Use Help Desk Software To Save Time

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Who would not want to use the best help desk software if it can save time? Every manufacturer is aware of the importance of time and how much of it needs to be saved if they want to become the most productive in the Industry. If they can use software that will relieve the much needed manpower towards another department, then that is what they will prefer. It is all about maximizing productivity. We know for a fact that labour is cost intensive. One cannot take shortcuts where employees are concerned. If a department needs a certain number of staff in order to handle all the business needs, the company is going to hire that number.

However, if we can use help desk software thereby freeing up some of the staff, we may be able to put the said staff to better use in another department. Companies are always on the lookout for a solution that will enable them to utilize manpower to its maximum potential. Most companies in a variety of domains have started using help desk software in order to streamline their customer service departments and make the business get a better profit margin. That is always the bottom line and as expected, software that can get them nearer the bottom line has a greater chance of success.

Increased Profit Margins Thanks To Help Desk Software

There are many commercial help desk software available in the market. They come with live chat for those of us who find it difficult to navigate through the websites. This type of live chat enables customers a more direct approach and thereby, greater customer satisfaction. This also cuts down on our irritation levels when we are waiting to reach customer service on the telephone. Invariably, we call the customer service number and it gets routed to some other country because these functions have been outsourced to save on labour. For instance, India is one such country that provides back-end support to companies in the West.

The customers are usually from the West as well and they are not too happy talking to someone in India with an artificial accent. If this process can be totally automated via the help desk software, it becomes a win-win situation for all. This does not necessarily mean that unemployment will loom large. Even to manage the help desk software, we need people except that these employees will have mastered the use of software products.The objective is always to increase profits and generate good will so that stock prices remain high. Bad mouthing and veering away from a product because of poor customer service will endanger the company’s market value.

Guidelines For Selecting Anti Wrinkle Cream

Do not be easily convinced to make use of any anti wrinkle cream that claims it can get rid of your creases in as fast as a few minutes. This is definitely not realistic. The best anti wrinkle cream may not bring about fast results, but instead one that you can enjoy for a long period of time. When selecting an anti wrinkle product, do not rely solely on how the product is advertised. Try to look into the details of the item in terms of ingredients and safety. It has to be made of components that are not detrimental to your health. The ingredients have to be proven effective in making the skin more elastic, smoother and more vibrant.

glladyConsulting with a skin doctor can help you determine which anti wrinkle creams are worth giving a try. Skin doctors know which products are not harsh to the skin and those that you can consume regularly. They are well-aware which ingredients truly help do away the crow’s feet appearance on one’s skin and which ones do not really contribute to the skin’s healing. Listen to what the doctor has to say about your wrinkles and always keep your lifestyle healthy.

My Mom Loved It
Mom stayed in Japan for almost three months. When she left, she looked really depressed. That time, her relationship with Dad was really troubled. She decided to go to Japan for vacation until such time she’s ready to deal with their problems. She arrived home yesterday to my surprise. She did not say that she’s coming. I really missed her and it’s such a joy to have her around again. I noticed that Mom looks better now. She looks younger and healthier. I teased her about her youthful aura and she mentioned using the best anti wrinkle cream in Japan. I think that product is really great. It took away Mom’s wrinkles and blemishes. Even when I look closely at her face, I can’t see anything flawed on her skin. Dad has not seen her yet. He’s out of town for a business conference. I am pretty sure that when he sees Mom, he’ll regret what he has done that hurt her. I just hope that they will be able to fix things now that Mom is here. I wish Mom gives Dad a second chance. They are growing old and they need each other now more than anything else.

