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Corporate Vs Internet – Computing in the Clouds

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Corporate computing has revolutionized the current business environment. Not as a mere replacement of a typewriter, computers offer versatile services and increase the productive flow of information. Many time consuming and complex tasks like inventory control, accounting, customer’s database etc have been efficiently handled by computing systems. Organizations are trying to make optimum utilization of the systems at a relatively less cost. They are finding out various ways to consolidate the computer maneuvers through which they can reduce their operational costs. Cloud computing is a new dimension in computing systems by which companies can curtail their operating expenses. In simple terms it can be expressed as “computing over the internet”. It does not take place within the company’s premises. It is not using networks or outsourcing to run the same old applications. It consists of new and technologically updated ways of accessing and providing information, analyzing data and resources to people across the network.

Anatomy of the Process: A cloud computing platform consists of a massive collection of cloud servers. This includes a data center, provision manager, application server, monitoring server, and virtualization components. All the clouds are interconnected, and serve as the back end of the process. Web 2.0 is being deployed on the application server, through which all requests are efficiently handled. The user selects a service from the catalog through the front end interface. This request is passed to the system, in which the right resources are identified, and the provisioning service shapes the resources in the cloud. Software and information, both are held by centrally located servers and not on an end-user’s computer. Computer programs are hosted and operated through the internet. These applications use big data centers and servers to host web applications and services. People can access the required information by means of any device connected with an internet. It is not required that they have to access the information only from their desktop. They can even do it through their hand phones.

Applicability and Market Opportunity: This is more beneficial especially to small businessmen for whom heavy IT expenses are out of budget. This system helps them to become more productive without spending much on in-house, technical equipments. There are certain functions which can only be accessed through desktop applications such as high power computations in spread sheets. But, a vast extent of data can be accessed through cloud computing, which is normally impossible through desktop applications. Even the latest desktop can process only about 3 billion computations per second. But cloud computing systems are capable of performing trillions of computations in the same time. It involves less maintenance issues like storage capacity, compatibility etc. This would help organizations to tackle the most complicated computing tasks. It will make information available to the masses rather than a limited number of skilled professionals. When a user accesses information from the cloud, he will get only the latest version. This eliminates the trouble of updating the version on the user’s hard drive. Generally, a vendor sells product directly to the end user, and if this product becomes obsolete, the user has to go out of business. Now, cloud computing helps the user to get information from the latest version. With this system, a person from anywhere in the world, can create a company at a relatively cheap cost, which can compete with almost anyone.

Challenges ahead for implementing the system: The software and technology required to support the system is still not obtained appropriately.

– Awareness and infiltration of its usage lacks in many countries.

– As immense data of people’s personal identity will be stored through a third party, the issue become more sensitive. Much focus and attention is required to safeguard their privacy. World’s leading companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and IBM are moving towards this trend, by formulating plans to tap this technology. This decade is witnessing internet as a profitable marketplace for business. With the growing need for using computing systems in business operations, cloud computing has became an inevitable part of the technology portfolio. It is a long running trend with a far out horizon.

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Classification of Servers

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Server is a program which runs on a computer like a service and it fulfills the requirements of other programs which are not installed on the same PC.

Server Computer

This is a computer that is linked with other PC’s or devices and provides necessary network services to the users within an organization or outside users. There are different types of operating systems of hardware which drive or run the server and they are known as server platforms.

There are various types of servers used according to the use. We can discuss on different types of servers as:

Application Servers

An application server is a machine that does the work of connecting two databases or applications. It works like a middleware as a connection medium for two applications. If we take an example then these are the (middleware) products connecting a database system to a web server. Many organizations which are working on and providing various support services like server support, network management, IT management etc. are using different application servers.

Audio-Video Servers

They provide the multimedia features to the websites and allow them to program the streaming content. For transferring data the streaming technique is used and it can be processed steadily and continuously. It is popular today because many users don’t have fast access to download the content quickly. For better streaming the receiver’s side should be able to convert the data into sound and graphics.

Chat Servers

The chat servers allow the users to transfer the data or information within an environment which is similar and offer immediate discussion features. These are working on a real-time technique means immediate response. We can understand it by taking an example of a real-time operating system which responds quickly after getting an input.

FTP Servers

These are one of the Internet features which allow the users to transfer the files securely between the PC’s. The FTP Servers can move one or more than one files providing file security.

Fax Servers

The fax server is software which runs on a server with some fax modems. These are attached with the telephone lines and are capable to transmit the documents as they are to the receivers end. They can receive the information to their own side as well.

