3 Important Questions to Ask Before Buying a CRM System

When planning to purchase a customer relationship management (CRM) system for your business in Singapore, you have probably searched high and low for the best features, the cost, scalability and how easy it can be integrated into your system. It is all good and very important factors. However, it is not as important as determining how useable it can be for your business.

CRM is not a one-size-fits-all. Surely, a good cloud CRM, if implemented properly, will benefit the company big time. But sometimes, a company just doesn’t have the culture to adopt a CRM system. This isn’t the company’s fault. People can be trained and the existing operations can be altered in order to sync seamlessly with CRM software. Here are some questions you would want to answer first before deciding on the right type of CRM software to get.

Do you have enough resources?

At the end of the day, the CRM system is just your business’ database. If used the right way, it can be very useful for everyone. Like any asset, it requires investment; and like any investment, it needs resources—money and time.

Other than affording the software’s cost, to get the new system running, you need to dedicate some people for its operation. You need to have someone to ensure it runs smoothly and that the system grows with your business. You may need to have consultants, developers and integrators. Good thing that many CRM systems in Singapore today are equipped with smart functions, which minimizes the need for constant supervision. However, you will still need to train at least one or two employees to spend time working on the system.

Can you clearly evaluate your ROI?

If you are paying for your customer relationship management system, you are choosing to spend this much money in lieu of another asset. Are you sure it’s a worthy investment? To justify whether your chosen CRM system is a smart investment, you need to make sure that it can give you sales growth forecast program and a clear evaluation of your ROI.

It’s not an unreasonable idea. You are in business for profit, so it’s just reasonable to invest on something that will help you generate more revenue. Getting a cloud CRM that can clearly present you sales reports would be of great help for planning processes and decision-making. Sales management should be a top priority when it comes to choosing the right CRM software for the company.

Do you have the right data?

Remember that in order for a CRM system to serve its purpose, it should contain accurate and complete data. If you don’t have the right information to supplement the system’s operations, it might go to waste.

How to make sure you have the right data all in one platform? Everyone should automate their tasks. Throw away the spreadsheets, index cards and scratch papers and start entering every information received in the system in order to establish updated sales management data and ensure accurate sales reports at the end of every period.


Christmas on Orchard Road

Orchard Road is a familiar sight to us all and hey, it’s still Christmas until December is over right? Now who would have expected that a very urban, modern, uptight, and structured Orchard Road would turn around into something our imagination wouldn’t even have pictured at all. Well, our imagination is a wonderful and powerful tool and when we put it to good use, who knows what amazing pictures we could paint. This is what Orchard Road has done. With a collaboration of brilliant and passionate minds coming together to make sure the Christmas celebration is authentic and enjoyable.

As the most busiest shopping streets around, Orchard road is also a great way to celebrate Christmas if you are into buying presents or maybe just treating yourself for being able to survive the year. Decor hanging from every post, every shop, every store themed with Christmas. Orchard Road is just a wonderful place to be during the holidays.

Now, what exactly will you be experiencing? Well, imagine walking down a street filled with lights and decorations from head to toe with the vibrant colors of Christmas and the sweet sound of cheers and laughter as our hearts grow joyful. Imagine that sight of children playing around with smiles oh so sweet carrying their presents and smiling at mommy and daddy. This joyful sight goes on for about one and a half kilometer from west to east.

Now what would Christmas be without a Christmas tree? The Christmas tree is the single most accurate representation of a perfect Christmas. So many memories, so many smiles, so many experiences, and so many blessings have been experienced around a Christmas tree. It is only fair that Orchard Road pays respect to this Christmas tradition by having the biggest Christmas tree in Singapore! Orchard Road wears it’s pride around it’s sleeves as it does not only boast but also invites people all over to gaze their eyes upon the glorious Christmas tree! Orchard Road claims to have the best decorated Christmas tree in Singapore and although we would love to agree, you’ll have to be the judge of that yourselves.

There isn’t a question as to who you are spending your Christmas with. I mean, come on, it is the season of love and giving, it’s already pretty clear who you are spending your Christmas with. A harder question to ask yourself is where would you like to spend your Christmas? Well, hopefully after reading this article, you wouldn’t think twice and head over to Orchard Road. Experience the best Christmas ever on the streets of Orchard Road.


Best Desserts for Christmas

Christmas is a great excuse for a sweet tooth! Everybody is giving out candy, eating cake, and so much happening all around. Why not stack up your fridge with the best desserts out there? I mean, Christmas is a celebration, isn’t it? Remember all of the good times and celebrate with a little bit of sweets.

