Reasons and Benefits of Doing Business in Thailand

Known as the Land of Smiles, Thailand is country of exquisite beauty, historical treasures and hospitable people. The incredible natural beauty, the world-class cuisine, tropical climate and relaxed lifestyle are some of the major reasons to start a new business in Thailand. Starting your own business in Thailand is the best way to enjoy the enamored lifestyle and earn a comfortable living in the Kingdom. Thailand is the second largest economy in the 10-nation ASEAN. The nation is rich in natural resources, such as timber, rice and precious stones. Textile, jewelry, tourism and electronic appliances are also some of the bigger players that add to the GDP of the nation. Starting up a business in this country is not a straightforward process. In order to run business successfully in this country, there are several important issues to be taken in consideration.

How to start a business in Thailand:

According to the Foreign Business Act (FBA), Thai government restricts business categories for foreigners. (Except for U.S. citizens who can engage in the business under the same rules as Thai nationals – Thai treaty of Amity). The foreigners are restricted from engaging in some business categories, unless a permit is obtained.

The most common way to initiate a new business venture in the country is by having a partnership with a Thai citizen. The labor, immigration and foreign investment laws are quite complex in Thailand, and hence a foreigner or alien cannot take part in day-to-day activities of business and requires a Thai national partner to run the front part. One can also think of opening a limited company in Thailand, but just remember, the Thai government restricts foreign investment in industries, like banking, transportation and communications. All the company documents are to be filed in Thai language and one may require professional help. The foreign owner shareholders can have only 49% and 51% is given to the Thai shareholder.

Benefits of starting new business in Thailand:

Thailand is considered as one of the region’s most attractive foreign investment destination. Thai government offers many incentives to the foreign investors. Incentives include tax exemptions and other generous concessions, permission to own land and import duty exemptions. However, foreigners are not allowed outright ownership of land.

Foreign Business Act is the main governing body that outlines the types and categories of businesses open to foreigners. It also sets the laws and regulations and restrictions for specific sectors such as insurance business, real estate and financial institutional businesses. To run your business successfully in this country, you require knowledge about the country’s Foreign Business Act, legal system and tax laws.

Unlike most of the other countries where it takes 38 days to start up a business, it takes on an average 33 days to start the business. Manual labor and construction is very affordable here as compared to other nations. The large, adaptable and intelligent workforce increases the potential for development and success of business. This regional center for trade and manufacturing has become an attractive place for doing business.

Source by Jeff Molenda

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Diaspora Literature – A Testimony of Realism

Diaspora Literature involves an idea of a homeland, a place from where the displacement occurs and narratives of harsh journeys undertaken on account of economic compulsions. Basically Diaspora is a minority community living in exile. The Oxford English Dictionary 1989 Edition (second) traces the etymology of the word ‘Diaspora’ back to its Greek root and to its appearance in the Old Testament (Deut: 28:25) as such it references. God’s intentions for the people of Israel to be dispersed across the world. The Oxford English Dictionary here commences with the Judic History, mentioning only two types of dispersal: The “Jews living dispersed among the gentiles after the captivity” and The Jewish Christians residing outside the Palestine. The dispersal (initially) signifies the location of a fluid human autonomous space involving a complex set of negotiation and exchange between the nostalgia and desire for the Homeland and the making of a new home, adapting to the power, relationships between the minority and majority, being spokes persons for minority rights and their people back home and significantly transacting the Contact Zone – a space changed with the possibility of multiple challenges.

People migrating to another country in exile home

Living peacefully immaterially but losing home

Birth of Diaspora Literature

However, the 1993 Edition of Shorter Oxford’s definition of Diaspora can be found. While still insisting on capitalization of the first letter, ‘Diaspora’ now also refers to ‘anybody of people living outside their traditional homeland.

In the tradition of indo-Christian the fall of Satan from the heaven and humankind’s separation from the Garden of Eden, metaphorically the separation from God constitute diasporic situations. Etymologically, ‘Diaspora’ with its connotative political weight is drawn from Greek meaning to disperse and signifies a voluntary or forcible movement of the people from the homeland into new regions.” (Pp.68-69)

Under Colonialism, ‘Diaspora’ is a multifarious movement which involves-

oThe temporary of permanent movement of Europeans all over the world, leading to Colonial settlement. Consequen’s, consequently the ensuing economic exploitation of the settled areas necessitated large amount of labor that could not be fulfilled by local populace. This leads to:

oThe Diaspora resulting from the enslavement of Africans and their relocation to places like the British colonies. After slavery was out lawed the continued demand for workers created indenturement labor. This produces:

oLarge bodies of the people from poor areas of India, China and other to the West Indies, Malaya Fiji. Eastern and Southern Africa, etc. (see-

William Sarfan points out that the term Diaspora can be applied to expatriate minority communities whose members share some of the common characteristics given hereunder:

1.They or their ancestor have been dispersed from a special original ‘centre’ or two or more ‘peripheral’ of foreign regions;

2.They retain a collective memory, vision or myth about their original homeland-its physical location, history and achievements;

3.They believe they are not- and perhaps cannot be- fully accepted by their lost society and therefore feel partly alienated and insulted from it;

4.They regard their ancestral homeland as their, true, ideal home and as the place to which they or their descendents would (or should) eventually return- when conditions are appropriate;

5.They believe they should collectively, be committed to the maintenance or restoration of their homeland and its safety and prosperity; and

6.They continue to relate, personally and vicariously, to that homeland in one way or another, and their ethno- communal consciousness and solidarity are importantly defined by the existence of such a relationship ;( Safren Willam cited in Satendra Nandan: ‘Diasporic Consciousness’ Interrogative Post-Colonial: Column Theory, Text and Context, Editors: Harish Trivedi and Meenakshi Mukherjee; Indian Institute of Advanced Studies 1996, p.53)

There lies a difficulty in coming to terms with diaspora, and as such it introduces conceptual categories to display the variety of meanings the word invokes. Robin Cohen classifies Diaspora as:

1. Victim Diasporas

2. Labour Diasporas

3. Imperial Diasporas

4. Trade Diasporas

5. Homeland Diasporas

6. Cultural Diasporas

The author finds a common element in all forms of Diaspora; these are people who live outside their ‘natal (or imagined natal) territories’ (ix) and recognize that their traditional homelands are reflected deeply in the languages they speak, religion they adopt, and cultures they produce. Each of the categories of Diasporas underline a particular cause of migration usually associated with particular groups of people. So for example, the Africans through their experience of slavery have been noted to be victims of extremely aggressive transmigrational policies. (Cohen)

Though in the age of technological advancement which has made the traveling easier and the distance shorter so the term Diaspora has lost its original connotation, yet simultaneously it has also emerged in another form healthier than the former. At first, it is concerned with human beings attached to the homelands. Their sense of yearning for the homeland, a curious attachment to its traditions, religions and languages give birth to diasporic literature which is primarily concerned with the individual’s or community’s attachment to the homeland. The migrant arrives ‘unstuck from more than land’ (Rushdie). he runs from pillar to post crossing the boundries of time, memory and History carrying ‘bundles and boxes’ always with them with the vision and dreams of returning homeland as and when likes and finds fit to return. Although, it is an axiomatic truth that his dreams are futile and it wouldn’t be possible to return to the homeland is ‘metaphorical’ (Hall). the longing for the homeland is countered by the desire to belong to the new home, so the migrant remains a creature of the edge, ‘the peripheral man’ (Rushdie). According to Naipaul the Indians are well aware that their journey to Trinidad ‘had been final’ (Andse Dentseh,) but these tensions and throes remain a recurring theme in the Diasporic Literature.


1.Forced 2.Voluntary

Indian Diaspora can be classified into two kinds:

1. Forced Migration to Africa, Fiji or the Caribbean on account of slavery or indentured labour in the 18th or 19th century.

2.Voluntary Migration to U.S.A., U.K., Germany, France or other European countries for the sake of professional or academic purposes.

According to Amitava Ghose-‘the Indian Diaspora is one of the most important demographic dislocation of Modern Times'(Ghosh,) and each day is growing and assuming the form of representative of a significant force in global culture. If we take the Markand Paranjpe, we will find two distinct phases of Diaspora, these are called the visitor Diaspora and Settler Diaspora much similar to Maxwell’s ‘Invader’ and ‘Settler’ Colonialist.

The first Diaspora consisted of dispriveledged and subaltern classes forced alienation was a one way ticket to a distant diasporic settlement. As, in the days of yore, the return to Homeland was next to impossible due to lack of proper means of transportation, economic deficiency, and vast distances so the physical distance became a psychological alienation, and the homeland became the sacred icon in the diasporic imagination of the authors also.

