Cloud-based OMS: 5 Benefits to eCommerce businesses

A cloud-based order management system (OMS) is a powerful and intuitive tool for tracking orders, sales, and inventory as well as streamlining the processes involved in order fulfillment. Learn more about this essential tool and its many benefits to eCommerce businesses.

First off, we need to clarify that an inventory management system is not the same as an order management system. The former is a solution for analyzing sales history and forecasting demand for product and raw materials. On the other hand, the latter is all about the here and now, as it tackles transactions as they happen.

What does an OMS do?

A cloud-based OMS enables eCommerce businesses to track orders for goods and services via a centralized dashboard, which your staff can access anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected device. In general, it can help you organize orders into a coherent and manageable workflow by:

  • Updating your website to reflect when certain items are out of stock
  • Automating payment authorizations and integrating these with your shipping services
  • Providing reports to customers about their order’s shipping status
  • Automatically restocking products and materials once they dip below a certain level
  • Automatically processing refunds and returns
  • Monitoring your business on mobile/on the go
  • Storing data in a more efficient and less costly manner
  • Ensuring your data is protected in the event of a disaster

There are dozens of OMS platforms with niche functionalities that may be better for specific business models regardless of the industry. The important thing is that you find a solution that reduces the most tedious organizational tasks for tracking your store’s orders.

What are the benefits of an OMS?

Below are five key advantages of using an OMS:

Fewer errors
Since an OMS allows you to automate various stages of order processing, it eliminates the need to manually enter and update order details. This reduces the risk of error, increasing your eCommerce business’s operational efficiency.

Lower costs
With fewer errors, you can avoid having to rework inaccurate order information, saving you time and effort. This means your business also saves on labor. And because a cloud-based OMS requires virtually no hardware, you can eliminate installation, maintenance, repair, and other associated costs as well.

Better visibility
A cloud-based OMS offers a consolidated view of your orders and inventory in real time, which allows you to stay on top of the entire fulfillment process so you never miss a sale. This also enables you to optimize inventory levels while minimizing surplus.

Not only that, but an OMS gives you better visibility into your business’s processes, so you can easily identify issues and make the necessary adjustments to achieve operational efficiency.

Faster delivery
When a customer places an order, your OMS will choose the warehouse or fulfillment center closest to them as well as the method of fulfillment. A fulfillment request will then be sent automatically to the warehouse so the item can be prepared and shipped out immediately.

Enhanced decision-making
With an OMS, you have all the information you need to make smarter business decisions at the tip of your fingers, from consumer behavior to market trends to product performance.

Improve your eCommerce business’s workflows and profitability with an OMS. If you need help choosing the right OMS platform for your company, give our experts a call today.

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How a cloud-based OMS can help eCommerce businesses

Cloud-based order management systems (OMS) have plenty of useful features that can help any eCommerce business boost their sales. But this is just one of the many advantages these tools offer. Read on to learn more about the business benefits of deploying an OMS.

First off, we need to clarify that an inventory management system is not the same as an order management system. The former is a solution for analyzing sales history and forecasting demand for product and raw materials. On the other hand, the latter is all about the here and now, as it tackles transactions as they happen.

What does an OMS do?

A cloud-based OMS enables eCommerce businesses to track orders for goods and services via a centralized dashboard, which your staff can access anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected device. In general, it can help you organize orders into a coherent and manageable workflow by:

  • Updating your website to reflect when certain items are out of stock
  • Automating payment authorizations and integrating these with your shipping services
  • Providing reports to customers about their order’s shipping status
  • Automatically restocking products and materials once they dip below a certain level
  • Automatically processing refunds and returns
  • Monitoring your business on mobile/on the go
  • Storing data in a more efficient and less costly manner
  • Ensuring your data is protected in the event of a disaster

There are dozens of OMS platforms with niche functionalities that may be better for specific business models regardless of the industry. The important thing is that you find a solution that reduces the most tedious organizational tasks for tracking your store’s orders.

What are the benefits of an OMS?

