Getting Value from Returns: Optimizing Your Reverse Logistics

by jjodko July 27, 2017

Click-and-collect is now a hugely important service for many retailers and other businesses. Allowing customers to order online and pick up merchandise at a local brick-and-mortar location is a crucial strategy for everyone from Wal-Mart to Walgreens.

However, offering the convenience of click-and-collect often comes with a cost, and it’s one that many early adopters have struggled to manage.

Retailers are struggling to make their click-and-collect operations profitable, largely due to the huge increase in returns and related costs they’ve generated.

This has led some retailers to charge fees for placing click-and-collect orders, but this tactic is at odds with consumer preferences and may have costly repercussions through the loss of sales and traffic that they could have generated if they offered free returns.

The negative consequences of ineffective reverse logistics are underlined by results from KPMG’s 2016 Omnichannel Retail Survey. The survey found that:

  • Free returns are driving extra online purchases and additional store traffic.
  • Free returns and speedy reimbursement are viewed as part of good service.
  • 72% of consumers would be unlikely to shop with a retailer if they had a bad returns experience.
  • 67% of consumers say free returns is the most important factor when considering a return.
  • 15% of all online returns and 23% of fashion returns are intentional; many shoppers order multiple items and physically test products for the first time on receipt of delivery.

The results show that customers expect and want free returns, and you need to get it right when offering them. Many consumers also use returns to take the fitting room or showroom home, so they’re over-ordering with an expectation of returning items.

The resulting challenges and costs are why some retailers are struggling with click-and-collect profitability. However, rather than impose fees and potentially lose business, companies should look to optimize their returns logistics to save costs, improve service, and achieve click-and-collect profitability.

The Three Pillars of Profitable Returns Logistics

To get the returns experience right and achieve profitability, companies should consider three pillars:

1. Reliability. It’s imperative to get returned goods back into your system accurately, by using scanners, mobile computers, or RFID. Best practices suggest that it’s important to provide customers with multiple channels for returns, including in-store, via pick-up, or through return lockers. However, wherever and whenever the item is returned, scanning and processing has to be fast and reliable.

2. Accuracy. Businesses must use inventory visibility to quickly send goods where they’re needed. Stock may go out and be returned through a variety of channels, so you need to know where returned stock is and where it’s needed to accelerate order fulfillment and reduce unnecessary inventory.

3. Speed. While it is important to handle returns in a way that satisfies the customer and minimizes costs, it is equally important to recirculate stock as quickly as possible. Many returns will be ready to go straight back to the shelf, which means improved availability. In-store relabeling and scanning items to return them to the stock keeps your wider inventory up to date and reduces the risk of overstocking.

Getting Practical Help & Insights

We can help you implement these three pillars with some free resources and insights.

Our partners at Zebra Technologies have published an insightful and practical eBook, “Three Steps to Click & Collect Efficiency.” In the eBook, Zebra uses case studies and real-world examples to show what the click-and-collect process should look like and how to make it profitable.

You can also reach out to us for advice, recommendations, and support. At ASI, we work with Zebra to design systems and solutions to optimize your reverse logistics and make profitable click-and-collect possible. Contact us now for a free consultation.

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General | Zebra

ASI is Recognized as a Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association!

by jjodko March 7, 2016

 

(Fit-Friendly Worksites Program Release – Platinum)

NEWS RELEASE

FOR RELEASE:
3/7/2016

CONTACT:
Stephanie Lanaro
slanaro@asisystem.com

ASI System Integration, Inc. Recognized as an
American Heart Association Fit-Friendly Worksite
Worksites take steps to decrease healthcare expenses, increase productivity

New York, March 7th 2016 – ASI System Integration, Inc. has been recognized as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite by the American Heart Association for helping employees eat better and move more.

“Physical activity and employee wellness are important priorities at ASI System Integration, Inc. We are honored and excited to be recognized by the American Heart Association as a Platinum-Level Fit-Friendly Worksite,” said Stephanie Lanaro, Director of Human Resources. “We’re committed to providing the best workplace environment possible. This will benefit our employees’ health and produce even more positive results for our worksite overall.”

Platinum-level employers:

  • Offer employees physical activity options in the workplace.
  • Increase healthy eating options at the worksite.
  • Promote a wellness culture in the workplace.
  • Implement at least nine criteria outlined by the American Heart Association in the areas of physical activity, nutrition and culture.
  • Demonstrate measurable outcomes related to workplace wellness.

The Fit-Friendly Worksites program is a catalyst for positive change in the American workforce by helping worksites make their employees’ health and well-being a priority.

