School bus crash in University City sends students to hospital KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, December 19, 2018 Posted: December 19, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News, Traffic & Accidents FacebookTwitter SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – More than three dozen high school students were taken to a hospital for precautionary evaluations Wednesday after a car rear-ended their school bus in the University City area while they were on their way to classes, authorities reported.An Infiniti sedan struck the school vehicle shortly before 8:30 a.m. on Genesee Avenue, just north of state Route 52, according to the California Highway Patrol.No serious injuries were reported, but medics took all 38 University City High School students who had been riding in the bus to a hospital to be checked out.San Diego Unified School District said that all students were examined by medical staff and were released to their parents, with no serious injuries reported.It was unclear if the driver of the sedan suffered any injuries in the crash.The CHP shut down the on-ramp from westbound SR-52 to northbound Genesee Avenue during the crash investigation and cleanup.
According to Netflix, that 40.7 million viewership number is more than any other Netflix film or series earned in its first four days. Recently, the network announced that the Adam Sandler-Jennifer Aniston movie Murder Mystery was watched by over 30 million accounts worldwide in its first three days. What are the chances of that coveted season 4? Seems likely, considering how much of a ratings phenomenon and critical darling the 1980s-set sci-fi-horror show has become. See all the Stranger Things season 3 photos Fans were less impressed with the ratings, and more insistent the network confirm an expected fourth season is on its way. Wrote one Twitter user, “Now confirm season 4 and DON’T MAKE US WAIT AN ENTIRE TWO YEARS FOR IT THIS TIME.” .@Stranger_Things 3 is breaking Netflix records! 40.7 million household accounts have been watching the show since its July 4 global launch — more than any other film or series in its first four days. And 18.2 million have already finished the entire season.— Netflix US (@netflix) July 8, 2019 TV and Movies Stranger Things season 3: Rad ’80s details you might have missed Watch the Stranger Things cast play their own video game Stranger Things season 3: Our biggest WTF questions Okay now confirm season 4 and DONT MAKE US WAIT AN ENTIRE TWO YEARS FOR IT THIS TIME— 🤡 (@elhopperisbaby) July 8, 2019 Tags The Stranger Things cast has earned an ice-cream cone or 40 million. Netflix If you’re eager to spill Stranger Things season 3 spoilers, take heart. More than 18 million people out there are ready to talk.According to a Monday tweet from Netflix, more than 40 million household accounts have been watching the show since its new season debuted on July 4, and 18.2 million have already watched the whole season. 4 Stranger Things season 3: Everything to know Netflix 59 Photos Comments More Stranger Things Share your voice 2:33 Now playing: Watch this: As of press time, there was no word on a fourth (or fifth) season, but David Harbour, who plays police chief Jim Hopper, told CNET Magazine in 2018 that the series would as least go to four seasons.”We’re either going to season 4 or season 5,” Harbour said at the time. “It’s still being debated. I do know the arc of the story, though. This was something that I discussed with [show creators] the Duffer brothers right from day one.”
With the opening of the Mudra Bank and Start up India programme, credit for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that is a big issue will now change for the better, according to the author of a new report on the subject.Institute of Small Enterprise and Development (ISED) director P.M.Mathew, who has prepared the report that will be launched by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Deputy Governor S.S. Mundra at Mumbai’s World Trade Centre on Thursday, 26 November, said the new steps by the government in 2015, such as Mudra Bank’s setting up, and Start up India have helped to broad base credit in the Indian economy, especially for MSMEs and other micro-level economic activities.”This, unlike the ‘Loan Melas’ of the 1970s, are likely to make a significant impact on enterprise activities at the ‘bottom of pyramid’,” he said.Mathew said that the international data shows that small business loans on the balance sheets of banks are down about 20% since the 2008 global financial crisis, while loans to larger businesses have risen by about 4% over the same period.SME lending is shrinking with bank loans to SMEs in the US have been falling as a proportion of total loans over the years, he said, adding that this is true of many other European countries as well.”Fortunately, in India, non-profit lenders, crowd funders, and other online lenders are stepping up to fill the gap. These lenders are often leveraging technology to access creditworthiness, underwrite, and service loans while traditional lenders can’t or don’t want to service anymore,” said Mathew.