Groupware Servers

These servers let the users to interact and work together in a virtual location. They can collaborate together with different locations simultaneously.

IRC Servers

It is also like a chat server. What we chat is depends on the internet relay chat servers, it is like a network allowing the users to chat via different chat servers.

Mail Servers

The mail servers mainly store and move the electronic mails with different networks via LAN, WAN through the Internet.

Proxy Servers & Web Servers

A proxy server works as an intermediary or a computer system which allows other clients to connect with indirect network connections to other network services.

Web server is the hardware and the software which helps and allows the content and information over the internet.

The above information can be useful to those who are studying about servers and also seeking information about managed IT services as well.

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5 Important Facts That You Should Know About IoT Training

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Overview

If you wish to upgrade your professional skills in technology, then you may consider online or offline training process and certification to enable you to do business with the Internet of Things. IoT primarily focuses on physical devices networks, homes, vehicles and other items that are embedded in software sensors, electronics, connectivity, and actuators. Everything in an Internet of Things must have the ability to connect with other objects and also exchange data. Poor skills such as the inability to create and maintain network security can significantly affect IoT from transforming the way in which we work and live. This makes the issue of IoT an essential requirement for people who want to focus on the line of technology. After thorough training in IoT, the learner is then certified as a professional who can improve the manner in which business is done, and daily life is lived. IoT is a broad field with diverse components. The article will explain top five critical facts that one should know about the IoT training.

IoT

In the current high technology world, filled with abundant and sophisticated smartphones as well as other gadgets, you can only be forgiven if you think that IoT has integrated itself to modern technology. The good thing is that, once you delve into IoT, you will find yourself striving for even more advanced connectivity. It is estimated that, by 2025, IoT will have over 76 billion connections of devices. In this regard, training must be taken seriously and that is why this article presents some of the best facts that a learner must know about IoT Training.

Things to know about IoT training

1. The value of IoT skills is not only about technology- the real value of IoT training and certification lies in the creation of advanced value propositions as well as potential revenue streams. The aim here is to take this technology and apply it to move to new business models as well as services that may help realize them. As asserted by the leading analysts as well as thought leaders, potential growth in IoT skills is very critical. It is believed that, the more the number of graduates in IoT training and certification, the higher the revenue expected. In fact, it is belied that, by 2020, the total revenue will have risen to about $7.1 trillion for companies that make use of the IoT graduates.

2. The IoT training will give you unique skills that businesses outside your industry knows but you don’t know. A good example is training you to use the new highly powerful development tools for the clickstream analysis. This gives you the power to detect fraud even before it has happened to your organization, enhance strong cybersecurity and do genome sequencing.

3. IoT training is business, customer facing and technology-oriented- the training program is very inclusive as it impacts learners from diverse backgrounds. Whether you are a manager, an investor, an executive entrepreneur or a consultant, IoT business-oriented training is meant for you. The package will significantly help you come up with winning business strategies in an executive way to help you develop IoT businesses, products, and projects.

4. Learner Expectations of IoT training- the course of training focuses on the architecture of IoT, devices, components and software requirements. Trainers will also ensure you have vast knowledge about the layers of IoT, emended systems as well as microcontrollers. Working with big data and analysis will no longer be a big deal to you! Importantly, you will be able to handle any IoT support service, security as well as advanced data management.

5. The basic procedure- for you to be a certified graduate of the IoT course, you must have undergone the compulsory requirements and passed the given tests. The mandatory training module ensures that you have gained a full understanding of the IoT and how it works. Passing an exam is an indication of the high-level skilled graduate produced as the exams cover all the relevant areas required in the job market.

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Anyone Can Clean Their Car, But What About Those Cloudy, Yellow Headlights?

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It is a very common occurrence. We see then every day. Its like a disease – yellow, cloudy headlight lenses in drastic need of repair. I even saw them on cars at the local carwash. It befuddled me that these people would take such great care – washing, vacuuming the interior, removing the floor mats and even hand drying their cars, but they still had those yellowed, cloudy headlights. Its not just a problem on old, very used cars. It is prevalent on 2 – 3 year old cars also. It doesn’t matter if it is a Dodge, Ford, Mercedes, or a Porsche.

When questioned, most said they couldn’t afford, or didn’t want to pay the high prices of replacements from their local auto dealer. The average price for a pair of replacement plastic headlights at local auto dealerships was around $450 – that didn’t even include installation and alignment (that would be another $60-120). After market headlights do exist, but have received mixed reviews, and the savings aren’t that great, quality and fit is lagging, and then you still had to have them installed and aligned. And for what so you can do it again in another year or two?

