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The Anti-Bribery Advisory Service (ABAS) Center set up to provide guidelines to the private sector about giving bribes to government officials

National Anti-Corruption Commission

BANGKOK THAILAND - Media OutReach - 31 March 2023 - Thailand has set up an anti-bribery service centre to provide knowledge and guidelines to the private sector concerning the laws on offering bribes to government officials. The establishment of Anti-Bribery Advisory Service (ABAS) Center, which falls under the supervision of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), is part of Thailand’s attempts to level up its Corruption Perception Index (CPI), Niwatchai Kasemmongkol, NACC’s secretary general said in a recent exclusive interview. Thailand ranks 101 of 180 countries and scored 42 out of 100 on the CPI in 2022. The ABAS Center was established to provide academic advice, knowledge, and guidelines to the private sector about offering bribes to government officials. Using the guidelines, the private sector could put appropriate and effective anti-bribery measures in place, he said. Thailand has ratified and become a member of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and OECD’s Convention on Combating Foreign Bribery in International Business Transactions. NACC also has rules for prosecuting private sector firms involved in bribing government officials and those working in international agencies. The rules have been issued to make private sector firms aware that they could be prosecuted if they are involved in corruption. Our rules and regulations as well as ABAS are set up in line with and as required by the UNCAC and OECD, he said. Thailand will soon hold a general election and have a new government in the near future and Niwatchai said he hoped they would be serious about suppression corruption. If the new government and policy makers are serious, the country’s CPI will certainly go up. He cited as an example Vietnam, whose CPI was 77 in 2022, saying its CPI is higher than that of Thailand’s as its leaders are serious about prosecuting those involved in corruption. He added educational institutes should play an important role in instilling and teaching people about honesty. The situation concerning corrupt practices by those in the political circle, government agencies, and the private sector are still worrisome, he adds. With corruption rampant in the country, the NACC needs the participation of the public and government officials who witness corruption. We would not know about corruption if they do not inform us by filing complaints with us, he said. In the past, junior government officials who acted as whistleblowers on malfeasance in their units might not feel safe and could be persecuted by their superiors. Today we have an organic law on prevention and suppression on misconduct. The Act, B.E 2561 (2018), stipulates several measures to protect such whistleblowers. In a case where a junior official is involved in the corruption but decides to report the wrongdoings, he or she would not face either criminal or disciplinary charges and would be treated as a witness. A whistleblower can also be rewarded, Niwatchai said. If necessary, NACC’s protection programme is ready to give protection to the official and his/her family. Such protection would include allowances, name change, and relocation. The protection measures are aimed to create confidence and bravery in a whistleblower who reports graft. However, he/she could be prosecuted if he/she fails to meet the conditions or changes his/her testimony. Niwatchai cited the manipulation of the district chief examinations in 2009 as an example of the NACC’s investigation and provision of protection for whistleblowers. In 2009, the investigation and collection of evidence showed that violations were happening in the selection process. At first, no official dared to testify against any senior government official but eventually ten examinees agreed to do so. Their testimonies led to the jailing of the then director general of the Provincial Administration Department and senior officials. However the bureaucratic system had frozen the careers of the ten examinees, their levels were not raised, their salaries were put on hold and they were not allowed to take the district chief exam again. NACC then reported this to the prime minister which resulted in the Office of Civil Service Commission resolving to promote them to the position of district chief, Niwatchai said. Responding to a statement that only small fish are arrested in corruption cases, Niwatchai pointed out that small fish are easily caught but catching the big fish needs time and good bait as well as participation from all sides. He revealed there was a case where the NACC found two politicians committing ethical misconduct as political position holders and the cases went to court, which ruled against them. They were then removed from their positions. He also talked about NACC’s investigation into the alleged massive corruption in the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, saying the arrest of the most senior official was the result of cooperation between many agencies. The laws today are severe and we have caught not only small but also big fish. However, NACC do not hold a press conference to announce the arrests and in the future, NACC is planning to reveal the progress of its investigation to the public. This will allow the complainant, the public, and other parties to jointly examine the NACC’s work. He also mentioned the criticism that the National Parks department that is under the NACC’s probe had obtained a high score of 85 marks and Grade A in NACC’s Integrity and Transparency Assessment (ITA). ITA is just a preliminary framework assessment of three aspects of work conducted by both insiders and outsiders who use the service and disclose information on issues such as procurement. ------------------------ The National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is a constitutional independent organization and supervised by nine commissioners selected from various professions. It is authorised to undertake work on the prevention and suppression of malfeasance, particularly in government agencies, on assets investigations, as well as on the monitoring of ethics and virtues of political position holders. It has the authority to file charges in court as well as support and build up awareness of the penalties for committing corruption. The NACC is supervised by the NACC Board and has the Office of the NACC as its administrative agency. Since 1997, Thai Courts have ruled against and punished politicians, former ministers, high-ranking government officials as well as executives of the private sector in the thousands of cases submitted by the NACC. Website: https://www.nacc.go.th/english Contact Details Media Contact Parith Iamponpaiboon integrityway.nacf@gmail.com

