Category Archives: Business

25 Tips When Traveling by Train for Business

Smal Biz Trends from California Rail News

Research the Available Routes

Amtrak has more than 30 train routes that go to and from various locations in the U.S. And in some cases, there may be more than one way for you to get to a particular location, though some are more direct than others. So take a look at the schedule and routes well before you need to actually travel so you can make the best decision.

Look for Deals Online

You can also purchase tickets directly online, as well as by phone and at Amtrak stations. But if you buy online, you can sometimes get access to better deals than you would otherwise. So try to plan ahead and compare prices online.

Buy Separate Tickets for Stop-Offs

Depending on your plans, you might want to take a train to one location, stop for a day or so, then take a train to another location from there. This is absolutely possible. But you do need to buy separate tickets so you can be sure your entire trip is covered.

Use Business Class Lounges

Some train stations offer business class lounges where priority customers can relax and access wifi and comfortable working space. So if you arrive for your trip a bit early, take advantage of those spaces to get some work done while you wait.

Anticipate Delays

While traveling by train can be comfortable and cost effective, it’s not the quickest mode of transportation. And even the scheduled arrival times don’t always come to pass. So don’t schedule a trip if it leaves you arriving just an hour before a bit meeting. It’s best to arrive a little earlier just to be safe.

Get a Rail Pass for Frequent Travel

Amtrak offers a rail pass that can help you save money if you travel frequently. So if you plan on taking trains for business trips multiple times per year, it’s worth looking into as a cost saving measure.

Use Points to Purchase Tickets

You can also sign up for Amtrak’s Guest Rewards program that can help you earn points that you can redeem for future travels. So if you travel by train regularly, it can be worth it to sign up for an account and then use your points for future purchases.

Save Time With Mobile Ticketing

Amtrak also offers mobile apps for Apple, Android and Amazon devices. So you can download the app and use it to purchase and show your tickets. This can help you streamline the entire booking and boarding process.

Be Flexible With Seating Assignments

When you book a trip, you can get your confirmation right away. But Amtrak normally assigns seats once each train is booked before assigning seats. So if you plan on traveling by train, it’s best to be a little flexible about where you sit.

Book Together if Traveling With Colleagues

If you are traveling with others, that means you should book your tickets together so you can ensure you actually get seated together.

Reserve Coach for Economical Travel

There are a few different options when traveling by train. Coach is the most popular and economical option. If you’re taking a relatively short trip and want to save money, this is probably the best option.

Upgrade to Business Class for Meetings, Working Space

However, there is also a business class option. If you want a bit more room and want to be sure you get access to a full desktop and outlets, you can opt for a business class seat instead.

Consider Roomettes When Traveling Overnight

If you’re taking a lengthier trip where you’ll be traveling overnight, you can certainly stick with a coach seat. But if you’re looking for something a little more roomy, you can opt for a roomette. However, most roomettes are made for two. So it’s mainly an option for those traveling with their significant others.

Get a Bedroom for More Comfort

Or you could opt for a private bedroom for even more space and privacy. This option is best if you’re looking for a really comfortable experience when traveling across the country.

Take Advantage of Onboard Wifi

Most trains to offer complimentary wifi on board. So if you’re just looking to browse the internet or send emails when you travel, you can take advantage of that feature.

Use a Hotspot for High Bandwidth Functions

However, the onboard wifi doesn’t include high bandwidth functions like music streaming. So if you need to do anything that requires a stronger connection, it could be worth investing in a personal hotspot.

Remember Your Chargers

Most seats, especially those in business class, also have access to electrical outlets. And there are some in common areas as well. So remember to bring chargers for all your devices so you can stay powered up while you travel.

Check Large Bags

If you’re taking a long trip, you’ll probably bring a decent sized bag, which you can check so that it won’t take up all the space in your seating area.

Keep Essentials With You

However, you can bring a small bag with your most important items like your laptop and any important documents you might need to reference if you’re working while you travel.

Book a Table for Meals

In the food car, you can book a table to ensure that you have seating reserved for all meals. If you’re traveling with others, you can sit at a private table. Or you can allow the staff to sit you with others on board so you can socialize.

Hang Out in the Bar Car

There’s also a bar car on most trains that offers comfortable seating and refreshments to help make your trip more enjoyable.

Head to the Quiet Car to Work

Or if you’re looking to really focus and get some work done in transit, check to see if your train has a quiet car where you can go to work without having to worry about loud distractions around you.

Prepare for Varied Temperatures

No matter where you’re traveling, it’s a good idea to pack some layers in your carry-on bag so you can be prepared for any temperature, since train cars don’t necessarily go along with the outside temperatures.

Take Breaks at Rest Stops

As your train makes its way to your destination, it’s going to make several stops. But not all of them are actually rest stops. Some are just stops where the train is picking up more passengers and then immediately departing. So check the schedule so you can know where it’s safe to get off and stretch your legs a bit.

Map the Trip from Station to Hotel

Many train stations are located in downtown areas. So you can potentially make it to your hotel or meeting spot quickly. But it’s still a good idea to map it out before you get there so you know if it’s possible to walk or if you need a taxi or public transportation.