There is another solution, there are headlight repair, cleaner and restorer kits available for under $30 (look up headlight cleaner and/or headlight restorer on Google), much less expensive than replacement lenses, and they work!

Plastic headlight lenses are the norm in the automotive industry now – every car has them. Some have fancy names like plexan and Lexan, but they all have the same problems. The sun, acid rain, harsh weather conditions, chemicals (brake fluid, power steering fluid, hot radiator fluids, hot water, harsh cleaners, etc…) will all cause the plastic lenses to degrade and weaken quickly. Some manufacturers have gone to including a protective film on the lenses. Regardless, they are all susceptible to this weakening and yellowing over time.

With these headlight repair, cleaner and restorer kits even junk yard car lenses have been repaired and restored to brand new (as evidenced on some websites). These same lenses used to be discarded and now have become new profit centers for salvage yards. The treatments are similarly applied to the exterior of the headlight lens where the damage is worst and it doesn’t take a mechanic to repair it.

These kits can easily be found under headlight cleaner and headlight restorer on Google. So now you know there is a very economic solution to the problem of yellow, cloudy, worn headlights – repair, clean and restore them to new again. There’s no excuse now to not have sparkling clean headlights. Car dealerships have been using these headlight repair, cleaner and restorer on their cars and you can too.

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How to Design and Layout a Coffee Shop Or Espresso Bar

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If you are planning to open an espresso bar/coffee shop, then developing an efficient store design and layout will be one of the most important factors in positioning your business for success.

Speed of service is critical to the profitability of a coffee business. An efficient ergonomic store design will allow you to maximize your sales by serving as many customers as possible during peak business periods. Even though your business may be open 12 to 16 hours a day, in reality, 80% of your sales will probably occur during 20% of those hours. Coffee is primarily a morning beverage, so your busy times of day (those times when you are most likely to have a line of waiting customers), may be from 6:30AM to 8:30AM, and then again around lunchtime. If you have a poor store layout, that does not provide a logical and efficient flow for customers and employees, then the speed of customer service and product preparation will be impaired.

Think of it like this; if someone pulls open the front door of your store, and they see 5 people are waiting in line to order, there’s a good chance they’ll come in, wait in line, and make a purchase. But, if they see that 20 people are waiting in line, there is a high probability that they may determine that the wait will be too long, and they will simply get coffee somewhere else. This is money that just escaped your cash register! And, if they come to your store multiple times, and frequently find a long line of waiting customers, they may decide you are not a viable option for coffee, and will probably never return. Poor design slows down the entire service process, resulting in a longer line of waiting customers, and lost sales. So in reality, your daily business income will be dependent upon how many customers you can serve during peak business periods, and good store design will be essential to achieving that objective!

The financial impact of a poor store design can be significant. For the sake of this example, let’s say the average customer transaction for your coffee business will be $3.75. If you have a line of waiting customers each morning between 7:00 AM and 8:30 AM, this means you have 90 minutes of crunch time, in which you must drive through as many customers as possible. If you can service a customer every 45 seconds, you will serve 120 customers during this 90 minutes. But, if it takes you 1 minute 15 seconds to service each customer, then you will only be able to serve 72 customers. 120 customers x $3.75 = $450.00 x 30 business days per month = $13,500. 72 customers x $3.75 = $270.00 x 30 business days per month = $8,100. This represents a difference of $5,400 in sales per month ($64,800 per year), coming from just 90-minutes of business activity each day!

So how should you go about designing your coffee bar? First, understand that putting together a good design is like assembling a puzzle. You have to fit all the pieces in the proper relationship to each other to end up with the desired picture. This may require some trial and error to get things right. I’ve designed hundreds of coffee bar over the past 15 years, and I can truthfully tell you from experience, it still usually takes me a couple of attempts to produce an optimal design.

The design process begins by determining your menu and other desired store features. If you plan to do in-store baking, then obviously you’ll need to include in your plan an oven, exhaust hood, sheet pan rack, a large prep table, and perhaps a mixer. If you plan to have a private meeting room for large groups, then an extra 200 sq. ft. or more will need to be designed-in, in addition to the square footage you are already allocating for normal customer seating.

Your intended menu and other business features should also drive decisions about the size of location you select. How many square feet will be required to fit in all the necessary equipment, fixtures, and other features, along with your desired seating capacity?

Typically, just the space required for the front of the house service area, (cash register, brewing & espresso equipment, pastry case, blenders, etc.), back of the house (storage, prep, dishwashing and office areas), and 2-ADA restrooms, will consume about 800 sq. ft. If space for extensive food prep, baking, coffee roasting, or cooking will be required, this square footage may increase to 1,000 to 1,200, or more. What ever is left over within your space after that, will become your seating area.