Kids are always so excited for Christmas, not just for the gifts but also for the abundant desserts all around. Maybe also because of the fact that their mommy lets them get away with eating too much sweets. Anyway, Christmas is a best time for dessert, I mean, it feels like it since December can be considered the last dish of a 12 course meal.

Here are a few of the best desserts to have for Christmas:

1. Cheesecake
Cheesecake is a great dessert to have in the fridge. The creamy, subtle, flavorful, and elegant taste of cheesecake speaks for itself. As a dessert, cheesecake isn’t made to paralyze you with sweetness but rather liberate you with the creamy cheesy goodness blended together in a perfect cheesecake in fact, you can even make a cheesecake yourself! There are even some no-bake cheesecake recipes just lying around the internet.

2. Ice Cream
Ice Cream! The kids love it, the parents love it, but one of the best things about ice cream is that it is not that expensive but it is also very easy to get. You wouldn’t have to go out of your way to get a good ice cream. Another great way reason why ice cream is the best dessert to have is you can eat it at almost any time of the day.

3. Fruitcake
Healthy and great for the family, fruitcake is a Christmas classic. There aren’t many gatherings without fruitcake and it may seem a bit over-rated, but it is still a definite classic dessert to have around Christmas.

4. Cookies
The last but not the least on this list. Cookies are great for everyone! They’re light, they’re easy to eat, and you can eat them practically anywhere. You can’t go wrong with cookies. No wonder cookies are Santa’s favorite.

Getting the right desserts to serve everyone can make or break you. Better stick with the basics and give people the cheer that they’ve always expected to experience every time they finish their meal. The end of every meal is as important as the journey itself. It’s been a tough year for some and Christmas may have been the day you’ve been waiting for all throughout the year and now it’s finally here! Make sure you end every Christmas meal with perfection.


What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Neurological disorders affect at least 1 billion people worldwide according to the World Health Organization. The most common illnesses include epilepsy, headache disorders, multiple sclerosis, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. In Singapore, it was estimated in 2015 that 4,000 people suffer from Parkinson’s and 3 out of a thousand of these are the elderly.

What are the Symptoms?
Parkinson’s disease is a form of movement disorder that can disrupt the person’s ability to perform everyday activities. It is also a chronic and progressive illness that cannot be reversed. Parkinson’s affects a specific region of the brain called substantia nigra, where loss of neurons occurs. The neurons in this area are responsible for producing dopamine, which help in the movement of the body. Low levels or loss of dopamine will result in the inability to control movement.

Most of the people afflicted are aged 50 and above, but there are cases of early-onset or young-onset Parkinson’s. A person with Parkinson’s disease will suffer from various symptoms (and symptoms will usually manifest on one side of the body), but the most common are following:

1. Muscle tremors at rest
2. Slow voluntary movements or akinesia
3. Stiff or rigid muscles
4. Stooped posture
5. Less control over facial expressions
6. Mood swings, anxiety and/or depression
7. Fatigue and difficulty concentrating
8. Sleep problems
9. Digestion and bladder problems
10. Deterioration or loss of the sense of smell
11. Poor memory and speech difficulties

At stage 5 of the disease, the person might not be able to stand and walk and will experience hallucinations.

What are the Treatments?
The causes of Parkinson’s depend on the form of the illness. The most common type of Parkinson’s is idiopathic, which means that there is no clear cause that can be found. The damage is done to the nerve cells that produce dopamine, a neurotransmitter that sends electrical impulses to the muscles from the brain. There are cases, however, where Parkinson’s is caused by other neurological disorders, tumors, infections, or it could be a side effect of drugs.

The symptoms of Parkinson’s are apparent even before the person can get a diagnosis. The doctor, however, needs to do a physical exam and examine all the symptoms by testing the person’s reflexes, agility, and sensitivity to pain. Additional tests such as the L-Dopa, CT and/or MRI scans are also performed to rule out other potential illnesses that share the same symptoms with Parkinson’s.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s to date, but there are treatments that will help ease the symptoms so that the afflicted can still function and live a productive life. The treatment will be based on the stage or progression of Parkinson’s using the Hoehn scale, Yahr scale or UPDRS.

Parkinson’s is treated with medications to replenish the dopamine levels. This is adjusted as the symptoms progress and are paired with other treatments such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, speech therapy, and deep brain stimulation.


