Creating a Tree for Morgan Festival of Trees Hosted by Morgan Area Chamber of Commerce located in Morgan, Utah.
We decided to Donate a tree for the Annual Festival of Trees located in Morgan, Utah. The donated Tree is up for bidding, and the money will be donated to the Local Sub-for-Santa efforts in Morgan, Utah. We decided to do a weather themed tree considering our recent WeatherEgg™ Kids Whacky Weather Board Game launched on Kickstarter last month.
Creating a weather themed Christmas tree was difficult. You cannot go into Walmart and buy weather themed ornaments except the typical snowflake.
Ideas started forming, and before I knew it, I was hand making ornaments the week of Thanksgiving.
Not only is it the week of Thanksgiving but also my kids had the Flu and Strep. Living in a small town, you tend to pass viruses around like crazy. My children were not the only kids sick at this time; half the schools were empty.
On to the ornament making and trying my hardest to not get sick in the process turned out to be a very stressful but joyful thanksgiving and believe it or not I did manage to go Black Friday Shopping.
I decided a few weeks prior I wanted to make resin epoxy ornaments because I could not only customize the ornaments but I could add our very cute WeatherEgg™ Kids into the ornaments. I ordered silicone molds. Round, Snowflakes, Sphere, and Lighting bolts. I also ordered glitter.
My ideas were running wild, but I needed something else as well.
I came up with the idea to do thermometers, but we will get to that later.
Making the resin epoxy ornaments, I googled on how to do so. After watching a few YouTube Videos and looking on Esty, I went ahead and ordered the Casting Epoxy off of Amazon in a significant amount. I wanted to make sure I had enough especially for mistakes. I started with the snowflakes.
You have to measure equal amounts of resin and hardener for the resin to set. Mix for 2 minutes and then mix in the glitter and pour into a mold.
After every blend, you have to clean out the measuring cup and do it all over again. It takes 24 hours for the resin to harden fully.
The Thermometers were a little different. I decided to order plastic beakers off of Amazon. I created and printed a thermometer insert, (Few tries to get the size right) and added red glitter for temperature. Hot glued the tops with a hook and sparkly thermometer.
I did try and keep it at the office and hide the evidence that I was making a craft with glitter, but with the sick kids and 24 hour cure time I had to move the operation to my house. Days and days of ornament making as well as my children making some crazy creations using every color of glitter and trying to help. We all know how children “help” especially a 10 and a 9-year-old. It looks like a fairy sneezed all over my home and office.
Next, I wanted something for rain. Trying to figure out rain was difficult. We needed more lights. Searched and searched on Amazon. Found just what I was looking for. They are called meteor lights, but to me, they seemed similar to rain.
We have the kids, thermometers, rain, lighting, what about the sun? I also found on Amazon the thin wire lights. I in my spare time I bent and shaped these lights into a sun shape. Cute but on the tree you can barely see them. Pictured here:
Added Ribbon, snowflakes tree skirt, sparkle grass. The result?
It turned out fantastic and creative. Everyone that has come to see the tree is like wow you made all those ornaments? Who are those characters? Opening up conversations about weather and our business and feeling of accomplishment and acceptance was the end goal, which we succeeded in immeasurably.
We will be doing this annually from now on. Not so sure on hand making ornaments next year, maybe if I have the time and the motivation. After all, it was a fun experience.
Managing the project scope on automation projects require the proper management of all the relevant aspects. This is the only way through which is client will be able to get the result in the expected prices. Moreover, the integrator will be able to complete a project within the specified resources for the expected results. There is a famous saying that the best contracts are made between those two parties that do not trust each other. The reason is, when people have a relationship with each other, they tend to create a contract with vague terms and conditions as the trust each other. However, there is a need to specify each point for expected results. Almost all projects are evaluated on three major points that include the following:
- Cost: The project should be completed within the specified cost
- Schedule: The project should be finished within defined limits.
- Capabilities: The project should deliver the promised results.
Certain steps should be followed to create a successful project:
Step 1: Define a scope:
The first and the most important step is determining the scope of a project. If it is a complex one, defining scope will become more crucial. In this way, the team will be able to work efficiently even in the state of confusions. As the goals will be defined, it will be easier to focus on the ways of achieving them. An effective scope should cover the following points:
- The goals and objectives of the project.
