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Featured IoT (Internet of Things) News

Impact Of Technology Advancements On Transportation Management

The past 20 months featured unexpected realities. You’ll agree with me that technological advancement has impacted every aspect of our living system. Even if we are reluctant to embrace some of these new innovations, the social challenges have forced us to see the need to quickly adapt and implement new technology for a better lifestyle. 

These emerging technologies are changing the way we work and interact with others. These technologies are revolutionizing the way we do business and making high-tech approaches an essential part of our lives and also reshaping the career space. 

The effect has impacted several organizations and industries like the health sectors, transportation, and more, to unlock new business opportunities and to provide solutions to a better way to fast delivery.

In fact, recent research by Gartner shows that by 2023, 50% of global product-centric enterprises will have invested in real-time transportation visibility platforms. 

However, as the new innovation becomes the priority of every organization, consumers become more demanding, the transport industry needs to ensure that users’ requirements are met through the deployment of transport management software technologies. To create improved safety, better performance, and superior communication and service to customers.

Advancement of Technology on Transportation Management Software

Impact of technology advancements on transportation management software
The Era of Transportation Management Software: The transport industry needs to ensure that users’ requirements are met through the deployment of transportation management software solutions which makes it easier for effective execution.

Below, therefore, are the impacts of technology advancement on transportation management.

1. Improved transparency and data automation

As the global population will increase from 7.4 billion to 9.7 billion by 2050, the volume of goods shipped will be more than double by 2050, driven by urbanization, increases in disposable income and internet penetration, and ease of access to new technologies. 

Document and paper-based shipments are expected to decrease significantly as digital document management evolves. There are innovative ways in which firms can combine transportation and distribution systems to increase their transparency and data automation in the globally competitive environment.

  • Use multiple data sources to monitor system congestion, also to support travel time estimation
  • Consolidate efforts to develop data management tools across agencies
  • Frequently process and distribute measures of effectiveness (MOE’s), Including to operators, to improve operational effectiveness.
  • Utilize features in the software to track and report performance which can also utilize onboard device data from agency vehicles to monitor pavement condition

However, transparency in data collection and analysis will lead to improved operation, enhance customer service and promote work efficiency in transport management.

2. Innovated mobile communications and wireless network

Advances in wireless technology provide options when it comes to modernizing their field equipment and increasing data coverage.

The rapid development of GPS technology could offer the opportunity to freight operators as well as cross-boundary public transport operators to consider establishing a fleet management system. The launching of such a system would enable more journeys to be made and reduce operating costs due to much better planning and schedule.

Moreso, it will be easier to utilize commercial mobile devices and apps to support collaboration between freeway service patrol and other emergency responders. TMC operations staff and field maintenance staff will be easily connected to improve communication and enhanced field collaboration. 

3. Truck platooning

Truck platooning is the linking of two or more trucks in a convoy, using connectivity technology and automated driving support systems. These vehicles automatically maintain a set, close distance between each other when they are connected for certain parts of a journey, for instance on motorways. 

The truck at the head of the platoon acts as the leader, with the vehicles behind reacting and adapting to changes in its movement – requiring little to no action from drivers. In the first instance, drivers will remain in control at all times, so they can also decide to leave the platoon and drive independently.

Truck platooning holds great potential to make road transport safer, cleaner, and more efficient in the future. The platoon technology allows digitally connected packs of two to five vehicles which make the road safer for drivers, truckers, and vehicle transport services to reduce unexpected accidents and loss of customer’s goods.

“Platooning optimizes transport by using roads more effectively, delivering goods faster, and reducing traffic jams, says Nicholas, founder of Car Shipping Carriers; one of the cheapest car shipping companies in the United States. The driving range of trucks can also be extended in certain situations. It allows drivers to undertake other tasks, such as administrative work or making calls. The impact of technology on the transport system should never be underestimated.

4. Implementation of transportation management software

The use of transportation management software cannot be overlooked as they help companies from wasting a significant amount of time. The technology behind this system increases the performance of necessary tasks and allows the company to concentrate on other aspects of the business, giving them access to do more without driving up cost.  

The development of TMS would optimize usage of transport systems and networks by various means like traffic monitoring and regulating, information provision and safety enhancement, travel time information coming from toll tag readers, Bluetooth sensors, and/or third-party providers.

Companies that implement a cloud-based TMS have increased visibility throughout their supply chain, opportunities for communication and collaboration with carriers and customers, and significant time and money savings.

Conclusion

There are innovative ways in which firms are combining transportation and distribution systems to increase their efficiencies in the globally competitive environment. However, the new technological advancement will bring about a positive change in the way we live.

If the trend of technology innovation in transport sectors continues, there’s no doubt we are speeding into a future of smarter and safer travel for all. 

The transport industry needs to ensure that users’ requirements are met through the deployment of transport management software technology.

Categories
Blockchain Technology Featured News

Why the Auto Transport Industry is so Excited About Blockchain

Blockchain
Image by mmi9 from Pixabay.

In 2019, four major vehicle logistics companies came together to form a blockchain consortium backed by IBM and named Vinturas. But this tweet is not about the companies or the consortium they formed; it explores what, in the first place, would pique the interest of vehicle transport companies in blockchain technology. 

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is an open-source decentralized public ledger of transactions from start to finish. Anyone can contribute to it by adding new blocks to it; this decentralization ensures that no single entity controls the system and that changes can be reviewed and approved by consensus before they are included in the final block. 

The key benefits of using blockchain technology include increased security, transparency, and record-keeping efficiency.

Blockchain in Logistics

Blockchain technologies have the potential to disrupt multiple industries. From the supply chain to finance, blockchains can dramatically increase the speed at which information is verified and transferred from one place to another. 

Primarily, the integration of blockchain into the operations of the consortium was to boost supply chain efficiency. 

