Feature Articles

E-Newsletter, Sodexo USA

Food Deserts Mark the Urban Landscape
America's most vibrant cities are a food-lover's paradise, where upscale neighborhoods packed with restaurants, gourmet food shops, and supermarkets cater to their every delight. Just a few miles away, however, poor and elderly consumers are struggling to find fresh, healthy, and affordable food for their families. These enclaves are known as food deserts; areas with plenty of fast food restaurants, liquor stores, and convenience stores but little or no access to foods needed to maintain a healthy diet.

In some urban areas, supermarkets have moved to the suburbs or higher-income parts of the city. Low-income earners and senior citizens who remain find healthy foods either unavailable or inaccessible as a result of high prices and unreachable locations. Convenience store fruits and vegetables are often priced well beyond customers' ability to pay, leaving less expensive but less healthy foods the only option.

(read more)

Aquent Consulting, White Paper

Over the past three decades, virtually every business discipline has dramatically changed the way it operates thanks to the adoption of innovative information technologies and metrics-driven management practices.

We say "virtually" every discipline, because one critical function—Creative Services (CS)—has yet to take full advantage of advances in people and process management and in breakthrough communication technologies. While corporate disciplines from Finance to Human Resources use best-of-breed tools and methodologies to manage their people, execute their tasks, and measure their performance, most CS departments rely on outdated, inefficient models for running their businesses.

(read more)

Repromedix Bylined article

When Your Doctor is Stumped, Advanced Infertility Tests Could Provide Answers
For couples struggling with infertility, the words "all the routine tests came back normal" are the last thing they want to hear. But with 10-15% of couples dealing with "unexplained infertility," and another 3% suffering from multiple miscarriages (Recurrent Pregnancy Loss or RPL), basic infertility testing is often not sufficient to determine why a woman can't conceive or stay pregnant.

Fortunately, newer, more advanced tests for infertility and RPL can provide answers to doctors who are stumped and patients who are discouraged. And the best news is that many of the disorders uncovered by these tests are treatable with simple drug therapies. In my many years of experience as an RN at an infertility clinic, I have seen scores of previously infertile couples have children after the elusive cause of their infertility was uncovered through advanced testing.

ATS Bylined Article
Published in Fidelity Capital Annual Report

Advisor Technology Services: Leading the Way for the New Age of Banking
Information technology has revolutionized American business in every sector of the economy. This certainly holds true for banking, whose accounting systems evolved during the last century from green eyeshades and hand-scrawled ledgers to sophisticated front- and back-end systems, call centers, and data operations. And, as with most industries, banking is now rapidly making the leap into the Internet age, seeking to adopt cutting-edge web-based technologies that dramatically improve productivity and customer service.

One of the information companies on the leading edge of this "new age" in banking is Advisor Technology Services (ATS), a Fidelity Capital company since 1996. Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, one of America’s great banking centers, ATS has drawn on 20+ years of technology dominance in the mainframe "legacy" trust market to develop a pioneering suite of Desktop Solutions that merges mainframe systems with browser-based Internet and Intranet products. This new initiative creates a "Legacy System Surround" environment that allows banks to run ATS’s desktop suite on top of any trust accounting legacy system, be it ATS’s industry-standard AM Trust, or any other mainframe system.

Streamware Corporation Bylined Article
Published in Automatic Merchandiser

Cashless Options: Don't Rule them Out

For the last 20 years or so, we've been hearing about all the things technology will do for us in the 21st century--the paperless office, the keyless doorway, the cashless society. Well, as anyone who's seen my desk can tell you, there's still plenty of paper in the office.

However, it has occurred to me lately that I'm using my ATM card for a lot more than getting cash from the 24-hour machine. First the supermarket started accepting debit cards, then the drugstore, then the gas pump. Cash is also losing its cache at a host of other locations, from movie theatres to toll booths. Can the vending industry also move away from its cash dependency and embrace the age of plastic? The answer is a resounding "probably." Like all new technologies that are 50% hype and 50% reality, cashless vending is not about to overtake coins in the pocket any time in the immediate future. However, operators should understand the pros and cons of this development and to take advantage of the technology if it suits their customer base and business strategy.

Fidelity Capital Annual Report

Community Newspaper Company Profile

In the good old days, say the 1960's, the word "media" defined a relatively small universe of metropolitan daily newspapers, community weeklies, mass market magazines, and network radio and television. Before the advent of 57 cable channels, the 'net, the Web, and the 'zine, traditional media supplied Americans with all the news they thought they needed. Today, the Marines land in Somalia and CNN cameras are on shore to greet them. National news is communicated "as it happens" on cable and the Internet, leaving the daily newspaper in the dust as a newsbreaker. Pundits and analysts question the future of print in the age of satellites and cyberspace.

And yet, CNN will never report the scores of the Little League game. The metro daily gives scant attention to the zoning board vote. And the hardware store's weekly specials are nowhere to be found on America Online. With all the sophistication and immediacy of the "new media," there remains an important place for the community paper and its aggressively local approach to news.

Bank Boston Bylined Article

Incorporating Technology Into Business Strategies
Throughout the business world, information managers are prized for their technical expertise but often dismissed as "techno-jocks" not interested in thinking strategically or contributing to the organization's bottom-line. The Information Technology (IT) team is center stage when your system malfunctions, but is relegated to the back room when the company's long-range planning or problem solving takes place.

Since the dawn of the computer age, employees have been divided into "technical" and "non-technical" types, each recognizing the other's value but having minimal interaction on a day-to-day basis. This has led to a "Balkanization" of the office, preventing many businesses from employing technology in smart ways to meet business objectives.

J. Robert Scott Bylined Article

The Hidden Value of Executive Search Firms
The Chairman of a small high-tech company asks his human resources VP for an update on the search for a new Controller. A parade of candidates has streamed past the Chairman's desk over the last six months, and not one has passed muster. "I don't understand why we can't find the right person," the Chairman fumed. "There's a recession on, we've received over 500 resumes from the ad we ran--what's the problem?" The human resources VP shakes his head and looks perplexed. "I'm not sure," he answers slowly. "Maybe we should have used an executive search firm after all." The Chairman narrows his gaze and answers firmly, "Search firms are too expensive. Maybe we should run a bigger ad."

Variations on this scene are replayed day in and day out across the Bay State as senior executives miss the forest for the trees when recruiting executive talent. What should be one of the most disciplined and thoughtful processes is often treated carelessly and with little thought to the bigger picture.

Boston Harbor Hotel Bylined Article

Breaking Away from the Chain Gang-- Operating an Independent Hotel

Commerce in the United States is dominated by well-known and respected brands in virtually every area of life, from fast food and snacks to automobiles and computers. Names such as Coca-Cola, IBM, and Saturn resonate with virtually every American, and communicate images of quality and reliability. When in doubt, go with what you know.

This adage is particularly true for the hospitality industry. When a family pulls into a town late at night without a hotel reservation, it typically looks for a trusted trademark, knowing the room will meet certain standards of cleanliness and comfort..

...But what of those hotels that are not part of the "chain gang?" Those independent properties that go it alone, without a national brand affiliation and instantly recognizable name. In a world of labels, how does the independent hotel find success?