The processes and regulations of a trucking business are as complex and intricate as the size of the business itself. It is not possible for a single person or a small team to oversee and run everything in a trucking company. So, any small upgrade or tool that would help in making the business processes easier is readily absorbed by the industry as long as they are economical.
When the IFTA was created in the 1900s, it was aimed to:
- Quickly and effortlessly log data
- Eliminate extra personnel.
- Set up a clear process.
- Automate repetitive tasks.
- Help keep things organized.
A wave of happiness flowed across all personnel in the trucking industry. It had just made many of the processes and documentation that much smoother.
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What is the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)?
IFTA was created in 1996. It stands for the International Fuel Tax Agreement.
According to the South Carolina Legislature, the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) is an organization of states and the Canadian provinces under which the fuel use tax obligations of interstate and international motor carriers are administered.
Motor carriers across the country had to maintain a report of the miles they drove and how much fuel they consumed all the time. This was particularly bothersome when carriers had to constantly cross different state borders.
Before the IFTA was created, the trucking company had maintained tremendous amounts of documents, paperwork, unit conversions and much more every time their trucks drove across different jurisdictions in order to file the fuel tax reports, i.e., each jurisdiction had its own rules and regulations for filing the fuel tax reports. This meant the vehicles also required multiple fuel tax licenses.
The creation of the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) in 1996 brought together 48 states of the United States of America (USA) and 10 provinces of Canada together to enable trucking companies to file their fuel taxes under a single license. This saved the trucking companies a lot of time and money. Visit Samsara for the complete list of the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) member jurisdictions.
Some jurisdictions where the IFTA credentials are now valid are Alaska, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia.
Despite all of this, there can sometimes be mistakes in the IFTA reporting process. But the quest for perfection never stops.
So, what are some ways that can help to make the reporting more convenient? An effective way to go to the roots of the problem – Business Processes. Streamlining business processes has the potential to substantially improve efficiency and speed of any associated task, and filing IFTA reports is no exception.
Streamline Your Business Processes
By undertaking simple, yet significant measures, business processes can be effectively streamlined to make the reporting process of IFTA buttery smooth. Their benefitting consequences result in making the IFTA reporting process more convenient.
Here are 5 measures that you can take:
1. Process Monitoring and Control
Process monitoring and control can radically transform the way your business works. It brings with it:
- The motivation to collaborate.
- Improvements in team management.
- Enhancements in communication, visibility, and transparency.
- Advanced data analytics, pattern recognition, and more.
- Ease of data access, transmission, and maintenance across people and platforms.
- Automation of repetitive tasks and periodic error corrections.
- Design and form tools to customize dashboards and profiles.
- Safety and security from hacks and data breaches.
2. Maintaining an Accurate Record of the Miles
Maintaining a record of the miles and fuels consumed is vital to file the IFTA reports.
You might be tempted to provide a rough estimate of the fuel consumed, and miles driven as the tax filing deadline closes in on you. But do not make this mistake, because the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) requires you to be as accurate as possible. Failing to do so can put your company and the fleet at the risk of an audit.
3. Good GPS Tracking
The incorporation of a good GPS vehicle tracker will surely benefit in the long term if not in the short term. Samsara’s GPS tracking helps to provide real-time vehicle visibility. This reduces the scope for any falsification.
The benefits of GPS tracking are not just limited to real-time vehicle tracking and visibility, but also extend to the following:
- Optimization of routes to improve efficiency and decrease time.
- Improving security to lower the risks of losing assets.
- Improving customer service by providing features such as live sharing.
- Reducing costs by providing insights to help make better decisions.
4. Using ELD and Fleet Management Software
Failure to file reports on time can cost you a lot. They can result in the suspension of the license or heavy fines for the company. However, paperwork is tiring, uninteresting, time-consuming, and repetitive.
Turning towards technology to track vehicles, miles, and fuel purchases can do wonders in making the experience of filing tax reports effortless by seamlessly integrating into your workflow to improve efficiency, strengthen safety and ensure compliance.
