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4 Tips For Investing In Commodities

Whether on the news, in daily meals, on transport, or at the gas pump, commodities are part of our lives and are present in everyone’s daily lives. Even those not from the financial market feel the effects of the rise and fall of oil, the most expensive bread in the supermarket, the fluctuations in the price of meat, and so on.

In this context, we will explain what commodities on are, their importance in the world market and how we can invest in these assets. So, if you are looking for diversification for your portfolio, or want to understand a little more about the subject, keep reading below and learn here What You Should Know about Uncorrelated Assets.

For Starters, What Are Commodities?

Translated from English, commodity means “commodity.” But economics uses the expression to designate raw materials and products of low added value. Despite their simple nature, these items are essential to the world’s economy, as they are part of our routine and are used by many industries. For example, the bread we eat daily comes from wheat, a commodity. The gasoline we use in the car is derived from petroleum, another commodity. And so, several examples prove the essentiality of these products.

In addition to being essential, three other characteristics define commodities: standardization, large-scale production, and the ability to stock items. Other well-known commodities are rice, beans, meat, gold, copper, natural resources (wood, water, etc.), and currencies (real, dollar, euro, and so on).

And How To Invest In Commodities?

In e360 power for instance, we understand what they are and the importance of commodities for the world economy, it’s time to learn about investment alternatives linked to these assets. Below, check out four tips on how to invest in commodities.

1 – Stocks Of Commodity Companies

If you are thinking of investing in stocks, or if you already invest and are looking for diversification for your portfolio, an alternative is companies that operate in commodity sectors.

2 – ETFs De Commodities

You can also invest in commodities by purchasing shares in ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds). Also called “index funds,” ETFs seek to track the performance of an indicator or financial asset in the market. In the case of commodity ETFs, these investments are linked to indices representing assets in this segment.

3 – Futures Contracts

Finally, futures contracts are the most complex way to invest in commodities among the ones we have seen in this content. These contracts are a derivative through which the price of an asset is negotiated for a future date. In the case of commodities, they are more used to hedge (protect) these assets, such as a producer who needs to guarantee the price of his crop, for example. But even those who do not have a direct link to commodities can also use these instruments. Futures contracts are traded on the BM&F (Commodities and Futures Exchange). In addition to commodities, interest rates, currencies, and other futures securities can be traded in this environment. In the link below, learn more about futures contracts and how they work.

Can Everyone Invest In Commodities?

Historically, commodities go through cycles in the economy. In a bullish cycle, investing in these assets can provide handsome returns. However, as they are assets subject to strong fluctuations in the market, commodities are more suitable for the moderate to bold investor profile. Therefore, before investing in commodities, you must ensure that this alternative makes sense for your profile and financial goals.

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Business

Five Tips for Hiring an Accounting Firm

The accounting office’s such as susan s. lewis, ltd have the function of helping companies that encounter problems when matters related to bureaucratic issues of the company, the preparation of contracts, and the calculation of labor obligations come into play. These establishments act as supplies for the entrepreneur to improve the company’s management systems. Therefore, we will provide 5 tips for hiring an accounting firm.

  1. Evaluate All Other People’s Indications to Hire an Accounting Office

Without beating around the bush, we know well that referral is one of the best ways to hire a good service. Accounting firms provide, upon request, a list of clients for professional references. When researching on the internet and finding the desired office, ask the company for the list of clients. Do this procedure before formalizing the service agreement.

  1. Confirm the Office’s Registration Status in Specific Bodies

According to experts, it is essential to check the registration of professionals such as US Expat Tax Preparation Services – and the firm itself – in specific bodies. A recommendation of these professionals is to consult the registration status to determine if the firm is an affiliate of the Union of Accounting Services Companies. Another valuable point is to confirm the registration of the office’s technical managers and the regularity of such registrations. The CRC – Regional Accounting Council, is responsible for providing this information.

  1. Report Templates – Review Them Carefully

The accounting office must send monthly reports with information such as employee payroll and tax collection. It must analyze the models of these reports and if they will satisfy the company’s organization. Many companies present discrepancies or lack of information in these reports. In these cases, it is advisable to talk to the accountant if there is a possibility of adaptation. Otherwise, discard it, so you don’t have future losses.

