What Is Saffron?

What Is Saffron?

As the world’s most expensive spice, saffron provides a beautiful golden color and pungent, aromatic flavor to foods. You can find it sold as red-gold threads or in ground form, and it is available year-round. It has been used for centuries in Persian, Arab, European, and Indian cuisine.

What Is Saffron?

What Is Saffron? Saffron is a spice made from the stigmas of the fall-flowering plant Crocus sativus, a member of the iris family. It is native to Asia Minor, where it has been cultivated for thousands of years to be used in medicines, perfumes, dyes, and as a wonderful flavoring for foods and beverages. Saffron threads are fine and have a yellow tendril on one end and a flute on the other. Ground saffron is red to red-orange in color. Saffron is suitable for vegan, gluten-free, and paleo diets.

Saffron vs Copycats

American saffron or Mexican saffron is safflower, a member of the daisy family and the same plant that is used to produce safflower oil. Dried flowers from this plant impart the characteristic yellow color to foods, but they have no flavor.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa), also known as Indian saffron, is a member of the ginger family. It colors food golden yellow but has a different flavor from saffron. Turmeric is used to stretch powdered saffron by unscrupulous retailers.

A warning about meadow saffron (Colchicum autumnal)—this unrelated plant is poisonous and should not be confused with saffron.

What Does It Taste Like?

Saffron imparts a somewhat earthy taste that’s been described as pungent or even fruity. It is subtle enough that it will be masked in dishes that bolder spices.

Cooking with Saffron

Saffron threads should be crushed before using them in recipes. For ground saffron, it is best to start with saffron threads and lightly toast and grind them yourself. Just be extremely careful not to burn them or they won’t be usable. Often, recipes call for only a pinch of saffron, so a little goes a long way.

One common procedure is too steep saffron threads in the cooking liquid before using them. The longer you steep the saffron threads, the stronger the flavor and color of the cooking liquid. Some frugal cooks steep saffron threads and use the liquid in the recipe, and then dry and reuse the threads a second time.

Substitutions

Unfortunately, there is no truly acceptable substitute for saffron. Its distinctive flavor is a must for classic dishes such as paella and bouillabaisse. Try to use the real thing to get the intended result. However, turmeric or paprika might be used for the color that would be provided by saffron. Use turmeric sparingly as a saffron substitute since its acrid flavor can easily overwhelm the food.

Where to Buy Saffron

Saffron will be available at a well-stocked grocery store, but it is often not out on the open shelf where it might tempt thieves. It might be in a special locked cabinet in the spice area, or you will need to ask at the service desk.

It is best to buy saffron threads rather than ground saffron. One reason is that it is easier to detect counterfeits and know that you are getting the true saffron you are paying for. Powdered saffron is not as strong, tends to lose flavor, and is also easily adulterated with fillers and imitations.

Since so little saffron is needed, you will find ground saffron sold in packets of about 1/16 teaspoon, and threads equaling about 1/4 gram or 1/2 of a teaspoon. Yet, these seemingly small amounts will often flavor more than one dish.

You can also order saffron online, but you must be wary of any deals. If the price is far below that from other spice purveyors, it may not be authentic saffron.

Storage

Saffron threads will hold their maximum flavor for up to six months if you store them in an airtight container and keep the container in a cool, dark place. Like other herbs and spices, it’s sensitive to light, so wrap the packet in foil to protect it even more. It won’t spoil, but it will lose more and more of its flavor as it ages. If you are buying ground saffron, it should be stored in a similar fashion but you should use it as quickly as possible as it will already have lost some of its potency.

Health Benefits of Saffron

Remedies that date back over 4,000 years used saffron as one of the main ingredients. The spice was used to treat over 90 ailments, including fever, cramps, enlarged livers, and anxiety. It has also been used externally for bruises, rheumatism, and neuralgia.

Modern medical research is finding possible benefits for saffron extracts. Preliminary studies show specific preparations might be beneficial for the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, depression, menstrual discomfort, and premenstrual syndrome. Other uses are still being explored.

Incoterms 2020

ICC has launched Incoterms 2020, the newest edition of the renowned trade terms for the delivery of goods, providing certainty and clarity to business and traders everywhere.

The Incoterms rules were first introduced by ICC in 1936 to establish commonly accepted definitions and rules related to the delivery of goods between trading partners worldwide. Since then, ICC has periodically revised the Incoterms rules to reflect changes in the international trade system. The 2020 edition launches during the organization’s Centenary year.

More accessible and easier to use, Incoterms new version includes more detailed explanatory notes with enhanced graphics to illustrate the responsibilities of importers and exporters for each Incoterms rule. The introduction to this version also includes a more detailed explanation on how to choose the most appropriate Incoterms rule for a given transaction, or how a sales contract interacts with ancillary contracts.

