When Your Virtual Assistant Goes MIA

first_img President of Keener Marketing Solutions The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Guest Writer –shares What would you do if someone you worked with just disappeared? Image credit: Georgijevic | Getty Images Next Article Apply Now » Virtual Assistant February 16, 2017 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List When Your Virtual Assistant Goes MIA It was like any other morning. I fired up my computer, checked email and started prioritizing the day ahead. Despite my usual sense of optimism, I couldn’t help but feel a little concerned. It had been several days since I heard from my virtual assistant — we’ll call her Jessica — which was definitely not like her. For more than a year, we had worked closely together on practically everything. Although she was not an employee, I thought of Jessica as an extension of my brand. She helped me keep things organized, took excellent meeting minutes, collaborated on new ideas and even shared a laugh or two. Her prompt service and rapid turnaround was one of her greatest strengths. Now, after a few days of no response, I was beginning to question everything.More time passed. I never heard another word from Jessica. It’s like she just disappeared. I’ll occasionally see her chat status as “online,” but I’ve stopped trying to contact her. In this article, I’ll share four lessons learned from this experience.Related: 7 Ways to Gain Self Discipline and Strive Towards Greatness1. Don’t ignore the warning signs.In hindsight, I should have seen the situation coming. Unfortunately, I’m often too forgiving and willing to overlook minor annoyances. A forgetful moment here, an oversight there — everyone makes mistakes, right? Of course, no one is perfect; however, when examined in their entirety, a pattern of events had developed that I failed to notice.Be on the lookout for these warning signs from your virtual assistant(s):Forgets simple instructions. By definition, a virtual assistant should be someone who is highly organized. His or her job is to make your life easier, not complicate matters. A reliable virtual assistant will be proactive and make detailed notes, rather than constantly asking how things are to be done.Unexpectedly misses meetings. Scheduling conflicts do occur, although very few happen due to real emergencies. When a calendar overlap is identified, your virtual assistant should offer plenty of forewarning and seek a new date that works for everyone. Waiting until the last minute, or after the fact, is simply unacceptable.Makes excuses. There are only so many pet crises that actually impact one’s work schedule. It’s OK to be compassionate with your virtual assistant, but, on the other hand, it’s also possible that you’re on the receiving end of an excuse.2. Be strategic when giving system access.I was either too trusting or too lazy when I hired Jessica. Within a week of starting her contract, I had made her an administrator on several of my company’s most important systems, including my project management software. I later found out that she was also an “owner” of several important Google Docs folders, which was especially difficult to unwind upon her mysterious departure.Before hiring another virtual assistant, pause to consider your approach to freelancer onboarding and offboarding. If you needed to, could you flip a switch and instantly restrict access to outgoing contractors? Of your existing assistants, which of them have more access than is actually needed? Spend time reviewing each user’s permission levels and adjust accordingly.To further limit your risk, it can also be wise to take a staggered approach to onboarding. Rather than giving access to everything on day one, share only those systems necessary to get work done. As you build trust with the contractor, you can then expand his or her access to include additional systems or administrative privileges.Related: When to Hire Virtual Assistants and Outsource Help3. Formally review your virtual assistants.Virtual assistants are usually freelancers who serve multiple clients. Although they’re not your employees, it’s still a good idea to provide regular feedback by means of a formal review process. Doing so provides an important forum to express concerns or warning signs you’ve observed and to drill down into the root causes.To structure your review process, it can be helpful to do the following:Create an assessment form for your virtual staff.Schedule an hour-long, review session twice a year for each virtual assistant.As the annual review approaches, s invite the virtual assistant to submit the form as a self-assessment.Also submit the assessment from your perspective.At the review meeting, compare notes and share candid feedback.Save the assessment data and meeting notes in a drive for safekeeping.The review process is your opportunity to objectively examine the situation. If you realize that a virtual assistant is actually making your life more complicated, then it’s probably time to move in a different direction.Related: How Inefficient Processes Are Hurting Your Company4. When you start to beg, something is wrong.The best virtual assistants are motivated by accomplishment and your total satisfaction. Therefore, when you find yourself begging for simple updates, you know something is seriously wrong.For example, I probably said things like this to Jessica before she vanished:”Did you ever enter that one task I sent you last week?””Are you going to send the meeting invite we discussed? I never saw it come through.””Can you post the link to the meeting minutes? I needed that yesterday.”Remember, your virtual assistant should keep you organized — not the other way around. Stop begging for things you could do yourself in a matter of minutes. 5 min read Matt Keener Add to Queuelast_img read more

