Posted in Consulting

Centuria Management Consulting. Need more info, send us an email 📧 centexcargo@gmail.com

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via As a valued customer, we will assist you with gaining insight into the five dysfunctions of a team before exploring and addressing why some teams pull together

Our winning team has extensive experience in team building, temporary staffing, and a proven track record in leadership excellence. Moreover, the Centuria Express (CentEx) management consultants have a long history of turning small businesses that are struggling, around. We care deeply about people that have ordered our services. The emphasis of our working relationship with YOU is placed on ‘supply and demand,’ good management, and using ‘information technology’ correctly, to attract lots of customers to your business.

Posted in Consulting

Being self-employed without the support of your better half or significant other

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As a consultant, when someone comes to me with the burning desire and a business plan, to go into business for himself or herself, before checking the quality of that business plan, the question I usually ask of this eager client is: do you have the support and blessing of your family?
I am taking this opportunity to share with some of you readers, a discussion that some LinkedIn members were having about self-employment. It involved this middle-aged man. A 53 year old Black male who really got my attention. Going into business for himself was not his first rodeo. This was his third venture. Nonetheless, he felt some level of ambiguity. The forces were against him. In his own words, ‘I was being setup to fail, since I didn’t have the support of my woman.’ His first business venture entailed a home health care agency in Southern California that offers geriatric care and temporary staffing. He had the full support of his woman then. A relationship that lasted 7 wonderful years. This home health care ageny was able to secure $25,000 in private investments using primarily the network of his significant other as the vehicle. His second business venture was launched together with a partner. This business concept focused on finding a niche market for temp workers in the Information Technology industry. The mother of his 2 children believed so much in the idea that she poured $20,000 of her own money into the startup. In just 5 years, the board members made the decision to break up the group. His woman received the principal and a $60,000 return on her investment, a few months right before the Great Recession of 2008. Serendipity or perfect timing? In spite of the level of financial success enjoyed by this couple, their loving relationship, however, didn’t survive the test of time. They were able to stay friends and good parents to their 2 daughters. How the table has turned when that same man met this passionate woman of East African descent, 7 years after his last relationship. Her emphasis as an immigrant living in the US, was solely on financial security. That’s understandable. ‘But it put a damper on things and dimmed my energy as a man and risk taker,’ wrote that man on LinkedIn. Consequently, it was never a good time to take risks. That 53 year old Black man finally put his LinkedIn membership to good use and shared his predicament with other members in the form of a conversation. He wanted to know whether it was still possible for him to pull it off – i.e. start his own business. Enclosed, please find the paragraph that he wrote on the LinkedIn discussion describing his situation and his desire to work for himself. ‘It’s nerve wracking when you don’t have the full support of the woman you love. Her full support is so critical because self-employment is for the most part based on a shared vision that derives directly from good business ideas, financial backing, and family support.’ This concept promised to supply the high demand of prospects and turn them into customers. Unfortunately, self-employment does NOT offer “financial security” right off the bat. But the on-going process of putting together the right team with the right expertise in any growing market is sure to pay off and generate a profit.

So, what do you think? Is it possible to start your own business without the support of your significant other? Please share your thoughts on the subject …