My husband just gave me the best anti wrinkle cream in the market today. We went out for dinner last night and we talked about getting old. I told him that I am not afraid to get old, but I am scared about having wrinkled skin. I know he adores my skin a lot and it’s actually one of the reasons why he got so attracted to me when we were still in college. I fear that when signs of aging start showing on my skin, he’ll no longer find me adorable. My husband assured me that I will never happen. He pointed out that I am just starting to get insecure because the fine lines on my forehead are beginning to emerge. He actually has a point. I am beginning to have creases and only an effective anti wrinkle cream can help me do away with it. It seems like my husband made an effort to research on the most promising wrinkle creams sold today. He bought me this product, which according to product reviews, is a trusted brand when it comes to fighting off skin aging. I will begin using it this evening and hopefully, I’ll see result right away. I read about all of these creams here.

A Dirty Secret: The NRA And Democrats

While three-quarters of House Republicans routinely vote the NRA way, the 50 or so NRA loyalists inside the House Democratic Caucus play an essential role in rendering substantive gun-control legislation dead on arrival. Congress might demand new safety locks and clamp down on sales at gun shows in the wake of the Littleton, Colorado, school shootings. But, thanks to these Democrats, the Democratic leadership can’t–and won’t–seriously push for more draconian measures, such as mandatory registration or new limits on gun purchases, when the House debates the topic next week. The reason: The gun issue could backfire on the party as it did in 1994, when, as Clinton admits, Democrats “lost control of the House of Representatives in all probability because of” his crusade to ban assault weapons.

The numbers speak for themselves. Forty House Democrats were awarded an “A” on the NRA’s issue scorecard in 1998, and 15 more are considered by the gun lobby to be reliable friends, according to the NRA’s head lobbyist, James Jay Baker. Many of these Democrats are as “extreme” on guns as NRA President Charlton Heston–33 of them, including Caucus Chairman Martin Frost, voted to repeal the ban on semiautomatic weapons in March 1996, for example.nramoney

Actions like these have not gone unnoticed. The NRA rewarded pro-gun Democrats with $285,000 in campaign contributions from its political action committee in 1998 and dispatched thousands of local members to assist in their reelection campaigns. “Across the South and West predominantly, there are Democrats who are extremely sensitive to and extremely supportive of their constituents’ gun rights,” notes Baker.

Most NRA-backed Democrats are Southern conservatives from rural districts, where some folks think the only problem with the Second Amendment is that it should have been the First. But gun control draws support even among some of the caucus’s otherwise liberal members. John Dingell, the legendarily liberal Michigan Democrat, “votes down the line with the Democratic leadership, except on gun control,” says Baker. Dingell, a sportsman and gun owner, represents a quiet but formidable cadre of liberals from a heavily blue-collar district where 16-point bucks and stacked gun racks are status symbols. As a show of its appreciation, the NRA sent Dingell the legal maximum of $10,000 in PAC money last election.

It was Dingell and Representative David Obey, a liberal from Wisconsin’s deer country, who, in the days before the Memorial Day congressional recess, helped convince Minority Leader Dick Gephardt not to turn the Littleton massacre into a new political crusade for the Democrats. They sided with Stupak, who rose to his feet in a private caucus meeting and warned that Democrats such as himself could lose their jobs if the predominant liberal position prevailed.

The idea of politicizing the gun issue is incredibly tempting for the Democratic leadership and irresistible for urban liberals, who still rule the caucus. They watched with envy as Senate Democrats scored their biggest political victory of the year when Vice President Al Gore ceremoniously cast the tie-breaking vote to embarrass Republicans on gun control. They also read the latest polls, which illuminate a strong desire among likely voters for stricter gun laws. It’s the ideal atmosphere to expose Republicans as radical gun zealots who care more about NRA money than the safety of school children.

But they won’t. The truth is, it’s not in Gephardt’s or his party’s self-interest–at least as far as immediate electoral prospects are concerned. Gephardt removed himself from the presidential sweepstakes to concentrate on winning the speakership in 2000, and he knows a serious debate over stricter gun laws could make his job of winning the requisite six additional seats next year impossible. Gephardt has done a masterful job concealing the deep cracks inside his caucus, not just on gun control, but on virtually every major topic the party confronts. A wide-open gun debate would expose those fissures, ripping apart the fraying caucus, so Gephardt is limiting the discussion to weak but symbolic provisions.