Below are five key advantages of using an OMS:

Fewer errors
Since an OMS allows you to automate various stages of order processing, it eliminates the need to manually enter and update order details. This reduces the risk of error, increasing your eCommerce business’s operational efficiency.

Lower costs
With fewer errors, you can avoid having to rework inaccurate order information, saving you time and effort. This means your business also saves on labor. And because a cloud-based OMS requires virtually no hardware, you can eliminate installation, maintenance, repair, and other associated costs as well.

Better visibility
A cloud-based OMS offers a consolidated view of your orders and inventory in real time, which allows you to stay on top of the entire fulfillment process so you never miss a sale. This also enables you to optimize inventory levels while minimizing surplus.

Not only that, but an OMS gives you better visibility into your business’s processes, so you can easily identify issues and make the necessary adjustments to achieve operational efficiency.

Faster delivery
When a customer places an order, your OMS will choose the warehouse or fulfillment center closest to them as well as the method of fulfillment. A fulfillment request will then be sent automatically to the warehouse so the item can be prepared and shipped out immediately.

Enhanced decision-making
With an OMS, you have all the information you need to make smarter business decisions at the tip of your fingers, from consumer behavior to market trends to product performance.

Improve your eCommerce business’s workflows and profitability with an OMS. If you need help choosing the right OMS platform for your company, give our experts a call today.

Posted in Business, General Articles B | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Here’s how to get rid of ads in File Explorer

Getting a slew of ads on your computer screen while you’re working can be both distracting and annoying. If you’re using Windows 10 on your PC, laptop, or Surface Pro, you might have seen ads pop up in File Explorer and are not happy about it. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to get rid of these ads.

Why are users getting these ads?

Ads are being displayed in different parts of Windows 10 and not just on File Explorer — the Start menu, on the lock screen, from the taskbar, and in other Microsoft apps. Microsoft has been displaying ads that promote Office 365 and OneDrive since the Creators Update. Overwhelming negative reactions to this practice have been popping up online as a result.

However, the company doesn’t consider them ads but “suggestions.” These suggestions promote Microsoft products and services and third-party apps in the Windows Store. The tech giant may be doing users a favor by reminding them they can easily grab apps in the store that can benefit them. But to many, ads are more of a nuisance than a favor.

How do I turn off ads?

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to turn ads off. You could disable them right now by doing the following:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Select View from the ribbon along the top of any File Explorer window.
  3. Click Options on the far right-hand side.
  4. From the drop down arrow below Options, select Change folder and search options.
  5. Once in the Folder options window, go to the View tab.
  6. In the Advanced Settings window pane, scroll down and deselect “Show sync provider notifications”.
  7. Click Apply and close the Folder Options window.

That’s all it takes! Keep in mind that we highly recommend the services Microsoft suggests. Office 365, OneDrive, and others are all great cloud platforms for easily and securely working and collaborating from any device in any location — but we understand that some don’t want to see these ads when they’re hunting down sales records.

If you’re looking for Windows tips and tricks, this is the best blog on the web. If you’re looking for something a little more advanced, however, our managed services are second to none. Get in touch with us today to learn more!

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File Explorer without ads: A quick guide

You will see notifications and ads on Windows, regardless of the version you’re using. Some users don’t mind them, but others do. Even on File Explorer, you will see ads. You’ve probably wondered if there’s any way to remove them. We’ve got some good news for you: there is.

Why are users getting these ads?

Ads are being displayed in different parts of Windows 10 and not just on File Explorer — the Start menu, on the lock screen, from the taskbar, and in other Microsoft apps. Microsoft has been displaying ads that promote Office 365 and OneDrive since the Creators Update. Overwhelming negative reactions to this practice have been popping up online as a result.

However, the company doesn’t consider them ads but “suggestions.” These suggestions promote Microsoft products and services and third-party apps in the Windows Store. The tech giant may be doing users a favor by reminding them they can easily grab apps in the store that can benefit them. But to many, ads are more of a nuisance than a favor.

How do I turn off ads?

