Tag Archives: jargon

Jargon: Wedding test

In my reading I came across this funny thing called the wedding test. It involves checking for the male customer’s wedding ring when he’s shopping. The ring signals a very high likelihood that purchased goods will be returned on account of being dejected by the female partner. I’m not being a chauvinist or hinting how complicated & choosy women are, but its funny if this is now part of the sales curriculum. Sure that this makes Inside Sales far more challenging!

Jargon: Incoterms (with a brief on Payment terms & Delivery Terms)

Sales Orders (SO) & Purchase Orders (PO) are 2 key trade documents in any business. They usually two important fields: Payment terms & Delivery terms. After a brief on these terms, we go on to explain Incoterms: internationally accepted trade-terms used in international contracts.

Payment terms most often represent the payment instrument (cheques/collaterals), credit period and discounts, if applicable. In the simplest form, P30 indicates that payment will be made 30 days after receiving the bill/invoice. P30/2%20 is a more complex term indicating that if the payment is done within 20 days (instead of the 30-day credit period), the buyer is entitled tot a 2% discount on invoice value. Payment terms could also be based on collaterals like L/C (Letter of Credit) or Irrevocable credits that help minimize the seller’s risk.

Delivery terms are indicative of the agreement on delivery cost, responsibility (=risk) and ownership of transported goods/services. Costs include freight charges, taxes & duties and commissions to clearing agents. As a seller, I may choose to transfer ownership at my premises {ExWorks}, at my port {Free Carrier}, after loading cargo on board air/sea/road/rail vessel {Free On Board}, customer’s port {Delivered Ex Quay/Ship} or right up to ship-to address (address where goods are required to be delivered).

Incoterms are delivery terms standardized by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) for use in international trade. The abbreviations along with description & associated buyer/seller liability are mentioned here.

Talking about commission, in reality commission is a sweeter word for greasing charges at ports; needed an example of organized crime, take this! How would it look if I had a ledger account called Bribes? Doesn’t Agent Commission really sound decent? One of my uncles lives of this profession, so I won’t say another word 🙂 Continue reading Jargon: Incoterms (with a brief on Payment terms & Delivery Terms)

Jargon: Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) as a Financial Indicator

Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) is an important financial metric for evaluating the effectiveness of converting credit sales (money owed to you) to cash. Considering the time value of money, it indicates the age of an organization’s accounts receivables or AR (sum of all money owed by debtors) in days and the average time it takes to turn receivables into cash. Ideally, this should never exceed the standard payment terms. So for a 52 credit period offered by credit card to borrowers (which is us, debtors to the issuing company), best DSO for the company will be 52. A higher DSO would indicate inefficiency in their collection cycle (and in our payment which they will gladly oblige by slamming exorbitant interest or by delegating collection to recovering agents).

DSO (measured in days) is calculated for a period,

DSO = Accounts Receivables / Credit Sales for the period * 30 (days)

DSO can vary significantly over the course of a year on account of several reasons:
– Fluctuation in sales volume, due to seasonality, economy, etc
– Negotiated payment terms, promotional discounts
Since these situations are common in business, DSO is argued Continue reading Jargon: Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) as a Financial Indicator

Jargon: Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment (EIPP)

Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment, or EIPP, is more general concept (as compared to ERS discussed earlier) that is based on electronic invoice submission. ERS uses Advance Shipping Notices (ASNs) instead of invoice. However, they share benefits: avoidance of data entry, errors and exceptions, lost invoices and vendor inquiries. Most solutions are capable of receiving invoices in CSV, XML and few other formats over EDI.

EIPP or e-Invoicing is part of the larger procure-to-pay (P2P) cycle (will be writing soon on this). A huge challenge lies in supplier on-boarding: getting suppliers to automate at their end. In the current era, supplier enablement can be hastened by hosting an internet facing portal – called Supplier Portal in sourcing jargon – that suppliers can log-on to and key-in their invoices. ‘Flipping-the-PO’ is a standard feature that saves data entry effort for the supplier, and minimizes error. On referencing the PO being invoiced, information about line items viz. description, ordered quantity & price are defaulted. This helps reduce the number of expections in automated invoice matching. Imagine this as handing over your groceries list to a baniya who converts it to a bill by stamping his name and adding prices & total (and discounts if the baniya is willing to spare)


Jargon: FITALY Keyboard Layout

FITALY Keyboard Layout
FITALY Keyboard Layout

FITALY is a keyboard layout that places the most commonly-used letters closest to the centre, to minimize finger movement while entering a word. Designed by Jean Ichbiah (Patent), it is specifically optimized for stylus or touch-based input. The name, FITALY, is derived from the letters occupying the second row in the layout (like QWERTY comes from the 1st row of standard keyboards)

The aim of the design is to optimize text entry by organizing keys to minimize key-to-key finger movement, allowing faster input through one-finger entry (compared to 10 fingers required to type efficiently on QWERTY layout).  As compared to the 3-row QWERTY keyboard, FITALY has 5 rows with atmost 6 letters in a row (as against 10 on QWERTY).

Letter Frequencies in the English language
Letter Frequencies in the English language

Continue reading Jargon: FITALY Keyboard Layout

Jargon: Plug-and-Play

In computing, ‘plug and play’ describes the joint capability of  plugging devices to a computer and getting them running without configuration effort. Its a feature that, both, the hardware (the device) & software (usually a driver or operating system) The software is capable of discovering & getting the hardware ready to use; and to do this the hardware provides necessary information. USB devices are a classic example, but the term was more popularized by Microsoft to market the ability of its Windows OS to configure devices.

This term is also used by sales teams to market software and emphasize its ease of installation/deployment, configuration/implementation and quicker Go Live! However, this is not always the case! My boss once told a vendor that not matter what sales calls it, to customers its usually ‘Plug-and-Pray’ 🙂

Jargon: Evaluated Receipt Settlement (ERS)

Evaluated Receipt Settlement (ERS) is an EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) procedure, part of Supply Chain Management.  It was pioneered by GM to address the issues associated with payments against invoices (bills) for goods received. ERS is valid in India. Continue reading Jargon: Evaluated Receipt Settlement (ERS)

Jargon: pubsubhubbub

pubsubhubbub is an open-source protocol that establishes a Publisher-Subscriber agreement between feed servers (pub) and subscribers (sub) via a broker (hub).  It is thus an extension to the existing RSS & Atom protocols for feeds. With this, subscribers will no longer have to keep polling the feed URL, but instead will be notified of updates. Publishers will specify a hub address as part of the feed specification, and all subscribers will register themselves with the hub (instead of the feed itself). The publishing tool will notify the hub of updates, which will in turn efficiently multicast the update to all subscribers. Continue reading Jargon: pubsubhubbub

Jargon: Local Direct Dial (LDD)

Local Direct Dial (LDD) is an operator-enabled service that helps you save on your mobile phone bill when you call an international visitor in your country. Such a person, often called an inbound roamer, can be dialled locally, instead of having to make an overseas IDD call. The only known country where this feature is currently available is Singapore. Continue reading Jargon: Local Direct Dial (LDD)

Jargon: Code Obfuscation

Code obfuscation is the technique used to make source code elusive. Advantages of doing this are protecting intellectual property, reducing security exposure, size reduction or minification and library linking (to avoid DLL Hell). It is also considered a form of security. Types of obfuscations include simple keyword substitution, use or non-use of whitespace to create artistic effects, clever self-generating or heavily compressed programs, and programs that are valid and operate similarly in multiple programming languages. Continue reading Jargon: Code Obfuscation