How to Watch Apples WWDC Keynote

first_img Next Article The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Chloe Albanesius June 5, 2017 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List The opening WWDC keynote begins at 1 p.m. ET and will be live streamed on Apple’s website. 2 min read Image credit: via PC Mag Add to Queuecenter_img How to Watch Apple’s WWDC Keynote –shares Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) kicks off this morning, but if you can’t make it to the San Jose Convention Center in Silicon Valley, you can live stream Cupertino’s big announcements — if you have the right setup.The opening keynote begins at 1 p.m. ET and will be live streamed on Apple’s website. To watch, you’ll need an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with Safari on iOS 7.0 or later; a Mac with Safari 6.0.5 or later on OS X v10.8.5 or later; or a PC with Microsoft Edge on Windows 10. You can also stream on the newest Apple TV or the second- or third-gen set-top box with software 6.2 or later.PCMag’s Matthew Buzzi and Dan Costa are on the ground in San Jose, and will bring you all the news about iOS 11, the next version of macOS and perhaps a few hardware surprises. Look for some Mac news, and maybe even a smart speaker that can tap into Siri.Last year, Apple gave its operating system a new name — macOS — and brought Siri to the desktop. Updates for iOS 10 were heavy on notifications and messages, with emoji and the ability to send animations, invisible messages that only appear once tapped and handwritten notes. We also got some tvOS and watchOS updates.We’ll have to wait until 1 p.m. ET to see what Apple has on tap for WWDC 2017. Until then, check out what PCMag expects to see. This story originally appeared on PCMag Executive Editor, PCMag Apple Apply Now »last_img read more