In the logistics industry, blockchain has the potential to lower transaction costs while increasing transparency and lowering transaction costs for shipments between different countries.

As the world is moving towards decentralisation, blockchains are presented as an alternative to current structures which still have a lot of traction.

Tracking and Accountability

Blockchain offers companies a safer way to track and manage intellectual property, increase transparency and improve accountability. The technology behind blockchain provides an alternative set of incentives to traditional business models, which may encourage more innovation and reduce costs. 

By digitalising logistics processes, carriers can boost supply chain visibility and provide a more reliable service to their customers. What does this mean for the transport logistics industry as a whole?

With blockchain, it is possible to run entire auto transport logistics without having to rely on physical or even digital documents; instead, data is shared through unique digital signatures based on blockchain technology. This also boosts accountability on the part of carriers. 

Openness

Blockchain-based truck tracking enhances not just the visibility of the chain, but also the reliability of the transactions between carriers and brokers and their customers. Such an arrangement particularly allows customers to monitor their vehicles in real-time during transit. 

Therefore, being an open system, it helps to protect the interests of customers and reduce fraud in the auto transport sector. 

Shipping a car requires signing various contracts and agreements to ensure the absolute protection of the vehicle as well as clarify to whom belongs liability in the case of damage. With blockchain, this process can be more seamless since both parties would be able to share data and information easily. This includes information from comprehensive vehicle assessments before pickup and during delivery. 

Trust

Blockchain has widespread appeal because it creates trust in a distributed network. It has the potential to disrupt existing industries by enabling members to execute transactions in a manner that is both secure and transparent.

Thus, another factor that blockchain introduces into the car shipping process is trustworthiness. Vehicles are an expensive investment and no car owner wants to entertain the possibility of their vehicle going missing in transit because they handed it over to frauds. 

Vehicle transport companies also, on the other hand, want their customers to be at peace and trust them with their valuable vehicles. Blockchain could serve as a meeting point of trust between both parties. Transactions carried out over the blockchain are secure and authentic forever. 

Coordination

Blockchain technology would also help brokers to coordinate their operations. Brokers function as liaises between customers and carriers and thus play a significant role in auto transport operations. However, this role can come with a lot of bulk work trying to connect customers to carriers and vice versa. By maintaining documents on the blockchain, brokers can manage and share data better across their clientele. 

We will, first, consider the impacts that blockchain technology has been making in the logistics industry as a whole before focusing on car shipping specifically. 

The whole process can be resolved quickly by signing smart contracts backed by blockchain technology. By drastically reducing processing times, all that’s required is for the customer to submit their vehicle for pick up/drop off and then ease their mind until delivery is made. 

Conclusion

Many people think of blockchain as cryptocurrency and bitcoin but that’s only a small bit to the comprehensive dimensions of the technology. 

So, blockchain in the auto transport industry does not necessarily mean companies would start accepting payment in bitcoin (that’s for the larger society to decide). Rather, it explores the various ways that introducing blockchain into the car shipping process optimizes operations and enhances the quality of the transactions between carriers, customers, and brokers. 

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Business Designs & Invention Featured Green Energy

Understanding Your Options During Product Development

Product development is a complex and risky endeavor. Yet you must come up with new and better products in order to remain in business because you’re in an ongoing race with everyone else on the market and newcomers you may not know are about to revolutionize the industry. Let’s learn more about your options regarding product development.

Product Development Basics: Getting to know your options

Understanding Product Development
For a company to stay ahead of emerging technological disruptions, there’s a need for an effective product development unit and there are certain steps to follow in putting this in place.

In-House Design and Production

This is the traditional method of product development. This is understandable given that you have complete control over the intellectual property, the schedule, and the budget. The problem is that few companies are skilled in the development side of research and development. They’re often limited to the manufacturing methods they have in-house to come up with a way to make their new product, though more efficient or advanced manufacturing methods may exist. A classic case would be designing a frame that is machined in your machine shop when 3D printing would be cheaper and faster. You’re also absorbing the cost of development and initial production runs, when the process may be faster and cheaper if you outsourced it to someone else.

In-House Design and Contracted Manufacturing

A growing number of companies are becoming intellectual property firms instead of manufacturers. They’ll design the electronics that form the core of their new line of electronics and hire a contract manufacturer to build it in volume. They may design and build the prototypes themselves, or they may outsource the prototyping to a third organization. Prototyping houses offer lower costs than dedicating your engineering team to coming up with circuit boards and protective housing for a new speaker.

In-House Initial Design with Contracted Partners

In this business model, your team is coming up with rough ideas for a product. Then you hire experts that can create a variety of prototypes. Each prototype can be tested for compliance with various industry standards, and you can have investors and consumer panels review it, as well. Select a prototype based on form, function, performance and estimated production cost. You could then move from prototype to end product by either hiring the prototyping firm to create the first few hundred units for sale or getting design information from them to be followed by contract manufacturers. Conversely, you could also use that same information yourself to build the final prototype in-house, assuming you have the parts and the capability.

Note that contracted partners could make any or all of the components in your new product. For example, you could have them assemble the complex printed circuit board to which you attach off-the-shelf and internally made components. This can often save you a lot of money because they’re able to offer PCBs at economies of scale well beyond what you’d make in house. They may make millions of PCBs a year whereas you only need 50,000.

Tips for Finding the Right Contract Manufacturer

What factors should you use to select a contract manufacturer? The first would be the location. If they’re located too far from your firm, it may take weeks to send a prototype to you to test and approve. And the prototyping and early production stage are when time is of the essence. The second is the capability. Do they have experience making the type of components you want to be produced? You don’t ask a machine shop to make PCBs. And you shouldn’t ask someone who typically makes small, thin PCBs to create a thick, complex board. It is outside their expertise and will come at a higher cost than a company that makes those items regularly will charge. A third factor would be engineering experience and resources. Can you just give them a drawing with the dimensions of the PCB and a rough outline of the design and they come up with a working prototype? Can they give you a polished set of work instructions and affordable parts list? However, you don’t want to work with a firm that tells you they’re the only source of your critical parts.