Modern innovations in the logistics industry, like ELD compliance solutions and fleet management software, made the process faster, streamlined, and efficient.
5. Using A Dedicated IFTA Software
A dedicated IFTA software will help you ease many things starting from:
- Maintaining a directory and organizing all your fuel receipts.
- Accurate and updated logs.
- Recording all the miles driven.
This will help you file reports faster and better.
It is not easy to log each and every small and minute mile of your truck. A dedicated IFTA software takes care of them for you by helping you log data incrementally without any hassle.
The aforementioned processes will have thoroughgoing reforms in your business to make IFTA tax filing and reporting more convenient than ever before.
Modern technological innovations improve speed, efficiency, increase accuracy, decrease errors (especially human errors) and ensure compliance to the Hours of Service (HOS) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.
This article helps guide you through a process that can otherwise seem intimidating and can become a challenge.
All of this works in synergy to eliminate paperwork and repetition, enabling you to dexterously file quarterly IFTA reports for your company.
No More Cutting Costs, This App Helped Me Improve My Standard of Living Big Time
I remember reading a quote once, “an empty room is a story waiting to happen, and you are the author.” This quote left behind a lasting influence on my mind and artistic soul. It made me realise how much we influence our surroundings and vice versa.
I started to appreciate the efforts that people put into transforming a house into a warm and loving home. It was almost as if our homes are a reflection of what we are on the inside.
India’s home decor and furnishing market has been flourishing. It was estimated that the sector would have a valuation of about INR 40,000 crores by 2020. Keeping this trend in mind, I decided to jump the bandwagon and kickstart a career in reselling home decor.
My Tryst With Home Decor
I was always fascinated by home improvement projects. It had become an obsession for me to scroll through Pinterest or watch home transformation videos on YouTube.
As much as I liked to watch such home improvement-related content, it was my biggest regret that I could not afford the posh and expensive home decor items.
Living on a shoe-string budget and wanting a dream home was almost an oxymoron. I took up a regular 9 to 5 job and slogged through the years.
I didn’t make a lot, but it was enough o make ends meet. However, through all these struggles, there was always a part of me that nurtured this artistic streak.
In this period, I would often frequent the local handicraft and flea markets to bag some cheap but pretty home decor items. Honestly, these rendezvous were very time consuming, not to forget that these markets were often overcrowded or located in dingy places.
However, it still could not dampen my dream of having a luxurious home with shaggy rugs, silky curtains, and walnut wood furniture.
Once while visiting a mall, I noticed that the home decor items on display were a lot more expensive than the bargains that I scored in the local markets. I saw a similar trend when browsing through online home decor products.
At that very moment, the idea struck me – I wanted to start a business selling home decor products at affordable rates.
Why I Chose Selltm and How it Helped me
I came across the Selltm app while looking for home decor wholesalers. It blew my mind how the app had a wide array of home decor products to meet every homeowner’s needs. Plus, everything was affordable!
The Selltm App was easy to set up and operate. In a couple of clicks, I had created my profile on Selltm and was ready to get selling! There are several reasons why I chose Selltm, but the primary reason remains the same – it had a variety of products at pocket-friendly rates!
All the home decor items available over Selltm were not only a treat to the eye but were high-quality products. How do I know? Because I started my business by purchasing a couple of items for myself! The experience was seamless and hassle-free, while the on-time delivery was excellent too!
After my trial run, I browsed through the collection and created a personalised catalogue for a friend and forwarded it to him over WhatsApp. He was massively impressed by my suggestions and ended up purchasing two items from the catalogue right then and there.
My phone’s notification informing me of my earnings was one of the sweetest sounds that I had ever heard. I almost could not believe that landing an online business was this easy!
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As a start, I began displaying my catalogues on family WhatsApp groups. I asked my family to share their honest feedback on what they thought of the products.
The response was mostly positive, but the icing on the cake was when a few relatives started placing orders from my link. They got their favourite items at a cheap rate, and I got a cut on their purchase.
To test the waters further, I asked the members of my housing society’s group on whether they would be interested in purchasing home decor items. After receiving an affirmative answer by a few, I created a separate group for the interested individuals and began sharing my catalogue with them.
