US Trade Adjustment Assistance Program to Get Funds For Your QMS/CRM Project – Do you qualify?

Article by Boris Lutz, CEO of BPA Solutions, March 2016

 

BPA Solutions would like to call your attention to a relatively unknown US federal program that can provide funding for US based organizations from all industry sectors, who have experienced a recent decline of minimum 5% in sales and employment as a result of import price competition.

Your firm may qualify to get funds.

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAA), a federal program, provides financial assistance to firms in all industries affected by import competition. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Commerce, this federal assistance program pays half of the cost of an ISO implementation project or any other project to improve global competitiveness.

“The TAA Program is a great way for any firm to get funds to strengthen their position in the market. It is very easy to get started and I encourage each firm that needs to develop additional capabilities – like implementing an ISO 9001 or CRM project – to find out whether they qualify for this great program.” says Dr. Boris Lutz, CEO at BPA Solutions.

Grants for an ISO 9001 Quality Management System implementation are available at a 50/50 cost sharing basis, up to $75,000. Over the last decade, many US based companies have been awarded with a matching grant to help them to develop their businesses just from applying for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Grant Program – so can you.

The program is called Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA). There is no cost to find out if you are eligible for this program. Through the TAA program, your firm might receive up to $75,000 in government assistance to develop and implement strategies including the required resources to implement an ISO-based Quality Management Systems (ISO 9001, ISO 14001 EHS, OHSAS 18001, etc.), or CRM system to improve your competitive edge. Typical projects are: quality management system implementation, sales and marketing improvement, new product development, productivity improvement, computer system upgrades, and export feasibility studies.

Let see how this program can help you to improve your competitive position and profitability.

Initial Application

Basically, any firm headquartered in the U.S. that can show a 5% decline in sales (dollar volume) for a current period (most recent 12 months) versus the same period last year, or a 5% decline in employment for the same period, and is indeed import-impacted, is eligible to be approved by the Department of Commerce (DOC). This U.S. government grant program can provide up to $75,000 of U.S. government funds on a cost sharing basis for firms that have been hurt by import competition over the last years. This program is available to all U.S. based firms that have experienced a decline in sales and employment due to import competition.

The program is available within all US States. Each US State has its own TAA Grant Administration office, responsible for collecting and managing all applications of firms for the grant program.

Three Phase Application

The program is divided into three easy consecutive application phases:

  • Phase 1 – The firm is certified into the program. There is no cost for the firm to get certified.
  • Phase 2 – This phase includes the development of the diagnostic analysis and adjustment plan, in which a suitable implementation project is defined.
  • Phase 3 – is the project implementation phase, in which the firm can start implementing the project with an implementation partner and the local TAA office. The allocated grant will be used to fund the project.

Application Procedure

For certification, your implementation partner will help you to build a petition based on your financial and employment data (two years), along with some other very basic information. Petition development can go very quickly (a few days) once all the information is available. Designated project application support will be provided by the TAA local office in your state.

After acceptance of the petition by the TAA Office, (about 60 days from receipt of the petition), an official company visit is required to clarify details and determine eligibility.

From that point, the implementation partner prepares an “Adjustment Plan (AP),” which goes to the TAA local office for internal approval. The AP cost depends on the firm revenues, but ranges from $3,000 to $12,000, with the TAA picking up 75% of the total AP cost. The maximum cost for the firm is $3,000. Once the AP is approved, the project implementation phase can start.

Funds up to $150,000 can be used for growth projects that are outlined in the AP. Funds are available on a 50/50 cost-sharing basis, depending upon the firm’s sales volume / size (i.e. the firm pays $75K and the TAA grant program pays $75K at a cap amount of $150K in project assistance for firms with over $3 million in sales).

The TAA grant program foresees also a mini-plan for smaller firms – around $1 million in sales – which caps project funds at $30K, but the program pays 75% of that total project cost. It is recommended to request support for application from your implementation partner.

The TAA Adjustment Assistance Program does not pay for any kind of asset purchase (machines, software, etc.), but pays for asset-related projects, such as software modification or implementation, ISO 9001 implementations, etc. They also cannot pay for off the shelf software or modules, and cannot pay firm’s employees. Outside those few limitations, the program generally pays for the partner implementation work. Firms must complete any approved project every six months (from the date of AP approval for the first project) in order to stay in the program and get the matching funding on re-occurring basis every year. In a recent change, firms are now required to complete the program within five years after their adjustment plan is approved.

Once the implementation program contract is signed, the implementation project can start. Local TAA offices encourage monthly billing, to ensure the client is satisfied with the results. The implementation partner bills half of the implementation cost to the responsible TAA local office and the other half to the firm. The program does not allow any direct payment to the implementation partner.