The top three players in India’s e-commerce sector recorded higher gross merchandise value (GMV) last year, compared to that of the top 10 offline retailers, according to global brokerage firm Morgan Stanley.The combined GMV of Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon stood at $13.8 billion (about Rs 94,400 crore) in 2015, while that of the top 10 offline retailers was $12.6 billion (nearly Rs 86,200 crore).A 50 percent rise in investments in domestic e-commerce companies by venture capitals and private equity firms last year, as against the investment made in 2014, was “probably” responsible for the huge growth in GMV posted by those companies, Morgan Stanley said in a report sent to The Economic Times.”We now increase our 2020 estimate (of India’s ecommerce market) from $102 billion to $119 billion,” Morgan Stanley Research said. “This takes our estimate of the total Indian Internet market size from $137 billion to $159 billion (now including online food aggregation business).”The firm said higher Internet penetration, a growth in the number of online shoppers and a rise in per capita income levels will play a key role in boosting the e-commerce market.Currently, Indian has the second largest Internet population in the world, it said.”We expect Internet penetration to increase from 32% in 2015 to 59% in 2020, translating to a near-doubling of the Internet user base,” the US bank said.The brokerage expects the number of online shoppers in India to grow to 320 million by 2020 from 50 million in 2015.”Per capita incomes are likely to double by 2025 and this should drive higher aspirations of the Indian consumer,” the report said.The top three online retailers had a combined market share of 85 percent in the Indian e-commerce market last year, with Flipkart having a share of 45 percent, following by Snapdeal and Amazon India with 26 percent and 12 percent respectively.
In what is said to be one of the biggest deals in India’s aviation history, SpiceJet, India’s low-cost carrier has confirmed its plan to purchase 205 Boeing jets for $22 billion (about Rs 1.5 lakh crore) from the US-based aircraft manufacturer. With the deal, SpiceJet is seeking to win the market share from its dominant rival — IndiGo Airlines. The deal, which includes 100 firm 737 Max 8 jets, will build on an existing order for 55 aircraft, the carrier said in a statement on Friday.Also read: Boeing strikes big deal with SpiceJet for 92 Boeing 737 jetlinersAdditionally, the airline also has the option to buy 50 more wide-bodied aircraft. With this, the total order stands at $22 billion at the listed price. “SpiceJet’s new order underscores it’s drive to compete more effectively in India’s cut-throat low cost travel market. The deal for up to 205 737MAXs will certainly put it on par with Indigo for domestic dominance and the added range of the 737MAX fleet will allow SpiceJet to open up routes deeper into Asia and even parts of Europe/CIS states,” Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research, told the International Business Times, India.The deal is seen as a win-win situation for both the parties: The latest order could help SpiceJet become the largest airline in India (as per fleet size), as it competes with IndiGo, which controls the world’s fastest-growing aviation market with 42 per cent market share. For Boeing, this deal could signal the aircraft an entry into the Indian market, which is dominated by Airbus. Last month, SpiceJet had a market share of 12.8 per cent (according to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation).”Our turnaround story has been one which has very few parallels in the world today and we are proud of it. SpiceJet has achieved seven consecutive quarters of profit, highest on-time performance and lowest cancellation rates; a record load factor of over 90% every month for 20 months in a row – a feat that has no parallel in aviation history,” Ajay Singh, chairman and managing director, SpiceJe, said in the statement.SpiceJet placed its first order with Boeing in 2005 for Next-Generation B737s and currently operates 32 of the B737s in its fleet besides 17 Bombardier Q400s.The SpiceJet stock closed at Rs 65.50 on Friday, up 2.50 percent from its previous close on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Shipbreakers cut up a beached vessel for scrap in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Photo: The Guardian Mohamed Edris’s life as he knew it in the Bangladeshi ship recycling yards ended at 11.30am on Saturday 11 April 2015. The 38-year-old metal cutter had been working with 100 others on the 19,600-tonne container ship Eurus London at the Ferdous Steel Corporation shipyard in Chittagong when catastrophe struck.His task had been to cut away the huge 40-tonne propeller with a blow torch. Alarm bells rang, he said, when he saw that a large metal platform had been placed below the propeller to stop it falling into the mud on the beach.