So, a typical 1,000 sq. ft coffee bar, serving beverages and simple pastries only, will probably allow for the seating of 15 to 20 customers – max! Increase that square footage to 1,200 sq. ft., and seating should increase to 30, or 35. If you plan to prepare sandwiches, salads, and some other food items on site, 1,400 to 1,600 sq. ft. should provide enough space to seat 35 to 50, respectively.

Next, you will have to determine the tasks that will be performed by each employee position, so that the equipment and fixtures necessary to accomplish those tasks can be located in the appropriate places.

Normally, your cashier will operate the cash register, brew and serve drip coffee, and serve pastries and desserts. Your barista will make all your espresso-based beverages, tea, chai, hot chocolate, Italian sodas, as well as all the blender beverages. If you’ll be preparing sandwiches, panini, wraps, salads, snacks and appetizers, or will be baking on-site, then a person dedicated to food prep will be necessary. And, if you anticipate high volume, and will be serving in or on ceramics, a bus-person/dishwasher may be a necessity.

After you have determined what you will be serving, the space you will be leasing, and what each employee will be responsible for, you will then be ready to begin your design process. I usually start my design work from the back door of the space and work my way forward. You’ll need to design in all of the features that will be necessary to satisfy your bureaucracies and facilitate your menu, before you make plans for the customer seating area.

Your back door will most likely have to serve as an emergency fire exit, so you’ll need a hallway connecting it with your dining room. Locating your 2-ADA restrooms off of this hallway would make good sense. And, because delivery of products will also probably occur through your back door, having access to your back of the house storage area would also be convenient.

In the back of the house, at minimum, you will need to include a water heater, water purification system, dry storage area, back-up refrigerator and freezer storage, ice maker, an office, 3-compartment ware washing sink, rack for washed wares, mop bucket sink, and a hand washing sink. Do any food prep, and the addition of a food prep sink and prep table will be necessary. If doing baking, gelato making, full cooking, or coffee roasting, all the equipment necessary for those functions will also need to be added.

After all the features have been designed into the back of the house, you will then be ready to start your design work on the front of the house service and beverage preparation area. This area will probably include a pastry case, cash register(s), drip coffee brewer and grinder(s), espresso machine and grinders, a dipper well, possibly a granita machine, blenders, ice holding bin, blender rinse sink, hand washing sink, under counter refrigeration (under espresso machine and blenders), and a microwave oven.

If serving food beyond simple pastries and desserts, you may need to add a panini toaster grill, a refrigerated sandwich/salad preparation table, soup cooker/warmer, a bread toaster, etc. If you plan to serve pre made, ready to serve sandwiches, wraps, and salads, along with a selection of bottled beverages, an open-front, reach-in merchandising refrigerator should be considered. Serving ice cream or gelato? If the answer is yes, then an ice cream or gelato dipping cabinet will be necessary along with an additional dipper well.

Finally, when all the working areas of the bar have been designed, the customer seating area can be laid out. This will, of course, include your cafe tables and chairs, couches and comfortable upholstered chairs, coffee tables, and perhaps a window or stand-up bar with bar stools. Impulse-buy and retail merchandise shelves should be established, and a condiment bar should be located close to where customers will pick-up their beverages.

A quick word about couches, large upholstered chairs, and coffee tables. Living room type furniture takes up a lot of space. If you plan to be opening evenings, and will perhaps serve beer and wine, and having comfortable seating will be important for creating a relaxing ambiance, then by all means do it. But if you have limited seating space, and are not trying to encourage people to relax and stay for long periods of time, then stick with cafe tables and chairs. The more people you can seat, the greater your income potential!

Features from the front door to the condiment bar should be arranged in a logical, sequential order. As your customers enter the front door, their travel path should take them past your impulse-buy merchandise display, and the pastry case, before they arrive at the point of order (where your cashier, cash register, and menu-board will be located). Exposing customers to your impulse items and pastries, before they order, will greatly increase their sales. Then, after the order and payment has been taken, they should proceed down-line away from the cash register to pick-up their beverage, and finally, the condiment bar should be located beyond that point. Be sure to separate your point of order from the point of product pick-up by at least six feet, otherwise customers waiting for their beverage may begin to intrude into the space of those ordering.