American employers are losing an estimated $225.8 billion a year because of healthcare expenses and health-related losses in productivity, and those numbers are rising. Many American adults spend most of their waking hours at sedentary jobs. Their lack of regular physical activity raises their risk for a host of medical problems, such as obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes. Employers face $12.7 billion in annual medical expenses due to obesity alone. The American Heart Association is working to change corporate cultures by motivating employees to start walking, which has the lowest dropout rate of any physical activity.

Recognition is a critical component of the Fit-Friendly Worksites program. Employers that join this program qualify for official recognition by the American Heart Association. They are listed on the program’s national website. Qualifying worksites also have the right to use the program’s annual recognition seal for internal communications and with external, recruitment-related communications.

“The Fit-Friendly Worksites Program offers easy-to-implement ways for organizations to help employees eat better and move more, which will help improve their health – and their employer’s bottom line,” said Stephanie Lanaro. “Even people who haven’t exercised regularly until middle age can reap significant benefits by starting a walking program. A study published in 1986 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that some adults may gain two hours of life expectancy for every hour of regular, vigorous exercise they performed.”

For more information about the Fit-Friendly Worksites program and how it’s helping to improve the health of Americans by focusing on the workplace, call 212-878-5900 or visit heart.org/worksitewellness.

###

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Our mission drives everything we do. To improve the lives of all Americans, we provide public health education in a variety of ways. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit heart.org.

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Top 8 Technological Gadgets for the Techie at Heart

by jjodko December 29, 2015

With 2016 just around the corner, so is the buzz on new technologies. Every year it feels as though we’re inching closer to the world of The Jetsons - where our childhood was bombarded with awesome technologies such as flying spacecraft’s that turned into briefcases, robot maids (anyone own a Roomba?), holograms and other whimsical inventions. But until we reach this futuristic utopia in the year 2062 (46 more years!) we will have to make do with what we have today.

Here is my list of my favorite top 8 technologies every techie at heart needs to survive in 2016:

1)      Amazon Echo ($180) is your personal assistant for anything you need. You can ask for the weather, set reminders and play music, naturally.

2)      Chromecast Audio ($35) will turn any speaker into a party necessity. Plug in the Chromecast Audio and your speaker will work over WiFi and all smart devices. No need for the hassle of Bluetooth pairing!

 

3)      Here’s a smart watch that won’t make your wallet cry. Pebble Time Round ($250) has the face of a normal watch but will still give you access to apps such as Uber, ESPN, Misfit and more through the Pebble appstore, as well as send notifications from your phone. This watch is compatible with iPhone 4S and above running iOS8 and above, as well as Android devices running 4.3 and above.

 

4)      We all love to travel – well, we love to visit new places. The traveling part maybe not so much, especially with luggage hassles. Well no more! CalypsoTag ($169) will become your must-need travel accessory. It’s a smart travel tag that will alert you about the whereabouts of your luggage.

 

5)      This one is great for the ladies! Especially those who have events and parties to go to where you can only bring a small wristlet but want to bring your iPhone charger along. Now ladies can just wear the Q Smart Bracelet (pre-order for $88). It’s literally a bracelet that will charge your phone, while also not ruining your outfit.

 

6)      Say hello to Microsoft’s first laptop, the Surface Book ($1,499). It comes with Windows 10 and can easily detach from the keyboard to become a tablet.

 

7)      The Logitech Bluetooth Multi-Device Keyboard K480 ($49.99) is designed for use up to three devices. The Easy-Switch dial allows you to switch off devices so that you may write a report on your computer, respond to a message on your smartphone or post to social media on your tablet.

 

 

8)      The Livescribe Echo Smartpen ($119.95) allows you to record audio while you’re taking notes, and then play them back later. The pen is equipped with a micro-USB connector that allows you to charge your phone as well as save and share interactive notes to your computer, iPad or iPhone. The memory storage holds up to 400 or 800 hours of recorded audio, depending on the model.

Sources: 

http://www.popsugar.com/tech/Best-Tech-Gifts-2015-39011661#photo-39011661 

http://www.itbusinessedge.com/slideshows/show.aspx?c=86885&slide=2

 

About ASI:

ASI System Integration, Inc. is North America’s leading independent provider of IT services, solutions, and technologies.  As a leading system integrator, ASI builds world-class IT solutions that fit the unique requirements of customers. Representing the most influential OEMs in the industry, ASI rides on the cutting edge of the technology wave. That is, they know technology, where it's been, and where it's going. The solutions they represent, implement, and support are designed to launch customers from their current state into a more mature IT arena, setting them above competition. ASI strives to build quality solutions that bring efficiency, effectiveness, and return on investments.

ASI has five tightly integrated business units

  • Consulting & Integration

Our consulting & integration portfolio offers a range of services, from strategic IT advice, to cloud consulting, and data center transformation services.

  • Lifecycle Sourcing

Our optimized and agile single point-of-contact solutions meet all of our clients’ sourcing, integration, deployment, and IT management requirements.

