Famous Smoke Shop Has Shipped January's Donation to Operation: Cigars for Warriors

EASTON, PA—(Marketwired – January 31, 2016) – Famous Smoke Shop, the leading online distributor of discounted premium cigars, specializing in offering the web's widest selection of cigars at the lowest prices is a huge supporter of the U.S military and the Cigar for Warriors Foundation. Famous Smoke has once again offered up their monthly donation to Operation: Cigars for Warriors. January's total cigar shipment came to a total of 3,900 cigars to our men and women of the military to enjoy while they help protect our freedoms.

Operation: Cigars for Warriors is a wonderful non–profit organization which sends our U.S. troops cigars to help them relax when not in the comforts of their own homes, or country for that matter. According to their Cigars for Warriors website: “Our top priority is collecting then dispersing premium cigars to US Military Personnel serving in designated Combat Zones.” Cigar for Warriors noted through social media that earlier this month, “USPS raised the shipping rate by $0.60. Although that might not seem much, Cigars for Warriors ships out thousands of Care Packages a year.” Please consider a tax deductible donation to help them cover these increased shipping costs. Click here Donations are greatly appreciated.

One of the military recipients of these cigar donations stated “I just received my Cigars today I was not expecting so many. I have to get a bigger box! We will be smoking joking and taking pictures very soon and we all really appreciate the care package that cutter the matches and lighting sticks will definitely come in handy.”

Operation: Cigars for Warriors also indicate on their mission page: “It is our way to honor, show respect and thank those putting it all on the line for us back home. We have received requests from many soldiers who have no one here in the U.S. to send care packages to them, and would otherwise receive nothing. Just as every warrior matters, so does every cigar.”

January's cigar donation is the first of many donations in 2016 to this great cause. With this donation it brings Famous Smoke Shop's ongoing total cigar donation to Operation: Cigars for Warriors to over 100,000 cigars. Check it out here!

People interested in learning more about Famous Smoke Shop, and Operation: Cigars for Warriors, or donating cigars to our men and women in uniform should visit Famous Smoke Shop online or call 800–564–2486.

About Famous Smoke Shop

Famous Smoke Shop is the nation's #1 discount retailer of premium cigars online, offering one of the largest selections of handmade cigars, machine–made cigars, cigar humidors and accessories. Famous offers the web's lowest prices on a wide selection of cigar brands including Drew Estate, Davidoff, Macanudo, Oliva, Perdomo, and many more. Famous offers their customers the best prices on all premium cigars as well as friendly and knowledgeable customer service.

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Paul Pitcher – First Down Funding – What Is Operations and Why Does My Business Need It?

WASHINGTON, DC—(Marketwired – January 31, 2016) – So you want to extend your product line? Open a branch in an up–and–coming neighborhood? Resolve a purchasing inefficiency? Improve customer loyalty?

If you answered yes to any of these, or have any specific goal in mind for your business, you should look to your company's operations — the internal engine that powers your business.

Well–run operations are a critical, and often overlooked source of a business' success.

What Is Operations?

Operations is the work of managing the inner workings of your business so it runs as efficiently as possible. Whether you make products, sell products, or provide services, every small business owner has to oversee the design and management of behind–the–scenes work.

The specific definition of operations will depend on your industry and the stage your business is in. Sometimes, improving operations means thinking strategically about your systems and processes. Other times, it means being part of the on–the–ground work to bring every aspect of a project, from tiny to huge, to reality.

At a small business, you may not want to dedicate a single person to an operations role. Rather, both employees and owners should understand how the business works and how various processes impact day–to–day tasks. Here are some examples of operations in different industries–and how mastering your processes can contribute to success.

If You're a Retail Business

As the owner of a retail business, your daily goal is to stock the items customers want at a price they're happy to pay.

For your operations, that means perfecting your inventory.

Take a look at records from last season. What is selling well, and what's sitting, unwanted, on the shelves? Can you negotiate lower prices or better terms from your vendors? Would your customers be willing to pay more for any of the items you sell?

While some of the answers will be obvious when you crunch the numbers and analyze the results, another operational update might be to implement a software program that can manage and optimize your inventory in real time so you can address these questions more quickly and more often.

If You're a Restaurant

Food businesses have even more challenging inventory problems than retailers, since their product is perishable. At a restaurant, operations applies not just to foodstuffs, but also purchasing, preparation, and the costs of food, beverage, and labor. You'll also be concerned with customer service and customer experience at your restaurant.

As you look to streamline your operations, you might focus on signing contracts with important suppliers, improving the organization of your walk–in refrigerators to optimize food freshness, or training staff to exceed customer expectations. There's a big range here, so think through who should be in charge of leading the different aspects of operations, since it likely won't fall to one person.