Application Requirements

  • Employees data
  • Production Employees
  • Total Net Sales
  • Sales from Purchased Finished Products for Resale
  • Sales for Exported Products

Firms must make sure employment numbers match the State Employer Quarterly Reports.

Production employees are employees that work on the import-impacted products.

Please make sure your net sales information matches your financial statements.

 

Please contact us for more information

BPA Quality ISO 9001:2015

The need to comply with customer’s demands and regulations is increasingly challenging for managers and executives. Complex risk(s) and quality management obligations must be observed (and or monitored) on a daily basis down to the affiliate levels. Noncompliance can hurt any organization’s bottom line, market position and corporate image.

The latest edition of the ISO 9001:2015 has just been published in September 2015 and takes care of these new challenges.

BPA developed an all-in-one quality + risk management solution to help organizations registering or renewing their ISO 9001 certificate and be compliant with the 2015 release.

More than 50 quality processes have been described with their purposes (or objectives), inputs, outputs, activities, indicators and needed compliance documents. The core process map gives an overview of the key processes.

 

Strategic Planning

 

BPA Quality ISO 9001:2015 gives answers to the new ISO requirements, like considering your stakeholder’s expectations and determining your quality strategies such as competitive intelligence.

Market

 

New quality tools have been integrated like SWOT analysis to better support your strategic decisions and business opportunities.

 

 

Risk management is now required by the ISO 9001:2015 standard. Risk management is the preventive way to avoid nonconformities. 60+ high level risks have been identified and are ready to be assessed periodically using our scorecard component.

 

Auditing is a powerful tool to check for any process compliance. 100+ audit questions grouped by ISO 9001:2015 clause and chapter will help you planning your internal audits. The audit question library contains another set of questions to help your organization qualifying and evaluating suppliers. Key suppliers are periodically evaluated using scorecards.

 

Prebuilt workflows will drastically reduce time to handle your quality processes. The 8D non-conformance/CAPA workflow makes sure you go through the main steps to build your team, describe the problem, investigate root causes, declare corrective/preventive actions and measure their effectiveness. The 8D CAPA report is generated on the fly and can be emailed to your stakeholders from the system.

 

Knowledge is one of the most important asset in your organization. ISO 9001:2015 requires to develop, maintain and retain knowledge in your company. BPA introduced a wiki system to sustain your knowledge management initiatives.

 

Contact us to learn how BPA Quality will help you registering or renewing your ISO 9001:2015 certificate and guide your organization to Excellence.

BPA Solution Builder

Business Solutions for any Service & Function

With BPA Solution Builder, power users can build professional no-code solutions for any service/function in a few hours or days, like contract, asset, human resource, stakeholder, project, meeting or internal control management.

With BPA, you can replace spreadsheets and databases with powerful collaborative solutions and stay aligned with IT strategies to harmonize technologies and reduce costs.

Discover solution examples by function:

 

Best Sharepoint finalist 2015

BPA Quality is Best SharePoint Solution Finalist at ESPC 2015

>> Vote Now for BPA and Win a Samsung Tablet (click Login or Register and select BPA as your favorite to participate in the competition)

We are honored BPA Quality was named Best SharePoint Solution Finalist at European SharePoint Conference 2015.

Among BPA voters, one will be selected to win a Samsung tablet. The winner will be announced during ESPC and the tablet will be sent to the winner.

>> Vote Now for BPA and Win a Samsung Tablet (click Login or Register and select BPA as your favorite to participate in the competition)

>> Read our eBook

Regulatory 2015

Multi Site Quality Management System

BPA Quality is the ideal tool for a multi site quality management system solution. The app can be downloaded from the Microsoft store and instantly deployed to all facilities, plants, departments of your group of companies. Policies, procedures and good practices can be shared with all affiliates on a group-level site. Processes related to specific plants will be deployed on related sub sites (e.g. plant specific audits, compliance documents, risks…). Consolidated data allows your group of companies to continuously improve performance of your affiliates.

This use case scenario applies for the following scenarios:

  • A group of companies ensures compliance for each affiliate
  • A company shares processes with external stakeholders (suppliers, clients…)
  • A consulting/regulatory office ensures compliance for their clients

In this example a group of companies want to share regulatory content – e.g. identified risks, requirements, SOPs, compliance documents – with their affiliates/subsidiaries/clients.

In the root site, the group of companies can view consolidated risk information – or any other consolidated data – for all affiliates, grouped by territory.


BPA Regulatory 2015

 

High risks – based on impact and probability values – are highlighted in the risk section. Main risks can be shared with affiliates.


BPA Quality & Risk

 

Each affiliate has a private and secure quality site (instance) where risks will be controlled and mitigated.


Risk Details - Controls

 

Company-wide regulatory content is shared with affiliates through replication rules.