March 31, 2023 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Investis Digital Releases Guide on Cybersecurity, Privacy and Accessibility

Investis Digital

Investis Digital, a leading tech-enabled digital communications company, announced today the publication of Navigating the Landscape of Cybersecurity, Privacy and Accessibility, a guide that helps senior executives across all areas of enterprise businesses understand the key issues affecting cybersecurity, compliance, governance and more in 2023. Albert Jesupaul, director of cybersecurity for Investis Digital, said, “Corporate governance can make or break the reputation of a business, and cybersecurity, consumer privacy, and accessibility are increasingly defining the governance agenda. Our guide gives senior executives across marketing, investor relations and communications an understanding of the key issues they need to know in order to protect their brands and build trust with their audiences.” Navigating the Landscape of Cybersecurity, Privacy and Accessibility helps executives get grounded on critical topics such as: The state of ransomware threats. How to strike a balance between consumer privacy and personalization. Why accessibility is increasingly a threat to a company’s reputation amid confusing legal standards. The insights are based on Investis Digital's own experience managing the digital estates of more than 1,600 global clients, with a hyper focus on cybersecurity, compliance, governance and accessibility needs through Investis Digital's Connect.ID technology and 24/7 global support and service. “The rise of cybercrime alone is one of the great reputational threats of our time,” Jesupaul said. “Tools such as ChatGPT are giving bad actors more weapons to commit cyberattacks like phishing emails. But businesses need to fight the threat with limited resources while they protect consumer privacy and make their digital content accessible. Our guide shares actionable tips on these crucial elements of corporate governance.” To read the full report, click here. Investis Digital is a tech-enabled digital communications company. Through a proprietary approach we call Connected Content™, we unite compelling communications, intelligent digital experiences, and performance marketing to help companies build deeper connections with audiences and drive business performance. A unique blend of expertise, technology and “always on” service allow clients to trust that their digital footprint and brand reputation is secure and protected 24/7 by our dedicated team of 550 digital experts across 8 global offices. To learn more, visit www.InvestisDigital.com Contact Details Kristen Kalupski +1 312-933-6714 Kristen.kalupski@investisdigital.com Company Website https://www.investisdigital.com

March 30, 2023 06:55 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Aspen Tech Labs Launches Wage Benchmarking Tool to Enhance Business Intelligence and Salary Research Efforts