Response to Mark Tomlonson “This Weekend In New York Central History”

June 18, 1962 The New York Central announces it has purchased $1.5 million in electronic communication systems. NYC claims this is the first application of railroads using automated data transmission.

Yes, keeping up an outstanding track record! Only 9 years after buying first computer:  A UNIVAC for preparing payroll for system in Utica.

Logistics News After New President Takes Over

Panama Canal overtakes Suez on Asia-US East Coast route. This makes sense….. those new locks makes it easier on shippers.

Top US trucking lobby outlines wishes for Trump administration

City officials have dropped the idea of selling the New Orleans Public Belt Railroad, but are continuing to explore the possibility of a public-private partnership for the short line that handles switching for the port’s six Class I railroads.

RailAmerica for Sale, Report Says

Transport providers hold firm against attacks on NAFTA, trade pacts.

Democrats and Republicans alike are encouraged that a Trump Administration could inject freight infrastructure with a much-needed funding boost.

Steady growth in e-commerce activity is driving a surge in the parcel delivery business, and strengthening the role of EDI in processing and auditing freight payments.

The Trump administration’s plan for a broad-based regulatory rollback could shorten the duration of any future truck capacity shortfall.

Shippers, trucking companies, container lines and others are starting to get a better idea of what Trump can and can’t deliver. Ignore the armchair analysis of Trump’s campaign rhetoric.

Comparing the Big Dig’s costs to mega projects around the world

Tunnels, highways, and rail lines cost billions no matter where you build them.

Facts and figures are based on an article in the BOSTON GLOBE.

The price tag for Boston’s Big Dig ballooned from $2.6 billion to nearly $15 billion. And it was eight years behind schedule by the time it was done. How does that compare with some other mega construction projects around the world?

Gotthard Base Tunnel, Switzerland

Alaskan Way Viaduct, Seattle

  • Cost: $3.1 billion. Earthquake-damaged highway to be replaced by a tunnel. Under construction.

D.C. Metro Silver Line extension

  • Cost: $7 billion. New 23-mile rail line to Dulles International Airport. Under construction.

London’s Crossrail

Second Avenue subway, New York City

The Chunnel, English Channel

  • Cost: $21 billion. A 31-mile rail tunnel connecting England and France. Completed in 1994.

 

Enhanced Retail Solutions Announces Wholesale Inventory Integration in its POS Software Platform

What was a feature in its Demand Planning Software has been added to its Retail Sales Analysis software based upon client requests.

 

Enhanced Retail Solutions (ERS), a leading provider of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) retail analytic and demand planning solutions to suppliers, their retail trading partners and licensors announces the additional of Wholesale Inventory to its Retail Synthesis point of sale analysis software.

Originally developed for its Demand Planning Software, a supplier’s Wholesale Inventory information can be automatically added to the ERS Software Platform. This information combined with projected sales at retail helps manufacturers determine what inventory buys to make and went to make them.

Once ERS clients learned of this capability, they wanted the inventory added to the Retail Sales Analysis software. While ERP systems offer such information, they typically are not very flexible in how it is reported. ERS’ Intelligent Retail Platform allows for total customized reporting. For instance, now clients may list their Wholesale Inventory position in a column in their retail sales reports, making it easy for salespeople to see if they were in stock before they contact their retail partner to offer to ship fill in inventory. As all values pass to reporting – from POS to forecasts – retailers and suppliers have past, present and future views in one report.

“We did not anticipate the need for wholesale inventory in sales reporting” says David Matsil, President of Business Development at Enhanced Retail Solutions. “Yet once the need was described, we understood the benefit immediately and were happy to open up that functionality”.

Contact Enhanced Retail Solutions
+1 (212) 938-1991 Ext: 103

 

75 Incorrectly Used Words That Can Make You Look Dumb

How many of these do you get wrong?

Using the right word can matter. Using the wrong word can matter even more. I once lost a potential writing gig because I used “who” instead of “whom” in a proposal letter.

(And I still have trouble getting “who” and “whom” right.)

Even just one incorrectly used word–especially when you’re trying to make a great impression–can ruin everything. Is that unfair? Yes… but it does happen.

To make sure that doesn’t happen to you, I’ve collected some of the most common incorrectly used words from other posts into one epic post. (Thanks to all the readers along the way who offered their own examples, many of which are included here.)

Here we go.

Connected Data Transporter trumps public cloud for users

Seeking a file-sharing and collaboration tool that offers efficient, remote access to storage, switch to the Connected Data Transporter.

One company adopted Dropbox to support more than 40 staff and volunteers that needed access to documents, photos and videos of church services.

“The hope was we could replace our internal storage with Dropbox,”  “We created a folder and people started to upload data, and it would sync to everyone’s hard drive. There was no way to turn it off and it filled up the hard drives on people’s small laptops.”

users had the option to access files via Dropbox’s Web interface.

“The navigation was clunky, so people stopped using it,” he said. “That was the issue.”