Showing posts from July, 2012

Farmers markets offer more than produce

Farmers Markets are a great place to buy fresh produce and find new food products. Entrepreneurs will often start out marketing food products at the markets. Some merchants sell at several markets on different days of the week. In Oakland County, there is a farmers markets on every day of the week except Monday. Most markets are held once a week. Here is a complete list of Oakland County markets.
Auburn Hills Farmers Market, 3308 Auburn Road, behind Duffy’s, open 3-7:30 p.m. Thursdays, June 7 through end of season, 248-504-8102,

Birmingham Farmers Market, 660 N. Old Woodward Ave., Parking Lot No. 6 N. Old Woodward Ave., north of Harmon, open 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Sundays, May 6- Oct. 28, 248-530-1200,

Clarkston Farmers Market, 6558 Waldon Road, in the front lot of the Renaissance High School/Community Education building in Clarkston. Open 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturdays, June 23 through Oct. 13, 248-821-4769,…

See You at the 2012 Partner Event

The Partner Event makes its return for 2012 being held at its old stomping grounds of Fargo, ND. We at Azox are looking forward to attending the event this year from September 9-11. The Partner Event always provides our organization with insightful tips on ways for our sales and marketing teams to learn effectively and better sell and market our business. One of the best takeaways from attending the sessions is learning how other colleagues in the field are utilizing new marketing and sales strategies to help grow their business. Whether it is web marketing, referrals, or blogs and social media there are many workshops to choose from, each bringing something unique and interesting. We look forward to being there this year and networking with new and old colleagues in the Microsoft Dynamics community. View our video testimonial below and learn why we attend The Partner Event.

Business events

July 31
The “Hired In Michigan” Career Expo sponsored by and Sion Recruitment., is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 31 at Radisson Hotel, 39475 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills.
Participating employers will hire in the following industries: Engineering, Manufacturing, Sales, Finance, Customer Service, Management, Retail, Information Technology, Machining, Restaurant, Medical and many other great industries.
Businesses interested in registering for the career expo should contact Maria Westwood, Director, at or 734-956-4550.

July 31
The Oakland County Business Center is hosting Legal & Financial Basics for Small Business, 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday, July 31 at the Executive Office Building Conference Center, 2100 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford Township. The workshop is free, but registration is required at or call 248-858-0783.

Aug. 1
The Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center is hosting Fundamentals of…

Business events this week

Business events in the Oakland County area. If you have an event, please add to The Oakland Press online calendar submission. It's free and we publish as space permits. Visit

July 25
Automation Alley is hosting a workshop about the four management systems, 8:30 to 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 25 at Automation Alley, 2675 Bellingham, Troy. The four management systems:
1) Accounting – find out why this is not the only system you need.
2) Operations – show you how to measure, manage and improve.
3) Revenue - planning future sales doesn’t have to be a guessing game
4) Cash Flow - how to plan your cash flow 3 months out.
The cost is free and includes a continental breakfast, but space is limited to 20 and registration is required at For information, email Brian Bach at or call 248-563-7996.

July 25
Business Briefing: Health Care Reform Update is 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, J…

WPC 2012 Wrap Up

WPC 2012 in Toronto was a blast. A lot of exciting announcements were made by Microsoft including the October 29th release date of Windows 8. In addition, Windows Server 2012 will be released in the first week of August. Microsoft also reiterated the importance of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) and based their findings in a study conducted by IDC that mentioned a typical 50-person Microsoft partner organization with between US $5-10M in revenue and 2 – 5 competencies can realize US $320,000 in value directly from MPN benefits. According to Julie Bennani, general manager of the Microsoft Partner Network, there are more than 10,000 gold and 25,000 silver competency partners. Here are some pictures from a session at WPC that went over the current state of MPN. We look forward to attending WPC 2013 next year in familiar Houston, TX (location of Convergence 2012).