Aspen Technology Labs

Aspen Tech Labs, a global leader in recruitment technology solutions, announced that it has launched the Wage Benchmarking Tool as a part of its existing Job Market Pulse product. This new tool enables employers and researchers to compare real-time salary data pulled from the nine-million-plus real-time active job listings – as well as the historical database – that Aspen Tech Labs maintains. Some of these jobs can be found on Aspen Tech Labs’ job board - Job Market Today. Despite recent waves of salary transparency legislation, most employers, compliance bodies, and independent researchers lack the data they need to accurately report on salary. This unclear wage reporting contributes to issues of pay inequality and understaffing – hurting businesses’ ability to attract and retain workers as well as workers’ ability to find high-quality jobs that fit along their career path. “The business intelligence landscape is saturated, certainly,” says Aspen Tech Labs’ founder and CEO Michael Woodrow. “But what we realized is that most options are opaque. They don’t give customers access to the actual data. They just offer access to selected findings every month or so. And that’s not good enough. That’s why we used our best-in-class data scraping technology and applied it to a growing demand: salary transparency research.” With the Wage Benchmarking Tool, customers can analyze the specific amounts employers in their area are paying for current openings. Rather than tracking this information down manually on careers pages or searching the average wages for positions in a certain region, users can instantly see live salary data from thousands of employers worldwide. That’s because the Wage Benchmarking Tool offers: Real-Time Verifiable Data. The Wage Benchmarking Tool lets users click on the direct application link for the position they’re viewing. This means customers can read more about a specific employer or opportunity as well as verify the validity of the salary data they view. And because Aspen Tech Labs only pulls salary data that’s present in job posts, users know the data they see is the same data that employers share. Complex Filtering. Customers can filter and compare wages by region, position, and employer. Plus, the Wage Benchmarking Tool offers an interactive dashboard with built-in data visualizations to optimize at-a-glance viewing of the composite data. Trending Data. Because Aspen Tech Labs also retains historical jobs data, customers can track job market trends – local and global – over days, weeks, months, and years. This tracking is streamlined with custom alerts that notify users when changes occur in the market (e.g., an increase in the average wage for a certain position). Custom Analysis. If customers need data from a region Aspen Tech Labs hasn’t fully explored in the database, they’ll add it. This customizability also extends to the specific data sets customers want to track. And in a short time, clients will be able to track other elements of a compensation package, from insurance plans to PTO policies. “Finding the perfect job – or finding the perfect job candidate – is rarely easy. But it shouldn't be this hard,” says Woodrow. “We’re not doing anything radical here. Employers, job seekers, and researchers all need real-time wage data to do their jobs more effectively. By providing this data, we hope to create an employment market that’s easier for everyone to navigate.” About Aspen Tech Labs Aspen Tech Labs is a global leader in web data management services and recruitment technology headquartered in Colorado, with footprints across the US and Europe. Since its founding in 2008, Aspen Tech Labs has grown its product line beyond custom job board software and extended it to web data scraping and extended it to, most recently, a business intelligence platform. Today, Aspen Tech Labs helps hundreds of companies – from job boards to recruitment advertising agencies to large corporations to ATSes – collect and manage jobs data. This management leads to millions of job seekers every year finding the right jobs at the right time in the right place. Contact Details Aspen Tech Labs, Inc. Lana Shumyn lana.s@aspentechlabs.com Company Website https://www.webspidermount.com/jobmarketpulse/

March 29, 2023 11:15 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Minuteman Press Franchise in Macon, GA Moves to New Location & Has Grand Opening

Minuteman Press International Inc

Richie Moore and his family have owned the Minuteman Press franchise in Macon, Georgia since June of 2017. As they approach six years in business, Richie, along with his father and his wife Elle, have moved to a brand new facility at 4341 Interstate DR, Suite B, Macon GA 31210. To celebrate the move, Minuteman Press in Macon held a grand opening on February 21, 2023, that was sponsored by the Greater Macon-Bibb Chamber of Commerce, the Perry Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce. Richie shares, “We have needed more space for the last 3 years. We wanted to get the equipment needed to do the things our customers have been asking us to do and now we have the space and a lot of the equipment needed! We want to show Middle Georgia that the big jobs don’t need to be sent out of our local area, and that Minuteman Press in Macon can produce and deliver for them.” Richie further explains the benefits of the new facility: “We now have a lobby that we can show off our larger jobs and spark ideas in our customers. If that doesn’t do it we want to set up tours of our facility to show the machines’ capabilities for prints. We have just upgraded our main production systems on all of our paper products so that we can print even faster and deliver higher quality. We are able to get longer lasting, higher quality signage done at a fraction of the time it would take a typical sign shop to print.” When it comes to marketing the business, Richie has followed the Minuteman Press system and reached out to his local business community through networking groups. He also focuses on education potential and established customers on the product capabilities that Minuteman Press in Macon has to offer. Richie shares: “We have participated in a lot of networking groups in the last 6 years and that has been some of the main drivers behind our growth. We’ve worked hard on getting out into the community and talking about our vision at Minuteman Press Macon to our customers. Our message is simple: We are showing Middle Georgia that having a quick turnaround doesn’t have to sacrifice quality. We educate them on the fact that having quality doesn’t have to come with the highest price tag. And above all, we make it a point to let our clients know that growing larger doesn’t sacrifice the customer care that our customers receive on a daily basis. “There is a big market for the medium-size niche jobs that sadly is getting left by the wayside. We have customers that want 500 boxes or direct printed bags. They are a small-to-medium sized companies and they don’t necessarily need 5,000 bags that are all the same. They want 500 of 10 different bags so they can sell more products. We want to offer an option to those people who need help with all of their printing needs and don’t want to go to 5 different places to get them all done.” -Richie Moore, co-owner, Minuteman Press, Macon, GA Franchise Support from Minuteman Press International Before franchising, Richie shares, “My wife Elle and I come from the insurance world and before that I worked with computers everywhere. My dad called me up one day and asked if I’d be interested in a printing franchise. One of our computer customers was Minuteman Press Macon and the owner called us and asked if we would be interested in buying the computers back from him. We offered to let us try running the business for a few months and see if it was for us.” He continues, “We did it and we loved helping out the customers. We loved that every day was something new to do. You definitely have to stay on your toes in a print shop! So, my wife and I cashed in our insurance bonuses and bought into a new business with my dad. From there, we have grown it dramatically and want to continue to grow with our customers.” Richie shares his thoughts on the support he and his family have received since joining the Minuteman Press franchise family. He says, “The Minuteman Press franchise has been around a long time and will be around a lot longer. If you have seen it printed, they have had experience with it. Our corporate office has been a great support to us when we had questions on how to help our customers. They have always been supportive in helping us reach our goals. This move to our new building has been the top goal for us for at least 3 years now, and we couldn’t have done it without the help and guidance of our local RVP Dave Walton and the local support team.” Richie adds, “We took over in 2017 but this Minuteman Press franchise has been in Macon for 35 years! We have a lot of experience and knowledge about the products that our clients want and possibly some that you don’t even know about that can help!” When asked about his final thoughts on the move and being business owner, Richie says, “I like to remind all of our clients that WE ARE LOCAL and that we can help. We would love to show prospects what we can do and invite them to tour our facility!” Richie concludes, “For business owners, I would say you need to s urround yourself with smart people that have done it all and are successful. This way, you will end up driving yourself to reach their level. That’s yet another reason franchising and Minuteman Press was right for us.” Minuteman Press in Macon is located at 4341 Interstate DR, Suite B, Macon GA 31210. For more information, call 478-474-6263 or visit their website: https://minuteman.com/us/locations/ga/macon/ Learn more about #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise opportunities and read Minuteman Press franchise reviews at https://minutemanpressfranchise.com Contact Details Minuteman Press International Chris Biscuiti +1 631-249-1370 cbiscuiti@mpihq.com Company Website https://minutemanpressfranchise.com