  1. Fees and Taxes – Understand How They Will Be Paid

A few know it, but it is always good to warn: the accounting office is not responsible for paying bills and taxes. In many cases, these offices manage to reduce corporate taxes, but the company bears the payment of the bonds. The function of the accounting office is to be responsible only for organizing such salaries and forwarding them, on the respective dates, to the company. As for the fees, there is no fixed amount to be charged by the offices. The recommended thing is to make a comparison, and it is possible to make a budget in several offices, analyzing the cost-benefit of each.

  1. Analyze the Communication System Offered By the Office

The relationship between customer and collector requires almost instantaneous responses and quick resolutions. These two points are essential, so it is the duty of both to maintain agile and always active contact channels. Ask if the office has active phones, email, website, or other viable means of communication.

Without trust, something can’t move. It is necessary to have confidence in the professionals and the accounting firm, as confidential information will be discussed in this relationship. When having conversations, feeling comfortable is imperative.

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Business

How to Improve the Cybersecurity Processes of Your Business

Defending your business from both external and internal threats is one of the most vital actions you can take as the head of a company. These threats can come in many forms – from fire risk to burglary – but the threat we are addressing here is the cybersecurity attack.

Cybersecurity attacks are on the rise. This perhaps comes as little surprise given how many businesses are using the internet to complete crucial internal tasks and to store data. Protecting your business from them is vital if you are to maintain the health of your company and prevent any reputational or financial damage from occurring.

However, protecting your business from cybersecurity attacks is not easy. There are several types of threats to be aware of, each using different tactics and weaknesses within your infrastructure to break through and wreak havoc.

These include phishing scams, malware attacks, insider threats, and ransomware.

Although your approach to cybersecurity protection should constantly be evolving, there are certain tried and tested methods for reducing an attack from succeeding – regardless of the type of threat facing your company.

This is how to improve the cybersecurity processes of your business:

Use cloud storage

One of the best ways to protect your business from a cyber-attack is by making use of cloud storage applications.

This is because, in many cyber-attacks, the target is your data. It is the most valuable entity within any business – containing customer and employee details, product plans, and bank details, to name but a few examples.

Cloud storage is one of the safest places to store your sensitive data due to the thick firewalls, the ability to choose who has access to the account, and the fact that if you ever have to move your data, it can go straight into another cloud account.

This keeps your data off individual devices that can easily be infected with ransomware, lost or stolen, or subject to an unwitting insider threat.

If you want help managing your cloud applications, you should consider working with an expert team like Cedar Bay.

Teach your staff best practices

Another great way to safeguard your business from potential cyberattacks is to teach your staff how to prevent them.

There is no substitute for education, and by informing your staff of what the primary threats are and how to spot them, you lessen the chance of them falling victim to a cyber scam.

After all, many forms of cyber-attacks feed upon the ignorance of their victim. By removing this ignorance, you massively reduce the chances of an attack from occurring.

Make sure sensitive data stays between senior staff members

Lastly, you need to be careful with your data management. When handling sensitive information, you should only share it with senior staff members who have the necessary clearances and training.

You should then remove their access to the information once they no longer have use for it.

Many businesses make the mistake of leaving access to these private data storage accounts to a wide range of employees, which increases the chances of a mistake or leak.

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Business

How to Open a Trading Account

Investing in the stock market can be a great way to grow your wealth. But before you can start trading, you need to open a trading account. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the different types of trading accounts, the required documentation, and the application process. We’ll also discuss the different ways to fund your account and the different trading platforms available.

The Different Types of Trading Accounts.

A margin account is a type of account that allows investors to borrow money from their broker in order to purchase securities. Margin accounts are typically used by day traders or other short-term investors who need to take advantage of leverage in order to make bigger profits on their investments. The biggest advantage of margin accounts is that they allow investors to magnify their gains (or losses).

A cash account, on the other hand, is a type of account where the investor can only use the money that he or she has deposited into the online demat account. This means that investors cannot borrow money from their brokers in order to purchase securities. Cash accounts are typically used by long-term investors who want to avoid the risks associated with leverage.

The Difference Between a Day-Trading and a Swing-Trading Account.

A day-trading account is a type of account that allows investors to hold positions for a very short period of time, usually no more than one day. Day traders generally use margin accounts in order to take advantage of leverage and make bigger profits on their trades. However, because day trading is such a risky strategy, most brokerages require day traders to maintain higher minimum balances in their accounts than they do for other types of accounts.

Swing trading is another type of short-term trading, but it involves holding positions for longer than one day, usually for several days or even weeks. Swing traders also use margin accounts in order to take advantage of leverage, but since they are holding their positions for longer periods of time, they are not as exposed to the same level of risk as day traders.