And, of course, a frontal assault on guns would invite the full wrath of the NRA, particularly in the most closely fought districts. Gephardt was around in 1994, when Democrats such as Jack Brooks of Texas lost their seats after voting to ban several types of semiautomatic weapons. And members like Stupak and freshman Ken Lucas of Kentucky are constant reminders of what could happen if Gephardt plays with guns too recklessly this time around. Lucas, one of only a handful of Democratic incumbents whom Republicans think they can knock off in 2000, represents an ardently conservative district packed with 11,000 registered NRA members. Gephardt is well aware that Lucas became the first Democrat to win this conservative district in three decades and that his 11,900-vote margin of victory in 1998 could easily be reversed if he’s too tough on guns. The same goes for Stupak. Fifty-nine percent of his district’s voters backed him in 1998, but, in a region where local schools literally shut down for the opening day of deer-hunting season, a misfire on gun control could end his political career prematurely. “Whether we vote for it or not, if the perception is the Democratic Party is pushing wild gun control, then [we] will lose members, plus [Gephardt] won’t pick up those six seats we need in 2000,” he warns.

In a sense, the Democratic leadership is simply paying the price for its current electoral strategy, which seeks to wrest control of the House at seemingly any cost. As part of that effort, the party has broadened its ranks, promoting conservative voices who just a few years ago were outcasts. That strategy has paid some dividends already; in 1998, it helped narrow the Republican majority to the six-seat margin that exists today. But it has also forced the party to temper its rhetoric and expectations. If the gun debate has served to highlight well-known weaknesses within the Republican Party, it has also uncovered some internal fissures in the Democratic Party–weaknesses that will only become more apparent as the party inches toward recapturing control of Capitol Hill.

A Zoloft Murder???

The murder/suicide of actor Phil Hartman and his wife stunned the nation a year ago, and now the aftershocks are being felt. The late actor’s brother-in-law, Gregory Omdahl, is suing Pfizer and a psychiatrist, claiming that his sister was under the influence of the antidepressant drug Zoloft when she killed her husband and herself.

Hartman, 49, star of the NBC sitcom NewsRadio, was shot by Brynn Omdahl Hartman, 40, who killed herself four hours later in the early morning hours of May 28, 1998.

Gregory Omdahl, brother of Mrs. Hartman and executor of the Hartman estate and conservator for their two children, filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on May 27, charging that Pfizer, which makes Zoloft, “had done all that it can to downplay the possibility that Zoloft causes violence or suicide in some people.”

Omdahl acknowledged that an autopsy found alcohol and cocaine in his sister’s body but said she snorted the cocaine after killing her husband.

Omdahl also sued Arthur Sorosky, M.D., the Los Angeles psychiatrist who gave Brynn Hartman samples of Zoloft.

Omdahl charged that Pfizer aggressively marketed the drug by giving to physicians samples that failed to carry warnings of side effects, according to a news report from Reuters.

The lawsuit claims that Sorosky gave Mrs. Hartman samples of Zoloft on March 26, 1998. It further alleges that, in the weeks before the shootings, Brynn Hartman told friends that the drug was having adverse effects on her and that she felt “weird . . . like she was going to jump out of her skin.” The lawsuit claims that those symptoms described a dangerous condition known as “akathisia,” which can give rise to suicide or violence.

Celeste Torello, a spokesperson for Pfizer, New York City; said, “We are extremely confident that the case will either be dismissed or we will be completely vindicated. There is just no medical or scientific evidence that shows any relationship between Zoloft and the behavior that Brynn Hartman exhibited.”

The package insert for Zoloft (sertraline hydrochloride) describes the drug as an antidepressant for oral administration “whose efficacy has been established in trials on patients diagnosed with a major depressive disorder.” Under the heading “Suicide,” the insert states: “The possibility of a suicide attempt is inherent in depression and may persist until significant remission occurs.