  • Incoterms 2020 provides for demonstrated market need in relation to bills of lading (BL) with an on-board notation and the Free Carrier (FCA) Incoterms rule.
  • Incoterms 2020 aligns different levels of insurance coverage in Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF) and Carriage and Insurance Paid To (CIP).
  • Incoterms 2020 includes arrangements for carriage with own means of transport in FCA, Delivered at Place (DAP), Delivered at Place Unloaded (DPU), and Delivered Duty Paid (DDP).
  • There is a change in the three-letter name for Delivered at Terminal (DAT) to DPU.
  • Incoterms 2020 includes security-related requirements within carriage obligations and costs.

For more information please contact us.

Foreign purchase

– Foreign purchase from start to finish

In the following article, which is sourced from the Chamber of Commerce, we discuss how an overseas foreign purchase proceeds from start to finish.

  • Foreign purchase registration procedures:

  1. Purchase Request: Either notified by the engineering unit of a company to the business unit or a trader independently imports.
  2. Sourcing: Depending on the type of goods we want to import, we should look for sellers or manufacturers of that product overseas, which can be done in different ways: 1- Checking our previous and similar purchases or our partner companies, 2- Searching the Internet, 3- Inquiries from the Chambers of Commerce
  3. Purchase / Inquiry Submission: It is usually a written inquiry from the seller which may be a direct inquiry or a tender. This query specifies the type – number – how the shipment and other commercial items are requested by the seller.
  4. Performa Invoice receipt: Upon receipt of the Performa Invoice from the seller, the business case – price and technical items are reviewed and approved (if necessary technical approval).
  5. Technical Approval: If required technical verification of product specifications should be approved by the relevant expert.
  6. Financing: If the purchase is visual (cash), the whole amount will be financed by the financial entity to the seller’s account and if the purchase is by letter of credit the amount will be paid in advance. (Usually 2%) and the rest should be paid to the bank before the transaction date.
  7. Business Order Registration Operation: The goods must have an entry permit to enter the country, which can be obtained by filling in the order forms and receiving a 2-digit code.
  8. Shipment Insurance Contract: Due to the fact that in all terms of Incoterms purchase insurance contract and its cost with the buyer and insurance policy is one of the requirements required to open a documentary credit. Therefore, the buyer must obtain an insurance policy from one of the Iranian insurance companies.
  9. Banking: Depending on the type of payment, the buyer will request a direct payment to the seller or a request for credit by referring to the bank.
  10. Shipment and Inspection Contract: Taking into consideration the term of delivery of the goods and the need to inspect the buyer simultaneously with the banking operations, the shipment companies inspect the price and then conclude the contract.
  11. Build / Send Order: Upon receipt of the Swift from the Bank to send the seller a payment to the Buyer, the relevant Swift will be sent to the Seller with a request to make or send (in writing).
  12. Manufacture and Delivery: The seller can wait for the bank to receive a notice but usually starts to build or send in good faith. And deliver the goods to the company in the said place.
  13. Delivery of shipping documents: After receiving the bill issued by the shipping company together with the other shipping documents, the seller requests to the bank and requests the requested amount in credit. And the bank is obliged to pay if the documents are not in conflict with the letter of credit.
  14. Freight Supervision: After receiving the bill of lading, the seller sends a copy of the bill of lading to the buyer to inform the buyer of its shipping and timing.
  15. Delivery of goods to Customs: The carrier delivers the goods to the Customs and receives from the Customs the warehouse bills the warehouse bill remains in the hands of the carrier to pay the carrier the shipping cost to the carrier. The customs office also sends a declaration stating that the goods have been delivered to the buyer’s address.
  16. Customs clearance: In addition to the customs warehouse receipt, the buyer needs clearance documents to clear the bank to receive the clearance and receives the documents for the total settlement of the credit and related fees.

– Order registration operations at the Ministry of Commerce

All merchandise (except for some of the goods listed in the Export and Import Regulations each year, such as passenger and freight exchange in border areas) must be licensed by the Ministry of Commerce. Order forms at the Ministry of Commerce are considered as entry clearance when stamped with oval seal:

The following documents are required to submit an order to the Ministry of Commerce.

  1. Membership Card: You need to have a business card and deposit money into that office to join the order registration office.
  2. Order Forms filled by machine type 2 copies (2 copies if purchased without currency transfer)
  3. Two copies of Performa Invoice: one of which must be original, and the requirements of each Performa Invoice have been met.
  4. Product specification catalog: The product catalog should be attached to the Performa Invoice if required by the relevant expert.
  5. Certificate of the relevant organization if required: According to the Export and Import Regulations, all items requiring the approval of a ministry are numbered from one to nine, each number representing a specific ministry. If the number is not entered or zero, it indicates that the goods are authorized.

– Things to consider in Performa Invoice.