But the second Diaspora was the result of man’s choice and inclination towards the material gains, professional and business interests. It is particularly the representation of privilege and access to contemporary advanced technology and communication. Here, no dearth of money or means is visible rather economic and life style advantages are facilitated by the multiple visas and frequent flyer utilities. Therefore, Vijay Mishra is correct when he finds V S Naipaul as the founding father of old diaspora but it is also not wrong to see Salman Rushdie as the representative of Modern (second) Diaspora V S Naipaul remarkably portrays the search for the roots in his ‘A House for Mr. Biswas:

“to have lived without even attempting to lay claim to one’s portion of the earth; to have lived and died as one has been born, unnecessary and accommodated.(Naipaul,14) similarly Mohan Biswas’s peregrination over the next 35 years, he was to be a wanderer with no place to call his own'(ibid. 40)

In the same manner, Rushdie’s Midnight Children and Shame are the novels of leave taking… from the country of his birth (India) and from that second country (Pakistan) where he tried, half-heartedly to settle and couldn’t.” (Aizaz Ahmad, 135)

Here the critique of Paranjape generates the debate of competing forms of writing: Diaspora or domiciled -those who stayed back home and importantly a competitive space for the right to construct the homeland, so he points out the possibility of harm by ‘usurping the space which native self- representations are striving to find in the International Literary Market place and that they may ‘contribute to the Colonization of the Indian psyche by pondering to Western tastes which prefer to see India in a negative light.’ The works of various authors like Kuketu Mehta, Amitava Ghosh, Tabish, Khair, Agha Shahid Ali, Sonali Bose, Salman Rushdie confirm a hybridity between diasporic and domiciled consciousness. They are National, not Nationalistic inclusive not parochial, respecting the local while being ecumenical, celebrating human values and Indian pluralism as a vital ‘worldliness’. (Ashcraft, 31-56)

The diasporian authors engage in cultural transmission that is equitably exchanged in the manner of translating a map of reality for multiple readerships. Besides, they are equipped with bundles of memories and articulate an amalgam of global and national strands that embody real and imagined experience. Suketu Mehta is advocate of idea of home is not a consumable entity. He says:

You cannot go home by eating certain foods, by replaying its films on your T.V. screens. At some point you have to live there again.”(Mehta, 13)

So his novel Maximum City is the delineation of real lives, habits, cares, customs, traditions, dreams and gloominess of Metro life on the edge, in an act of morphing Mumbai through the unmaking of Bombay. It is also true, therefore, that diasporic writing is full of feelings of alienation, loving for homeland dispersed and dejection, a double identification with original homeland and adopted country, crisis of identity, mythnic memory and the protest against discrimination is the adopted country. An Autonomous space becomes permanent which non- Diasporas fail to fill. M K Gandhi, the first one to realize the value of syncretic solutions’ hence he never asked for a pure homeland for Indians in South Socio-cultural space and so Sudhir Kumar confirms Gandhi as the first practitioner of diasporic hybridity. Gandhi considered all discriminations of high and low, small or great, Hindu or Muslim or Christian or Sikh but found them ‘All were alike the children of Mother India.’

Diasporic writings are to some extent about the business of finding new Angles to enter reality; the distance, geographical and cultural enables new structures of feeling. The hybridity is subversive. It resists cultural authoritarianism and challenges official truths.”(Ahmad Aizaz, In Theory: Classes, Nations, Literatures; OUP, 1992,p.126) one of the most relevant aspect of diasporic writing is that it forces, interrogates and challenges the authoritative voices of time (History). The Shadow Line of Amitav Ghosh has the impulse when the Indian States were complicit in the programmes after Indira Gandhi’s assassination. The author elaborates the truth in the book when he says:

“In India there is a drill associated with civil disturbances, a curfew is declared, paramilitary units are deployed; in extreme cares, the army monarchs to the stricken areas. No city in India is better equipped to perform this drill than New Delhi, with its high security apparatus.”(Amitava Ghosh, 51)

The writers of Diaspora are the global paradigm shift, since the challenges of Postmodernism to overreaching narratives of power relations to silence the voices of the dispossessed; these marginal voices have gained ascendance and even found a current status of privilege. These shifts suggest:

“That it is from those who have suffered the sentence of history-subjugation, domination, Diaspora, displacement- that we learn our most enduring lessons for living and thinking.”(Bhabha, 172)

The novels of Amitav Ghosh especially the hungry tide in which the character Kanai Dutt is cast together “with chance circumstance with a Cetologist from the US, Priya Roy studying fresh water Dalphines, The Oracaella Brebirostris. The multiple histories of the Sunderbans became alive when the diaries of Marxist school teacher Nirmal came to light. He withdraws from the romance of political activism and came to settle with his wife Nilima in Lucibari and the relation between them is exemplified in the pragmatism of Nilima:

“You live in a dream world- a haze of poetry

Such passages of the novel points towards the metaphorical distinctions between the centre and margins, made narrative and little histories the well knows gods and the gods of small things. In the novels of Ghosh an assault of unarmed settlers Morich Jhapi, in order to evict them forcively is carried out by gangsters hired by states. They had been “assembling around the island… they burnt the settlers, hearts, they sank their boats, they lay waste their fields.”(ibid)

Similarly there are a number of novels by South Asian and British Writers on the theme of partition a blatant reality in the global history. Partition was the most traumatic experience of division of hearts and communities. Similarly, Ice Candy Man comprises 32 chapters and provides a peep into the cataclysmic events in turmoil on the sub continent during partition, the spread of communal riots between the Hindu and Sikhs on the one side and the Muslim on the other. The Muslims were attached at a village Pirpindo and the Hindus were massacred at Lahore. It was partition only that became the cause of the biggest bloodshed and brutal holocaust in annals of mankind. Lenny on eight years child narrates the chain of events on the basis of her memory. How she learns from her elders and how she beholds the picture of divided India by her own eyes in the warp and woof of the novel. There is a fine blend of longing and belonging of multiplicity of perspectives and pointed nostalgia of mirth and sadness and of Sufism and Bhakti is epitomized in the work of Aga Shahid Ali. Similarly the novels of Rahi Masoom Raja (in Hindi) narrate woeful tale of partition, the foul play of politicians, the devastated form of the nation and its people after partition and longing for the home that has been:

“Jinse hum choot gaye Aab vo jahan kaise hai

Shakh-e-gulkaise hai, khushbu ke mahak kaise hai

Ay saba too to udhar hi se gujarti hai

Pattaron vale vo insane, vo behis dar-o-bam

Vo makee kaise hai, sheeshe ke makan kaise hai.

(Sheeshe Ke Maka Vale ,173)

(“To which we hav’een left adrift how are those worlds

How the branch of flower is, how the mansion of fragrance is.

O,wind! You do pass from there

How are my foot-prints in that lane

Those stony people, those tedious houses

How are those residents and how are those glass houses.)

Most of the major novels of South Asia are replete with the diasporic consciousness which is nothing but the witness of the all the happenings of social realities, longings and feeling of belonging. Train To Pakistan, The Dark Dancer, Azadi, Ice Candy Man, A Bend In The Ganges, Twice Born, Midnight’s Children, Sunlight on A Broken Column, Twice Dead, The Rope and Ashes and Petals all these novels abound in the same tragic tale of woe and strife from different angles. Most of the fictions of South Asian Countries are written in the background of post- colonial times and the same South Asian countries were under the colonial rules of the English. After a long battle of independence when those countries were liberated, other bolt from the blue of partition happened. This theme became whys and wherefores of the most of South Asian novels and the popularity of it will prognosticate its golden future.


1.(Cohen Robin, Global Diasporas- An Introduction. London: UC L Press, 1997)

2.Rushdie: Picador, Rupa, 1983.

3.Safren Willam cited in Satendra Nandan: ‘Diasporic Consciousness’ Interrogative Post-Colonial: Column Theory, Text and Context, Editors: Harish Trivedi and Meenakshi Mukherjee; Indian Institute of Advanced Studies 1996, p.53)

4.Stuart Hall, ‘Cultural Identity and Diaspora in Patric White and Laura Christmas, eds, Colonial Discourses and Post-Colonial Theory: A Reader, New York: Columbia University Press, 1994,p.401)

5.(Rushdie: Shame Picader, Rupa, 1983, p.283).

6.(An Area of Darkness London: Andse Dentseh, 1964,p. 31)

7.(Ghosh, Amitava : ‘The Diaspora in Indian Culture’ in The Imam and The Indian Ravi Dayal and Permanent Books, Delhi : 2002,p.243)

8.(Naipaul, V S, A House for Mr. Biswas Penguin, 1969,p.14)

9.Aizaz Ahmad ‘In Theory: Classes Nations, Literatures, O.U.P.1992, and p.135)

10.(Ashcraft. Bill. And Pal Ahluwalia, Edward Said: The Paradox of Identity Routledge,London & New York 1999,p.31-56 )

11.(Mehta, Suketu, Maximum City Viking, Penguin, 2004, p. 13)

12.(Amitava Ghosh, The Ghost of Mrs. Gandhi in The Imam and The Indian , Ravi Dayal, New Delhi, 2002,p.51

13.(Bhabha, Homi, The Location of Culture, Lodon, 1994,)

14.(Ghosh, Amitav,The Hungry Tide Delhi:Ravi Dayal Pub.2004)

15.Dr. Rahi Masoom Raza, Sheeshe Ke Maka Vale. ed. Kunvar Pal Singh, Delhi: Vani Pub.2001,)

Source by Shaleen Singh

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Five Tips on Completing I-9 Forms and E-Verify When Hiring Minors or Handicapped Persons

When completing the Form I-9 or E-Verify, one of the most misunderstood special circumstances employers run into is what to do for employees who are handicapped or under the age of 18. To help you ensure I-9 compliance and problem-free E-Verify, here are five best practices to follow when processing employees who either:

1. lack certain identity documents because they are disabled or too young, or

2. require the assistance of a preparer, parent or guardian to complete the form.

Keep the following scenarios in mind when completing I-9 forms for these types of hires. Also be aware that there are exceptions to some of these rules if the employee will be subject to E-Verify.

