Assessing Payday Loans With Consumer Reports

Of all the consumer financial services and products on the market today, it would be safe to say that none attract quite the same stigma and reputation as payday loans. Ever since the industry first got off the ground in its modern form, consumer groups and critics in epic numbers have vied to soil the name of all who offer these loans and warn the public of the danger they pose. Conversely, the payday loans industry has grown by the day and has never been larger or more widespread, with more consumers opting for payday loans than ever before. What’s more, there are just as many consumers taking the corner of the payday lender and commending their services are there are critics, which can make it rather difficult to know who to side with.The question is therefore, if looking to take home a small sum of cash when time is a factor, is there really a way of ensuring the chosen payday lender is safe and reputable?Thankfully, the simple answer to the question is yes as each and every consumer with an internet connection already has at their disposal all the evaluation tools they could ever need.Questions to AskIf considering the products of a particular payday lender, there are certain questions you must insist either their website or they answer. How long have they been in business? What experience do they have in finance? Are they accredited by any larger organizations? Who are they affiliated with? How professional does the service appear at first glance? What kind of assurances do they offer?Any and all the above must be asked before you even begin thinking about the next step – that being assessing value for money. After all, a bargain is never a bargain if the resulting product is entirely worthless.When assessing value for money it is essential to keep a level head, as there is just as much danger behind a suspiciously low-rate payday loan as one that appears to be overpriced. Those with the most excessive rates should be avoided for obvious reasons, while those seemingly charging little to nothing may be hiding a world of stealth fees and charges you’ll be stung with after signing up.Small PrintWith the above in mind, the next step should always be that of consulting terms and conditions – none of which should ever be drawn out or garbled by a responsible lender.Once happy with the professionalism of the lender, the rates on offer and the simple to interpret terms and conditions, the time comes to consult the most important research tool of all – fellow consumer feedback. In truth, all the above does not matter in the slightest if the provider fails to follow through on promises made and has a reputation for letting borrowers down. Each and every lender on the market today will have an array of testimonials, reviews and write-ups to be found online, with genuine and neutral consumer reports offering literally all the advice and reassurance you should ever need.

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Indian Textile Machinery Industry