  • Technology Services

Our certified and experienced technology professionals ensure maximum system availability and minimal service disruption to our clients’ infrastructure.

  • Asset Disposition Services

Our services reduce the risk, cost, and complexity associated with securely managing the disposition and return of end-of-life technology across multiple global locations in an environmentally compliant manner.

  • Technology Workforce Solutions

Our technical experts and consultants link people with performance to maximize human capital in today's competitive and changing economic and social environment.



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General

How To Remotely Kill A Car

by jjodko September 1, 2015

In July 2015, two hackers – Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek – teamed up with Wired Magazine for an interesting (and scary) experience. The hackers were going to remotely hack into a Jeep with Wired’s Andy Greenberg behind the wheel on a highway. Now the question could be, why would these hackers care to do such a thing and why does it matter? The hackers’ intent wasn’t to show why it could be done, but more of that it can be done. If hackers could easily manipulate a car, and essentially be able to control the persons in the car, then what else could hacker’s control that don’t have tight security?

The experiment started with Andy Greenberg driving 70 mph on a highway in St. Louis. The hackers seized their control by remotely tapping into the Grand Cherokee’s entertainment system – which is controlled by satellite. By having the Jeep’s computer run by satellite the hackers were able to install their hacking code (produced by Miller and Valasek within a year’s time) via the internet. Once the hackers, who were sitting comfortably on a basement couch in Miller’s home, installed the code into the car, they were able to begin manipulating the cars vents and blasted cold air at the maximum setting. Next, the radio switched on with full volume. Greenberg tried to turn off the radio manually, however was unable to do so because the computer was in full control of the hackers. This would become a problem in the long run when the hackers cut the transmission.

Greenberg pressed on the pedal, however the accelerator had completely stopped functioning. The Jeep finally lost its speed, slowing down to a crawl. Greenberg had no way to pull over as there was no shoulder on the long overpass he was stuck on. His Jeep was stuck on a lane, with cars blaring their horns at him. Throughout the experiment, Greenberg was able to communicate to the hackers, but because of the blaring radio he was unable to hear them when Valasek shouted, “You’re doomed!” Greenberg had to call the hackers and begged them to make it stop.

In the real world, one wouldn’t be able to easily communicate with hackers. And one may not be able to get them to stop hacking, even if asked politely to do so. This experiment brings a scary realization to the forefront, especially knowing that Miller and Valasek’s hacking technique – known in the security industry as zero-day exploit – can target any Jeep Cherokee, giving the hacker complete wireless control. Their code is a software that lets hackers send commands to the car’s dashboard functions, steering, brakes and transmission. The scariest thing about it all? This code can be coming from a laptop that may be across the country, making it almost impossible to catch your hackers.

This innovation has sparked interest in legislation as senators Ed Markey and Richard Blumenthal plan to introduce an automotive security bill to set new digital security standards for cars and trucks. This call to action was set by Miller and Valasek’s first automotive hack in 2013, when they hijacked Greenberg’s Ford Escape and Toyota Prius while being wired to the car’s onboard diagnostic port, a feature normally used by repair technicians to access information on the car’s electronic controlling system. Two years later, now that hacking has progressed wirelessly, this auto-hacking forestalling couldn’t be timelier.

Jeeps are not the only cars able to be manipulated. Thanks to Chrysler’s Uconnect feature that controls the vehicle’s entertainment and navigation, enables phone calls and offers a Wi-Fi hot spot, the cellular connection from this feature enables anyone who knows the car’s IP address to gain access to the car anywhere in the country. “From an attacker’s perspective, it’s a super nice vulnerability,” Miller says.

To read more about which cars are susceptible to hackers and more information about Miller and Valasek’s work, visit Andy Greenberg’s article “Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway – With Me in it” on Wired’s website here: http://www.wired.com/2015/07/hackers-remotely-kill-jeep-highway/

Three Pillars of ASI Security -

  • Prepare: You cannot secure your environment until you understand where your assets are vulnerable
  • Protect: Once critical assets are identified steps must be taken to secure and monitor
  • Respond: A breach will happen, how an organization responds is absolutely critical

  ASI Security Overview Brochure 2015

About ASI:

ASI System Integration, Inc. is North America’s leading independent provider of IT services, solutions, and technologies.  As a leading system integrator, ASI builds world-class IT solutions that fit the unique requirements of customers. Representing the most influential OEMs in the industry, ASI rides on the cutting edge of the technology wave. That is, they know technology, where it's been, and where it's going. The solutions they represent, implement, and support are designed to launch customers from their current state into a more mature IT arena, setting them above competition. ASI strives to build quality solutions that bring efficiency, effectiveness, and return on investments.