How to Open a Trading Account.

In order to open a trading account, you will need to have the following documentation:

-A valid ID (e.g. passport, driver’s license)

-Proof of address (utility bill, bank statement)

-Proof of income (pay stubs, tax return)

The Application Process.

The application process for opening a trading account is relatively straightforward. You will need to fill out an online application form and provide the required documentation. Once your application has been approved, you will be able to fund your account and know What is Trading account.

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Business

Top 8 Tips for Choosing the Best Payroll Service Provider

You may have made up your mind to outsource all or some of your payroll duties. But if you sit down to find potential vendors and research the market, you get overwhelmed by a long list of payroll service companies claiming about being good at what they do.

When looking at payroll options, it will be best to choose a reliable company. Your company is liable for paying taxes and workers on time, not payroll service companies.

A lot is at stake here. You need to carefully do your homework so as to make sure the payroll service provider you choose stays compliant with all the regulatory standards, is reliable, and provides what you need. To help you achieve this, the following tips to consider:

1.     Know the Service Provider’s Requirements

Service providers, such as BoardRoom, have different offerings. One of the services they provide includes customer service modules, tax remittance, new-hire reporting, tax-return features, and on-time salary payment, to name a few. But the real question here is whether you need either of these services.

Full-suite services are more expensive than simple packages. So smaller startups and companies need to make sure they use the services they pay for. More complex or relatively large organizations often afford to take on the bells and whistles and may find benefits they had not considered previously.

2.     Evaluate the Customer Service

When looking for service providers, most business owners need to work with a provider who offers them the lowest estimate.

This doesn’t take value into account, and most payroll experts and HR managers find that providers are costing them more as they play phone tag or fix mistakes.

Before signing the dotted line with one of the payroll service providers, look at their customer service. They must be able to respond to all your questions and how simple it is to reach out to them whenever you need help.

A team, which provides the best customer service is likely to live up to your expectations as well as smoothly conduct payroll administrations weekly.

3.     Look at the Reputation

In order to ensure your service provider delivers what they promise, it will be a great idea to find a company with a great reputation. As you prepare a list of partners, find objective and reliable reviews in technology publications or on industry news platforms.

Plus, it is wise to go through the feedback that actual users left on review sites or forums like Capterra. To better understand how it will work with a service provider, see whether they give references you may talk to so you may hear firsthand how the provider is.

4.     Custom and Monitoring Reports

Detailed and comprehensive payroll reports provide helpful information on personal and financial data. Access to such details may help in different areas, including searching, accessing relevant data, and doing follow-ups. When hiring a payroll service provider, ensure you consult those reports.

In other words, optimization of payroll management can generate productivity improvement. Of course, to ensure you get this improvement, you will have to measure with KPIs or metrics that help understand the data’s complexity.

5.     Accessibility and Ease of Use

Many payroll services these days allow access to a very secure site for workers to view the history of individual payroll. Printing pay stubs, keeping track of sick/personal/vacation, reviewing payroll history, and having a password-protected site provide the best service for your workers. These details at your fingertips can help to reduce the payroll questions you need to answer.

But web-based payroll systems aren’t the only way you may provide payroll details. Some payroll services need phone-ins at a specific time and date, which might be inconvenient for ever-changing schedules.

There are other options to e-mail or fax, though being able to enter details anytime and anywhere from web browsers gives you a chance to check whether all the details are correct.

6.     Check the Statutory Compatibility

Numerous regulations and rules are in place to guarantee compliance, accuracy, and security. So choosing the right payroll provider competent in tax compliance, data privacy compliance, and regulatory compliance is important when it comes to error-free payrolls.

It is important to hire the right payroll provider with tax compliance departments to handle those modifications, as the regulations governing tax compliance for payrolls are evolving continuously. Plus, once the conversions are complete, the tax compliance team needs to update your payroll tables annually and help with year-end payroll processing.

A reliable payroll service provider must also have the best tax compliance team of experts who can examine the existing data for tax issues.

7.     Determine the Experience and Qualifications

A payroll service provider you choose must have the right credentials from reliable institutions. They should be responsible and cautious and, at the same time, have enough experience.

If they have worked with other businesses within your industry, it can be much easier for them to meet your demands as well as prepare for obstacles your company may encounter.