Don’t make the mistakes that many inexperienced designers commonly make. They arrange these features in a haphazard way, so that customers have to change direction, and cut back through the line of awaiting customers to proceed to their next destination in the service sequence. Or, wanting to make their espresso machine a focal point to those entering the store, they place it before the cashier along the customer’s path of travel. Customers inevitably end up trying to order from the barista before they are informed that they need to proceed to the cashier first. If this happens dozens of times each day, confusion and slowed beverage production will be the result.

On the employee’s side of the counter, work and product flow are even more important. Any unnecessary steps or wasted movements that result from a less than optimal design will slow down employee production. All products should flow seamlesly in one direction towards the ultimate point of pick-up. For example, if preparing a particular item is a 3-step process, then placement of equipment should allow for the 3 steps to occur in order, in one linear direction, with the final step occurring closest to the point where customers will be served.

Equipment should be grouped together so that it is in the immediate proximity of the employee(s) who will be using it. Beyond the actual equipment, empty spaces must be left on the counter top to store ingredients and small wares (tools) used in product preparation. Counter top space will also be needed where menu items will actually be assembled. Think of the grouping of equipment for different job functions as stations. Try to keep different stations compact and in close working proximity to each other, but make sure that there is enough space between each so that employee working-paths don’t cross, which could contribute to employee collisions.

Creating defined work stations will allow you to put multiple employees behind the counter when needed. When it is busy, you may need to have 2 cashiers, another person just bagging pastries and brewing coffee, 2 baristas behind the espresso machine, a maybe even a dedicated person working the blenders. If you’re preparing sandwiches and salads to order, then another person may need to be added to handle that task. Keeping your stations in close proximity to each other will allow one employee to easily access all equipment during very slow periods of business, thus saving you valuable labor dollars.

When you arrange equipment in relationship to each other, keep in mind that most people are right handed. Stepping to the right of the espresso machine to access the espresso grinder will feel more comfortable than having to move to the left. Likewise, place your ice storage bin to the right of your blenders, so when you scoop ice, you can hold the cup or blender pitcher in your left hand, and scoop with your right.

As you create your store layout, the equipment you select should fit your space and the needs of your anticipated business volume. A busy location will most likely require a dual or twin, air pot, drip coffee brewer (one that can brew 2 pots at the same time), as opposed to a single brewer. If you anticipate selling a lot of blended and ice drinks, then an under counter ice maker, one that can only produce 100 pounds of ice or less per day, will not be sufficient. You should instead locate a high-capacity ice maker (one that can make 400 or 500 lbs. per day) in the back of the house, and transport ice to an ice holding bin up front. Plan to bring in frozen desserts and ice cream? Then a 1 door reach-in freezer in the back of he house will probably be inadequate for you storage needs, so you’ll need to consider a 2 or 3 door. I always recommend a 3-group espresso machine for any location that may generate 150 drinks per day or more. And, I can tell you from experience, you can never have too much dry or refrigerated storage space!

Make sure that any equipment you select will be acceptable with your local bureaucracy before your purchase and take delivery of it. All equipment will typically need to be NSF & UL approved, or have a similar, acceptable, foreign certification equivalent. Your bureaucracy will most likely want to see manufacturer specification sheets on all equipment to verify this fact, before they’ll approve your plans.

ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act) compliance will also come into play when you are designing your coffee bar. In some areas of the country, this will only apply to those areas of your store that will be used by customers. However, other bureaucracies may require your entire store to be ADA compliant. Following are some of the basic requirements of compliance with the code:

• All hallways and isle ways must be 5 feet wide (minimum).

• All countertop working heights must be 34 inches high (instead of normal 36 inch height).

• 18 inches of free wall space must be provided on the strike-side of all doors (the side with the door knob).

• All hand-washing sinks must be ADA friendly.

• All bathrooms must be ADA compliant (5 foot space for wheelchair turnaround, handrails at toilet, acceptable clearance around toilet and hand washing sink, etc.).

• No steps allowed, ramps are OK with the proper slope.

• If your space has multiple levels, then no feature may exist on a level where handicapped access has not been provided, if that same feature does not exist on a level where it will be accessible.

You can find the complete regulations for ADA compliance at the following website:

http://www.access-board.gov/adaag/html/adaag.htm

Beyond the basic Equipment Floor Plan, showing new partitions, cabinets, equipment, fixtures, and furnishings, you’ll need to produce some additional drawings to guide your contractors and satisfy the bureaucracies.

Electrical Plan

An electrical plan will be necessary to show the location of all outlets needed to operate equipment. Information such as voltage, amperage, phase, hertz, special instructions (like, “requires a dedicated circuit”), and the horizontal and vertical location of each outlet, should all be specified.