ASI has five tightly integrated business units

  • Consulting & Integration

Our consulting & integration portfolio offers a range of services, from strategic IT advice, to cloud consulting, and data center transformation services.

  • Lifecycle Sourcing

Our optimized and agile single point-of-contact solutions meet all of our clients’ sourcing, integration, deployment, and IT management requirements.

  • Technology Services

Our certified and experienced technology professionals ensure maximum system availability and minimal service disruption to our clients’ infrastructure.

  • Asset Disposition Services

Our services reduce the risk, cost, and complexity associated with securely managing the disposition and return of end-of-life technology across multiple global locations in an environmentally compliant manner.

  • Technology Workforce Solutions

Our technical experts and consultants link people with performance to maximize human capital in today's competitive and changing economic and social environment.

 

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General

Shape Up America!

by jjodko July 10, 2015

High-Intensity Interval Training – or HIIT – is becoming a fast paced workout trend in 2015. HIIT are short bursts of activity followed by short periods of rest or recovery. These workouts are typically performed in 30 minutes or less and are perfect for anyone who is seeking improvement in their sports performance or who wants to optimize whatever time they have for exercise.

In busy times, people are constantly finding excuses to not exercise – but for those looking for a quick fix to fulfill their exercise needs, HIIT has been proven effective with its 20 minute express workouts. Many large companies, such as GoodLife Fitness, created step-by-step programs to promote HIIT with machines in their gyms. GoodLife Fitness’ program 20 Minute Fit Fix uses 9 circuit machines, which are labeled in consecutive order for a customer to use, for exercising the upper body, lower body and core.

You can find more information on the GoodLife Fitness 20 Minute Fit Fix and a free orientation to the program here: http://www.goodlifefitness.com/gettingstarted/

The 20 Minute Fit Fix uses a form of Circuit Training, which is a workout routine that combines cardiovascular fitness and resistance training. This is an ancient practice that has been used since the 1950s as a means to develop general fitness. The routine involves alternating between machines every 1-3 minutes while targeting different muscle groups with only 30-90 seconds break between stations. This short break enhances cardiovascular fitness along with the benefit of resistance training. Circuit Training can involve machines, surgical tubing, jump rope, your own body weight, dumbbells, medicine balls and physioballs. Many professional athletes use Circuit Training during offseason workouts as a means to maintain general fitness while avoiding high physical demands of in-season sport.


For those who are seeking a more high intensity workout with CrossFit elements, workout guru’s Jillian Michaels BODYSHRED would be most beneficial. This workout can be found in popular gyms such as Crunch, GoodLife Fitness and YWCA. SHRED’s acronym consists of Synergistic, High Intensity, Resistance, Endurance and Dynamics. Following suit, SHRED is therefore a high intensity and endurance 30 minute workout consisting of Jillian’s 3-2-1 interval approach – 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs. This approach had been claimed to shed fat, define muscle and transform the body’s entire physique, while enhancing overall health and athletic performance.

For more information on Jillian Michael’s BODYSHRED, click here: https://www.jillianmichaelsbodyshred.com/about

A report published in JAMA Internal Medicine studied 15,208 people aged 25 and older from 2007 to 2012. The researchers estimated that 40% of men were overweight and 35% of men were obese. They also estimated that 30% of women were overweight and 37% were obese.

“Our estimates are very close to CDC’s [U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention] estimates, and there is clearly not a trend of decline on the prevalence of overweight and obesity in the United States,” says study author Lin Yang, a postdoc researcher at Division of Public Health Sciences in the Department of Surgery in an email. “Thus, we strengthen the case for implementing policies and practices that span multiple sections and [are] designed to combat overweight and obesity. This will need a political will to support multi-level approaches through individual, health professional, community, environment and policy engagement to address this epidemic as a whole.”

Americans’ waistlines have continued to grow over the last 20 years, leading people to greater risks of chronic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. With obesity becoming a major epidemic in the United States, the trend for HIIT and express workouts hasn’t come at a better time. These workouts stomp out any excuses of having no time to exercise. Researchers have concluded that interventions in healthy diet, physical activity and healthy social norms can help Americans get back into shape.

ASI System Integration, Inc. has partnered with Bootcamp Republic in order to provide ASI employees easy access to fitness. Bootcamp Republic offers workout routines for all levels of fitness, including cardiovascular and combined conditioning which is proven to be effective for weight loss, reducing and preventing high blood pressure, building strength and coordination, increasing stamina, endurance and energy levels, combating anxiety, stress and depression, preventing heart disease, diabetes type 2, and some cancers. This fall, ASI will be offering Bootcamp Republic’s Cardio Burn class onsite to employees. The class is pure cardio meant to keep participants constantly moving in order to elevate heart rates, and keep them elevated, with a goal of burning 500-800 calories per class.