Retailers to pass surcharges on to consumers

Christmas may be more expensive for Michigan consumers, thanks to a lawsuit settlement by merchants against Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc, according to a report by the Associated Press. In part of the settlement, the credit card companies agreed to allow merchants to charge surcharges. Credit card companies typically charge merchants 1.5 to 3 percent per transaction for surcharges. Merchants have had to figure this in their cost of doing business.
This affects the majority of states, including Michigan.
The settlement awaits approval in U.S. District Court, which may not happen until the end of the year, or even later, according to the “The Wall Street Journal.”
At that time, merchants may assess an extra 2.5 percent or 3 percent, when using a credit card.
The settlement doesn’t include debit cards.
American Express Co. and Discover Financial Services will also permit the surcharges.

Visa, Mastercard in $6 billion settlement over card fees
The Oakland Press

Q&A: How the Credit Card Settle…

Vacation: Connected or unplugged

With so much focus on staying connected, how do we unplug ourselves from work when we are on vacation?
While on vacation recently, I checked my email during the week, saw several issues that needed a communication (or did they) and realized how swamped I would be once back at work. I checked in on Facebook, but drew the line on social media there. Still, it was like I didn't miss a beat when I returned and the feeling of being overwhelmed, stressed and burnt out, was still there. My advice to those with vacations to come, is to unplug from work completely, if possible. If you are a go-to person, give your cell phone number to a responsible person who will only call if absolutely necessary. If everybody has your cell phone, record an away message for your voicemail and screen your calls. With the ongoing high unemployment rate, there's a tendency to do whatever it takes to keep a job. But the truth is, we're setting standards that aren't healthy or in our best interest. Al…

Using Social Media to Boost E-Commerce

In our recent post on ERP SoftwareBlog we mention how social media can be used as a channel to communicate with your customers and drive business back to your e-commerce store. With more and more consumers speaking their minds and becoming comfortable expressing their views on channels like FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn companies are taking more time making sure their customers' voices are heard.

As Azox we have a number of customers in the retail sector who run our integrated e-commerce solution and have incorporated successful social media marketing strategies that complement their e-commerce business. Download our article on "The Importance of Leveraging Social Media in E-Commerce", and learn how retailers like Del Sol, Cariloha and Dr. Hauschka have used social media to connect with customers and drive business back to their e-commerce sites.

Worldwide Partner Conference is Here

The 2012 Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) is here. The event is being held in Toronto and runs through July 12 of this week. Our Sales Director, Giuseppe Ianni, will be on hand to discuss the latest product updates and answer any questions you may have.

Deepak Chopra, the renowned physician, public speaker and author known for being a thought leader of the mind-body-spirit movement will be at WPC. Don't miss this best selling author's address on Wednesday at 9:00 A.M. in the Air Canada Centre Arena.

Fear prevails for investing

Ken Morris, financial adviser, has written many financial articles for The Oakland Press. Here is his most recent article with an excerpt below.

"Stock dividends are a ray of sunshine in tumultuous world of doom and gloom,"

 "One aspect of being a financial adviser I especially enjoy is that my career provides me the opportunity to meet and interact with people of varied backgrounds...."

"One common thread from most of the people I talk with is fear. They’re concerned about the economic uncertainty that exists throughout the economy. If elected officials don’t believe that taxes influence financial decisions, they are clearly not talking to the people that I interact with on a daily basis.
I’ve come to the conclusion, people can accept change, if they feel it is fair. But they do not like the continued uncertainty and listless economic drifting that seems to have become the norm."

Contact Ken Morris at 248-952-1848 or email to  …

Summertime blues: 10 tips for employers

Submitted by  Dottie DeHart, DeHart & Company Public Relations Memphis, TN (June 2012)—“Even if your employees are (understandably) daydreaming about vacations and longing for some fun in the sun, it’s important not to lose momentum,” confirms Averwater, author of the new book Retail Truths: The Unconventional Wisdom of Retailing (ABB Press, 2012, ISBN: 978-0-9839790-7-4, $19.95). “The good news is with the right managerial skills, you’ll have just as much power to influence their attitudes as the weather does. Great leaders know when to give and take from their employees. And the summer happens to be a time when you’ll have to do a little more giving in order to keep them motivated and happy.” A third generation retailer who has spent 38 years building his own stores and assisting others, Averwater knows what he’s talking about. In Retail Truths, he provides a compendium of over 400 lessons for retailers that often have to be learned in the school of hard knocks. The bo…