Understanding the Madrid System for Trademark Registration

One important step to protect your brand in Singapore is by applying for a trademark registration at the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore (IPOS), the Government agency that handles all issues regarding intellectual property rights in the country. A trademark can be protected from copycats and impostors that might try to take advantage of the success of your brand and confuse the consumers with a similar brand or logo. Once the application to register trademark has been approved, the protection is only extended, however, in the territory it was registered in.

Is there a way for companies in Singapore to protect their registered mark outside the country? And can companies outside Singapore apply for trademark registration in the country?

Fortunately, Singapore is a signatory to various treaties and agreements on intellectual property rights, including the Madrid System.

What is the Madrid System?

Simply put, the Madrid System is a centralized trademark registration system that will facilitate an easier filing of trademark owners from different member countries to register TM in several jurisdictions. Because a registered mark is territorial in nature, it would be inconvenient for companies to submit applications individually in several territories.

The Madrid System is composed of two treaties that were concluded in 1891 and 1892; such as the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks and the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement.

With the Madrid System, an applicant will only have to pay a single fee for a single application using three common languages, but the examination process still follows the procedure in each territory. Companies outside the country seeking to protect service mark by registering now in Singapore can make use of the Madrid system for filing. In Singapore, all trademark registration applications, including those that wish to take advantage of the Madrid System, are handled by the IPOS.

How Do I Use the Madrid System?

You can only apply for international trademark registration once it is a registered mark in its country of origin. For companies outside Singapore, their application for trademark protection in their respective countries should already have been approved; while for companies in Singapore, the IPOS must have already granted your trademark registration certificate before you can apply internationally. The basic registration will serve as a basis for the international application.

The applicant also must make sure that the company is also operating in the country or he/she is a resident in the country. International trademark applications will go through the same basic application process as the local registration and are published in both the Trade Marks Journal and the International Registrations filed under the Madrid Protocol.

What is its Trademark Registration Process?

Once you have registered your trademark domestically, the application and other requirements must be submitted to the office of origin to certify the application before it is submitted to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

The application form is available in three languages and can be submitted electronically to the local office. For residents of Singapore, the application is sent to IPOS. Next, you need to list the goods and/or services and classify them according to the International Classification of Goods and Services. You might have already done this with the domestic trademark registration, so this should be easy.

After this, pay the basic fee and complementary fees for each designated territory, and the fees for each class of products and/or services.
Once the IPOS or the equivalent local office has forwarded your application, you can monitor its status through WIPO. You will be notified of any changes, objections, or other issues in your application and given sufficient time to address such.

What are the Benefits of the Madrid System?

The Madrid System is an easy solution for companies to obtain protection in several markets. Applicants need only a single application in one of the three languages and pay one set of fees to register trademark. Not only is it a time-saving option, but it’s also cost-effective because a single application will not need individual representatives for each country or file translated versions of the requirements. This also means that the portfolio can be managed singly with a centralized system, so that it’s easier to expand the protection in any of the 116 countries worldwide. There is no need to worry about how many countries are members of the system, because it includes up to 80% of the world’s markets.

What are its Advantages?

Trademark owners in their respective countries can easily obtain an international trademark registration in a simplified and centralized process called designation. This means that if a company outside Singapore wishes to register TM in the country, all they must do is to designate Singapore as a new jurisdiction. The inspection, examination, and objection processes are still the same in each respective member country, but the trademark owner can choose to file a single application for one or more territories at the same time by paying only a single set of fees.

If there are changes to the details of the application after the trademark registration has been approved, a single, centralized process for an update is all that is needed across all the jurisdictions the owner has applied to.

What are its Disadvantages?

One thing that registered mark owners should be aware of before filing is that the Madrid System might refuse, cancel or withdraw your application if the basic application is canceled or withdrawn within five years of the date of registration. If your company for example, has registered for several applications, a cancelation of one in your local registrations will also cancel its equivalent international registration. Furthermore, if your entire basic application is rejected, then all international applications are also rejected.

Applicants, however, can use the transformation option to avoid such incidents called the central attack, but it will cost more than the regular process. The transformation application will indicate that the registration date is the date for the international registration instead of the basic registration date.