“I told the supervisor and two others that it was dangerous because it could bounce back when the propeller fell. I told them I could not do it, but they insisted that I did,” he said. He obeyed and nearly died. The propeller broke free, hit the metal plate and sprung back as he predicted. It sliced off his left leg below the knee, blinded him in one eye and nearly broke his back, says The Guardian in an article published on 2 December.The yard paid for his hospital treatment, gave him Tk 125,000 (£1,142) compensation and Tk 460 (£4.32) a week for nine months. Now he, and the seven family members he supported, rely on handouts from friends. But in a legal test case Zodiac Maritime, the London-based shipping company that managed the Eurus London until it was sold for scrap, could be held responsible, the article adds.In a case that could see British, American and European shipowners and managers being made liable for the many deaths and accidents that take place every year in Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani shipbreaking yards, UK law firm Leigh Day is suing Zodiac for negligence on behalf of Edris. It claims that Zodiac, which manages about 150 large ships and is owned by Eyal Ofer, son of the late Israeli shipping magnate Sammy Ofer, should have known how dangerous the Chittagong breaking yards were when the vessel was sold for scrap to GMS, a US-based “cash buyer” or middle man.“Zodiac knew, or ought to have known, that there was a foreseeable risk of physical harm to workers when they allowed their vessel to be sold to a Chittagong yard through a cash buyer,” says Martyn Day, a director of Leigh Day.New legal action is needed, say environmentalists and unions, because of the steady number of deaths and injuries to workers. On one level, shipbreaking is one of the world’s “greenest” industries, with every nut, bolt and sheet of metal on a ship being recycled. It also employs hundreds of thousands of people in some of the world’s poorest countries. But, say critics, owners knowingly cause suffering to workers by sending their ships to be recycled on Asian beaches. British-based companies have sent 28 ships to be beached in the past two years, including six to Chittagong. Two vessels waiting to be dismantled in that yard last week were managed by Zodiac.“Shipowners shield themselves from responsibility through the use of cash buyers. These scrap dealers sell off the ships for the highest price offered,” says Ingvild Jenssen, director of Shipbreaking Platform, a Brussels-based coalition of environmental, human rights and labour groups. “All ships that end up on the beaches of Bangladesh, Pakistan or India pass through cash buyers, and all sales to cash buyers are clearly scrap deals where the higher price paid indicates that the vessel will be beached.”Shipbreaker Mohamed Edris has lost his left leg and blinded in one eye by the accident. Photo: The GuardianMore than 800 large ships are broken up each year, the vast majority on Asian beaches. Owners can earn an extra $1m to $4m (£740,000 to £2.96m) per ship when selling to Asian yards via cash buyers, instead of opting for recycling yards with higher standards, says Jenssen. “No one forces the industry to send ships to be dismantled there. They choose to send them,” she says.Edris, who came to Chittagong aged 14 and who, until his accident, worked six 14-hour shifts a week, earning £3.20 a day, is one of thousands of workers who have been injured in the yards since they appeared in the 1960s. There are no official statistics but labour groups say that in the past 10 years there have been more than 125 deaths, according to The Guardian.Chittagong is now the world’s largest shipbreaking centre, last year recycling 230 ships and generating 10m tonnes of steel – up to 60% of all the steel used in Bangladesh. Most of the workers migrate from rural areas. Hired out in gangs, they live in overcrowded shacks close to the yards. The Ferdous yard is like many others. Hidden behind high metal gates, it slopes down to the Bay of Bengal. It can take months for young men, wielding only sledgehammers and metal cutters, to dismantle a large vessel.“Chittagong is the cheapest place to scrap ships but the price is suffering. Nine men have died here this year. Nobody feels responsible for these men’s lives,” says Muhammed Ali Shahin, Bangladesh coordinator of Shipbreaking Platform. The law offers little protection, he says. “EU laws stop EU-flagged ships being broken up on Asian beaches, but because owners can easily ‘reflag’ ships it has little strength.”Pressed by labour groups, the UN’s International Maritime Organisation passed the Hong Kong Convention (HKC) in 2009. This demands that ship owners and states do not pose a risk to human health, safety and the environment. But, says Shipbreaking Platform, it does not stop the beaching of vessels, which is blamed for most accidents, and it is unlikely to come into force for years because it requires 15 states, and 40% of world merchant shipping, to have signed up.“The industry is moving to adopt Hong Kong standards,” says Nikos Mikelis, a non-executive director of GMS. “There is a good likelihood of the convention entering into force within the next five to seven years. Ratifying and reaching the HKC targets will not be too difficult.” He argues that groups such as Shipbreaking Platform are naive and, by demanding the end of beaching, are endangering the livelihoods of workers in some of the world’s poorest countries.He does see progress. “Japan and India are investing $100m in upgrades. Forty-one yards out of 120 in Alang, India, now meet HKC standards and 15 others are moving towards safer and cleaner work. But in Bangladesh only one yard [PHP Shipbreaking] meets international standards.”Mikelis says the major shipping companies such as Maersk now have arrangements with individual yards. “The industry wants improvement but it needs to invest to improve,” he says.In the case of Zodiac, Martyn Day argues