  1. Manufacturer or seller company name and phone number
  2. Seal and signature of seller company
  3. Full name of the buyer company
  4. Country and address of seller company
  5. The date of issuance of Performa Invoice and its validity
  6. Duration of construction and shipment
  7. Description of the item and counting unit
  8. Unit and total price
  9. Payment method and seller account number
  10. Customs Tariff Code mentioned in Export and Import Regulations (Harmonized System)
  11. Delivery term
  12. Place of loading of goods
  13. International Standard Number and Type if required.
  14. Inspection items
  15. Product warranty period
  16. Insert standard number

– Shipping documents

Shipping documents include the following documents:

  1. Certificate of Origin is a document issued by the chamber of commerce of the seller’s country indicating that the goods are manufactured in the country of the seller and usually require the seller to certify the origin certificate by the embassy or consulate of the buyer country.
  2. Inspection Certificate: This certificate states that the product is in quantitative, qualitative and packaging terms conforming to the requirements of the information referred to as “Verification of Conformity”.
  3. Packing List: A list that specifies the number of packages, the quantity or the number and unit of goods in packages ready to load.
  4. Performa Invoice: is a sale offer where the business is considered and finalized with a Performa Invoice agreement agreed upon by the parties and recorded as a contract between the buyer and the seller.
  5. Bill of Lading: This is a document issued by a shipping company, and if it is written in the name of anyone, it is recognized as the owner of the goods.
  6. Freight Invoice: This is a document showing the seller’s freight payment. Either Prepaid or will be Collect.

In the terms CFR or C&F and CIF, DAF, CPT, CIP, DDU, DDP, DES, DEQ, as stated in the bill of lading, Prepaid Rental is pre-paid.

For more information about terms which mentioned above, click here.

Difference Between Marketing and Selling

Difference Between Marketing and Selling

Marketing

Marketing is a broad concept. In simple words, it means the process through which the goods and services move from the producer to the ultimate user of the products. Philip Kotler, the father of Marketing says Marketing is a social process by which a need is created, offered and exchanged via products (goods, services or an idea)

Marketing is the systematic planning and implementation so that the buyers and sellers come together and a market is created.

Example: Marketing starts much before and continues even after the product is sold. When a customer buys a car, the after-sale services comes under marketing.

Selling

Selling is a narrower concept. Selling means providing the customer with the good he/she needs in exchange of a price. It is usually between two parties. Selling is more like an agreement wherein the buyer receives the product in exchange for money.

Example: You go to a shop and the shopkeeper “sells” you a Good X and in return you pay him some money in cash.

Difference in Selling and Marketing

  1. Marketing is about customer satisfaction. It starts with customer needs and demand and ends with customer satisfaction. It is a customer-oriented approach. Sales, on the other hand, is about selling what the company produces. It doesn’t care about the need of the customer but about the profits.
  2. Marketing is about providing quality products and consumer satisfaction. Selling is about generating by maximizing sales and is a money-oriented approach.
  3. In marketing, emphasis is given on the wants of the consumer. Whereas in selling, emphasis is on the company’s products.
  4. Marketing is different from selling because here the company first determines customers’ needs and wants and then decides how to deliver a product to satisfy these wants. In selling, it is the other way around.
  5. In marketing the emphasis is on innovation in existing technology and providing better value to the customer by adopting a superior technology. Selling emphasizes on staying with existing technology and reducing costs.
  6. Marketing views the customer as the very purpose of the business. Selling views customer as a last link in business.
  7. Planning in marketing is long-term-oriented in today’s products and in terms of new products, tomorrow’s markets and future growth. Planning in selling is short-term-oriented in terms of today’s products and markets.
  8. Marketing follows customer-oriented approach and selling uses production-oriented approach.
  9. Consumer determines price and price determines cost of marketing. In selling, cost determines price.
  10. Marketing makes use of long-term strategies to get sales – examples, value-added service, customer education, meeting objectives. Selling makes use of short-term tactics to get sales – examples are free gifts, discounts, rebates, bribes, etc.
  11. Marketing is an indirect activity whereas sales is a direct activity.

To sum it up, let us look at the components of the two.

Sales- A part of Marketing

Selling is simply the movement of the goods or services from the seller to buyer. Selling is a part of marketing, and therefore is a narrow concept. It is the main part of marketing but not the whole of it. Every business comes into existence to make some profit, and yes, selling plays a very important role, but marketing concentrates on the customer demands and needs which helps in increasing sales in the long run.

Marketing

Marketing is a wider concept and includes the following components:

  • Designing the product

The first and foremost thing in marketing is the designing of the product. The product is designed in such a manner that it attracts the people Example: Dell laptops that used a different design when almost all the other companies used the similar colors like Black and white. This made a huge impact in the market and was a great success.

  • Placing the product

Placing the product in the mindset of the customer and in different price category plays a crucial role in marketing and here comes the importance of PRICE AND PLACE.

