Monthly Archives: December 2015

Choosing the Best Church Management Software

Nowadays, managing an organization cannot be done using a heap of files and traditional methods. This is true especially when activities of the organization are carried out on a large scale and have many practices to be recorded. Can this workload be handled using a software? Today, you will find software for almost all tasks such as data management, time management, financial management, resource management, and so on that are the responsibilities of an organizations like a church. These computer applications certainly reduce the hassle of managing and recording each task individually. These software are not only used for business management, but also for carrying out the administration of large churches.

What is a Church Management Software?

Just like businesses, large churches also have to be administered. Big churches are kind of non-profit entities wherein personnel details, finances, and expenses needs to be recorded. Software that are specifically intended to be used for church administration purposes are known as church management software. These software are like an ERP, and consist of various packages for handling membership, events, songs and music management, and other tasks that are associated to strategic planning for churches. They are mainly handled by church administrators and pastors.

Choosing Church Management Software

When it comes to choosing the right kind of software for church administration, you need to opt for one which has additional facilities over traditional ones. Choose a software that has accounting facilities as well as automated databases for tracking membership and their contributions and monthly tithes. Some software even have web mapping features to get proper directions to a member’s house.

Another feature to look at is program management. Using this package, you are able to schedule occasional events efficiently like, recording attendance, contribution, expenses, speakers and pastors, etc. Good software for churches will also have inventory modules which will enable administrators to track daily expenses and the supplies available and required. There are a few applications which enable backup reports to be stored directly to a set destination.

These applications may even have email and SMS integration which makes it easier to send messages to church groups. For example, to inform about a young people’s meet, the person can just choose a particular group in the membership database and send the message across. It is better if you know the details of how the church works to decide on the modules to opt for. You can check for the feature which allows automated notifications to be sent to all members in case of a special occasion of any members.

Most software come with a demo version, which can be used before buying it. You can use the demo versions of different software to know which one suits your needs the best. Select a software which is powerful and at the same time has an easy-to-use interface. Make sure it is a permission-based software, which will keep data privacy. In this way, a young choir member would not have access to the financial records of tithes.

You can choose from two types of software such as web and desktop oriented. If you choose one that runs on an online database, you can access it from any computer connected to the web. However, make sure the database is secure and reliable. On the other hand, if you choose a desktop oriented application for church management, you can only access it from specific systems which have it installed. Here, you will get utmost data privacy and security. The following part of the article gives you a list of the best software for churches.

Best Church Management Software

Church Helpmate
ParishSOFT
Logos II
Acolyte Church Management
ChurchSoft
Church Secretary Pro
Bellwether Church Administration Software
Church Partner
ChurchInsight
ChurchLedger

To choose the best software, you first need to discuss with the pastors about the requirements and expectations. There are even specific software available for handling the operations of ministries, youth, worship, and presentation separately. Choose a software which along with the above mentioned features would offer you customizable options. In this way, you can set the application to be used as per the needs of the church.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Application Software

Our computers and mobile devices are all loaded with all kinds of software, and each software has a different purpose to fulfill. It is important to first understand the differences between application software and system software. System software is the programming and the coding that is utilized by the various components in the device to communicate with each other. There are millions of commands and instructions that are transferred from one component to another with every passing second, and the system software enables this flow of communication. Additionally, the person using the device does not directly interact with or use the system software, since it is all happening inside the device itself.

On the other hand, application software is that which is used directly by the user for the sole purpose of completing a certain task. This type of software needs to be installed separately on a device, and it regularly has interfaces that enables communication between the machine and the user, hence giving rise to many different advantages and disadvantages. For instance, consider a program that allows you to work with databases. This is a software that is used for a specific application, so it falls under this category. It is universally assumed that they have many advantages, and you will be hard pressed to find disadvantages for the same because ultimately, the purpose of all these devices is to perform many tasks with their help.

Common Types of Application Software

The different types of application software are used by individual users and business enterprises as well, and they have many benefits of doing so. This includes word processing software, database software, multimedia software, editing software, and many other different kinds as well. All these software are either provided individually, or they are packaged together and sold by business to business sellers. When a whole variety of them are integrated collectively and sold to a business, they can take up the form of enterprise software, educational software, simulation software, information worker software, etc.

Advantages

When you begin to compare, you will find that the pros outweigh the cons very easily. With that in mind, here are some of their most popular and widely accepted benefits. Note that in this scenario, we are speaking of application software that is designed for a specific purpose, to be used either by individuals or by businesses.

Their single biggest advantage is that they meet the exact needs of the user. Since they are designed specifically with one purpose in mind, the user knows that he has to use one specific software to accomplish his task.
The threat of viruses invading custom-made applications is very small, since any business that incorporates it can restrict access and can come up with means to protect their network as well.
Licensed application software gets regular updates from the developer for security reasons. Additionally, the developer also regularly sends personnel to correct any problems that may arise from time to time.

Disadvantages

As is the case with all such matters, there are certain disadvantages of such software as well. Though these are not spoken about very often, nor are they highlighted, the fact is that they do exist and affect certain users. But people have accepted these misgivings and still continue to use such software because their utility and importance is much more profound than their weaknesses.

Developing application software designed to meet specific purposes can prove to be quite costly for developers. This can affect their budget and their revenue flow, especially if too much time is spent developing a software that is not generally acceptable.
Some software that are designed specifically for a certain business, may not be compatible with other general software. This is something that can prove to be a major stumbling block for many corporations.
Developing them is something that takes a lot of time, because it needs constant communication between the developer and the customer. This delays the entire production process, which can prove to be harmful in some cases.
Application software that is used commonly by many people, and then shared online, carries a very real threat of infection by a computer virus or other malicious programs.