8.     Consider the Features

In order to choose one of the best payroll service providers for your business, you need to look at the features you wish your payroll services to come with. This should be in addition to dealing with payroll processing and tax obligations.

Some features you need to consider may include PTO management, multiple wage rates, garnishment payments, detailed payroll reports, several payment options, and workers’ comp administration.

Plus, note that, as far as multiple payment option features are concerned, there are a few payment alternatives. These might include direct deposits, paper checks, and prepaid debit cards, to name a few.

The Bottom Line!

The pain of starting things over with a new service provider might seem enough to justify the pain of clunky payroll processes. But as of now, all you need to do is to start your search. Whether your condition is integration with the current HRIS or stellar customer service, the right payroll service provider will get you up and running with the best services.

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Business

Beginners Guide To Learning More About Tents

We cannot forget a detail that keeps us alive: ventilation. Our body breathes and perspires all the time. Therefore, a well-ventilated shelter is essential. During the night, the constant breathing and perspiration of the users will cause the humid air to condense when touching colder areas, which can cause the Tent to wake up with the inside of the overhead roof wet. The situation gets a little worse in sub-zero temperatures: due to condensation, the Tent can freeze, and storing it back in the backpack isn’t easy.

Therefore, tent ventilation is essential to avoid this type of mishap. Leave all vents open and well-ventilated overnight. A quality tent maintains good ventilation even in the rain.

The seams are infiltration points and therefore require additional sealing attention. A good rooftop, with proper waterproofing and well-sealed seams, will keep you dry while you sleep. Tropical countries can surprise you with a storm at any time. Therefore, always check the seams on the roof and the Tent’s floor and ensure that they are well sealed, and the floor is supported in a place that will not flood.

In order not to be surprised by a tent such as 10×10 pop up canopy that “leaks,” always keep it dry and in a ventilated place, as mold attacks the waterproofing resins without pity and peels off the internal sealing tape. Suitable rooftops are treated against the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays to increase resistance to sunlight. Our tents have this protection, with a solution based on Titanium Dioxide applied to the roof, which significantly reduces the degradation of the fabric. The term “UV 50+ “means that only one unit or less of UV rays can pass through the fabric. This is very similar to sunscreens used on our skin, except that the chemical applied is more tissue-specific. Remember that even with this additional protection, the fabric degrades when exposed to the Sun’s rays. From 300 hours of exposure to the Sun, it will show the first signs of this: the beginning of fading and loss of waterproofing. So don’t leave your Tent set up in the Sun unnecessarily. Mount it in more shady places and, if it doesn’t work, cover it with opaque plastic,

Setting Up The Tent

Learn how to set up your Tent at home which you can do when you visit website. Please do not put it up for the first time at camp, overnight, in the rain or wind. The process can become exhausting and stressful if you are a first-timer. Also, before camping, make sure it’s complete, with the proper frames and stakes (borrowed it from a friend? Check it out after you get it back. If something’s missing, there’s still time to replace it).

More modern tents are usually easy to assemble, but make sure you learn what each piece is for before you leave the house. The overhead roof is responsible for creating an essential layer of air for insulation, as well as being a protection against rain. Therefore, when setting up the Tent, pay attention to the fact that the overhead roof can never be leaning against the ceiling. The side stabilizers must always be well stretched and serve this purpose, preventing the Tent from swaying in stronger winds.

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Business

Ways to Save Energy Costs on HVAC Usage?

HVAC systems are big power users in the residence. As a matter of fact, they account for about 48% of the energy used in a typical United States home. This makes it among the largest energy expenditures for a lot of households. Keeping that, there is a variety of manners in which you can conserve money on your HVAC prices.

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Here are the following:

  • Utilize a programmable the

Programmable thermostats can conserve cash on your power expenses by allowing you to establish different temperatures for different times of the day. For example, you can set the temperature to be lower when you are far from the house or you are asleep.

Programmable thermostats are a terrific way to conserve money on your energy expenses. By setting different temperature levels for different times of the day, you can lower your general heating and cooling costs.

  • Enlighten yourself on appropriate HVAC maintenance

Among the most effective means to save cash on your energy bills is to inform yourself on correct HVAC upkeep. By maintaining your HVAC, you can extend its life expectancy, as well as prevent it from damaging down. This will conserve your money in the future.

Appropriate HVAC maintenance is important to saving cash on your energy bills. By maintaining your cooling and heating system in good functioning problem, you can avoid pricey replacements and repair work.