March 29, 2023 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Jose Cuervo Joins Forces With Arma and Sureco to Develop Green Carbon Methodology for Agave Plants Used in Tequila Production

ARMA SERVICES, INC.

McapMediaWire -- Arma Services Inc. (OTC: ARMV ) proudly announces a ground-breaking collaboration with Jose Cuervo, the world's premier tequila brand, to create a carbon credit certification methodology for Agave plants used in tequila production. Joining forces with sustainability experts SURECO & Partners and climate financing specialists RBA Banca de Inversión and RBA Sostenibilidad, this alliance is set to revolutionize the tequila industry's sustainability efforts. The partnership's objective is to certify agave plantations as carbon sinks, fostering a transition towards carbon markets and driving sustainable practices in the tequila industry while actively combating climate change. This innovative collaboration will develop a comprehensive carbon credit certification methodology for agave, alongside feasibility studies, financing, and project development encompassing all stages and stakeholders in the voluntary carbon market. Arma Services Inc and SURECO & Partners are renowned leaders in sustainability and carbon markets, with a history of successful projects under their belts. RBA Banca de Inversión, Sostenibilidad have earned a sterling reputation as trusted advisors in climate financing and carbon markets, making this partnership a formidable force for change. This alliance signifies a major leap forward in the tequila industry's sustainability endeavors and underscores the unwavering commitment of these companies to a greener future. Jessica Jacob, CEO of SURECO & Partners and former Regional Head for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Green Climate Fund, shared her insights on the partnership: "This alliance marks a pivotal moment in the tequila industry's journey towards greater sustainability. By creating a carbon credit certification methodology for agave, we can encourage the adoption of sustainable practices and actively participate in the fight against climate change. We are thrilled to collaborate with Jose Cuervo, Arma Services Inc, RBA Banca de Inversión, Sostenibilidad to strengthen our sustainability efforts and explore cutting-edge approaches to reduce our collective carbon footprint." About Jose Cuervo Jose Cuervo is the world's leading tequila brand, with over 250 years of experience in the production of tequila. The company is known for its high-quality tequilas, which are made from the finest blue agave plants in Mexico. With a commitment to sustainability, Jose Cuervo is constantly innovating in its production processes to reduce its environmental impact. Through partnerships and collaborations with sustainability experts, Jose Cuervo is working towards a greener future for the tequila industry. About Arma Services Inc. At Arma Services Inc., we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of the battle against climate change. Our mission is clear: to develop carbon offset projects that are not only effective, but also highly valuable. Our expertise lies in the forestry, agriculture, and technology sectors, where we use our proprietary AI software to ensure that the carbon credits we create are of the highest quality. Our commitment to transparency and analytics is second to none, and we are proud to say that our clients trust us to deliver the best possible results. By using cutting-edge technology, we can measure the impact of our carbon offset projects in real time, providing our clients with the data they need to make informed decisions about their carbon footprint. We believe that our work is not just a business, but a responsibility. As a public company, we are dedicated to making a positive impact on the environment and on the world at large. By expanding our portfolio of high value removals carbon offsets, we are taking a crucial step in the right direction. At Arma Services Inc., we are committed to a better future for all. Safe Harbor Statement This Press Release may contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The Company has tried, whenever possible, to identify these forward-looking statements using words such as "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "expects," "plans," "intends," "potential," and similar expressions. These statements reflect the Company's current beliefs and are based upon information currently available to it. Accordingly, such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that could cause the Company's actual results, performance, or achievements to differ materially from those expressed in or implied by such statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to update or advise in the event of any change, addition, or alteration to the information catered in this Press Release, including such forward-looking statements. CONTACT: Arma Services, Inc. 7260 West Azure Drive |Suite 140| Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, 89130 Phone. 1.725.235.7766 Email. info@armaoffsets.com Website. www.armaoffsets.com SOURCE Arma Services Inc. Contact Details Arma Services, Inc. info@armaoffsets.com Company Website http://armaoffsets.com/