How This 28 Million Startup Hopes to Save the World With 3D

first_img Entrepreneur Staff Divergent 3D, founded by a one-time investor and two-time entrepreneur, holds patents on technologies that allow carmakers to print vehicles. Kevin Czinger says he wants to completely change how cars are built, but his motivation isn’t money or fame. It’s to help humanity avoid the “suicidal direction that people are heading,” he declares.By shaking up how cars are made, Czinger believes, the world will be saved from an impending climate disaster. And that’s where 3D printing comes in. Yes, that’s right: Some day, most cars will be manufactured using 3D printing technology, if Czinger gets his way.But first, an aside, because you’re probably thinking, Well, how about ‘saving the world’ with something we’ve already got: electric cars?The correct response there is, Not so fast. Yes, drivers switching wholesale to electric vehicles would certainly make a sizable dent in the CO2 damage that tailpipe exhaust creates. Yet those cars are just a Band-Aid solution, since the electricity they require comes largely from nonrenewable sources. So picture a Band-Aid trying to cover a gaping environmental wound.Alternately, the most effective way to reduce the environmental damage cars have long fomented is something people don’t usually think about: automobile manufacturing. According to a United Nations report, manufacturing is the single largest source of the damage automobiles unleash on the environment.An electric vehicle’s batteries account for about a third of its weight, while the carbon composites and aluminum in its body also require a lot of energy as part of its production and processing.Related: Stephen Hawking Says We Have 100 Years to Inhabit Another PlanetAnd while low-emission vehicles can be good for the overall environment in places in the United States where green energy providers already abound — think California — electric cars simply add to the problem in places where coal still rules — think China.Because coal, as we well know, is a global-warming bomb.The part of the Blade that’s 3D printed is the chassis, not the entire vehicle. The company says a chassis such as this can be assembled in a matter of minutes.Image credit: Divergent 3D”The [reduction of] tailpipe exhaust,” Czinger says, “is fooling you into thinking that you’re not creating a super-destructive system, that any potential environmental benefits are offset.” That’s a mistake, he says.“You’re vastly accelerating the destruction of the environment.”So, how does this Los Angeles-based entrepreneur, who walked away from his first startup, plan to shake the pollution out of how the automobile industry builds cars? His answer brings us right back to 3D printing.How it worksCzinger’s company, Divergent 3D, created and holds the patents for 3D-printing equipment and software that specifically allows carmakers to print individual pieces of a vehicle, each of which is then assembled by hand or machine. The process requires less energy and fewer materials than current manufacturing methods, Czinger explains, by replacing the hard-metal tooling, stamping, welding and painting currently required to create today’s vehicles.In a case study, Divergent found that its process eliminates 80 percent of factory costs and decreases the number of chassis structure parts by about 75 percent compared to typical vehicle-manufacturing practices.”The machine doesn’t care if you’re doing the most complicated layer cake in the world or you’re doing a simple nail,” Czinger says. “We’re looking at it as a system we’re going to continuously innovate around, and then we’re going to license that, so that people can create structures that are much more functional and much more profitable and use vastly less material and energy.”Czinger says he sees Qualcomm, which licenses the use of the chips found in devices such as smartphones, as a model for Divergent. His own company, which emerged from stealth three years after its 2011 founding, employs about 55 people, most of them engineers. And so far, it’s raised a total of about $28 million. Last year, Divergent also announced a partnership with PSA, the French automobile giant.PSA weighed in on the deal: “We are very impressed by the promising new opportunities in Divergent 3D’s technology. We’re convinced that these spectacular advances in 3D printing will help position PSA Group as a leader in automobile manufacturing,” said Carlos Tavares, chairman of the managing board of PSA Group, in a press release in March.Divergent 3D creates car parts using metal 3D printing that bypasses some of the most energy-intensive factory operations such as fixturing, stamping, welding and e-coating.Image credit: Divergent 3D”This has the potential to dramatically scale down the size and scope of our manufacturing footprint, reduce overall vehicle weight and build complexity, while also giving us almost limitless flexibility in design output,” Tavares said. “We are talking about a radical change for our industry.”Czinger plans for Divergent to partner with major automakers and commercialize the technology, which he believes could eventually lead to what he calls a democratization of cars. In that scenario, individual designers and small firms would create car models, and customers would special-order them. The larger automakers could act as the manufacturer, certifier and distributor, combined, for smaller brands.”Design, engineer, send data, manufacture, assemble the standard parts and customized Lego block connectors and then you have an object,” Czinger says, ticking off the steps of Divergent’s process. “That will be for a whole range of complex structures: vehicles, maybe in the future architecture, aerospace vehicles, etc.“You’ve democratized even the larger-scale industries because there’s no big capital barrier to them anymore, and you’ve relocalized the manufacturing. That’s what I think the future will be.”Related: Our Rosy Outlook on Driverless Cars Needs a Reality CheckTwin passions early onCzinger’s past goes back to Cleveland, where he grew up, and where he had a love of cars ingrained into him from a young age.”I grew up in a relatively large family where probably from the time I could physically help my brothers, they enslaved me working on cars,” Czinger says. “And then of course I built and raced cars. I always had this love of cars.”In high school, when this son of a housewife and door-to-door salesman was captain of the football and wrestling teams, Czinger also developed his other passion: a love of nature and a sense — instilled by his Jesuit teachers — that we are all responsible for the planet. “They were totally focused on stewardship,” he remembers. “That you had 100 percent responsibility for creating a human society and for caring for nature.”Following graduation, Czinger attended Yale, where he played football under Carm Cozza, who coached the team from 1965 to 1996. Cozza gushed over Czinger in his 1999 book, True Blue, writing, “Kevin Czinger was the toughest kid to play football at Yale in my 32 years as head coach.Divergent 3D partners with SLM Solutions Group to develop specific metal 3D printing hardware and software.Image credit: Divergent 3D“No question about it,” Cozza’s memoir continued. “He was also the most unusual personality, probably the outstanding overachiever, maybe the brightest student, and definitely the scariest individual.”Scary? “When I say Kevin was tough,” Cozza wrote, “ I mean he was competitive to the point of obsession, and loyal almost to a fault.”Czinger earned his BA from Yale, followed by a law degree from Yale Law School in 1987.A rebellious streak”I was always rebellious against authority,” Czinger says. But then came his stint in the Marines Corp. Reserves — inspired by his parents and brother who served in the armed forces — from 1983 to 1992. There, the rebelliousness stopped. “What they did for me is [make me] say, ‘This is the context I’m in. The last thing I want to be is disruptive. I have to fit in here and support what the Marine Corps is doing.’