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Blockchain Technology Business Featured Infographic

The Evolution of Mobile Data Collection Solutions on Business Growth [Infographic]

Discover how your organization can use mobile technology to boost the effectiveness of your data collection methods in 2020.

As we enter a new year and a new decade, now is the ideal time to upgrade your organization’s data collection methods. Due to the evolution of mobile data collection technologies, there has never been a better range of solutions to choose from.

Evolution of Mobile Data Collection -Infographic
This post detailed how to use mobile tech data collection solutions to solve and boost the effectiveness of your organization’s data collection methods.

Switching from the Old to the New

Traditional data collection methods are still widely used. This method involves gathering information in person with a clipboard, pen, and paper and then manually entering data into a spreadsheet. The main drawbacks of the traditional method are that it tends to be quite time-consuming, resource-heavy and labor-intensive. As such, it’s not surprising that so many organizations are now making the switch to newer technologies such as mobile data gathering.

Mobile Data Collection Explained

It is a method of information gathering that involves the use of mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. It can be used to gather, compile and analyze both qualitative and quantitative data. As all the information is stored in a single centralized location, there is no need for post-information-gathering data entry. Another major advantage of mobile data collection tools is that they also often include extra functionalities that allow researchers to fulfill additional tasks such as asking research questions, testing hypotheses, evaluating results and much more.

Business Applications of Mobile Data Collection

Mobile data collection can be put to use across a diverse range of business activities. It can be a useful tool for many departments such as accounting or marketing. Some examples of business use cases include executing execute audits, scheduling jobs, market research, and lead capture.

Streamline Processes with Mobile Data Collection

By using mobile data collection solutions, organizations can streamline business processes. This boosts efficiency and can save a lot of time and resources. The automation of certain tasks not only ensures that the work is completed more quickly, but it also frees up employees to focus on more important jobs.

Improve the Accuracy of your Data

Mobile data collection software can help to significantly to improve the quality of data. Firstly, it does this by reducing the likelihood of error at the point of collection. What’s more, the real-time collection of data prevents memory bias. Another major advantage is that it can swiftly collect diversified information and produce data that is ready to share and analyze.

Find Out More

If you are keen to learn more about making the switch to mobile data collection solutions, then you should check out the infographic below. This insightful infographic features an easy-to-understand overview of mobile technology data collection and lays out some of the reasons why your organization should adopt this mobile tech in 2020. It also includes some sample use cases and offers advice on how to select the best data collection solution for your needs.

The Savvy Researcher’s Guide to Mobile Data Collection [Infographic]

The Evolution of Mobile Data Collection Solutions on Business Growth [Infographic]
The post elaborated on the beginning of this type of information gathering and roadmap to achieve the maximum result.
Scroll down to the below infographic to find out more today from ERS IT Solutions.

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Business Featured

How to side-step your career into the world of finance 

The world of finance is hugely appealing to many people, particularly when it comes to career progression. Accountants, financial managers, and other budget-based roles are certainly highly sought-after, not to mention well paid. Not everyone comes from a financial background, however. Many of us went off to college with different ambitions, and so it can feel challenging to think about making a complete career side-step.

In order to side-step your career in the world of finance, here’s how to go about it:

How to Side-Step Your Career into the World of Finance 

How to side-step your career into the world of finance 
To step up in the world of finance, we’ve outlined some of the tips you need to follow in order to side-step your career.

Chat with your boss

Before you start dreaming of ditching your current job for somewhere better and far, far away, be sure to check whether you have support from your own company. Ask to have a meeting with your line manager or a member of senior management to discuss how you want to progress within the company. If you work in a larger corporation, you might be surprised by their capacity to train you up in a new position. If they are prepared to do this, it shows their willingness and desire to keep hold of you as an employee. 

Consider part-time education

We can’t all afford to take time out for a three-year degree to completely re-train. If we have rent to pay, children to feed or other commitments, it’s not always practical to devote your full schedule to education. 

Choosing a part-time online degree might be far more practical. This way you can continue to either work your way up in the company you’re currently in or take up a part-time role somewhere else to improve your resume. You can easily study accounting from the comfort of your own home, from websites such as this one here

Experiment with trading simulators

You might be surprised by how many resources there are out there for you. Trading simulators, such as those by Investopedia, help you to build a would-be portfolio and gain a little experience. They also get you into the practice of checking the markets regularly. Crucially, they also allow you to generate a portfolio with a minimum amount of investment. 

Show and demonstrate an interest

Whether you’re side-stepping in your career within a company or you decide to hunt elsewhere for job positions, it’s good practice to display an ongoing interest in finance. This can be hard if you’ve never had a demonstrable career in this area. 

However, you can do this by starting a blog. Writing posts about current topics that interest you, or maybe even your investment ideas might be a great way of illustrating your active enthusiasm for this sector. 

Collect relevant experience

Becoming trained is half the battle when it comes to being an accountant or working in the world of finance. It’s useful to be able to demonstrate that you have the relevant skills, even if you’ve been working in a completely different industry. For example, a finance job such as accounting is actually completely deadline-driven. When you’re re-building your resume, try and think of examples of when you’ve had to stick to a tight and un-moving deadline.

It may also help you to start doing the odd job for small companies. Working in finance on a freelance basis (alongside your current job), may help you to start building that knowledge. For example, helping a small business with their accounts, or maybe even a few freelancers with their tax returns could be a generous way of showing your willingness to apply yourself. 

Find a mentor

Working in any industry is hard if you feel as if the path forward is relatively unknown. Therefore it could be helpful to you to chat with someone in that sector. If you’re looking to side-step within the company you currently work for, then chatting to a mentor could help you gain some knowledge about the position you want and what the expectations are for that role. Finding a mentor is also a great way of networking. When you do finally qualify, your mentor may be a helpful reference for you when you fill out those job applications. 