  • Without delay fix your cooling and heating whenever it’s required

Timely repair work to your heating and cooling system can save you a lot of cash in the long run. If you wait as well long to repair your heating and cooling, it can cause costlier troubles. In worst-case scenarios, you may even need to change your entire heating and cooling system.

Heating and cooling systems are a huge investment for your residence. With that said, it’s important to immediately repair your cooling and heating whenever it’s needed. By doing so, you can prevent extra pricey troubles in the future, as well as maintain your HVAC system in great functioning problem.

  • Think about updating your HVAC system

A lot of modern-day HVAC systems are more energy-efficient than older versions. If your HVAC system is greater than 15 years old, you might wish to think about upgrading to a more recent design. This will save you money on your energy costs in the long run.

Think about updating your heating system and cooling if it is more than a couple of years old. Newer cooling and heating systems are more energy-efficient than older models. This suggests that you can save cash on your energy costs by updating to a more recent HVAC.

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Business

Everything to know about Semi Automatic Case Erector

The design for a Semi Automatic Case Erector is such that they take less time and effort compared to the manual case erector at a low capital cost. They mainly fold the lower flaps and steadily hold the open case. This allows the packing to take place by using both hands. This leads to an increase in the productivity of these erectors and a reduction in cost. These case erectors can either be used on their own, or they can be coupled for the creation of a case sealer.

Critical Factors of a Semi-Automatic Case Erector

  • Compact Footprint- Because there is the presence of a compact footprint, these machines can fit into areas with restricted floor space and areas that are not suitable when it comes to the installation of pieces of machinery that is large.
  • Easy to operate- The design of this machine is such that they have clear access and simple control, and they are also quick to adjust and alter the size. The interface of these machines is also user-friendly, and they also allow quick size change, cleaning, and maintenance so that there is minimal downtime.
  • High-Quality Construction- Since high-quality components are used in these devices, and there is a presence of these components in robust chassis, it ensures minimal servicing. These case erectors also enable a round-the-clock operation. The system in place is such that it is suitable for the rigors of a typical packaging environment.
  • Cost Effective- The Semi-Automatic case erector machine series is intended to provide the user with the most excellent possible value for their investment using maximizing production while minimizing downtime. Endoline machines are designed for continuous operation and need minimum maintenance, giving in a cheap cost of ownership.

Other related features

Semi-automatic machines may also be placed in a way that it is in an inclined position, which is suitable for unstable items like bags or bottles. This enables the use of ergonomic packaging for different product categories. In addition, the equipment has a horizontal belt drive portion to make feeding the case into the case sealer easier. The case former also does not have a requirement of setup as well as changeover, and it also provides total versatility. When paired with a random case sealer, the former provides for a semi-automatic random case erecting and sealing option.

A semi-automatic machine is preferable if an operator is still required for end-of-line packing; these machines are often smaller and less expensive. It has the property of a powerful machine that can handle a high volume, and with the control element, it also requires manual assistance.

Conclusion

Many different case erectors are available to help with a business operation. They come with their own set of benefits and features. When it comes to a case erector, a semi-automatic machine is not only cost-effective but also provides a plethora of impressive features for long-term cost saving and consistency. Hopefully this post would help understand Semi-automatic machines erectors better.

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Business

Top 5 Factors To Consider When Choosing An Office Space

There are several factors to consider when choosing a space for your business. These factors include location, cost, design, and ambiance. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the top considerations. Hopefully, these tips will help you find the right office space for your business.

Cost

There are several factors that should be considered before choosing an office space for your business. The office should suit your needs and be flexible enough to accommodate your staff. This is especially important if you are a medical practice, law firm, or private practice. In addition, you should choose an office with sufficient parking. This way, you can accommodate employees and customers easily. You should also think about the visibility of the office space, as it plays an important role in attracting customers and building a company’s brand. Hence, it is important to choose a building that is in a prominent location.

Besides, the price of an office space in Washington DC should be considered in accordance with the business’s needs. You must note down what kind of technology, infrastructure, and other amenities your business needs. A detailed business plan will help you negotiate with landlords. Moreover, leasing allows you to try out various options without any big upfront expenses. This way, you can experiment more and do not feel pressured to pay for your investment at once.

Design

When choosing an office space, you must make sure that the design matches the purpose of your business. You should also consider the location, the facilities provided and the size of your company. Office spaces should be designed for maximum productivity and comfort. It should also be able to accommodate future growth. Design considerations include layout, natural and artificial lighting, air quality and ventilation, and proximity to nature. In addition to aesthetics, you should also consider the durability of the space.