“You have to understand context and be willing to discipline yourself for a greater aim.”That greater aim included interning with Goldman Sachs during law school, clerking for Judge Gerhard Gersell — who famously presided over the Watergate and Iran-Contra cases — then moving to a job as an assistant attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s office, Southern District of New York, under Rudy Giuliani, who of course would later become the city’s mayor.Relatively early in his tenure, the then-young attorney Czinger even led a case. He then made a return to Goldman Sachs, where he became the executive director of media, telecom and technology group, from 1991 to 1995.”Those things transformed me from someone who had zero public speaking skills — I was shy and nervous — into someone who could stand up, think on their feet in a logical way and address a broad range of people,” he says of those early years.Electric carsIn 2008, Czinger finally acted on his love of automobiles by moving away from both law and Wall Street to become co-founder of CODA Automotive, a company which produced electric vehicles.His experience at CODA ultimately led to the founding of Divergent 3D, but first, Czinger had to fail.CODA aimed to create electric vehicles for the Chinese market by converting an existing Chinese sedan to electric power, but Czinger found that the associated economic details were not in the company’s favor. “If you look at electric cars, autonomous vehicles — all of these programs people are talking about — these are all lower-volume vehicle programs,” he points out.He says he wanted the company to change course, but because he had raised so much funding and given away equity, his share of the company had become minimal. So, in 2011, Czinger left CODA to start researching the concepts that would eventually become Divergent 3D.A divergent pathWhile researching his next move, Czinger found studies, primarily the aforementioned UN report, that detailed the environmental impact of automobile manufacturing. He also found inspiration in Stephen Emmott’s book, Ten Billion, which predicts a global calamity once the world population reaches 10 billion.”By 2025 we’ll have 8 billion people in an industrialized world that’s scaling up,” Czinger says, ominously. “We’re going to look [back] at that 120-year period where we built 2 billion vehicles, and in the next 30 to 35 years we’re going to build 4 billion-plus vehicles, which on average are 50 percent heavier.“So, we’re going to, in a fraction of the time, triple the number of vehicles ever manufactured in the history of the planet.”He continues: “From a materials and energy standpoint, you’re looking at a magnitude difference in environmental destruction. That means that the way we design and manufacture vehicles is critical to our survival.”This fact reflects the sobering reality that electric vehicles can be as detrimental to the environment as gas-powered ones — and Czinger isn’t the only one saying that: Ozzie Zehner, author of Green Illusions, declared that, “Moving from petroleum-fueled vehicles to electric cars begins to look more and more like shifting from one brand of cigarettes to another.”Related: Meet the Entrepreneurs Driving the Edible Insect MovementCzinger says that once he started looking into the problem, he knew that an incremental solution wouldn’t be good enough. There needed to be a way to eliminate the specific machine tooling and long assembly lines currently used to manufacture vehicles, he reasoned. That solution? 3D printing.Divergent showed off its 3D-printed car, the Blade, at CES 2017.Image credit: Divergent 3D”The dream of car engineering is to look end to end at a vehicle and only pick the materials that are perfectly optimized for each segment,” he says. “That’s what [3D printing] allows you to do.”Divergent got PSA on board after it shaved about 150 kilograms off a Peugeot 308 and reduced its number of structural parts by more than 75 percent. Not only that, Czinger says, but the updated version of the car won a better crash rating.Lifelong learnerDuring our interview, Czinger tends to give lengthy answers involving technical descriptions. He even expresses gratitude to the Carnegie Library System in Cleveland, where he spent weekends as a kid reading for entire afternoons — his favorite pastime growing up.Clearly, he’s a lifelong learner. And, today, he says, when tasked to learn something new, he takes a similar approach to those library days of his youth: reading and more reading.”The reality is you can teach yourself anything,” Czinger says. “First, I do a general survey of what the literature is, to understand what people are thinking; and then if I find particular people that I want to talk to, I’ll talk to them.”Still, while all that idealistic stuff about fighting climate change is Divergent’s mission, Czinger has his feet planted firmly on planet Earth. He knows Divergent is a business first.”The most internal discipline you can possibly have, because you are wanting to change the world, you have to look out and say, ‘I’m not going to change anything if I run out of money,'” Czinger says. “I’m not going to change anything if I don’t survive. I have to make sure that we maintain our survival.”Meanwhile, he says he doesn’t see Divergent as an extension of himself. “My ego doesn’t depend on this company,” he says.“Whether my life is successful or not doesn’t depend on this company. I’m going to give it, like, an enormous, crazy, crazy, crazy effort because I’m a competitive person and I think this is the right thing to do. But, as a human being, this is not about ‘me.’ The most important thing is to be a good person and have those relationships.”He adds, “If I thought this was about making more money or being cool, I would not do it for a second, believe me.” June 15, 2017 12 min read Enroll Now for $5 Image credit: Divergent 3D News Director Stephen J. Bronner –shares Cars Add to Queue How This $28 Million Startup Hopes to Save the World With 3D Printing Next Article Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Jay Leno and Kevin Czinger pose with Divergent’s Blade while filming a segment for ‘Jay Leno’s Garage.’last_img read more

