Keeping customer data secure in today's business world
Whether you are the CEO of a big corporation or running one of the smaller businesses around, you likely have a number of things on your plate of responsibility.
First and foremost, keeping your customers happy is something you know that should never be taken for granted. If you slip up in this area of the business world, you can see a quick and major downfall in your company revenue, something that in some cases can be catastrophic depending on the size of your business.
In a day and age when more and more business is being done online and in-person via credit cards, customer data is rising to the forefront of importance.
Protecting information is a necessity
If you find your business handling a sizable amount of customer financial data, there are several steps you can take to make sure it is being handled as carefully as possible.
Those steps include:
- Review procedures – If your business accepts online and/or in-store purchases which involve credit card transactions, review the process regularly to make sure there are no loopholes that identity thieves can exploit. Whether you’re customers are doing business with you online or in person, make sure those credit card transactions are protected. Remember to update the protection features in place, especially given the fact that hackers are always trying to stay one step ahead of you;
- Know your employees – As some business owners have discovered over time, it is not outside thieves but those under their under nose who demand the most attention. When hiring employees, make sure that they do not have any criminal records, especially in the areas of finance. With many people struggling in today’s economy, it is not unheard of for employees to try and sometimes successfully steal from their employers. One area they can target is customer transactions. All it takes is getting ahold of a customer’s credit card info and they could run up quite a bill before anyone suspects there is any issue;
- Keep customers informed – In the event there is a credit card breach or even if there isn’t one; keep your customers in the know on how they and your business can protect their personal financial data. Whether through emails, newsletters, blog posts or social media, update them periodically on the fact (without revealing information that hackers can benefit from) that you are doing everything possible to keep their personal data safe with you when they make transactions.
As Jeffrey Weber of SmartBalanceTransfers.com notes, “It is important for credit card companies to monitor all purchases. In the event a purchase does not seem right, customers should be alerted via email, phone or text. It is very important that the customer never be labeled responsible for an unauthorized purchase.”
With all the credit card transactions being done worldwide on a daily basis, make sure your business is on top of each and every purchase so that your customers have no reason to doubt you.
Dave Thomas writes for a variety of websites on topics such as human resources and running a small business.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.