4 CRM Reports Every Business Needs

How many consumer emails and requests have you received today, and how many of them have you responded to? Surely, you can guesstimate or even count them one by one, but that won’t get you too far.

If you have outgrew this manual method of generating sales reports and monitoring customer requests, then it’s time to automate and upgrade to CRM system. This integration provides fast and accurate sales reports and turns raw figures into centralized data that everyone in your enterprise can view and access.

Customer relationship management software provides an overview of your customer service requests, so you can easily keep track of them, allowing you pinpoint the areas where you can improve, plan your workload and most importantly create strategies to meet your clients’ needs and expectations.

Here are four cloud CRM reports that your company here in Singapore should always have on-hand for better customer service support.

1. Number of customer requests receiver per day

This data will show how many requests you received in the previous day, giving you an insight to help plan your workload and effectively schedule your staffs’ shifts.

One example is when your CRM software reports higher requests on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. If this happens, it may be necessary to schedule your support team to work on weekends.

Another example is the sudden increase of requests overnight because of an effective email marketing campaign. So, next time you send out another marketing campaign, you already know you need to schedule more staff the next day to answer customer requests in a timely manner.

2. Number of customer requests responded by user

This sales management report will let you know the number of requests each of your support staff was able to close. With this data, you will be able to gauge the performance of every agent you have, providing you an idea how efficient each of your agents is and how many customer requests they handle in an average.

However, not all agents who have answered more requests mean they are great agents. Some could be ‘cherry picking’ the easier requests over the difficult ones, so they can answer more compared to the rest of your team. An easy way to solve this issue is to automatically allocate the next pending request to the next available staff, so all received inquiry emails or calls are distributed equally among your support team members.

Another thing is when you notice that an agent is handling too few requests. It could be that the agent is struggling. If so, then you know you need to consider conducting a seminar or training session for the team. This report helps you find out what’s slowing down your team’s productivity and come up with ways to boost their workflow.

3. Average time to respond

According to e-commerce experts, the major factor to excellent customer service is being able to resolve issues and address concerns quickly—the reason why this report exists.

Average time of respond is measured from the moment the request was sent by the consumer to the time a support agent was able to send back his reply to the request. The shorter time the agent was able to respond to the customer, the better service he delivers.

If the CRM system reports show that it takes so much time to respond to a request, it could be because the agents or the right department does not receive the requests and that the delay could be due to the action of having to reroute the requests to the right personnel.

Another possible reason is that the responses itself are taking too long to be sent. Are the support team members creating the reply from scratch? Know that composing lengthy emails is time consuming and can affect your average response speed.

This is where CrystalDash in Singapore comes in handy. This customer relationship management software can automate customer emails in a way that the same agent will handle the same customer requests to avoid confusion and delay. For example, a support staff responds to a request and then the customer replies again, the same staff will receive the customer reply and handle the request until it is resolved. Another way to use CRM software is to create canned email messages that all your agents can use, so they can respond to requests quickly.

4. Average time requests are handled

This report will show how much time it usually takes for your staff to resolve an issue or request from the customer. Like the response time, your team’s average time to handle requests is important to achieving excellent customer service. Your consumers here in Singapore expect not only fast response time from you, but also quick resolution to their queries.

For this report, you want to see a decline in the length of time needed for your agents to complete requests. If you notice a consistent increase in time, it could mean that your staff is in need of additional training. An efficient service staff handles customer requests in a shorter time by using a CRM software to help them find the customer’ profile, use the right canned email template and call the right personnel if a a customer inquiry or request is in need of a more advanced knowledge.

When there is so much information available, you can easily get distracted by reading the less important sales management reports. And there is no reason of keeping data without knowing its relevance to your business. The reason why you need these reports is to for you to make an educated decision every time and help your team to be more productive at work.

By taking advantage of report generators of your cloud CRM, you can effortlessly keep track of employee productivity and customer satisfaction, which both contributes to a better bottom line.

Best Practices for Maintaining Your VoIP System

At their core, cloud VoIP are a little more than voice call service and data service bundled in one technology. The high-speed internet and phone systems, which was two different realms in the world of communication, now works as one to provide individuals and business establishments a reliable communication line.