The design of the space should promote employee satisfaction, engagement, and retention. Besides aesthetics, the right design can also save you money. For instance, an efficient layout can reduce employee travel time and heating costs.

Ambience

Ambience is a crucial factor in choosing an office space. The environment you choose can have a significant impact on your productivity and mood. Gen Z workers may prefer an open floor plan, while Boomers may prefer a more secluded office. Keeping in mind your employees’ needs, you should choose an office that reflects your company’s overall image. It’s possible to incorporate a mix of design trends to create the perfect space.

Besides aesthetics, there are other important factors to consider. The location of your office should be easily accessible and in a good neighborhood. Choosing an office in a remote, dangerous neighborhood may not be your best option. Also, consider whether your employees will need to travel a lot. If you’ll be using your office space often, choosing a building in a bustling urban center may be more convenient than choosing an office in a quiet residential area.

Accessibility

When choosing an office space, accessibility should be a top priority. Not only should your office be easy for you to access, but you should also consider the needs of your employees, customers, and suppliers. You should make sure your space is accessible to people with various types of disabilities. Below are some tips for making sure your space is accessible to all.

First of all, you should avoid a place that does not allow disabled people to work. While not all of us will be affected by a disability on a permanent basis, almost everyone may need some accommodation. Things such as door knobs and bathroom fixtures can be very difficult to operate for someone with a disability. Others may have injuries and need crutches. Either way, accessible office spaces benefit everyone.

Internet access

Internet connectivity is crucial to the functioning of a business. For this reason, internet access is a top consideration when choosing an ideal office space. Some office spaces offer this service as part of the rent. In addition, a high-speed internet connection is essential to maximize productivity.

A good Internet connection is a top priority for most businesses. Without it, the productivity of your team will suffer. This is especially important if you rely on the Internet for your work. According to a WiredScore survey, 78% of business owners and office workers said that reliable internet access is a critical factor.

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Business

The importance of customer centricity in healthcare

As patients become increasingly involved with their healthcare decisions, they expect better communication with their providers and more personalized care. The relationship between healthcare organizations and patients is evolving, and to accommodate the changing expectations of patients, it has become important for healthcare organizations to adopt customer-centric policies. This helps them focus on patient education and engagement, improving clinical outcomes and patient journeys.

Understanding customer centricity 

Customer centricity is already quite well understood and established in industries such as retail and hospitality. In healthcare, however, it is still a relatively new concept. With patients expecting a personalized and open healthcare system where they can be involved in decision-making, many healthcare organizations are adopting customer-centric approaches that focus on what the patients want and need.

In healthcare, customer centricity means that hospitals consider healthcare as a service and patients as their customers. A central feature of this approach is educating staff about patient expectations and engaging with them positively and directly. This helps deliver services that truly meet the needs of the customers.

One approach used by many healthcare organizations is administering surveys designed to assess a patient’s experience during their hospital journey. The data collected by these surveys can be used in a variety of ways, such as identifying areas where the services need to be effectively tailored to suit the patient’s needs. In addition to providing greater value to patients, customer centricity also improves clinical outcomes, hospital services, and employee satisfaction levels.

Focusing on the patient experience works along the same lines as many value-based healthcare ideals where strategies are designed to reduce healthcare costs while improving patient satisfaction and health. Although an increasing number of hospitals are adopting a customer-first approach, implementing this practice requires a lot of flexibility and changes. This may require adopting new patient outreach methods, new solutions, modified procedures, and staff training.

It is often challenging to transition to customer-centric policies considering the number of procedural and operational changes that are required. Staff members play a crucial role in this transition as they are central to any hospital organization. Nurse practitioners who are trained to understand the importance of customer centricity and how it applies to healthcare play a vital role in this transition. Programs such as the AGACNP programs available online from Rockhurst University are specifically designed to provide this training.

It is also important for healthcare organizations to have a clear understanding of patient expectations and the elements involved in creating true customer-centric service.

Digital communication and tools 

Patients today often prefer to interact with healthcare organizations through digital channels. Digital communication tools provide customers with control and flexibility so they can interact in a way that is suitable for them. Most brands allow customers to access information digitally and chat instantly with bots, but this is not usually the case when it comes to healthcare. Instead, most patients are still required to call their healthcare providers and must stay on hold for an extended period to get answers to their questions.