Watch Out Santa Denmark Says It Owns the North Pole

first_img Image credit: Pixabay Watch Out, Santa. Denmark Says It Owns the North Pole. Jason Fell December 16, 2014 –shares Entrepreneur Staff Director of the Entrepreneur Partner Studio 2 min read Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Santa, man, you better dig up your deed and call your city officials, pronto. It looks like Denmark is making a power play to be the sole owner of the North Pole.Following a 12-year, $50 million survey of an underwater mountain range, the Nordic country — located in Northern Europe just south of Norway and Sweden — has concluded that it is the rightful owner of the North Pole. Its research apparently shows that the Arctic region is geologically attached to Greenland, which Denmark also controls.For those of us who need a quick refresher on where the North Pole is, it’s the 556,463-square-mile area in the middle of the Arctic Ocean that represents the northernmost point on Earth. So, no, residents of North Pole, Alaska, can rest easy.Related: 5 Steps to Working a Holiday Party Like SantaTurns out, a number of countries have voiced interest in owning the North Pole over the years, including the U.S., Russia, Canada and Norway. Denmark’s claim is uncharacteristically bold for a country that’s otherwise considered a pretty chill, diplomatic place.As with most things, there appears to be some business strategy behind Denmark’s northern land grab. The North Pole is believed to contain 30 percent of the world’s undiscovered natural gas and 15 percent of its oil. As the polar ice melts, getting to these resources becomes more feasible.In other words, Denmark is seeing dollar signs.I wonder if Santa knew what was under his feet if he would have gotten into a different line of business. Or, maybe he would have diversified revenue streams, at least.Related: How Much Would Santa’s Salary Be? Next Article Add to Queue Opportunity Register Now »last_img read more

Apple Signs Up for Googles Cloud Services

first_imgCloud Technology 2 min read Add to Queue Reuters Image credit: Denys Prykhodov | Shutterstock Next Article –shares Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brandcenter_img Apple Signs Up for Google’s Cloud Services Apple Inc. recently started using Google’s cloud service even as it simultaneously builds its own data centers to reduce its reliance on third-party service providers, technology news website Re/code reported, citing sources familiar with the deal.Apple currently also uses Amazon.com Inc.’s and Microsoft Corp.’s cloud services, but intends to end its reliance on all its rivals in the next few years, Re/code said.The iPhone maker is spending between $400 million and $600 million on Google’s cloud services, tech magazine CRN reported, adding that it was unclear if the range was for an annual rate or a set amount of capacity.CRN said Apple has also significantly reduced its reliance on Amazon since signing up with Google late last year.Apple, Amazon and Alphabet Inc.-owned Google could not be reached for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.Apple said last February that it would spend a combined $3.9 billion to build three data centers in Arizona, Ireland and Denmark. The Arizona facility is planned to be a command center to manage its other data centers.Google has also been pushing to gain share in the fast-growing market. In November, the company appointed industry veteran Diane Greene to run its cloud business.Last month, Google signed a deal to provide cloud services for online music streaming platform Spotify.(Reporting by Ismail Shakil in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza) March 17, 2016 Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Enroll Now for $5 This story originally appeared on Reuterslast_img read more