March 29, 2023 08:24 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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House Budget Chairman Introduces a Constitutional Path for Voters to Approve a State-drafted and Inflation-fighting Fiscal Responsibility Amendment

Federal Fiscal Sustainability Foundation

The Federal Fiscal Sustainability Foundation (FFSF), a coalition of nonpartisan advocates concerned about the impacts of inflation and out-of-control national debt, applaud House Budget Committee Chairman Jody Arrington’s introduction of House Concurrent Resolution 24. This legislation calls for an Article V Convention for proposing a Fiscal Responsibility Amendment to the United States Constitution and stipulates ratification by a vote of We the People.” On Wednesday, March 29 th, former Comptroller General and FFSF Co-Founder David Walker will testify before the House Budget Committee at a Hearing entitled, “ Fiscal State of the Union.” Walker will discuss the “ Fiscal Way Forward ” ( 10:00 AM Eastern in 210 Cannon House Office Building) which includes adopting a federal fiscal responsibility constitutional amendment designed to constrain debt/GDP to a reasonable and sustainable level. HCR 24 calls on Congress to set the time and place for an Article V “Convention for proposing Amendments” and requires amendment ratification by a vote of the people in “ three fourths (38) of the States via State Ratifying Conventions. The resolution also designates the House Clerk as responsible for confirming from congressional records whether, at any time, at least two-thirds (34) of the states “ had unrescinded continuing Applications on any national issues (plenary) plus the single issue of fiscal responsibility. ” Chairman Arrington originally introduced this legislation as HCR 101 in July of 2022 requiring Congress to perform its ministerial duty under Article V of the U.S. Constitution which states: ‘The Congress,...on the Application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments…to the United States Constitution… The Concurrent Resolution states in part: “beginning in 1979, when Congress appears to have failed in its constitutional duty to count Applications and call a ‘‘Convention for proposing Amendments,’’ the Nation’s debt has increased to more than $31 trillion from $860 billion, while the value of the dollar has declined by over 75 percent.” Hon. David M. Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States, stated, “I commend Rep. Jodey Arrington for his leadership in introducing a resolution designed to restore federal fiscal sanity and uphold the Article V rights of the states to propose and the people to ratify an Inflation-fighting Fiscal Responsibility Amendment. The time has come to end the dereliction of duty by Congress and defuse our ticking debt bomb.” Ken Cuccinelli, former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security, and former Attorney General of Virginia said, “We must use the Constitution to restore the boundaries of power in Washington. The process this resolution calls for is state driven from beginning to end, requiring a vote of the people to ensure its safety. If Congress fails to approve the resolution as Article V appears to mandate, a mandamus action will likely be pursued in Federal Court.” Admiral William Owens, United States Navy (ret.) and former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stated, “Our country seriously needs a strong reminder of both the states’ equal right with Congress to propose Amendments and the seriousness of acting fiscally in the best interests of our country and our national security.” Dr. Barry Poulson, Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Colorado stated, “The United States is out of step as more than 90 countries are using fiscal rules today. The “Swiss Debt Brake,” for example, was approved in 2001 by an 85% vote of the people. It slowed total annual spending growth, excluding social security, resulting in Switzerland being ranked as having the highest GDP per capita and the lowest borrowing cost of any AAA rated Country. It is time for citizens to decide how much government they want and are willing to pay for.” “On behalf of my granddaughters, I want to thank U.S. Representative Jodey Arrington for taking this important step to correct Congress’ constitutional failure in 1979 to call the Convention for proposing Amendments. Most importantly, the Resolution would prohibit any proposed Amendments from being added to our Constitution without a majority vote of the people for yes-pledged delegates in three-quarters of the State Conventions,” stated David Biddulph, Co-Founder of the Federal Fiscal Sustainability Foundation. The Concurrent Resolution is a significant victory in the fiscal responsibility coalition’s “ StopInflating.US ” campaign for a state-drafted, voter-approved, inflation-fighting Fiscal Responsibility Amendment to the United States Constitution as soon as November 5, 2024. ### Please visit: StopInflating.US To learn more about the calls for an Article V Convention for proposing Amendments or to schedule an interview with a Federal Fiscal Sustainability Foundation spokesperson, contact Mae James at 386-423-4744. Contact Details Dan Rene +1 202-329-8357 daniel.rene@kglobal.com Company Website https://letusvoteforfra.org/