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to turn ads off. You could disable them right now by doing the following:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Select View from the ribbon along the top of any File Explorer window.
  3. Click Options on the far right-hand side.
  4. From the drop down arrow below Options, select Change folder and search options.
  5. Once in the Folder options window, go to the View tab.
  6. In the Advanced Settings window pane, scroll down and deselect “Show sync provider notifications”.
  7. Click Apply and close the Folder Options window.

That’s all it takes! Keep in mind that we highly recommend the services Microsoft suggests. Office 365, OneDrive, and others are all great cloud platforms for easily and securely working and collaborating from any device in any location — but we understand that some don’t want to see these ads when they’re hunting down sales records.

If you’re looking for Windows tips and tricks, this is the best blog on the web. If you’re looking for something a little more advanced, however, our managed services are second to none. Get in touch with us today to learn more!

Posted in General Articles C, Windows | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Follow these steps to remove ads in File Explorer

Seeing ads while browsing the internet is normal, and many people are used to it. But others prefer seeing as few ads as possible. Windows 10 users may be particularly annoyed to see ads in an unusual place: File Explorer. Not to worry, Windows users — here’s the solution to that problem.

Why are users getting these ads?

Ads are being displayed in different parts of Windows 10 and not just on File Explorer — the Start menu, on the lock screen, from the taskbar, and in other Microsoft apps. Microsoft has been displaying ads that promote Office 365 and OneDrive since the Creators Update. Overwhelming negative reactions to this practice have been popping up online as a result.

However, the company doesn’t consider them ads but “suggestions.” These suggestions promote Microsoft products and services and third-party apps in the Windows Store. The tech giant may be doing users a favor by reminding them they can easily grab apps in the store that can benefit them. But to many, ads are more of a nuisance than a favor.

How do I turn off ads?

Fortunately, there’s a simple way to turn ads off. You could disable them right now by doing the following:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Select View from the ribbon along the top of any File Explorer window.
  3. Click Options on the far right-hand side.
  4. From the drop down arrow below Options, select Change folder and search options.
  5. Once in the Folder options window, go to the View tab.
  6. In the Advanced Settings window pane, scroll down and deselect “Show sync provider notifications”.
  7. Click Apply and close the Folder Options window.

That’s all it takes! Keep in mind that we highly recommend the services Microsoft suggests. Office 365, OneDrive, and others are all great cloud platforms for easily and securely working and collaborating from any device in any location — but we understand that some don’t want to see these ads when they’re hunting down sales records.

If you’re looking for Windows tips and tricks, this is the best blog on the web. If you’re looking for something a little more advanced, however, our managed services are second to none. Get in touch with us today to learn more!

Posted in General Articles B, Windows | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

These 5 types of hackers are a threat to SMBs

Malicious hackers are motivated by different things. Some do it for fun, some want money, and others just want to end your business. Getting to know how they behave and what drives them informs how you must defend your organization against them.

Script kiddies

In terms of skill, script kiddies (or skids, for short) are at the bottom of the hacker totem pole. Their name comes from the fact that they use scripts or other automated tools written by others. They are often young people on a quest for internet notoriety or who are simply bored and in search of a thrill.

Script kiddies shouldn’t be dismissed so easily, however. The ILOVEYOU virus, considered one of the worst malware on the planet, was developed by skids.

Hacktivists

Hacktivists often hack into businesses and government systems to promote a particular political agenda or to effect social change. These so-called “hackers with a cause” steal confidential information to expose or disrupt their target’s operations.

Even if you’re a small- or medium-sized business (SMB) owner, you’re not immune to hacktivist attacks. This is especially true if your company is associated or partnered with organizations that are prime hacktivist targets.

Cybercriminals

Cybercriminals break into digital systems or networks with the intent to steal, destroy, taint, and/or lock away data. They usually target individuals, SMBs, and large companies that have exploitable weaknesses in their cybersecurity.

Cybercriminals attack using a number of methods, including social engineering tactics to trick users into volunteering sensitive personal or company data. This information is then used for identity theft, sold on the dark web, or leveraged to launch attacks against other businesses. Cybercriminals can also infect computers with ransomware and other types of malware.