Start Saving Michael Phelps The IRS Is Taxing Your Olympic Medals

first_imgRio Olympics 2016 Start Saving, Michael Phelps. The IRS Is Taxing Your Olympic Medals. August 15, 2016 Image credit: Michael Regan | Getty Images Entrepreneur Staff Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business 1 min readcenter_img Next Article Entrepreneur Staff Hey aspiring Olympians, if you dream of taking home the gold, start training … and get a good accountant.As reported by Americans for Tax Reform, the United States Olympic Committee awards monetary prizes to those athletes who medal: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver and $10,000 for bronze.Related: Serena Williams and the 9 Most Successful Entrepreneur AthletesSo with five golds and one silver around his neck, doggy paddle specialist Michael Phelps is set to swim home with $140,000 in his pockets. (Speedos have pockets, right?) But don’t go blowing all of that in the arm floaties section of Wal-Mart, Michael. Your pals at the IRS are going to want to take a bite of your historic medal count.Americans for Tax Reform unhappily notes that using a tax rate of 39.6 percent, “victory tax” would be $9,900 for gold, $5,940 for silver and $3,960 for bronze.Those numbers could be smaller for athletes in lower tax brackets, but given Phelps’ net worth of $55 million, it looks like the human fish will be on the hook for the full $55,440 tax bill.  Register Now » Add to Queue –shareslast_img read more

Shop Direct Enhances Customer Engagement Revenues with Revionics AIBased Price Optimization

first_imgShop Direct Enhances Customer Engagement, Revenues with Revionics AI-Based Price Optimization PRNewswireMay 9, 2019, 11:57 amMay 9, 2019 Comprehensive Organizational and Process Approach Transforms and Streamlines a Retail InnovatorAs the UK’s largest integrated pureplay digital retailer and financial services provider, Shop Direct is committed to continuous innovation that makes it a preferred online shopper destination while delivering strong business results. Having made a deliberative selection to adopt AI-based price and promotion optimization, Shop Direct’s implementation of Revionics is delivering measurable positive impact on multiple fronts, including customer engagement, unit lift and revenues.  Based on strong results in the initial deployment in its Ireland businesses, Shop Direct is now moving confidently through rollout in its UK operations.“The success of this customer-centric pricing initiative is due in no small part to our unique culture at Shop Direct, which embraces a willingness to constructively challenge the traditional ways of doing things, at the same time recognizing the critical value of thorough planning and a comprehensive end-to-end approach,” said Shop Direct’s Group Retail Director Sam Perkins, the executive board member who leads the etail giant’s combined retail and product teams. “Rather than adopting retail price optimization technology in isolation, we took a holistic end-to-end approach, from a meticulous consensus-driven selection process, to setting up the right price strategies, processes and organisation structure, to a disciplined implementation rollout, all of which enable us to maximise the impact of these powerful optimisation capabilities. And we teamed with Revionics at every step of the way to benefit from the best practices they’ve seen as they’ve worked with leading retailers worldwide.”Marketing Technology News: Persistent Systems Joins Siemens’ MindSphere Partner Program to Bring Industrial IoT Solutions to Market“While Revionics has always taken a long-term partnering approach with our retail customers, Shop Direct is a truly outstanding partner that embodies the powerful business benefits of this sort of strategic collaboration,” said Revionics Chairman and CEO Marc H. Hafner.  “Their willingness to challenge their past approaches in favor of new, thoughtful innovations, their deep commitment to having a razor-sharp focus on their customers, and their strategic business transformation mindset make Shop Direct an exemplar of a forward-thinking retailer structured for long-term success.”Marketing Technology News: Madison Logic Unveils New Data Cloud to Accelerate ABM for B2B Organizations GloballyAs the UK’s largest integrated pureplay digital retailer and financial services provider, Shop Direct has annual sales of £1.96 billion. Later this year, we will rebrand to The Very Group as part of plans to bring our name and identity in line with our largest and fastest growing retail brand Very.co.uk.Marketing Technology News: Amazon or Alibaba: Freedonia Compares These Global E-Commerce Leaders AIfinancial services providerMarketing TechnologyNewsSam PerkinsShop Direct Previous ArticleZappar Launches ZapWorks Studio 6Next ArticleVoicify, LLC Receives Second Round of Funding from Multiple Investorslast_img read more