So, whether you are buying them off the shelf, or whether you are hiring a developer to build specific software for you, all of these points will seem pertinent to you. Many individuals and businesses have regularly found the need and the requirement for such software, and the fact remains that any computing device will be utterly useless without such software running on it.

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Swimming Pool Design Software

Designing a swimming pool with the help of a software is easy and it enables the user to customize the type of swimming pool desired. There are few software available in the market that provide the user with different tools to design a swimming pool.

Swimming Pool Design
Swimming pools are of two types i.e. the in-ground and the above-ground swimming pools. There are numerous ways in which these pools can be designed. An important point to remember while designing a pool, is that the design should reflect the owner’s personality and taste. It should also take into consideration the budget of the owner and the location of the pool.

Software for Designing Swimming Pool
The software available in the market provide various features to customize the appearance and the structure of the swimming pool. Many of these software enable the user to have a 3D view of the pool designs. The price one pays for swimming pool software is worth the returns obtained. This is because today’s software are not only easy to use, but also provide amazing 3D angles and incredible design clarity.

Landscaping Options
It is possible to add various landscape features in the designs of pools with the help of software. Lawn chairs and flower bushes can also be incorporated in the swimming pool design to enhance its appearance. These objects could be rotated and scaled according to the designers needs.

Easy to Use
Most of today’s software developed for designing are user-friendly. These are easy to use and can be learned quickly. There is no need of prior experience or technical knowledge in order to design pools using these software.

Realistic Designs
The designs created with the help of these software appear realistic and can be used to depict the natural terrain effectively. Rolling hills, multiple slopes and elevations, can be accurately created with the help of the software. It is also possible to add natural colors and textures with the help of a swimming pool design software.

Templates and Other Options
The software provides the user with many powerful tools and template libraries that help in the preparation of layouts and professional plans. For the professional construction of the design, one needs to set the scale, provide the necessary dimensions and add 3D pictures.

Natural Light
The view of the pool design can be changed according to the time of the day. The 3D view of the pool in moonlight or daylight, gives the presentation a dramatic look. This feature allows the customized positioning of the sun or moon in the design to give the customer an amazing experience.

Pool Template Libraries
The template libraries allow designers to choose ready-made templates of pool designs. A customized design of a pool that one creates, can be stored in the software’s library.

Detailing and View
Software provide the customers with views of the pool from different angles and enable the designer to upgrade the design with changes suggested by them. The designs created using software also provide the user with numerous details of the design.

Rock Waterfalls and Beach Entry
The software allows designers to use ‘rock pieces’ and ‘water features’ to make the swimming pool design interesting and realistic in appearance. Features like wet bars, beach entries and tanning ledges can be added to the design with the help of software.

The above mentioned features provided by swimming pool design software make the activity of pool designing interesting and much easier for the designer. Such software thus, prove to be a great tool for swimming pool designers.

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Buying a Warehouse Management System Software

Warehouses are defined as ‘storehouses for goods and merchandise’. This means, that they handle all kinds of materials and goods ‘coming in’ and ‘going out’ of the company premises. They are a storage space for your company to store raw materials and finished products.

Thus, it is very important to efficiently manage the records of your warehouse. This is where warehouse management systems (WMS) come into the picture. Apart from providing the obvious automation features for all your data, they also provide many other benefits.

Features

Common features that are included in such systems today are:

Controlling the movement and storage of goods and materials in the warehouse.
Flexible location system to record data from different warehouses across locations.
Records of materials with defined ‘From’ and ‘To’ locations.
Records management with product dimensions and related information.
Integration with other devices to get live data.
Automated data collection.
Inventory management features such as systematic data storage and retrieval.
Order tracking.

All these features will help you track your materials and maintain an efficient record of your warehouse. This will result in a significant improvement in your warehouse operations, in the productivity of your employees, and of course, increase customer satisfaction. A good system will also prove to be a boon for your organization’s supply chain management.

How to Purchase

If you look around, the market is abound with various warehouse management systems. So how does any organization go about deciding which software to purchase? Here is a quick guide:

Requirements Analysis
This is the first step for any organization when they need to decide whether to purchase any software solution. This analysis underscores the need for such a system, and then these requirements can be converted into must-have and good-to-have features.

Contact Vendors
The next step is to contact the vendors available in the market and ask for quotes. Go through their brochures and materials, and evaluate them based on:

Experience of the vendor-how long has he been around?
Cost benefits to your organization.
After-sales service offered.
Training facilities provided.
Cross platform compatibility.
Software integration capability with already existing tools in the organization.
Does it use data capture and identification technology such as bar code scanners?
How user-friendly are the screens?
Capacity of the system to handle data volumes.
How accessible is it-through the Internet especially?
Reports-the types available, and whether customized reports can be pulled out?
Technical support offered.
Can you see a demo?
Can you install a trial version before buying the full package?

Scheduling a Roll Out
Once you have figured out a vendor who can meet all your requirements, the next step is installing the trial version and testing it in real time, to see if it meets your needs. Once this has been demonstrated, you can go ahead and implement a phased roll out of the WMS.

Training
While the software is being installed in your company, begin providing training sessions to your staff so that they get ready to use it.

Measure its Performance
Measure the performance of the application after its installation to see if you have met the organizational goals effectively.

Thus, armed with an effective warehouse management system, you can increase the supply chain efficiencies and ensure that your products reach the consumer quicker and without defects.

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