  • Finding the satisfaction level

Most of the companies that are well versed try to find the customer satisfaction level by various methods like Questionnaires, providing samples etc.

  • Finding the target people

One of the most important things that is to be taken care is finding the target which are aimed by the companies to place the product.

  • After sales service

The most important thing that attracts the people are after sale service. IFB is a company known for the service and this gives an assurance the people thereby widening the market for the product.

Bank Guarantee

What is a Bank Guarantee?

A Bank Guarantee is a an assurance given by a financial institution (usually a bank) to pay on behalf of its client (buyer/importer/borrower) who is obligated to pay money to a seller of some goods and services or a lender or anyone who is to be paid for a certain transaction that is going to take place. Bank Guarantee can be claimed only when the seller has performed his part of the contract and the issuing bank’s client (buyer) has failed to make the payment.In other words, it is always the obligation of the buyer to pay for the purchase/borrowing and only if he is unable to make the payment on the date of payment, the bank guarantee can be put to use. In such a case the bank will pay the amount to the seller’s bank and later collect the amount from its client. There is no interest charged to the applicant unless the bank has had to pay the money to the seller. Bank Guarantees are issued for a commission on the contract value.

Parties involved in a Bank Guarantee

There are usually 4 parties in a BG. They are-

  1. A buyer/importer/borrower- the applicant
  2. The buyer’s/ importer’s/borrower’s bank- the issuing bank
  3. The seller/exporter/lender- the beneficiary
  4. The seller’s/exporter’s/lender bank’s- the advisory bank

But in case of large contracts like real estate and infrastructure projects the seller/builder also needs to present a Bank Guarantee from his bank to prove his credit worthiness to the purchaser to be able to perform his part of the contract without delay as these contracts require a huge amount of money to be executed efficiently.

Process of Bank Guarantee using an example

Imagine that James makes a purchase order for 1000 tables for his school from M&S. A& Co. for $20,000. M&S.A& Co. wants an assurance from James that he will not default the payment for the order. So, James goes to his bank, say, XYZ Bank and applies for a Bank Guarantee. The bank upon receiving the application does a thorough background and credit worthiness check of James and approves to issue a Bank Guarantee. James provides the details to M&S. A& Co. who then passes this on to its bank, say, ABC bank where the authenticity of the BG is verified and accepted. BG provides M&S. A& Co. to claim for the payment from XYZ Bank in case of a default by James. Now, suppose that M&S. A& Co. has delivered the tables as per the contract on time to James and he is unable to meet the payment due to some reason. Then, M&S.A&Co. makes a claim for payment from XYZ bank. After satisfying itself regarding the fulfilment of the seller’s part of the contract, XYZ Bank releases the amount. Later on, XYZ Bank collects the amount from James along with an interest on the money paid to M&S. A&Co. and a commission on the contract value for the Bank Guarantee service.

Important points:

  • Bank Guarantees provide a security from credit risk to the seller/exporter/lender.
  • Bank Guarantees are intended to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller as explained above regarding large scale contracts.
  • Bank Guarantees are majorly used in real estate and infrastructure projects.
  • The primary obligation to pay for the contract is on the buyer (applicant) while the secondary obligation to pay is on the buyer’s bank (issuing bank).

Multi Level Marketing (MLM)

Multi level marketing (MLM)

Multi level marketing (MLM), also called pyramid selling, network marketing, and referral marketing, is a marketing strategy for the sale of products or services where the revenue of the MLM company is derived from a non-salaried workforce selling the company’s products/services, while the earnings of the participants are derived from a pyramid-shaped or binary compensation commission system.

 

Although each MLM company dictates its own specific financial compensation plan for the payout of any earnings to their respective participants, the common feature that is found across all MLMs is that the compensation plans theoretically pay out to participants only from two potential revenue streams. The first is paid out from commissions of sales made by the participants directly to their own retail customers. The second is paid out from commissions based upon the wholesale purchases made by other distributors below the participant who have recruited those other participants into the MLM; in the organizational hierarchy of MLMs, these participants are referred to as one’s down line distributors.

 

MLM salespeople are, therefore, expected to sell products directly to end-user retail consumers by means of relationship referrals and word of mouth marketing, but most importantly they are incentivized to recruit others to join the company’s distribution chain as fellow salespeople so that these can become down line distributors. According to a report that studied the business models of 350 MLMs, published on the Federal Trade Commission’s website, at least 99% of people who join MLM companies lose money. Nonetheless, MLMs function because downline participants are encouraged to hold onto the belief that they can achieve large returns, while the statistical improbability of this is de-emphasized. MLMs have been made illegal or otherwise strictly regulated in some jurisdictions as a mere variation of the traditional pyramid scheme, including in mainland China.

Business model

Participant profits and losses

The overwhelming majority of MLM participants (most sources estimated to be over 99.25% of all MLM distributors) participate at either an insignificant or nil net profit. Indeed, the largest proportion of participants must operate at a net loss (after expenses are deducted) so that the few individuals in the uppermost level of the MLM pyramid can derive their significant earnings. Said earnings are then emphasized by the MLM company to all other participants to encourage their continued participation at a continuing financial loss.

 

Participant financial loss, company financial gain

The end result of the MLM business model is, therefore, one of a company (the MLM company) selling its products and services through a non-salaried workforce (“partners”) working for the MLM company on a commission-only basis while the partners simultaneously constitute the overwhelming majority of the very consumers of the MLM company’s products and services that they, as participants of the MLM, are selling to each other in the hope of one day themselves being at the top of the pyramid. This creates great profit for the MLM company’s actual owners and shareholders.

 

Many MLM companies do generate billions of dollars in annual revenue and hundreds of millions of dollars in annual profit. However, the profits of the MLM company are accrued at the detriment to the majority of the company’s constituent workforce (the MLM participants). Only some of said profit is then significantly shared with individual participants at the top of the MLM distributorship pyramid. The earnings of those top few participants is emphasized and championed at company seminars and conferences, thus creating an illusion of how one can potentially become financially successful if they become a participant in the MLM. This is then advertised by the MLM company to recruit more distributors to participate in the MLM with a false anticipation of earning margins which are in reality merely theoretical and statistically improbable.

 

Although an MLM company holds out those few top individual participants as evidence of how participation in the MLM could lead to success, the reality is that the MLM business model depends on the failure of the overwhelming majority of all other participants, through the injecting of money from their own pockets, so that it can become the revenue and profit of the MLM company, of which the MLM company shares only a small proportion of it to a few individuals at the very top of the MLM participant pyramid. Participants, other than the few individuals at the top, provide nothing more than their own financial loss for the company’s own profit and the profit of the top few individual participants.

 

Financial independence

The main sales pitch of MLM companies to their participants and prospective participants is not the MLM company’s products or services. The products/services are largely peripheral to the MLM model. Rather, the true sales pitch and emphasis is on a confidence given to participants of potential financial independence through participation in the MLM, luring with phrases like “the lifestyle you deserve” or “independent distributor.” Erik German’s memoir My Father’s Dream documents the real life failures of German’s father as he is lured into “get-rich-quick” schemes such as Amway. The memoir illustrates the multi-level marketing sales principle known as “selling the dream”.

 

Although emphasis is always made on the potential of success and the positive life change that “might” or “could” (not “will” or “can”) result, it is only in otherwise difficult to find disclosure statements (or at the very least, difficult to read and interpret disclosure statements), that MLM participants are given fine print disclaimers that they as participants should not rely on the earning results of other participants in the highest levels of the MLM participant pyramid as an indication of what they should expect to earn. MLMs very rarely emphasize the extreme likelihood of failure, or the extreme likelihood of financial loss, from participation in MLM. MLMs are also seldom forthcoming about the fact that any significant success of the few individuals at the top of the MLM participant pyramid is in fact dependent on the continued financial loss and failure of all other participants below them in the MLM pyramid.

 

Comparisons to pyramid schemes

MLMs have been made illegal in some jurisdictions as a mere variation of the traditional pyramid scheme, including in China. In jurisdictions where MLMs have not been made illegal, many illegal pyramid schemes attempt to present themselves as MLM businesses. Given that the overwhelming majority of MLM participants cannot realistically make a net profit, let alone a significant net profit, but instead overwhelmingly operate at net losses, some sources have defined all MLMs as a type of pyramid scheme, even if they have not been made illegal like traditional pyramid schemes through legislative statutes.

 

MLMs are designed to make profit for the owners/shareholders of the company, and a few individual participants at the top levels of the MLM pyramid of participants. According to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), some MLM companies already constitute illegal pyramid schemes even by the narrower existing legislation, exploiting members of the organization. There have been calls in various countries to broaden existing anti-pyramid scheme legislation to include MLMs, or to enact specific anti-MLM legislation to make all MLMs illegal in parallel to pyramid schemes, as has already been done in some jurisdictions.

 

The legal distinction between MLMs and traditional pyramid schemes has been characterized by many authorities as a legal fiction. Jurisdictions that retain a legal distinction between MLM pyramid businesses versus illegal pyramid schemes retain said distinction on two key distinguishing features: 1) that MLMs always encompass the sale of actual products/services, while traditional illegal pyramid schemes ordinarily do not (though sometimes they do), and 2) that climbing an MLM pyramid is overwhelmingly statistically improbable (especially to its highest participant levels) but not theoretically impossible, whereas climbing a traditional illegal pyramid scheme is both statistically and theoretically impossible.

 

Employment law

 

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MLM salespeople are not employees of the MLM company. Participants do not derive a salary/wage, nor do participants receive remuneration from the MLM company for their invested labor and expenses in their MLM “independent business”. The income of participants, if any income is made at all, is derived only from commissions on their personal sales or their share of the commissions on the personal sales of their downlines (the MLM compensation structure).

 

As non-employees, participants are not protected by legal rights of employment law provisions. Instead, salespeople are typically presented by the MLM company as “independent contractors” or “independent business owners”. However, participants do not possess a business in the traditional legal sense, as the participants do not hold any tangible business assets or intangible business goodwill able to be sold or purchased in a sale or acquisition of a business. These are the property of the MLM company.

 

Lawsuits

Companies that use the MLM business model have been a frequent subject of criticism and lawsuits. Legal claims against MLMs have included, among other things:

 

  • their similarity to traditional illegal pyramid schemes
  • price fixing of products or services,
  • collusion and racketeering in backroom deals where secret compensation packages are created between the MLM company and a few individual participants, to the detriment of others
  • high initial entry costs (for marketing kit and first products),
  • emphasis on recruitment of others over actual sales (especially sales to non-participants)
  • encouraging if not requiring members to purchase and use the company’s products,
  • exploitation of personal relationships as both sales and recruiting targets,
  • complex and exaggerated compensation schemes,
  • false product claims
  • the company or leading distributors making major money off participant-attended conventions, training events and materials, advertising materials, and
  • cult-like techniques which some groups use to enhance their members’ enthusiasm and devotion.

Direct selling versus network marketing

“Network marketing” and “multi-level marketing” (MLM) have been described by author Dominique Xardel as being synonymous, with it being a type of direct selling. Some sources emphasize that multi-level marketing is merely one form of direct selling, rather than being direct selling. Other terms that are sometimes used to describe multi-level marketing include “word-of-mouth marketing”, “interactive distribution”, and “relationship marketing”. Critics have argued that the use of these and other different terms and “buzzwords” is an effort to distinguish multi-level marketing from illegal Ponzi schemes, chain letters, and consumer fraud scams.

 

The Direct Selling Association (DSA), a lobbying group for the MLM industry, reported that in 1990 only 25% of DSA members used the MLM business model. By 1999, this had grown to 77.3%. By 2009, 94.2% of DSA members were using MLM, accounting for 99.6% of sellers, and 97.1% of sales. Companies such as Avon, Electrolux, Tupperware, and Kirby were all originally single-level marketing companies, using that traditional and uncontroversial direct selling business model (distinct from MLM) to sell their goods. However, they later introduced multi-level compensation plans, becoming MLMs. The DSA has approximately 200 members while it is estimated there are over 1,000 firms using multi-level marketing in the United States alone.

Aluminium Truss Systems

Aluminium truss products are the building blocks of our industry. Prolyte has developed a broad range of aluminium truss types and a unique system to connect them: the conical coupling system, CCS. Prolyte trusses are designed to make them suitable for a broad variety of applications, from a simple flown grid or exhibition booth to stage-and-lighting truss to elaborate mother grids or support structures prepared for high loading.

ProlyteStructures encompasses truss series in different sizes and strengths, including straight lengths, corners and curves; all designed and manufactured according to a strict philosophy that emphasizes simplicity, standardization, ease-of-use, configuration flexibility and optimum safety. Prolyte provides comprehensive data and offers expert training to promote the correct use and safe application of its truss systems.

Advantages

  • Available worldwide
  • Fast and easy assembly
  • Low volume
  • Versatile application
  • Ideal for exhibitons
  • Light weight system
  • Cross bracing
  • ۴-point nodding

Circular Truss

In addition to straight lengths, ProlyteStructures manufactures circular trusses, curved trusses and arcs. These trusses are manufactured with a high degree of accuracy, ensuring a perfect fit without distortion. Semi-automated welding jigs are used for production to ensure that all parts are identical. This guarantees that every segment of a circle truss can be mounted at any position or be replaced by a new part without affecting the integrity or overall shape of the circle truss.

Circular or curved trusses are manufactured in different diameters or degrees. When ordering a complete circular truss, the number of cuttings required (each segment requires one cut) must be indicated. Couplers do not have to be ordered separately, as they are included in the amount of cuttings ordered. A “cutting” divides the circle into segments. Individual segments cannot be longer than 5 meters.

Advantages

  • Fool proof assembly
  • Light weight construction
  • Arc sections can be replaced

Import of exhibition structures

The exhibition industry has undergone many developments over the past two decades and has become one of the most important tools for developing technology and trade exchanges. The development of information and communication technology (ICT) has played a key role in expanding the activities of the exhibition around the world and its transformation.

Economic experts believe that the development of an exhibition industry in the world without the coordination and support of industry, commerce, tourism, modernization of the international transportation network, customs clearance of houses to the most advanced means of clearing and reviewing goods, trade liberalization and the removal of barriers to non-tariff barriers. And finally, the evolution of public security systems was not possible.