A small, basic coffee shop might get away with a 200 amp service, but typically 400 amps will be required if your equipment package will include items like an electric water heater, high-temperature dishwasher, or cooking equipment (ovens, panini grill, etc.).

In addition to the electrical work required for your coffee business-specific equipment, you may need to adjust existing electrical for additional or reconfigured lighting, HVAC, general-purpose convenience outlets, and exterior signs. Also, have your electrician run any needed speaker wires, TV/internet cables, and cash register remote receipt printer cables at the same time they are installing electrical wires. Finally, make sure your electrician makes provisions for lighted exit signs, and a battery-powered emergency evacuation lighting system, if needed.

Plumbing Plan

A plan showing all plumbing features will be necessary. At minimum, this should show stub-in locations for all needed water sources (hot & cold), drains, your water heater, water purifications system, grease interceptor (if required), bathroom fixtures, etc.

While a typical P-trap drain should be acceptable for most fixtures and equipment, some will require an air-gap drain. An air gap drain does not go through the “S”-shaped twists of the P-trap. Instead, the drain line comes straight down from the piece of equipment or fixture, and terminates 2 inches above the rim of a porcelain floor sink drain. This porcelain drain basin is usually installed directly into the floor. The air gap between the drain line from your equipment or fixture, and the bottom of the basin, prevents any bacteria in the sewer pipe from migrating into the equipment or fixture. I drain the following pieces of equipment to a floor sink drain when creating a plumbing plan:

• espresso machine

• dipper wells

• ice maker

• ice holding bin

• food prep sink

• soft drink dispensing equipment

To save on the life of your water filtration system, only your espresso machine and coffee brewer should be supplied by with treated water. Coffee is 98% to 99% water, so good water quality is essential. Your ice maker should only require a simple particle filter on the incoming line (unless your water quality is terrible). There is no need to filter water that will be used for hand and dish washing, cleaning mops, flushing toilets, and washing floors!

Be aware that many bureaucracies are now requiring a grease interceptor on the drain line from your 3-compartment ware washing sinks and automatic dishwasher. A grease interceptor is basically a box containing baffles that traps the grease before it can enter the public sewer system.

Also understand that a typical retail space will not come equipped with a water heater with enough capacity to handle your needs. Unless your space was previously some type of a food service operation, you will probably need to replace it with a larger one.

If cutting trenches in the floor will be necessary to install porcelain floor sinks, a grease interceptor, and run drain lines, then establishing a few general purpose floor drains at this same time behind the counter, and in the back of the house, will prove useful. Floor drains will allow you to squeegee liquids away when spills occur, and when washing floors.

Finally, if you added some new walls during your remodel, you may need to have the fire sprinkler system for your space adjusted or reconfigured.

Cabinet Elevations

Drawing cabinet elevations, (the view you would have if you were standing in front of your cabinets), will be necessary for your cabinet maker to understand all the features they will need to incorporate into your cabinet designs.

These elevations are not meant to be shop fabrication drawings for your cabinetmaker, but merely serve a reference, showing needed features and desired configuration. Where do you want drawers, and under counter storage space; and, where do you want cabinet doors on that under counter storage? Where should open space be left for the placement of under counter refrigeration and trashcans? Will cup dispensers be installed in the cabinet face under the counter top? These elevations will provide your cabinetmaker with a clear understanding of all these features.

While your kitchen base cabinets at home are typically 24 inches deep, for commercial applications they should be 30 inches deep, and 33 inches if an under counter refrigerator is to be inserted. Also, when specifying the size of an open bay to accommodate under counter refrigeration, be sure to allow a couple of inches more than the physical dimensions of the equipment, so that it can be easily inserted and removed for daily cleaning.

Dimensions Plan

You will need to create a floor plan showing all the critical dimensions for new partitions, doors, cabinets, and fixtures. This will, of course, help make sure that everything ends up where it is suppose to be, and will be the right size.

A final thought about design; unless the space you will be designing is a clean vanilla shell (meaning, nothing currently exists in the space, except perhaps one ADA restroom), you will have to make sure that all the features that you are considering keeping, will be acceptable with your local bureaucracy. Many older buildings were not designed to present codes. If the business type remains the same (your space was occupied by a food service establishment before you), then some times any non compliant features will be grandfathered-in, meaning you don’t have to bring them up to current requirements. But don’t count on this! You need to check with your bureaucracies to make sure. More and more I see bureaucracies requiring new business owners to remodel, so that all features are compliant with codes. This means you may have to rip-out bathrooms and hallways, add fire sprinkler systems, and provide ramps where there are steps. Better you know all these things before you begin your store design!