As hosted pabx functions via internet, there are some practices you can do when configuring or operating this system. Any internet-operating device and technology is susceptible to security issues, and cloud VoIP is no excuse to that. Additionally, there are internet services and system features you can use to make sure that your business operations will benefit from VoIP technology.

Here, we highlight the best practices when using an IP phone system for small to medium enterprises in Singapore.

Use Safe Login Procedures

Pbx phone system is capable of doing what it can do because of the internet functionality. However, operating through the internet comes with security risks. One of the ways to improve your business’ VoIP phone security system is by establishing safe login procedures. Each user in your IP PBX telephone system should have their own username and password, created by your VoIP service provider. These user profiles will help you monitor who’s logged in and restrict calls according to time, location or even device.

Limit Access

To further restrict access to information, limit the people who can access certain data or use a particular function. For example, front-line employees do not need to make overseas calls, while project managers who use www.crystalvoice.com.sg Singapore services may have to communicate with overseas branches, partners or clients. Also, remember that access policies must be fluid. When a user no longer needs to make international calls, blocking authorization of the user helps increase security.

Keep Your System Updated

Still in line with security, you must keep your VoIP system up-to-date to maximize its uses and security features. VoIP-enabled firewalls are extremely helpful for securing the lines when transferring files, and a series of Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN) will help segment data packets for a low-maintenance pbx phone system. The security software included in many of VoIP phone systems in Singapore is capable of performing an array of security functions, such as fraud detection, call recording and storage, centralized admin portal and call routing to specific users or devices.

Encrypt Data

Whenever you’re using your VoIP system, know that the data being transferred is at risk. To maximize security, it’s crucial to consistently encrypt data travelling across the network. This means you need to choose an encryption strategy and implement it companywide. It is also ideal to use virtual private networks (VPNs), especially if your network supports large number of mobile devices.

Conduct Site Surveys

The more you know about your network and the more updated you are with its current situation, the easier it is for you to determine and integrate the right cloud VoIP for your business. Conduct a site survey periodically to check WAN bandwidth levels, traffic flow and points of possible congestion. Then, identify specific needs through modelling and testing of system.

Deploy Analysis Tools Strategically

Deploying network analysis tools on your network requires better understanding of hosted pabx traffic patterns. Is your main concern the monitoring of local VoIP traffic or the WAN links? Depending on your goals, use the right analysis probes and consoles to secure visibility of your VoIP communications.

Keep It Basic

For small and medium enterprises, keeping your system basic offers great advantages. Not all businesses require advanced and high-end phone models for every end user in the office, especially for everyday call tasks and conference functions. When looking for a service provider and to contact crystal voice in Singapore you should find out what IP PBX telephone system meets your requirements. Find a system that can fulfil your operational needs, and does exactly what you want effectively. Some providers offer free IP phones, depending on what features and functions you need out of your pbx phone system.

Optimize Network Metrics

Even at its most basic form, cloud VoIP depends on internet performance. Monitoring the metrics, which all IP service is measured, is necessary to prevent the degree of deviation that may cause deterioration of service. These measurements include jitter, latency, MOS, and lost packets, all of which should remain in optimal operating ranges to ensure quality VoIP service.

Perform Tests to Determine Quality of VoIP

Specific tests can evaluate VoIP quality. These tests may run manually or automatically with a management solution. Either way, there are several tests to make, which includes:

• Network Traffic Assessment – this is to help determine how voice calls are routed through the pbx phone system.
• QoS Tests – this test aims to scan the service for errors and know how many QoS queues are configured.
• Ping test for phones – to establish KPIs (key performance indicators) of latency, jitter, MOS score and packet loss.

Verify Your Service Provider

The last piece of advice is to take a closer look at your VoIP service provider in Singapore. Ask specific security questions, such as how your data will be stored, handled and transmitted at both ends of the line. Upfront discoveries are always better as it will give you the power to make informed decisions, rather than trying to resolve a problematic cloud VoIP system months later.

VoIP system is a much more affordable alternative to conventional telephone line and provides valuable benefits in terms of user control. Since VoIP is essentially an internet-based communications technology, however, there are risks than come along with using it. By keeping yourself well-informed on the best practices of hosted pabx, you can greatly diminish the risks and enjoy the best possible performance of your internet-based telephone system.

What Should You Look for in a Hosted PBX Provider?