March 28, 2023 09:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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Orange Tree Employment Screening Accelerates Momentum with Expansion of Senior Leadership Team

Orange Tree Employment Screening

Orange Tree Employment Screening, a technology-driven services company in the background screening industry, today announced that it has expanded its leadership team to include three new senior roles. Justin Jovle will serve as the new Chief Operating Officer (COO), while Bridget George will be the new Vice President of Client Services, and Brooke Boeser will help guide company expansion as the new Vice President of Marketing. The new hires will help the company continue to accelerate its strong growth while delivering unparalleled client service. “Over the past 18 months, Orange Tree has grown significantly, both organically and through acquisition. To continue this growth, it is important to strategically expand our leadership team,” said Renee Ernste, CEO of Orange Tree. “We are not stopping here. We have expansion plans which require expertise to enable the successful integration of the companies we’ve purchased and to support future acquisitions.” In addition to growing via acquisition and new sales, Orange Tree recently released an innovative online buying experience which provides buyers new levels of choice and pricing transparency. Available to all businesses, the online platform is targeted to the midmarket and small business customer who wants help in choosing the best solution with full visibility to pricing previously reserved for only enterprise businesses. “The buyers’ preferences have changed, and we are delivering what today’s customer expects and deserves,” said Jeff Ernste, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. “Customers want to buy solutions tailored to their needs, in a way and at a time that is convenient for them, and with full transparency to the pricing and terms of their program. We are delivering a solution which aligns precisely with their needs. “The strategic decision to bring in tested leadership and launch a game-changing online buying platform means that Orange Tree’s growth momentum is just beginning,” concluded Ernste. About Orange Tree Employment Screening For more than 30 years, Orange Tree has provided technology-enabled background screening, drug testing, and occupational health services that are fast, easy to use, and can be tailored to the unique needs of each employer. Orange Tree streamlines hiring decisions, integrates with HCM and ATS platforms, and empowers employers in Healthcare, Manufacturing, Hospitality, Retail, Staffing, and other major industries to quickly fill open positions while delivering an engaging candidate experience. Learn more at www.orangetreescreening.com. Contact Details Razor Sharp PR Ray Young +1 512-694-6097 ray@razorsharppr.com Company Website https://www.orangetreescreening.com/

March 28, 2023 08:30 AM Central Daylight Time

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2023 State of Residential Construction Industry Report Highlights Better Builder Profit Margins, Jobs Delivered on Time & Higher Salaries