1. Lack of an Identity Document. The US government has acknowledged that persons under 18 years of age may have difficulty in producing a List B document that establishes identity, since many such persons are ineligible for a driver’s license, and state-issued ID cards are restricted by many states to persons who are 18 or older. As such, there are unique exceptions as to what documents an employer can accept from a minor for completing Section 2 of the Form I-9. Specifically, in lieu of one of the customary documents on List B, employees under the age of 18 are allowed to present one of the following special documents:

• School record or report card

• Clinic, doctor or hospital record

• Day-care or nursery school record

E-Verify Implications: Per the E-Verify Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), E-Verify employers may only accept a List B document that bears a photograph. This mandate supersedes the exceptions above. Therefore, when a minor is unable to produce a standard List B Document an E-Verify employer can only accept a one of the three exception documents if it has a photograph.

2. Parent or guardian attestation. Alternatively, in lieu of presenting any document for List B, or a document that evidences both identity and employment eligibility under List A, the employee under 18 years of age can have his or her parent or guardian complete Section 1 of the Form I-9, vouching for the employee’s identity. In this case, the employee must still produce a document evidencing employment eligibility under List C, such as a SSN card or on original or certified copy of a Birth Certificate. In these cases, complete the I-9 as follows:

• A parent or legal guardian must complete Section 1 and write “Individual under age 18” in the space for the employee’s signature;

• The parent or legal guardian must complete the “Preparer/Translator Certification” block;

• Write “Individual under age 18” in Section 2, under List B; and

• The minor must present a List C document showing his or her employment authorization. You should record the required information in the appropriate space in Section 2.

E-Verify Implications: E-Verify employers may not accept “Individual under age 18” as a List B substitute since it does not meet the E-Verify photo requirement.

3. Placement by a nonprofit organization. Similarly, if a person with a disability, who is placed in a job by a nonprofit organization, association, or as part of a rehabilitation program, cannot present a List A document or an identity document from List B, complete Form I-9 as follows:

• A representative of the nonprofit organization, a parent or guardian must complete Section 1 and write “Special Placement” in the space for the employee’s signature.

• The representative, parent or legal guardian must complete the “Preparer/Translator Certification” block;

• Write “Special Placement” in Section 2, under List B; and,

• The employee with a disability must present a List C document showing his or her employment authorization. Record the required information in the space in Section 2.

E-Verify Implications: E-Verify employers may not accept “Special Placement” as a List B substitute since it does not meet the E-Verify photo requirement.

4. Sensory, physical or language barriers. If the employee does not fall under scenario 2 or 3, but is unable to complete the Form I-9 due to a sight impairment or other physical limitation-or even a language barrier-Section 1 of the form can be completed by a preparer/translator, and signed by the employee with the preparer’s assistance. Under these circumstances, the preparer’s attestation does not substitutes for a List B document because the employee is not minor or receiving special placement assistance.

5. Applicable laws restricting employment. Finally, federal and many state laws restrict the ages, hours and occupations in which minors may be employed. Accordingly, consider consulting with an experienced attorney familiar with the Federal and State labor laws to determine what restrictions apply to your area or industry.

These five special cases explain the best practices you should follow any time you are onboarding an employee who falls into these special circumstances.

Source by Brian Fancher

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Blueberry Harvesting Methods: By Hand, Shaking and Catching and Machine Picking

1.) Picking by hand

Blueberry picking is an enjoyable way to harvest blueberries. Look for good ripe blueberries. A good blueberries skin should not be cracked and it should be firm blue and round, blue. They won’t get any sweeter after picking. To pick blueberries cup your hand under the bunch of blueberries and simply attempt to roll them off the branch into your hand using your thumb. Then put the blueberries in your bucket. If it doesn’t come off easily, it’s probably not ripe yet so just move on. Several blueberries at a time using this procedure and most of the berries that are not ready will stay on the stem. About 40 to 50 percent of blueberries grown commercially are hand-picked.

Blueberry picking tool:

Using a blueberry rake can make picking go much faster. A blueberry rake is a flat toothed instrument used to pull the berries from the plant without damaging the plant. Using a Hubbard rake is much faster than doing the same thing by hand. These are manufactured by the Hubbard Rake Co. in Jonesport, Maine 04649.

Hand harvesting blueberries has been estimated to require up to 550 worker-hours per acre and in 2011 costs around $1.00 per pound. Labor costs are projected to rise while blueberry prices are expected to drop. As the blueberry industry expands nationally finding enough hand picking laborers during the peak harvest season may become a problem.

2.) U-Pick

U-pick is done by hand by customers who come to the farm for that purpose. They carry their blueberries in a bucket or other container. Some time a rope is put on the bucket so it can hang over their shoulder or around a person’s neck. An excellent container can easily be made by using a 1 gallon plastic milk bottle and cutting off the upper part of the front side and top, making sure the handle part is left on. From a farmers perspective u-picking may be the most profitable alternative. However you must carry significant liability insurance in case of an unforeseen accident.

3.) Shaking and Catching (blueberry fruit catch frame)

There are blueberry fruit catch frames that are made to roll under the blueberry bushes to collect the blueberries when the branches are shaken. The branches or stems can be gently tapped with a rubber hand-held hose to shake off the ripe blueberries. You can also use an electric or air driven mechanical vibrator to shake the branches. If you get too many green blueberries shaken off it means you’re tapping too hard! Using such a simple, hand-operated, wheeled rolling catch frame you can harvest a heavily loaded large bearing plant in just a short time. When you want to empty the frame the frame that is now full of blueberries it is tilted on its wheels back so that ripe fruit rolls to a rear flap which is opened so that the berries fall right into the container. The blueberries can then gently run over an inclined blower and belt to remove any trash.

You can solve the hot weather picking blues of long hours in the field picking blueberries using this method. You can then offer your U-Pick customers fresh-picked blueberries at retail prices! These blueberry fruit catch frames were the predecessors of today’s mechanical harvesting systems. They were widely used in the 1950s and often used hand-held vibrators power-driven using batteries or compressed air to take off fruit. As discussed above the fruit was caught in a canvas-covered catching structure positioned under the plant. Such a simple system is incredibly efficient reducing the harvest cost by 55% and reducing harvest time by more than 200%. Blueberry fruit catch frames are now hard to find because manufactures now make mechanical harvesting systems and have discontinued making the catch frames.

If you cannot find a commercially available catch frame you can build your own by using a photo image of such a catch frame as shown on of blueberry croft’s blueberry blog.

4.) Machine harvesting of blueberries

Harvesting blueberries using a machine is not a panacea. If the slope of the ground exceeds 10 percent it is difficult to harvest with a machine. Damage to the blueberries is greater than hand picking. In general, the expense of a self-propelled harvesting machine cannot be justified unless the blueberry producing acreage exceeds 10 acres.

Several factors have generated increased interest in using a machine to harvest of blueberries in recent years, as mechanical harvesting technology has improved, and new labor regulations have come about and cost have increased. Not all fields are suitable for use of mechanical harvesters. Generally at least 10 or wide rows are required and 25-foot turnaround places at the end of rows are needed for the movement of motorized harvesters. Blueberries for the fresh market have a short shelf-life when they are machine harvested. Therefore blueberries harvested by machine needs to be sold quickly. The shelf life is typical shorter than hand-picked blueberries.

Perhaps the most severe drawback to using mechanical harvesters is this process can cause the damage to the blueberries. Blueberries can be simply bruised by impact resulting from a vertical fall during any step in the process of mechanical harvesting. If the height of a drop onto a hard surface exceeds 6 inches extensive bruising can occur to ripe blueberries. The amount of damage is related to the distance the blueberries fall. Bruised blueberries are also subject to sustaining more decay during storage after harvest.

Today harvesting by machine is about 10 times faster than a typical person using a hand rake swiping it through the shrubs over and over all day. About 10 years ago 20 percent blueberries were harvested using mechanical equipment. Today about 80 percent of growers with large fields of blueberries use machinery to replace hand pickers because it’s cheaper.

Source by Harold Stewart

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What Is a TENS Unit? The Facts Behind Electrotherapy Treatments

What Is a TENS Unit and How Does It Work?

TENS units are quickly becoming one of the most popular new methods of relieving a variety of different kinds of pain. Although the term is heard more often nowdays, many people are still unaware of this new technology and therefore beg the question, "What is a TENS unit, exactly?"

TENS is actually an acronym for "Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation." The name may sound long and complicated, but the technology behind it is actually quite straightforward. Essentially, a TENS unit is a portable machine hooked up to electrodes, which are placed on the skin with sticky patches. When the unit is switched on, it emits an electrical current that travels through the electrodes and into the body, gently stimulating the nerves beneath the skin.

When the nerve fibers are stimulated through the low frequency electrical pulses, a very interesting thing happens. The pain signals are essentially "blocked" before they can reach the brain, and therefore, the brain is "confused" into feeling the soft tingling sensation of the TENS therapy, instead of pain in that area of ​​the body. Therefore, TENS machines are used primarily as pain "spot treatments," and can help to target and reduce pain in an area like the knee, shoulder, wrist, or lower back. Not only do TENS machines "scramble" the pain messages from reaching the brain, they also provide a soothing massage, draw blood flow to the area to promote healing, and help the body to release endorphins.

What Is a TENS Unit Usually Used For?

Usually, TENS therapy is most effective for internal pain that is concentrated in a specific area of ​​the body. This form of electrotherapy tend to target pain areas including:

  • Stiff joints (knees, hips, ankles, wrists, etc.)
  • Post-surgical pain
  • Sore muscles, including after a hard workout
  • Labor pain in pregnant women

TENS machines are not meant to treat pain such as: skin abrasions, rash, sunburn, cuts, bruises, sore throat, headache, etc. However, when used as directed for the correct types of pain, they can provide incredible relief, allowing people who are normally physically inhibited by pain to move around freely and comfortably through the day.

