Products and Services That Can Benefit Through Cartoon Character Licensing

There are many products and services that can benefit through cartoon character licensing. In this article I would like to discuss some examples and hopefully give entrepreneurs a spark of inspiration.NurseriesIf you run a nursery or a childcare centre, you might want to consider licensing the rights to use an endearing cartoon character to be your brand mascot. Having an identifiable brand with a cute cartoon character for a mascot will really make kids fall in love with your establishment. And if you run your business right, you can later leverage on the brand recognition the cartoon character has created for you to develop a franchise.Credit Cards Corporate looking credit cards are boring. They might be suitable for corporate folks, but how about the younger population? University and even college students are finding the ability to earn decent money even before graduation these days and many of them can afford to own a credit card. At this age, it is safe to say that they would prefer a cool or ‘kewl’looking card as opposed to the corporate-looking one. The clever usage of a suitable cartoon character on a credit card can do wonders for its application rate as proven by Asian countries like Hongkong, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. The same principle can be applied too to membership cards for stores selling merchandise catering to such a demography.Books Whether you are writing a storybook for kids, a puzzle game book, a music training book, a book on parental guidance, or even a self-help guide for adults, consider licensing a cartoon character. Cartoon characters don’t always have to look childish or cute. They can also look quirky and different (think the Simpsons). Use the right character for the right product, and for the right demography. You can’t go wrong with that. The thing is, books that have a strong identity sell better, and what better way to do that than using a suitable character to help you establish that identity? As an author, you can look forward to establishing a book series using the character as a series mascot if you plan ahead and your first book sells well enough.Greeting Cards Cartoon characters work very well on products that carry a message and greeting cards is one such product. Pretty pictures of sceneries are just so passé. Since greeting cards are meant to convey a message and warm the heart, why not have a character with the right appeal and attitude do the job?Clothing and Apparels If you are launching a new clothing or apparels line for kids or young adults, you might want to consider using cartoon characters to improve the aesthetic quality and brand appeal of your merchandise. A suitable character with the right look for your product can really sky-rocket its sales.Toys, Novelties and Stationery There is an increasing number of toys, novelties and stationery designed for tweens and young adults flooding the market. Innovation and aesthetic cuteness are the key factors driving sales for these merchandise. For the cute factor, nothing beats a cartoon character.In all the examples above I would like to stress that I support the licensing of lesser-known characters as opposed to the more famous characters. I share my views regarding this in another article. If you visit my website or search on the internet for ‘Character Licensing for Your Product? Forget Mickey and Bob!’ you would be able to find the article.

Life-Fitness Equipment – Understand the Concept

Once you initiate a fitness training program, a bodybuilding program or any other training regimen to amplify your health and physical fitness, you have the option of registering in a local fitness center or gym, or setting up your home gym. Home fitness equipment are currently very popular due to their convenience and easy acquisition. It is in this acquisition process of home gym equipment that the concept of life fitness equipment accrues.

Introducing Life Fitness equipment

The phrase life fitness equipment refers to the lifetime equipment acquisition whereby the equipment you buy is warranted for their life duration. In short, therefore, life fitness equipment refers to lifetime fitness equipment. Those who have encountered the term may not be totally familiar with the concept. If however you are intent on setting up a home gym for your physical fitness training of bodybuilding, it is important that you consider the importance and the essential meaning of lifetime equipment.

Purchasing lifetime or life fitness equipment means that the equipment you purchase come with a lifetime warranty. That is just about the best deal available in your local exercise equipment store.

Why Life fitness Equipment is a Viable Choice

The following are some of the reasons why you might consider buying life fitness equipment:

Fitness aids and equipment are very expensive and not the kind of investments you would wish to be buying every now and then if you can avoid it
With regular exercises, common fitness aides and equipment usually break down and become dysfunctional such that they hinder beneficial workouts unless you buy a replacement
Insurance covers for your home gym equipment is a more expensive option when it comes to break down, wear and tear
The convenience of knowing that your equipment will be serviced or replaced anytime it stops working efficiently, instead of having to carry out another odious shopping
In short, life fitness equipment might end up saving you a lot of time, money and trouble. Almost all types of equipment will and do break down with continued use. Whether it is furniture, cell phones, vehicles, machines or whatever else, breakage and wear and tear is a norm in the use of machines.

Your equipment is also as prone to breakage and wear and tear. You therefore need the assurance of a lifetime guarantee that the equipment will always be replaceable and or repairable at no additional cost. That is the essence of lifetime warranty carried by life fitness equipment.

Conclusion

Fitness equipment is a formidable investment. Setting up a home gym is something that should be covered by a warranty or insurance of sorts. In this regard, life fitness equipment is just about the best available option. Ideally, the lifetime warranty is offered by manufacturers and extended by equipment stores and other retailers within your local setting. Ensure that you check for such provisions when buying your home gym equipment and specifically ask for the equipment that carries with it a lifetime warranty. Additionally ensure that:

1. The price is acceptable in comparison with the normal pricing of the equipment i.e. It should not go beyond 20% of the normal price

2. The condition of the equipment while at the fitness equipment store should be brand new and functional

3. The lifetime warranty documentation properly signed by the equipment store as provided for by the manufacturer

4. The terms spelt out in the lifetime warranty to include replacement and repairs without excluding your typical usage of the equipment i.e. Some contracts will exclude electrical-fault-caused damage from warranty cover which is a trick you must avoid

5. The reliability and or dependability of the local store or manufacturer to follow through on their word based on their track record, customer support and customer satisfaction history

There is a link between a bodybuilding lifestyle and optimal health. Once an individual strikes that link, he or she attains optimal physical fitness as a by-product. With the right information, you can easily set up a training regimen that is centered on bodybuilding health. From this program, muscle mass and strength will accrue and with it physical fitness.