Overview and TrendsTextile industry in India is considered as a pioneer industry, as India’s industrializations in other fields have succeeded through the resources generated by textile industry. Though, from the early 1970s to the beginning of liberalization in 1992, the industry tended to be isolated as measures taken by the Government (with the apparent objective of protecting the cotton growers, the large labor force and the consumers) have constantly eroded its prosperity.World over, the Indian textile industry is considered as the second largest industry. It has the biggest cotton acreage of 9 million hectares and is considered as the third largest producer of this fiber. In terms of staple fiber production it comes fourth and sixth for filament yarn production. The country reports about one fourth of global trade in cotton yarn.With over 15 million people employment, the textile industry accounted for 20 percent of its industrial production. Covering textiles and garments, thirty percent of India’s export comes from this sector, in terms of exports it is the largest contributors for the growth of Indian economy. In spite of high capital and power cost, the Indian textile and garment sector’s strength comes from the availability of cotton, lower labor costs, well skilled supervisory staff and plentiful technical and managerial skills.Although very few countries are endowed with such resources, today’s globalization has brought new opportunities for the India textile industry. Concurrently, it is exposed to threats, particularly from cheap imported fabrics. Thus, India has to fight for her share in the international textile trade. Even if it is assumed that WTO will mean better distribution of the world trade, the benefits for India will not be any different than for the other developing countries. The Indian textile industry would, therefore, have to not only rely on its strengths but should also endeavor to remove its weakness.India’s apparel exporters, though, have been employing various strategies to make sure that they remain competitive in the liberalized trading environment of 2005 and beyond. Many manufacturers are taking action for improving production efficiency through advanced automation system, re-engineering of production systems, merging separate production units and backward and forward integration of operations and are keen to expand their production capacity in anticipation of enhanced demand in 2005 and beyond Among other manufacture are seeking changes through diversifying their product ranges, exporting high value apparel and improving their design capabilities and some of are planning to raise added value by setting up joint ventures with foreign firms, to take benefit of their technical, design and marketing proficiency. Others are making relationships with foreign buyers to increase their marketing capability.Support has also arrived from the Indian government in the removal of restrictions on investment by large companies and foreign investors. The Government has also provided assistance to expand the infrastructure for exporters and has given incentives for techno-logical up-gradation. Though, most important restriction is the inflexibility in labor laws, which cause it hard for large firms to cut their workforces when require.Textile industry in tenth planThe Tenth Five Year Plan of India (2002-2007) forecasted a GDP growth rate of 8 percent for which an industrial growth of 10 percent is predicted.The aim of the Tenth Plan is to facilitate the textile and apparel industry to:. Develop world class state-of the-art production facility to accomplish and maintain a leading global position in production and export of textiles and clothing.. Withstand demands of import penetration and uphold a dominant existence in the domestic market.. To accomplish these aims heavy funds are needed in technology and modernization in critical areas particularly in spinning, weaving, knitting, finishing and apparel sectors.. The technology up-gradation scheme (TUFS) introduced in 1999 intended to make investments component attractive. This scheme has been established to promote modernization and technology up-gradation in the specified sectors of textile and jute industries.. The Government of India has also declared the National Textile Policy-2000 to expand a sound and vibrant textile industry. The objectives and plunged areas of the national textile policy cover technology up-gradation, enhancement of productivity, quality consciousness, product diversification and so on.Schemes to strengthen investment in textiles during the Tenth Plan cover:Rearranging spinning capacityAt present nearly 38 million spindles are already existed. About 10 million old spindles required to be scrapped, and another 15 million spindles to be modernized. Adding on, about 3 million new spindles have to be set up during the Tenth Plan period.LoomageThe decentralized power loom sector, which reported 68 percent share of the cloth in the country, is in very strong and immediate need of renovation. The textile package declared in the Central Government included renovation of the weaving sector with 2.50 lakhs semi-automatic/automatic shuttle looms and 50,000 shuttleless looms.FinishingThere are nearly 2324 precessing establishments in the country of which 83 belong to composite units, 165 to semi composite and others 2076 are self-governing processing houses. Among of 227 establishments are modern, 1775 are of medium technology and 322 are obsolete establishments. Reconstruction of finishing units will need a huge financial expenditure.Schemes for expansion and development of the knitting sector, technical textiles, and woolen and jute industries are to be considered. The textile Engineering Industry is to be encouraged to modernize and offer state-of-the-art technology to the textile industry and through focused textile machinery R&D efforts, domestic reaches and development are to be initiated.Growth in the textile machineryDue to high investments on renovation of plant and machinery in the textile manufacturing industry, the manufacturing of textile machinery, their parts and accessories rose last fiscal by 25 percent to Rs 1,668 crore from Rs 1,341 crore in the previous fiscal.According to the Textile Machinery Manufacturers’ Association of India (TMMAI), the industry also witnessed its capacity of consumption at 55 percent during the year.But, on the other hand the total projected demand of Rs 4,200 crore of the textile industry, a major contribution was satisfied through imports. This has identified for an urgent requirement on the part of both the user-textile industry and the textile engineering industry (TEI) to start a joint assessment to reverse this movement, said the outgoing Chairman of TMMAI, Sanjay Jayavartanavelu.On the event of the 45th annual general meeting of Textile Machinery Manufacturers’ Association of India, Jayavartanavelu said the surge in demand for textile machinery has initiated the TEI to make production capacity bigger to satisfy the increasing demand, particularly in the spinning machinery sector. The units in the industry were dynamic to step up production to cut down the delivery period.This is regardless of the truth that they had to compete with longer delivery schedules from main machinery suppliers. In spite of this, the TEI should make an effort to satisfy the demand in volume/quality and performance with effective after sales service.The TMMAI Chairman felt amendment in fiscal policy and elimination of hurdles being faced by the TEI required to be effected to make the indigenous textile machinery sector gain strength and scale up its technology and export competitiveness. The areas of fiscal modification needed are letting down the rate of excise duty on textile machinery from 16 percent to the merit rate of 8 percent, continuation of the relaxation in excise duty, which should be extended to inputs required for making of specified textile machines.The intermediate products required in producing textile machinery as well as spares should be put at four percent excise duty subject to actual-user stipulation. At the same time, the present customs duty concessions on specified machines must be detached and one common rate of import duty of 10 per cent should be charged for all textile machines.The TMMAI Chairman also emphasize the requirement for early creation of a Rs 2,500-crore development fund for TEI to facilitate the units to use on R&D, infrastructure building, export promotion and plans on environmental protection.Recent developments in technologyIn the international textile and clothing trade, the elimination of decades old quota system has thrown up new challenges as well as unlocks new prospects for the Indian textile industry.According to the vision statement made by the ICMF for the textile sector, by 2010 the Indian textile industry has the potential to have the market size of worth of $ 85 billion from the present size of $ 36 billion. This development can be gained by the opening of new domestic as well as export segments. Textile export could arrive at $ 40 billions mark by 2010 from current 12 billion dollar level. Result on export side can be measured satisfactory during the last six months. For receiving the prospective business, the textile industry has to move towards value added products. The most value addition in textile segment is created by the apparel segment. Processing, fabric manufacturing and spinning segments in order to make quality apparels will require up-gradationDuring last decade, there has been observed fast progress in machinery/technology. A concise representation of modern developments in a range of areas is given below.SpinningManufacturing facility in blowroom line has enhanced to 800 kg/hr with a prerequisite to work 3 mixings all together. To process broad range of cottons, the latest blowroom is provided with automatic bale opener with integrated mixer and cleaning systems. For the latest carding machine as a substitute of one licker-in, multiple licker-ins is built-in serially. And provide more stationary flats. For feed roll, doffer, web doffing, maintenance free digital drives are used. The whole card clothing can be separated with a less function of operation. For full flange of operation, a variety of systems like NEP control, flat control and waste control etc., are integrated.For modern draw-frame machine, delivery speed up to 1000 mt/minute made possible with an alternative of automatic draft control mechanism which gives out requirement for gear change for controlling draft and delivery speed. In few machines separate deliveries can be restricted without help. Supplier also offers draw frame which can be connected to carding machine. It is stated that owing to digital autoleveller the precision measurement is in its height on an average one meter CV of sliver can be controlled below 0.4 percent.Combers speed up to 400 nips/min is possible due to technological advancement. From latest comber up to 1.3 tones/day productions is achieved. Touch screens display system also provided with these machines. The display covers production data, process setting, machine parameters setting and fault message display. To save installation time many machines are provided with fully assembled in four modules.Latest speed frame are offered in atomization system including all the operations. All the functional set ups can be fitted on electronic panel. Bobbin size 6″ x 16″ or 7″ x 16″ can be available. There is an availability of alternative of manual or auto doffing. Machines are provided upto 160 spindles capacity hence considerable saving in the operational cost possible.In the latest ring spinning system winding geometries are further give to maximize result with less winding tension. Hence, superior draft up to 80 are received with higher spindle speed (above 20000 rpm). A number of other features of modern ring frames are adopted with inverter drive for spindles, independent spindle ring rail and drafting system drives, fast doffing system with no trailing ends. Ring frame up to 1344 spindles are provided. In presents rotor spinning system, diverse yarn can be spun in several part of the machine. It is feasible to get package of changeable density. All the technical factors and machine adjustment can be controlled by computer. In the latest rotor machine it is viable to make a package with 30% higher package density than old rotor machine.In the latest winding machine path of ring cop from bottom to winding head is further developed. Hence, superior control of winding tension produces lower augmentation in hairiness. The adaptable knotting cycle combined with tailored acceleration dynamics facilitates to alter production system. The immediate controlled cylinder inverter and suction motor inverter are provided for energy conservation. Modern vortex spinning system is available to spin cotton yarn at a speed of 400 mt/min. The technology was previously applied for spinning synthetic blended yarn only.The latest DREF spinning system can make numerous kinds of multi-component yarns. The drafting unit can manage all kinds of synthetic fibers such as aramid, preoxidised fiber, polyamide, phenol resin fibers and melamine fibers. The machine is able to perform with several cores. The manufacturing facility is achieved as high as 250 mtr/min and fineness of yarn can be from 0.5 to 25 nm.Weaving
The important aspects of modern weaving preparatory/ weaving machines are reviewed as under:Machinery producers of both weaving preparatory and weaving machines have received gain in technological aspects to make fault free fabric for the garment sector. Nearly all the machines are provided with electronic control panels and micro-processors controls which monitors and control the machine utility to satisfy the fabric quality need and modification in design styles.Maintenance of machine has turn out to be stress-free due to proficient lubrication system and improved machine design and substitution of mechanical tools with electronic control system. There is an obvious progress to resource the components and auxiliary equipment from the selected good manufacturers rather than making themselves, hence decreasing the cost of the machines. In latest rapier looms weft insertion rate ranges from 1200 – 1500 mt/min. Many looms are provided with weaving a broad range of fabrics. In many weaving machines weft insertion rate is achieved at higher and ranges from 1800-2500 mt/min.Latest sizing machine is provided with uniform size pick up facility across the warp sheet and for least amount hairiness and loss in elongation. These are maintained by temperature control and moisture control devices. Squeeze pressure can be maintained by programmable controller to synchronize the compressing at all the speeds. Stretch monitoring instrument is imparted to control the stretch.KnittingIn recent times the quality requirements imposed on a knitting factory by its customer have become even more precise due to greater emphasis on the reproducibility in case of repeat order. Typically a modern knitting machine has following features as:Automatic computation of fabric reduces speed, feeders per course, stitch/cm and elongationAutomatically managed thread infeed by inflowing the needed thread infeed per cmAutomatic management of height modification through computerAutomatic supervision of yarn infeed and yarn tensionThrough user friendly software, computer helps to make the goods on the selected patternProcessingNew generation processing machine incorporates microprocessor controls. Various process parameters can be programmed in microprocessor for strict adherence of processing conditions. Apart from good control, machines are also energy efficient and features are incorporated for the reduction of consumption of chemicals, water and steam etc. The developments are also taking place keeping environment requirement and eco-friendly processing while manufacturing the textile products and safer conditions for those involved in the manufacturing.Process control or quality controlIn the area of cotton testing, latest instruments are mostly available as High Volume Instruments (HVI) and are prepared with automatic sampling. They also evaluate short fiber content and maturity index values besides testing of length, strength and fineness parameters. It is stated that maturity values are fairly precise. Instruments are also provided with test color, trash neps and fluorescence values. Few suppliers are offering bale management systems.For the manmade fibers and its connected instruments offered with the measurement in denier, tenacity, elongation and crimp properties. From the creel, robotic arm can carry the fiber samples automatically.In the part yarn quality, latest evenness tester can measure, evenness, imperfection and intermittent errors at a greater speed. Many of them instruments are prepared to measure hairiness, diameter variation, shape, and dust as well as trash contents. Single thread strength testing machine are provided with a testing speed of 400 mt/min. The machine is prepared to take out 30000 tests per hour. It is noted that weaving operation of the yarn can be expected advanced with this machine. Some of the single thread strength machines are fitted with automatic yarn count determination device.Yarn fault classification device has shifted to the winding machine from the laboratory. Data of entire yarn lot can be readable from the winding machines. Electronic check Board can perform the yarn grading, based on yarn output and observed by applying CCD camera and software to measure yarn report. Instrument can also offer fabric simulations if needed.In fabric testing, automatic fabric inspection device can examine grey and single cotton dyed fabrics for all materials covering air bag fabrics and glass fiber fabrics. The imperfection can be recovered from their reports and images. In the area of process control and management ERP systems are establish which supply 3-tier solution covering the online data acquisition, offline data entry cum reporting device and intelligent business management device.ConclusionToday, Indian industry is extremely fragmented. In the organized spinning sector there are nearly 2300 players with 280 composite mills, There are 1000 weaving units and around 1,45,000 independent processing units and innumerable garment makers. The position of machinery technology is not well apart from the spinning sector. Nearly 100000 modern shuttleless looms are needed to set up and to satisfy the target by 2010. Processing sector will also require big amount of up-gradation. It is calculated that a total investment of 35 billion dollar might be needed to achieve the growth intended by ICMF.

