How to Increase Meeting Efficiency

As a software development company, we value our time and understand how maximizing a meeting efficiency is valuable. In this article, we listed 10 methods to achieve this.

  1. Only discuss one topic at a time in a meeting.
  2. Always have everyone taking notes.
  3. Know before hand what the reason for the meeting is and what needs to be discussed.
  4. Don’t to use the meeting times to come up with solution but rather discuss solutions that have been developed before hand.
  5. Time the meetings and keep it time-bound.
  6. Practice good meeting manners, such as:
    1. listen to the person talking
    2. don’t repeat the same thing over and over
  7. Prepare for meetings.
  8. Always come up with action plans at the end of meetings.
  9. Have one person run a meeting.
  10. If you call a meeting, define the reason, purpose and what needs to be accomplished before hand.

Tiered-Based Commission Management & Sales Tracking Software

A demo of the application is available on our tiered-based commission software page.

Commission management system is a web application developed by BSUPERIOR SYSTEM LTD. in order to calculate the tiered-based commission paid to your agents. We primary built this software for real estate industry; however, it can be used for any tiered-based commission business. It helps you save the time of calculating the commission and sales, and tracking it.

This application has features such as:

  • Agent Management- The list of various agents can be updated and managed here with all the details such as their personal information, the branch they are currently working in and the tier table they are assigned in.
  • Office Management- The various branches of your company can be updated and managed here with the address, phone number and email address of the branch. Once a branch is updated, all the agents working in that particular branch is updated.
  • Tier Table Management- This feature will help you in understanding the different tier tables available and the commission amount and percentage paid to each agent under the various tables.
  • Transaction Management- All the transactions such as a real estate property sale can be viewed in this section. Each transaction will have a status such as draft, approved or unapproved. At the same time, you can view the sub transactions under the main transaction and the detailed report of the transaction. These transactions can be edited if you want to make a change.
  • Sub transaction Management- In each transaction, different agents might be involved. You can create a sub transaction for each of the agents under the main transaction. The list of all sub transactions can be viewed in here. This can be edited as well to rectify any errors.
  • Client Management – The application also keeps the records of the clients, i.e. sellers/buyers who are involved in selling/purchasing a real estate property, service or product.
  • Company report- This feature has all the graph and financial reports of your business and it will help you to understand where you stand in terms of your target.
  • Owner/Admin Management – You as an owner have admin access to the program and can perform some tasks that your agents aren’t able to do so. For example, you can approve their transactions, edit their check amount and write internal comments.
  • Agent Report – Your agents can also track their achievement. For example, you can view their income in a time range and compare the value of their closed transactions with that of pending ones.
  • Printable Reports – You or your agents might need to print formal reports to be signed on paper. The application can create print friendly reports.
  • Default Management- This feature helps you to enter the default values such as tax rate and company name so that the values are entered automatically in related fields.
  • Email Notification – Your agents can get notification on important dates such as the anniversary of their transactions and the birthday of their clients (those sellers and buyers involved in the agent’s transactions). Therefore, they can follow up on these important dates to keep the client relationship.

Benefits

The main benefit of having the commission application are:

  • Easy to track your agents, clients and transactions.
  • It acts like a calculator and helps to calculate commissions accurately and pay commission on time.
  • Enables the business to design and implement plans that suit the current needs of the business.
  • All the transactions can be viewed along with the sub transactions and at the same it can be edited to rectify errors.
  • The various tier tables help you to list the commission percentage for each of the sale upper limits.
  • The financial statement and graph on the performance of the business can be viewed and this will help the client in knowing where they stand in terms of their target.
  • It notifies you and your agent the important dates such the client birthdates and transaction’s anniversary dates.
  • Commission is tiered-based, not just a simple commission.
  • You can have a record of people involved in your transactions.
  • Agents have access to the application and can view their own report or submit a transaction.

Tier Commission Vs Simple commission

Setting up an appropriate commission plan for your sales team is the best way to motivate the sales team to do more sales.

In the tier based commission plan, your agent is paid commission based on the total sales made. In this plan, the commission paid increases with an increase in sale. This will motivate the agent in selling more month after month.

In a simple commission plan, the agent is paid a flat commission dollar based on the sales value.

Sales Tracking Benefits

A good sales tracking system can help a small business in their budgeting and planning and this will lead to their overall success. The sales tracking system will act as the knowledge data base and it will help in reducing the challenges faced while handling large portfolio of accounts. It provides efficient and critical information which can be used to make accurate sales forecast. Sales tracking system can help the client in managing their inventory in an effective way. The sales representative would be able to focus more on the core activities of sales rather than doing the administrative work and all the data will be available to them anywhere, any time.

Report Benefits

The reports generated by the application system helps the business in evaluating and planning for their long term performance. It helps the business by providing information to the management and investors that are critical to their decision making.  Business reports help the company to comply with the requirements of the government, lenders and investors. Reports can be used to provide feedback to the employees as well.

What industries could use this software?

Various industries in the market can make use of the commission application developed by BSUPERIOR SYSTEM LTD. Some of these industries are as follows:

  • Real Estate
  • Accounting
  • Banking
  • Construction
  • Consulting
  • Education
  • Insurance
  • Healthcare
  • Interiors
  • Logistics
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Mortgage

 

Why these industries should use this web application?

In these industries the agents are mostly paid on a commission basis and using our application will make their day to day operations easy. It will help the company to concentrate on their core activities rather than administrative work.