If You're a Service Company

Service companies can divide their operations into two key buckets: client–facing and business related.

Start by thinking through your client interactions: what could happen more quickly? Is the customer experiencing any unnecessary notifications?

Then, you'll want to consider how your current processes for communicating, collaborating, and managing projects affect the services you're offering. For example, if client projects are continually coming in over budget, one big operational concern would be the methods used to calculate your estimates at the beginning of a job.

If You Make Products

The origin of the term “operations” comes from companies that made physical goods. Back when economies were industrializing, inventive businesses tried to add efficiencies wherever possible. That led entrepreneurs like Eli Whitney to pioneer the method known as parts–based assembly, so that cotton gins and other products could come to market more rapidly, cheaply, and consistently.

You don't have to reinvent the assembly line if your small business makes products, but you should take a good look at how you purchase, store, make, and ship your merchandise.

Consider your methods from a time standpoint: Is there a way to consolidate big orders so you can save time by working in bulk? Are there bottlenecks in your production that might have simple solutions? Could your transportation be improved upon? Could you negotiate better with your suppliers?

If You're a Digital Company

Much of a digital company's value lies in your personnel. For you, operations has a lot to do with finding optimal ways of hiring, training, and mentoring your staff. Tools to help with employee retention and satisfaction are wrapped into this, too.

With digital products, collaboration is key; most sites, apps, or tools can't work properly without the help of multiple teams. That means that monitoring processes and updating software as needed to streamline collaboration is an operational necessity.

Another matter to pay attention to is outsourcing: what should your full–time employees spend their time on, and what types of tasks are best left to external experts?

Operations is key to running a business that's always getting better and better at what it does. By taking a look at how your business is run and asking yourself questions about existing processes, you'll be able to define and optimize what operations means for you and your business.

First Down Funding is a Washington DC based company specializing in structuring and approving cash advances for small to medium–sized businesses. With affordable rates, transparent fees, fixed payment schedules and a fast and simple process that allows 30 second applications and funding within 24 hours, they allow business owners throughout the US and Canada receive the funding they need when they need it. The experts at First Down Funding also provide valuable financial advice and give each client the attention necessary to create a personalized solution.

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Paul Pitcher – Sharp Shooter Funding – What Is Operations and Why Does My Business Need It?

CALGARY, AB—(Marketwired – January 31, 2016) – So you want to extend your product line? Open a branch in an up–and–coming neighborhood? Resolve a purchasing inefficiency? Improve customer loyalty?

If you answered yes to any of these, or have any specific goal in mind for your business, you should look to your company's operations — the internal engine that powers your business.

Well–run operations are a critical, and often overlooked source of a business' success.

What Is Operations?

Operations is the work of managing the inner workings of your business so it runs as efficiently as possible. Whether you make products, sell products, or provide services, every small business owner has to oversee the design and management of behind–the–scenes work.

The specific definition of operations will depend on your industry and the stage your business is in. Sometimes, improving operations means thinking strategically about your systems and processes. Other times, it means being part of the on–the–ground work to bring every aspect of a project, from tiny to huge, to reality.

At a small business, you may not want to dedicate a single person to an operations role. Rather, both employees and owners should understand how the business works and how various processes impact day–to–day tasks. Here are some examples of operations in different industries–and how mastering your processes can contribute to success.

If You're a Retail Business

As the owner of a retail business, your daily goal is to stock the items customers want at a price they're happy to pay.

For your operations, that means perfecting your inventory.

Take a look at records from last season. What is selling well, and what's sitting, unwanted, on the shelves? Can you negotiate lower prices or better terms from your vendors? Would your customers be willing to pay more for any of the items you sell?

While some of the answers will be obvious when you crunch the numbers and analyze the results, another operational update might be to implement a software program that can manage and optimize your inventory in real time so you can address these questions more quickly and more often.

If You're a Restaurant

Food businesses have even more challenging inventory problems than retailers, since their product is perishable. At a restaurant, operations applies not just to foodstuffs, but also purchasing, preparation, and the costs of food, beverage, and labor. You'll also be concerned with customer service and customer experience at your restaurant.

As you look to streamline your operations, you might focus on signing contracts with important suppliers, improving the organization of your walk–in refrigerators to optimize food freshness, or training staff to exceed customer expectations. There's a big range here, so think through who should be in charge of leading the different aspects of operations, since it likely won't fall to one person.

If You're a Service Company

Service companies can divide their operations into two key buckets: client–facing and business related.