Closing remarks

Making a drastic shift in your career can feel incredibly intimidating. There will always be the worry about ‘making it’ or not being quite good enough. However, the best way to dodge these anxieties is to research the job role you’re after extensively beforehand. Be sure to investigate the job availability in your area, and what qualifications companies are currently looking for. Talking to a mentor within your workplace could help you to stay within the business you currently work in, as well as give you some real insight. 

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Business Discovery Education Featured Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Social Media

Top 10 Ways to Attract Millennials As Your Social Media Audience

Whether it’s a client requirement or your preferred demographic, connecting with a millennial-dominated audience on various social media platforms can be a tough challenge. Good thing, you can create a solid social media strategy that can make it easier for you to attract the millennial audience. Take a look at these slick tips that will help your social media engagement with millennials.

Table of Contents

Why choose millennials as your target audience?

Don’t know how to find your target audience? Here’s a quick breakdown of demographics that you need to know. There are four different generations of people currently using social media: Generation Z (ages 13 to 17), Millennials (ages 18 to 34), Generation X (ages 35 to 54), and Baby Boomers (ages 55 and up).

So why pay attention to millennials?

According to the New York Times, there are around 80 million millennials in the U.S., alone. That’s more than the combined total of Generation X’ers and Baby Boomers. These millennials have an expected disposable income of USD1.4-trillion by 2020. In addition, they tend to spend 5.4 hours a day on various social media platforms, making them a lucrative target for social media marketing strategies of businesses.

With huge profit and the following potential, it would be a shame if you can’t cash in from this generation. These tips and tricks will help you easily connect with millennials.

10. Avoid being annoying

There are plenty of ways to get the attention of a millennial. But brands need to be careful not to annoy them because they could unfollow you. According to a study by Sprout Social, millennials will most likely unfollow you after a bad experience or for being annoying.

So how can you avoid being annoying on social media? Adobe’s study found that 39 percent of U.S. consumers would be annoyed with your content if it was poorly written or too wordy. Keep your captions concise and direct to the point as much as possible without sacrificing creativity.

Millenials don't like to be annoyed for no reason
Avoid being annoying to millennials if your objectives are to capture their attention for the long term purpose.

9. Support a cause

Millennials have a soft spot for charitable or environmental causes, so much so that almost 50 percent of the U.S. millennial population will pay for a product or buy from a company that supports a cause. Meanwhile, 37 percent say that they will purchase a service or product, even if it costs more, just to support a cause they believe in.

With this, it could be a good time for your business to check out charitable institutions that you believe in. Have a chat with them and come up with a strategy that will not only benefit your own agenda but also support the needs and increase the awareness of the institution you’ve chosen.

Millennials have a soft spot for charitable or environmental causes
Millennials have soft-spot for humanitarian causes; charity, health and wellness services, and environmental volunteering. Your brand must not ignore this trendy opportunity to create an innovative corporate and community social responsibility campaigns targeted towards reaching out.

8. Give them a voice

One way to increase media engagement from millennials is to give them a voice. Post polls, surveys, or feedback forms. This will give them an avenue to air out things that they don’t like or want from your business or service. Entice them to participate by giving freebies or discounts for your products.

Millennials wants their voices to be heard clearly and loudly
Millennials want their voices to be heard clearly and loudly; give them a voice by running campaigns to get them involved in the decision and opinion gathering process.

7. Engage with them

Millennials don’t like to be ignored nor do they want to interact with a bot. This generation wants to talk to a real person or a brand with a great media presence. Make sure that their comments, messages, shares get some sort of engagement from your social media page.

Engaging them through comments (or by commenting on their shares) or replying to their messages will give your brand a genuine human touch. It will let your audience/customers know that someone is listening to them. Just make sure that you reply in a casual conversational tone and avoid shoving your product up their noses.

Engage with them
What could be more pleasing to a millennial than getting a blue-ticked response from the brand he/she is engaging with? Try as much as possible never to leave the conversation dull at any moment in time. Millennial needs proper engagement! In fact, consistent engagement leads to sales and brand loyalty.

6. Create easy-to-digest content

Millennials tend to spend their time on multiple social media platforms using multiple devices per day. Sadly, this gives them less time to read everything you give them. That’s why your content should be shorter, concise, and entertaining.

You can appeal to this social media target audience by using shorter sentences and paragraphs, bullet points, and header tags. You can also use more images to make it easier for millennials to get the gist of your content.

Create easy-to-digest content
Content is king! Yes, experts have said this time without number, but I want to reiterate that well-formatted and easy to digest content is the true king. To make Millenial very pleased with your brand, give them good user-experience!

5. Get creative with your images

Speaking of images, it remains the most popular type of content. In fact, 77 percent of millennials prefer to post photos over other forms of posts such as videos, quotes, opinions, and updates on social media. Among the social media demographics, millennials are tied with Gen Z’s when it comes to this preference; Gen X’ers come in at 72 percent, while Baby Boomers come in last at 52 percent.

Social media managers must team up with graphic designers and photographers to produce authentic images as effective content. You can also check out which dimensions you need to use and how much text you can put on your images on Facebook’s Ad Images; so it gets the maximum traction possible.

DSLR camera - Get creative with your images
Create visually appealing imagery that gets talked about again and again. Your social media audience is mostly the age group who are mostly moved by what they see. Don’t squander the chance before you; make it count with quality images.

4. Maximize user-generated content

Want millennials to trust your brand? User-generated content is one trick you can use to do just that. Enable reviews and ratings for your products and services on your social media pages. If you receive customer testimonials, post it on your social media accounts for all to see. This will help millennials develop brand loyalty and trust in your business.