Unlike many prescription pain drugs (most of which are narcotics), TENS units are non-addictive, completely safe, and do not use chemicals of any kind in the body. This makes them ideal for people who have difficulty stomaching prescription medications, or who simply wish to avoid taking any drugs altogether. They are also a great solution for people who need pain relief throughout the day, since they can be worn discretely underneath clothing if desired, and left on for hours at a time.

Side effects associated with using TENS units are scarce. It is possible that some people could experience a bit of skin irritation from the glue of the adhesive pads, but this is very rare. In the event of light muscle soreness from overuse, it's advised to simply adjust the setting to a lower frequency level, or relocate the electrodes to a different part of the body for a day or two. Using the machines as instructed and following all steps properly usually advances both overuse and soreness of any kind.

What Are the Additional Benefits of TENS Therapy ?:

Not only do TENS machines work to intercept the body's pain signals, they also provide a few additional benefits that can help to increase comfort and mobility:

  • Firstly, the sensation felt when using them is similar to that of a massage. Many people find this aspect of TENS therapy to be extremely relaxing and comforting.
  • Treatment increases blood flow to the affected area, which can help to promote healing through proper circulation of blood cells.
  • During TENS therapy, the body releases endorphins, which are natural chemicals found in the body that actually increase the overall feeling of well-being and happiness. The same endorphins are released, for example, when eating certain foods like chocolate, or after performing a satisfying workout.
  • Lastly, TENS machines can also help to improve muscle tone through the stimulation of the muscle fibers in the targeted area, such as the abdominal region. Some TENS units have a specific setting that is intended to be used as a muscle-toning "workout." It is not meant as a way to lose weight, but it can help to increase muscle definition to a degree.

Are TENS Units Safe for Everyone to Use?

Although there are not usually any serious side effects associated with the use of TENS units, it's important to use them as instructed in order to have the maximum benefit. People who use pacemakers, pregnant women who are not yet in labor, and young infants should not use TENS units, unless directed to do so by a doctor or certified medical professional.

Source by Elaine Bradston

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Stopping Employee Theft in Your Coffee Business

Regardless to how good of an employer you are, and even if you treat your employees well, understand that employee theft is a reality, and you need to control it. While it may only be a very small percentage of your staff that might steal from you, it can have a significant financial impact on your coffee business. If it goes unnoticed, employees will usually become even more brazen in their activities.

When it comes to theft, your employees are likely to fall into one of the following four categories:

Mr./Ms. honest – these are people who would never think of taking anything if it doesn’t belong to them. If they happen to go home with one of your ballpoint pens, they’ll bring it back the next day, and feel guilty that they took it home, even though it was unintentional.

Incidental theft – these are people that will take home your pen by accident, and will keep it. And, they may scarf a piece of cheesecake occasionally when you aren’t looking, even though they know they shouldn’t. Because these items have minimal value, they have no great sense of guilt related to their activities.

Theft because of need and opportunity – this is when you have an employee who is perhaps living on the edge financially, and because they have the need, and because your security may be lax, they’ll take advantage of an opportune situation to take something.

Compulsive theft – this is the person who is always looking for something to steal, and they have absolutely no conscience about it. They typically rationalize the theft in their own mind. They consider you to be the rich, fat cat, and feel that they are over worked and under paid, so stealing from you is justified.

Employee theft probably exists to some extent within your operation, whether you are aware of it or not. You can most likely live with incidental theft, provided it doesn’t get out of control. Theft related to need and opportunity is, in reality, your fault. These people would probably not steal from you normally, but a lack of security procedures has created the temptation and means for them to do so. Compulsive theft must be discovered, stopped, and you must eliminate the person(s) responsible.

Losing product due to theft:

Your employees may have no desire or need for a sleeve of 12oz. paper cups, Java Jackets, or a roll of toilet paper… but they might like a frozen cake, gallon of chocolate sauce, 6-pack of beer, or a bottle of wine.

There are some simple things you can do to greatly reduce the chance of being ripped-off. First, don’t allow your employees to store their jackets, backpacks, and purses near where you store products. This makes it incredibly simple for someone to slide something into their bag or jacket pocket when no one is watching. I always had my employees store their personal belongings in the cabinet under the cash register (where someone would always be watching), or in my office, under lock & and key.

Second, keep the back door of your store locked with a key at all times (you or your supervisor being the only ones having a key). If customers regularly enter through your back door, this may not be an option. If your back door is an emergency fire exit (and it probably is), you’ll need to install an alarmed breaker-bar. The whole point is that you don’t want your employees to be able to flow in and out of the back door without you knowing about it. Carrying product out the back door to their car, a hiding place for later pick-up, or an awaiting friend, is one of the most common ways products will exit your store.

Once you have made it more difficult to stash things in their personal belongings, or carry them out the back door, employees may resort to hiding items in the trashcan. Of course you will unlock the back door to let them take out the trash. If they have hidden something in the trashcan, a dumpster-diving expedition will certainly be planned for after-hours to recover their treasure.

Periodic trashcan checks should eliminate this problem, or make it a far less appealing option to anyone considering this method to smuggle things out of your store. Buy a long handle 3-prong garden rake. When employees ask to take out the trash, accompany them, and have them hold the can up on the edge of the dumpster while you rake out the trashcan contents. What you are looking for are things that might have been hidden in the trash, but you can tell your employees that you are merely making sure that small wares aren’t being accidentally thrown away. During the 15-years I owned and managed restaurants, I discovered everything from six-packs of beer, bottles of wine, and packages of steaks hidden in the trash!

Another situation that will create an ideal opportunity for employees to steal from you is having only one person working in your store. If your baker comes in each morning a hour before you or the next employee, or if one person is left to clean and lock-up the place at the end of the day, opportunities for theft abound. As the old saying goes: when the cat’s away…

Always try to have at least two people in your store at all times. If there is not justification for having a second employee on the clock, then you will need to be that second person. If this requires you going from a 60-hour workweek to 80-hours, then this may not be a tolerable option. If this is the case, then at least invest a couple of hours more each day for a week or two to do some detective work.

During those times of day when only one employee is working, park at the far end of the parking lot, or across the street, so that you will reduce the chance of being noticed by your employee. If they are familiar with your vehicle, use your spouse’s or friend’s vehicle for a few days. Watch carefully (with binoculars if necessary). I know this all sounds a little CSI – like, but better to rest-easy, feeling fairly assured that your employee isn’t carrying away your store when you’re not watching. If I had the time, I could tell you countless stories of my experiences in catching employees red handed, loading the trunks of their cars.

If you suspect that theft of product might be occurring, but you’ve seen no direct evidence of it, then conducting a daily key item inventory may shed some light on the situation. Write down a list of 15 to 20 products that you think would be most appealing for someone to steal. In your coffee business, this might include items such as coffee, syrups and sauces, smoothie puree, biscotti, cookies, and desserts, sandwich meats & cheeses, and of course beer & wine (if you serve those from your operation). Then take an inventory of these items every day. Your employees don’t need to know what you are doing, and if they ask, simply tell them you are taking an inventory for ordering purposes.

What you are looking for are anomalies in usage. For example, let’s say that from your daily inventories you assess that you use about half a gallon of chocolate sauce per day. Then, one day you notice you used 1 1/2 gallons of chocolate the previous day. This should send up a red flag! Why did you go through an extra gallon of chocolate? Were you significantly busier yesterday, or did you featuring several drink specials which contained chocolate sauce? A quick review of individual item sales from yesterday’s cash register report should provide you with the answer. If you average one ounce of chocolate per beverage, then using 1 1/2 gallons means you should have sold approximately 192 beverages containing chocolate (128 oz. per gal. x 1.5 = 192). If this was the case, no problem. But, if you discover that you only sold 64 beverages containing chocolate, then 128 oz. (or 1 gallon) is unaccounted for and missing! A good indication that it probably walked out the door. If this happens, keep track of who was working on the day of the shortage. If this happens continually, eventually you will discover that the same person or persons were working every time.

Theft of money by employees:

Hopefully, none of your employees will have the desire to steal products from you, but some will be tempted by the lure of cold, hard, cash. Everyone could use an extra $20 a day. Employees who steal money from you will definitely hurt your bottom line, and must be eliminated.

The first way to reduce cash theft is to have a cash handling policy in place that will discourage theft. If multiple employees are using the cash register, and no one person is responsible, then I can almost guarantee that your cash drawer will keep coming up short on a regular basis. The fact that no one person can be held responsible for the shortages, will make grabbing a bill or two easy and appealing.

Implement a policy that one, and only one person is responsible for the cash register for the entire shift. They should count the drawer at the beginning of their shift to verify that they are starting with the designated change bank. Then, they should be the only person to ring up sales and make change. Even you, the owner/manger, should keep your hands out of their cash drawer. Finally, at the end of their shift, they should set aside the amount they started with in the change drawer, and total all the remaining cash, checks, and charges, and balance against what was rung up on the register. If they started with the right amount of money in the cash drawer, rang everything up, took all the money, counted back all the change, and they end up short… who’s fault is it? It can only be theirs. By implementing this simple policy, I once took an operation that was coming up $100 a day ($3,000 a month) cash short, and reduced it to $3 a day, in just 30 days! That’s over a $2,900 bottom line improvement, (in case you didn’t do the math)!