- The ways that will be used for achievement.
- The expected completion time.
- The expectations from the integrator.
Step 2: Automation vision creation:
The next step is to create an automation vision of a project. This vision will clearly explain the future of a plan let’s say, maybe in the next ten years. This is an excellent way to provide a focus and a goal to a project. Moreover, the vision can focus on a whole project or a single plant as well. It will also be helpful in determining the issues and problems of the near future.
Step 3: Proper collaboration:
When it comes to automation projects, it is essential that an integrator should work with the client as a team. Everyone on the team must know about the ways things work. The integrator must avoid using ways that are not familiar with the other team members. For the success of a project, it is essential that people know how to work with the new equipment.
In the case of any problems within the project, it is the duty of both parties to work efficiently with each other for the solution. Moreover, both parties should work to keep those problems from rising. The best project can only result in a bond of trust between the integrator and client.
Project quality needs to be delivered to get high customer satisfaction. However, the concept of quality is quite difficult to understand due to its vagueness. Different people tend to describe quality in a variety of ways. Even if there are a lot of descriptions about it, still there are confusions. It is a word that can have a different meaning to every person. Moreover, there is a huge different between the perceptions of customers and project stakeholders. No such standardized tool can be used for the evaluation of quality. Every project is unique in its own way so developing a specified test is not enough.
Defining the concept of project quality:
When it comes to quality, you don’t have to gold plate the products that are to be delivered to the customers. Also, you don’t have to include features that will not add value to the customers. The quality is a degree to which the characteristics or features of a product fulfills the requirements of the customer. However, it should be noted here that the requirements must be met to increase the customer satisfaction, not only for formality. There are some simple set of statements that are related to the project specifications and are defined by Kenneth Rose. These statements include:
- Inability to meet the specifications will mean breaching of contract.
- For completing the contract, you need to provide the specifications.
- For getting more contracts in future, do more than the expectations of customers.
The difference between quality control and quality assurance:
The quality control and quality assurance are two terms that are used interchangeably. However, there is a difference between them. The quality assurance is an approach that focuses on the errors and defects before they even happen. Quality control, on the other hand, is an approach that focuses on identification and correction of the existing errors. It is done by the people who are responsible for the production process. However, quality assurance is done by the people who wants to identify the quality of manufactured product.
The cost of the project and its quality:
The quality of a product is often related to the increase of cost. This assumption is incorrect. Increasing the quality of a product will not mean that the cost will also be increased. When maintaining the quality is a goal from the start of the process, it does not require additional costs. However, for carrying out a quality procedure, it is important to add up the cost from the beginning. If the quality in the manufacturing process is ignored, it will be seen at the last stages of production. Detection of defects at the last stage can damage the reputation of the manufacturer. There is a need to discover all the defects at the early stage of manufacturing to avoid future issues.
Writing a good case study
If done right, your marketing can enjoy a great deal of benefit from writing a good case study.
Although they cost a great deal of effort and time to create, case studies can be used to pull new customers into your business. Case studies are a great way of telling the world how awesome and valuable your products and/or services are. They are not mere testimonials; case studies include real-life examples of how your services or goods were able to help your customers achieve their aim. With impeccable case studies, you’ll be able to convert a potential client into a real client as you’ll be highlighting your success in a way that will make them become convinced that you and your business are the real deal.
Unfortunately, a lot of people do not know how to go about writing a case study, much less, a great one. If you find yourself in this category of people, this guide is here to help you create case studies that will change the face of your business. Below are some fantastic tips that will ensure that your case studies become significant resources to the success of your business.
TIP #1 – ENSURE THAT YOUR TOPIC IS RELATIVE TO YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER
First, you need to determine who your ideal customers are, only then can you create a case study they can relate to. Your case study needs to convince your ideal customers that you are conversant with their industry, the needs of that industry, and how to offer the industry the desired solution to that need. Case studies are not general posts that everyone can relate to. On the contrary, a case study should be for a specific set of people in a particular industry. For instance, if your ideal customer is someone in the automobile industry, you need to create a case study that surrounds the automobile industry; it can be about auto accessories or parts manufacturers. Let your topic be something your ideal client can relate to; something they will feel is specifically created for them.