Close supervision of high risk patients should accompany initial drug therapy. Prescriptions for Zoloft should be written for the smallest quantity of tablets consistent with good patient management.”

Additionally, under “Information for Patients,” the insert advises physicians to discuss with patients for whom they prescribe Zoloft that “although Zoloft has not been shown in experiments with normal subjects to increase the mental and motor skill impairments caused by alcohol, the concomitant use of Zoloft and alcohol in depressed patients is not advised.”

Mrs. Hartman had spent the evening before she shot her husband drinking with a female friend.

Could a tragedy such as this have been prevented by an alert person who was able to recognize the serious nature of Brynn Hartman’s complaints? Very little clinical knowledge would have been necessary for someone to caution Hartmann that mixing alcohol and drugs can be a deadly combination. It would have been doubly obvious, meanwhile, if that person was a health professional, said John A. Cronin, a pharmacist and a lawyer who is executive director of the American Society for Pharmacy Law. “The allegations of the lawsuit illustrate the need for patients to communicate problems to their healthcare professionals – including pharmacists. Had someone who has knowledge about the effects of the drug heard her issue these complaints, something might have been done.”

At least one financial analyst for the pharmaceutical industry said that he was not surprised by Pfizer’s support of Zoloft. “Lawsuits don’t have any impact [on the industry],” said Hemant Shah, HKS & Co., Warren, NJ. “Lawsuits against Prozac didn’t impact [drug] sales.”

Drug Companies Rockin’ – Don’t Come Knockin’

elililEli Lilly & Co. is back on top – but not alone – as the brand-name pharmaceutical manufacturer that pharmacists perceive as most committed to pharmacy, according to this site’s exclusive annual Corporate Honor Roll survey. Lilly topped the poll in 1997, fell to second last year, and now, in 1999, is back to reclaim its throne.

This year, however, Lilly does not rule alone; Schering-Plough tied for first place this year as most committed to pharmacy, a dramatic rise from its sixth place finish in 1998, and its No. 4 ranking in 1997.

Lilly and Schering both received 20.6 percent of pharmacists’ votes. Pfizer was a close third, with 17.6 percent, catapulting the company from its seventh place finish in 1998. Last year’s No. 1 – Glaxo Wellcome – tumbled to fifth place with 11.8 percent of votes (Table 1).

Among generic drug manufacturers, Mylan continued its reign of dominance, taking home top honors for the fifth consecutive year despite also being selected as the generic company whose relations with pharmacy had worsened most in the last year. Nonetheless, Mylan was pharmacists’ top pick for all four business categories examined (Tables 4-7).

Apothecon and Zenith Goldline tied for second as the generic companies most committed to pharmacy; Apothecon was No. 3 last year, while Zenith Goldline soared from No. 7.

This year’s survey was sent to 1,500 pharmacists; response rate was 8 percent. Some 45.6 percent of responses came from independent pharmacies, 28.7 percent from traditional chains, 19.8 percent from food/drug combos and 6.9 percent from mass merchandisers. Seventy-two percent of respondents were male; 28 percent were female.

The “Most Committed To Pharmacy” question was conducted somewhat differently from previous years. Until this year, the questionnaire allowed pharmacists to choose their top-three companies in that category, and rankings were based on percentage of top-three mentions. This year, pharmacists were given only one choice for “Most Committed To Pharmacy.”

With Schering-Plough’s rise from No. 6 to No. 1, it was no surprise the company also scored top honors as the brand-name company that most improved its relations with pharmacy, grabbing 20.8 percent of votes, followed by Pfizer, with 12.5 percent and Glaxo Wellcome, with 10.4 percent. One pharmacist noted that Schering’s “salespeople are calling on pharmacies again.” Another commented on the company’s “increasing availability of product info.” Pfizer won votes for “Viagra’s gross profit margins for the pharmacy” and for “product development.”