State-sponsored hackers

True to their name, these hackers are backed by governments. The hackers’ goal is to promote their backer’s interests within their own country or abroad. In most cases, this involves taking down websites that criticize the state, swaying public opinion, cyber-terrorism, and leaking top-secret information, among others.

As they are, state-sponsored hackers are already dangerous to business owners, but even more so when they make it their goal to cripple an entire country’s financial system or disrupt commodity supply lines. This could involve interfering with the economy or disrupting business operations. Tech and pharmaceutical companies are a frequent target, but businesses in other industries aren’t safe from state-sponsored hackers either.

Insiders

The scariest type of hacker is the one that lurks within your own organization. An insider can be your company’s current and former employees, contractors, or business associates. Oftentimes their mission is payback. They’ll steal sensitive documents or try to disrupt the organization’s operations to right a wrong they believe a company has done to them. Edward Snowden is a prime example of an insider who hacked the organization he worked for — the US government.

Malicious hackers are always changing their tactics to meet their goals, making them an ever-present threat to any organization, including yours. It’s crucial that you stay one step ahead by working with cybersecurity experts who can help protect your company from dangerous hackers and other cyberthreats. Contact our team today to get started.

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Defend your business from these 5 types of hackers

“Know thine enemy” — it means to get to know them and their motives. In this blog, we take a close look at the five types of dangerous hackers, what their motives are, and how they operate.

Script kiddies

In terms of skill, script kiddies (or skids, for short) are at the bottom of the hacker totem pole. Their name comes from the fact that they use scripts or other automated tools written by others. They are often young people on a quest for internet notoriety or who are simply bored and in search of a thrill.

Script kiddies shouldn’t be dismissed so easily, however. The ILOVEYOU virus, considered one of the worst malware on the planet, was developed by skids.

Hacktivists

Hacktivists often hack into businesses and government systems to promote a particular political agenda or to effect social change. These so-called “hackers with a cause” steal confidential information to expose or disrupt their target’s operations.

Even if you’re a small- or medium-sized business (SMB) owner, you’re not immune to hacktivist attacks. This is especially true if your company is associated or partnered with organizations that are prime hacktivist targets.

Cybercriminals

Cybercriminals break into digital systems or networks with the intent to steal, destroy, taint, and/or lock away data. They usually target individuals, SMBs, and large companies that have exploitable weaknesses in their cybersecurity.

Cybercriminals attack using a number of methods, including social engineering tactics to trick users into volunteering sensitive personal or company data. This information is then used for identity theft, sold on the dark web, or leveraged to launch attacks against other businesses. Cybercriminals can also infect computers with ransomware and other types of malware.

State-sponsored hackers

True to their name, these hackers are backed by governments. The hackers’ goal is to promote their backer’s interests within their own country or abroad. In most cases, this involves taking down websites that criticize the state, swaying public opinion, cyber-terrorism, and leaking top-secret information, among others.

As they are, state-sponsored hackers are already dangerous to business owners, but even more so when they make it their goal to cripple an entire country’s financial system or disrupt commodity supply lines. This could involve interfering with the economy or disrupting business operations. Tech and pharmaceutical companies are a frequent target, but businesses in other industries aren’t safe from state-sponsored hackers either.

Insiders

The scariest type of hacker is the one that lurks within your own organization. An insider can be your company’s current and former employees, contractors, or business associates. Oftentimes their mission is payback. They’ll steal sensitive documents or try to disrupt the organization’s operations to right a wrong they believe a company has done to them. Edward Snowden is a prime example of an insider who hacked the organization he worked for — the US government.

Malicious hackers are always changing their tactics to meet their goals, making them an ever-present threat to any organization, including yours. It’s crucial that you stay one step ahead by working with cybersecurity experts who can help protect your company from dangerous hackers and other cyberthreats. Contact our team today to get started.

Posted in General Articles B, Security | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

The 5 types of hackers who want to harm your business

You’ve probably heard it said that not all hackers are dangerous. That’s true, of course. For instance, white hat hackers hack into a system to uncover vulnerabilities and boost its protection against cyberthreats. However, we won’t be talking about white hat hackers in this blog. Instead, we’ll take a close look at five types of malicious hackers and the motives behind their activities.