Posted in Consulting

My intimate thoughts about dating, sex and a long lasting relationship

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Going out on dates is an opportunity to find out more about a potential lover. In my case, it always starts with some type of physical attraction or with my fascination with a woman’s unadulterated passion for her profession before asking her out on a date. As I get older, I began to realize that most women once they are looking for a mate like any man would, always put their best foot forward. If not savvy as a man, when dating you will get no hints about some of the personality traits you don’t want to see in a woman and those that you seek, which makes her a potential partner, friend, and lover. Her acceptance of your advances to either take her out to dinner and a movie or spending time with her at some social event will more than likely clog your judgment. The possibility of having sex with her for the very first time will complicate things further and can easily be interpreted as compatibility. Lots of men may rush to judgment by telling their friends that their first date was a total success and how he and this new woman hit it off almost immediately. A man is usually overzealous by the prospect that a woman who gave him her undivided attention and showing some subtle signs that she is interested in going out with him on a second date, may in just a matter of short time sleep with him.
During my parents’ generation, most people use to date and then marry within the circle of people they grew up with. Others, during that same time period, were world travelers but took a long and enough time to get to know the other person from a faraway land, as a suitable mate. We are now living in the microwave era where everything has to happen instantly. I am aware of the current reality and have been paying close attention to the signs of the time. Therefore, how do I meet the woman I really want in a short period of time? Such an endeavor undoubtedly requires a multi-faceted approach. First of all, meeting an even-tempered woman who doesn’t have an antagonistic attitude toward the overall American system and who has some disposable income are some key factors of my search. If the past serves me as a guide, I am going to need the right kind of exposure to meet a woman of that caliber. My presence in the social media sites is well crafted and deserves a second look. My target audience has had ample opportunity to experience the Charles brand first hand and to put a face to the name so to speak; LOL. There is no doubt that a more active social life with a focus on appropriate social events will serve as a vehicle to further my search for that special woman. Hopping on a plane to go to an exotic location has always been one of my top priorities and part of my repertoire. Making a conscious effort to attend social functions and business events with women of means in attendance is an integral part of my routine. We are now living in the world of online dating and speed dating. Consequently, I need to find a fast and efficient way to get to know a potential partner. That clearly defined goal may require the postponement of sex by rerouting my energy toward finding answers to some very important questions. My topics of discussion should range from setting boundaries if any for grown children, her upbringing, past relationships, relationships with her dad, mother, and siblings to personal budget, paying for essentials, debt, investments, and ways of raising children if she has any, and her views on family structure, community psychology, and discipline for instance. As I write this paragraph, it becomes imperative to state the fact, as a man I am not intimidated by successful women. However, it should be noted that most women of that caliber always look up, marry up, and hardly take the time to look down for the sole purpose of finding a good man with potential before pulling him up to her level of success – i.e., financial, professional, and personal. It is common knowledge that a middle aged man with means is more likely to share his good fortune with a much younger woman than a rich cougar would with her boy toy. Lastly, I am afraid that I haven’t been disciplined enough and calculated enough in the past to steer away from either verbally aggressive women or miserable women. This is, however, an opportunity for me to acknowledge that everybody who’s in a serious relationship with another human being will have some type of disagreement at one point and when angry we are all capable of saying mean things to a loved one. Thus, bringing up the principle of fighting fair to the forefront of any conversation with a woman I am pursuing should not under any circumstance be avoided. We all get angry and disatisfied at one point or another in the course of a relationship but the understanding that anger itself is not a destructive emotion will sustain any relationship through thick and thin. No two people are going to view the world the same way in each instance and in every situation. In any relationship, the two partners will have differences of opinion, not accepting that fact will pull any two loving people apart but accepting that reality can be the starting point to becoming a loving couple capable of resolving any problems in a respectful manner and without anger.

Posted in Consulting

The challenge of humanitarian logistics in disaster relief operations for the Caribbean?

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Here you are, working at a private logistics company that has invested in state-of-the-art technology, heavy equipment, and a fleet of commercial vehicles. And due to a proactive recruiting process and choosing the right freight forwarders, your enterprise with its supply chain and logistics wing, has a winning team and the right infrastructure to deliver customers’ expensive freight on-time, directly to authorized agents in almost every corner of the world. Your ‘Director of Operations’ has countless meetings with his/her team to discuss effective logistics operations, ETA’s, In-Transit and on-time delivery of freight to several ports of discharge. But never in 100 years, would entertain the idea of providing fast and reliable service at cost to customers, let alone for FREE. In business, ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease.’ And that expression gets thrown around a lot during difficult times and when a natural disaster happens. High paying customers and the ‘super rich’ determine how resources are allocated in this industry. Therefore, most transport and logistics companies are usually caught off guard when approached and then asked by individual customers to assist at the lowest cost possible during a natural disaster. As humanitarian organizations mobilized to provide relief during a natural disaster, most of the time in a devastating and chaotic environment, it becomes apparent that complex supply chains are needed and become paramount for effective relief in the form of food, water, medical supplies, and emergency aid. Damaged infrastructure as a direct impact of hurricanes, earthquakes, or a tornado, is accompanied with a rapidly changing environment. That new reality should drive the need to optimize those complex supply chains. The outcome would be an adequate distribution system that includes specialized vehicles and equipment to deliver goods and services under a new set of difficult circumstances. Every year, during the hurricane season, I, on behalf of CentEx Cargo, get many calls from a number of potential customers who unexpectedly find themselves in a dilemma. Right off the bat, they inform me that they don’t have much money but want desperately to provide immediate help to people, some of whom are relatives that are in ‘dire need’ of relief in some remote town. Here is the thing, according to the world economic forum on disaster management, more than 250 million people each year will be affected by natural disasters. To make matters worse, the number of natural disasters has more than doubled since 1980 and still on the rise possibly as a result of climate change, population increase, and rapid urbanization. Moreover, natural disasters and catastrophic events need immediate ‘media attention’ to get more concerned citizens like yourselves to get involved and synchronize our energy in the right direction. The only silver lining in all this, is the fact that the frequency of those disasters will compel private companies, NGO’s, and government agencies to work together by forming the necessary partnerships. The objective is a seamless network capable of generating collaborative solutions at a cost-effective rate. It is crucial, however, to distinguish between a private company and a non-profit one/NGO. CentEx Cargo is a for profit entity. Consequently, the main purpose and goal to our contributions is to transport and ship donated goods at the lowest cost possible and provide private sector expertise to established NGO’s that already have a presence in the country where the natural disaster happens. Thus, before you ask for my assistance, you should already have a list of NGO’s that has extensive experience dealing with the government of the country where a given hurricane or earthquake did wreak havoc. Those NGO’s are more than likely capable of applying major discounts and a tax break to your account. Their main mission should be to subsidize some of the crucial services you are going to need on the ground in Cayes, Haiti for instance. There are always budget constraints as an economic reality even when private citizens are lending a helping hand to people in need.