Common Learning Disabilities in Children

Learning disabilities can affect a child’s acquisition of basic skills in life such as reading, writing, speaking, and doing arithmetic. In some cases, it can also affect his/her ability to organize, plan, reason, pay attention, and retain information. Not only will the child be unable to keep up with most children at school, but the disability can also impact the way he/she will interact with other people and form relationships.

Unfortunately, most children are not diagnosed with learning disabilities until they are sent to school, while others don’t have the access to the special care they need as they grow up. Add to that the misconception of mixing learning disability with learning problems associated with mental retardation, economic disadvantages, emotional problems, and handicaps.

Types of Learning Disabilities
Dyslexia is the most common learning disability in Singapore according to studies and is closely followed by ADHD. Most learning disabilities cannot be cured and will be a challenge for the affected person and his/her family for the rest of his/her life, so it’s important to note the symptoms early on.

1. Dyscalculia
A child will not be able to understand the basic concepts of arithmetic; therefore, he/she has difficulty understanding sequence of events, doing cash transactions, and recognizing sequences of information.

2. Dysgraphia
The child with this condition has difficulty writing, has problems with grammar and writing in a logical sequence, and might exhibit a strong dislike for writing.

3. Auditory Processing Disorders
A child will find it difficult to understand sounds made by others, so it’s more likely that he/she will not understand what you are saying or comprehend the words you have used.

4. Visual Perceptual or Visual Motor Deficit
This condition will affect the child’s ability to understand information that he/she sees. Other symptoms include the inability to copy or draw the visual information, confusing letters that look similar, bad sense of direction, and misalignment of letters when writing.

5. Dyslexia
Children with this condition find it difficult to connect letters, sounds, spelling, and even recognizing words. The child may not be able to understand what you are saying, recall numbers in sequence, has difficulty learning new words and might delay the ability to speak, and has difficulty writing and speaking in an organized manner.

6. Dyspraxia
A child with dyspraxia will have problems with hand-eye coordination and will find tasks that require motor skills difficult. He/she has poor balance, is sensitive to loud and repetitive noises, sensitive to physical contact, prone to breaking things, and cannot organize his/her personal items.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is characterized by a child’s inability to control his/her behavior. He/she may also be hyperactive, impulsive or inattentive.

8. Memory Problems
Some children will have problems with short- and/or long-term memories, so they cannot create and even retrieve memories. They will find it hard to remember facts and follow instructions.


Eat Healthy by Visiting these 5 Vegetarian Restaurants in Singapore

Going vegetarian in Singapore doesn’t necessarily equate to boring meals filled with nothing but greens and salad. In fact, there are a number of restaurants all across the city-state which takes the vegan game to the next level. Goat cheese tart or a plate of scrumptious gnocchi are only among the many options you can try. Even if you’re not vegan, you will undoubtedly find yourself curious about the meal dishes these restaurants offer!

Thanks to these good vegetarian restaurants in Singapore, creative and good vegan food options are now made easily accessible to almost just anyone.

• VeganBurg
While VeganBurg is all vegan, this place is actually renowned as where all your vegan dreams come true. VeganBurg has about 4 outlets in Singapore which boasts quality burgers — all vegan, of course! This is the reason why the place is almost always crowded every other day. Not only does VeganBurg offer the customers good vegan food but it also comes along with a unique and refreshing dining experience in itself.

• Café Salivation
With a tagline of “Purely vegetarian: Sandwiches, pizza, pasta, salads”, Café Salivation is definitely a go-to for all vegans in Singapore. They offer a rich Western menu complimented with spicy food items, which goes beyond your usual meal choices! The interior décor of the place is also no joke. Customers always find the colorful interior design as refreshing as they enjoy their hearty meals.

• Divine Realm Vegetarian
Divine Realm is a Singapore-based restaurant which is famous for their homemade noodles, a perfect meal to warm you up on cold nights. Aside from their special noodles, they also offer other vegetarian dishes which can definitely delight your palate. Their menu has an impressive selection of almost a hundred dishes to choose from — including dim sum, ramen, and others.

• Komala Vilas Vegetarian Restaurant
One of the earliest vegan food chains in the city-state, Komala Vilas Vegetarian Restaurant has been loved by many Singaporeans from one generation to another. The place serves traditional south Indian meal items and it also offers a rich variety of vegan dishes in the evening. Visiting this restaurant to try their famous Indian Chhola Bhatura dish is considered a must-try for tourists.

• Vegetarian Era
Vegetarian Era is well-known to be one of the best vegetarian restaurants in Singapore. This place was established by none other than Henry Wang, a famous and renowned Singaporean chef. Their meal items embody both good food quality and affordability, which makes it famous among locals and tourists alike. Some of the must-try dishes in Vegetarian Era include Herbal soups, Rawan Rendang, and Hainanese curry rice.