HHS Health Insurance Enrollment Figures Far Below Targets

first_imgOnly about a fourth of the enrollees signed up through the federal health exchange. The low initial sign up could set up a steep challenge for the health law.The New York Times: Only 106,000 Pick Health Insurance Plans In First MonthOnly about a fourth of the new enrollees — 26,794 — signed up through HealthCare.gov, the problem-plagued federal exchange, according to figures released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A much larger number, 76,319, signed up through the 14 state-run marketplaces (Stolberg and Craig, 11/13).Los Angeles Times: Obamacare Enrollments Far Below TargetsNewly released figures show enrollments for coverage under President Obama’s healthcare plan fell far below official projections, underscoring the damage inflicted by the botched rollout and further endangering the administration’s support among restive Democrats on Capitol Hill. Just 106,185 Americans successfully enrolled in health coverage in October. The administration had hoped to get half a million people signed up in Obamacare’s first month. About a third of the enrollments — 35,364 — came from California (Mascaro, Levey and Memoli, 11/13).The Washington Post: Administration: 106,000 Enrolled In Health Insurance In First Month Of Healthcare.govSlightly more than 106,000 Americans signed up for health plans in the first month of new state and federal insurance marketplaces, the Obama administration reported Wednesday. The figure, which was far lower than the administration predicted, points to the steep challenge ahead as the White House tries to overcome public and congressional frustration with the program’s problem-plagued rollout. The tally showed that just a quarter of the enrollments were in the federally run marketplace, while the rest were in the state exchanges (Goldstein and Kane, 11/13).NPR: The Health Care Numbers Are Out, And They’re DisappointingThe Obama administration released its much anticipated enrollment numbers for the first month of the troubled HealthCare.gov website Wednesday. And as predicted, the numbers were disappointing. Just over 100,000 people managed to navigate the process and choose a health plan between Oct. 1 and Nov. 2 — 106,185 people, to be precise (Rovner, 11/13).The Associated Press/Washington Post: Fewer Than 27,000 Health Care Sign-Ups Through Federal Website, 79,000 More In State SitesPlanting a paltry number on a national disappointment, the Obama administration revealed Wednesday that just 26,794 people enrolled for health insurance during the first, flawed month of operations for the federal “Obamacare” website. Adding in enrollment of more than 79,000 in the 14 states with their own websites, the nationwide number of 106,000 October sign-ups was barely one-fifth of what officials had projected — and a small fraction of the millions who have received widely publicized private coverage cancellations as a result of the federal law (11/13).The Wall Street Journal: Obama Administration Gives First Month Health-Site TalliesThe news that only 106,185 people nationwide were able to get through the sites in a month comes as a significant blow to the administration. In one memo, it had projected some 500,000 people would obtain private-insurance coverage nationwide. The Congressional Budget Office projected in May 2013 that seven million people nationwide would sign up for private plans by the end of March 2014 (Radnofsky and Ante, 11/13).Politico: Takeaways: Obamacare By The NumbersThe Obama administration did everything possible to dress up the ugliness of the first month of Obamacare enrollment numbers — adding in people who haven’t even paid and throwing in figures that have nothing to do with actual signups. The one true bright spot is there seems to be interest, so enrollment could pick up in the coming months, just like the White House always said it would (Nather, 11/13).McClatchy: Only 25% Of New Health Care Enrollees Signed Up On Federal WebsiteJust 26,794 people managed to complete enrollment on HealthCare.gov, the problem-plagued federal government website, which serves as the portal for consumers to enroll in insurances plans available through the federal marketplace. The federal enrollment figure was in line with the “very low” numbers that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had projected in recent congressional testimony. Technical problems with the website have frustrated users, as many became stuck and were unable to create the personal accounts required for enrolling in coverage. The problems have vexed people across the country working to enroll consumers (Pugh, 11/13). PBS NewsHour: Initial ACA Enrollment Numbers Come Up Short Of Expectations Technology chiefs in charge of HealthCare.gov were grilled by lawmakers on Capitol Hill about the problematic rollout of the website. Kwame Holman reports on their testimony, while Judy Woodruff talks to Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News about the lower-than-expected enrollment numbers for the insurances exchanges (Holman and Woodruff, 11/13). The Fiscal Times: Obamacare: How The Federal And State Exchanges Stack Up California, the state with the largest population of uninsured, saw more than 35,000 individuals select an insurance plan, by far the most of any state – and thousands more than the federal exchange covering 36 other states. In North Dakota, by contrast, just 42 people signed up through the federal exchange, and just 58 people signed up in South Dakota. Enrollments in the California exchange plans have accelerated since the beginning of November, state officials announced Wednesday in releasing numbers that cover a broader time period than those released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Rosenberg, 11/14). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. HHS Health Insurance Enrollment Figures Far Below Targetslast_img read more