As stated previously, the number of natural disasters has more than doubled in the past decades, and will continue to rise. And for that reason, I am continually looking for feedback from concerned citizens, interested parties, CEO’s of NGO’s, and Supply Chain and Logistics Directors to create a much better ecosystem for the entire Caribbean. This way, all of us can be sure to have a better, faster, and cohesive response to natural disasters

Posted in Consulting

Become an Authorized Ship Center. Get More Customers and Make More Money. Call Today! 770-864-4871

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Are you looking to get into the shipping business to the Caribbean or Central America? Are you too busy running your store or retail location to haul clients’ freight to a warehouse near you? Are you currently a shipper who does not have the back office, warehouse space, and the needed technology to take your business to the next level? CentEx Cargo could be your answer. Although CentEx Cargo is not a franchise, ‘Acquisition’ is continually recruiting for authorized agents. There are no royalties due to our group or to anyone else for that matter! CentEx Cargo is best described as a one-stop shop for transport and international shipping service to the Caribbean. Other services that you may offer, includes barrel sales, moving and shipping supplies, money transfer, money orders, fax, copier, professional printing, notary public, and tax preparation.

The fee we charge is already part of the bulk rate we offer to an authorized agent. Our freight forwarders and freight brokers work diligently to find the most competitive shipping rates. Moreover, they use the latest shipping software to generate the lowest bulk rate, trace and track cargo. We can offer training on how to receive and process freight for any ports of discharge in the Caribbean. This is a great opportunity for a lot of ‘mom-and-pop stores.’ More responsibilities can become overwhelming. An HR Specialist can assist with the recruiting of both full-time and part-time shipping clerks if there is a need.

If you require our services with starting your first retail location or building out your existing store, we can assist with that as well. Our Management Consultants and IT Specialists charge a consulting fee upfront, which covers an initial needs assessment, local contractor costs, and everything else you need to be a “one-stop shop” for transport and international shipping service to the Caribbean or Central America. Our team will do for you a storyboard design based on the CentEx Cargo/ECU brand and simultaneously assist you with finding the right location and negotiating for a long-term lease if required to do so.

In most states/counties, you will require a business license and will be subject to local regulations. CentEx Cargo can also assist in this regard. You should have a net worth of $250,000 or more with access to at least $75,000 in cash or an adequate line of credit to cover startup expenses.

If you are ready to participate and be part of this exciting opportunity, send your inquiries and leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post.

Easy business to operate! We offer complete training and on-going support. This business opportunity is ideal for a storefront or a small office with an accessible loading ramp.

For more information on how to accept and process freight for international shipping service, SEND us an email 📧 centexcargo@gmail.com

Posted in Consulting

Self-employment as an employment option in the Rehabilitation field

Self-employment in the rehabilitation field should undoubtedly meet the primary goal of any vocational rehabilitation program – i.e., to help people with disabilities become productive members of society through the achievement of independence and meaningful employment. A person with a disability who has his own business, meets the three main characteristics of that primary goal: Gainful employment, self sufficiency, and independence. I am not talking about an enclave position, nor job opportunities within a sheltered workshop. I am referring to self-employment as a viable option that clearly addresses the competitive nature of employment. Starting your own business as set by state or county guidelines and adopted by any supported employment program is a giant leap in the right direction. The success or failure of that option is strictly based on the ability of each participant to attract customers, provide good management, good customer service, and having enough cash flow. This concept should, however, require careful consideration only after the applicant has undergone a thorough quality assessment that identifies interest and capabilities. This way, a vocational rehabilitation counselor can assist the eligible individual secure funding and identify community resources in order to make an informed decision and hence a clear choice about pursuing self-employment. There is no cookbook out there, nor an abundance of strategies that would increase the utilization of that option. Strategies and methods for increasing the use of self-employment in the rehabilitation field are rarely discussed but constantly evolving due to the changing nature of business, supported employment programs, and the overall economy. After a careful search, I found these three models with strategies that have been proven to work:

A) Resource Ownership – A person with a disability has a piece of equipment or decides to buy that equipment because there’s great demand. For the purpose of this exercise, let’s say, that equipment was purchased with money from either a social security plan meant for achieving self-support, vocational rehabilitation funding, affluent family members, and lastly, from a community-based rehabilitation agency with a history of securing funds for qualified applicants. Subsequently, a vocational rehabilitation counselor looks for established businesses that have a definite need for that particular equipment but don’t want to spend a lump sum upfront to buy it. The interested party with a disability retains ownership of the equipment but gets paid every month or as designated by a binding contract between him/her and the business for the use of that equipment.

B) Partnership – People with disabilities can become partners in existing businesses in need of new cash flow. But each of those businesses, has a business plan, marketing plan, and established methods of attracting customers. A cash investment from the United States Social Security Administration, Vocational Rehabilitation Funding and from other capital resources, allows many interested people with disabilities to jumpstart this viable employment option and participate in this process. The partners in this model get returns on their investments in the form of regular payments.

C) Sole Proprietorship – Like the two previous forms of self-employment, sole proprietorship is grounded in the competitive nature of starting a business and similar to getting a job which emphasizes the “train and place” readiness model and ‘supply and demand.’ The disabled person’s suitability for business ownership comes to play. This approach remains person-centered but can be quite challenging given the lack of both natural and rehabilitative supports in the current business climate. In this model, no ideas for a start-up company should be considered ludicrous for a business plan. For instance, starting a baby-sitting company, a staffing agency for parking attendants, grounds keeper for less, and a thrift store run by people with mental impairment disabilities are some of the ideas suggested to me by people with disabilities.

Although barriers exist for people with disabilities who wish to become self-employed. But as many entrepreneurs understand, there are a number of strategies in place that will address those barriers on an individual basis provided that the interested person or applicant with a disability has the right support system in place. Implementing any of those strategies requires the mediation of a motivated rehabilitation worker and/or employment specialist. We, the professionals and people with disabilities must continue to advocate to the government and the business community for the implementation of policies and practices that encourage rather than deter the self-employment efforts of people that are grossly underrepresented.

