat tip to Compliance Expert Health Wruble for the excellent content.

Happy Friday.. 


 

Cybersecurity Is On My Mind – Is It On Yours?

Heath Wruble -February 2020

I tend to take Cybersecurity to the extreme. In fact, it is a primary focus of my job, which is to protect the privacy and confidentiality of our clients. To say their privacy is a matter of concern is an understatement – we see our clients as more than clients; they are family and we strive to protect our family at all cost. If we fail at protecting our clients, confidence erodes, relationships are lost, and friendships are broken.

Not a month goes by that there isn’t an article in the Wall Street Journal about a data exposure or data breach. Each and every story is devoured and dissected by the firm to identify what those companies have done, what may have caused the breach, and to ensure that we, as a firm, continuously upgrade our ability to prevent exposures.

We ask ourselves questions such as, “Are we vulnerable? Do we need to react? Could this happen to us? How should we react?” Once we identify and implement solutions, I conduct training sessions with our employees to educate them on cybersecurity issues, breaches, and preventive measures. We stress actions such as reporting red flags, ignore calls seeking questionable information, and avoiding clicking on emails from unverified sources or emails that originate from an address which may look similar to one we know but has a different ending or a misspelling. And, of course, to never open a file unless it clearly originates from a verified source.


Our data security measures are strong and effective. We have password protected mobile devices, password protected voice mails, and password protected computers. Even the systems we use to run our applications are protected.

Our jobs can become much easier and safer thanks to efforts and foresight used when setting up these systems. In our offices, we have created an ecosystem with a strict cybersecurity mindset; our data is secured in a locked cloud-based system, which requires dual authentication methods to access the system. In order to get into the system, the user must first log into a password-protected computer, then once logged, will need to open a cloud-based application that also requires a password.

And yet, this alone still does not grant the user access; the user is required to take two additional steps to gain access. First, the application sends an authentication request to the user’s mobile phone (so even if someone was to steal a password, the thief couldn’t access the system without that phone). However, the user also needs to provide a password, fingerprint, or facial recognition to get into that phone, then have to find the application on the phone, enter a pin and then click on a button to activate the application.

As we are a U.S.-based company, we take the additional step of preventing logins from IP addresses from locations outside the United States. It is well documented that most of the hacking occurs in countries with lax cyber laws, such as China, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria. Therefore, it would be virtually impossible for a user to gain access from these countries, even if they had the password and the phone associated to the account.

It helps to be cautious, even as an individual user. What measures should you take to secure your personal data?

1) Purchase a VPN service (Virtual Private Network) to prevent entry by others without a digital key. The VPN acts as an application which hides your data from the public networks trying to access your system.

2) Buy and set up a personal firewall. The firewall controls network traffic to and from your computer, permitting or denying communication based on security controls. This creates essential barriers or gates between you and the internet.

3) Use a password with at least seven digits, using a variety of lower case and upper case letters, numbers, and special characters.

4) Never use the same password for all of your systems

5) Never use the same password more than once.

6) Avoid using names, birthdates, anniversaries, and similar data of yourself, spouse or children.

7) Use a key pass to randomly create passwords. They might be harder to remember, but they’ll also be harder for a hacker to crack.

8) Never write your passwords down.

Lastly, I recommend investing in a system called LifeLock, or one of its competitors. Firms such as LifeLock monitors your personal details, such as your social security, bank account, checking account, and credit cards. When set up correctly, any time there is suspicious activity in an account it alerts the account owner. These notifications provide preventive measures to limit personal damage, alerts the user to potential risks, and provides extra time to stay ahead of those wishing to do harm.




For more information on TSH or MDS call The Systems House, Inc. at 1-800- MDS-5556. Or send a message to sales@tshinc.com
Click here and tell us how we can help you with your business solutions.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

TSH launches two new mobile applications built on Rocket® UniVerse, U2 RESTful services

Everyone Needs a Little Marketing Help now and Again. 

https://blog.rocketsoftware.com/multivalue/2021/02/the-systems-house-inc-launched-two-new-mv-based-mobile-apps-in-2020/ 

The Rocket MultiValue partner channel is full of innovative companies providing world-class applications and here’s another great story about a partner quickly developing and deploying new apps to meet the needs of their customers.

Since 1979, The Systems House, Inc. (TSH) has focused in the distribution industry where they have a large base of installed clients. Today they are the largest company dedicated solely to the needs of the medical distribution industry. Their low overhead and highly technical staff allow TSH to be more agile than other companies when responding to software changes. With a laser focus in healthcare, TSH minimizes the changes required to stay at the forefront of medical distribution software providers. As a result, the organization is thriving and growing in their market segment, continually developing modern solutions for their customers.

While 2020 was a challenging year for all, that didn’t stop TSH from launching two new mobile applications built on Rocket® UniVerse, U2 RESTful services, UOJ and other tools. With a focus in the healthcare space, 95% of their customers are part of the healthcare supply chain, from medical manufacturers to healthcare systems and all the distribution partners in between; TSH and its base have been front and center during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both new mobile applications use HTML5 and modern web frameworks to provide TSH customers with a modern look and feel. The first app, Delivery Master 2.0 for delivery tracking, powers the medical distribution supply chain with Google maps integration and increased control over routing and delivery including:

Delivery accuracy improvements


Driver performance monitoring

Comprehensive delivery records
Electronic proof of delivery

















The second app, MDS Warehouse Management System (MDS-WMS), delivers a powerful solution for automating the inventory handling process in warehouses. As part of a complete software solution, MDS-WMS integrates wireless and bar-coding technologies, shipping systems and other warehouse automation equipment providing:

  • Improved customer service
  • Greater accuracy
  • Superior efficiency

What’s next for TSH in 2021? According to David Fertig, Vice President, TSH Inc. “TSH will deliver modern solutions that our customers need to stay competitive. The new MVIS tool from Rocket will be part of our future application development plans. A powerful tool for developing MultiValue-based modern apps, it’s a logical next step for TSH and our customers.”


For more information on TSH or MDS call The Systems House, Inc. at 1-800- MDS-5556. Or send a message to sales@tshinc.com
Click here and tell us how we can help you with your business solutions.