I always tell my consulting clients, that if I produce a perfect design and layout for them, they will never notice… because everything will be exactly where you would expect it to be. Unfortunately, if you create a less than optimal design for your coffee bar, you probably won’t realize it until you start working in it. Changing design mistakes or inadequacies after the fact, can be extremely expensive. Not correcting those mistakes may even cost you more in lost potential sales. For this reason, I strongly suggest using an experienced coffee business space designer to create your layout for you, or at very least, to review the design you have created. Doing so will payoff with dividends.

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The History of American Trans Air

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Indianapolis-based American Trans Air, once an emerging carrier, continually searched for an identity.

Established in 1973 as an aircraft provider for the Ambassadair Travel Club, it inaugurated service with a single Boeing 720 dubbed “Miss Indy,” doubling its fleet five years later with a second, “Spirit of Indiana.” But its March 1981 issuance of common-carrier certification enabled it to operate in its own right.

Retaining its Indianapolis roots, it acquired ever larger aircraft, including eight 707s; its first widebody, a former Laker Airways DC-10-10 registered N183AT in 1983; and an ex-Northwest Orient DC-10-40, itself bearing registration N184AT. The quad-engine 707s were eventually replaced by more fuel efficient 727-100 tri-jets.

Annual passenger totals climbed: 96,426 in 1981, 269,086 in 1982, and 618,532 in 1983.

Relying upon Northwest for additional DC-10 acquisitions, but forced to substitute the comparable TriStar when it elected to retain its aircraft, American Trans Air purchased its first in 1985, ultimately operating 15 L-1011-1s, one -100, and four -500s.

It assumed a new operational profile when it inaugurated limited scheduled service on the JFK-Belfast-Riga (Latvia), Indianapolis-Fort Myers, Indianapolis-Las Vegas, and San Francisco-Kahului (Maui)-Honolulu routes, billing itself both as “American’s vacation airline” and “The nation’s largest charter airline.”

“We create the comfort. You create the excitement,” it advertised. “At American Trans Air, we know the only excitement you want on a vacation is the excitement you create. That’s why you can count on American Trans Air’s courteous, professional staff, top flight aircraft, consumer conscious prices, and all the little extras that have become characteristic of our growing company.”

Growing it was. Seeking to avoid scheduled airline competition, it had become the United States’ largest charter operator, attributing up to 90 percent of its revenue to both the civil and military divisions of this sector, with the remainder from scheduled operations, wet leasing, third party pilot training, and contract maintenance.

Operating a 23-strong fleet by 1992-including seven 727-100s, 12 L-1011-1s, and four 757-200s-it was profitable for 18 of its 19-year history, posting a $2 million loss the previous year for the first time because of the recession and the travel trepidation created by the Gulf War. It transported 2.4 million passengers that year.

It was that very Gulf War, however, which served as the cornerstone of its military operations, since its aircraft counted as part of the Civil Air Patrol fleet. Carrying 108,000 troops on 494 missions in support of Operation Desert Storm, it was also instrumental in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, and provided 727-100 shuttle flights between Nellis Air Force Base and the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada.

Stretched -200s replaced the -100s in 1993.

American Trans Air once again adopted a new image when it devoted a significant portion of its aircraft resources to scheduled operations from a Chicago-Midway hub, in addition to continuing its military and government contract flights.

To facilitate its intended growth and modernize its fleet, it ordered 39 737-800s and 12 757-200s in 2000, taking delivery of the first of the former (N301TZ) in June of the following year and the first of the latter (N550TZ) two months later, introducing a livery change in the process to emphasize its new scheduled-airline, business-oriented route system, now branded “ATA Airlines.”

Equally seeking feed from small and secondary cities with more suitable turboprop regional equipment, it purchased existing Chicago Express for $1.9 million in 1999 and operated it as a separate “ATA Connection” subsidiary.

Its latest, elevated-image strategy, however, proved unprofitable, forcing it to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection five years later, on October 26, 2004. The best method of keeping it alive, it decided, was to employ its assets for the benefit of a healthy carrier, which, in this case, was deregulation-synonymous Southwest Airlines.

Transferring six of its Midway Airport gates and 27 percent of its nonvoting stock to Southwest in exchange for a life-injecting cash infusion and continued operation under a code share agreement in December of 2004, ATA reduced its number of Indianapolis-served destinations to three and redeployed aircraft to Chicago, now assuming a business airline profile by flying to cities that Southwest did not, including New York-La Guardia, Dallas/Fort Worth, and San Francisco. Midway-bypassing services also enabled it to link Southwest focus cities, such as Orlando, Phoenix, and Las Vegas, with other voids in its route system, Denver and Honolulu among them.