Apothecon and Mylan tied for top honors for generic companies that most improved relations with pharmacy, each capturing 12.5 percent of votes. Apothecon was lauded by a number of pharmacists for improved deals and dating; Mylan was cited for good advertising and having the broadest product line.

Ironically, it was also Mylan that won the dubious honor of most worsened relations with pharmacies among generic drug makers – getting an overwhelming 68.4 percent of votes versus a mere 10.5 percent for runner-up Rugby. For the last two years, pharmacists have bitterly complained about increasing prices for Mylan products.

TABLE 1

Committed To Pharmacy

Lilly, Schering Tie For First

Lilly steps up a notch, while Schering-Plough surges forward to
create a dead heat as the brand-name companies pharmacists say are
most supportive of pharmacy; meanwhile, Mylan retains its grip as
the top generic drug company for the fifth consecutive year.

Brand                       Total          1988 Rank

1. LILLY                    20.6%              2
1. SCHERING-PLOUGH          20.6%              6
3. PFIZER                   17.6%              7
4. MERCK                    16.2%              3
5. GLAXO WELLCOME           11.8%              1
6. WYETH-AYERST              7.4%              4

Generic                     Total         1998 Rank

1. MYLAN                    26.8%              1
2. APOTHECON                12.5%              3
2. ZENITH GOLDLINE          12.5%              7
4. SCHEIN                   10.7%              8
5. GENEVA                    8.9%              5
6. WARRICK                   5.4%             10
6. WATSON                    5.4%            N/A
TABLE 2

Improving Relations Schering Makes Strides

Pharmacists said Schering was the brand-name company that most
improved its relations with pharmacy in the last year. On the
generic side, Apothecon and Mylan tied for top honors.

Brand                      Total          1998 Flank

1. SCHERING-PLOUGH         20.8%              4
2. PFIZER                  12.5%              7
3. GLAXO WELLCOME          10.4%              1
4. LILLY                    8.3%              3
4. PARKE-DAVIS              8.3%            N/A

Generic                    Total          1998 Rank

1. APOTHECON               12.5%              2
2. MYLAN                   12.5%              5
3. TEVA                     9.4%              8

Among brand-name companies, Merck again topped the list of companies whose relationship with pharmacy worsened, as it has each year since acquiring Medco in 1994. That PBM merger still stings pharmacists, as a whopping 44.9 percent of them named Merck in the worsened relations category, far ahead of runner-up Abbott (24.5 percent) and third-place Pfizer (6.1 percent). One pharmacist complained that Abbott’s “policy of no returns hurts pharmacy retailers and favors wholesalers. Not only do we not get return monies, we have to pay for destruction of outdated product. We have not benefited from a one percent credit they offer.”

As has been the trend for several years, pharmacists also said that their relationships with pharmaceutical manufacturers have grown more distant. Forty-four percent said that consolidation in industry had resulted in less contact with manufacturers and 41 percent said it had led manufacturers to place less emphasis on their relationships with pharmacy. Pharmacists were split as to whether the consolidation had led to more or less competitive pricing and services.

Among pharmacists’ complaints:

“Very few reps call on us. No one deals directly with us!”

“We seldom see a drug rep.”

“Major drug companies don’t give a damn about the survival of the independent pharmacy. They should show us more respect.”

“All I ask from the drug companies is to introduce the new product to me seven to ten days before it appears on TV.”

To that end, 39.4 percent of pharmacists said they would like to get more calls from pharmaceutical sales reps; slightly more than 30 percent said they would prefer fewer such calls. Twenty percent said they preferred calls by appointment.

Pharmacists this year showed less opposition to the ever-increasing barrage of direct-to-consumer advertising coming from pharmaceutical manufacturers. In 1998, some 63.5 percent of pharmacists said they opposed DTC ads; this year’s survey found only 54.5 percent were opposed. Of those who said they favored DTC ads, the majority said they preferred that the ads mentioned pharmacists as patient counselors.