About ASI:

ASI System Integration, Inc. is North America’s leading independent provider of IT services, solutions, and technologies.  As a leading system integrator, ASI builds world-class IT solutions that fit the unique requirements of customers. Representing the most influential OEMs in the industry, ASI rides on the cutting edge of the technology wave. That is, they know technology, where it's been, and where it's going. The solutions they represent, implement, and support are designed to launch customers from their current state into a more mature IT arena, setting them above competition. ASI strives to build quality solutions that bring efficiency, effectiveness, and return on investments.

ASI has five tightly integrated business units

  • Consulting & Integration

Our consulting & integration portfolio offers a range of services, from strategic IT advice, to cloud consulting, and data center transformation services.

  • Lifecycle Sourcing

Our optimized and agile single point-of-contact solutions meet all of our clients’ sourcing, integration, deployment, and IT management requirements.

  • Technology Services

Our certified and experienced technology professionals ensure maximum system availability and minimal service disruption to our clients’ infrastructure.

  • Asset Disposition Services

Our services reduce the risk, cost, and complexity associated with securely managing the disposition and return of end-of-life technology across multiple global locations in an environmentally compliant manner.

  • Technology Workforce Solutions

Our technical experts and consultants link people with performance to maximize human capital in today's competitive and changing economic and social environment.

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Mindful Eating, Mindful Health

by jjodko July 2, 2015

Everywhere you look you see new diets “guaranteed” to make you lose 10 pounds in two weeks, new exercises “guaranteed” to give you flat abs in a week, new diet pills “guaranteed” to burn fat within minutes and new cooking recipes “guaranteed” to say “bye-bye bloating!” Health trends are seen everywhere, especially in discussions on TV shows like Good Morning America, Dr. Oz and The View; radio talk shows - whether it’s a sponsored message or success story; sponsored ads on your Facebook page; and newsstands with fitness and fashion magazines. But what about the health trends that don’t give you a “guarantee” but actually gives you steps to truly improving your well-being in the long run.

An ancient practice of mindful eating is now becoming a modern trend in 2015. “Mindful eating means choosing foods with deliberate intention, being aware of taste and texture and chewing your food until it’s a paste,” says Joy McCarthy, a Toronto-based certified holistic nutritionist and the bestselling author of Joyous Health. This act will allow your body to be completely satisfied with meals, keeping you full longer. You’ll also be able to control your weight due to the slower earing and the consumption of fewer calories. Eating your food to a paste can also help your body with easy digestion. “Mindful eating allows digestive juices to properly break down food,” says McCarthy. This improved digestion will result in increased energy and optimum nutrient absorption.

However, mindful eating is much more than just eating slowly without distraction. According to Am I Hungry? - a company that specializes in mindful eating and offers programs, training, retreats and resources to help customers implement the initiative in their lives - mindful eating encompasses the entire process of eating. Including:

  • Awareness of your physical and emotional cues
  • Recognition of your non-hunger triggers for eating
  • Learning to meet your other needs in more effective ways than eating
  • Choosing food for both enjoyment and nourishment
  • Eating for optimal satisfaction and satiety
  • Using the fuel you’ve consumed to live the vibrant life you crave

Mindful eating can be used as a powerful tool to developing a healthier relationship with food and can help solve current eating issues. Many people who struggle with food usually are mindless in their way of eating and are not able to differentiate triggers, thoughts and feelings and will usually associate them with eating. Mindfulness may increase awareness of these patterns and can create space between triggers and actions.

A common mistake people make it trying to control hunger triggers and actions through strict dieting, without realizing that they’re going through the motions of yo-yoing, or another form of this concept is called “eat-repent-repeat” cycle. This occurs when a person becomes obsessed with what they eating, counting down calories, fat grams, labeling food as “good” or “bad” and feeling guilty when they indulge on food “unacceptable” to their diet. The guilt may also be triggered when a specific diet calls for eating every three hours, forcing people to eat even when they’re not hungry. This guilt can often open a door to depression which may trigger more eating. Once the depression subsides, motivation to “good eating” starts and the cycle repeats itself when a “bad food” or guilt is reintroduced. Mindful eating diminishes restrictive dieting rules and can help in rediscovering relationships with food.

An act of mindfulness can be as simple as pausing when you feel like eating and asking yourself “Am I hungry?” Here you are able to observe your thoughts and contemplate how you can respond. Most people will reach for the first thing they can munch on as soon as the cravings start, when consequently, they should be first determining if their craving is in itself a craving, or their body signaling for refuel. 

These are the questions that the Am I Hungry? program tells you to ask yourself:

Why?
Why do I eat? Or in other words, what is driving my eating cycle at any given time?

When?
When do I feel like eating? When do I think about eating? When do I decide to eat?