Private Branch Exchange (PBX) is a company’s telephone system which allows to switch calls between users on local lines. It also allows sharing certain external phone lines at the same time. Having a pbx phone system connects internal telephones which are integral parts of a business, as well as the public switched telephone network or known as the PSTN.

This is beneficial to a number of companies, especially those who rely on outsourcing employees which are from the opposite side of the globe. Not only are they able to contact each other through cloud VoIP or hosted VoIP system at their own convenience, but the company also saves a ton on local telephone bills. Nowadays, it is only considered normal for both big and small VoIP companies to consider adapting this kind of system to run business.

PBX is almost the same as PABX, which is the Private Automatic Branch Exchange, save for the presence of the word ‘automatic’. The word serves as a context clue and provides a hint on how these two terminologies differ from each other since a PABX is just another kind of PBX—its distinguishing feature being that it’s automated. There’s really no reason to get intimidated with the many technological jargons in this article, though. Nowadays, these two usually mean the same thing one way or another.

On-Premise vs. Hosted?
VoIP Singapore is usually linked with the different hosted PBAX systems adapted by plenty of companies, which leaves a lot of businesses in dilemma whether they should go for an on-premise PABX or a hosted VoIP. There has been a long history of debate in Singapore as to which of the two, pbx or cloud voip from Singapore is better or more suitable for a business premise. The key to figuring out the ‘right’ system, however, begins with taking into account the company’s size and what they wish to gain from their pbx phone system.

First off, an on-premise PBAX means the user has more control over the phone system. It is considered to be ideal for large companies which already possesses the bandwidth, infrastructure, and network setting required to host their private phone system. It also allows the integration of the IP PBX telephone system with the other software systems that the company is using or running, like the CRM system. All the phone data and settings are also in the hands of the chief executive of the company.

On the other side of the spectrum, a hosted pabx requires a third party provider to handle the system. This third party has all the responsibilities of hosting and running the hosted PBX, taking work load from Singapore companies. VoIP is linked with less operation and maintenance costs and also leaves no worries about potential network issues over bandwidth.

Other Factors to Consider
Letting a third-party handle all the responsibilities pertaining to the company’s IP PBX telephone system generally entails they should be one you’re most confident in. You have to put your complete trust in them, including the methods they use to get things done.

A hosted PBAX or hosted VoIP system is mostly beneficial to small companies who do not have enough bandwidth to support cloud VoIP on their respective internal networks. Tapping outside help eliminates this headache for small-scaled businesses. Of course the provider is still to be managed by the business, but the thing is they won’t be required to hire another person to do the job.

Small companies do not have to worry about managing in-house administrative duties nor are they involved in the phone or hosted pabx system once glitches and potential troubles arise. The responsibilities and hands-on administration is put on the hands of the chosen hosted PBAX provider — making it important to sift through plenty of options in order to choose the best one for your company.

Potential customers must do their fair share of research, too. Each company is different and that means they have varying needs to a degree. Browse through hosted PBAX providers and talk to VoIP Singapore professionals which can help you figure out which one is the right fit for your needs.

Ideally, you would want to find a VoIP provider that supports mobile initiatives. The desktop phone system must be able to work well with smartphones and other mobile devices in forwarding calls. This will save the company both time and operation costs. If this does not apply, try asking your provider for in-depth applications which will allow users to access full desktop client on their own devices.

Last but not the least, companies must seek providers which can offer them a personalized customer service. Your VoIP must be able to provide fast responses whenever there are inquiries, and at the same time report to the company the progress of the hosted PBAX system. It is better for organizations to keep up with what’s happening within the system especially if it is being operated by a third-party personnel.

There are times when companies want to have queues that are dealt in different ways or they may also want to adapt diverse forwarding rules, either way, the hosted PBAX provider must be able to cater to these necessary requests. If a hosted pabx company have been around in the market for quite some time now, they likely have enough experience in dealing with your company’s needs.

There are many considerations and factors to take into account in adapting a hosted PBAX for a certain company. Organizations must weigh out pros and cons deliberately to figure out if the option would benefit the business more, hence is why the opinion of a professional is encouraged. There are many IT and tech professionals in Singapore who are experienced in matters regarding VoIP Singapore, and if you want the best for your company then you might as well seek their advice.