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How the Recession Is Affecting the Commercial Construction Industry

The ‘Great Recession’ theoretically lasted about 18 months, from 2007 to 2009. Recovery has been agonizingly slow in many industries but we are now in 2015 and the construction industry is more rapidly shrugging off the residual effects of the recession.How Bad Was It?Even though construction industry is cyclical and recession typically follows a boom period, nothing could have prepared it for the harsh and widespread reach of the recession:

Residential: Homeowners defaulted on homes and others delayed buying homes, leading to a glut of residential real estate languishing in realtors’ inventory.

Commercial: Commercial construction also was hard hit, severely impacted by the federal budget sequester and eventual-but-temporary shutdown, followed by scaled back government spending, and sharply reduced lending practices.

Institutional: Institutional construction remained stagnant, affected by the same limitations and funding problems that the commercial construction sector faced.
How Were Construction Workers Affected?Nevada, California, Florida, and Arizona are typically areas with plenty of construction work. But the recession changed that:

Nevada employed an estimated 146,000 construction workers at the peak of its construction boom. That number was reduced by 59 percent.

Arizona’s construction employment dropped 50 percent from its pre-recession industry peak.

Florida was close on the industry-related unemployment heels of Nevada and Arizona, losing 40 percent of its construction workforce.

California fared better but still recorded a 28 percent drop.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), approximately 2.3 million construction workers lost their jobs in the recession (nearly 30 percent of the total number of lost jobs).

The overall construction industry has an estimated 1.4 million fewer construction workers in 2015 than it did in 2007.
The Construction Outlook in 2015 and BeyondHappily, the U.S. and its construction industry continue to move away from the harshest effects of the Great Recession. Industry observers expect to see these improvements:

Non-residential construction: picking up and looking more solid, especially with the expected 2.6 percent real GDP growth in 2015. This sector may rise by 8 percent with growth in office buildings, hotels, and industrial facilities.

Single family housing: expected to increase by 11 percent in the number of residential units, thanks to easier access to home mortgage loans.

Manufacturing plant construction: will probably drop about 16 percent after huge increases of 2013 and 2014.

Institutional construction: expected to continue its moderate upward trend and increase 9% over 2014 results.

Residential construction: called the potential ‘wild card’ of 2015 because of rising interest rates. Existing home sales may climb toward 10 percent.

Public construction: growth will remain low due to ongoing federal spending constraints. However, transportation spending is expected to grow by about 2.2 percent.
Ironically, construction workers may not be rushing to return to new jobs. Many left the industry altogether, retraining for other employment.Texas and North Dakota both show significant increases in construction employment. North Dakota now needs to recruit construction workers. Texas’ construction employment is up 10 percent, nearing its pre-recession peak.Economists don’t expect the construction industry to return to its peak level (2006) until 2022 or later. However, the BLS anticipates that the fastest-growing jobs now and 2022 will be in healthcare and construction.So while the Great Recession did a considerable amount of damage to the overall economy, individual incomes, and morale, 2015 and beyond are looking considerably more favorable in the commercial construction industry.

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Manufacturing Equipment Financing

Generally all manufacturing companies require some equipment for the smooth running of their processes. They may need to replace any outdated equipment or to buy new equipment at any point of time. Investing in equipment is therefore important for any manufacturing concern. In fact, investing in new manufacturing equipment to produce goods can increase the flow of revenue. Since the cost of such equipments is high, the need for manufacturing equipment financing arises.Since various manufacturing companies produce different types of commodities, the manufacturing equipment financing options would vary accordingly. You can seek financial help of any of the reliable financing companies in order to acquire new manufacturing equipment that stretch the cash revenues.Machine tool financing is one of the types of manufacturing equipment financing that is required for any machine shops or iron shops. Lathe machine, drilling machine, routers, roll forming, milling, punch press etc are some of the machine tools indispensable for the machine or iron shops. Computer control machine tools are the advancements in this field. However they are expensive and so seeking the financial assistance of any legitimate financing company are important to acquire such equipment.Woodworking equipment financing is often desirable to acquire exceptional woodworking equipment. Panel saw machines, belt sander, door frame machine, wood shaper machine etc are some of the unique equipments used in this field. Since these equipments are special in nature, many financing companies may not be willing to provide help. These equipments are not only special but are also expensive. Hence manufacturing equipment financing is a must. There are few valid financing companies that offer financial assistance to buy these types of equipment.Stone and glass cutting and fabrication equipment are really unique in nature. For instance, diamond cutting equipment can be used for that purpose only. This specialized nature of these types of equipments may raise complexity in getting financial help from the financial institutions. Yet there are some genuine financing companies that offer manufacturing equipment financing help to acquire stone and glass cutting and fabrication equipment. They also provide various options like edge polishing equipment financing, sandblasting equipment financing, glass cutting equipment financing and so on.Rubber and plastic equipments are required by some manufacturing companies. Recycling equipment, rubber molding machine, thermoforming machine, rubber vulcanization machine, plastic molding machine etc are special in nature and so traditional finance lending institutions may not be ready to provide financial assistance. Hence a reliable financing company which is expert in dealing with manufacturing equipment is vitally important.Embroidery equipments have undergone various advancements and so acquiring the computer control equipment is important for the companies that engage in embroidery making. Some financing companies offer manufacturing equipment financing help to acquire the embroidery equipment.Manufacturing equipment financing is not an expense but a step towards greater revenues. Inefficient outdated manufacturing equipment would incur heavy loss to the company. Hence seeking the help of any genuine financial company that do not call for embarrassing procedures is really important. There are some finance companies that help manufacturing companies by approving the loan amount faster and in better terms.