The strategy resulted in a 20-percent revenue increase for Southwest, but did not necessarily suture ATA’s financial bleed.

To further reduce costs, it significantly pruned its fleet, selling 20 737-800s and eight 757-300s and only marginally plugging its capacity gap with the two-year lease, between November of 2005 and November of 2007, of three former United Airlines 737-300s. Even the lease rates, in the event, proved too high.

Coincident service reductions, not surprisingly, were extensive, as the lights dimmed on numerous destinations over a short interval: Boston, Newark, and Minneapolis in October of 2005, Indianapolis and Denver in November, and Orlando, Fort Myers, and San Francisco the following April, leaving little more than the skeleton of its once fully fleshed body. Indeed, 18 daily departures were dispatched form a single gate at Midway Airport and only 52 were offered system wide. A previous court approval had enabled it to sell its Ambassadair Travel Club division to Grueninger Cruises and Tours.

Although a $100 million financial package form the MatlinPatterson investment firm and pre-bankruptcy creditors enabled the now-privatized carrier to briefly emerge from bankruptcy and establish service to New York-La Guardia, Houston-Hobby, Ontario, Oakland, and Hilo (Hawaii), rising fuel prices, the rapid resignation of a shortly-serving CEO, the poorly executed replacement plan of its L-1011s with DC-10s, and the loss of a major military contract caused it to spiral back into bankruptcy, leaving Flight 4586 from Honolulu to Phoenix to mark its last landing at 0846 on August 2, 2008.

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Finance

The Top 10 Ways to Reduce Expenses When You’re Between a Rock and a Hard Spot

Avatar Of Rajesh Khanna

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If you’re in a career transition with limited financial reserves or up to your neck in alligators from overspending, run to, not from the problem. The longer you carry this issue around the heavier it will get. Choose to implement all of the action items below to immediately reduce your spending. Better yet, make it a game to see how low you can get your expenses…you just might find that less is more.

1. Phones

Eliminate your cell phone and shop around for a long distance carrier with a low rate per minute and no monthly fee.

2. Subscriptions

Cancel newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals. Everything you need is free at the library, accessible via the internet, or on television.

3. Utilities

Turn down the thermostat, use energy efficient lamps in fixtures, turn off the lights when you leave a room, ask your local utility companies about budget billing, and review the many other energy and money saving tips listed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s website.

4. Taxes

If you’re employed, ask if your employer offers a Section 125 Plan or Flexible Spending Program. If so, enroll in the plan as soon as possible to pay your health premium, health expenses and dependent care expenses (if applicable) with pre-tax dollars.

5. Medical

Purchase generic prescriptions when possible and obtain the best price by calling and comparing prices at local pharmacies, increase your medical coverage deductible, and read and understand your medical plan to be a smart consumer of health care services and save dollars.

6. Stuff in your home

Clean up, organize, and simplify your home environment. Hold a garage sale and fill it with the things you don’t use, don’t have room to display, or can’t access easily. You might also consider selling items on eBay. Another option is donating your items to a charitable organization as your gift may be deductible. Your stuff is someone else’s treasure.

7. Meals

If you’re working – take your lunch, shop at a discount grocery store and buy in bulk, cut out the junk food, avoid purchasing prepackaged meals, and avoid eating dinner out. Have you stopped to think that your daily latte may be costing you $600 per year?

8. Fitness

Terminate your gym membership. Try walking, running, hiking, or biking. It’s easier and more convenient to step through your front door and start exercising, plus the fresh air is invigorating.

9. Recreation and fun

Stay home with a good book or rent a video or DVD instead of going to the movie theater. Pop your own popcorn, snuggle up in your favorite chair, and have a fun night at home. As painful as it might be, you could also drop your cable TV.

10. Lifestyle

Money problems are seldom about money but rather emanate from your lifestyle choices. For example, I recently spoke with a small business owner who told me he was in financial trouble and was looking for ideas to save his business. He then mentioned that he was taking his family on vacation next month. He must have felt it necessary to justify his vacation plans because he proceeded to tell me he was taking the vacation in spite of his dire financial situation as it was important to create a positive memory and good time for his kids. I wonder how much he’ll enjoy the vacation when his business is about to tank.

If you’re in financial trouble or see it looming on the horizon, please don’t try to justify spending any more money, cut every expense today and when you’re out of debt start saving and building at least a years worth of financial reserve. It can be done! Good luck.

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