that the company knew the methods involved in dismantling vessels in Chittagong, yet it sold the Eurus London on in the full knowledge that it would be broken up in unsafe conditions. “They had a duty not to sell vessels to Bangladesh shipyards via their contractors or cash buyers,” he says. “Zodiac sold it to a cash buyer in the knowledge it would be dismantled in unsafe conditions.”In a statement to the Observer, Zodiac said the accident occurred four months after the ship had been sold to a third-party buyer. As a result, it said: “We deny any liability for the injuries suffered by Edris and we dispute the claim.”It added: “The yard where Edris was employed was not Zodiac’s contractor and Zodiac did not select the yard used to dismantle the vessel. Zodiac has no control over the working practices at shipbreaking yards. The claim seeks to extend the law of negligence beyond any recognised boundaries. It is the law of Bangladesh which applies to this case.”The impact of an injury on workers’ families is immense. “Edris provided for seven people,” said one man who knows him. “He has no savings. He is angry. He is now wholly reliant on the generosity of friends and family. His children have become scared of him because he cries a lot and screams in pain.”Edris said: “I feel like a dead man. I have no hope. I will never be able to go back to work. I have steel plates in my body and I can only walk on sticks, I am in constant pain. I want to open a shop, but that needs 500,000 Bdt.“I have seen many men killed and injured. It is very dangerous work. I tell people not to work there.”
The hearse leaves San Nicola Vescovo church after the funeral service for Alessandro Giancaterino on 24 January, 2017 in Farindola. Photo: AFPThe death toll from an avalanche that swamped an Italian mountain hotel rose to 15 Tuesday, with 14 still missing, as a nearby helicopter crash left six people dead and dealt another blow to a region reeling from earthquakes and the heaviest snowfall in decades.The emergency response helicopter came down in thick fog near Campo Felice, a popular ski resort 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of Rome, during the evacuation of an injured skier.There were reports of a loud explosion being heard.“Rescue teams have reached the wreck of the helicopter and they found the bodies of the six deceased in the snow,” a police spokesman told AFP.Campo Felice, located at 710 metres (2,330 feet) altitude but with pistes up to just over 2,000 metres, is close to the epicentres of earthquakes that struck the region last Wednesday and were followed by the killer avalanche.Police said there was no apparent link between the crash and the seismic activity or the avalanche.But it came as firefighters and mountain police grappled with their aftermath.A team of first responders who had been helping the rescue effort at the Hotel Rigopiano was dispatched to the helicopter crash site but would not have been able to get there before news of the deaths came.The tally of bodies found in the ruins of the Rigopiano rose to 15 on the sixth day of an increasingly forlorn search through the snow-covered wreckage.Eleven staff and guests survived the disaster, two men who we outside when the avalanche struck and nine people, including four children, who were found on Friday.Rescuers have refused to give up hope of finding more people alive with morale amongst the exhausted rescuers having been boosted on Monday when three puppies were retrieved alive from under the rubble.Italian authorities are investigating the chain of events leading to the avalanche to see if the tragedy could or should have been avoided.A preliminary manslaughter investigation has been opened with the prosecutor in charge looking into whether environmental risks were properly taken into account during the construction and subsequent renovation of the hotel.Events on the day of the disaster itself, when guests were unable to leave because of snow-blocked access roads, are also in the spotlight.Tunnelling into wreckage -The local council had only one functioning road-clearance vehicle and had deployed it to reach isolated hamlets with elderly residents rather than clearing the road to the hotel.A second snow plough had broken down earlier in the month and staff were awaiting authorisation to get a 25,000-euro ($26,800) repair done.The hotel, a four-star spa facility where George Clooney once stayed, was built into a hillside at 1,200 metres altitude on the eastern slopes of Monte Gran Sasso. Campo Felice is on the other side of the near 3,000-metre peak that dominates the region.The survivors pulled from the ruins on Friday were all treated for mild hypothermia, suggesting anyone still alive nearly four days later would have had to have found some way of keeping warm.Rescuers have not ruled that out because they believe some rooms they are trying to reach by tunnelling through thick stone walls may be almost intact.New routes have been dug into the rubble but progress remained painfully slow with the first responders often digging with their bare hands because of fears of masonry or snow slides.The avalanche occurred three hours after the last of four magnitude five earthquakes shook the region in the space of four hours.Police have calculated the force of the impact on the three-storey stone and wood structure as being equivalent to it being hit by 4,000 fully-loaded trucks.The first funerals for the victims were held Tuesday.