Please note, in addition of this web application, we have developed an Excel version of tiered-based commission management. Please check out our web application development website for more info.

Why your Business needs to start collecting Data right away?

Data analysis is number 1 requirement to start any data driven project. When BSUPERIOR SYSTEM wants to create application by using data, we need to make sure that it is good enough and it is big enough data. What does it mean? In this article, we will go through some steps that you can face on the typical meeting with programmers and software developers as well as why we at BSUPERIOR SYSTEM recommend for your business to start collecting data as soon as possible.

 

First step is a good question. That is essential part of any project and there are 2 main types of questions:

  • Prediction – a good example of this would be Real-estate industry – we have features of a Realestate Property and we want predict the price of this property by using the collected Data. With Prediction we have to find the best solution to get from point A (data that we have) to point B (what we want to predict) with least amount of possible errors.
  • Classification – examples: identify if there is a man, dog, or cat on the picture; mark written review as positive or negative; identify client segment based on purchase information. In this case, we have a set of things that we want to know. Important thing here is to create exclusive classes. Imagine working with example of classifying a cat or man on the picture and getting 80% of the pictures where man holding a cat. It is not impossible, but require much more efforts to implement.

 

In order to keep everything grounded, we will go through my research project “Identify Dividend Aristocrats”. This is a classification problem, I want to show machine learning some data and want it to figure out if that firm can be considered dividend aristocrat or not. Why would we be interested? Because they are great to invest in (see picture below).

 

Now, we know the problem, we can start looking for data to solve it. My idea was that it is possible to make some progress with financial statements alone. Therefore, we show application financial statements and some basic valuations and receive the answer.

 

Of course, financial statements alone would not be sufficient to get the answer with high accuracy, but here are couple of factors to consider: this is just the first step; we end up with proof of concept; tool with low precision can still be useful with high level of recall .

 

Recall and precision are 2 important words, and pretty easy to understand:

  • Precision – is how often we say “Yes” right. In our case if application say that someone is dividend Aristocrat, it is “Yes”.
  • Recall – is how often we say “No” right. If we say “No”, not a dividend aristocrat.

 

It is tough to have high precision, since there are obviously more factors involved. But high recall would allow us to have a tool that we can use to help us filter unwanted firms from the search. Since we are looking on easy to access data (simply financial statements), it would be easy to get new data, when we want to reuse project in the future. And obviously it is possible to add more factors (financial and non-financial) in the future to increase precision.

 

Big difference would be the fact that we will have something to compare our progress to, so we actually know if factors, that we add are relevant.

 

Finally, we want to find the data. In this case, we are dealing with something publicly available (Kaggle). That is extremely important to remember. Human kind is generating massive amount of data. 90% of it was generated in recent years (IBM). Moreover, a lot of time we can enhance performance with something that is publicly available.

 

However, many companies will be stuck on this last stage. Public data can be used, but something specific to your firm will always be required. If you just start thinking, “what can be beneficial for my firm to predict?”, “what sort of thing that I am (or someone) doing regularly can be recorded to support it?”.

 

After that data engineer can start applying different machine learning models to data. Many times the only way to see how something performs is to implement it, so that process can be lengthy, we will go over report samples, and how exactly do we know if the model we have is reliable in details.

 

In conclusion, there is no work around data collection. It is lengthy period and with more and more applications getting AI based and data driven, firms that have this data ready will have significant advantage. Let us know what are your thoughts? Feel free to contact us and let’s have chat on what do you want to predict?

 

Next week we will get deeper in machine learning concepts and address deep learning and neural nets.

Server & Network Security Practices in Our Web Applications

bSuperior System Ltd. builds custom web applications and security is a key factor in our developing process. How to make our web application more secure is in our frequently asked question list. We use the following server and network securities in our application development and deployment. And we recommend any other web application developer to follow these guidelines.

  • All communications between client and server should be encrypted. Port 443 (SSL) can be opened up on the server and port 80 (un-encrypted port) to be closed. This will help communications will be encrypted.
  • The following layer of security can be added
    • Firewall: It blocks abusing the system such as hacking.
    • VPN: This acts like an access card to server to do maintenance and updates.
  • All unnecessary services can be removed from server. Only required services are recommended to be setup such as,
    • Web
    • Database
    • SSL
  • In addition, file system (partitions) can get encrypted.
  • IP address checking is another layer of security. A web application can be locked down by IP address for admin and other users with significant permission. i.e. admin can only access to the application from their office. This is helpful in case their password is stolen by Key Loggers. With a stolen password, a hacker cannot login to the application because their IP is different from admin’s office IP address.
  • Two factor identification
  • Encrypted database
  • Backing up your records off server and deleting them from database routinely. Hackers won’t spend time to hack a server with not much usable information.
  • Audit logs all interactions with the system is another security layer. Any unwanted interaction can be determined by reviewing the logs.

These links are intended to be references and “cheat sheets” for how to code securely in PHP and the top ten coding vulnerabilities to watch out for. Both resources will form the basis of the security code assessments.

Security Advice for Connection Between Mobile App & Server

Question: What’s the secure way of connecting mobile apps to a server? Should we use Web Service or API? What are the considerations in developing the API or web service?

Answer: When it comes to a robust and secure mechanism of connecting mobile apps to a server the best option is via an API (specifically REST API). There are some terrific resources (particularly from OWASP). The first link is an awesome “cheat sheet” for securing REST API. The second link also contains some great tips and instructions on securing REST API.