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Are Your Employees Stealing Right in Front of You?

BY CSA STAFF

By Marc Aptakin, CEO and Founder, Timesly

Time theft can lead to steep losses in revenue. For chain store owners and managers in particular, every minute impacts the business’ bottom line. Managing your workforce properly is one of the most critical components to success, and fortunately, the industry is experiencing a new wave of technological advancements for those looking to do exactly that. Here are a few examples to help you improve efficiency, increase cash flow and cut down on lost time.

Biometrics
Biometric technology measures distinct, physiological characteristics among individuals to better identify them. In a business environment, biometric technology has taken the form of retinal scanners, fingerprint readers and facial recognition software. Employers have begun implementing these services on a large scale to keep workers, and themselves, accountable and on schedule. Two-tiered time clock systems, using facial detection or recognition, capture photos and prompt employees to enter a custom code to eliminate the age old issue of “buddy punching.” The solution is simple, safe and secure, not to mention an affordable option compared to traditional and outdated time clocks.

Automation
The tech world is buzzing about home automation, so why not business automation? Buddy punching is not the only way employees could be stealing right in front of you. Human error leaves too wide of a margin for miscalculation when calculating payroll reports. For chain stores and franchises in particular, managing a large network of employees across locations and districts can become meticulous and time-consuming. Inaccurate, incomplete or (in extreme cases) dishonest payroll reporting can mean serious financial and legal consequences for a business. Upgrading to an administrative platform that can automatically send reminders, eliminate erroneous entries and organize critical information into a data-rich format eliminates second guessing so you can get back to running your business.

The Cloud
“The cloud” is a network of servers that each run a different application and perform a different function to deliver a specific service. Moving to the cloud, like moving to biometrics, is a faster, cost-efficient alternative to managing all of the moving parts and people in your business. Like automation, the cloud can prove to be a reliable fail-safe against mistakes – both human and technological. Biometric and automated time clock services that utilize the cloud to sync data and store lost information can save time and money in the long run. Some services even continue to sync with the cloud while your servers are down so that it’s business as usual when the technology is restored.

The technology you integrate into your chain store operations is one of the most important decisions you can make for your business. Whether you are in the store planning phase, or are looking for new ways to manage your employees, biometric, automated and cloud-based solutions are at the forefront of today’s chain store solutions. Time theft decreases, productivity increases and you can get back to what matters most: growing your business and serving the customer.


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Jack Bauer on Amazon Prime mission

BY CSA STAFF

The hit show 24 staring Kiefer Sutherland as super agent Jack Bauer will be available exclusively to subscribers of Amazon’s Prime Instant Video service.

Amazon.com has a licensing agreement with Twentieth Century Fox Television Distribution which allows its Prime Instant Video to be the exclusive online-only subscription provider for all 192 episodes of the program.

Prime members can access all eight seasons of the program along with 24: Redemption, a TV movie based on the series, in advance of 24: Live Another Day, which will premiere on FOX on May 5. Prime Instant Video will also be the exclusive online-only subscription home for streaming 24: Live Another Day later this year.

“24 has been extremely popular with Amazon customers over the years,” said Brad Beale, director of digital video content acquisition for Amazon. “Whether they are hard-core Jack Bauer fans or just discovering the series for the first time, Prime members are going to love catching up on the previous seasons of 24 as well as 24:Live Another Day.”

For those unfamiliar with the show, 24 chronicles Jack Bauer’s race against the clock to thwart political assassination attempts and multiple terror plots, with each season taking place within one 24-hour period.

The addition of 24 to Prime Instant Video is the latest in a long list of exclusive content offerings to drive participation in Amazon’s Prime service. The key value proposition of the service is that Amazon’s Prime customers are able to view videos on hundreds of compatible Amazon Instant Video devices including Kindle Fire HDX, Kindle Fire HD, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Roku, Xbox, PlayStation and the Wii. In addition, Prime Instant Video is the only U.S. online subscription streaming service that enables offline viewing on a plane, on vacation, and anywhere a user may not have access to Wi-Fi.

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Jack Link’s ready for European feast

BY CSA STAFF

The sale of Unilever’s meat snack business to Jack Link’s closed this week, clearing the way for the Minong, Wis.-based company to pursue its global ambitions.

Jack Link’s is already the leading U.S. meat snack brand with a pervasive presence at retail but has set its sights on international growth.

“Jack Link’s mission is to be the number one provider of branded meat snacks throughout the world,” said Troy Link, CEO of Jack Link’s Beef Jerky. “This is an important step in delivering on that mission and we are excited to welcome the BiFi and Peperami brands into the family. These brands continue to drive growth in meat snacks in their respective territories and we look forward to working with all of our team members and retail partners to continue that success.”

Unilever’s meat snacks were sold under the BiFi brand in Germany, Benelux, Austria and Switzerland and the Peperami brand in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

“Bifi and Peperami are two iconic local brands. As we continue to sharpen our portfolio to deliver sustainable growth for Unilever, we believe that the potential of these two brands can now be more fully realized with Jack Link’s,” said Unilever Europe president Jan Zijderveld.

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