Providing customers with the communication channels and tools they need is an important part of customer centricity. Communications should be accessible, transparent, and customized to provide value. Technology and people can work together to create a robust and cohesive communication platform that meets the needs of customers.

Proactive personalized care

Modern patients do not want to be treated like everyone else. Every patient has unique healthcare needs, and they expect to receive personalized communication and care. Healthcare can be quite complicated, and patients want someone who can help them navigate it with ease. They seek professionals who will help them get the right treatment.

Personalized care entails much more than just referring to the patient by their name. Today, it involves using data to truly understand the needs of the customer and meet their needs proactively. Healthcare companies today are using data to proactively reach out to patients and ensure they are getting the care they need. This also enables healthcare professionals to treat conditions before they worsen and prevent conditions in the first place.

Why customer centricity is important in healthcare

Many healthcare organizations hold the belief that their priority should be treating the sick, preventing illness, and saving lives. While this remains true, it is also important to understand that healthcare organizations are running a business. Although their priority should always be care provision, there are many other factors they need to consider. Here is a look at some of the important ways in which customer centricity helps an organization.

  1. Cost efficiency

Healthcare costs are a major challenge, and regulations are often centralized to stay cost-efficient. This can negatively impact personalized treatment and the quality of service. Customer centricity in healthcare can be used to reduce the burden on overstretched budgets. When patients are given agency, the responsibility of service providers is reduced, which boosts staff morale. When patients are allowed to be active in their own care, they are engaged and motivated. Patients will often then take responsibility for staying on track with lifestyle changes and medications, providing substantial financial savings in the future.

  1. Improved quality of care

When consumers are treated as partners instead of just patients, it empowers them. This enhances their quality of life and self-esteem. In addition to being cost-effective, this provides the additional benefits of holistic care. Customer-centric care allows patients to play an active role in decision-making. Putting patients at the center means understanding and prioritizing their needs, and this allows healthcare organizations to shine where it truly counts.

  1. Better patient engagement

For hospitals to be efficient and effective, it is important for staff to connect with patients to better understand their expectations and needs. Improved patient engagement allows healthcare professionals to meet these expectations. Patients who are engaged are more willing to stay committed to their own care and follow treatment guidelines.

  1. Effective communications 

The customer-centric approach focuses on effective communication. Patients today expect to stay updated on relevant information about their own care and procedures. They want to receive clear and effective communication from their healthcare team.

With smartphones and the internet, it is easier than ever to enhance communication with patients. Providing them with relevant information through the communication channels they prefer also helps hospitals save a lot of time and avoid frustrations. An automated communication system or virtual assistant will also free up a lot of time for nurses so they can focus on important hospital tasks.

Understanding healthcare customers 

To meet and exceed customer expectations, it is important to first understand who the customer is. In the healthcare industry, customer profiles can be incredibly diverse compared to other industries. Creating targeted, customized solutions for a variety of customer profiles can be daunting but equally rewarding.

Healthcare services operate on a large scale, so there might be a limit to how many services can be personalized. Mass personalization, however, is still a viable goal. First, study the customer base and set categories based on their needs. Staff members such as receptionists, nurses, and doctors will then play an important role in customization. Customer empowerment is an important piece of customer centricity, so it can be helpful to understand healthcare customers of different profiles so their care can be designed accordingly.

Here is an example of some categories that might be used:

  • Patients who are healthy, active, and invested in their care. These types of patients understand how important it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and may be more invested in preventive healthcare. They might keep track of their fitness and diet and may also be following health guidelines regularly. They want to take control and play an active role in their health.
  • Patients who are currently healthy but not invested in their care. These patients may not have any current health concerns, but they may be too confident in their health status. They might believe that they don’t need to actively do anything to ensure their well-being in the future. They might not get health screenings on a regular basis and may be resistant to preventive care.
  • Patients who are currently not healthy and not invested in their care. These patients are considered to be at risk. They are currently ill but are unwilling or unable to be engaged with their healthcare plan. They might have chronic illnesses and may be dealing with high treatment costs. This may further discourage them, making them delay seeking help.
  • Patients who are ill but invested in their care. These patients may have poor health, but they take this opportunity to become more involved in taking care of their health and establishing healthy practices. Some of these patients may have had a health scare, making them change the course of their lifestyle. They may be willing and highly motivated to change their lifestyle so they can get healthy and improve the quality of their life. This helps them as well as their healthcare team.