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Best in Class Finance Functions For Police Forces

BackgroundPolice funding has risen by £4.8 billion and 77 per cent (39 per cent in real terms) since 1997. However the days where forces have enjoyed such levels of funding are over.Chief Constables and senior management recognize that the annual cycle of looking for efficiencies year-on-year is not sustainable, and will not address the cash shortfall in years to come.
Facing slower funding growth and real cash deficits in their budgets, the Police Service must adopt innovative strategies which generate the productivity and efficiency gains needed to deliver high quality policing to the public.The step-change in performance required to meet this challenge will only be achieved if the police service fully embraces effective resource management and makes efficient and productive use of its technology, partnerships and people.The finance function has an essential role to play in addressing these challenges and supporting Forces’ objectives economically and efficiently.ChallengePolice Forces tend to nurture a divisional and departmental culture rather than a corporate one, with individual procurement activities that do not exploit economies of scale. This is in part the result of over a decade of devolving functions from the center to the.divisions.In order to reduce costs, improve efficiency and mitigate against the threat of “top down” mandatory, centrally-driven initiatives, Police Forces need to set up a corporate back office and induce behavioral change. This change must involve compliance with a corporate culture rather than a series of silos running through the organization.Developing a Best in Class Finance FunctionTraditionally finance functions within Police Forces have focused on transactional processing with only limited support for management information and business decision support. With a renewed focus on efficiencies, there is now a pressing need for finance departments to transform in order to add greater value to the force but with minimal costs.1) Aligning to Force StrategyAs Police Forces need finance to function, it is imperative that finance and operations are closely aligned. This collaboration can be very powerful and help deliver significant improvements to a Force, but in order to achieve this model, there are many barriers to overcome. Finance Directors must look at whether their Force is ready for this collaboration, but more importantly, they must consider whether the Force itself can survive without it.Finance requires a clear vision that centers around its role as a balanced business partner. However to achieve this vision a huge effort is required from the bottom up to understand the significant complexity in underlying systems and processes and to devise a way forward that can work for that particular organization.The success of any change management program is dependent on its execution. Change is difficult and costly to execute correctly, and often, Police Forces lack the relevant experience to achieve such change. Although finance directors are required to hold appropriate professional qualifications (as opposed to being former police officers as was the case a few years ago) many have progressed within the Public Sector with limited opportunities for learning from and interaction with best in class methodologies. In addition cultural issues around self-preservation can present barriers to change.Whilst it is relatively easy to get the message of finance transformation across, securing commitment to embark on bold change can be tough. Business cases often lack the quality required to drive through change and even where they are of exceptional quality senior police officers often lack the commercial awareness to trust them.2) Supporting Force DecisionsMany Finance Directors are keen to develop their finance functions. The challenge they face is convincing the rest of the Force that the finance function can add value – by devoting more time and effort to financial analysis and providing senior management with the tools to understand the financial implications of major strategic decisions.Maintaining Financial Controls and Managing RiskSarbanes Oxley, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), Basel II and Individual Capital Assessments (ICA) have all put financial controls and reporting under the spotlight in the private sector. This in turn is increasing the spotlight on financial controls in the public sector.A ‘Best in Class’ Police Force finance function will not just have the minimum controls to meet the regulatory requirements but will evaluate how the legislation and regulations that the finance function are required to comply with, can be leveraged to provide value to the organization. Providing strategic information that will enable the force to meet its objectives is a key task for a leading finance function.3) Value to the ForceThe drive for development over the last decade or so, has moved decision making to the Divisions and has led to an increase in costs in the finance function. Through utilizing a number of initiatives in a program of transformation, a Force can leverage up to 40% of savings on the cost of finance together with improving the responsiveness of finance teams and the quality of financial information. These initiatives include:CentralizationBy centralizing the finance function, a Police Force can create centers of excellence where industry best practice can be developed and shared. This will not only re-empower the department, creating greater independence and objectivity in assessing projects and performance, but also lead to more consistent management information and a higher degree of control. A Police Force can also develop a business partner group to act as strategic liaisons to departments and divisions. The business partners would, for example, advise on how the departmental and divisional commanders can meet the budget in future months instead of merely advising that the budget has been missed for the previous month.With the mundane number crunching being performed in a shared service center, finance professionals will find they now have time to act as business partners to divisions and departments and focus on the strategic issues.The cultural impact on the departments and divisional commanders should not be underestimated. Commanders will be concerned that:o Their budgets will be centralized
o Workloads would increase
o There will be limited access to finance individuals
o There will not be on site supportHowever, if the centralized shared service center is designed appropriately none of the above should apply. In fact from centralization under a best practice model, leaders should accrue the following benefits:o Strategic advice provided by business partners
o Increased flexibility
o Improved management information
o Faster transactions
o Reduced number of unresolved queries
o Greater clarity on service and cost of provision
o Forum for finance to be strategically aligned to the needs of the ForceA Force that moves from a de-centralized to a centralized system should try and ensure that the finance function does not lose touch with the Chief Constable and Divisional Commanders. Forces need to have a robust business case for finance transformation combined with a governance structure that spans operational, tactical and strategic requirements. There is a risk that potential benefits of implementing such a change may not be realized if the program is not carefully managed. Investment is needed to create a successful centralized finance function. Typically the future potential benefits of greater visibility and control, consistent processes, standardized management information, economies of scale, long-term cost savings and an empowered group of proud finance professionals, should outweigh those initial costs.To reduce the commercial, operational and capability risks, the finance functions can be completely outsourced or partially outsourced to third parties. This will provide guaranteed cost benefits and may provide the opportunity to leverage relationships with vendors that provide best practice processes.Process EfficienciesTypically for Police Forces the focus on development has developed a silo based culture with disparate processes. As a result significant opportunities exist for standardization and simplification of processes which provide scalability, reduce manual effort and deliver business benefit. From simply rationalizing processes, a force can typically accrue a 40% reduction in the number of processes. An example of this is the use of electronic bank statements instead of using the manual bank statement for bank reconciliation and accounts receivable processes. This would save considerable effort that is involved in analyzing the data, moving the data onto different spreadsheet and inputting the data into the financial systems.Organizations that possess a silo operating model tend to have significant inefficiencies and duplication in their processes, for example in HR and Payroll. This is largely due to the teams involved meeting their own goals but not aligning to the corporate objectives of an organization. Police Forces have a number of independent teams that are reliant on one another for data with finance in departments, divisions and headquarters sending and receiving information from each other as well as from the rest of the Force. The silo model leads to ineffective data being received by the teams that then have to carry out additional work to obtain the information required.Whilst the argument for development has been well made in the context of moving decision making closer to operational service delivery, the added cost in terms of resources, duplication and misaligned processes has rarely featured in the debate. In the current financial climate these costs need to be recognized.CultureWithin transactional processes, a leading finance function will set up targets for staff members on a daily basis. This target setting is an element of the metric based culture that leading finance functions develop. If the appropriate metrics of productivity and quality are applied and when these targets are challenging but not impossible, this is proven to result in improvements to productivity and quality.A ‘Best in Class’ finance function in Police Forces will have a service focused culture, with the primary objectives of providing a high level of satisfaction for its customers (departments, divisions, employees & suppliers). A ‘Best in Class’ finance function will measure customer satisfaction on a timely basis through a metric based approach. This will be combined with a team wide focus on process improvement, with process owners, that will not necessarily be the team leads, owning force-wide improvement to each of the finance processes.Organizational ImprovementsOrganizational structures within Police Forces are typically made up of supervisors leading teams of one to four team members. Through centralizing and consolidating the finance function, an opportunity exists to increase the span of control to best practice levels of 6 to 8 team members to one team lead / supervisor. By adjusting the organizational structure and increasing the span of control, Police Forces can accrue significant cashable benefit from a reduction in the number of team leads and team leads can accrue better management experience from managing larger teams.Technology Enabled ImprovementsThere are a significant number of technology improvements that a Police Force could implement to help develop a ‘Best in Class’ finance function.These include:A) Scanning and workflowThrough adopting a scanning and workflow solution to replace manual processes, improved visibility, transparency and efficiencies can be reaped.B) Call logging, tracking and workflow toolPolice Forces generally have a number of individuals responding to internal and supplier queries. These queries are neither logged nor tracked. The consequence of this is dual:o Queries consume considerable effort within a particular finance team. There is a high risk of duplicated effort from the lack of logging of queries. For example, a query could be responded to for 30 minutes by person A in the finance team. Due to this query not being logged, if the individual that raised the query called up again and spoke to a different person then just for one additional question, this could take up to 20 minutes to ensure that the background was appropriately explained.o Queries can have numerous interfaces with the business. An unresolved query can be responded against by up to four separate teams with considerable delay in providing a clear answer for the supplier.The implementation of a call logging, tracking and workflow tool to document, measure and close internal and supplier queries combined with the set up of a central queries team, would significantly reduce the effort involved in responding to queries within the finance departments and divisions, as well as within the actual divisions and departments, and procurement.C) Database solutionThroughout finance departments there are a significant number of spreadsheets utilized prior to input into the financial system. There is a tendency to transfer information manually from one spreadsheet to another to meet the needs of different teams.Replacing the spreadsheets with a database solution would rationalize the number of inputs and lead to effort savings for the front line Police Officers as well as Police Staff.D) Customize reportsIn obtaining management information from the financial systems, police staff run a series of reports, import these into excel, use lookups to match the data and implement pivots to illustrate the data as required. There is significant manual effort that is involved in carrying out this work. Through customizing reports the outputs from the financial system can be set up to provide the data in the formats required through the click of a button. This would have the benefit of reduced effort and improved motivation for team members that previously carried out these mundane tasks.In designing, procuring and implementing new technology enabling tools, a Police Force will face a number of challenges including investment approval; IT capacity; capability; and procurement.These challenges can be mitigated through partnering with a third party service company with whom the investment can be shared, the skills can be provided and the procurement cycle can be minimized.ConclusionIt is clear that cultural, process and technology change is required if police forces are to deliver both sustainable efficiencies and high quality services. In an environment where for the first time forces face real cash deficits and face having to reduce police officer and support staff numbers whilst maintaining current performance levels the current finance delivery models requires new thinking.While there a number of barriers to be overcome in achieving a best in class finance function, it won’t be long before such a decision becomes mandatory. Those who are ahead of the curve will inevitably find themselves in a stronger position.