Oikya Front leaders sat for a meeting with diplomats at a city hotel on Wednesday. US ambassador Earl R Miller is seen in the picture before the meeting. Photo: Abdus SalamJatiya Oikya Front top leaders, including eminent jurist Kamal Hossain, are holding a meeting with the foreign diplomats stationed in Dhaka at a city hotel on Wednesday afternoon.Diplomats of the USA, the United Kingdom, China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Turkey, Phillipines, France, Australia, among others, joined the meeting.The Oikya Front leaders include BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan, Gano Forum executive president Subrato Chowdhury, Gonoshasthaya Kendra founder Zafrullah Chowdhury, BNP leaders Tabith Awal, Sabih Uddin Ahmed, Zeba Khan and Asaduzzaman Ripon.
Kashmiri women shout slogans during a protest after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government, in Srinagar, on 11 August 2019. Photo: ReutersIndian authorities reimposed some restrictions in parts of Kashmir on Sunday ahead of the Muslim festival Eid, amid fears that large gatherings could trigger renewed protests against Delhi’s withdrawal of special rights for the region.Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s government locked down the Muslim-majority region last Sunday, cutting off communications, detaining more than 300 political leaders and activists, and putting a ‘virtual curfew’ into force with numerous police and army roadblocks stopping movement by many residents.Seeking to tighten its grip on the region also claimed by neighbouring Pakistan, India scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s right to frame its own laws and allowed non-residents to buy property there.On Friday, restrictions on movement in some parts of the Himalayan region’s main city of Srinagar were relaxed, with people pouring out on to the streets to stock up on provisions.But protests erupted after Friday prayers, with pro-independence youth demonstrating before being repelled by tear gas and pellets, according to police sources, witnesses and footage shown by international broadcasters.On Sunday, a Reuters reporter saw a police van driving around one part of Srinagar announcing that restrictions had been imposed again and asking people to stay indoors.Police checkpoints were also placed on some roads leading to the old quarter of the city, a traditional hotbed of protests, and some streets in central Srinagar.Officials were debating how to handle Monday’s Eid-al-Azha festival, one of the two most important festivals of the Islamic calendar, which typically sees several thousands throng major mosques in Srinagar.Indian officials will hold a video-conference with senior police and administration officials from all 10 districts in the disputed Kashmir valley on Sunday evening to decide on restrictions, two senior state government officials told Reuters.”We will make an assessment of the situation today,” one official said, requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media. “I do not think we will allow large gatherings.”Kashmiri men shout slogans during a protest after the scrapping of the special constitutional status for Kashmir by the Indian government, in Srinagar, on 11 August 2019. Photo: ReutersIndia’s home ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the latest restrictions in Kashmir.Leaders in Kashmir had warned of a backlash against the stripping of autonomy in a territory where militants have been fighting Indian rule for nearly 30 years, leading to the deaths of more than 50,000 people.Reuters reported at least 10,000 people were involved in Friday’s protest in Srinagar’s Soura area, based on an estimate provided by a police source and backed up by two eyewitnesses. Another official source on Saturday gave Reuters the same estimate.Dilbag Singh, the Jammu and Kashmir director general of police, told Reuters on Sunday that between 1,000 and 1,500 people were returning from praying at mosques on Friday when “some miscreants” started pelting stones at security officials.”It was a reaction to stone pelting by these miscreants that one or two rounds of pump action gun was fired,” Singh said, adding that four to five men suffered injuries.Authorities had detained around 300 local leaders in total and some of them had been taken out of Kashmir, he said.Pakistan’s WrathPakistan has downgraded diplomatic ties with India and suspended trade in anger at Delhi’s latest move.Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan on Sunday compared India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party’s policies to dictator Adolf Hitler’s “Nazi Aryan Supremacy.” He warned Modi’s actions would go beyond Kashmir and eventually target Indian Muslims and neighbouring Pakistan.”Attempt is to change demography of Kashmir through ethnic cleansing. Question is: Will the world watch & appease as they did Hitler at Munich?” Khan tweeted.Ram MAzhav, a senior leader in India’s ruling Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), hit back.”Threat to democratic world is from Pak-sponsored Jehadi terror, not from India,” MAzhav tweeted.Pakistan said on Saturday that it had gained China’s support to take a motion to the United Nations Security Council condemning the Indian decision to change the status of Jammu and Kashmir.Islamabad has not received much support from other major nations, however, suggesting its odds of success at the UN were slim.India’s BJP has long campaigned for abrogating Kashmir’s special privileges in the constitution, which it sees as an appeasement to Muslims and a hindrance to its own development.The BJP and even some top opposition leaders have welcomed the decision to absorb Kashmir fully into India, and it has brought Modi support across the country.Blocked off from the world and largely unable to work or socialize, many Kashmiris were sombre ahead of Monday’s festival. Some said they would not partake in the ritual sacrificing of sheep.”What kind of Eid is this?” said one elderly man walking down a street in downtown Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid area. “We cannot reach our loves ones, we cannot visit our relatives’ homes, then what are we celebrating?” he said, declining to be named.
