First Line Manager: Understanding Vested Interest

Vested interest exists. This means an individual has a special interest in protecting or promoting that which is to their own personal advantage. Or, there are groups that seek to support or control an existing system or activity from which they derive private benefit.A first line manager’s vested interest are in their functional area goals. A first line manager’s external business environment is also important. Effective first line managers must support a balance between their and others’ vested interest. A first line manager is like a fish in water; the fish contains water and is in water. There is internal business vested interests and external business vested interests. Let us consider these interests.First consider, a business’s internal interest and the manager’s role in each. There are two types of first line managers; functional line managers and general managers. I was a functional line manager as a restaurant manager, an accounting manager, and a territory sales manager, in these roles, my success was dedicated to that function. I was a general manager of hotels and a Business Office Manager; in these roles, my interest was in accomplishing all the functional goals of the organization.Functional first line mangers have to make sure their area of responsibility is accomplishing the assigned departmental goals. A functional manager’s is a success if their departmental goals are accomplished. Managers that are removed of not successful. Acceptable managers goals are within the acceptable range. Managers that consistency exceed their goals are considered for higher management. They are top performers. Here is the rub, functional managers must maintain a delicate balance between their department’s interest and other department’s vested interest.As a District Accounting Manager I approved the credit on sales contracts for appliance sales, a marketing function. If I was too selective marketing did not make quota and the salesperson salary suffered. If I was too lenient, the marketing department made above quota and the salesperson was very happy. In my accounting function was responsible for the payment of the contracts. I reported to a Division Accounting Manager who expected me to collect the money for the appliances. I received my promotions and my bonus on how effective I was in collections not in sales. This is the conundrum of a first line manager; how do you carry out line goals while not alienating other departments.Now think about this, if a first line manager wants to become a general manager, they must keep the other departments goals in perspective. Other first line managers must know, even though, you have departmental interest; you understand other departments have vested interest. You must be seen as cooperating with them to make every manager and the company successful. This is very important, and an extremely difficult balance.If you want to progress to a mid-level manager within your functional area, cooperation with other departments vested interests is important. A mid-level functional manager most times reports to a middle level general manager and higher level functional manager. Progression to a functional middle manager is difficult, most times, you have to be on the top of the department’s functional goals. In addition, you must be acceptable to the mid- level general manager. A mid-level general manager will not want a line functional manager that creates problems for other functional areas as a mid-level functional manager.Now, consider the first line manager as general manager. I was a first line business office manager and general manager, I was responsible for all the functions of the company. I had an interest in the accomplishing the goals of accounting, marketing, and operations. I had goals in each of these functional areas. I reported to a middle level general manager. I was given these positions because I was a successful first line manager. Also, I was chosen for these positions because of my expanded activities in the community and within the company. I achieved my functional goals and helped other departments make their goals; or, I would never been given these general management positions. As a general manager my energy was divided among the functional areas of the company. My success was based on my teams success in all the functional areas. I had a vested interest in all functional areas. Now, I had to deal with reporting to functional middle managers whose vested interest was in their area.Second consider, a business’s external interest and the manager’s role. A couple examples are the vested interest of Labor unions, and the community.Labor unions are an external vested interest. Unions present a unique problem for a first line manager.I remember my Dad explaining mistletoe to me. Mistletoe gets it food from the tree. If the tree dies the mistletoe plant will die. I wondered if the mistletoe knew it could kill the tree. Labor unions have a vested interest in keeping the union alive. Do they care if the business survives? I think that to a great extent a union does.As a first line and general manager, I had to contend with union concerns. This meant, I became an expert on the union contract. I realized the written comments in the contract did not always mean what they seemed to mean. This conundrum meant, I had to know the memorandum of understanding of the comments between the company and the union. Also, I made use of a company industrial relations person when there was confusion.A union employee’s interest was not always in the best interest of the company; it was with the union. Seniority is a vested interest in unions. This means that seniority was a interest of union employees. Our contract gave certain entitlements for seniority. I had to know how to manage seniority. If I was not careful, union employees would use seniority entitlements to their advantage. For example, union employees that reported to me wanted all new vehicle to go to the senior employee. This entitlement was not in the contract and was not in the interest of the company. I refused to allow the senior employee to get the new vehicle. Why is knowledge of the contract contents important to a manager? If you are not careful, you will set a precedent in your department that will be used against the company in negotiations or arbitrations.First line managers must understand community interest. First line managers must at times place these community interest ahead of company and personal interests. This is very important today because of social media. A manager must always be aware of risk management and ethics in their decisions. Some decisions may seem correct for your department or company; but, will not for the interest of the community. Your decision could become a risk management issue for your company.Consider, General Motors, because it did not consider the interest of the community when it did not recall the cars because of the starter problem in their cars. This decision had a tremendous negative impact on the image of General Motors with the public.I will not continue with other examples of invested interest first line managers must consider.The point is, a first line manager must be sensitive to other’s vested interest; then, manage their vested interest accordingly.