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10 Keys to Implementing Business Intelligence Projects on a Shoestring

Price is often considered the greatest factor influencing the decision to implement a Business Intelligence (BI) system.Don’t despair. You can implement BI on a shoestring budget. However, to do so requires strict discipline and adherence to a philosophy that may be contrary to the advice of huge (read: expensive) global consulting firms. Following our shoestring philosophy will not only make success possible but likely; and at a cost well below typical expectations.At times everyone is willing to tell you what not to do, or to describe the pitfalls to avoid in your BI implementation. Experts may even be willing to talk in vague generalities about the things you should do as long as they don’t give away too many “trade secrets.” Here are 10 specific keys to successfully implement your BI project on a shoestring budget:1 Stick to a Well-Established MethodologySelecting a vendor that utilizes a clearly defined, repeatable process for system development will impact the successful achievement (or implementation) of the BI project. The system integration or software development vendor you select should have a methodology that clearly defines the processes necessary to produce quality, usable software that meets your business needs and goals and is competitively priced.Continuous improvement should be the mantra of a vendor with a well developed, clearly defined methodology. You can be a little more confident in a vendor’s commitment to methodology if you see an emphasis on continually improving, cleaning up, clarifying, and solidifying their processes.Carefully evaluate a potential vendor’s processes and methodology to determine if it is a) repeatable, b) well defined, and c) focused on continual improvement. If you select a vendor that has little or no process or methodology in place you run the risk of paying for it in slipped schedules, cost overruns, scope creep and outright failure – all of which are costly to both your project and your career.2 Clearly Define Requirements Up FrontIn his book Quality Without Tears, Philip Crosby notes that the cost of rework is the “price of nonconformity (PONC)” because “it is what management chooses to pay for not ensuring work is right the first time.” Lofty words from a giant in the quality revolution. In dollars and cents rework typically costs double (or more) the actual price of doing it right the first time. It only makes sense from an intuitive perspective, since you paid to do it wrong, and then pay again (at least once) to do it over. There is an entire industry that has sprung up around unscrupulous vendors who offer low, fixed price project estimates to win your business. These vendors then inundate their customer with unnecessary change orders at $5k and $10k per order, or more. But let’s save that discussion for a later point.In a well-established methodology (see point 1 above) requirements are a valuable asset to be managed with great care. In fact, “The Capability Maturity Model: Guidelines for Improving the Software Process” by the Software Engineering Institute says, “the purpose of requirements management is to establish a common understanding between the customer and the software project of the customer’s requirements that will be addressed by the software project.” Quite obviously this also entails setting and maintaining agreed upon requirements for the project and clearly defined expectations for all parties involved.Expect to pay for an initial evaluation of your requirements. This is only due diligence and fees paid for a scoping or requirements gathering phase should be applied to the cost of the project if you and the vendor agree to move forward.3 Go With a Fixed Price VendorWe all have budget constraints. We all feel the stress of trying to second guess “time and material” vendors in an attempt to spend what is actually necessary to do the job. We all hope to find that 95th percentile vendor who will be above the board and honest in time and material billing.You can eliminate a lot of the guess work by going with a fixed price vendor. A fixed price vendor offers you a predictable expenditure, one that can be budgeted ahead of time or that can be planned for well in advance with few if any surprises. With a fixed price vendor you also eliminate the adversarial nature of the relationship that may be fostered by the constant vigilance of billing statements and project reports that try to prove their worth.There are, however, a few points of attention to be noted when working with a fixed price vendor. First and foremost, beware the needless change order. The unscrupulous fixed price vendor will agree to a low price to win the work and then will continue to issue change orders that run the price up. Here are a few ways to insulate against this most unprincipled supplier. Offer to engage the vendor for a requirements gathering or project scoping effort up front. This provides several things including well established requirements that minimize changes, clearly defined scope to give the vendor an opportunity to develop a fair price proposal, reduced risk, and time for your team to discover issues and roadblocks that require more attention on your part.The second noteworthy point when working with a fixed price vendor is to find one that can point to specific, successful, similar projects. A similar project does not necessarily mean one in the same specific industry (or even within the same sector – federal vs. state/local vs. commercial). It’s important to look for a vendor who has successfully implemented a BI of comparable or larger size and complexity. Size is typically a measure of the number of users and queries and volume of data. Things begin to become more complex when you consider things like global footprint, 24/7 user activity (meaning that there is essentially no down period in which to perform routine system tasks), complexity of the ETL (extract, transform and load) needs, number of data sources or data feeds, and other factors.4 Insist On Rack-Grade HardwareMoore’s Law (named after Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel) states that the computing power of processors roughly doubles annually. Hardware usually represents a significant percentage of expenditures for any BI project, and the wise use of hardware dollars can be a challenging decision for any organization. Considering Moore’s Law in your decision can simplify your choices. Rely on the high value, low cost of typical rack-grade hardware, and upgrade every 2-3 years to improved machines. Furthermore, the recent development of blade servers allows for multiple servers to be packaged in a single, inexpensive, rack mountable unit that takes full advantage of scalable architecture (more in point 5), providing for rapid growth and increased business line adoption – building today for tomorrow’s expansion. Server vendors offer blade servers in a variety of configurations and price points to match your needs.A similar axiom to consider is Kryder’s Law – named after Mark Kryder, whose observations about the increases in hard disk storage are astonishing. Since the development of the disk drive in 1956 storage per square inch has soared more than 50 million fold. This has resulted in ever-increasing storage capability at ever-decreasing cost, which indicates a clear direction toward low cost storage.A well known small systems developer was asked by a federal customer to build a transitional system that would only be used until the global vendor could get a suitable system built on large, expensive, proprietary hardware and software. After several years the small vendor’s low cost, high value system continued to grow and expand to service thousands of users using rack grade equipment and other principles outlined in this article. By the way, the customer’s original plan to build the large costly system was scrapped and the small vendor’s “shoestring” system became the “official” source for information in its functional domain – a role it continues to fill to this day.5 Start Small and Scale Out as NeededTraditionally, projects have purchased large, muscular database servers – TeraData, Oracle or DB2, which is fine if you need that kind of horse power. But to build on a shoestring we have to stick to the rack grade equipment outlined above. The key is scalability – how well a solution to a problem works if the problem increases in scope or scale. If you build a superlative system that meets your needs today but a year from now is not able to meet the increased demands, it lacks scalability.Over time business needs change, challenges get more complex, businesses grow, employees increase in numbers, reporting needs expand, analysis needs intensify, and so on. You must build today with tomorrow in mind. Taking into consideration the use of rack-grade equipment (see point 4 above), a scalable architecture makes more sense than ever. The key to scalability is to focus initially on the area of “greatest pain” and work outward from there. Focus on a small section of your business, a single line of business, or an area or function that has high reporting or analysis needs. In time you can add other areas of your business or additional whole lines of business. This approach allows your initial hardware requirements to be smaller, and lets you prove the value of the system. This approach opens the door for gradual growth and expansion of the system until it is an enterprise-wide tool valued and used by virtually the entire organization. This modular approach allows for expansion by scaling horizontally, adding additional servers to accommodate the additional load of integrating other business areas.An additional benefit of this “scale out” approach is that scaling typically produces redundancy. Redundancy equates to a less disruptive migration or transition of users to a new service as you grow and scale the system.The example cited in point 4 began with a 2-server system supporting 200-300 users. The same system “scaled out” to a global system that now supports 15,000 users worldwide processing 600k ad hoc queries a month – with 85% of all queries answered in 10 seconds or