Association of Professional Builders

The Association of Professional Builders (APB), a leading business coaching service for custom home builders, with members in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, today announced the findings from its annual State of Residential Construction Industry (SORCI) Report for 2023. The report, compiled annually, surveys 1,000 residential home builders operating in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and is commissioned to gather deeper insights into the residential construction industry and spot emerging trends to enable building company owners to benchmark their own businesses against industry standards. Participating sponsors for the 2023 report included Buildertrend, Builder Lead Converter, Buildxact, BuildTools, CBUSA, and Builder Nuggets Podcast. Key findings for 2023 indicated: Despite material delays and other supply chain shortages, extreme weather, and personnel shortages, 57.7% of jobs were delivered on time. Average contract values increased from 2021, with a steep incline of contract values in excess of $1 million, showing building companies’ business growth. Generating quality leads remains the top key challenge for builders; 40.4% of builders surveyed cited this as their number one sales issue. The 2023 SORCI Report explored four key areas of insights for builders: finance, sales, marketing, and technology. Builder finances One of the most critical areas for builders’ financials is their understanding of cost escalation clauses as it relates to their own contracts. In Australia, 33% of builders declared their contracts incorporate special conditions to include cost escalation clauses. This number still lags behind New Zealand’s builders where 85.5% have protected themselves, the United States with 61.8% and Canada 44.1% covering themselves. Financial understanding has not been at the level it needed to be for builders in previous years, however that is clearly starting to change. Even more encouraging is that 70.5% of builders showed they understand the difference between markup and margin. This statistic is further substantiated because the builders who claimed to know the difference were also tested. Almost three quarters of builders (74.8%) also know their fixed expense ratio, which is calculated by dividing total expenses by revenue. Over half of the builders surveyed (57.3%) are producing monthly financial reports and 60% monitor the gross profit margin on every job on a monthly basis enabling them to have their finger on the pulse of every single job. Additionally, 58.1% of builders experienced an increase in sales revenue in 2022 and 72% are expecting revenue to increase in 2023. “It’s great to see builders’ revenues increase,” said Russ Stephens, Co-Founder, APB. “As builders become smarter about their finances, in particular in the areas of cost escalation clauses, the differences between markups and margins, and their fixed expense ratios, among other key financial scenarios, they will truly be able to continue to improve their bottom lines and thrive, no matter the market conditions.” Sales While builders’ contract values increased, the area of sales continues to be one of the more challenging areas for builders according to the report. 40.4% of builders cited their number one sales challenge is generating quality leads. Additionally, only 50.3% of building companies reported that they have a documented sales process. The positive takeaway from this is, however, that companies that have a documented sales process in place are approximately four times more likely to achieve industry standard gross margins of 25% and above. The outlook from builders for the year remains quite similar to 2022, with 46.2% of respondents expecting to sign more contracts than they did in 2022. Marketing One of the key marketing tools cited by builders across all geographies surveyed is YouTube as a key platform. Builders in Canada showed they are leading the way on this channel with 20.5% of building companies uploading at least one video per month. Publishing content on a blog remained similar to 2021 data with 64.1% of building companies not creating any content over the past 12 months. Of the builders that do publish content, 63.6% do it in-house while 35.8% outsource the task. Marketing represents a huge growth opportunity for builders and is more than likely the reason why the few builders that are marketing correctly are finding it so easy to sign so many contracts at higher margins as there is little competition for those more marketing-savvy building companies. Technology Builders stand to gain efficiencies in utilizing technology and software. During 2022, 91.3% of builders handled their estimates in-house, however in terms of outsourcing, it was New Zealand's builders that lead the way with 22.6% of builders trusting a third party with this time-consuming task. A baffling trend emerged in terms of the number of builders now using spreadsheets to compile their estimates which actually rose from 31.1% in 2021 to 36.4% in 2022. Considering it has been well documented that 88% of spreadsheets contain errors, it's surprising that more builders have turned to spreadsheets as a solution. The exception to this trend was in Canada where only 24.2% of builders now use spreadsheets for their estimating compared to 52% in 2021. Overall, 37.9% of builders invested more money into software in 2022 with 26% of respondents expecting to spend more again in 2023. The full version of the 2023 SORCI Report can be downloaded complimentary at https://go.associationofprofessionalbuilders.com/sorci-download. # # # ABOUT ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL BUILDERS The Association of Professional Builders is a leading business coaching service for custom home builders in the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. It provides tested and proven systems for builders to scale and succeed, based on data, experience, and results. Contact Details The Hoyt Organization Alyson Campbell +1 310-373-0103 acampbell@hoytorg.com The Hoyt Organization Alana Van Slovis +1 310-373-0103 avanslovis@hoytorg.com Company Website https://associationofprofessionalbuilders.com/

March 28, 2023 06:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time

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NAVEX 2023 Global Incident Management Benchmark Study Reveals Shifts in Workplace Culture and Reporting Trends