Everything You Need to Know About Mobile Coffee Catering

Mobile catering is what’s happening now in Singapore – it’s easy, fast, and best of all, you don’t need to rent space for it and can change areas whenever you want. But what exactly is it?

Simply put, mobile catering is essentially a fancier term for operating out of a concession stand on wheels. Food carts are motor-less trailers that can be hauled by most vehicles, such as motorcycles and automobiles, often at a sidewalk or a park.

Depending on what you want to serve, you can also opt for an actual food truck for your mobile coffee cart and serve more than just mocha and latte.

The best part about serving in a mobile cart is that you can serve anything basically anywhere. A coffee cart, for example, can serve mocha, latte, or cappuccino in different places depending on the foot traffic. This mobile coffee cart can be a godsend to workers who need that much-needed cup of energy for the day.

However, before you go ahead and set up your coffee cart, here’s everything and more that you need to know about mobile catering to get you started:

But Why A Cart?
In the first place, what’s so special about a food cart? Why not just rent your own space and sell coffee from there?

There are a number of advantages that having a coffee cart can afford you that a fixed space wouldn’t, the biggest advantage of all being mobility.

Having a coffee cart in Singapore that can go from place to place depending on the foot traffic (or events, if any) allows you to set up anywhere you want and follow the traffic to reach the most customers. When you can set up your business pretty much anywhere, you don’t have to worry about meeting a particular income quota for utilities such as electricity or water.

A cart also allows you to be versatile. You can choose to either be constantly on the move or rent a space and set up an al fresco café of your own – the possibilities are as many as your imagination allows you.

Product of Choice
What else could be so versatile a beverage as coffee? Not only is it great for the working man and woman on their way to work, but also as a way to unwind after a long day. And when there’s good foot traffic, you can bust out your coffee cart and start selling lattes.

You could say that mobile coffee is a godsend for when you’re hobbling to work, school, or home half-awake. But these half-awakes, professionals, students – the list goes on – also need something to munch on because they haven’t had anything to eat, and this is also something you’re happy and willing to provide.

Coffee also works with pretty much any snack – feel free to cook something up on your own and see what works! You can also partner up with different businesses that sell different kinds of foodstuffs, such as baked goods (i.e. cookies, cake, or biscuits) or pasta.

Business Plan
Before deciding to push out your coffee push cart on the nearest sidewalk or renting out the nearest space to convert into your own al fresco café, you of course need to develop a concrete business plan with all the specifics included to make sure that you have all the equipment and appliances that you need.

Market research here is crucial. Though a lot of factors may be favorable for a mobile catering operator, you still need to look at current market trends and see how it affects businesses, and how it could potentially affect your mobile business.

Mobile catering businesses can be classified as restaurants on the go, equipped with the appliances and gadgets needed to cook and prepare the products to sell food. They’re good news if you’re tight on a budget – a coffee cart is much easier to start, as less start-up capital is required compared to usual businesses operating in a fixed location.

However, if you’re looking to see all your returns as quickly as possible, you might want to hold that thought. Mobile catering businesses generally sell at cheaper rates compared to their fixed counterparts, and that means your coffee cart will offer coffee much cheaper than the local Starbucks, even though it’s better.

Customer Base and Location
Coffee catering has never been made easier with just one word: anywhere.

This is perhaps the key determining factor in any mobile catering business, especially with a mobile coffee cart. You get to broaden your horizons and reach out to different customer bases as long as you operate within legal boundaries. Here are a few examples of places where you can reach out to customers from your mobile coffee cart:
• Industrial parks
• University campuses
• Tourism locations
• Blue Collar work locations (i.e. construction sites)
• Office complexes
• Open-air shows and programs
• Outdoor events
• Sports centers

Types of Mobile Carts
Which type of coffee catering vehicle is the best way for you to sell your signature home brew to your customers? There are three kinds of vehicles that you can use: carts, trucks, and trailers.

Carts are the lightest, cheapest, and the easiest to manage, but their small space doesn’t allow you the same room as a trailer or a truck, and you may not be as noticeable on the street or in the park. Trailers work the same way as carts, but are much larger in size and allow you to serve a larger crowd.