Healthy Tips to Help You Start a Vegan Diet

Eating a healthy, balanced diet has been a challenge for a number of people over the years. Especially if you’re fond of consuming meat, eggs, and other dairy products, adapting a vegan diet is almost close to impossible. There are just some things you feel like you cannot give up, but you’ll be surprised to know how this lifestyle change can improve your health in general and even make you shed off some few pounds!

Here are some healthy and easy tips for you to follow in getting started with a vegan lifestyle. A plant-based diet doesn’t have to be difficult— if you know how to motivate yourself to keep going, that is.

• Eat a variety of foods
In order to make the most out of adapting a vegan diet, you have to ensure your daily meal plan is well-balanced so you do not miss out on essential vitamins and nutrients or consume only processed vegan food items. Your meals must be rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains. Include a variety of healthy foods which can offer you different nutrients. For instance, beans can give you the protein and fiber you need, while leafy greens can provide the body with vitamins C, A, and K.

• Choose whole grains
Substitute your usual refined grains (white bread and pasta, for instance) with whole grain food items. You can start off with quinoa and rice. Whole grain foods add B vitamins and iron to your vegan diet, both of which are essential to the body. They also offer extra fiber — which can keep you full for long stretches of time and help you in shedding off some unwanted fats!

• Try plant-based proteins
Eating more plant-based proteins is one effective way to improve your health in general. Vegan sources of protein contain less unhealthy saturated fat (contrary to animal sources), and thus they are essential to include in your vegan diet. Your choices can include tofu, lentils, chickpeas, edamame (soybeans), and other beans. Nuts such as walnuts and almonds can also deliver protein to the body.

• Incorporate lots of vegetables
There are lots of good meal dishes which revolve around vegetables of all kinds. Keep in mind that a hearty meal doesn’t have to necessarily contain meat. Vegetable-based meals are a win-win choice for everyone. They are rich in essential vitamins and minerals (such as Vitamin A, K, and Potassium), and they also keep your daily calorie consumption in check. Vegetables are also high in fiber content. With that, you are most likely to feel more satisfied after consuming one hearty veggie meal.


How to Check for Anemia

Do you always feel tired and weak even if you look healthy? Maybe you’re suffering from the most common blood disorder called anemia which results from the lack of red blood cells in the body.

What is Anemia?
To understand the significance of red blood cells, remember that one of its functions is to take the oxygen from your lungs to the various organs in the body and to take the carbon dioxide from those tissues to your lungs. If you have few red blood cells for this gas exchange, there is a chance of losing blood and the loss of red blood cells. If the person has other health problems, there is also a risk of hypotension or very low blood pressure.

What Causes Anemia?
According to researchers, anemia can be caused by hemolysis (or destruction of your red blood cells), decreased production of red blood cells, and blood loss. Each of these causes are more likely to occur due to various factors such as a pre-existing health condition or genetic condition, nutritional deficiency, physical trauma, infectious diseases, and chronic illnesses.

What are the Symptoms?
You may be anemic if you have the following symptoms: fatigue, weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, pale skin, headache, cold hands and feet, chest pain, and arrhythmia. Some mild forms of anemia do not have obvious symptoms, but others can also damage other organs in the body because of lack of enough oxygen supply to function normally.

What are the Tests?
To determine if you have anemia, you need to have a complete blood count or CBC test that will check the level of hematocrit and hemoglobin in your blood. The CBC will additionally determine the size of your red blood cells or mean corpuscular volume, which might be an indicator of the cause of the condition. It will also check your platelet count and the number of red and white blood cells.

The normal levels can vary among different ethnic groups, but the doctor can explain to you what is considered a normal count. Other tests may be recommended if your CBC results show you’re anemic in order to determine the damage the condition has done to other organs and to point out the specific cause or rule out other health problems.

What are the Treatments?
Depending on the type of anemia you have, the treatment aims to address iron deficiency, blood loss, and to stop bleeding, if any. By the end of the treatment, you should have enough red blood cell count or hemoglobin to supply oxygen to different parts of the body. Your doctor in Singapore will advise you to make changes in your diet, add supplements (such as iron, B12, folic acid, and vitamin C), and to take your medications regularly.
The medications will address any existing complication brought about by anemia. However, if your condition is severe, the doctor will recommend blood transfusion or bone and marrow stem cell transplant. Surgery will address complications such as bleeding of anemia has damaged certain organs.