NAVEX Global

NAVEX, the leader in integrated risk and compliance management software, has released its 2023 Hotline & Incident Management Benchmark Report. The bellwether annual benchmark report provides valuable insight into the workplace culture of 52 million employees across 3,430 organizations, examining the trends of 1.52 million reports from across the globe. "We use NAVEX's annual benchmark report to help inform our risk management strategy," says FedEx Chief Compliance Officer Justin Ross. "As an industry leader, we do our best to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest incident reporting and risk management trends. The insight this report provides helps us do just that." “NAVEX has long been the gold standard for risk and compliance data analytics in the industry. This annual benchmark study is derived from the world’s largest incident reporting database by far,” says Carrie Penman, NAVEX chief risk and compliance officer. “Our expanded analytics in 2023 allowed for a deeper examination of the issues and behaviors that are most impactful to today’s workplaces. Chief among them is workplace civility, which is likely driven by increased societal tension generally.” This year’s analysis of the data revealed four key themes and several notable findings: Reporting at an all-time high, but reporters proceeded with more caution. This year’s analysis revealed the highest median level of Reports per 100 Employees (1.47) in the history of this report. Further, 21% of organizations received five or more Reports per 100 Employees, a positive finding. However, data also showed a return to higher levels of anonymous reporting (56%), indicating more reporter concern about providing their name. HR-related reports are still the majority, but more granular analysis reveals workplace stresses. The median organization had nearly 54% of its reports in the HR, Diversity & Workplace Respect category, up from 50% in 2021. Reviewing the reporting frequency across deeper issue types offers more insight into organizational stresses and behaviors – particularly an increase in workplace civility concerns involving abusive or disrespectful behavior. The data also shows the frequency of harassment, discrimination, retaliation, and substance abuse reports in 2022 all increased. These metrics are important to watch as a measure of cultural health and potentially a measure of mental health risks. People want to talk live, but a written web-based report is more likely to be substantiated. While general communications modes move more to texting and instant messaging, this year's data shows an increase in telephonic helpline reports, from 31% in 2021 to 34% in 2022. Hybrid work models have made it easier for employees to make a telephone report from home and more challenging to report in person. However, more thoughtful written reports, submitted via the web, are more likely to be substantiated than phone reports. In 2022, the median Substantiation Rate for web reports was 39% compared to 33% for phone. Size matters – smaller organizations have higher reporting rates; mid-size companies are experiencing some challenges. The 2022 analysis reveals that smaller organizations with fewer than 2,500 employees registered the highest Reports per 100 Employees at 2.99. In contrast, the largest organizations, with over 100,000 employees, had a much lower rate of only 1.20 Reports per 100 Employees. Mid-sized companies with 2,500-49,999 employees had the lowest rate of all, with fewer than 1.0 Reports per 100 Employees. Organizations with 2,500 to 5,999 employees recorded the highest rate of anonymous reporting at 60%. "Data is at the heart of making smart decisions about risk management and spotting potential problems throughout the organization. This is particularly important for issues affecting workplace culture. NAVEX's integrated data platform provides industry-leading insights and a unique window into the performance of their risk and compliance program, which in turn helps them achieve the business outcomes that matter most," says A.G. Lambert, NAVEX chief product officer. Additional notable findings include: The frequency of bribery and corruption reports increased in 2022, as did product quality and safety reports. Conflicts of interest reporting dropped significantly but is still in the top five. Data privacy and protection also made the top five. While overall Substantiation Rates remained steady at 41%, the five issue types with the highest frequency of substantiation were: global trade (76%), imminent threat to a person or property (75%), environment (71%), Data privacy and protection (68%), misuse or misappropriation of assets (67%) and health and safety (65%). More than half of organizations have a median Case Closure Time under 30 days. The largest organizations had the shortest Case Closure Time. Notable, and perhaps concerning, is a median of 18% of cases were closed on the same day they were received. This finding indicates instances that may have been forwarded to a different department and resolved prior to complete resolution, implying that a case classified as "closed" for compliance does not necessarily denote closure for the organization. For more insights on the 2023 Incident Management Benchmark Report, join Justin Ross, FedEx chief compliance officer, Carrie Penman, NAVEX chief risk & compliance officer, and Anders Olsen, NAVEX senior data scientist, for an informative webinar where they will discuss the results of this year’s analysis in detail. Register here or, read our blog, Don’t Miss Out – World’s Leading Hotline Webinar & Report Released March 28. NAVEX is trusted by thousands of customers worldwide to help them achieve the business outcomes that matter most. As the global leader in integrated risk and compliance management software and services, we deliver solutions through the NAVEX One platform, the industry’s most comprehensive governance, risk and compliance (GRC) information system. For more information, visit NAVEX.com and our blog. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Contact Details NAVEX Scott Levesque +1 617-388-5773 scott.levesque@navex.com Company Website https://www.navex.com

March 28, 2023 08:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

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