Start by thinking through your client interactions: what could happen more quickly? Is the customer experiencing any unnecessary notifications?

Then, you'll want to consider how your current processes for communicating, collaborating, and managing projects affect the services you're offering. For example, if client projects are continually coming in over budget, one big operational concern would be the methods used to calculate your estimates at the beginning of a job.

If You Make Products

The origin of the term “operations” comes from companies that made physical goods. Back when economies were industrializing, inventive businesses tried to add efficiencies wherever possible. That led entrepreneurs like Eli Whitney to pioneer the method known as parts–based assembly, so that cotton gins and other products could come to market more rapidly, cheaply, and consistently.

You don't have to reinvent the assembly line if your small business makes products, but you should take a good look at how you purchase, store, make, and ship your merchandise.

Consider your methods from a time standpoint: Is there a way to consolidate big orders so you can save time by working in bulk? Are there bottlenecks in your production that might have simple solutions? Could your transportation be improved upon? Could you negotiate better with your suppliers?

If You're a Digital Company

Much of a digital company's value lies in your personnel. For you, operations has a lot to do with finding optimal ways of hiring, training, and mentoring your staff. Tools to help with employee retention and satisfaction are wrapped into this, too.

With digital products, collaboration is key; most sites, apps, or tools can't work properly without the help of multiple teams. That means that monitoring processes and updating software as needed to streamline collaboration is an operational necessity.

Another matter to pay attention to is outsourcing: what should your full–time employees spend their time on, and what types of tasks are best left to external experts?

Operations is key to running a business that's always getting better and better at what it does. By taking a look at how your business is run and asking yourself questions about existing processes, you'll be able to define and optimize what operations means for you and your business.

Sharp Shooter Funding is a Canadian based company specializing in structuring and approving cash advances for small to medium–sized businesses. With affordable rates, transparent fees, fixed payment schedules and a fast and simple process that allows 30 second applications and funding within 24 hours, they allow business owners throughout the US and Canada receive the funding they need when they need it. The experts at Sharp Shooter Funding also provide valuable financial advice and give each client the attention necessary to create a personalized solution.

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Tech Company Drobo Hosts Change the Game High School Video Game Competition

SAN FRANCISCO, CA—(Marketwired – January 31, 2016) –  Students from all over the SF Bay Area participated in the Drobo Change the Game competition by playing SomaSim's 1849 city simulation game. The event was sponsored by Drobo, a simple–to–use data storage company and hosted at the Capital One 360 Café in San Francisco.

The event brought together 25 high school students to build cities in and around San Francisco during the California gold rush. Each competitor played 1849 from the Drobo B810n as well as saved key elements of their city design via screen capture.

“It's exciting to see 1849 being used for the Drobo Change the Game. We believe that games can be a powerful medium for learning about history and how its impacts continue to be felt in our everyday lives,” said Matthew Viglione, co–founder of SomaSim, the makers of 1849.

The winner, Sawyer Dobson, a freshman from Sacred Heart Cathedral ,received a $1,000 dollar scholarship and a Drobo 4 bay device. Judges Miss California Crystal Lee, San Francisco Supervisor and Board President London Breed and Drobo CEO Mihir Shah were impressed by how creative the students were, how much you can learn from playing a game and how easy it was for competitors to use the Drobo.

“Drobo is proud to sponsor the Change the Game competition. History has powerful lessons for our youth. Those lessons will guild them to make better decisions. It was a tough decision to pick a winner since everyone did so well,” said Drobo CEO, Mihir Shah.


About Drobo

Drobo makes award–winning storage arrays that provide an unprecedented combination of data protection, expandability, and ease of use. Based on the patented and proven BeyondRAID technology, Drobo delivers the best storage experience ever for hundreds of thousands of consumers, professionals, and businesses. For more information, visit http://www.drobo.com/.

Drobo, BeyondRAID, and the Drobo logo are trademarks of Drobo, Inc., which may be registered in some jurisdictions. All other trademarks used belong to their respective owners.

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topseos.com Releases Recommendations of 10 Top Insurance SEO Agencies for January 2016

NAPLES, FL—(Marketwired – January 31, 2016) – The independent authority on online marketing services, topseos.com, has named their rankings of the 10 best insurance SEO firms in the internet marketing industry for the month of January 2016. Each year thousands of internet marketing firms are put to the test by an independent research team dedicated to identifying remarkable vendors. The rankings are partitioned based on the type of solution being provided.

The process for researching and awarding insurance SEO services involves a month–long process of identifying the top performing services based on the use of a set of analysis criteria and learning more about their solutions and their connections with their clients through referrals. Often times the topseos.com independent analysis team communicates directly with clients in order to inquire about the solutions and performance from the standpoint of the customer. Other times clients visit topseos.com in order to offer their experiences about the services which they use.