Planning to go for a family vacation? From managing the needs of all of your family members, to ensuring that the hotel fits in your budget – there are lots of things to consider before booking the place, say experts. Here are a few things that one needs to keep in mind while booking a hotel for a family vacation:Location of the hotel: One should select the hotel by checking out its location over the map or the areas nearby. It should be located at a safe area or within walking distance to the major attractions you plan to visit. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFamily-friendly room features and amenities: The hotel should be well equipped with all the basic and some add-on amenities like larger rooms, separate bathroom with pocket door, laundry service, room wifi, parking and take away service.Select hotel with multiple dining options: Always look out for hotels which offer various in house restaurants like fine-dine and coffee shop which makes your trip more interesting and allows you to relish more food options. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSize of the rooms: If you are looking to accommodate the entire family (upto four people) in one room, please make sure the size of the room is spacious enough for the entire family, do the hotel have an extra bed facility in case you need one.Special facilities for children: Do check in advance if the hotel provides separate pools for children with life guards around during the swimming hours.Research about the hotel: Last but not the least, do read the reviews on the hotel before making the final payment.
7 min read Register Now » In 2018, my company, Miller Heiman Group, did something crazy: After years of relying on multiple customer relationship management systems (CRMs), endless spreadsheets, numerous marketing systems and disorganized data … we decided to start over. From scratch.Related: 4 Reasons Why Companies are Choosing CRM Over Traditional Marketing toolsThis makes sense, because anyone who has worked at a business that’s changed ownership, acquired other companies or expanded into other countries understands the headaches associated with working in a multi-CRM environment.Different business units and regions may use different CRMs, each with its own functionality, data storage process and renewal cycle. Our company used 15 of them! And that scenario created an ineffective environment, to say the least.As a company which advises sales leaders all over the world on how to be more effective, we needed to own our own methodology and drive best practices into our own back office. We became our own case study.This is not insignificant because CRM represents the largest software market in the world, with $39.5 billion in revenue, according to EContent. But instead of funneling our data and processes into an existing CRM structure, we chose to build our own solutions into an off-the-shelf model from the ground up. Why go to all that trouble? In 2017, CIO magazine studied more than a dozen analyst reports and discovered that approximately one-third of all CRM projects fail.That finding, together with our own experience, told us we could do better.What a good CRM should doIn fact, we wanted to actively manage our customer relationships. A CRM should serve as a helpful tool throughout the customer life cycle, whether it’s used by a presale engineer creating a data sheet or a salesperson calculating downstream revenue.We wanted to break out of those silos. With good reason: Our work wasn’t being managed in a centralized or consistent way. Most of our sales leaders avoided our CRM systems and managed their tasks via forecasting calls and a series of spreadsheets.And we weren’t alone in this: We knew that such CRM issues happen at other companies. In fact, just 25 percent of sellers surveyed in our company’s World-Class Sales Practices study expressed a high degree of confidence in their CRMs’ data.So, our goal was to become more efficient. Indeed, before we eliminated our old CRMs, we had been drowning in tedious tasks. Typically, sellers reached out to multiple team members, as well as the client, to gather the information necessary to make even small changes to an account. And this consumed a tremendous amount of selling time: We estimated this was eating up about 50 percent of our time at one point. The result was that we were turning our sellers into administrative assistants.Related: How CRMs Can Spark (or Continue) Fast GrowthOverall, our old CRMs demotivated our sales force personnel and wasted their time — a common complaint, according to anecdotal evidence. In fact, in 