Trucks, meanwhile, are a good option if you specialize in cooking something to go along with your coffee. Trucks offer the most space and flexibility, but depending on local health codes, you may be required to prepare and store your food at a commissary.

How to Pick Commercial Kitchen Equipment for a Seafood Restaurant

Who can say no to fresh seafood? But with so many competing seafood restaurants in Singapore, it’s difficult to be a step ahead from the others serving almost the identical menu. Besides improving your list of sumptuous seafood recipes, you can also focus on improving your kitchen area by getting the best commercial kitchen equipment.

Designing Your Restaurant’s Kitchen

They say that the kitchen is the heart of all restaurants, and why not? The kitchen is where your staff prepare the food for cooking and for service. Trust us when we say that the quality of the food, the speed of service, and the well-being of your kitchen staff will improve with a kitchen that has been designed smartly.

Through a collaboration of a kitchen designer and the best kitchen equipment supplier in Singapore, you will be able to turn your seafood restaurant kitchen into a clean, efficient, and functional space. What’s special about seafood restaurants is that there are many ways to prepare the food with various types of fuel. Experts suggest that before you think of a layout, consider how you’re going to prepare the food with the types of fuel in mind.

For propane/natural gas, electricity, and steam, you will need a huge space for the commercial kitchen equipment in Singapore because they can produce extreme heat, while heating oil and wood will need much bigger space and easy access to cleaning.

Besides the cooking area, the layout of the kitchen must include the storage areas (such as shelving and cabinets), preparation area, dishwashing area, receiving area, and garbage disposal area.

Commercial kitchen equipment other than those used for cooking should be placed where they can be most accessible to the staff to increase efficiency, create a smoother traffic flow, improve the division of labor, and make sure that the area will be easier to clean. Storage areas should also be within the same area but must not get in the way of the cooking, receiving, and preparation. For a list of commercial kitchen equipment, you should consult your menu and plan which items are needed with your kitchen equipment supplier in Singapore. The size and number of the appliances will also depend on the menu and the number of customers will be expecting.

Lastly, you should decide the best way to distribute or place the lighting, ventilation, sprinkler system, wall and floor coverings, and the sinks.

Ideally, the kitchen layout should have the following details:

    1. The cookline (cooking area) should be in one corner of the kitchen
    2. The storage and dishwashing areas should be on the opposite corner of the cookline
    3. The preparation area should be near the storage area and in the middle of the kitchen
    4. The dishwashing area should be near the preparation area
    5. The pick-up area should be next to the cookline and preparation area

Essential Commercial Kitchen Equipment

To make the listing of commercial kitchen equipment easier, divide the items according to their functions, such as storage, preparation, cooking, accessories, and service.

• Storage: This refers to items used for the storage of materials. They should be easy to clean and durable and placed in areas where they are accessible. Storage items for a seafood restaurant will include the following:

    1. Industrial food-grade wire or solid shelving
    2. Glass racks
    3. Washing racks
    4. Chest, upright, walk-in or custom-made freezers
    5. Standard or blast freezers
    6. Reach-in, roll-in, drawer, or walk-in refrigerators

• Preparation: These are items used for the chopping, slicing, cubing, dicing, mincing, pulping, pressing, processing, and mixing of the ingredients. Preparation tools for a seafood restaurant kitchen might include the following:

    1. Food prep tables
    2. Slicers
    3. Food processors
    4. Meat chopper
    5. Meat grinder
    6. Dicers
    7. Potato peelers
    8. Salad dryers
    9. Ice machines
    10. Ice accessories
    11. Mixers
    12. Blenders
    13. Cheese melters
    14. Beer taps, wine cooler, keg storage, and glycol system for beverages
    15. Frozen drink or granita or slushy machine

• Cooking: Commercial kitchen equipment that use different types of fuel are included in this category. Cooking tools for a seafood restaurant might include the following:

    1. Open burner or hot top ranges
    2. Electric or gas deep fryers
    3. Ceramic brickets, open, radiant, or infrared broilers
    4. Electric, gas, infrared top heat salamanders
    5. Steam-jacketed kettles or pressure steamers
    6. Freestanding, electric or gas ovens; convection ovens; microwave oven
    7. Electric or gas griddles
    8. Tilting frying pans
    9. Braising pan
    10. Stock pot range
    11. Wok ranges
    12. Hotplates
    13. Rotisserie oven
    14. Charbroilers
    15. Pasta cooker
    16. Pizza oven
    17. Special grills
    18. Exhaust hoods

