Data Thoughts

4/5/2016 2:57:46 PM
Going Green
All of us know that we need to be responsible with our natural resources and with our bank accounts. What does this look like? This might look like changing the light bulbs to LEDs (which are much more efficient and last significantly longer) or maybe turning off some of those unused lights... It might also look like setting up recycling for the company. Regardless, the big idea here is to start thinking about the impact of how we do business. The next two points are some ideas to hopefully get you started.


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3/20/2016 3:09:48 PM

It's officially spring and that means spring cleaning! I do understand that most people are probably not going to rush out, because it's spring, and start deep cleaning everything around them, but that's not really what I'm talking about. We urge people all...


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2/24/2016 1:57:33 PM
Google recently announced that they would be enhancing their Safe Browsing protection to now include deceptive embedded content, such as social engineering ads. This will be in addition to the policies that they announced back in November. What does this mean? It means that embedded content, such as ads on a web page, will be consider social engineering (viruses, malware, phishing, etc.) when they meet certain criteria. 

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12/30/2015 10:48:29 AM
In continuation of the Cutting Cost article from last month, we've written up an article with some more tips. The first section is about getting your information out there and in view of your clients. The second section is about helping people and sharing the wisdom gleaned from you're years in business.
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11/30/2015 10:40:32 AM

Who doesn't want to save money? At the end of the day, we all want to cut cost where we can, but don't always know of all the ways that we can save money or at least get the most bang-for-our-buck. Thus, in my "spare" time, I've been looking for ways to cut cost. Now I'd like to share a few of those ideas that I've stumbled across. This list will by no means be all the ideas that I found (I'll share those later), but this is merely a starting point to get the cogs turning.


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5/28/2015 1:09:03 PM
Microsoft will be transitioning once again in July of this year. To be more specific, they will be transitioning on July 14, 2015. This transition will mean the official end of all support for Microsoft Windows 2003 Servers. For some, this may not seem like a real issue. Maybe you're thinking
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5/15/2015 2:09:03 PM
Periodically we hear about some large company like Home Depot or Target being hacked by vandals and credit card data being compromised. The credit card industry has put a lot of effort into reducing this fraud and one method most talked about is the EMV initiative. This initiative will become effective in October of 2015. EMV covers a number of areas but to keep things simple there are two points to remember.
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4/27/2015 3:01:05 PM
Since its founding 33 years ago, DataWeld Incorporated, based in Bossier City, Louisiana, has specialized in providing modern day solutions to the age old problems of tracking cylinder assets for the compressed gas distributor.

There was a time when the driving force behind a distributor wanting to track his cylinders was either better asset management, better customer relations, or both. But in today's world, distributors often are faced with totally different reasons for needing to track their cylinder assets: the United States government.


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2/15/2015 8:52:41 AM
Microsoft recently released an update (KB3013455 (MS15-010)) that was meant to resolve some security issues. Specifically a vulnerability in Micosoft Windows that "could allow remote code execution if an attacker convinces a user to open a specially crafted document or visit an untrusted website that contains embedded TrueType fonts" (Microsoft).

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1/1/2015 2:07:10 AM
We've always been told to put safety first, but to be safe, you first have to know that you're in an unsafe environment. That's what this article is all about, at least from the standpoint of the internet. Too often computers are hacked and valuable information is lost unnecessarily. Not necessarily because of careless behavior, but from simply not knowing that something was unsafe. 
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12/1/2014 10:18:04 AM
Twitter obviously isn't leaving the social media scene any time soon, so do you join or stay away? This answer isn't a simple yes or no. There are a number of factors to consider and, while some may seem more applicable to a specific company's scenario, it's a good idea to weigh all the different reasons for using twitter. The following list will hopefully help with this decision and spark some creative juices.
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11/15/2014 7:22:17 AM
Ransomware is making a come back, but it's nothing new. In fact, it's been around for awhile. What is it? It's a type of malware that can essentially lock up a computer. Of course if that was all it did, then it would probably have a different name. Ransomware not only locks up the computer that it infects but, as the name implies, it also demands a ransom. In most cases, the computer suddenly becomes unresponsive and then a screen appears stating that the operator has been involved in some illegal or illicit activity and must pay to have the computer unlocked. 

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11/1/2014 12:39:14 PM
There's going to be times when things just don't work properly. Normally, I shut my computer down at night (a good practice to get into for personal and non-essential computers), but one night I didn't. The next morning I realized that I had left my computer on so I gently shake the mouse to wake everything up and what I saw put a smile on my face.
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10/15/2014 10:15:52 AM
I was trying to create an article for a newsletter and it wasn't going well. I was drawing a blank. And then it hit me as I was staring at my computer screen. Recently I have been reorganizing my computer files. I'm typically an organized person but over the years I've collected a massive amount of files. It was time for me to restructure and purge those files that were no longer needed. 

A few things I realized were:


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10/1/2014 2:41:42 PM
Can you accurately answer this question: How many cylinders do you own?
How many cylinders do you own? This may not seem like the most important question at first, but not knowing this answer has the potential to greatly impact your rental income and relationships with your customers. For over 30 years, the team here at Dataweld has had the good fortune of working side by side with distributors in the gases and welding supply industry. In that time I have long since lost track of how many times I have asked this question, but one thing that I do know is that the answer is almost always the same.

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9/15/2014 11:11:23 AM
Have you ever needed to get a message to one of your drivers, but you know they can't answer the phone? Or maybe you just need to contact all of your drivers with an urgent message? You could call every driver, who may or may not be able to answer, but that would take...
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9/1/2014 11:51:35 AM
Did your computer restart all by itself? Don't worry this has happened to most people at some point and typically is nothing to worry about. There are a couple of common things that could be the culprit. 

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8/15/2014 12:13:02 PM
Anyone who has been in a long checkout line has probably experienced the frustration of watching a cashier fumble with a product.
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8/1/2014 10:32:48 AM

If you're still using Windows XP, then it may be time to start adding money into the budget for an upgrade. 


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7/15/2014 6:47:15 AM
Most businesses understand the need for balancing controls with Accounts Receivable and have implemented the appropriate controls. We have seen in many cases however, where the same controls do not exist for Accounts Payable. The reasons are varied, but the same controls still need to exist. When no controls exist invoices can be entered twice and vendors paid multiple times or paid the wrong amount. Each mistake takes time, and in turn money, to correct.


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7/1/2014 10:57:59 AM
There are a more than a few top 10 lists floating around these days. Finding one of those lists of 10 things to work on, steps to take, or simply funny anecdotes requires nothing more than a Google search. A customer of ours asked for some enhancements to the reporting functions within our software and what became of those enhancements was our very own Top 10 list of nine items. I know, why couldn't it be ten and ten? What follows is that very list which we thought would be helpful to both our customers and non-customers. Even if you're not using our software, knowing the following numbers about your company could be very beneficial to daily operations and management.
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6/15/2014 1:33:45 PM
One of the most common questions our distributors are asked by their customers is "Can you tell me who signed for that delivery?” Another common question is "Can you show me the original delivery document?” Perhaps there is a legitimate concern about an item delivered, cylinders returned or maybe the customer is just trying to avoid paying. Regardless, there normally are only two ways to produce the desired proof for the customer. One is to go through your filing system, get a copy of the original delivery document with all the handwritten notes including the signature and then send it to the customer via fax or email. The other option is to invest in a document imaging system and scan every delivery document. The document imaging option is very sophisticated and works nicely, but can require a large up-front investment.

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6/1/2014 10:01:50 AM
Few things you do each day are as important as backing up your data. Unfortunately, backups often aren't given much thought until they are needed. Over the years we have seen a number of mistakes that have been made regarding backups. Here are the four most common.