2001, Ingersoll-Rand poured $2 million into rolling out a new CRM and discovered that the new system increased its sales’ reps workloads, rather than freeing up their time to sell. The result was a relaunch aimed at mitigating pain points.In sum, we wanted to analyze data, not just store it. All of our previous CRMs had performed data entry and other automated tasks, but none had the capability for a built-in sales methodology. Yet we knew a CRM could do more — including consistent global forecasting and revenue tracking. So, that was the goal we set for ourselves.Here’s what we did.From start to launch, the process took approximately two years. But we didn’t just flip the switch on a new product. We changed our entire back-office process flow and integrated legal, finance IT ops and sales-ops processes, gathering feedback and gaining stakeholder buy-in throughout. We also encountered some valuable lessons and reminders that reinforced our decision:We put end-users first. While a 90 percent adoption rate is the minimum required to affect sales performance, just 47 percent of companies achieve this level. There was no point in creating a new tool if no one used it, so end-user needs were front-of-mind throughout our development and testing process. When Ingersoll-Rand relaunched its CRM, the company directly involved its sales force in the system’s redesign.We added value with predictive analysis. The ability to accurately predict the methodology-backed action that will increase the odds of closing deals lets sellers see what moves they need to make to move an opportunity through the pipeline. But traditional CRMs aren’t built with this function — or sellers’ needs — in mind. Adding an insight-driven arm to the product revolutionized the way our sellers do their jobs.We scrubbed our data. We needed to trust our CRM. That meant combing through all the back-end data from those 15 legacy systems and importing only the information we knew was clean. Dirty data damages your reputation — and your ability to do your job. A 2017 study of home sale prices found that estimates on Homes.com were inaccurate 84 percent of the time. Would you trust a company with that kind of track record to sell your house?We kept existing systems in place to ensure consistency. Although everyone wanted to launch the new tool as quickly as possible, we couldn’t just pull the plug on legacy systems. Our project budget included fees for about a year’s worth of duplicate licenses on contracts with different renewal dates.We invested in tech that increased the time to sell. While sales relationships of the past relied on interpersonal relationships, today’s buyers no longer consider sellers an essential resource. The analysis provided by our new tool changed that: Sellers have instant access to actionable insights that prove their worth. According to Marketing Week, a CRM strategy helps car manufacturer Renault better understand the customer journey and how best to engage those people on the path to purchase.We streamlined to improve security. Housing clients’ personal and financial information in multiple places only increases the likelihood of a massive leak like the JPMorgan Chase breach that affected more than half of American households. A single, dedicated CRM means fewer dangers to monitor — and more visibility into suspicious behavior.We remembered the little things. Our 60-day pilot process involved both internal stakeholders on our operating team and a small group of clients. While we received very little feedback on the CRM’s overall function, one small feature we overlooked was a PDF writer. While our CRM was built with mobile in mind, people still wanted the ability to print documents — a small tweak that added essential functionality.We kept prospective and existing client messaging consistent. If sellers can’t see every client communication in one place, multiple people will reach out. When that happens, your company looks disorganized, and clients and prospects grow frustrated. A dedicated CRM allows the sales team to present a united front.Related: 4 CRM Hacks Every Entrepreneur Should Be UsingIn sum, if I could offer just one takeaway from the whole process, it’s this: A CRM is just a tool. If sellers and sales organizations truly want to find value, they should first align around a consistent sales methodology that guides their actions. When that solid foundation is in place, the right CRM will provide the insights to give your company the competitive edge it deserves. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. April 16, 2019 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.
