Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Diamond Industry: Child Exploiter or Savior?

In my recent article on the Kimberley Process, a lady commented about the abuse of small children in India in the diamond (cutting) manufacturing industry. 
("Kimberley Process: The Fairy Tale Your Mother Never Told.") This was interesting to me because abuse and opportunity often exist side by side. Not only is this true in the diamond industry, but throughout the entire world in nearly every business, culture and society.

Currently and historically, people have been exploited and abused to generate income and profit for unscrupulous diamond mine owners. Until recently, people were forced at gunpoint to work in the diamond mines, fields and rivers in conflict riddled countries. It is obvious to all that this kind of abuse is wrong and cannot be tolerated in a civilized world. There are some wonderful articles and essays written on the Blood Diamond subject. This is not one of them.
In this article, I would ask the reader to examine a less coercive form of exploitation. I would like to talk about the working of children in the labor force, and of the extremely low wages paid to children, in the mining and polishing of diamonds. Many in the West cannot understand how parents, governments, and societies in Africa, Asia and parts of South America can allow children to be taken out of school and forced to work. Often these children work as many hours and as hard as adults do.
Unfortunately, people in the West have short and convenient memories. It was not so long ago that our predecessors had their children working alongside because they felt they had no choice. This was common in the Western world, especially in agrarian societies. Additionally, society saw this phenomenon as a useful tool in teaching skills and life values to the young. Furthermore, education was not relegated to schools only. In the past, few people went to college. Most skills were learned in the workplace and apprenticeship was common.
Children were sent to apprentice with knowledgeable and skilled artisans and their education was within their chosen trade. The families and children were grateful for the opportunity, and the company was happy to have an inexpensive work force that could be trained in the company's ways, skills and culture.
The parents received the small wages that the children earned and the family benefited. Sometimes, the wages of the children made the difference between hunger and sufficient food for the family. As the children grew and developed in their understanding and skills, their wages increased and they were assured of making a decent living. Not only did the individual benefit, the whole family and their descendents benefited by the family having increased wealth and status in their community.
Today the world has not changed for billions of people. They are no different from the people of previous generations whose opportunities were severely limited.Even today, the education for their children is either non-existent or sorely lacking. In addition, for many, if their children do not enter into an apprenticeship or go to work in the diamond mining industry, they will literally starve or face hunger often.
Is it fair? Fairness is irrelevant, this is life in the real world. Often in life, our choices seem to be dictated. Such is the case with the majority of the children. The question never is; should the children go to work? No, the question is; are they treated with respect and care?
According to the great Chinese sage Lao Tzu, "When the Superior is not respected and the Subordinate is not cared for, disaster will follow." This warning from nearly 3000 years ago still holds true today. The children must go to work. The families have no choice. Wise companies take good care of the children. Shortsighted companies abuse and exploit the children. Is it moral to have young children working? Ask anyone who has ever faced real hunger. An empty stomach, has its own morality.
One further point I would like to add. Some people, no matter how fortunate they are, and no matter how many opportunities they have, may rarely, if ever achieve success. Others, though they come from humble beginnings and have little opportunity may nevertheless succeed. If you are employed, even in the ditches of Africa, you have a chance to learn, grow and pull yourself up. Your chance may be small, but you have an opportunity simply because you have a job. Give a man a handout and you take away his dignity. Give him a job, and you give him dignity and respect.
Life is unfair. According to Vasistha, an ancient Indian sage, we experience pleasure and pain on account of the passage of time and the circumstances in which we find ourselves. The children workers have a chance in life to be successful. Perhaps the children who do not find jobs are the real victims?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Being Creative With Business Cards

Many people debate how creative you should be with your business cards. Some say it's best to be simple and plain to show a no-nonsense approach but others argue that a card that displays your creativity and passion will impress upon clients your unique skills. There is no right or wrong way to design a business card, if it works it works. The industry you work in will have a lot to do with how creative you can be with your business cards but there are several options for creating distinct cards that will make a lasting impression with the people who matter.
If you work in banking or finance you will definitely be encouraged to present a subtle and professional looking card. These are not the industries for crazy designs, wild colors and cute tag lines but that doesn't mean you can be unique when designing your card. One option for making a stellar impression in button-up industries like stock trading and insurance is t use high quality metal business cards. Made from durable aluminum and brass these cards can be coated with silver and gold plating to present a business card that is stately, professional and deserving of respect. Maybe you need to work your way up the corporate ladder a bit before going for the high end metal look but gold and stainless steel cards are hard for people to dismiss or forget.
Realtors, florists and salon owners can be much more creative with their cards than people who work in finance. You don't want to be too zany and over the top with your design but it never hurts to add full color to a glossy business card to improve the look. Independent realtors and those belonging to a franchise can greatly enhance their cards with pictures of specific properties that are photo quality and feature colors that are eye-catching and make an impression. Florists and salon owners definitely want to impress upon clients their creative abilities and with a full color calling card you can do just that by adding unique designs and colorful logos that let people know creativity is your calling.
If service and repair is your business consider using high quality magnet cards that can be custom designed for plumbers, carpenters, electricians, HVAC technicians and other trades that focus on service. Magnetic business cards are perfect for service and repair since people can stick these cards to refrigerators, washers and dryers and other household furniture and appliances so the number of the repair person is right where you need it. Being creative with calling cards doesn't have to be hard, just find a business card design that is right for you and customize it to match your specific skills.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Quick and Affordable Printing of Postcards

The faster your marketing postcards are printed, the better for your business. Cheap postcard printing quotations should also be available in order to help your marketing campaigns move along faster. Take a look at some strategies to edge you closer to saving time and getting what you need to make your campaigns and printing duties successful. The strategies will include a simple guide on how to use postcard templates and where you can find the best suitable people to work with.
The first task you will need to undertake is to download postcard templates from the internet. These templates are easy to find and are provided by a wide variety of sites specializing in postcard layouts and designs. As the layouts and designs have been created prior to downloading, all you will have to do is customize them accordingly. There are many layouts and designs to choose from. It is also possible to combine the layouts and designs to suit your taste. You can change minor details such as the color themes or pictures to suit your fancy. This saves a great deal of time without spending a great deal of money.
Secondly, you will want use standard options when printing postcards. This will go a long way in decreasing your overall costs while still maintaining quality. The basic options which are usually used are cheaper to print and still look just as great. Instead of paying for over the top or pricey customized postcards, you can print your postcards using the standard options of size and color. Your postcards will be simplistically and inexpensively attractive.
The next thing you should remember when printing the postcards is to print the postcards in large numbers. The bigger the order of the postcards, the more you can tend to reap in discounts per piece. For example, if you order a great deal of postcards to be printed at once, the printers may give ten percent discount on each piece. Bulk printing has its own monetary benefits and is a safe option; that way you will not fall short on the number of postcards you may need. Many postcard printers make ample use of these discounts when ordering.
You should also work with printers that you trust and know are reliable in their services. This does not necessarily mean the printers have to be well-known or have been in the business for a longer period of time. There are many printers available that could offer you an assortment of different offers and qualities. You may try searching for such printers on the internet, where the printers usually post competitive quotations and offers. You may also compare between them to make sure you attain the best service. Consulting them and going through their previous work is also possible prior to going into business with them. Doing so over the internet is cost-effective and can be done quickly. If you remember these strategies, you are sure to be able to print your postcards easily and quickly while saving a great deal of money.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Warehousing And Distribution - How Effective Can It Be?

Warehousing and distribution can be a very profitable venture for people who wish to follow this path. Businesses that deal with receiving and delivery of orders particularly use this service more than any other organization. A warehouse is the place that holds all of these preordered items. This is where after orders and deliveries happen.
Such storage sites more often than not look similar. They satisfy special conditions. The most common scenario would be piles and piles of items stacked up high. These are the items delivered to clients as needed. Warehouses use good air conditioning due to the large amounts of goods present. These goods could affect the way the air circulates.
The more demands there are from the warehouse, the more money the clients make. Without the demands, the business would primarily come to a halt. This is because there would be no flow of products from the site. In the end, this would mean lesser income for the clients. Various warehouses handle different types of goods. Some only handle delivery and stocking of items to retail stores or to direct consumers, whereas others only deliver globally.
How fast the items go to delivery will determine the nature of business conducted in that establishment. Restocking should be done as fast as possible to maintain the cycle of buying and selling. It is best to avoid at all costs instances whereby products ordered are unavailable. There should be a constant flow of items between the client and the warehouse.
Companies that operate globally realize the most from this venture. This is because it is a great way to reach out customers from all corners of the world. Orders via telephone are common in this situation. An order via the Internet is also easier due to the recent pace in technological advancement.
The number one rule to ensure success in this nature of business is to ensure quick and on time delivery of goods. Lack of timely delivery depicts a very bad image for the warehouse involved. In business, a good image is everything especially among new clients. Proper delivery ensures the success of a business.
Affordability of the service is also very important. Affordability should not affect the nature of the service delivery. Even if the service is affordable, it should still be just as quality in its nature. A warehouse should also be willing to be flexible at all turns. Even if this requires relocation of a storage site in order to allow maximum delivery to whichever client.
Warehousing and distribution companies always ensure that they handle the products they ship with the most care. Damage that occurs to the goods delivered will probably ruin the credibility of the warehouse. Items that facilitate the swift care include airtight transportation boxes as well as forklifts and cranes for movement.