less. The original architecture never had to be redesigned since it was built with scale-out or horizontal growth in mind from the outset. Making scalability a design feature from the start eliminated the need for proprietary “band-aid” fixes. During your initial requirements development establish scalability as an uncompromising requirement.6 Select a High Value, Feature Rich User InterfaceThere are two basic categories of BI user interface toolsets available today: those that are free and those that cost money. Both categories have pros and cons, and each has its own set of features and benefits.The high end (expensive) tools have a place and I recommend them for customers who genuinely need them and have the budget in place to include them in their project.In a shoestring approach, however, the price tag on most BI tools is prohibitive. In these instances i recommend one of the free or nearly free BI solutions. Microsoft® bundles their Reporting Services and Analysis Services with SQL Server. SQL Server carries the reputation for lacking the vigor necessary to be competitive as a “serious” data warehouse product. This is a misconception that is commonly proliferate by those who either don’t understand the strength and value of SQL Server or who are in a position to profit from its competitors. In the example used in previous points the global system servicing 15,000 users is built on Microsoft® SQL Server.On the other hand, you may opt to go with a proprietary solution developed by your selected vendor. Several vendors offer powerful, feature-rich, fully-integrated OLAP tools, dashboards, ad hoc reporting, managed reporting and more, specifically designed to support large data warehouses and data marts at no additional cost to their customers. Simply ask your vendor what they offer – and ensure you check references to validate the value of the tool offered.There are also excellent tools out there like The Pentaho BI Project that provides enterprise-class reporting, analysis, dashboard, data mining and workflow capabilities that help organizations operate more efficiently and effectively, all from an Open Source project.In short, there are options for selecting a high-value, feature-rich BI toolset that won’t break the bank.7 Focus on System Improvement from the OutsetJust as you must focus on scalability from the beginning, it’s as important to focus on system improvement. System improvement means enhancements to performance tuning, changes and clarifications to business rules, adoption of technological advancements, etc. This is your chance to take a cue from your vendor. When we discussed methodologies above we mentioned that the best of these emphasizes continual improvement and refinement of processes. You should strive to implement a BI project that does just that: continually improves itself. Things that are important to you today may not be in six months. Queries that your analysts rely on today may be meaningless next year. Techniques like saving and analyzing historical query statistics help you to understand your data and how your customers need to use it. This knowledge is invaluable in helping you tune your system for peak performance. Build extensive internal analysis into your system and then develop the processes to use it faithfully to evaluate your customers’ usage of the system.Tracking and analyzing usage allows you to benchmark and quantify your performance improvements, to recognize trends and recommend enhancements and improvements to your customers and users. Perhaps most important, this analysis gives you a great story tell as you sell your newly built capability to more users. According to a recent Gartner study, of the 50% of BI initiatives that were deemed a failure the number one reason was lack of use by its intended audience. Begin now determining how you can avoid becoming part of this statistic by planning to have a finely tuned solution that continues to become more valuable to its user base over time. Improvement in performance and capability increases the number of users that rely on the solution, enhancing your system’s inherent and perceived value.8 Leverage Internal Functional ExpertiseWe cannot say enough about leveraging your own internal functional experts. There are many advantages, but the primary rewards are cost control, retention of internal expertise, and maintaining intimate contact with the user community.The cost savings are obvious: external consultants cost serious money. Other less obvious costs include paying outsiders to become familiar with your processes only to take that knowledge and leverage it against you with your competition (non-disclosure agreements notwithstanding). The proper vendor should minimize impact to your staff. Also, the professional growth opportunity this offers your team members should motivate them to participate eagerly.In addition, if you “farm out” the expertise in any given area over the long term you will eventually discover that you’ve lost any organic ability to address that need. It’s a common practice in some industries for consultants to gradually replace the organic assets and human capital with contract personnel, with the intent to eventually own all of the expertise in that area. This effectively guarantees a continuing revenue stream while you – the customer – have run low on options for regaining that organic expertise. Outsourcing ancillary, non-core and non-critical services and functionality is a great business move – do what you’re really good at and outsource the rest is a common business approach today. However, care should be taken when considering releasing your grasp on those areas that are key to your business or represent a critical functional domain.Finally, it is crucial that your internal, organic functional experts maintain close contact with the end users. The individual or group with the closest contact and interaction with end users will have the greatest influence with them as well. Should you completely outsource that functional expertise, you may lose your ability to interact on an essential level with your primary customer – the users. Never give up your ability to influence your customer.9 Ensure You Implement the Proper SolutionIf your business works fine, but just needs the reporting and analysis capability that BI offers, then why let an expensive global consulting firm convince you to re-engineer the basic foundational processes that are key to the success you’ve been enjoying? Many times, a business process re-engineering (BPR) effort stems from a consultant recommending a particular product or system that fits technically and functionally but does not fit well within the work flow of the business. Rather than select a different product or system, an enterprise may be persuaded to change its core business processes so they align with the process flow of the system. In some instances this is a valid approach and ultimately improves the performance of the business, increasing its productivity and value. However, this is rarely an easy undertaking and involves broad, sweeping, expensive changes in the business culture at its core philosophical level. One reason vendors may push for BPR is that they are paid on a time and materials (T&M) basis. It is in their interest to extend the length and/or scope of the project (see point 3 above).If your business really needs a BPR engagement, then a BI implementation is not going to resolve your issues. If, on the other hand, you need to simplify and enhance your operational reporting and analysis, or have data on disparate systems that needs to be presented homogeneously, then you may actually need a BI solution, not a BPR effort.Ensure you’re fixing the real problem and not being sold an expensive effort that will drive up your cost of doing business while not addressing your simple reporting and analysis needs.10 Drive Down Price PerformanceWhat are the primary factors that influence price performance? There are many technical factors but a small handful hold the most sway. Database systems inherently have built-in aspects such as indexed views, materialized views, partitioning, and clustering that impact their performance. While these and other technical points do greatly impact the performance of the system and the subsequent cost of that performance, the way in which they are designed and implemented is the primary determining factor. The most critical factor to driving down the price your performance is the selected vendor. This may seem obvious on the surface but probably for the wrong reason. I don’t advocate selecting the vendor who quotes the lowest price, but the vendor who offers the greatest value.Let me relate a short story about BBQ ribs and Southern culture. I’m located near Birmingham, Alabama, and have been told that we have more rib joints per capita than any other US city (no, I have no data to back this up). One of these rib joints of some renown is Dreamland Barbeque. Dreamland began as a shack by the side of the railroad tracks in rural Tuscaloosa County about an hour west of Birmingham. For years they had a sign that read, “We don’t serve: baked beans, cole slaw, mashed potatoes, potato salad, green beans…” and went on and on naming the things they did not serve. What’s the point? Dreamland served BBQ ribs, period. And did it better than anyone else. Since they specialized they were (and still are, by the way) very, very good at it. They became adept at doing it for a reasonable price. If you want ribs, go to Dreamland. They offer a great, value-priced product and do it very, very well.If you need a Business Intelligence implementation make a list of vendors that meet all of the other qualifications we’ve outlined here for a vendor. Then go through your list and look for the one that specializes in business intelligence. Find the “Dreamland Barbeque” of data. Find that vendor that is small enough to be agile, large enough to be sound, experienced enough to handle the complexity of your implementation, and focused enough to learn your data intimately. Pick a vendor that does business intelligence and does it extremely well.Following these 10 key steps does not guarantee success. Ignoring them, however, will almost certainly guarantee failure.