• Accessories: These are items that will assist your staff in the preparation and cooking of food. Kitchen accessories for a seafood restaurant might include the following:

    1. Fish bone tongs
    2. Matfer scissors (for shrimps)
    3. Shrimp cutter and shrimp deveiner
    4. Shell separator
    5. Oyster knives
    6. Oyster schucker
    7. Fish boning pliers
    8. Seafood pick
    9. Lobster or seafood cracker
    10. Lobster cutter
    11. Fish bone tweezers
    12. Fish scaler
    13. Sushi rollers
    14. Hammer or hook for conch
    15. Wedger or juicer for sushi or ceviche
    16. Tuna press and strainer
    17. Special cutlery for seafood
    18. Various knives

• Service: These are items that will help keep your food hot or fresh for the customers. Service equipment for a seafood restaurant might include the following:

    1. Steam tables
    2. Coffee machines
    3. Small wares (such as pans and pots)
    4. Dishwashers
    5. Compactors
    6. Filtering equipment
    7. Flambe carts
    8. Gueridons
    9. Sushi or seafood case
    10. Transportation racks
    11. Transportation carts
    12. Cold wells and cold plate
    13. Food rethermalizer
    14. Refrigerated display cases

Remember that you might not need all the items on this list, so use your menu as a basis. Besides these commercial kitchen equipment, you will also need a list of the number of tables, chairs, table covers, dinnerware, and linens you will need for the dining area.

BBQ Catering: A Guide in Starting Your Own Catering Services in Singapore

Be it a sunny or just an ordinary day, indulging on savoury barbecues has become the favourite past times of most Singaporeans. Well, who wouldn’t enjoy savouring the smoky taste and aroma of satay right? Because of this barbecue hype, a bbq catering business became one of the ideal business ventures in Singapore. So if you fancy eating and making tasty barbecue recipes, and is planning to get into the catering services industry, then list down these tips on how you can start your bbq catering business.

1. Obtain the Necessary Legal Requirements

One important thing you need to do before putting up your own bbq catering business is to obtain all the legal requirements needed to set up a business in Singapore. Also, ensure that your business will be able to comply with all the requirements so that you can already start your business as early as possible. Do check for certain regulations and policies implemented by the health and taxation departments to ensure that your business is official and legal.

2. Get a Business Insurance

Although its importance is easily overlooked, make sure to get an insurance for your catering business. You should obtain proper business license as well as the commercial liability insurance to cover for your clients, guests, or anyone who were affected by your catering services in a negative way. Also, if you have any hired workers, then you should also have a workers’ compensation insurance for each of them.

3. Create a Unique and Interesting Barbecue Menu

Once you’ve already secured all the legal requirements needed, you’re now good to start for another important part of your business, your menu planning. In creating a barbecue menu, ensure that it contains barbecue meals that are unique, interesting, and of course, tasty so that your bbq catering at Singapore business will stand out from other competing bbq caterers in Singapore. Remember though, that you don’t have to place all of your barbecue recipes in the menu at once. You can just start with two or three recipes, and focus on getting these recipes known in the market first.

4. Set Catering Prices

After coming up with a menu, the next thing that you should do is decide on what your catering prices will be. A bbq catering business is not similar with any other businesses, which is why it’s important that you come up with a profit and loss statements for everything that you do. Ensure that you always tally up the hours that you spent in preparing and organizing an event, because the best way to know if you’re actually earning from your catering business is to approach it hour-by-hour for every catering job. Keep in mind though, that your prices shouldn’t appear unaffordable for your potential clients.

5. Network with Wedding Coordinators and Event Planners

Caterers are one of the services that are usually hired by wedding coordinators and event planners. Since you’re just starting out, try offering your services to these people and give them a reasonable discount for your services. Establish connections with these people as they can serve as an outside salesperson to get your business known.

6. Promote your Catering Business

Since we’re in the social media era, business promotion can already be done with a just a few mouse clicks. Social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter and even Instagram could serve as a good promotional tool for your bbq catering business. You can create a Facebook page for your business and post all the important details that you want your potential clients to know about your business.