TIP #2 – MAKE YOUR STORY COMPELLING, JUMP NO PART
When writing a case study, you need to ensure that your story omits no part. Tell your story from the beginning down to the end. Most people enjoy reading great stories. You need to let your ideal customers (readers) know who your case study customer really is. Anyone reading your story should be able to identify
- Who your sample clients are and what they do
- What the customers’ goals were
- What the needs of the customers’ were
- How you were able to help your customers, satisfy their needs, and have their goals met.
In other to make this more compelling, you can always go back to your case study and provide more updates on how your customer is doing with your services/products. This will make your ideal customers/readers see that your aim is to provide them with long term satisfaction to their needs. The update can be done every two months or so.
TIP #3 – CREATE AN EASY TO READ FORMAT
Don’t just create a huge chunk of text and call it a case study; give it some good formatting. The thing is, no matter how interesting or informative your story is, if it looks cluttered, no one will be willing to go through it. So make it look readable like you would with a blog or article. Include images, headers, bullet points, italics, etc.
TIP #4 – DIFFERENT LEARNING FORMATS FOR DIFFERENT LEARNERS
Not everyone likes reading. Some prefer watching while others prefer listening. This means that you must create different learning formats of your case studies. Make them into video and audio formats, including podcasts, YouTube videos, infographics, etc.
TIP #5 – INCLUDE REAL NUMBERS
Including real numbers will make your case study clear and precise. Instead of saying you were able to double your traffic over the course of some months, leaving your clients to wonder what the “doubling” range was and how many months, you can tell them your traffic doubled from 1,000 visits to 2,000 visits over the course of 2 months. Real numbers give your ideal customers the scope of how and when you began, and when you achieved the end result. Real numbers serve as proof as to how your products or services work. You can also make use of pictures in order to make your proof clearer.
S.C.O.T.S.M.A.N Qualification System
Opportunity assessment is a great challenge for businesses nowadays. There are certain rules that should be followed when it comes to selecting a client.
Tilting toward every opportunity you are getting is not the right way. Moreover, with this approach, there are chances that the company will get a non-profitable deal. So, what should be focused while selecting the right opportunity?
Qualification is the answer to above question. There is a particular criterion on which the opportunity should be assessed to get the desired results. Qualification is the right thing every salesperson need to have for taking the right decision at the right time. Focusing on the idea that all types of opportunities are good for the business is not at all realistic. As the modern ways of workings are changing, so is the selection criteria of the clients. Moreover, the person should have the ability to determine the presence of right opportunities that will lead towards success, not a failure. They need to differentiate between an opportunity that will end up on death and the one that will continue to grow. This differential ability will have a significant impact on the success of a business.
The S.C.O.T.S.M.A.N qualification system:
The S.C.O.T.S.M.A.N is a qualification and forecasting system that is so far accurate. This system contains eight different qualification elements that will be used for the assessment of the opportunity. These elements should be considered for every client. Moreover, if you can identify five or six of the elements out of eight, it will indicate that the customer should be approached. In the case of identification of fewer than five elements, it will indicate that the customer should not be approached.
Note: This qualification system will not only highlight the potential buyers but also allows you in identifying the areas that should be converting.
Following are the eight elements of S.C.O.T.S.M.A.N qualification system:
- Is there any solution present that can be supplied or supported?
- Do the solutions match with your company portfolio?
- Be aware of your competitors.
- You need to offer something that is unique and original.
- Is the time limit reasonable?
- Do you have the details about the timescale?
- Does this timescale limit suits your company?
- The order should worth the effort.
- Your company should have the resources to handle it
- Is there any allocation of the budget?
- Is it approved?
- Is the budget reasonable or in accordance with the project?
- Are you in contact with the right person?
- Do you know the people who are involved?
- Do you have access to the higher authorities?
- Are the needs properly specified?
- Do you have the ability to fulfill those needs adequately?
These are the eight elements of S.C.O.T.S.M.A.N qualification system. Keep that in mind that the qualification is not a single event, it is an ongoing process.