How to Calculate Nutrition Data Using Excel or Open Office Calc

EU directive 1169/2011 comes into full effect on the 13th of December 2016. The first phase of this directive came into effect in 2014 on December 13th but the second requires nutrition data which begs the question of how to calculate nutrition data.The first phase of this regulation required that all ingredients on labels needed to include allergen information within the ingredient list. Prior to this regulation, it was legally acceptable to include allergen information in a separate area of your label.The new regulations simply require allergens to be highlighted within the single ingredient list for the product but ingredients also need to be stated in quantitative order.Quantitative order simply means the largest constituent ingredient must be indicated first, then the second largest and so on. The percentages of these ingredients should also be included.There are several ways highlighting ingredients can be achieved; Users can use bold text underline text colour text or italic textThere are 14 allergens that must be indicated on labelling if they are present within the ingredients of the product. These include wheat or oats or any other cereal containing gluten and also include milk, eggs, fish, crustaceans, molluscs to name a few.Another aspect of the legislation was to harmonise the legibility of text on food labels.Historically, the text could be incredibly difficult to read as manufacturers crammed as much information into as small a section of the label as possible so as to maximise the marketing potential of the rest of the label.The new regulations require that all text must be legible with a specific height of the letter “x” in the font no smaller than 1.2 millimetres. In layman’s terms, that means that the standard Arial or Times New Roman font needs to be 6.5 points and size.The second phase of the regulations coming into force this December requires that nutrition data is supplied with all pre-packaged food so that consumers can make choices regarding the nutrition within the food they buy.The law stipulates that this information must be conveyed to the customer per 100 grams.It is also possible to convey the information additionally per serving so, for example, a sandwich would constitute a serving so a food producer could provide the information based on the entire sandwich. The food producer can also indicate nutrition values in a portion, for example, a biscuit or a small piece of chocolate. But the food producer must also provide the information in a per 100g format in all instances.How to Calculate Nutrition Data
In order to calculate the nutrition values of prepackaged food for sale to the public food production businesses need to know the nutrition values for the constituent ingredients within their product. Perhaps the best way to demonstrate how to calculate nutrition data is to give an example; a ham and mustard sandwich.A ham and mustard sandwich might consist of four ingredients; we will have the bread, ham, mustard, and margarine or butter to make a sandwich. Each of these ingredients will be incorporated along the lines of a recipe; that is to say, there will be a specific weight of each product to make up a standard product.Food manufacturers need to start with the basic data for the nutrition for each of the ingredients – as mentioned, the legislation requires that nutrition data is provided per 100 grams. As all manufacturers are required to do this most food producing companies should be able to obtain that information directly from the packaging of the products that they buy in or by speaking with their supplier.In our example, the food producer could tabulate the data from the constituent ingredients into a table. The information that must be conveyed includes energy in both kilojoules and kilocalories; they must also convey total fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugar, protein, and salt – all in grams.Food producers can also indicate monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fats, polyols and starch (which are carbohydrates) and fibre if they wish to do so.The order of the nutrients is specific and must be adhered to comply with the regulations.Once the table of data is prepared per 100 grams for all of the ingredients, the food producer needs to understand the weight of each product used in the recipe to make the sandwich. In this example, the food producer would need to know the weight of two slices of bread (let’s say 60 grams), the ham they use (e.g. 30 grams), 10 grams of mustard 5 grams of margarine.Once this has been done a simple calculation is applied to each of the constituent ingredients to determine how many calories, how much fat, saturated fat etc. is present in the recipe. The calculation will be to divide the per 100g nutrition data by 100 then multiply that by the weight of that constituent in the ingredient.E.g. If 100g of ham is 350 calories, divided by 100 is 3.5 calories per gram. 3.5 calories per gram x 30 grams used in the recipe is 105 calories.Once this is complete, the food manufacturer will have an accurate indication of the total nutrition data for the ham and mustard sandwich by simply adding the values for each constituent ingredient together as a total for the recipe.And that is how to calculate nutrition data using Microsoft Excel or Open Office Calc.Right now, food manufacturers across the UK are facing a huge challenge in achieving the objectives set out in the regulations and they need to address them very quickly if they have not already.