The Launch of AS9100 Rev C Will Make Firms More Competitive

The International Aerospace Quality Group (IAQG) released a revision to AS9100, the quality management system (QMS) for the aviation, space and defense industries.  But, unlike the recent release of ISO 9001:2008 (which was more of an amended version), Revision C will have considerably more impact.  Its benefits, however, far outweigh the impact of implementation.  The new requirements are intended to make significant improvements in quality and reductions in cost – throughout the value stream.The Standard’s payload includes several new requirements and clauses that focus on planning, project management, and risk management.  Its trajectory will also traverse on-time delivery performance, the formal monitoring of customer satisfaction trends, and formal plans to ensure continual improvement – all are mission critical.  IAQG’s mission is to dramatically raise the on-time, on-quality delivery (OTOQD) performance across all three business sectors.BackgroundTo do business in aerospace today, you need to comply with AS9100, the international standard for aerospace quality.  AS9100 now includes the requirements of the ISO 9001:2008 Standard, plus additional requirements imposed by the aerospace, aviation and defense industries.  AS9100 places additional emphasis on structured design and validation methodologies, configuration management, and identification and traceability.IAQG is the lead organization responsible for revisions.  The first draft of the AS9100 revision was developed in July 2007, after considerable inputs from stakeholders.  A coordination draft was sent to all stakeholders in November 2007.  The IAQG 9100 Team met in April 2008 to address all comments.  The formal ballot draft was released in May, and the official release was on January 15, 2009.The IAQG 9100 team consists of eighteen members representing Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific IAQG Sectors.  Among the various stakeholders are:  Civil aviation authorities, defense and space industry and authorities, certification/registration bodies, trade associations and IAQG member companies.Transitioning to AS9100CTransition details are still being finalized.  We expect that both revisions will remain current for over 2½ years.  IAQG has proposed a maximum thirty month implementation schedule from date of publication.  Unfortunately, it is not quite that simple.  The reason is because AS9101D, the Quality Management Systems Assessment Standard, has not yet been approved.This Assessment Standard is currently being revised in order to simplify it, and to make it easier to facilitate a value-added, process-based audit.  Changes are expected to be rather significant.  And it isn’t until this sister Standard is approved, that the approximate six-month development period (for sanctioned courseware to train third-party auditors on the revised standards) can even begin.If the AS9101 Standard is released in the next several months (Q1 or Q2) – and if it takes about six-months to develop sanctioned training materials – it probably will be Q4-2009 or Q1-2010 before any certification body can audit to the AS9100C Standard.  So, third-party auditors can’t do anything until the AS9101 Standard is also launched, and the sanctioned training materials are released to the certification bodies.Once the Assessment Standard has been released, the primary thrust of the first six months will be to develop auditor training materials.  The challenge for the next twelve months will be to train the certification bodies and auditors.  This suggests that the earliest opportunity for organizations to be registered to the new Standard (early adopters) will be about six months from publication of AS9101D.During the next twelve months, all organizations that have not opted for early adoption will need to upgrade to the new Standard at their next surveillance audit or re-certification.  So, it appears that the maximum allowed time to upgrade will be thirty months from publication of AS9101D, and any certifications that are still to AS9100B will no longer be valid.  Detailed transitioning requirements will be available at or around the time AS9101 is officially released.Overview of the ChangesRevision C changes include expansion of the scope to include “Aviation, Space and Defense,” changes to the design specification, greater focus on planning and project management, and additional emphasis on risk management and mitigation.  Keep in mind that ISO 9001:2008 changes have also been incorporated.Additionally, two new terms were introduced – special requirements, and critical items.  Special requirements are those identified by the customer, or determined by the organization, that have high risks to being achieved.  Critical items (e.g. processes, characteristics, parts, software, etc.) are those that have a significant effect on product realization and use of the product.These changes present new challenges to those working to the AS9100 Standard.  For example, emphasis on risk management serves to reduce liability and costs associated with “escapes,” as well as to obviate costs associated with remediation (that might also include litigation).  Essentially it requires organizations to establish a process for managing risks to achieve customer, statutory and regulatory requirements.Other implementation benefits include measuring, analyzing and improving product quality and on-time delivery performance, and the formal monitoring of customer satisfaction data and trends.  Also, improvement plans will be needed to ensure continual improvement.  Understanding and embracing these changes will better position your organization for growth and profitability.The Path ForwardThis is a good time to evaluate the overall effectiveness of your current quality (business) management system.  If you are not measuring on-time delivery performance and customer satisfaction trends, do so, and don’t wait.  This is no time to procrastinate – it just makes good business sense.If you want to brush-up on project management and be better prepared to address the new clause (7.1.1), ISO 10006:2003 QMS – Guidelines for Quality Management in Projects can be used as an information resource on how to apply project management, using ISO 9001′s principles and structure.In addition, we encourage you to visit the official IAQG website at http://www.iaqg.org for additional information.  And if you come across any articles by L.L. “Buddy” Cressionnie, read these.  He is the Americas lead for the IAQG 9100 Team.  Visit the SAE International website as well at http://www.sae.org for related useful information.  Just click on “aerospace.”Also, obtain a copy of the AS9100C Standard. Copies can be purchased from your national standards body, ANSI, in the United States, SAE International, or from the American Society for Quality.  Remember, this standard includes ISO 9001:2008 QMS requirements and specifies additional aerospace, aviation, and defense QMS requirements – shown in bold, italic text.One last thought.  AS9100C provides the framework for a fundamental business model.  It is the foundation from which to build a competitive, customer-centric enterprise.  If you think it’s just another standard that can be taken lightly, think again.  It makes a strong business case.  And that translates to improved business results, and a sustainable competitive advantage.  It’s a matter of survival!