The other common method that a cashier might use to steal money from you is by using a method called, building a bank. This is the process of not ringing up items on the cash register, while still taking money from the customers, and then pocketing that money. Typically, they will obscure the view of the cash register display on the customer’s side with something like a flower, retail merchandise, or by turning the display so that it cannot be easily seen. Then, they will pretend to ring up an item, but will hit the no sale key instead, popping the drawer open so they can take the cash and make change, but in reality, they haven’t rung up anything. The other thing they might do when it is busy is to just not shut the drawer between transactions. They simply convey verbally the cost of items ordered by customers and take the cash, but once again, nothing has been rung up.

A cash register that prints out the order on a remote receipt printer to the person who will be preparing the item, can eliminate this problem. Quite simply, if the item isn’t rung-up, it won’t print out. If your barista or cook won’t prepare anything without a receipt (and they shouldn’t!), it will force your cashier to ring everything up.

If you observe that the cash register’s display has been blocked from the customer’s view, or there are an excessive number of no sale indications on your cash register’s detail tape, or notice that your cashier is not shutting the drawer between transactions, beware! While these may not be indisputable proof that your cashier is stealing from you, they should certainly heighten your vigilance to find out if something is going on.

If your coffee business only warrants having one employee working at a time, perhaps because you own a cart, kiosk, or low volume drive-through operation, then how do you go about keeping your employee from building a bank and stealing from you? The best solution I’ve seen is to turn your customers in to watchdogs. Affix a sign to the front of your cash register, in plain sight of the customer, that reads: If you don’t receive a receipt with your order, it’s FREE! This will force your cashier to hand each customer a receipt for their purchase. If they are building a bank, this means they will have to hand the customer a receipt that says – NO SALE; something they probably won’t fell comfortable doing!

The financial impact of theft of money can be extremely damaging, for example: Let’s say you have a cashier who is skimming off $20 a day by not ringing things up, and then pocketing the money. Not only did you loose the stolen $20, but the $7 of ingredients that were probably used to produce the ordered products; ($20 x 35% ingredient cost = $7.00). So in reality, you lost $27, and it will take an additional $41.54 in sales, to recover this loss; ($41.54 x 65% gross profit = $27). $27 a day lost to theft, X 21 days worked by the employee = $567 lost cash & product per month; $872 extra sales required to offset this loss. (Annual loss, $6,804; $10,468 in additional income required to offset loss.) You must stop theft of money!

Theft of money management:

If you have a manger running your operation for you, this can really create an opportunity for cash theft. Just about anyone who has ever run a food service operation (self included), probably felt that they were over-worked and under-paid. Some are tempted to grant themselves an unapproved raise. Your manger has the control key to the cash register, which means they have the ability to back off items that were sold. You would be wise to check your cash register detail tapes on a regular basis. If you see multiple items backed off in groups, or more worrisome yet, all backed off at the very end of the shift, beware!

A good way to keep this from happening is to establish a policy that no over-rings are to be backed off of sales on the cash register with the management control key. Instead, when the cashier makes an over-ring, they should take the receipt, write over-ring on it, sign it, and put it in the cash drawer. At the end of the shift, the total of all over-rings should be manually backed off of the sales total indicated on the cash register report.

Many years ago I had a manager that was stealing money from me in another creative way. This manager, who opened the store each day, would reset the cash register by Z-ing it out after the first half hour of business. He would then pocket the proceeds earned during that first half hour. Because additional sales were generated during the second half hour, the cash register hourly sales report would always show sales for the first hour of operation, thus eliminating any suspicion that something might be going on.

It wasn’t until I was doing a routine audit of cash register Z tapes that I noticed something wasn’t right. When you run a Z report, which resets the cash register at the end of each day, a multi-digit number will usually be printed somewhere on that tape. The next time you Z the register, that number will advance by one digit. I noticed that even though the tapes were sequential in date, every other number was missing. This tipped me off that the register was being Z-ed twice a day! When I confronted my manager with the tapes, his look of panic spoke volumes.

If you are doubting the honesty of any of your employees or managers, one way you can verify or eliminate your suspicion is by baiting the cash drawer. Slip an extra $20 bill in the drawer sometime during the day when they aren’t watching. If they don’t end up reporting at the end of their shift that they were $20 cash-over, I’ll do it a second time (just to make sure). If they don’t report it a second time, you should have no doubts that they are indeed, dishonest.

NEVER accuse an employee or manger of stealing unless you catch them red-handed (actually stuffing money into their pockets). Even though the circumstantial evidence may be overwhelming, unless you actually catch them in the act, they are likely to deny your accusations, and will probably file a complaint against you with the department of labor! The brief moment of satisfaction you will gain from letting them know you are aware of what they’ve been doing, will be quickly overwhelmed by the legal predicament you will find yourself in. You will be far better off to not make accusations. Simply terminate their employment. In many states, you do not need to provide a reason as to why you are letting them go. When they ask for an explanation as to why you are firing them, simply say: I don’t need to give you a reason, I’m just letting you go, goodbye!

Finally, don’t over look technology to help you with security. Surveillance cameras linked to a DVR (digital video recorder) can provide you with peace of mind, or evidence of theft. These systems have become very affordable, and many are easy to install. The value of these cameras go beyond having a video record of operations. The mere fact that employees understand that their activities are being video recorded, will usually discourage them from doing things that they might not think twice about, if no one was watching.

I think it’s important to not be paranoid about employee theft. Certainly, you don’t want to be constantly obsessed with the suspicion that everyone is stealing from you. In reality, the majority of your employees are probably honest people. But, you would be wise to establish some simple safeguards, and maintain a watchful eye.

Source by Ed Arvidson

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Par Level Vs Kanban Methods – Which One For Hospital Material Management?

We have uncovered an opportunity that could mean millions of dollars in savings to individual hospitals, and billions of dollars to the healthcare system nationally in the US and abroad. It has to do with how most hospitals manage supplies, medications and other materials.

Many, maybe most, hospitals manage their inventory of supplies and medications using what is called a “par-level” method. It works like this: a stocking quantity is established for each item, the par level, based on average usage and a target number of days supply. We might, for example, set a goal of maintaining a two-day quantity of material for each supply item. As the material is actually used, we would bring the quantities “up to par” daily, by conducting a physical inventory and restocking the quantity that was consumed. The goal, sensibly, is to not run out of supplies while maintaining a tight control of storage space and inventory quantities. So far so good.

It is interesting to note that this par method of inventory control is not used in a world-class manufacturing environment, although a manufacturer certainly has the same needs and goals for inventory control as a hospital. The suggestion that we do a daily physical inventory for a large number of inventory items would be greeted with astonishment and ridicule. Many world-class manufacturing companies do not even conduct an annual inventory, by sustaining a high level of inventory accuracy through tight controls and cycle counting.

The method of choice in manufacturing for commonly used items is called Kanban. In a Kanban system, as with the par level method, we set a target quantity that we want to maintain. The principal difference is that instead of attempting to bring quantities “up to par” daily, in a Kanban system we set a fixed quantity that we will use to trigger the replenishment of inventory. In a “two-bin” kanban system, for example, we set up two quantities or bins of the same supply, and only refill a bin when it is empty. While the bin is being refilled, we have a second bin to cover usage during the replenishment cycle.

The Kanban method has seven main advantages over a Par-level system:

1. No daily counting is needed. We wait for a bin to be emptied and always replenish the same quantity. Not having to count can save hundreds or thousands of hours per year in most hospitals.

2. It reduces the number of resupply trips. Since we do not refill a Kanban bin daily, but instead wait for it to be empty, the number of replenishment trips can be reduced significantly. The number of replenishment cycles can be cut by 50% or more.

3. Replenishment quantities are fixed. The refilling process is greatly simplified by eliminating the need for counting required by the par system. If we know ahead of time what the refill quantity will be, the item can be stocked in that quantity.

4. It is easier to manage and improve. By tracking the time between replenishment, the stocking quantities can more easily be refined and adjusted over time. This continuous improvement is more difficult to accomplish if all quantities are refilled daily, in varying quantities.

5. Kanban reduces inventory. Experience proves that, with the same target coverage of supplies, a Kanban system will run with up to 50% less inventory than a par system.

6. It is easier to maintain replenishment discipline. Since they do not have to count all inventory locations, or eye-ball the empty bins, supplies handlers find it easier to identify and refill the empty bins, thereby substantially reducing the opportunities for shortages.

7. Kanban promotes good inventory management practices, while the par level does not. In fact, counting everything is essentially impossible and very labor intensive, and most par-level users simply “eye-ball” the bins without counting. Organization and housekeeping, “5S” in lean terms, is much easier to maintain.

For all of these reasons, Kanban is the method of choice for hospital material management, for much of the material that is procured and managed. The gains in productivity, reduced shortages and reduced inventory represent a multi-billion dollar opportunity for the industry.

Source by Richard Rahn

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The Pros and Cons of Becoming a Paramedic

Choosing to become a paramedic is a great decision. As a paramedic, you play a critical part in helping to save lives during an emergency situation. However, the job of an advanced emergency medical technician is not all sunshine and roses. As with any job, there are pros and cons to entering this emergency medical services field. Below, you will find some common pros and cons associated with becoming a paramedic.

To get things started, here are some of the pros to being a paramedic.