What?
What do I eat? What do I choose from all the available options?

How?
How do I eat? How, specifically, do I get the food I’ve chosen into my body?

How much?
How much do I eat? How much fuel do I consume?

Where?
Where do I invest the energy I consume? Where does the fuel I’ve consumed go?



For more information on mindful eating and Am I Hungry? Please visit:

http://amihungry.com/



About ASI:

ASI System Integration, Inc. is North America’s leading independent provider of IT services, solutions, and technologies.  As a leading system integrator, ASI builds world-class IT solutions that fit the unique requirements of customers. Representing the most influential OEMs in the industry, ASI rides on the cutting edge of the technology wave. That is, they know technology, where it's been, and where it's going. The solutions they represent, implement, and support are designed to launch customers from their current state into a more mature IT arena, setting them above competition. ASI strives to build quality solutions that bring efficiency, effectiveness, and return on investments.

ASI has five tightly integrated business units

  • Consulting & Integration

Our consulting & integration portfolio offers a range of services, from strategic IT advice, to cloud consulting, and data center transformation services.

  • Lifecycle Sourcing

Our optimized and agile single point-of-contact solutions meet all of our clients’ sourcing, integration, deployment, and IT management requirements.

  • Technology Services

Our certified and experienced technology professionals ensure maximum system availability and minimal service disruption to our clients’ infrastructure.

  • Asset Disposition Services

Our services reduce the risk, cost, and complexity associated with securely managing the disposition and return of end-of-life technology across multiple global locations in an environmentally compliant manner.

  • Technology Workforce Solutions

Our technical experts and consultants link people with performance to maximize human capital in today's competitive and changing economic and social environment.

 

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Whose job is it anyway?

by jjodko June 22, 2015

Picture this – you’re at your computer, filling out an application online for your dream job. Simple enough, right? You fill out your standard information – name, address, phone number, email – then you plug away your impressive past experiences. You begin to feel elated, you think “I’m going to get the job, I’m the perfect candidate, why wouldn’t they request an interview?!” You click next, and suddenly you’re dispirited. The EEO data shows up on your window. The Equal Employment Opportunity data, meant for companies to ensure diversity within their workplace.

So why do you pause? This shouldn’t be hard. You know your race and gender, and you certainly know if you’re a United States veteran. However, you pause. And then the questions start to hang over your head like swinging pendulums. Will sharing this information deter you from your dream job? Will all the years of preparation for this career be wasted based on the color of your skin or the sex that you were born with? What if you choose not to answer - will they assume that you’re hiding something?

However, the real question starts to loom over your head. What do companies do with this information and why have some been hiding it?

In early 2008, Mercury News, a newspaper based out of San Jose, California, sent in a federal Freedom of Information Act request for the top 15 Silicon Valley companies to share their EEO data publicly. Companies such as Intel, Cisco Systems, eBay, AMD and Sun Microsystems willingly obliged and shared their information. Chuck Mulloy, a spokesperson for Intel, took a further step and contacted Mercury News with a statement saying, “There’s nothing to hide, in our view. We just felt that we’re very proud of the [diversity] programs we have in place and the efforts we put forth, and we don’t have any trouble sharing it.”

However, five companies decided to fight against the FOIA request from Mercury News. These companies included Apple, Yahoo, Oracle, Applied Materials - and most surprisingly - Google, a company that was created to provide readily accessible information to the world.

After an 18-month battle, these companies convinced federal regulators that providing the information would cause potential “commercial harm” which competitors could use.  Many experts believed that reasoning was absurd and saw no negative correlation between releasing diversity data and vulnerability in business strategies. "One of the main ways that we track how society is doing in terms of race relations, in terms of eliminating discrimination, in terms of promoting diversity, is by looking at statistics," said Richard Ford, a Stanford University law professor who is an expert in civil rights and anti-discrimination law. "But if we can't get the data, we can't know if it's a problem or not."

The data was ultimately collected by Mercury News who noticed an odd change between 1999 and 2006. The data showed that the collective workforce of 10 Silicon Valley’s companies grew by 16%, however the minority population dropped 16% coincidentally. By 2005, only 2,200 out of the 30,000 workers in Silicon Valley were either black or Hispanic. Out of that number, only 300 held managerial positions, which was a decrease from the previous years. The data also showed a dip in women holding managerial positions from 28% in 2000 to 26%.

A strange irony to it all, in the last two weeks of 2009, Google donated over $8 million to encourage minorities to pursue careers in technology, donating laptops to more than 600 high schools. The company also donated to the National Society of Black Engineers. Still, Google declined to release its racial and gender breakdown of its 20,000 employees.