Script kiddies

In terms of skill, script kiddies (or skids, for short) are at the bottom of the hacker totem pole. Their name comes from the fact that they use scripts or other automated tools written by others. They are often young people on a quest for internet notoriety or who are simply bored and in search of a thrill.

Script kiddies shouldn’t be dismissed so easily, however. The ILOVEYOU virus, considered one of the worst malware on the planet, was developed by skids.

Hacktivists

Hacktivists often hack into businesses and government systems to promote a particular political agenda or to effect social change. These so-called “hackers with a cause” steal confidential information to expose or disrupt their target’s operations.

Even if you’re a small- or medium-sized business (SMB) owner, you’re not immune to hacktivist attacks. This is especially true if your company is associated or partnered with organizations that are prime hacktivist targets.

Cybercriminals

Cybercriminals break into digital systems or networks with the intent to steal, destroy, taint, and/or lock away data. They usually target individuals, SMBs, and large companies that have exploitable weaknesses in their cybersecurity.

Cybercriminals attack using a number of methods, including social engineering tactics to trick users into volunteering sensitive personal or company data. This information is then used for identity theft, sold on the dark web, or leveraged to launch attacks against other businesses. Cybercriminals can also infect computers with ransomware and other types of malware.

State-sponsored hackers

True to their name, these hackers are backed by governments. The hackers’ goal is to promote their backer’s interests within their own country or abroad. In most cases, this involves taking down websites that criticize the state, swaying public opinion, cyber-terrorism, and leaking top-secret information, among others.

As they are, state-sponsored hackers are already dangerous to business owners, but even more so when they make it their goal to cripple an entire country’s financial system or disrupt commodity supply lines. This could involve interfering with the economy or disrupting business operations. Tech and pharmaceutical companies are a frequent target, but businesses in other industries aren’t safe from state-sponsored hackers either.

Insiders

The scariest type of hacker is the one that lurks within your own organization. An insider can be your company’s current and former employees, contractors, or business associates. Oftentimes their mission is payback. They’ll steal sensitive documents or try to disrupt the organization’s operations to right a wrong they believe a company has done to them. Edward Snowden is a prime example of an insider who hacked the organization he worked for — the US government.

Malicious hackers are always changing their tactics to meet their goals, making them an ever-present threat to any organization, including yours. It’s crucial that you stay one step ahead by working with cybersecurity experts who can help protect your company from dangerous hackers and other cyberthreats. Contact our team today to get started.

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Follow these security tips to keep your Mac safe

Contrary to what you may believe, cyberthreats target not only Windows computers. Macs are also vulnerable to internet-based risks, and it’s critical that every Mac user protect their devices from such threats. Keep your Mac secure by following these steps.

Check your privacy settings

Make sure that your Mac settings are set up properly to keep your data safe. Manage the information your Mac makes available across the internet or on a network by going to Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy. From there, you can choose which information to share and with whom. For example, you can specify which apps are allowed to see personal information, such as your location, contacts, photos, or music.

Take advantage of the firewall

A firewall protects your Mac from unwanted contact initiated by other computers on a network or the internet. It protects your computer by allowing only authorized services and apps to communicate with your Mac, so be sure to enable macOS’s built-in firewall.

To do so, just go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy Then, click Firewall. If the padlock icon at the bottom left is locked, click it and key in your username and password. Enable the firewall by clicking Turn On Firewall.

To modify Firewall settings, click on Firewall Options… just below the “Turn Off Firewall” button. You will find a list of services and apps that are allowed to receive inbound connections. If you want to add an app or service to the list, just click the “+” button below the list itself. However, we recommend keeping this list as short as possible, as the apps listed can be exploited by cybercriminals.

Another useful feature to enable is stealth mode. This option will make your Mac more difficult to find, thus keeping hackers and malware at bay. For instance, if you are in a coffee shop and connected to its unsecured Wi-Fi, enabling stealth mode will make your Mac invisible on that public network. To turn on this feature, just tick the box next to “Enable stealth mode” in Firewall Options. A dialog box will pop up, and you can click on the “Enable Stealth Mode” button.