BPA Replication

 

Group compliance documents are centrally managed and accessible by any affiliate.


Compliance Documents - document links

 

Each affiliate has a dedicated subsite to periodically assess risks, set controls, manage corrective actions and store documents. Important data will be consolidated on the group-level site.


Risk

Conclusion

BPA Quality is the ideal tool for groups of companies – company holdings, regulatory offices, professional associations – to improve performance of their affiliates, subsidiaries, stakeholders.

Benefits for the group of companies: ensuring compliance for each affiliate, simplify regulatory and compliance for the whole group.

Benefits for affiliates: a dedicated compliance platform is not necessary, regulatory content is managed by professionals, attractive pricing, simplified audit process and improved compliance.

Benefits for consulting offices: differentiation of the offered services, recurring source of revenues, possibility to offer new associated services with the platform (e.g. compliance audits which will be much easier with the tool), modern image, etc.

BE Systems

BE Systems enters partnership with BPA Solutions

B E Systems a local business systems provider has announced that it has entered into a partnership to provide the world leading BPA Solutions platform for organisations using SharePoint and Office 365 platforms.

BPA Solutions is a global technology company and proven software leader. Since 2001, BPA has been creating a single platform to reduce the costs, risk and time needed to deliver solutions on SharePoint.

Norm Cogdale from B E Systems said it is very exciting to introduce such an innovative and flexible platform that will revolutionise the way that organisations can implement solutions on SharePoint and allow them to take advantage of the power and opportunities that SharePoint and Office 365 offer, with no coding required. Up until now the whole market has been dominated with high development costs, and long project lead in times with even minor changes requiring a significant investment.

To derive the most benefit from SharePoint organisations want solutions that are quick to implement, easy to use and smart applications to drive business process, workflow and collaboration and BPA Solutions enable that to happen easily.

Integrated e-Government Solution – Citizen Service Center

Together with 2 technology partners, we have developed an integrated citizen service center solution, named ProximCity.

ProximCity is the next generation e-Government solution embedding configurable mobile solutions, a self-service portal for citizens and a back-office solution for public administrations.

Rich mobile apps are available to citizens for online administrative procedures, incident reporting with geolocation and much more.

The hosted secure self-service portal is accessible 24/7 from a computer or mobile device. The most popular services are offered, like civil status, citizenship, childhood, daily life, culture, transport, etc.

The back office solution tracks all relationships between a public administration and its citizens. Requests, activities, emails, documents are centralized providing a 360 degree view of the citizen.

Mohammeds quote on bpa

SharePoint MVP Explains How BPA Address Developers’ Needs

“I found BPA website at the beginning by chance, I was searching the web for a complete SharePoint-Based framework, where I can build a business/data-driven solution quickly in a productive way, I tried most of them (I tried 12 vendors’ products)! And honestly I wasn’t impressed or convinced, It felt that these vendor web parts are not tight together perfectly and don’t share the same User experience, BPA web parts gave me the feeling that they are loosely coupled but coherent and works perfectly together and this is what I was looking for, where other vendors provide very useful web parts, but something is missing when it comes to the idea of building a business solution (Data-Driven Apps) like a Lego on top of SharePoint and keeping the user experience persistent and sexy, they miss this attractive and sexy aspect of unified UX”, said Mr. Mohamed Saleh, SharePoint MVP & Independent Consultant.

“I don’t really know how the product management process works internally at BPA, but that’s a great job! The problems that are addressed by the web parts bundle are very common between developers and SharePoint projects, and many of the technical guys don’t even realize or have the ability to describe the problem properly (something that BPA did perfectly)! Especially how the web parts are understanding and dealing with the many-to-many relations model”, said Mr. Mohamed Saleh.

“One of the toughest challenges in building a data-centric line of business application on top of SharePoint is the user experience of many-to-many data relational model, BPA product engineering team tackled this challenge perfectly, all the relational data (where they reside into different custom lists) can be manipulated centrally from a single data entry screen, where the end user can view and edit the main data and all its related data without confusing the end user by navigate between different screens, and this can be achieved by using different BPA web parts (BPA Data Viewer & SharePoint User Interface solves that), and by grouping and categorizing the related data into Tabs in the same screen, and one of the coolest features is the ability to display custom buttons/actions that is related to the data context operations easily, they even took care of the button’s icons in a very sophisticated way using a custom Icon picker that understands the images as a map of Icons”, said Mr. Mohamed Saleh.