Eventually in 2014, Google gave in and released their EEO data. That year, Google’s workforce makeup was 70% male and 30% female. Of those workers, 61% were white, 30% was Asian, 4% were 2 or more races, 3% were Hispanic and 2% were black.

 

This pattern seems to be common amongst the Silicon Valley companies. Apple shared an identical gender makeup in their 2014 report - with white leading the racial breakdown at 55%, 15% Asian, 11% Hispanic, 7% black, 2% being 2 or more races and the rest as undisclosed/undeclared. Sadly, Apple was the only company that seemed to have the most racial diversity between Yahoo, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and eBay. Out of those, eBay lead in the closest gender workforce equality with 58% male and 42% female.

Computer Science jobs have been rapidly expanding, and yet there remains the issue that only one in fourteen technical employees are either Hispanic or black. "The numbers are not where we want them to be," said Sarah Stuart, manager of global diversity and talent inclusion at Google. Nationally, 12% of blacks make up the American workforce while Hispanics rank up 14%.

Gender diversity has also remained a top issue, especially amongst the technology industry. Even more interesting, despite making up the majority of the Silicon Valley population, women went from 37% of the workforce in 1999 to 33% in 2005. As clearly shown in the 2014 reports, this gender gap hasn’t budged.

Below is a chart showing the 2014 data of the gender makeups of top Silicon Valley companies. The top bar is representing males while the lower bar represents females. Microsoft has the largest gender gap out of all, with 71% male and 29% female. Out of that percentage, 83% of those males hold leadership positions. Amazingly enough, Microsoft is not the most male dominating company - Intel takes that lead with a 77% male workforce.

 

Now the question arises, if these EEO reports are meant for companies to keep a diverse workforce intact, then why has there been little (or worse) change?

Earlier this month, NYPD Commissioner, Bill Bratton, has been hit with this issue – specifically on racial diversity – with protesters claiming the NYPD discriminates against minorities. On the topic of recruiting more black officers, he stated to The Guardian, “We have a significant population gap among African American males because so many of them have spent time in jail and, as such, we can’t hire them.” Bratton continued by blaming the “stop, question and frisk” initiative that led many blacks and Hispanics to receiving minor misdemeanors. Consequently, the population pool of candidates in these races have diminished. The “stop and frisk” initiative was eventually struck down in 2013 by a federal judge that claimed the policy was a result of indirect racial profiling. Judge Shira A Scheindlin claimed the program had officers routinely check “blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped is they were white.”

The NYPD issue further shows that racial diversity is not only within Silicon Valley’s companies, but it’s becoming a national issue affecting any industry in any area. And where do people like Rachel Dolezal, who is legally a white woman but identifies as being black, and Ruby Rose, who also is legally a woman but identifies herself with no gender, fit into all this? Although the EEO-1 form was developed in 1964 under the Civil Rights Act as a means to help companies and protect minorities within the nation, it is important to look over this policy and see if the Act is doing more harm than good when it’s giving companies a bad reputation and possibly deterring potential candidates who are minorities from applying.

For more information visit: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/06/26/silicon-valley-tech-diversity-white-asian-black-hispanic-google-facebook-yahoo/11372421/

http://fortune.com/2015/01/05/microsoft-eeo-1-diversity-tech/

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/09/bratton-hiring-black-nypd-officers-criminal-records

About ASI:

ASI System Integration, Inc. is North America’s leading independent provider of IT services, solutions, and technologies.  As a leading system integrator, ASI builds world-class IT solutions that fit the unique requirements of customers. Representing the most influential OEMs in the industry, ASI rides on the cutting edge of the technology wave. That is, they know technology, where it's been, and where it's going. The solutions they represent, implement, and support are designed to launch customers from their current state into a more mature IT arena, setting them above competition. ASI strives to build quality solutions that bring efficiency, effectiveness, and return on investments.

ASI has five tightly integrated business units

  • Consulting & Integration

Our consulting & integration portfolio offers a range of services, from strategic IT advice, to cloud consulting, and data center transformation services.

  • Lifecycle Sourcing

Our optimized and agile single point-of-contact solutions meet all of our clients’ sourcing, integration, deployment, and IT management requirements.

  • Technology Services

Our certified and experienced technology professionals ensure maximum system availability and minimal service disruption to our clients’ infrastructure.

  • Asset Disposition Services

Our services reduce the risk, cost, and complexity associated with securely managing the disposition and return of end-of-life technology across multiple global locations in an environmentally compliant manner.

  • Technology Workforce Solutions

Our technical experts and consultants link people with performance to maximize human capital in today's competitive and changing economic and social environment.

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Today’s Millennials… Tomorrow’s Alpha Workforce Generation?

by jjodko June 16, 2015

With a rapid increase in population, it is no surprise that the makeup of the U.S. Labor Force is forever changing. Currently, four generations make up the American workforce – the Silent Generation (ages 70 – 87 in 2015), Baby Boomers (ages 51 – 69), Generation X (ages 35 – 50) and the Millennials (ages 18 – 34).