Maximize user-generated content such as feedback and complaints
Create a feedback loop for gathering customer feedback, comments and testimonials about your services and don’t take them for granted. They love it!

3. Use high-quality videos

Did you know that 53 percent of customers engage with a brand’s social media after watching a video? The percentage of this social media audience analysis increases when it comes to millennials at 66 percent. If the numbers are to be believed, then it is imperative for digital marketers to include videos in their marketing strategy.

Sadly, hiring professional video teams can be costly. Good thing, mobile phones– especially the high-end models–can produce high-quality video. All you need is a good editing app such as Kinemaster or FilmoraGo, to get your creative juices to flow.

Use high-quality videos recorder via a good broadcasting camcorder
Use high-quality videos recorder with a good broadcasting facility for your coverage. The quality of your video content goes a long way in creating a long-time effect on your brand identity.

2. Offer them a deal they can’t refuse

As mentioned, millennials have the biggest buying power at around USD1-trillion worldwide, across the different types of generations. They also take up 50 percent of the world’s workforce. One way for businesses to get millennials to notice their brand is to hand out promos, discounts, and/or freebies, especially for first-time customers.

Discounts don’t need to be massive. They can be worth a few dollars.  Or, you can give away an e-book. This is a great way to build customer loyalty.

Offer them a deal they can’t refuse
Go out of your way to do the unthinkable! Offer your followers what they can’t afford to miss. Give them an irresistible offer that will create a lasting effect on their emotions.

1. Optimize your content for mobile platform

According to the Pew Research Center, 92 percent of millennials have a smartphone. Moreover, they spend at least 5.7 hours per day on their gadgets on social media, making up the bulk of their screen time. While social media platforms, per se, are optimized for mobile platforms, you could be missing out because of your content.

Optimize your content for mobile platforms. Look at the major social media platforms. They have guidelines for marketers and other creatives to follow; so that whatever content they produce will fit any mobile platform well.

Optimize your content for mobile platform
Design your content marketing strategy with mobile responsiveness in mind. You are doing yourself a disservice if a mobile-first strategy isn’t part of your strategies for attracting the millennials.

It shouldn’t be hard to attract millennials as your social media audience. In case you’re struggling to get it right, may these tips help you create a solid social media strategy for them.

There are many more interesting ways to keep millennials glued to your content, but these are the top attraction marketing strategies for young generations.

Categories
Business Disruption Featured Programming Real Estate

7 Ways Technology is Revolutionizing Civil Engineering as We Know it

There are few fields that are as dynamic as civil engineering. Not only that, but the changes that affect the industry are affecting the way we live our everyday lives directly. New materials, techniques, and approaches are being introduced, and the job of civil engineers is constantly evolving as well. Here are some of the ways new technologies are completely transforming civil engineering as we know it.

Table of Contents

  1. Automation
  2. Augmented and Virtual Reality
  3. Online Learning
  4. Sustainable Building
  5. Drone Technology
  6. 3D Printing
  7. Advanced Building Materials

7 Innovative Ways Technology Is Revolutionizing Civil Engineering

Civil Engineers of today now depend solely on technological innovations to deliver cutting edge solution for our world. Here are seven ways we think tech is disrupting the civil engineering industry greatly.
Civil engineers of today now depend solely on technological innovations to deliver cutting edge solution for our world. Here are seven ways we think tech is disrupting the civil engineering industry greatly.

Automation and 3D Imaging

One of the technologies that are set to profoundly transform civil engineering and the work of engineers is the arrival of robotics. We could see a world where major civil contracts will be done almost automatically using nothing but robotics.

Robots have already revolutionized the world of construction, and are used to perform demolition in tight spaces and in conditions that could be very dangerous for humans. Curb and gutter machines can also perform automated tasks at a speed and regularity that surpasses any human worker, which makes them both safer and more efficient.

Civil engineering truck loading sand from the construction site. 7 Innovative Ways Technology Is Revolutionizing Civil Engineering
A manned civil engineering truck loading sand from the construction site. This same task could be executed by robotics without the need for human input – thanks to robotic technology.

Online Learning

Another thing that is set to transform the field of civil engineering is the advent of online civil engineering degree programs and continuing education. Students can now get their Master of Science in Civil Engineering degree completely online in as little as five semesters. Also, they can continue their education easily through MOOCs and other resources, which might be used for recertification in the future. Online learning allows civil engineering to integrate new concepts and methods fast, and will become more encouraged by employers in the years to come.

eLearning is just getting started
eLearning (or simply put, online education or online learning) is the form of education that takes place over the Internet. It could be likened to a distance learning where the learner is at liberty to learn comfortably. It is just getting started.

Augmented and Virtual Reality

One of the most exciting innovations in the world of civil engineering and construction is the use of augmented and virtual reality. While Google may have struck out with its Google glass, Microsoft already announced their plans to release their own HoloLens project which was aimed specifically at businesses. And while Google has always been questionable about their hardware, we can’t expect the same from a seasoned veteran like Microsoft, and their HoloLens could succeed in every area Google lens couldn’t. Augmented reality could be used to identify safety warnings on the spot, give out productivity and efficiency statistics, and design specifications.

Virtual reality is also getting into the mainstream, and the applications in civil engineering are endless. Not only will engineers be able to see the real-life applications of their designs, but stakeholders will also be able to be guided through projects in their finished form.

Virtual Reality and AR (Augmented Reality)
With the current pace at which augmented, reality and virtual reality is massively improving, a glimpse of the future could be seen from today’s glance. Civil engineers of the future could leverage this technology to some length.

Sustainable Building

Sustainable building technology will continue to dictate building decisions for years to come. The public is growing increasingly wary about climate and environmental issues, and the civil engineers will have to find a way to build more sustainable structures and use more sustainable sources for energy and material. Not only that, but energy efficiency is also a pressing issue right now and will have to be embedded in every major project from now on.