Set up a firmware password

Every new Mac today has the FileVault encryption automatically enabled. This means that your device already encrypts the hard drive by default, and the only way your data can be accessed is by logging in. Keep in mind, though, that this feature won’t necessarily save your account in case someone reinstalls the operating system or uses a memory stick to boot the Mac and remove all data from your hard disk.

To increase protection, set up a firmware password. Do this by restarting your computer, then pressing and holding down Cmd+R before the Apple logo shows up on the screen. You can let go of the keys once the progress bar pops up.

When the utilities window appears, click on Utilities in the menu bar, then choose Startup Security Utility or Firmware Password Utility. Click on Turn On Firmware Password… and simply follow the succeeding instructions.

Finally, quit the utilities window, then choose Apple menu > Restart. Make sure to never forget or misplace your firmware password, because only Apple technicians can recover it.

Ensure that your confidential data remains private by performing minor tweaks on your Mac’s system settings. It takes only a few minutes to ensure lasting online protection. If setting up a firewall or firmware password sounds a little too advanced for you, or if you need to set up more advanced defenses, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts.

Posted in Apple, General Articles C | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed

Keep security threats out of your Mac

The hearsay that Macs cannot be infected by viruses or malware couldn’t be further from the truth. There are plenty of cyberthreats that pose risks to Macs, so if you’re a Mac user, you should prioritize your device’s security. The good news is that protecting your Mac is simple and easy. Just follow these steps.

Check your privacy settings

Make sure that your Mac settings are set up properly to keep your data safe. Manage the information your Mac makes available across the internet or on a network by going to Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy. From there, you can choose which information to share and with whom. For example, you can specify which apps are allowed to see personal information, such as your location, contacts, photos, or music.

Take advantage of the firewall

A firewall protects your Mac from unwanted contact initiated by other computers on a network or the internet. It protects your computer by allowing only authorized services and apps to communicate with your Mac, so be sure to enable macOS’s built-in firewall.

To do so, just go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy Then, click Firewall. If the padlock icon at the bottom left is locked, click it and key in your username and password. Enable the firewall by clicking Turn On Firewall.

To modify Firewall settings, click on Firewall Options… just below the “Turn Off Firewall” button. You will find a list of services and apps that are allowed to receive inbound connections. If you want to add an app or service to the list, just click the “+” button below the list itself. However, we recommend keeping this list as short as possible, as the apps listed can be exploited by cybercriminals.

Another useful feature to enable is stealth mode. This option will make your Mac more difficult to find, thus keeping hackers and malware at bay. For instance, if you are in a coffee shop and connected to its unsecured Wi-Fi, enabling stealth mode will make your Mac invisible on that public network. To turn on this feature, just tick the box next to “Enable stealth mode” in Firewall Options. A dialog box will pop up, and you can click on the “Enable Stealth Mode” button.

Set up a firmware password

Every new Mac today has the FileVault encryption automatically enabled. This means that your device already encrypts the hard drive by default, and the only way your data can be accessed is by logging in. Keep in mind, though, that this feature won’t necessarily save your account in case someone reinstalls the operating system or uses a memory stick to boot the Mac and remove all data from your hard disk.

To increase protection, set up a firmware password. Do this by restarting your computer, then pressing and holding down Cmd+R before the Apple logo shows up on the screen. You can let go of the keys once the progress bar pops up.

When the utilities window appears, click on Utilities in the menu bar, then choose Startup Security Utility or Firmware Password Utility. Click on Turn On Firmware Password… and simply follow the succeeding instructions.

Finally, quit the utilities window, then choose Apple menu > Restart. Make sure to never forget or misplace your firmware password, because only Apple technicians can recover it.

Ensure that your confidential data remains private by performing minor tweaks on your Mac’s system settings. It takes only a few minutes to ensure lasting online protection. If setting up a firewall or firmware password sounds a little too advanced for you, or if you need to set up more advanced defenses, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts.

Posted in Apple, General Articles B | Tagged , , , , , | Comments closed
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