According to the Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, Millennials surpassed Generation X in the American workforce, with 1 in 3 American workers falling under the category in 2015. It was only last year that Millennials took the lead from the Baby Boomers who are retiring in large numbers yearly. Within the past 10 years, the Boomer generation has decreased in workforce size by nearly 30% from 65 million to 44.7 million, while the Millennials have rapidly grown to a massive 53.5 million. The Census Bureau has already predicted that the Millennial Generation will surpass in population size, to that of Baby Boomers, this year as the nation’s largest living generation.

But just how do these generations compare within working standards? Can a generation fresh out of school who have learned new strategies in the workforce compete against a generation of veteran experience who know the ins and outs of a company effortlessly?

A study conducted in 2013 by Ernst & Young, compared insights from over 1,200 professionals (managerial and non-managerial) across every generation and industries about the strengths and weaknesses of workers from different generations based on their peers. The report found that Millennials are tech savvy, but don’t work well in a team; Generation Xers make great entrepreneurs but rank low on executive presence; while Boomers are team players and loyal, but have trouble in adapting company changes.



"As management shifts to younger generations, the research reveals areas companies can focus on to enhance skill sets, address the challenges of managing multiple generations, and retain and engage employees by understanding which workplace perks they may value most," Karyn Twaronite, a partner of Ernst & Young, says in the study.

The study further explained workforce challenges that rose amongst the generations, with 77% of that being different work expectations and 72% of the younger generation lacking comfort in managing older employees. However, more than two-thirds of participants stated that their company has been making changes to alleviate the issues, including work style accommodations, team building exercises, generational differences training, cross generational networking and tailored communications.

Despite the differences in workforce, Millennials are not expected to slow down their growth any time soon. In 1998 when Generation Xers were the same age as Millennials today, roughly 80% were working with an increase to 84% of the Xer population in 2008, where the generation reached its participation peak. However, their role as the dominant generation in the workforce was short lived – about 3 years – when Xers took the title from the Boomers in 2012. Currently, in 2015, the Millennials have the title.

There are two possible occurrences that may give Generation X potential for a comeback. One, is the increase with immigrants into the workforce. Although the majority of newly arriving immigrants have been in the Millennial Generation, the next generation that come are the Xers which could steadily increase the generation’s workforce population. The second occurrence may come as a fix from an earlier setback. The labor force of Generation X was diminished due to the Great Recession. If the job market continues to improve then the generation has the possibility to return to the workforce. A thing to consider with this possibility is that the oldest Xer is 50, which is when workers are aging out of their prime working years. This may deflect any desire of returning to work.

In Ernst & Young’s survey, the incentive to continue working across all generations have remained in cash perks. Following suit were benefit plains including healthcare and retirement, which was a perk backed by a third of the Boomer study participants. Flexibility in work hours remained as the number one non-cash/benefit perk, especially among Generation X, with nearly a third of both Millennial and Boomer Generations saying they would leave a current job if day-to-day flexibility was absent. Millennials were the only generation to express their need of promotion and company growth.

For more information please visit:
http://www.multivu.com/mnr/63068-ernst-and-young-llp-research-younger-managers-rise-in-the-ranks

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/11/millennials-surpass-gen-xers-as-the-largest-generation-in-u-s-labor-force/


About ASI:

ASI System Integration, Inc. is North America’s leading independent provider of IT services, solutions, and technologies.  As a leading system integrator, ASI builds world-class IT solutions that fit the unique requirements of customers. Representing the most influential OEMs in the industry, ASI rides on the cutting edge of the technology wave. That is, they know technology, where it's been, and where it's going. The solutions they represent, implement, and support are designed to launch customers from their current state into a more mature IT arena, setting them above competition. ASI strives to build quality solutions that bring efficiency, effectiveness, and return on investments.

ASI has five tightly integrated business units

  • Consulting & Integration

Our consulting & integration portfolio offers a range of services, from strategic IT advice, to cloud consulting, and data center transformation services.

  • Lifecycle Sourcing

Our optimized and agile single point-of-contact solutions meet all of our clients’ sourcing, integration, deployment, and IT management requirements.

  • Technology Services

Our certified and experienced technology professionals ensure maximum system availability and minimal service disruption to our clients’ infrastructure.

  • Asset Disposition Services

Our services reduce the risk, cost, and complexity associated with securely managing the disposition and return of end-of-life technology across multiple global locations in an environmentally compliant manner.

  • Technology Workforce Solutions

Our technical experts and consultants link people with performance to maximize human capital in today's competitive and changing economic and social environment.

 

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