It will become so easy to construct sustainable buildings with the advancement in technologies powering civil engineering industry. There are state of art tools that helps in building a very solid foundation for buildings which further helps in the establishment of structures on it.
It will become so easy to construct sustainable buildings with the advancement in technologies powering the civil engineering industry. In today’s construction landscape, there are state of the art technologies that will in many ways helps in building a very solid foundation for buildings which would further help in the establishment of structures on it.

Drone Technology

The power and effect of drones on civil engineering and construction cannot be denied either. Drones, in general, are a hot commodity and are estimated to reach over $12B in sales by the year 2021. Drones are more powerful and reliable than ever, which has made them more popular for commercial use. They are now used for surveying, design, and developing projects.

Drones are also being used to carry out safety inspections and things like process reporting as well. They make the job of project managers easier and allow them to pay attention to more pressing issues instead of micromanaging every action. Drones have the capacity to report on massively large areas with much less effort. Not only that, but it also makes the job easier on surveyors who no longer need to risk their lives on dangerous jobs.

Drones Technology: Here are top 2014 Drone stories to watch out for.
Drones technology is one of the most disruptive of all available technologies for civil engineers. This powerful device breaks down the workload; you can use it to track or monitor site operators and at the same time keep the environment secured. It could as well be used as a mini-transport system from one point to the other.

Advanced Building Materials

The evolution of building materials over the last few years has been nothing short of amazing as well. We’re now seeing materials that can actually adapt to atmospheric conditions. These 4D materials can actually change their structure depending on the temperature and various other factors to improve their solidity and longevity.

Carbon nanotubes are also very promising and could also be a plausible solution to carbon emissions. Technology has already been introduced that would allow us to collect excess carbon dioxide from the air and turn it into nanotubes, which can be used in everything from boosting the efficiency of solar panels to filtrating water.

A lot of the innovation in building materials aims at mitigating the effects of climate change and pollution. For instance, buildings right now around the world are being coated with materials that can absorb an excessive amount of carbon monoxide being released by vehicles.

We’re also seeing all sorts of cement composites and even self-healing concrete hitting the market. Innovation is also pushing for new smart materials to be developed. For instance, one British company found a way to transform the movement of passersby on a major artery into kinetic energy that could be stored and used. New materials are needed to help trap and convert that energy.

Advanced Building Materials
Advancement in technology has had a great impact on building material manufacturing. In this time of different climate challenges, constructing structures with nature in view could be seen as a wise decision. Civil engineers are not relenting on this, so they are learning new ways to build to last irrespective of climate change.

3D Printing

3D printing is another technology hitting the mainstream and one that could completely change the way we do civil engineering. 3D engineering can now be used to produce models on the spot, or even usable parts. And it’s already being used on large scale projects like bridges and full-sized homes. 3D printing is being used in practically every field right now, from the automotive industry, all the way down to aeronautics and healthcare. Scientists are even talking about using 3D printing machines for the colonization of Mars. While this is still far from a reality, we can already get an idea of how powerful 3D printing could be for the world of engineering as a whole.

3D printing innovation
According to experts, 3D printing is like a bomb waiting to explode, but still has a long way to go to become mainstream print media solution!

Conclusion on how technology is disrupting civil engineering industry

Technology is the most powerful driving force pushing civil engineering forward. New students will have an edge by getting a formation that prepares them to use these new tools, as older ones will need to stay updated in order to not be left behind.

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Africa Business Featured Money & Finance

Free Trade Zone: Africa Goes Tough on Tariffs, Starts Free-Trade Pact

Africa, to a great extent overlooked in a United States-China exchange war which could frustrate economies around the world, is unobtrusively sorting out the world’s biggest facilitated free trade zone.

The African continental free trade area comes into power on paper yesterday after the required 22 nations approved the arrangement a month prior.

When it is fully passed by every one of the 55 countries perceived as a member of the African Union, it would cover a market of 1.2 billion people, with a gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion.

The potential advantages are self-evident if the standard obstacles of patriotism and protectionism don’t yet hinder this move.

According to Jakkie Cilliers, head of African Futures and Innovation at the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies;

“This arrangement would help the continent move far from mainly exporting commodities to building manufacturing capacity and industrialization.”

Boosting intra-regional exchange would boost the development of roads and railroads, thereby reducing the infrastructure limitations in Africa, he said.

Africa on the brinks of World’s Biggest Facilitated Free Trade Zone 

The exchange between African nations is at 15%, as compared with 20% in Latin America and 58% in Asia, as indicated by the Africa Export-Import Bank. And this has been forecasted by 52% by the year 2022 and can dramatically increase within the first decade of the trade agreement, a Cairo-based money lender said in a report a year ago.

Free Trade Zone Pact - Africa goes tough on tariffs by bypassing trade war with its own africa free trade zone agreement in the pipeline.
Free Trade Zone: Africa countries goes tough on tariffs by bypassing trade war with their own modeled Africa free trade zone agreement in the pipeline.

Following four years of talks, the mechanics of the agreement will be consulted in stages and should be operational by 2030. Non-trade hindrances, for example, delays at ports, and legislative issues would need to be explored before the arrangement to expel levies on 90% of good can be reached. Arbitrators will likewise need to persuade economies dependent on these tolls for income to release them.

“This is a technocratic agreement,” said Ronak Gopaldas, a London-based chief at Signal Risk, which advised organizations in Africa.

“It’s optimistic in nature and keeping in mind that the bearing is sure, deciphering what has been agreed by the technocrats and the approach to turning those into stuff that materially affects the simplicity and the expense of working together and cultivates increasingly incorporated markets” will continue to be challenging, he said.

One obstacle to coordination is Nigeria. The nation that competes with South Africa for the title of Africa’s greatest economy, hasn’t joined yet. Just recently re-elected president, Muhammadu Buhari, has been said to be reviewing and impact-assessment report on the free-trade agreement.