Monday, November 12, 2018 Travelweek Group Tags: Crystal Cruises, Openings & Renovations What do you think? Crystal Serenity shows off its most extensive reno ever Share MIAMI — After a 4-week dry dock Crystal Serenity now boasts new dining options and open-seating dining along with new butler-serviced Seabreeze Penthouse and Seabreeze Penthouse Suite accommodations, a redesigned Palm Court and more, all featured in just-released images.The updates also include a new production show called Crystal on Broadway, The Show and new interactive technological amenities. The renovations are the most extensive ever for the ship, says Crystal, and mirror the changes implemented aboard Crystal Symphony in fall 2017.Crystal Serenity set sail from Lisbon on Nov. 10 on its first voyage since the completion of its redesign.“The scope of this redesign is truly remarkable. Our ocean ships remain at the heart of our brand and our commitment to their continued excellence and success is unwavering,” said Crystal President and CEO Tom Wolber.Here are the details and pics…NEW DINING OPTIONSOpen-seating dining is now available aboard Crystal Serenity, in line with industry trends to allow guests to choose can dine where, when and with whom they choose. New venues are also making their debut, including:Waterside – Taking the place of the Crystal Dining Room and reflecting the chic elegance of the main dining venues aboard Crystal River Cruises and Crystal Symphony, this centrally located restaurant continues to serve daily changing menus of international classic and modern cuisine, paired with unlimited fine wines, spirits and beers. The restaurant now features more seating with tables for two and four.The Marketplace and Churrascaria – The new daytime and evening identities of the former Lido Café, respectively. Both venues feature an open-kitchen concept with dishes made to order. The Marketplace serves an expansive menu of buffet-style breakfast and lunch options and transforms into Churrascaria during the dinner hours, a Brazilian-style bar-be-que.Silk Kitchen & Bar – In the Trident area of the ship that was formerly Tastes, this Asian-inspired venue serves traditional Chinese comfort food in an elegant al fresco atmosphere. Silk also serves Crystal’s late risers breakfast service. Silk offers open seating for breakfast and lunch and requires reservations for dinner.More news: AMResorts has a new Sr. Dir. of Cdn. Sales & Consortia Rel’nsUmi Uma – The rebranded Silk Road & The Sushi Bar continues to serve the Japanese-Peruvian specialties of Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa by his personally trained chefs and remains the only Nobu restaurants at sea. Dinner reservations are required for Crystal’s specialty restaurants, including Prego.Stardust Supper Club – A brand new dining experience reminiscent of the era of the Rat Pack debuts on black-tie-optional evenings in the Stardust Club, featuring a four-course menu, live musical performances from Crystal’s Ensemble and string quartet.Prego – The specialty restaurant continues to serve regional specialties of Italy in a cozy, authentic atmosphere.PUBLIC SPACESPalm Court – This favourite spot has been reimagined with an intimate atmosphere, says Crystal. The stage has been relocated to an ‘in-the-round’ concept, with a new modernized bar. There are also more tables for two and intimate seating areas, new finishes, lighting, carpeting and furniture reflect. Plus, the previous stage area has become a dedicated culinary space to feature fresh pastries and snacks as guests take in sweeping views from the venue’s floor-to-ceiling windows.The Stardust Club – Now with a new dance floor, new bar finishes and a refreshed décor. New seating configurations allow the room to be transformed into a multi-functional space to host the Stardust Supper Club and large gatherings from bridge tournaments to live evening entertainment.In the Galaxy Lounge, the Crystal entertainment team is installing a new Broadway-style production show called Crystal on Broadway, The Show featuring songs from the hit musicals Rent, Something Rotten! and West Side Story. The show debuts on the Dec. 7 Pacific Coast Panorama cruise. Pulse and the Resorts World Casino at Sea have also been updated.NEW SEABREEZE PENTHOUSESOn Deck 10, 36 new Seabreeze Penthouses and two Seabreeze Penthouse Suites now occupy the space of former Deluxe Staterooms with Verandah. The new accommodations offer the same personal butler service, specialty services, walk-in closets, spa-like bathrooms and spacious square footage as the other Penthouses on board (367 sq. ft. and 491 sq. ft, respectively, including the verandah). The Seabreeze Penthouses also feature unique entries, which are shared between two suites and recessed from the hallway. This enables a seamless design for connecting two suites for larger families upon request.More news: Sunwing offers ultimate package deal ahead of YXU flights to SNU, PUJThe transformation reduces the ship’s capacity from 1,070 guests to 980 guests, while the number of crew on board remains the same.TECHNOLOGICAL ENHANCEMENTSNew, state-of-the-art HD flat-panel TVs have been added in all rooms, both public and guest suites. The TVs feature technology that allows guests to access a variety of information on their TVs including onboard folios, Crystal Life Spa & Salon menus, the Connoisseur Wine menu and daily restaurant menus. The new on-demand system also offers a library of top films and entertainment, as well as live views from the ship, broadcasts of ship lectures, presentations and destination info. Upgraded, pervasive WiFi coverage throughout the ship is delivered via dedicated antennae in every suite and all public areas and open decks.A new guest portal – Crystal Connect – is also now live, found on the landing page of onboard Internet service. Guests can access it from their smartphones, tablets or computers and instantly find shipboard and itinerary info, daily menus, shore excursions and port maps, daily issues of Reflections and an array of complimentary global newspapers and entertainment library.Crystal Serenity’s enrichment facilities also were redesigned. The Computer University@Sea has received new carpeting, seating and computer equipment, along with 70” TVs. The multifunctional enrichment room, The Studio, has been divided to offer a classroom for language, art and other instruction and a separate dance studio for private lessons. Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >>