Food is an essential part of our lives, which is why the way it is grown, processed and transported is worth understanding and improving. Broadly, the food industry comprises a complex network of activities pertaining to the supply, consumption, and catering of food products and services across the world. Finished food products and partially prepared ‘instant’ food packets are also a part of the food industry. The food industry employs a massive number of skilled and unskilled workers. However, the food industry excludes subsistence farmers who use their produce for self consumption.
The food industry is highly diverse and comprises several important components. Each component adds distinct value to the whole food chain by improving sustainability and producing better products.
The varied activities of the food sector are classified as follows:
- Agriculture activities for growing crops, raising livestock and sea food.
- Food processing of fresh products into canned and packed goods, including frozen foods.
- Research and development on food technology.
- Manufacturing fertilizers, farm machinery and hybrid seeds to facilitate agricultural production.
- Regulation on food production and distribution to ensure quality and safety.
- Financial services including insurance and credit to facilitate food production and distribution.
- Marketing, packaging, advertising and distribution (wholesale and retail).
A number of factors heighten the demand in the global food industry such as the population levels, wealth distribution, health awareness (organic food) and types of varied lifestyles. The food supply drivers include the quality of the supply chain, level of competition in the industry and the composition of the target consumers.
The global food processing and beverage industry is dominated by a cluster of highly powerful multinational corporations. Some big names are ConAgra, Krafts Foods, Cadbury, General Mills, H.J. Heinz, Nestlé and Unilever. Top fast food franchises across the world include McDonalds, Pizza Hut, KFC and Dominoes Pizza. The US food industry generated revenue that totaled to $126 billion in 2008. Major frozen food manufacturers are ConAgra Foods and the Schwan Food Company. In 2007, the total revenue from the frozen food industry was about $100 billion.
Major players in the UK include Unilever, Compass, Tesco and Schweppes. They launched an initiative called ‘Plough to Plate’ to reconnect farmers to consumers and vice versa. Tesco’s prompt and impressive record of 5% reduction in energy consumption took place due to initiatives like the use of bakery extract controls and reflex energy saving lamps. Similar initiatives are required for energy savings, fiscal incentives and market incentives.
Rising prices in agricultural commodities have forced food makers to hike prices. The current challenge for the food industry is to accomplish economic success with a focus to improve energy savings and ensure social as well as environmental performance.
There are several services that allow you remotely control someone else’s computer. TeamViewer and LogMeIn are among the most popular. With TeamViewer, you can benefit from its extensive capabilities: remote control of PCs, transfer of files, working online with others in a team, communicating via VoIP or video, chatting or presenting online.
TeamViewer is an excellent screen-sharing and file-transfer app that can be used to facilitate business collaborations, remotely access a second computer, or help distraught relatives diagnose and cure computer problems. Along with being free for non-corporate use, it gives users precisely the tools they need to share screens securely, send files with a minimum of hassle, control access rights, and even flip which user has control.
The options available while you're in control work smoothly. You can maximize the pane that the other computer's screen is visible in, as well as utilize several smart options from a drop-down toolbar in the center of the window. A big X lets you close the connection, while the Actions button lets you switch who's in control, disable remote input, and reboot remotely. The View menu hides options to adjust the screen resolution, the optimization toward speed or quality, and control multiple-monitor displays. New features that work just as effortlessly as the old ones include VoIP audio and video conferencing, and integrated teleconferencing.
When you log in, you're given an access code and a password. Sharing those allows your computer to be controlled by the level you set it to: remote support, presentation, files transfer, or VPN. The TeamViewer servers remember which computers you've connected to, so reconnecting to previously shared computers happens faster. TeamViewer also has a Web-based version, for remote connecting to home from public computer. Even the installation process is impressive. Users can toggle admin rights, can opt out of running at startup, and can opt into installing the TeamViewer VPN driver for more secure screen sharing. TeamViewer makes screen-sharing and file-sharing as fluid and unobtrusive as it should be.
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- When a CEO starts to feel the pain from performing CFO’s roles
- When a company decides to bring on investment capital
- When a company considers making an acquisition or prepare itself to be acquired
If you want to succeed in business, you need to know about financial management. No matter how skilled you are at creating a product, providing a service, or marketing your wares, the money you earn will slip between your fingers if you don't know how to efficiently collect it, keep track of it, save it, and spend or invest it wisely.
Poor financial management is one of the leading reasons that businesses fail. In many cases, failure could have been avoided if the owners had applied sound financial principles to all their dealings and decisions. Financial management is not something that you can leave to your banker, financial planner, or accountant. You need to understand the basic principles yourself and use them on a daily basis, even if you plan to leave the more complicated work to hired professionals.
The basic concepts of financial management, as they apply to small business owners, start with the simplest, everyday bookkeeping tasks and moving on to more sophisticated concepts. The concepts are outlined as follows:
- Basic bookkeeping explains how to record daily transactions, work with your accountant, and, for the do-it-yourselfers, how to close the books and draw up financial statements.
- Credit and collections discusses the pros and cons of accepting credit cards or offering trade credit, and tells you how you can more quickly and effectively collect the money your customers owe you.
- Cash flow management describes the professional way to manage your cash flow to reduce the lag between cash outflows and inflows, and tells how to invest the surplus cash you'll soon have on hand!
- Evaluating larger investments in capital equipment or business facilities uses some of the same financial tools used by accountants and other financial professionals.
- Financial analysis delves into some of the more sophisticated ways of examining your financial statements and other aspects of your business, to identify trends, spot problems before they become too large, and compares your business to others in the same industry.