Posted in Business Management, Consulting

Human Resources Management

When I entered the job market in the late 70’s on a part-time basis, as a naive teenager, “Human Resources” was known as the “Personnel Department.” Human Resources progressively became the more usual name for the overall function of this department – i.e., managing staff and recruiting personnel. In approximately 5 to 7 years from attending college in the early 1980’s and my feeble attempt to join the job market, Human Resources was now the term used to describe individuals who make up the workforce of an organization. “HR” (abbreviated initials for Human Resources) is also charged with the responsibility for implementing strategies and policies relating to the management of individuals. Whether you are a human resource professional, a manager or an individual job seeker, you are probably wondering about the future of “HR,” considering how dynamic the work environment has been these past few years. Let’s now take a look at HR from the perspective of an individual job seeker. If you are like me; Ronald Reagan is president, you now have a Bachelor’s degree and seeking employment during a recession. Someone told you about a job opening in a company that interests you, you subsequently go to HR of that company, you read the qualifications and then apply for that job opening. On the surface, the process appeared straightforward and simple. I am sure at that time, there were also complex ways of networking. It was common knowledge then as it is now: the best jobs are not advertised. Today’s job seeker has to have a multi-faceted approach of looking for a job. Applying for a job online is now common practice. There are now websites dedicated to the listing of job openings or job boards as they are often called. Some of the most popular sites are: Monster, Careerbuilder, The Ladders, SimplyHired, USAJobs to only cite a few. The savvy job seeker not only browses through those sites for job openings, matching specific job requirements with his/her skill set, education, and work experience but posts a well-written resume or resumes on those sites as well. Those job sites also offer a feature that allows the job seeker to create “job agents” based on a number of search categories – e.g., accounting, finance, non-profit, management, government … etc. Those search categories, in turn, send automatic job alerts via email to the creator of the aforementioned job agents. One would think, this preponderance of resources would make finding a job easier. Well, the opposite is true. Some job seekers complain that job applications submitted online except through a company kiosk, are going to a black hole. Such an assessment is well founded given that only 25% of companies notify an applicant that he/she is no longer in the running for an open position. I will be the first to say, this new way of doing things shows a level of unprofessionalism on the part of HR. However, that would only represent a singular perception of the situation. The internet makes it much easier for an individual to submit an application for a vacant position. Having the opportunity to look at job search from both sides of the spectrum makes me confident in saying that HR Departments are getting more applications than they can handle. HR has to sift through hundreds of resumes to find the ideal candidates for a job. The initial face to face meeting with an HR staff back then was essential to the screening process. It would have saved HR staff time and discouraged some unqualified applicants from applying to certain jobs. The rating system was more concise when HR was more centralized. To understand and effectively manage human resources amid the challenges posed by today’s environment, you must examine how applications are received, quantified, and subsequently rated. The rating system often starts with some keywords. Those keywords permit a sometimes automated process to classify applications based on said system conducive to recruitment and hence selection. What is the percentage of applications not meeting any of the jobs requirements that are discarded per each job opening? I wish I knew the answer to that question. Human Resource Management, however, has several other functions in addition to what I have just described. One of those functions entails meeting the demands of today’s dynamic work environment. This environment has changed significantly with the impact of the global arena, changing demographics, technological development, and legislation. Human Resources Departments can be the very source of an organization’s competitive advantage if they are managed effectively and by having a say in how each job description is designed and then select the right person for that vacant position. We all have heard of horrific stories of downsizing that turned out to be dumbsizing and massive layoffs. According to the Harvard Business School, many of those organizations involved in downsizing were negatively impacted in terms of their financial performance instead of saving money. The move to high performance organizations reflects today’s emphasis on human resources as an indispensable asset that is also viewed as a long-term investment and not on cutting your workforce in half. This is not how your father found a job. However, one thing that will always be true, is the legal environment within which all businesses operate. The Human Resource Department has to be proactive and ensure that all managers are appropriately educated about the legal requirements. It is imperative that managers have a solid understanding of the legislation that impacts employment regardless of the level of technology injected into its practices.

Posted in Consulting

Dreaming about having your own business vs. reality

In business like in any other fields, an entrepreneur dreams about creating an enterprise that’s going to meet the demands of many, many … clients, and more than likely solve the problems of those potential customers. It is safe to say that every business enterprise starts as one person’s dream. Dreaming about having your own business is pure, unadulterated passion, void of images of any crisis. Consequently, at the inception stage, an entrepreneur shares his idea of starting a new business with a limited few, mainly with those that are going to share his excitement. Sooner rather than later, a practical entrepreneur will begin to put the positive images of his dream down on paper. The rosy picture of starting a new business is still there but reality simultaneously starts to set in. This is where my team and I come in. As a consultant, I always understand the excitement and passion of someone starting a new business venture, but the focus of my responsibilities lies in helping the person write a sound business plan. It is my experience that passion and excitement alone will not cut it. But, a sound business plan more than anything else will guarantee the success of your concept of a new business. A good business plan describes and analyzes your business and gives detailed projections about its future. It covers the financial aspect of starting or expanding your business – how much money you need and how you will pay it back. To assist a client with writing a business plan, I make it common practice to seek the expertise of an IT Specialist and that of an Accountant. Together with my team, I’ll look at a new business venture from every possible angle. This way, my team and I will come up with: Plan A, Plan B, and a Contingency Plan for every possible scenario. Putting together a manual of policies & procedures accompanied with job descriptions is usually at the very top of my list. Discussing the risks facing your new venture will usually follow. Here are some examples of risks facing your business: Competition; Pioneering; Cycles & Trends; Slow Times; Owner’s Expertise; and Cash Flow. For the scope of this blog, I will not expound on those risks. However, I want you to know that I share your excitement of being your own boss and/or obtaining financial freedom but starting a new business is a lot of work and requires a full-time commitment.