The ten best insurance SEO companies for January 2016 are:

1) Walker Sands Digital

2) RKS Marketing & Web Design

3) Norvax Inc

4) NovaStar Design

5) Neilson Marketing Services

6) Tosten Marketing LLC

7) Burst SEO LLC

8) Agency Tsunami

9) SEOBABA.com

10) SOIBrandz

ABOUT topseos.com

topseos.com is an established independent research firm focusing on the examination and ratings of search marketing services all around the world. The ratings are formulated by the independent research team each month to feature the best insurance SEO services based on their achievements and their rating achieved through the proprietary examination process.

Those interested in applying for the rankings can visit:


http://www.topseos.com/apply–for–rankings–research/

CrowdReviews.com Starting to Rank Supply Chain Planning Software Providers

SANTA FE, NM—(Marketwired – January 31, 2016) – CrowdReviews.com, a platform for reviews and rankings of software vendors, has announced plans to rank supply chain planning software companies.

The current listing of the best supply chain planning software providers can be found here:

http://www.crowdreviews.com/rankings–of–best–supply–chain–planning–software

The platform has been released in a beta stage and is currently inviting supply chain planning software companies to have their clients leave reviews and feedback on their experiences on the software.

Feedback is used by an algorithm to determine the placement of the software vendors in the rankings. The rankings of these software companies is primarily determined by user reviews, however, there are other elements which can impact a software's position within the rankings.

A transparent algorithm has been devised in order to determine placement across different types of software and services. To learn further details on the ranking methodology; please visit:

http://www.crowdreviews.com/how–do–we–rank

Those interested in joining CrowdReviews.com can visit the following page to register or claim their profile:

http://www.crowdreviews.com/#registration

About CrowdReviews.com

CrowdReviews.com is a crowdreviewing platform which ranks over 500 software categories and 200 service categories.

Best Online Credit Card Processing Services Rankings Ranked by topcreditcardprocessors.com for January 2016

NAPLES, FL—(Marketwired – January 31, 2016) – The independent authority on credit card processors, topcreditcardprocessors.com, has named their recommendations of the 30 top online credit card processing services in the payment processing industry for the month of January 2016. Each year thousands of payment processing services are put to the test by an independent research team dedicated to recognizing notable vendors. The recommendations are separated based on the type of solution being provided.

In order to create the top rankings possible based on the most detailed investigation of online credit card processing services the independent research team spends countless hours analyzing industry trends and market research. Each showcased service has been evaluated across five areas of evaluation. The five areas are critical to establishing the comparative performance of the service in relation to major competitors within the industry. To create an even more detailed investigation the independent research team also contacts a minimum of three client references of competing services.

The 30 best online credit card processing services for January 2016 are: 

1– National Bankcard Inc

2– Credit Card Processing Specialists

3– BankCard USA

4– Cayan

5– Allied Wallet

6– Record Retention Online

7– Intuit

8– eMerchantBroker.com

9– Golden Gains

10– Affinity Solutions

11– CardConnect

12– EPX

13– Moneris Solutions

14– Rev Worldwide

15– MersaTech

16– Advanced Merchant Group

17– Solupay

18– 1ST Merchant Services

19– Meritus Payment Solutions

20– Merchant Express

21– MLS Direct Network

22– CPN USA

23– Electronic Payment Systems

24– PayPal

25– Rycom, Inc

26– BluePay Processing

27– BLM Technologies

28– Leap Payments

29– Intrix Technology, Inc.

30– GovTeller

ABOUT topcreditcardprocessors.com

topcreditcardprocessors.com is an online provider of independent reviews and ratings. The ratings of the top payment processing services are released monthly to assist businesses in connecting with online credit card processing services which feature a history of effective solutions. Thousands of payment processing services are put to the test while only the absolute best services are highlighted in the ratings.

Those interested in applying for the rankings can visit:


http://www.topcreditcardprocessors.com/apply–for–ranking

topcreditcardprocessors.com Reveals Credit Card Processing Specialists as the Second Best Credit Card Processing Service for the Month of January 2016

NAPLES, FL—(Marketwired – January 31, 2016) – The independent authority on credit card processors, topcreditcardprocessors.com, has named Credit Card Processing Specialists
the 2nd best credit card processing service for the month of January 2016. Credit Card Processing Specialists was chosen based on their effective performance in an in–depth analysis of the solutions they offer. While there are thousands of services offering a variety of solutions, the rankings consist of the best highlighted based on the results of the in–depth evaluation process.

These services are investigated in order to establish which produce the top overall services. This is achieved through the use of a set of analysis criteria consisting of five verticals of evaluation used to benchmark and compare credit card processing services based on the most integral aspects. The five verticals of analysis used during this process include variance, efficiency, competitive rates, customer support, and reliability.

For a more in–depth investigation, the independent research team connects with customer references. Clients are contacted to obtain their opinions on the solutions provided to them. This provides valuable insight into the internal processes and methodologies of the service offering the solution. In many cases customers contact topcreditcardprocessors.com directly to voice their opinions.

Credit Card Processing Specialists has been named the second best credit card processing service based on a thorough evaluation of their produced solutions. The independent research team has named them due to their continued performance and their history of successful credit card processing solutions. Those looking for a competent credit card processing solution to meet their specified needs should consider Credit Card Processing Specialists.


About Credit Card Processing Specialists

Credit Card Processing Specialists is a premier credit card processing service focused on providing competitive rates, secure processing standards, and strong customer support processes. Their merchant accounts aim to assist businesses in specialized industries improve upon and expand their payment processing potential while also producing solutions to help them solve their most common payment processing issues. In addition, Credit Card Processing Specialists offers a variety of solutions ranging from merchant cash advance to a competitive agent program.


About topcreditcardprocessors.com

topcreditcardprocessors.com is a producer of payment processing evaluations. The central goal of topcreditcardprocessors.com is to uncover and proclaim those individuals or services providing top payment processing solutions available. Credit card processing services are put through a meticulous examination to ensure the ratings contain the absolute best services the payment processing industry has to offer.

Those interested in applying for the rankings can visit:


http://www.topcreditcardprocessors.com/apply–for–ranking

CrowdReviews.com Begins Ranking Engineering CAD Software Providers

SANTA FE, NM—(Marketwired – January 31, 2016) – CrowdReviews.com, an online platform for reviews and rankings of software solutions, has begun ranking engineering CAD companies.

Those interested in viewing the list of engineering CAD providers can visit:

http://www.crowdreviews.com/rankings–of–best–engineering–cad–software

The platform has been launched in a limited beta stage and is currently inviting engineering CAD software developers to have their customers leave reviews and feedback on their experiences in using the software.

Feedback is visible to visitors looking to make a purchase and is used by an algorithm in order to determine the placement of the engineering CAD software vendors within the rankings. The rankings of these software vendors is primarily determined by user reviews, however, there are other elements which can impact a software's placement within the rankings.

A transparent algorithm has been created in order to determine where to place each software vendor across various software and service categories. For more information on the elements which can impact a placement within the rankings please visit:

http://www.crowdreviews.com/how–do–we–rank

Those interested in joining CrowdReviews.com can visit the following page to register or claim their profile:

http://www.crowdreviews.com/#registration

About CrowdReviews.com

CrowdReviews.com is a crowdreviewing platform which ranks over 500 software categories and 200 service categories.

topseos.com Reveals Ratings of 10 Best Manufacturing SEO Services for January 2016

NAPLES, FL—(Marketwired – January 31, 2016) – The ten top manufacturing SEO firms have been named by topseos.com for the month of January 2016. Each month of a team of researchers spend time benchmarking and reporting the top manufacturing SEO firms around the world to assist businesses in selecting the best company to assist them. The primary goal of topseos.com is to assist customers in looking for effective firms based on established standards created by the independent research team. The resulting standards are used to uncover which solutions produce the best experience for customers in search marketing.

The ten best manufacturing SEO companies for January 2016 are:

1) Web Talent Marketing

2) Komarketing Associates, LLC

3) RevenFlo

4) Walkside Technology, LLC

5) Mizzell Communications

6) Pole Position Marketing

7) KMAX Professional

8) Net Site Marketing

9) Intrapromote LLC

10) Softline Solutions

In order to create the top recommendations possible based on the most detailed evaluation of manufacturing SEO firms the independent research team spends countless hours analyzing industry trends and market research. Each showcased firm has been tested across five verticals of evaluation. The five verticals are significant to determining the comparative performance of the firm in relation to major competitors within the industry. To create an even more detailed evaluation the independent research team also contacts a minimum of three client references of competing firms.

ABOUT topseos.com

topseos.com is an online organizer of independent reviews and ratings. The rankings of the best online marketing services are released monthly to assist businesses in connecting with manufacturing SEO services which feature a history of effective solutions. Thousands of online marketing services are put to the test while only the absolute best services are highlighted in the rankings.

Those interested in applying for the rankings can visit:


http://www.topseos.com/apply–for–rankings–research/