Helping Others: This by far can be considered the number one pro to becoming a paramedic. You are directly involved with helping someone else. Often times, you are helping to save the life of someone you don’t even know. It’s an amazing feeling to know that you’re making a difference to a person who is potentially having the worst day of their life.

Good Pay and Job Outlook: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment as an EMT and paramedic is expected to grow by about 33 percent between now and the year 2020. This is much faster than other occupations. Paramedics earn more money than basic EMTs. Your salary is commensurate with the level of education and experience you have. As you gain more in both knowledge and training, you can expect your pay to also increase.

Easy of Entry: In order to become a paramedic, it is not required that you go to college. In most cases, you simply need to be at least 18 years of age and possess a high school diploma. After that, you have a number of options as to how you obtain your formal training in order to become eligible to sit for and pass the state administered paramedic exam.

Now, let’s look at some of the cons of deciding to pursue a career as a paramedic.

Lack of Sleep: As a paramedic, you may be required to work long hours. As a result, you may end up working a shift where you are on the clock for 24 hours, and then off for 48 hours. Chances are, you’re going to end up needing to be awake for those full 24 hours too because you might not always get the opportunity to sleep through the night.

Not So Nice Patients: Let’s face it, as a paramedic you are more than likely going to come into contact with people who are not having the greatest day. Patients and their family members, as a result of being involved in an emergency situation, might speak to you in language that is offensive and/or rude. In extreme situations, you may even be the target of someone’s attempt to assault you, all because of the stress that an emergency situation can cause.

Risk for Work Related Injuries and Illnesses: As a result of all of the bending, lifting, and kneeling that you’ll be frequently doing, you are at risk for suffering from a work-related injury and/or illness. You may be spit on or come into contact with a patient’s vomit. As an advanced EMT, you might come into contact with persons who are infected with diseases like hepatitis-B or AIDS.

Source by Lawrence Thompson

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Mobsters, Gangs – Johnny "Dio" Dioguardi

If there was a way to make an illegal buck, Johnny” Dio” Dioguardi, called by Bobby Kennedy the “master labor racketeer,” had his sticky fingers in the pot. Dio was such a treacherous thug at a young age, in 1936, U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Dewey claimed Dio was, “A young gorilla who began his career at the age of 15.”

Johnny Dio was born Giovanni (John) Ignazio Dioguardi on April 28, 1914, on Forsyth Street in downtown Manhattan. Dio had three brothers: Frank and Vincent, who were legitimate guys, and Tommaso, or Thomas, who became, as did Johnny Dio, a capo in the Luchesse crime family. Dio also had an unnamed sister who can be identified only as “Mrs. Dioguardi-Priziola.”

Dio’s father Giovanni B. Dioguardi, who owned a bicycle shop, was murdered in August 1930 on a street in Coney Island, in what police called a “mob-related execution.” It seemed that the elder Dioguardi and another enterprising gentleman had robbed a rich lady of her jewelry, and the two men had were arguing over how to split the proceeds. The elder Dioguardi, who had been arrested twice for murder but never convicted, took six shots to various parts of his body, and it is presumed the other gentleman kept all the jewelry.

Johnny Dio graduated grammar school, but after less than two years at Stuyvesant High School, Dio dropped out and went to work for his uncle on his mother side: gangster James “Jimmy Doyle” Plumeri. By this time, the handsome Dio (who was said to have looked like silent movie star Rudolph Valentino) had already gotten a reputation on the Lower East Side as a tough youth, who terrorized street vendors into giving him a good portion of their wares for free. Uncle Jimmy Doyle (nobody called him by his real name Plumeri), recognizing Dio’s talents for thuggery, immediately put Dio to work as a schlammer (leg-breaker) in the Garment Center for Doyle’s Jewish associates Louie “Lepke” Buchalter and Lepke’s partner Jacob “Gurrah” Shapiro, who were affectionately known as “The Gorilla Boys.” Lepke, along with Albert “The Lord High Executioner” Anastasia, was the head of Murder Incorporated, a group of stone killers who murdered whomever the mob bosses in New York City and around the country said needed to be murdered. However, there is no proof that Dio ever joined that august group. Dio’s specialty was union-related extortion, and in that, he was tops in his field.

Dio and Doyle started a garment workers trucking association, whereby the truckers working in the Garment Center were forced to join the trucker’s union, headed, of course, by Dio and Doyle. If a poor sap trucker decided he didn’t want to join the union, a trip to the hospital was inevitable, if not a trip to the morgue. The union dues was hefty, but at whatever price they were forced to pay, it was a small price indeed to ensure the trucker’s continued good health. Of course, the “union dues” never made it into the union’s coffers (it went straight into Dio’s and Doyle’s pockets instead), and phony books were established to satisfy whomever decided to enquire about the trucker’s union’s financial solvency.

Members of the trucker’s union were even told where to spend their money and how much to spend on specific items. Dio and Doyle were pals with a local barber, and they ordered their truckers to patronized this special barber to the nifty tune of $2.50 a month. The truckers were also told where to buy their wine, where to buy their meats, and where to buy their clothing, and how much to spend on each item, which was certainly not at bargain prices.

For several years in the 1930s, Dio and Doyle, with nobody to stop them, had a sweet deal going for themselves in the Garment Center. Besides extorting the truckers, the dynamic duo of Dio and Doyle profited from the other end of the totem pole too. They forced the Garment Center’s clothing manufacturers (bosses) to employ only union truckers. Then they used the clout of their trucker’s union to bulldoze the clothing manufacturers into paying hefty off-the-books fees in order to keep their business up-and-running, and profitable.

If the clothing manufacturers refused to pay the extortion fees, Dio and Doyle would order their union truckers to go on strike, putting a dead stop to the clothing manufacturer’s cash flow. On occasions, if the bosses didn’t play ball, union thugs (schlammers) would break the bosses’ fingers, their arms and legs; and sometimes all three body parts on the same visit. In extreme cases, like if a boss threatened to talk to the Feds, Lepke’s Murder Incorporated boys would enter the scene, and seconds later, the chatty boss would exit the face of the earth, toes up.

In 1932 and 1933, Dio and Plumeri were indicted twice for extortion, but they beat the rap both times, because their victims refused to talk to the Feds. In 1934, Dio was lucky enough to be elected executive secretary of the Allied Truckmen’s Mutual Association, an association of employers. Even though Dio was boss of the trucker’s union, he represented their employers during a strike by 1,150 Teamsters in September 1934.

Nice work if you can get it.

However, in 1937, both Dio and Doyle ran out of luck. The nephew and uncle duo were indicted for extortion and “atrocious assault.” During the trial it was alleged that Dio and Doyle, and several other of their gangster underlings, had been extorting as much as $500 from each trucker. Plus, it was alleged they had forced the clothing manufacturers to add a hefty “tariff” to every suit, coat, and pair of pants manufactured in the Garment Center. This tariff went straight in the pockets of Dio and Doyle, and that increased the cost of good for the general public.

Sweet deal indeed.

According to an article in the New York Daily Mirror, “At the trial, frightened witnesses testified how recalcitrant employers and employees were beaten when they refused to pay. One man said he was confined to bed for two weeks after an assault. Another said the hoodlums had threatened to cut off his ears.”

Realizing they were dead in the water, during the middle of the trial, both Dio and Doyle pled guilty as charged. In return they received free room and board in upstate Sing Sing Prison for a period of three-five years.

After he was released from prison, Dio decided New York City was too hot for him, so he moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania, where he took up roots long enough to open his own dress manufacturing plant; non-union, of course. He later sold the plant, and to guarantee the new owners would have no trouble, Dio took $11,200 under the table to ensure that his erstwhile plant would remain non-union.

Dio sped back to New York City, and using the same tactics he had employed in Allentown, he set up a dress wholesaler. Using his profits from the business, Dio was smart enough to buy legitimate businesses, which included real estate and trucking. He also dabbled in the stock market, making him seem to the IRS as just another tax-paying citizen. But the New York City police knew better. They just couldn’t pin anything illegal on Dio, although they continued trying.

Back in his old Forsyth Street neighborhood, Dio decided to start a family. He married the former Anne Chrostek (a non-Italian). She bore Dio two sons (Philip and Dominick) and one daughter (Rosemary) who sadly passed away from an unknown illness. It was during this time that Dio, before the age of forty, was officially inducted into the Luchesse Crime Family, making him all the more untouchable on the streets of New York City. Even though they were only Italian on their father’s side, both of Dio’s sons eventually followed in their father’s footsteps into a life of crime. Philip Dio, who was called “Fat Philly,” was later inducted into the Colombo Crime Family, while Dominick, like his father, became a made man in the Luchesse Crime Family.

(Editor’s note: The Mafia rules changed around this time to allow more members to be inducted into the “Honored Society,” to fill the gaps of those who either were killed or sent to the can; “college” as the mob likes to call it. At this point, only your father (not both parents) had to be Italian for you to get “your button.” If your mother was Italian and your father a non-Italian — you were spit out of luck. Them’s the breaks.)

By the 1950’s, Dio had become a powerful captain (capo) in the Luchesse Crime Family, and with money pouring into his coffers in bundles (he allegedly earned $100,000 a week), he started living the life of a colonial baron. In the early 1960s, Dio moved his family into a spacious estate out on Freeport, Long Island, which cost Dio $75,000 in cash (Dio didn’t like banks or bank loans). During the week, Dio ate with his cronies in the best New York City eateries (his favorite being the trendy Black Angus Steakhouse). But, as is the Italian custom, Sundays were strictly for the family (famiglia). Inviting family member and close friends, Dio was proud of the fact he was an expert cook and was personally able to conjure up the best Italian delicacies to delight his guests. Dio was especially gracious to his wife, whom he loved dearly (unlike most mob men, Dio was faithful to his wife). Instead of personally buying his wife Christmas presents, Dio would give her a shoe box stuffed with cash, with a little note saying, “Buy yourself some nice clothes, honey.”