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How is Parkinson’s Disease Treated?

Parkinsons disease is a comparatively common condition of the nervous system which is as a result of problems with the nerve cells in the part of the brain which generates dopamine. This is a chemical substance that is needed for the smooth management of muscles and motion, so the symptoms of the disorder is a result of a reduction of that chemical. Parkinson’s disease mostly impacts individuals aged over 65, but it can and does come on at younger ages with 5-10% developing before the age of forty.

The chief clinical features of Parkinson’s disease are a tremor or shaking, that will commences in one arm or hand; there is often a muscle rigidity or stiffness along with a slowness of motion; the stance gets more stooped; additionally, there are equilibrium concerns. Parkinson’s can also cause greater pain and result in depression symptoms and create problems with memory and sleep. There isn’t any specific test for the diagnosis of Parkinson’s. The identification is usually made primarily based on the history of the symptoms, a physical along with neural evaluation. Other reasons for the signs and symptoms also need to be eliminated. There are imaging assessments, such as a CAT scan or MRI, that can be used to eliminate other issues. From time to time a dopamine transporter diagnostic might also be utilized.

The actual cause of Parkinson’s isn’t known. It does appear to have both genetic and environmental elements with it plus some specialists think that a virus may induce Parkinson’s as well. Decreased amounts of dopamine and also norepinephrine, a substance which in turn is responsible for the dopamine, have already been found in those with Parkinson’s, but it is not yet determined what is causing this. Unusual proteins which are named Lewy bodies have been located in the brains of those who have Parkinson’s; nevertheless, experts don’t know what role they may play in the development of Parkinson’s. While the specific cause just isn’t known, studies have identified risk factors that establish groups of people who are more prone to develop the condition. Men are more than one and a half times more prone to get Parkinson’s as compared to women. Caucasians are much more prone to get the condition as compared to African Americans or Asians. Those who have close members of the family who have Parkinson’s disease are more likely to develop it, implying the inherited contribution. A number of toxins could raise the potential for the problem, implying a role of the environment. People who experience difficulties with brain injuries can be more likely to go on and have Parkinson’s disease.

There is no identified remedy for Parkinson’s disease. That will not imply that the signs and symptoms can’t be handled. The main method is to use medicines to raise or replacement for the dopamine. Balanced and healthy diet together with frequent exercise is crucial. There may be changes made to the surroundings at home and work to keep the individual involved as well as active. There are also some options sometimes for brain surgical treatment which can be used to relieve some of the motor symptoms. A diverse team of different health professionals are often involved.

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Understanding the Impacts of Gout

Gout is among those historical problems because there are numerous mentions of it in historical literature, at least since ancient times. The traditional typecast of it is that it is related to the upper classes that binge in alcohol and certain foods. This image was pictured in early art work illustrating people who had gout. Gout has stopped being viewed as a problem of over consumption, because of the current research demonstrating an important genetic component to it.

Gout is a distressing inflammation related disorder which mostly impacts the joints, most commonly the great toe joint with the feet. It is because of uric acid crystals getting placed in joints in the event the bloodstream uric acid quantities are increased. The uric acid comes from the breakdown of purines which come from the consuming of foods like venison, salmon, tuna, haddock, sardines, anchovies, mussels, herring along with alcohol consumption. It is possible to understand how that old misconception was produced according to the overindulgence of the higher classes in those types of food and alcoholic beverages. The actual problem is not really the quantity of those foods which can be consumed, but the actual genetics of the biochemical pathway which usually breaks the purines in these food items down into the uric acid and how your body deals with it.