The society’s WhatsApp group paced things up for me. The cute and trendy home decor products on Selltm were such crowd-favourites that I had to place advance orders and keep stock at home!
In the final stage of setting up my business, I pooled in my office contacts and tried my luck there. And what do you know, my business took off to a whole new level!!!
How to Start Reselling Home Decor
If, like me, you want to get into a business of reselling home decor, here are a few useful tips to help you get started:
- Install Selltm on your phone: I cannot express what a blessing this app was for me right from the day I conceived the idea. The app is loaded with amazing features, and as a seller, you get daily payouts. Buyers get 7-day refunds and COD facility, which keeps them happy.
- Presentation matters: You are not selling a home decor item; you are selling a missing piece of a jigsaw that makes your client’s home complete. Share high-quality product images so that customers can scrutinise it thoroughly before making a purchase.
- Know your audience: As I have stated previously, we like to decorate our homes as per our personal choices. Hence, you wouldn’t recommend something modern and artistic to someone who prefers vintage items, right? Take the time to understand your client.
- Promote your goods: Everyone knows that you sell good stuff, but don’t just stop there! Customers don’t buy home decor products often. However, when they plan on doing so, you should be at the forefront of their minds!
I firmly believe that we are a product of our environment. Several individuals understand this fact and make an effort to create a surrounding that is nurturing. And I am here to help them achieve that.
Thanks to Selltm, I am no longer living from paycheck to paycheck. More importantly, I am finally living the dream of beautifying not only my own home, but everyone else’s too!
5 Interesting Facts about Running a Restaurant
The restaurant industry can seem like a bit of a mystery to those who do not run them. All the moving parts of the business can actually be rather fascinating the more you learn more about it! Are you interested in getting into the industry or even just curious about the ins and outs of a restaurant? Keep reading for some interesting details you might not normally consider affect food businesses!
The Technology Aspect is Actually Pretty Impressive
In today’s modern-day, technology is everywhere, and running a restaurant is no exception. Almost every aspect of your life is aided by technology, and restaurants can also utilize these tools to help to run a smooth and successful business. Without it, sales would not go as smoothly as they do today.
Think about the last time you went to a restaurant and the technology was down. It was hectic, right? You wouldn’t think of it usually, but easy tasks like payments, tracking inventory, and even managing employee schedules are all coordinated through technology. The best pos hardware systems can do all three so restaurants can provide an efficient, streamlined service.
Location is More Important Than You Would Think
It is always a bit annoying to find out that the one restaurant everyone is talking about is completely out of the way. For most restaurants, location is the determining factor for their success. It allows people to reach them conveniently, and if the restaurant is on a main road or busy area, people are more likely just to walk in to be served.
Concept Plays a Large Role in a Restaurant’s Success
Have you ever been to a restaurant that had no specific cuisine? How about a place where the ambiance was all over the place, making for a confusing atmosphere?
Concepts are essential in the success of running a restaurant. Without a cohesive idea for food, location, and overall offering of the business, it is highly likely that the restaurant will not succeed. If you think about it, the restaurants that become well-known are those with a precise concept-such as an Italian restaurant with its food names in Italian, good music, and a traditional Italian dining room that serves food family-style, for example. This is the type of concept that creates an experience that the customer is more likely to enjoy than one that does not focus on one aspect.
The Anticipation of a New Restaurant Is Key
If you are looking to begin in the restaurant business, marketing is vital to your business’ success. Before the doors open, you should be sure to get the word out about your business, especially to places that will promote it. Word-of-mouth marketing works great as well.
The first month is incredibly important to gauge the number of customers you will bring in, as well as identifying any issues that prevent running a smooth operation. Everyone wants to try a new restaurant, so spreading the news of your opening can help to bring in a steady customer base. Who knows, maybe your first customer will be a regular!
Family Can Make or Break Your Business
When it comes to opening a restaurant, it can be tempting to hire those closest to you instead of trying to outsource for employees. While this works in some cases, it is important to remember that your closest relations may not turn out to be your best workers.