During the 1950’s, through his connections with New York City Teamster leaders Martin Lacey and John O’Rourke, Dio became tight pals with Teamster big-wig Jimmy Hoffa. Dio and Hoffa first met in a secret meeting in a New York City hotel room, and Hoffa, who had hoped to unseat Teamster President Dave Beck, figured Dio, with his union background, would be the perfect person to become chums with. In late 1955, Dio was able to obtain charters from the Teamsters to set up seven Teamster locals, called “paper locals,” because they did not have actual teamsters as members. The roles were filled with Dio’s relatives and pals, and their vote for teamster president was in Hoffa’s back pocket.

Dio’s modus operandi for more than 30 years was this: control the unions, then use the unions as a sledgehammer over the heads of the bosses. Dio would tell the bosses, “Pay or my boys will strike.” The bosses always paid, the workers always got screwed, and Dio made out like a bandit every time.

During his illustrious criminal career, Dio controlled the unions to the detriment of its members to such an extent, that during the 1950’s McClellan Committee hearings into organized crime, the committee issued the statement, “It cannot be said, using the widest possible latitude, that Johnny Dioguardi was ever interested in bettering the lot of the workingman.”

Famous Mafia turncoat Joe Valachi owned a dress factory on Prospect Avenue in the Bronx for 12 years. Valachi once said, “I never belonged to any union. If I got into any trouble, any union organizer came around, all I had to do was call Johnny Dio and all my troubles were straightened out.”

However, in 1956, as the Teamsters elections neared and they were scheming for control, both Hoffa and Dio had a stone in their shoe, and his name was syndicated newspaper columnist Victor Riesel.

Victor Riesel was born on March 16, 1913 on the Lower East Side to Jewish parents in a mixed Italian/Jewish neighborhood, not far from where Dio grew up. Victor’s father, Nathan Riesel, was very proactive in union activities and was instrumental in creating the Bonnaz, Singer, and the Hard Embroiderers Unions. In 1913, he also helped organized Local 66 of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union, and soon he was elected secretary-treasurer of that union, then finally president.

When Victor Riesel was a young child, his father taught him how to make union speeches, which the young Victor fiercely gave at union meetings and at outdoor union rallies. Nathan Riesel was hard-line anti-communist, and he was strident in preventing the communists from infiltrating his locals. Victor saw his father return home many times, beaten and bloodied from fights he had with communists activists, or the mobsters (schlammers) who were hired by the factory owners to break up union strikes that Nathan Riesel had participated in. This formed the notion in Victor Riesel’s young mind that gangsters were the bane of legitimate unions.

In 1926, Nathan Riesel moved his family to the Bronx, where Victor attended and graduated with honors from Morris High School. While in high school, Riesel began working as an “stringer” for several newspapers throughout America. His writings were mostly about the labor movement in the United States, and how they were hampered by a “gangster element,” who sought to play both ends of the spectrum by infiltrating the unions, then working for the boss manufacturers to physically quell any union strikes or demonstrations. In 1928, Riesel enrolled in night classes in the City College of New York City (CCNY), where he took courses in human resource management and industrial relations. To support himself while attending night school, Riesel worked at strenuous jobs, both in a steel mill and in a saw mill. While in college, Riesel also worked as a columnist, then as an editor on the student newspaper. Besides writing columns on the labor movement, Riesel also wrote columns on varied subjects like literature, and the theater.

While in college, to get needed experience in the outside newspaper world, Riesel took a job as a general office boy at The New Leader, a political and cultural weekly magazine that was both liberal and anti-communist. Riesel cuts his teeth in the business by doing anything his bosses at the newspaper told him to do, including sweeping the floors, and writing columns for the newspaper. In 1940, after 12 long years of hard work, both in and out of school, Riesel finally earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from CCNY. He was offered the job as the managing editor at The New Leader, and he took the job with the determination of ridding the unions of “gangsterism.”

Riesel caught his first big break, when in 1941, he was hired as a columnist for The New York Post. In the 1948, when the Post changed management, Riesel switched to the New York Daily Mirror, owned by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hurst. By 1956, Riesel’s column was syndicated in 193 newspapers throughout the United States. In that same year, Riesel began working in conjunction with United States Attorney Paul Williams, with the expressed purpose of taking on the gangsters who ran the New York City garment and trucking unions.

This was a double whammy for Johnny Dio, who was heavily involved in both unions, and for Jimmy Hoffa, who was trying to unseat Dave Beck as head of the Teamsters.

On April 5, 1956, Riesel was asked to be a guest host on Barry Gray’s WMCA overnight radio talk show. Riesel had recently been on a rant in his columns concerning the International Union of Operating Engineers and its President William DeKoning Jr., who Riesel claimed was conspiring with known labor gangster Joseph Fay to reinstall DeKoning’s father William DeKoning Sr. as the president of the union. DeKoning Sr. had just exited the can after being imprisoned for extortion, and Riesel felt that having the senior DeKoning back as president of the union would be a downright disaster.

As a result of his columns on both DeKonings and Fay, Riesel received numerous death threats. However, Riesel shrugged them off, knowing only a fool would hurt an esteemed member of the press. Doing so would certainly result in the law coming down hard on all union racketeers, and their rackets.

On this particular radio show, Riesel invited two members of the International Union of Operating Engineers, who were challenging the DeKonings for control of the union. This did not sit too well with Johnny Dio, or with Jimmy Hoffa, who both figured Riesel would go gunning for them next.

Gray’s show originated at Hutton’s Restaurant on Lexington Avenue and 47th Street. After the show, which ended at 2 a.m., Riesel and his secretary moseyed over to Lindy’s restaurant, on Broadway between 49th and 50th Street, to grab a bite to eat and drown the food down with hot steaming coffee. (Ironically, this was the same Lindy’s Restaurant in front of which small-time gambler Herman Rosenthal was shot to death in 1912.)

At approximately 3 a.m., Riesel and his secretary emerged from Lindy’s and started walking toward the secretary’s parked car on 51st Street. Riesel wore his eyeglasses to work, but when he was out in public, for appearances sake, he normally removed his eyeglasses. Just as Riesel and his secretary neared the secretary’s car, Riesel took off his eyeglasses, put them in an eyeglass case, and inserted the case into the breast pocket of his overcoat. Suddenly, a tall, thin man, wearing a blue and white jacket, sprung from the shadows of the Mark Hellinger Theater and flung a vial contain sulfuric acid into Riesel’s eyes, rendering Riesel blind for the rest of his life. Then the assailant calmly walked away and disappeared into the night. Thereafter, Riesel wore sunglasses to shield the public from the sight of his severely disfigured eyes.

The day after the attack, the Daily Mirror offered a $10,000 reward for information that led to the capture and conviction of Riesel’s assailant. The Newspaper Guild of America, the New York Press Photographers, the New York Reporters Association, and the Overseas Press Club chipped in with another five grand. In less than a week, donations from assorted groups, including the labor unions and radio station WMCA, had raised the reward total to $41,000.

With tips coming in in droves, some reliable, some not so reliable, in August of 1956, the FBI ascertained that Riesel’s assailant had been small-time hood Abraham Telvi. The only problem was, Telvi was now deceased; apparently murdered on July 28 because he had demanded another $50,000 on top of the paltry $500 he had already been paid for throwing the acid in Riesel’s face.

On August 29, Dio was arrested for conspiracy in the Riesel attack. Dio pled not guilty and was released on $100,000 bond.

On October 22, Dio’s pal Joseph Carlino pled guilty to hiring Telvi to attack Riesel. Carlino implicated two other men, Gandolfo Maranti and Dominick Bando, as accomplices in hiring Telvi. Carlino also said that Dio had ultimately given the order for the attack. Dio lawyered up with a top New York City mob attorney, and his attorney was able to get Dio’s trial severed from the trial of Maranti and Bando.

At their trial, both Maranti and Bando verified Carlino’s assertion that Dio had engineered the attack against Riesel. Maranti and Bando were both found guilty of conspiracy. But their sentencing was delayed until after the Dio trial.

Dio’s attorney was able to delay his trial for almost six months, and during this time Maranti and Bando began to have bouts of memory loss. When Dio’s trial finally commenced, both Maranti and Bando recanted their testimony, and with no corroboration of Carlino’s claim that Dio ordered the Riesel attack, all charges against Dio were dropped. Maranti was given 8-16 years in prison, and Bando 2-5 years in prison, and another 5 years for contempt of court. Amazingly, Carlino received a suspended sentence for aiding the law in the convictions of Maranti and Bando. However, no matter how the situation was cleared or not cleared up in court, Dio has forever been remembered as the man who “blinded Victor Riesel.”

In October of 1956, Dio was indicted, along with several Teamster officials, on extortion and conspiracy charges. The indictment said that Dio had extorted money from New York City Garment Center truck drivers, and had also extorted money from Garment Center manufacturing bosses not to have the same truck drivers go out on strike. Also included in the indictment was the alleged extortion of New York City stationery store owners, whose stores Dio’s men had picketed. The store owners were allegedly told that if they wanted the picketing stopped, they would have to force their employees to join Teamster Local 295, and hire Johnny Dio’s “labor consulting” firm, Equitable (not) Research Associates, for a $3,500 retainer, and $200 a month salary.