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5/15/2014 12:41:35 PM
We just completed an upgrade of our phone system here at DataWeld to make it easier to communicate with all of our customers and potential clients. The new system is based on VOIP Technology which simply means it uses the internet to communicate instead of traditional point to point land lines. So how does this help you? 
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5/1/2014 9:24:53 AM
Howard Ruff, author of numerous financial planning books, has been quoted as saying "It was not raining when Noah built the ark". His reference was to financial planning, but the same notion applies even more when it comes to business planning for disasters. Many business spend a great deal of time planning to grow their business while ignoring what might happen if they experience a major disaster such as a fire or hurricane.
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4/15/2014 8:00:00 AM
I've been talking about computer maintenance here lately and now I've got a little more to share. This article has two basic tips that work hand in hand to help your computer perform at its best.  
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4/1/2014 8:00:00 AM
Recently, I wrote about how to clean up your computer to keep it running smoothly. Something I didn't write about was that your computer's environment can also affect its performance. The goal is to keep the environment clean, cool, and at the proper height. Here are some of our tips for a better computing environment.
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3/15/2014 8:00:00 AM
People are sometimes told that once a computer slows down that it has reached capacity or that it's time for a replacement. This isn't necessarily true. Many times there are a few basic things that can be done to help in this situation. In the following article we have a couple of tips to help.
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3/1/2014 8:00:00 AM
If you are still using a PC running the Windows XP operating system, be aware that you may be running out of time. Microsoft has publicly stated that the end of life for Windows XP is April 8, 2014.
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2/15/2014 8:00:00 AM
Yes we said it. That phrase isn't normally in our vocabulary, but it's something that might be of interest when using our app. 
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2/1/2014 1:00:41 PM
Spyware, Trojans and worms. These are different forms of software that have one common intent. They want to infect your PC or server. You can't be too cautious when dealing with any form of malware, so the following list is a few reminders to help protect against these threats. 

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1/15/2014 1:11:22 PM
Weather seems to constantly remind us that we can't control it. We don't know what's next, but we do know that there's a need to make sure that we all have good backups. Backups are like insurance and this insurance is very inexpensive. The hope is that it never has to be used, but no one regrets having the backups when they're needed. The following are a few tips that we always tell our customers when setting up their backups.
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1/1/2014 1:13:58 PM
Running a business efficiently and productively in good times will be even more beneficial when the economy is slow. The two key words in that sentence are efficiently and productively. The past few years have taught us the importance of doing more with less. Below are few ways to get more work done with less effort.



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12/15/2013 1:17:14 PM
Using mobile technology saves time and money while improving accuracy and customer service. After being in the welding supply business for a long time, being very successful at running the business, and upgrading to the latest computer technology, you keep hearing people say you need to consider something called mobile processing. What exactly is mobile processing, and why should you give it a second thought? 
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12/1/2013 1:50:08 PM
As astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped to the surface of the moon in July 1969, he said the historic words "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." A paraphrase might be: "While this step is a small one, it will ultimately affect mankind in ways few people could possibly imagine." While I'm in no way trying to compare the work of the GAWDA Management Information Committee with the space program, a seemingly small recent event has the potential to impact welding supply distributors in some pretty significant ways.



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11/15/2013 1:54:04 PM
One of the fun things I get to do each year is serve on the GAWDA Management Information Committee. Every time we meet, there's a brainstorming session about how technology can be used to reduce labor costs, increase profits or improve work flow processes for the welding supply distributor and vendor. The process of discussing different technologies and which ones offer the most benefit for the industry reminds me of a quote I once heard. It goes something like this: "The future is not a result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created--created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating." That kind of sums of what we do at the meetings. We do our best as a committee to generate ideas, turn them into activity and ultimately develop a new process that hopefully benefits the industry.



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11/1/2013 1:57:03 PM
The GAWDA Management Information Committee works on a variety of different areas when it comes to computer automation Few have as much potential benefit to distributors as the XML project the committee has been working on for the last several years.


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10/15/2013 12:51:45 PM
Helping Distributors Capitalize on the Latest in Asset Management Technology
Since we started creating software over 30 years ago, we've focused on helping the gases and welding supply distributors track their cylinder assets. In the medical field, there are general practitioners and then there are specialists. For the field of gases and welding distribution, DataWeld is an asset management specialist. Every program we develop is specifically designed to help distributors maximize their investment in cylinders and other types of containers. 


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