In addition, advances in the banking, insurance and online advertising industry have had an impact on the expansion of exhibitions.

The countries that have the highest share in trade, especially in global exports (Germany, China, the United States, Japan, France, etc.) have gained international status in the exhibition industry.

With the advent of technology and the growing need of the market and the world of advertising to modern exhibition equipment and structures, in accordance with international standards, such as: Lightweight and easy mantling and dismantling in the shortest time, Noyannick trade team after studying and researching on the global markets, has commenced to import and provide the latest and most modern European exhibition equipment and structures to the market.

Today, aluminum modular structures are an alternative to building exhibition systems instead wood or other materials, which are lightweight and reusable. The green stands, which are the other names of these systems, have come to the name of the fact that there is no longer any material disposal, and all structures are reusable. Below is a brief description of some of the existing examples in the Iranian market.

– Truss systems are structures that allow you to use various applications in the industry, depending on the size of the cross section. They can sometimes be used as substructures and sometimes for the main structure of pavilions. These trusses are available in length from 29 to 500 centimeters. There is also a wide range of standard angles for connecting to the corners.

The other use of the truss system is for the lighting system, which hang from the ceiling or suspended structures, in addition to the infrastructure for lighting systems and projectors, other hanging devices can also be hanging from them.

The main feature of this aluminum truss systems is:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy, fast and quick mantling and dismantling
  • High load capacity
  • Resistant to other atmospheric conditions

– Modular exhibition systems are basically aluminum frames, which are manufactured and marketed to create exhibition spaces and booths with specific features. With these frames, you can set up your booth in the shortest time. The main features of these modular systems include the following:

  • High efficiency
  • Quick and easy mantling and dismantling
  • Installation without any tools
  • Modular and innovation in product and its variety
  • High quality mass production
  • High stability

– Prefabricated flooring systems made of lightweight aluminum frames which make it possible to apply any kind of cover to them. This prefabricated prefabrication system is applicable to other surfaces evenly and unevenly due to adjustable legs that can be adjusted from a height of 4 to 10 cm.

For more information on importing exhibition structures, as well as additional information on imported products, you can contact Noyannick trading team by email.

Mobile Commerce or M-Commerce

Mobile commerce or m-commerce is not a brand-new trend anymore. Some people consider that its era is over and this exhausted market will not offer anything new. I belong to the majority, that doesn’t share this myopic view, and this article will contain the bedrock arguments.

What is M-Commerce?

M-Commerce is purchasing and selling products online, using wireless portable devices such as smartphones or tablets. Users do not have to plug in to access the Internet. Statistics show that the M-commerce revenue constitutes $150 million this year. And this is via smartphones only. The numbers are growing and are expected to reach $350 billion in 2021.

Are M-commerce and E-commerce the same notions?

They are often confused, but there are distinct differences between these concepts. M-commerce came from E-commerce together with increasing progress in technologies. E-commerce is any kind of business that makes transactions on the Internet. Mobile commerce gives the possibility to sell and purchase using mobile devices.

The statistics prove that mobile commerce makes nearly one-third of the total e-commerce revenue, and the percentage is increasing.

What are the types of M-Commerce?

Presently we can define three constituents that make the mobile commerce: Mobile Shopping, Mobile Banking, Mobile Payments.

Mobile Shopping is buying/selling goods with the help of portable devices. It can be done through websites, applications, and media platforms.

Mobile Banking is the process of transacting money using your smartphone. Usually, special applications are needed, but today banks begin to use chatbots and message applications.

Mobile Payments allow users to settle the bill in one click using mobile wallets. Most popular payment technologies are Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Visa Checkout, PayPal One-Touch.

How big is the revenue M-Commerce?

Mobile shopping, banking, and payments became popular over the few last decades, and the number of people using this technology is constantly increasing. This is the driving force that builds up the revenue. According to Statista, the world m-commerce revenue grew from $50 billion in 2014 to $459 billion in 2018.

What are the trends in the M-Commerce market?

Where there’s demand, there’ll be supply. A mobile device becomes a multi-functional tool present in all spheres of human life. Its functions go far beyond making calls or watching videos. The future m-commerce trends will continue to surprise even advanced users.

  • The majority of m-commerce applications continue to implement chatbots to maintain feedback with their users. The chatbots can respond to clients 24/7 in the real-time and help to learn more about their shopping experience.
  • Augmented Reality (AR). AR impressed and interested shoppers, and 71% of them prefer to use apps with AR. 40% will use AR before buying a product, and 60% users give preference to brands that implement AR.
  • One-Click Payment.Users of some mobile apps or platforms do not have to fill in/choose the characteristics of a product they want to buy again. Enter the site, select a good and buy in one click. This technology will stay at the peak of the most popular future trends.
  • Internet of Things is a net of million electronic devices that collect and share users’ data. Starting with a smartwatch and ending with the pillow talk. Such things will never go out of fashion.
  • Cloud-based Services.Their penetration in mobile development will continue. Centralized data storages and app provision in the cloud environment, will enable more lightweight and cheaper devices and reduce their maintenance costs.