It would also help if you post some photos of the event that you catered and how well it went. That way, you can grab the attention and interest of some barbecue lovers out there.

Why You Should Consider a Freight Forwarding Service in Singapore to Ship Your Goods

In a nutshell, freight forwarding is the process of coordinating and shipping goods via carrier/s, be they by air, sea, or by rail – not the process of actually moving the cargo.

In freight forwarding services, a freight forwarder, also known as a forwarding agent or a non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC), is the one that organizes the shipments either for individuals or companies in Singapore in order to deliver goods from a manufacturer to the final point of distribution, or vice versa.

NVOCCs and international freight forwarders will often charge a certain fee for transferring documents to different transportation companies once the goods reach a particular destination, which may or may not be included in their sea freight or air freight charges and is usually paid by the importer at the point of discharge.

They also act on the behalf of importers and companies when it comes to ensuring the safest, most efficient way possible, making use of established relationships with multiple carriers to negotiate the best price for shipping via various bids. While local freight forwarders typically handle local shipping, international freight companies are in the business of shipping goods across the world.

Though you may think that hiring what’s essentially a logistics company to intermediate with a shipping company may seem a little confusing and counterproductive at first, the truth is that you’d actually be surprised. Here are a few reasons why you should consider freight forwarding services in Singapore for shipping your products:

1. Freight forwarding will save you an enormous amount of time

There are simply too many things to take into account when the transportation of goods is involved, but they also have to be coordinated in order to reach their point of destination in time. This is especially true if your cargo is delicate or deteriorates easily, such as livestock or even food.

Freight forwarding services essentially work in the same way as a logistics company. Not only do they have to coordinate with the shipping company that handles the cargo, but they also have to track it in real time as well as negotiate with customs in different countries if need be.

Here are some of the other things that the logistics services of freight forwarder in Singapore are responsible for:

    • investigating and planning the best route for any shipment while taking into account the cargo’s possible limited shelf life;
    • negotiating contracts and transportation costs, as well as obtaining and preparing the necessary documentation to meet local and/or international customs and insurance requirements;
    • making sure that consolidation services and secure, cost-effective alternatives are available to small cargo shippers who don’t have enough required cargo for dedicated units;
    • utilizing e-commerce and offering specific IT solutions as well as being able to take full advantage of electronic data interchange (EDI), satellite systems, and the internet to keep track of current cargo shipping routes; and
    • being adept in the process of international air and maritime trade, current geo-political boundaries, and relevant legislations that might affect these shipping routes in order to be able to adjust and ensure on-time cargo delivery.

The process of freight forwarding to ship cargo is extensive, and having to do it yourself will take too much time as well as effort in keeping in touch with as well as establishing connections with the shipping company that they chose to handle the cargo.

2. Having a logistics company coordinate with a shipping company will also save you a lot of money

There are various fees that a logistics company specializing in freight forwarding may charge various fees, not just in the mere transportation of your cargo but also in negotiating with and meeting customs requirements in many different countries, depending on where the final point of delivery will be.

Of course, the rule is that the farther and the more delicate/heavier/etc. the cargo will be, the more expensive it will get. However, when choosing a service, do consider that there could be risks along with the advantages.

Delayed shipments could mean a lot of things for your business, and not having the needed materials on time could easily cost you more than what you intended. With this kind of service, you could easily save money on transporting your goods. Not only do they simplify the work, but they also make sure that there are alternative ways to make sure they reach the destination on time and in their peak condition.

3. Singapore is the ideal waypoint for cargo transportation in Southeast Asia

Singapore is considered to be Asia’s logistics hub, geographically and topographically situated where routes via air and sea make it easily accessible and the transfer and/or delivery of shipments can be done with great convenience, depending of course on the kind of cargo being delivered.

One of the biggest reasons why Singapore is recognized globally as a logistics hubs is primarily because of its world-class infrastructure that makes it really easy to facilitate the transfer and delivery of shipments from not just Southeast Asia, but all over the world.

Being an island, it has numerous ports with many established shipping services and many more that aim to establish themselves. This array of choices, coupled with the convenience, makes the Lion City an ideal location for you to move your products throughout most of Southeast Asia and even all over the world via air freight or sea freight with relative ease.