Because Dio’s attorneys were so adept at stalling tactics, and the fact that key government witnesses had recanting their testimony, Dio’s trial did not take place until November of 1957.

The trial took four weeks, but when it ended, Dio was convicted as charged and sentenced to two years in prison. While in prison, Dio was indicted again on extortion charges. This time, instead of the victims being stationery store owners, they were the owners of electroplating shops. In 1958, Dio was convicted again, and this time the judge threw the book at Dio, sentencing him to 15-30 years. Dio began serving his time in Sing Sing Prison, while appealing his sentence. On June 23, 1959, an appeals court inexplicable overturned the decision in Dio’s trial, saying that since Dio didn’t issue the threats personally, he should not have been convicted of extortion. A split court ruled, “Extortion cannot be committed by one who does not himself induce fear, but who receives money for the purpose of removing or allaying pre-existing fear instilled by others.”

Jonathan Kwitney said in his book Vicious Circles, “The decision seemed to legitimize the whole purpose of the Mafia.”

However, the law was not finished with Johnny Dio. On June 24, 1959, one hour after he finished his two-year bit on the first extortion charge, Dio was pinched by the Feds and charged with income tax evasion; for non-payment of taxes for three dress manufacturing companies he owned (non-union, of course), and two labor union locals. Dio went on trial in March of 1960. He was found guilty and was sentenced to four years at the federal prison in Atlanta, Georgia. Dio was released in March of 1963, partially on the basis that he had obtained a real job in a legitimate industry. Dio claimed he was now a salesman for Consumers Kosher Provision Company, another sham job that provided Dio the opportunity to do what he had done in several other industries before. This time it was the kosher meat business that would pay the piper for Dio’s Machiavellian machinations.

At first, the scam worked like a charm. Dio and a bunch a his mobster buddies separately approached two rival kosher meat companies and convinced both of them that their business would be ruined if they did not hire their group of thugs to fight back against the other company’s group of thugs. The two competing companies were the Consumers Kosher Provision Company, run by a dupe named Herman Rose, and the American Kosher Provision Inc., who had employed mobster Max Block (he had just been forced to resign as head of the butcher’s union) to make sure other mobsters didn’t try to shake down American Kosher. Block’s muscle was provided by Genovese thug Lorenzo “Chappy” Brescia, who had been extorting the butcher’s union for years. According to Vicious Circles, Block was receiving an annual salary of $50,000 a year from American Kosher, and Brescia’s cut was $25,000 a year.

This is where Dio began working his magic in the kosher meat business. Through two intermediaries, Dio approached Herman Rose and convinced Rose that in order to compete with American Kosher, it was imperative Rose hire Johnny Dio to protect his interests. Rose figured this was the right thing to do and he hired Dio at the salary of $250 a week; not an exorbitant amount of money. But it gave Dio the appearance of an honest job, and it gave the Mafia the opportunity to control the prices in the two top kosher meat companies in the area. (This is why, overnight the price of kosher meats skyrocketed.)

After Herman Rose died in 1964, Dio convinced the Kleinberg family, which owned the majority of stock in Consumer Kosher that it was good business to merge with American Kosher. The Kleinbergs, trembling in their boots, agreed with Dio’s assessment, and with the mob running both companies, the “bust-out business” in the kosher meat industry began in full throttle.

Soon, Dio and his pals, using their usual tactics, began scooping up, and creating from scratch, other small kosher meat companies. Stock was transferred back and forth between the companies, and so were the assets, which included the kosher meat itself. First, Consumer Kosher went bankrupt; then did American Kosher. The other Dio-controlled companies started acquiring the meats (that had not been paid for), and one by one, they too declared bankruptcy, only to be acquired by another sham company owned by, what the newspapers called, “The Kosher Nostra.” The suppliers of the meat out west, because of the multiple bankruptcy proceeding, were stiffed of their meat payments. According to New York Post reporter Marvin Smilon, one of these meat providers had the temerity to ask one of Dio’s meat cronies, “Why do we have to deal with Dio?” He was told, “Sit down and be quiet. You ask too many questions.”

But all good things must come to an end. In 1966, Dio, along with four of his associates, were indicted for “bankruptcy fraud.” In 1967, they were all found guilty, and Dio was sentenced to five years in prison. However, with his high-powered attorneys working their magic, Dio was able to stay out of prison for almost four years. This gave Dio the extra time he needed to work another scam, called “The Great Mafia Bagel War.”

It started with Ben Willner, who had a machine that could make automated bagels, for around 50 cents a bagel, whereas a hand-rolled bagel cost about 65 cents to produce. This was not good news for the Bakery and Confectioners Workers Union, because it put their member’s jobs at risk. Willner was great pals with Moe Steinman, who didn’t care too much how the bagels were being made, because he had a stranglehold on bagel distribution, not bagel production. Willner ran to Steinman, and Steinman, hoping to help his pal out, introduced Willner to Johnny Dio, whom Steinman knew was an expert at “labor-related problems.” Dio helped out Willner, for a piece of the pie of course, and soon Steinman was packing his supermarkets with anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000 worth of Willner’s bagels a week.

The only problem was that Genovese Crime Family capo Thomas “Tommy Ryan” Eboli had his own bagel maker, who was being short-changed because of the Willner/Dio/automated bagel-making machine trio. This man was named Arthur Goldberg and he ran to Eboli, screaming. Eboli demanded a sit-down with Dio, who had been with the Luchesse Family for more than 30 years. At the time, in the New York City Mafia pecking order, the Genovese Family was much more powerful than the Luchesse Family, and Dio was effectively pushed out of the bagel business for good. Dio broke the bad news to Willner, and as a result, in December of 1969, Willner was forced to close shop. This led to the Eboli/Goldberg crew taking over Willner’s business, and his automated bagel-making machines.

Dio felt bad about losing his bagel scheme, but he felt even worse, when in November of 1970, he ran out of appeals and was forced to go to prison for a five-year stretch at the federal prison at Lewisburg, P.A. on the bankruptcy fraud charges. (He did not Pass Go, and he did not collect the customary two hundred dollars.)

In 1972, while still in prison, Dio was indicted again, this time for stock fraud, concerning the At Your Service Leasing Corp., a luxury car leasing firm that did most of its business with organized crime figures. It was alleged that in 1969, before Dio went to prison, Dio, along with Carmine Tramunti, Vincent Aloi, and Michael Hellerman, “floated” $300,000 of false stock in the car leasing company. Dio’s group then either bribed, or forced security dealers to sell the stock, and then turn over the money to the Dio investment group. The jury found Dio guilty, and he was hit when a knockout blow when he was sentenced to nine and ten-year prison terms, to run consecutively. Dio appealed his convictions twice, but he lost both appeals.

Johnny “Dio” Dioguardi never was a free man again. Dio died on January 12, 1979, in a Pennsylvania hospital, where he had been transferred to from federal prison. To add insult to injury, Dio was scheduled for parole in just a few short months.

The news of Johnny Dio’s death did not receive an inch of space in any of the New York City daily newspapers, even though a paid death notice appeared a few days after his death in the New York Daily News.

It was as if Johnny Dio, a gangster’s gangster if there ever was one, had never existed.

Source by Joseph Bruno

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The Importance of Courier Services

Courier services, or specialized delivery services for documents and other sensitive materials, are a critical service area for Dallas delivery service companies. A courier service is different than regular mail delivery services because couriers provide features like security, tracking, and proof of delivery. Courier services provide better speed and confidentiality when you need to know you can count on sensitive documents and packages being delivered reliably.

A company’s reputation can be bench marked in part by its ability to provide reliable, comprehensive courier services. When looking for a Dallas delivery service to meet your courier needs, there are several components of the service you should consider. One of the most important considerations when choosing a courier is the level of support the Dallas delivery service can offer.

In order to determine which Dallas delivery service can meet your needs is to first identify what needs that you have for a courier. When looking for a courier service, you should choose a Dallas delivery service that allows you 24-hour access to your account online from any web portal so that you can schedule pickups and deliveries at your convenience. The service should also have state-of-the-art technology that allows you to track your packages and receive immediate confirmation of delivery (including scanned signature verification) when needed.

Other considerations when choosing the right courier service is the customer service you receive from the company. Is the company responsive to your specialized needs? Is it easy to reach the customer service department when you have questions or problems? Is customer service available at your convenience, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Are issues resolved quickly and satisfactorily? Do they offer visibility that allows you to track your package easily? Can you insure your packages when needed for additional protection against loss or damage? Does the courier service deliver to the locations you need?

Can the service you choose meet your other shipping and packaging needs that allow you to have better efficiency in your operation? Does the company make an effort to be eco-friendly by using bicycles for delivery when possible and choosing other economical means of transportation to help keep costs down?

Finding the right courier service allows you an affordable, convenient, and secure option for local delivery. The benefits to your company of having a premier Dallas delivery service handling your courier needs is the increased efficiency and decreased labor costs you will have to handle your delivery needs. By having access to online scheduling, you reduce the amount of time your employees are required to spend managing courier services. With scheduled service, the entire process can be managed by the company you choose, freeing your employees to focus on more profitable efforts.

Shipping is a time-consuming and sometimes costly component of your business, but having the right delivery service to help meet your courier needs can alleviate some of the burden and improve your level of service to your own clients and business partners.

Source by Al Heath

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