The role of galaninlike peptide in regulating feeding behavior and energy metabolism

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 25 2018Galanin-like peptide (GALP) is a short peptide made up of 60 amino acid residues. This sequence is homologous across several species. The hypothalamic arcuate nucleus is the place where GALP is produced. GALP has diverse physiological effects such as the regulation of feeding, energy metabolism, and reproductive behavior. Neurons that contain GALP also express leptin receptors; at the same time these neurons form a network in the hypothalamus and these contain various amounts of peptides that regulate their feeding behavior.Related StoriesDiet and physical exercise do not reduce risk of gestational diabetesNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerMetabolic enzyme tied to obesity and fatty liver diseaseNew research has shown that, GALP consists of anti-obesity action when it comes to its role in consumption of food and nutrition. After the administration of GALP into the lateral ventricle a decline in the respiratory quotient was also found. It is inferred that because of GALP, lipid metabolism could be accelerated. This is a recently discovered physiological action for this peptide.In this review, recent research about how GALP regulates feeding and energy metabolism has been summarized. Attention on the regulation mechanism of lipid metabolism that takes place in peripheral tissues through the autonomic nervous system is also given. The effectiveness of the nasal administration of GALP is also presented from a perspective of basic research and clinical application.Source: https://benthamscience.com/last_img read more

An accurate estimation of the overall cost of bacterial resistance in French

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 19 2019A team of researchers from Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines University (UVSQ), Inserm and Pasteur Institute (Unité Mixte de Recherche 1181 Biostatistique, biomathématique, pharmacoépidémiologie et maladies infectieuses – B2PHI) has been able to provide for the first time an accurate estimate of both the incidence (annual number of new cases) and added direct cost of infections due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria in patients hospitalised in French hospitals during 2015 and 2016.The results of these studies, conducted by Mehdi Touat and by Marion Opatowski under the direction of Laurence Watier, in collaboration with Prof. Christian Brun-Buisson within the research group conducted by Prof. Didier Guillemot, appeared respectively on 3/12/2018 in Applied Health Economics and Health Policy and on 12/3/2019 in Epidemiology & Infection.Related StoriesGrowth problems in preterm infants associated with altered gut bacteriaStudy: Surveillance for antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to be core focus for healthcare facilitiesIt is okay for women with lupus to get pregnant with proper care, says new studyIn 2016, close to 140 000 new cases of infections due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria were identified, accounting for 12% of all bacterial infections needing hospitalisation. Infections of the urinary tract, of the respiratory tract and intra-abdominal infections represented about two-thirds of such cases. Most antibiotic-resistant infections were caused by third-generation cephalosporin-resistant E.coli, meticillin-resistant S.aureus (MRSA) and P.areuginosa.Compared to infections caused by antibiotic-susceptible bacteria, infections due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria were associated with a 20% higher in-hospital death rate.The researchers estimated that, from the payer’s perspective, the mean added cost of hospital stay associated with infection due to resistant bacteria amounted to € 1100, leading to an overall population-based estimate of up to € 290 million in French hospitals.Based on diagnosis coding information routinely collected during each and every hospital stay in France, and using data collected on over 10 millions annual hospital stays, these studies are based on data of outstanding comprehensiveness (French Health Data System). Initiated 3 years ago, these studies were made possible through grants from the French Ministry of Health and the social security system (Assurance Maladie).The algorithms created for these studies will be made publicly available. This will now make it possible to quickly carry out the analyses for the following years and the years to come.Source: https://www.pasteur.fr/en/home/press-area/press-documents/overall-annual-cost-infections-due-bacterial-resistance-french-hospitals-now-estimated-290-millionlast_img read more