Customizing efforts for different patient profiles 

When trying to design customer-centric policies and procedures for an organization, it is crucial to understand that all patients are unique. One-size-fits-all solutions may not work for all patients. Depending on the type of patients you are targeting, the way in which you approach this transformation will change.

Organizations should take the time to first understand their current customer base. They should also know the profile of the potential customers they might want to target in the future. Knowing who you need to reach will allow you to tailor your outreach and marketing efforts and create effective partnerships.

The customer profiles discussed above provide a good starting point for research into customer profiles. Once the population has been defined, it is also important to consider the best ways to reach them. This will help define how they can be drawn into the organization’s network. Although this process may seem very time-consuming and challenging, it is an important foundation on which all future decisions and policies will be based.

The marketing departments of most hospitals today focus on advertising. Consumer research is often neglected, even though the findings of such research can be important in creating a successful operating strategy. Research can also help tailor advertising communication and messages that will resonate better with target customers.

Hospitals often miss the opportunity to connect their strategy to their values and mission. Customers are what keep healthcare organizations in the business, yet hospitals often lack consumer-focused core values. Without having a set of values to depend on, marketing efforts are often misguided and ineffective. This equation has to change to customize efforts for different patient profiles.

How to implement customer centricity

The advantages of customer centricity are clear, but many healthcare organizations may not be set up to accommodate these changes. Involving patients in their healthcare decisions takes a lot of time, effort, and resources. Many practitioners may not even feel that these efforts provide much value in the long run.

Healthcare administrators and professionals first need to take the time to assess their organizational capacity. This will help them determine ways in which they can support customer-centered efforts in the future. To effectively accomplish this, organizations need a deep understanding of their own capacity as well as their practitioners. They need to clearly understand how involving patients can support broader public and organizational missions.

The healthcare industry is lagging when it comes to engaging customers. Many are dealing with organizational challenges that they may try to rectify by strengthening management capacity, but this can be counterintuitive. A better way to deal with these challenges is by delegating more responsibility and authority to the front-line staff members and patients who are most affected by such decisions. This means that customers and providers can work together to identify and achieve health goals. Both sides are invested and can share the responsibility of the process, as well as the results.

Focus on the big picture

While identifying target audiences, understanding their profiles, and finding ways to effectively reach them are important, it is also helpful to focus on the big picture. When it comes to implementing customer-centric policies, this translates to thinking about staffing capacity and service lines to meet existing needs.

Many hospitals are driven by the product and not the market. They focus on individual specialties such as oncology and base their approach on what the hospital offers, then seek customers who require those services. Instead, the reference point should be reframed by first conducting a survey of what needs currently exist. Knowing which needs you can fill and how you can do it effectively is a better way to ensure long-term success.

Healthcare organizations not only need to know their current consumers but also potential consumers they can serve in the future. Customer-centric research and evaluation can help organizations uncover potential areas they can serve. This information can be used to evaluate which markets to serve in the future and which ones you would like to avoid. Developing policies and procedures in this manner is a future-proof way to ensure organizations remain profitable, relevant, and better equipped to serve the changing needs of patients.

Developing a healthcare service plan that focuses on patients

The first step of the process is having a clear idea of what healthcare customers look like and identifying their needs. The second part of the process is knowing what potential customer profiles your organization would like to serve. Then, it is time to consider a few important questions that will help you develop a service plan to effectively target your identified segments. Here are a few useful questions to ask before you develop a customer-centric service plan:

  • What are the experiences of each patient profile at different stages of their medical journey? How do these experiences affect their well-being?
  • What are the specific needs of different patient types? What motivates them, and what pushes them away from seeking help?
  • Do you currently meet the expectations of your patients? Do they rate their experience positively?
  • Have you recognized any areas of discord or conflict?
  • Do you currently collect any feedback from patients? How is the feedback collected, and are there any procedures in place to respond to feedback?

These questions will provide you with a starting point in prioritizing customer centricity and understanding how healthcare providers are currently operating. This, in turn, will lead to better results for medical professionals and patients.

Summary

Like any other industry, customer centricity in healthcare means putting people first. It puts patients at the forefront and profits second. Inviting customers to voice their opinions and taking action based on their feedback can be challenging, but it is a revolutionary approach for improving the effectiveness of healthcare organizations.

Trying a different method may not be easy at first, but it can be extremely rewarding in the long term. Organizations do not have any other choice but to evaluate their current values and status to start their journey toward becoming client-centered.

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