Approach of selecting the right software

Approach of selecting the right software among the available ones in the market, software that has the highest compliance with the needs of the organization should be selected. The more a product is tailored to the needs of the organization, the risk of deployment of the system will be much lower. Conversely, if the functionality of the software does not match the needs of the organization, it must either change the processes of the organization to coordinate with the system or order the system to support process support. In both cases, the time and cost of deploying software increases. In addition, due to the high volume of changes in the organization, the probability of employees’ resistance to these changes also increases. Therefore, the precise selection of software and the selection of a product that meets the needs of the organization reduces the time and cost of implementing the system and increases the success of deploying the system.

The overall approach to choosing a software program that meets the requirements of the organization is six main steps:

  1.  Identify the needs of the organization
    This step is to identify and document the operational needs of the organization. Simply put, in this step, the organization’s expectations of the software system must be documented and documented. Identifying these needs is done through the identification of administrative-organizational processes. During this activity, by referring to experts and specialists of different units of the organization, key operational areas of the organization are identified. In each of the key domains, processes in that area are identified and documented. For each of these processes, an identity card is completed containing the key information of the process, how it is carried out, the important points in the process, the persons involved in it, the forms and information fields of the process, the inputs and outputs of the process and its subactivities. . Each of the identified sub-functions is documented in the same way and their profile is recorded. The relationship between different processes is characterized by drawing diagrams and flowcharts. By documenting the processes and activities of the organization it is determined which functions the system should have and what processes it actually supports. In this step, the purpose of identifying the organization’s requirements is detailed, complete, accurate, and with maximum detail.
  2.  Provide a list of vendors
    The list is based on public information such as corporate capability and background, the appropriateness of company products with the field of activity of the organization, their customers, as well as the use of advisors’ views and their successful implementation in the industry and the field of the organization’s activities. This listing should not be limited to the listing, but any potential supplier can be placed on the list. Do not forget the new companies too! Some startups can do the work at a lower price and higher quality, provided they have the technical and administrative requirements.
  3.  Preparing and submitting a proposal
    Based on the requirements identified in step one, a request is made and sent to the vendors and suppliers that have been prepared in the previous step. Companies receiving this request, commonly known as the Request for Proposal (RFP), offer their offer to meet the needs of the organization. In this offer, vendors say their system is capable of answering which one of the requirements. Of course, if there is currently no capability to meet part of the requirements, the vendor may declare that it will add the capability to the system in the future. However, salespeople, by completing their applications, declare their ability to meet the needs of the organization.
  4.  Receiving suggestions and scoring them
    At this point, the organization collects vendor recommendations and compares and evaluates them. In evaluating suggestions, the focus is on meeting the needs of the proposed suggestions. At this stage, the functional areas of the organization should also be ranked and prioritized. For example, after studies and studies, it may be determined that the financial sector has the highest priority and the area of ​​production is the priority after that. Similarly, using the opinions of experts, the priority of each operating area of ​​the organization should be identified. At this stage, the organization faces a decision-making model, on the one hand, those operating areas with specific priorities and, on the other hand, offers from vendors. After matching the suggestions to the requirements of the operational areas for each of the proposals, the coefficient of compliance is obtained. By sorting out suggestions based on the matching coefficient, more appropriate suggestions are made and inappropriate cases are eliminated. In this way, a list of vendors can be obtained.
  5.  An official invitation from selected vendors to provide their products
    Once the list has been prepared, the organization invites the vendors to submit their product demos. At this stage, different units of the organization become acquainted with the software products they are looking for and are more accurately evaluated and adapted to their needs and processes. In this phase, a set of non-functional indicators is also determined and vendors are evaluated based on these indicators. The seller’s record, his technical and organizational competence, the quality of the product produced, the support and after-sales service, the price of the product and the political and economic considerations are among the main indicators of this stage.
  6.  Scoring and final selection
    In this step, the previous evaluations are summarized and based on the indicators presented in the previous step, the score of each seller in the short list is determined by different units. The offer with the highest score is chosen as the most suitable product. Of course, at this stage, by analyzing sensitivity, the effect of different indicators on the selection of proposals can be assessed and the alternatives are also specified.

Considering the precise choice of software for organizations and domestic companies is very important because it can reduce the implementation risk in addition to reducing the cost and time of implementation of the system. The 6-step approach above can accurately execute software selection so that the result is acceptable.
In general, the software application should meet the capabilities and requirements of the organization, provide the flexibility needed to respond to changes in the environment. It also has the ability to integrate with other systems. The software should be comprehensive, stable and have appropriate support services. Also, the organization should not face restrictions such as economic sanctions when purchasing software privileges.