Running a restaurant can be challenging to start with, and the last thing you want is for your business to be in peril due to straining relationships. Keep business where business belongs, and personal ties separate.
Of course, it is absolutely possible to work with your family, but tight boundaries should be drawn to ensure a lasting vitality for your business.
Remember to Stay Passionate!
The restaurant business is tough. There will be many highs and lows, and it is easy to get stuck in the mindset that things will not work out the way you envisioned them.
When times like this hit, remember why you started this business in the first place: your passion. Without that, it will be easy to decide to give up. If you have a solid reason and dream for your business and you work toward it every day, along with remembering these five steps, you are sure to find success in your future.
Where Is The Recycled Paper Market Headed In 2020?
The recycled paper market in India has been estimated to grow at a CAGR of the compound annual growth rate of 9.3% according to the market intelligence report by Beroe. As the demand for recycled paper increases, there are chances that the exports will increase. High margins are a driving point for Indian paper mills as these provide them with the opportunity to grow. The recycled paper market in India is fragmented as the mills are located in locations such as Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Madhya Pradesh. However, the constant increase in demand shows a bright future for the recycled paper market.
The market drivers are incomes, exports, China ban, and end-use industries. There is expected to be an increase in demand as the disposable income has increased and more people are earning. India exports to the US, Europe, Middle East, and Sri Lanka. As the demand from these regions increases then so will the number of exports of recycled paper. Beroe predicts that the demand will increase further. China has banned waste paper which means it is a big opportunity for India as it can increase the supply. End-use industries such as agriculture, e-commerce, electronics, and FMCG have a high demand for recycled paper.
When it comes to the cost drivers there are four main ones; utility cost, raw material cost, exchange rate, and demand and supply. Utility cost accounts for up to 6% of the production cost and it does impact the price. Paper mills in India use coal for generating electricity. South Africa and Indonesia export coal to India and these prices have increased in the past according to Beroe. The raw material cost is an important one because up to 70% of the production cost is waste paper. When the prices of the waste paper increase, so do the cost of the recycled kraft paper. Hence, any fluctuations in the imported price have an effect on the total price.
The exchange rate impacts the recycled paper market as a stronger dollar will cause the price to change domestically. As the recovered paper prices rates dropped so did the price of the recycled kraft paper. The demand and supply are factors that directly affect cost. When China introduced the waste paper ban then Indian exports increased as the demand increased. Another reason was the US and China trade war that caused an increase in demand for recycled paper. Since 2018 there has been a steady increase in demand for recycled kraft paper. Many countries in Africa, China, and the Middle East saw an increase in demand. These affect the cost of recycled paper.
India imports about 40% of the waste paper from the US, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and the UAE. The reason is the increase in domestic demand and the growth of the economy. According to Beroe, the prices of raw materials stabilized which lead to a stabilization in recycled paper. Earlier, one of the paper industry trends was the high cost of raw materials which led to high prices of recycled paper. In 2017, there was an increase of 3.6% in imports because of the hiked prices. Although the paper mills had low demands at the time, things fell back into place after the prices went back to normal. India’s kraft market share has improved now.
While this may seem like a positive outlook there are some challenges along the way. The plastic packaging market is growing at a faster rate than the recycled paper market. The paper industry is constantly changing and evolving. While the demand for graphic paper has slowed down, sustainable packaging and digitalization are providing more opportunities. Changing the way people shop has provided a boost for recycled kraft paper as people are more comfortable with the recycled paper used for packaging. This has increased the demand for recycled kraft paper even further as more and more industries are adopting this approach.
The paper industry outlook is positive globally and there are chances that innovation will further accelerate the growth of the recycled paper market. Technological processes can be used to improve the manufacturing processes and make them increasingly efficient compared to how things are done now on a global scale. For example, digital manufacturing processes can be put in place and this can positively impact the recycled paper industry in a big way. Another example is the use of mill automation that can lead to improvement. Moreover, responding to the changing demand in the market will help the recycled paper industry to grow faster and meet the increasing demand.
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