Experts including Tshepidi Moremong, the head of Africa coverage at FirstRand Group Ltd.’s Rand Merchant Bank, said the arrangement could at present face resistance from oligopolies gaining “massive benefits” in the West African country. Nigeria is one of three nations, including Benin and Eritrea, that hasn’t append to the arrangement. Twenty-two countries in the African continent, including South Africa, have reviewed and sanctioned the content of the agreement and moved to the next stage.

The trade agreement execution could likewise be scuppered if nation leaders looking for re-appointment values sovereign interests ahead of the continent’s, Moremong said.

“In every one of our nations, there are appropriate issues that one needs to manage and where individuals need to see that the administration is centered around their everyday issues,” she said. “Opening up a business opportunity for the general population from different pieces of the continent to unreservedly come and do business and share with your nation is going to take a great deal of resources.”

How do you think this free trade zone agreement would be of benefit to your small or big business? Share your views below.

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Designs & Invention Featured

3D Printing Basics – What You Need To Know About 3D Printing Technology

If you’re into technology and enjoy finding fun new toys to try, you may not know some of the 3d printing basics, but you’ve definitely heard about the technology empowering 3D printing. Chances are you’ve probably even wondered about the possibilities of what having a 3D printer of your very own could bring. The increased availability of these 3D printers and the reduction in the cost to own one as the technology becomes more ubiquitous can make it even more enticing to explore. But even if you are a huge tech fan, it can be tough to know where to start with these 3D printers and the options that are out there. There are some variations and some keywords to keep in mind, and it’s also important to know where to find designs, or learn how to create them on your own. With that in mind here are some basics to get you started designing, and conceptualizing your own printer today with this 3D printing basics guide.

3D Printing Basics – Guidelines for Getting Started With 3D Technology

3D Printing Basics - How To Get Started With 3D Technology
These are the 3d printing basics for creating a masterpiece kind of artwork.

Know What You Are Looking For

There are two types of consumer-level 3D printers out there, both with merits of their own, and both at highly different price tags. Understanding the difference is important as you start out. The first type of printer is the more common and much more affordable option. It’s known as the Fused Filament Fabrication (or sometimes as fused deposition modeling) machine. It works by fusing layers of plastic filament slowly together to create an overall design. These 3d printers can be found for less than $1,000 and the materials used to print designs are usually fairly cheap as well. It’s a very budget friendly option for someone wanting to own a 3D printer in their own home.

The other option is more pricey. It’s known as a Stereolithography (or SLA) machine, and it works quite a bit differently than the previously mentioned FFF machine. SLA machines work by shining UV lasers into a basin of resin. The resin is designed to be activated and hardened by the UV lights and builds the design layer by layer this way instead of by fusing filaments in layers. This machine gives you a better thickness and stronger finished design, but it does come at a cost. SLA machines are going to start at around $3,000 and the materials to print also come at a higher price tag. If you’re looking for high quality this is your go-to for sure, but it is not the budget-friendly option by any means. If you aren’t going to be printing things that require highly smooth finishes and intricate design work, then an FFF machine is still probably your best bet for at home 3D printing.

Finding Designs

This is where the fun starts. The whole point of owning a 3D printer is that you get to print fun things, right? So finding designs is where it all starts. Luckily there are tons of sites out there that have thousands of free designs to print. If you can dream it up, there’s probably a design out there for it. There are designs for something as simple as a soap dish, to things as complex as almost impossibly solvable puzzle cubes. Spend some time searching websites like Thingiverse, Yeggi, or GrabCAD. You can search by project, or just browse to see what others have come up with. It’s easy to spend hours getting lost in the possibilities of what you can print.

Finding 3D Printing Designs
Finding your next 3D printing design idea is one of the most interesting parts of the whole process.

This is the fun part, so enjoy it. See what’s out there and go crazy. It’s why you bought your printer in the first place. A lot of the available designs will even let you customize parts of what you’re printing. You can adjust things like size, weight, or resolution (thickness) to your specific needs.

Choosing Materials

Before you can actually print something you’ll have to buy the materials needed. If you’re buying filament you actually have quite a few amazing options out there. Today’s filaments have advanced quite a bit from the days of just plain colored plastic. You can get glow in the dark filament, or even options that are infused with bits of wood, or chalk. If you want to produce something that looks like concrete, you could use some chalk infused filament and then file down any sharp edges on your final product.

Honestly, if you spend enough time refining what you print, no one may even know you printed it at all. It could look like the real deal, and be your own secret. Or you could tell people because printing something awesome looking yourself is something you’ll want to brag about. You can find filaments online at sites like Amazon, but for more specialized filaments like the infused options, you may have to look at a site like MatterHackers. Amazon may have some good options for general printing, but specialized sites that focus on 3D printing materials are your best bet when it comes to high-quality filament with a lot of options.

Trying Out Your Own Designs

You may already be familiar with how to use CAD software, which means you can jump right in and create your own designs with ease. If you’re unfamiliar with CAD don’t worry, you definitely aren’t left out of the process of creating a design that’s entirely your own. There are plenty of sites that offer free tutorials on using CAD, and some of them even get pretty detailed. You can look at a site like Tinkercad and learn about everything from placing to combining objects. If you get overwhelmed on your first try, that’s okay. Keep at it, and remember that the tutorials can be rewatched as often as you need to use them. Designing on CAD is its own art form, so you do have to put in some practice time to get it down. Don’t give up, you can definitely do this. And remember, while you’re learning to use CAD you can still have all the fun of printing designs you’ve found on the sites we already talked about.

3D printing may have been something out of reach on a consumer level when the tech first came out, but that is no longer the case. As you can see, getting started isn’t nearly as complicated as the idea itself may sound. Keep in mind the 3d printing basics discussed here, and remember that technology like this is something you should be enjoying. If something seems too complicated, there are plenty of other 3D printing fans out there who can help you out. The designs you can find online and the tutorials are all there and waiting to be used. Once you get the 3d printing basics down the only thing you’ll be limited by is your own imagination, so go to town. Enjoy!