Stop Client Dissatisfaction and Grow Your Business

For the past several months we have been surveying advisors about their marketing programs. When we ask them which marketing tools they use, it amazes us that only about 21% use a client newsletter.At a recent conference for financial advisors, we heard from several elite advisors on the subject: One said, “I had an existing client transfer an additional $700,000 IRA account to me after reading an article in my newsletter this spring about the charitable IRA strategy allowed by the Pension Protection Act.”Another said, “We have a top prospect who received our monthly newsletter for almost 18 months before they moved their accounts to us.”We heard from another advisor, “I started with about 100 newsletters a month and now I’m up to over 250. It’s my primary means of marketing. I am averaging over 3 new accounts a month and each new account is over $300,000.”So why don’t you do a newsletter?They don’t work. It’s too hard. I can’t write. I never got around to it. We’ve heard them all. Let’s look at just a couple of reasons why you should make newsletters a core part of your marketing and how you can easily add a newsletter to your marketing without multiplying your staff.1. Clients are dissatisfied.31% of financial advisors believe that their clients are extremely or very dissatisfied with them. 40% of wealthy respondents reported some level of dissatisfaction because their advisor was not proactively maintaining contact and 11% stated that their advisors were difficult to reach.(Phoenix Wealth Management Survey, August 2002, Net worth of $1M+ excluding debt and primary residence; Financial advisors who manage at least $50 million of assets and have 10+ years experience)For advisors intent on improving their showing in this realm, excellent client service appears to begin with a high level of client contact. As a snapshot of the industry standard today, and perhaps an indication of where there is the most room for improvement, nearly half of high net worth investors claimed to be either somewhat or fully dissatisfied with the level of contact they have with their financial advisors. Only 55% of investors stated that they are somewhat or completely satisfied with the amount of contact they have with their primary financial advisors.Satisfied clients hear from their primary financial advisors on average more than 28 times per year, or better than twice per month. This contact can either be in person, over the telephone, or in personal correspondence through the mail or electronically. On the flip side, dissatisfied clients hear from their primary advisors less than 17 times per year.The most telling statistic about the vital importance of client contact is that advisors’ income runs directly parallel with the amount of time they spend speaking or meeting with their clients. Advisors who spend two-thirds of their time with clients have an average income of $160,000 annually. Those who spend between one and two-thirds of their time with clients average $50,000 and those who spend less than one-third of their time with clients average only $30,000.(Tiburon Strategic June 3, 2005)2. Position yourself to KO the competition.Largely due to these rates of dissatisfaction, nearly half of investors have given recent consideration to changing their primary financial advisors. Specifically, 43% of investors responded that they had recently considered a change, whereas 57% stated they had not been considering a change in the near future.(Tiburon June 3, 2005)The landscape is covered with competition. How do you stand out and attract the kind of ideal clients that will make your business thrive? Give the customer what they are looking for. It ain’t rocket science. Clients today are looking for answers. They are smothered with retirement, IRA, estate planning, long-term care planning, college funding and tax issues. This morning your best prospect woke up and wanted an answer to his problems and not a financial product. Give them what they want. You need to be a problem solver. You need to position yourself as the leading expert in your target market. Step One is to tell the audience how you can help them solve their challenges. Isn’t that the point of a good newsletter? It is relevant to the target market in terms of content and it educates them about their financial concerns while demonstrating your expertise in solving those problems. Voila – you are their problem solver.Newsletters made easy.If you are like most financial advisors you have two to three hundred clients in your book. You also know that if you want to make an impression you need to have a consistent process for delivering the newsletter. Finally, you need to make sure the newsletter is getting read, the probability of which you can increase through branding so your clients know the newsletter is from a trusted source. And finally, you need to make a personal connection, so you’d better make sure it’s personally addressed. Oh, did I mention you’ll need to have 3 or 4 articles a month for your newsletter.Before you hit the panic button, there is a solution – BuildYourMarket.com [http://www.buildyourmarket.com] can handle all of this for you. Every month, they create a professionally designed and written 4 color newsletter with content that speaks to boomers and seniors. Each newsletter has a personal message from you addressed to the client or prospect.In case you’re thinking, I’d like to write something about what’s going on in our business, the answer is yes, you can customize as little or as much of the content as you desire.Now what’s your excuse?