“I’ve been there for years, and I was solving these problems by writing a lot of event receivers and nasty custom SharePoint fields code, and it was messy (BPA custom fields and field replication solve that), and then I have to use 3rd party tool to develop custom forms or InfoPath that isn’t sharing the same UX of whole solution (BPA User Interface & Data Viewer/BPA Tabs/BPA SharePoint Forms solve that), then I have to use an open source SP Calendar (BPA Calendar solves that) or a 3rd party one with limitations, then I have to use SharePoint designer workflows to do the document generation/automation (BPA Mail Merge solves that), and when it comes to navigation we usually use JavaScript/JQuery menus and it’s not a pleasant experience at all (BPA Navigation solve that), and when it comes to data importing, we usually do it manually using scripts and copy paste (BPA Import solves that)…, and I have built something similar to BPA Query, but honestly, BPA Query is greater and easier to use than what I already built, something that end users can learn and use easily, I cannot even compare! And I can go on and on regarding other web parts… specially the integration connectors, search, and permissions… and regarding Mobile, I didn’t try the BPA Mobile App yet, but am pretty confident that its perfect considering the quality of other BPA products and the screenshots I saw. When I saw the BPA web parts bundle information over the website first, my first reaction was like THIS IS WHAT I REALLY LOOKING FOR!”, said Mr. Mohamed Saleh.

Mr. Mohamed Saleh
SharePoint MVP & Independent Consultant

Mohammed A. Saleh

Mohammed A. Saleh

SharePoint MVP & Independent Consultant

 

 

Connected System

BPA Solutions enters strategic partnership with Connected Systems

Connected System

Connected Systems, a Perth-based technology-consulting company and a Microsoft Gold Partner, today announced its partnership with BPA Solutions, a leading worldwide provider of business applications and solutions for Microsoft SharePoint. This makes Connected Systems the first Australian organisation to enter into a partnership with BPA Solutions.

We are excited about this collaboration and glad that BPA Solutions has trusted Connected Systems to help them enter into the Australia & New Zealand markets.

BPA is proud to have Connected Systems as a strong new Partner in Australia. Together we bring innovative business solutions and a strong SharePoint expertise in the Australian market.

Partnering with global companies such as BPA Solutions allows us to provide the best SharePoint solutions to our clients.
We look forward to working together.

Connected Systems together with BPA Solutions have already signed their first client in Australia: a large WA government agency, where Connected Systems is currently implementing BPA’s Quality and Risk management software.

We’ve started our partnership the best way possible in signing our first deal a couple of weeks after having started our partnership. We are convinced we will win many more.

About BPA Solutions

BPA Solutions is a leading global provider of innovative business software solutions based on Microsoft technologies. BPA delivers business solutions, web part bundles, mobile solutions and cloud services that empower organizations to build better relationships with both internal and external stakeholders. BPA’s solutions include the award-winning CRM, Quality and Risk management software. The BPA web part bundles give developers a wide range of integrated web parts to accelerate development to create a unique user’s experience with SharePoint. Whether deployed on premise, in the cloud, or with Office 365, BPA provides the most flexible solutions enabling organizations to take full control. Headquartered in Switzerland, with offices in North America and Asia, BPA is ready to support your initiatives to build better relationships.

For more information, please visit BPA Solutions on the web at http://www.BPA-Solutions.net.

About Connected Systems

Founded in 2006, Connected Systems is an Australian technology-consulting organisation that provides innovative technological solutions to meet the needs of customers both today and into the future. Specialising in .NET bespoke development, SharePoint technologies and BizTalk solutions, it offers customers tailor-made, easy-to-use solutions to help increase productivity using the latest Microsoft technology.

As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Connected Systems is focused on building its solutions on the Microsoft platform, which is the common architectural foundation that allows customers to integrate and share all IT assets and resources. This means its customers can not only react to events, but they can also proactively manage their IT environments to pursue new business opportunities quickly and respond to market dynamics more effectively and competitively. Connected Systems prides itself on delivering solutions on current technology and endeavours to stay at the forefront of the Microsoft technology curve.

For more information about how Connected Systems can assist you, please contact:

http://connectedsystems.com/contact
+61 8 9227 0416
sales@connectedsystems.com

BPA Data Viewer Brings Relationship Management Back to SharePoint

“As a former consultant and business-oriented person, SharePoint makes real sense if it can solve business needs. One of the most pressing SharePoint challenges I run into on regular basis was: “How can I view all related information in a single page and track relations within the SharePoint user interface? This was never an easy task and required extra work and programming”, said Dr. Lutz.


BPA Data Viewer 2 minutes overview video

For this reason we developed BPA Data Viewer which is the core for any business solution running with SharePoint. With BPA Data Viewer you can track all related entities (like customers, projects etc.) and daily interactions within a single page for any business topic. This drastically improves the end user experience and productivity with SharePoint.

We would encourage you to access our new discovery sites to learn how Data Viewer will revolutionize your existing SharePoint solutions.

Start your
free trial now!