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Featured How to Guide

Catchy Thesis Title – 9 Insightful Tips for Creating a Perfect Thesis Titles

You must have heard the adage, “first impression is the last impression” too many times. Did you know it holds an immense significance for your thesis? Only a brilliant paper can help you to score impressive grades. That is only possible when you have a compelling title for your thesis.

Despite Shakespeare’s famous iteration, “What’s in a name?” you really can’t afford the same nonchalance while presenting the title of your thesis paper. That brings us to the begging question, and that is: “how do you present a catchy thesis title that would instantly compel the readers to read further into your paper?

Check out the following pointers to creating a perfect thesis title.

9 Insightful Tips for Creating a Perfect Thesis Title

Credibility Let's You Identify a Good Essay Writing Company
Identifying a quality writing starts with the title. If your title is lame, you have a slim chance of arousing the curiosity of your audience. Here are tips for writing a perfect thesis title.

Topic and focus are two sides of a coin

According to assignment help experts, the title of your thesis paper should convey what you are actually writing about. This can be divided into two categories: focus and topic.

The topic of your thesis is the general area that you are going to elaborate on. The focus is the specific aspect you are investigating within the field.

Take this title for an example ‘Global Economic Meltdown: role of IMF in minimising its impact.’ The topic of the research is global economic meltdown, while the focus is on how the International Monetary Fund is dealing with the situation.

Ponder over the research outcomes

Incorporating a reference to the results of your research can provide your readers with a clear idea regarding what to expect. Unlike a thrilling murder mystery, you don’t necessarily have to keep your reader guessing until the end.

For instance, instead of calling a thesis ‘Strategies to eradicate the global economic meltdown’, you could use the title, ‘The role of IMF in reducing the impact of global economic meltdown.’

This immediately conveys the purpose of your research, i.e. to analyse the role of IMF in dealing with the global meltdown.

Ponder over the research outcomes in your thesis
Ponder over the research outcomes in your thesis if you want an outstanding thesis outcome.

Clarity, Focus and Format: three steps to perfection

Lengthy or vague titles can leave your reader confused from the start. Needless to say, it should be avoided. Brainstorm the topic and come up with a thesis title that is clear and focused.

You can ask your professors or peers for assignment assistance to check your title. It is also advisable to avoid abbreviations and acronyms unless they are commonly known.

Keep the key terms in mind

Key terms are crucial phrases or words that are associated with your thesis topic. These terms give your reader a sense of the angle and contents of your paper. Key terms should come across like a brief summary of the paper.

Great titles never emphasise on the obvious or contain generic phrases or words. Titles like “An overview of the Shakespearean comedy” are too generic and do not offer the reader a sense of the content of the thesis paper. It is wise to avoid general and non-specific terms like “culture,” “society” or “mankind” in your title.

Focus on the introduction and conclusion

Ideally, the introduction of your paper should consist of the general ideas of your thesis topic. On the other hand, your conclusion should reiterate and sum up your analysis. Both these sections are good places to look for relevant keywords associated with your thesis that helps you to put together an attractive thesis title.

If you are writing a thesis paper that delves into the conventions of the Shakespearean tragedy, the tone of the thesis may be rigid and serious, and you can look for keywords that exude the dark, macabre sensations. For instance, your conclusion may have keywords like “fallacy,” “tragedy” or “protagonists.” A possible title for the thesis could be, “The conventions of Shakespearean tragedy: Analysis on the fallacies of the protagonists.”

Focus on the introduction and conclusion
In your bid to craft a masterpiece of thesis title, focus on the introduction and the conclusive part of the piece. That’d help guide you towards delivering the best of yourself.

Respect and embrace the conventions

Different disciplines, such as the sciences, or the humanities, have different regulations regarding what a title should look like. If you are familiar with the expectations, make sure that you conform to those rules. Given below are some basic guidelines to thesis title and content writing that you must remember.

  • Most terms or phrases in your title should begin with a capital letter.
  • The first word after a colon must be capitalized.
  • In general, try not to capitalize the following words: a, an, the, and or prepositions if they are not the first letter in your thesis title.
  • If the title of a film or a book is part of your thesis title, it has to be put in italics. Also, short story titles should be in quotation marks.

Employ impactful and vivid language for your thesis

The title has to stand out. Different actionable terms or intriguing nouns can make your thesis title compelling. Check out the words of your potential title. Can those words be replaced with something more descriptive or unique? Can you go for a word that has a less general meaning? Some words are so common that their meaning doesn’t have an impact on the readers in the same way.

Draft first, title later

The title is the first thing that your readers will look at, but it is often the last thing that most writers focus on. Also, you may not know the direction that the topic of your thesis will take until after you have written a part of it.

It is possible that you will have to make plenty of changes while drafting and redrafting your thesis. A title you come up with in the beginning may not identify with the topic of your thesis when you have finished writing the paper. You must revise your title after you are done writing.

The title should be easy to recall

Titles are not only supposed to capture the attention of the readers, but they are also useful in spreading the word about your work. Something too complex to remember won’t appeal to the examiners. Also, it would be difficult for your successors in the chosen field to refer to the thesis while carrying out their own research. So, it is important that you present an exciting yet memorable title.

After you write down your thesis title, make sure you read it aloud twice or thrice. See if it rolls off the tongue easily. Is it intriguing enough? Does it sound boring? Does it compel you to read further? If it stirs your curiosity, chances are, it will appeal to your readers as well.

In conclusion,

It is essential to create an impactful thesis title that has a lasting impression on the examiners. The foolproof ideas listed above can assist you in composing awe-inspiring thesis titles. Here’s wishing you all the best with your endeavors.