While diet is still important in the treating of gout and lowering the quantity of food which have the purines with them continues to be considered essential, however it is becoming apparent recently that this is just not sufficient by itself and just about all those who have gout probably will need pharmaceutical management. It goes without saying that drugs are likely to be needed for relief of pain throughout an acute flare up. The acute phase of gout is extremely painful. Over the long term there are two forms of drugs which you can use for gout. One kind of medicine block chemicals in the pathway which splits the purines into uric acid, which simply implies there will be much less uric acid in the blood stream that could find its way in to the joints to trigger an acute episode of gout or lead to the long-term gout. The other main kind of drug is one that can help the renal system remove much more uric acid. This would also reduce the urates in the bloodstream. Generally, only one of those drugs is all that’s needed, however occasionally both are needed to be utilized at the same time. Since these prescription medication is ordinarily pretty successful, that will not indicate that the life-style and eating habits changes may be pushed aside. Local measures, including wearing good fitting shoes if the big toe joint gets too painful is important. Also ice packs during an acute flare up will also help with the relief of pain.

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How To Approach Removing Asbestos Removal in Sydney

Planning to renovate your home built decades ago? Well, you got to be careful! There is a good chance it may have asbestos. This is a popular building material used throughout Australia before it was completely banned in 2003.

Asbestos is not generally considered hazardous. In fact, homeowners are only allowed to remove up to ten square meters of non-friable asbestos. More than that, people are advised to seek professional help, especially handling friable ones. Because of the health risks involved, DIY removal is considered illegal.

This is particularly prohibited in Sydney. Hence, the expertise of your trusted asbestos removalists is required to handle the dangerous job.

Why Removing Asbestos Can Be Dangerous?

There are many DIY ideas. Some are equally fun. Whilst, others can be hazardous, like removing asbestos by yourself.

Here are some reasons why removing asbestos without proper knowledge can be dangerous:

Exposure to diseases

Small quantities of asbestos are present in the air most of the time and are being breathed in by everyone without ill effects. But, exposure to high levels of asbestos for a long time is pretty serious. It can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma.

Accidents and Injuries

Asbestos is used in cement sheeting, drainage and pipes, guttering, and even roofing. But, asbestos roofing can become fragile over time. Hence, you might risk breaking it apart, releasing harmful fibres into the air. Also, a single sheet of asbestos can weigh 30-50 kilograms. Such weight can cause injuries.

Wrong removal and ill-fitting equipment

You may not know the proper ways to remove asbestos, exposing you to very harmful fibres. And the recommended removal equipment is quite expensive. You don’t have to deal with it on your own.

How Much Does It Cost To Remove Asbestos?

Asbestos removal can be pretty costly. It is determined by the type and size of the area, as well as the amount of debris to be removed. The safety risks of asbestos also increase the cost, especially when friable asbestos is involved. But health is wealth. It is always worth the price.

Most junk removalists in Sydney are priced from $99.99 per cubic metre, however, given the highly dangerous nature of asbestos, prices may be higher. It’s important to receive a few quotes before proceeding with an asbestos removal service.

How To Find The Right Asbestos Removal Provider?

There are a few key things you can do right now to ensure that your search for a provider is a successful one. They include:

Check Online Reviews

Does the asbestos removal service provider have an abundance of positive Google reviews? Check the history of their reviews to make sure that they are in-fact, legitimate. Businesses with legitimate reviews tend to have a stream of reviews that span across years of their lifetime; not just all within a few months.

Service Locality

Hiring a local asbestos removal business is always best. This ensures that you receive the best pricing as the business is local and nearby to your location. Typically, local businesses tend to take more pride in their workmanship as a positive reputation is key to their ongoing success.

Number of Years in Business

Given the highly dangerous nature of asbestos, it’s important to check how long the business has been in operation. A business who has over 10 years servicing the local community may provide cheaper pricing, given that they likely will have more refined practices.


Take your time while in search of a suitable asbestos removal provider. Due-dilligence is important and always shop around for the best quotes.

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A Pall Settles Over America

I see it in their eyes, downcast and wary. I see it in their steps, shuffling and tentative. When they talk, they use a word I rarely hear, depressed.

These are the producers, those who make the country work. Hourly and salaried employees and managers, who go to their jobs every day, work hard and provide for themselves and their families.

They’re the kind of people who have been with us since the country began. Back then, we called them Pilgrims, sod-busters, and settlers. Today they go by many names, Physician, Technician, Engineer, and Laborer. But for all of them, life has a rhythm, just as it did two centuries ago, that comes from our agricultural heritage.

Spring has always been the time for planting, and looking forward to the year ahead. Summertime is when they cultivate the crops. Fall is harvest time when we enjoy the fruits of our labor and thank God for blessing us. Winter is the time of austerity, the time to prune, the time to cut back.

But not this year. This year, we are still in harvest time. Yet the pruning has already begun. Major companies across this land are already cutting back, eliminating staff to reduce.

For thousands of laid-off workers, it comes at the worst possible time. Just before the holidays. A time when many who have children will have to cut back this Christmas. There will be little joy for those who lost their jobs these holidays.

If you’ve lived through a corporate “downsizing,” you know that anxiety runs high. No matter how often the boss has assured you that you will be kept on, you’re never sure about your future. Should you start looking for a new job now, or wait? Does the boss know what lies ahead, or might he be on the corporate chopping block? There is no job security once layoffs begin.

But there is much more to our collective angst this year than at any time in our memory. These corporate cutbacks are merely reflecting a more significant issue, an issue that is nationwide.

Our country is headed in the wrong direction. That is a sentiment shared by three-quarters of us. And we’ve felt that way for a couple of years. Producers know that the country should be operating better. Yes, there were all difficulties associated with the Pandemic. But those are now behind us.

Today recovery should be well underway. But it’s not. Despite all the trillions of dollars pumped into the system, our standard of living is falling. Each day inflation marches on; real income is declining. Gasoline, food, and shelter costs accelerate in real-time, but a salary rise comes annually. Corporate raises will arrive at the end of the year and likely come nowhere near the level of inflation we’ve already experienced.

Producers see all of this.

Producers also know that many, perhaps most, of our problems come from Washington. We see that a feeble old man has his bony fingers on the nation’s tiller, steering us straight for the shoals. He, and those who surround him, have a policy of austerity. In their eyes, less is better, and fewer is preferred. We should use less heat this winter, drive smaller, preferably electric vehicles, and eat vegan. And the less we consume, the better. From this perspective, we are the problem. Our destiny is to have shortages and wants. And they’ve pushed us in that direction.

However, these leaders told us last week that we could change everything. By walking into our voting booth, we could make our voices heard. We, the people, could take this country in a new direction that our leaders were indeed subject to the will of the people.

That didn’t happen. Counting votes has become a haze of computational complexity and slow-walking results. So that the incumbents in Washington get the results they want, it’s the complete inversion of the principal and values that the country’s founders intended. But there it is—today’s reality.

It’s the reason the word I hear most often from Producers today is: depression. And I’m afraid that’s where we’re headed.

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